Governance of Orissa in Oriya // Act amended by Ordinance, Rules need be immediately Notified

Bhubaneswar Bureau

Draft amendment of the Act and draft of suggested Rules

On September 3, 2015 ORISSA MATTERS chief Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, as a member of the Ministerial Committee in the matter of implementation of Orissa Official Language Act, 1954, had submitted two draft legislation: one for amendment of the Act and the other, Rules for driving the Act ahead with provisions for punishment to whosoever contravenes the Act. The same was published in the specific website The Chief Minister also had told the Assembly on 14.12.2015 that the government was working upon the amendment.

But sadly, thereafter, he drifted away, as non-Oriya mandarins convinced him that if the suggested Rules are adopted, as a non-Oriya practitioner in administration, he himself may attract punishment.

Then attempts were made to divert attention from the necessary amendment of the Act to various other items from where vested interest members of the Committee may derive benefit.

This necessitated a new movement to force the government to amend the Act. A group of dedicated language activists met in the office of Subhartta and created a new organization styled BHASA ANDOLAN, ORISSA with Sri Pattanayak as Adhyaksha (Chairman), Subhartta editor Pradyumna Satpathy as Sabhapati (President) and media consultant Pabitra Maharatha as Abahak (Convener) to take every possible civilized step to force the Government to amend the Act to frame Rules to implement the Act.

The Government was notified with an ultimatum that in support of the suggestion for amendment of the Act as submitted by Sri Pattanayak, BHASA ANDOLAN would stage silent black-flag demonstration by four eminent Oriyas every afternoon covering the heart of administration from the Assembly to Raj Bhavan. Significantly, at the main gate of the Assembly stands the sacred statue of Nabakrushna Chowdhury, who had created the Act and in front of the Raj Bhawan stands the sacred statue Kulagourav Madhusudan Das, because of whom the geographical Orissa has been created.

Everyday a new group of four eminent Oriyas took the black-flags.

The government tried to demoralize the agitators by obstructing their principled and peaceful march by engaging the police to obstruct them on the way.

But the impact of this unique movement was so tremendous that even the ruling party leaders pressurized the Chief Minister to accept the proposal for amendment of the Act to frame Rules to drive the Act ahead. Therefore, on May 21, the CM had to tell the people by way of informing his council of ministers that:

“Odisha Official Language Rules are in advance stage of formulation for better implementation of Odia language in transaction of official business. The Odisha Official Language Act, 1954 is being suitably amended for the purpose. I am hopeful that by 15th of August this shall be implemented”.

BHASA ANDOLAN immediately declared that it was a trick devised by the CM to hoodwink the people. The organization smelled the rat inasmuch as, to its perception, had the CM been honest, the Assembly should not have been adjourned for two days to avoid debates on the issue. On the other hand, the government could have brought in the amendment by way of an ordinance. Therefore, it was declared by the Andolan leadership that the black-flag march shall continue. And, more vigorously it continued.

Oriya people living outside Bhubaneswar, even outside the State have been supporting the Andolan and holding demonstrations in increasing numbers everyday.

Attempts have been made to intimidate the Andolan Leadership through hired miscreants and unsocial elements in social media. An editor of a newspaper belonging to a minister who desperately wants to go back to good books of the CM was used to embarrass the Chairman of BHASA ANDOLAN, Subhas Chandra Pattanayak and when that did not click, the said minister also came down upon the Andolan in a public meeting, apparently to please the CM.

When it was clear that BHASA ANDOLAN will continue its historic agitation, the government has promulgated an ordinance bearing Notification number 4752-1-Legis-16/2016 under the caption: THE ODISHA OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (AMENDMENT) ORDINANCE, 2016 – AN ORDINANCE FURTHER TO AMEND THE ODISHA OFFICIAL LANGUAGE ACT, 1954.

It looks like a backdated ordinance juxtaposed with the above quoted version of the CM; because, both the documents are same dated. No manipulation is impossible if a government so desires.

However, when the Act is amended to give the government the authority to frame the Rules, and framing of the Rules is possible through subordinate legislation, the same should be immediately done to ensure that whosoever contravenes the Official Language Act, must be punished.

For the time being, it is good that the government’s good senses have prevailed.

Minister supports contravention of Orissa Official Language Act, his newspaper plays mischief!

Bhubaneswar Bureau
The newspaper of a minister of the Orissa – Sanchar – has kept its readers in dark about the unique Bhasa Andolan (Language Movement) of Orissa that demands for Governance of Orissa in Oriya language.

On the other hand, it has editorially attacked Sri Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, whose brainchild is this movement, in order to mislead the movement, when the minister has publicly argued that contravention of the Orissa Official Language Act, enacted and enforced in 1954 to ensure governance of Orissa in Oriya, is no offense.
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Tusharkanta’s lightly sent letter puts political parties in flutter

Bhubaneswar Bureau
Come July, Orissa shall send three members to the upper house of the Parliament against vacancies created by its retiring representatives.

The political animals have already started wagging their tails to please their masters on whose mercy their candidature would depend. It was disgusting to many when BJD MP Baishnab Ch. Parida met the CM’s private Secretary, an IAS officer, Sri V.K.Pandian and sought his blessings for a second term nomination. If Pandian is pleased, the “supremo” of BJD would find it difficult to say him ‘No’, he believes.

Orissa has many such fellows in Rajya Sabha whose performances are so very poor that, had they not been in the upper house, the State could have escaped the ignominy of being represented through carpet-baggers.

tusar babuA tireless conscience keeper of the State, former Banker Tusarkanta Satpathy has issued a letter to the ruling party and two other major parties to nominate him, if at all they are going to nominate befitting persons for the three Rajya Sabha seats. Instead of choosing political sophomores and sycophants, the candidates for the Rajya Sabha should be selected for nomination thorough proper screening of their education and orientation by an expert committee comprising wise persons, he has said.

“If I am nominated and sent to Rajya Sabha, I will not indulge in property accumulation; will sit in fast even on to death to bring in Special Status for the State; will donate all my salaries and allowances to CM;s Relief Fund; and will not allow a single pie of MPLAD fund spent beyond the purpose of the Fund”, he has informed.

People know that Tusarkanta Satpathy stands for honesty, integrity and probity. He possesses a brilliant mind as his write-ups are regularly coming out in almost all the newspapers of the State dealing with intricate and urgent public issues, precisely and yet in utmost speaking manner.

His letter, though apparently lightly sent, has put the political parties in flutter, as now they are to say why somebody else, if they nominate anybody else, was preferred to Tusarkanta.

ORISSA MATTERS fully supports his suggestion that, selection to the House of the States (Rajya Sabha) should never be from the political sophomores and sycophants, but from the most deserving persons of the State through proper screening by a committee of experts drawn from people-related areas.

Orissa Minister supports contravention of Official Language Act to counter BHASA ANDOLAN

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

movement logoThe most peaceful and principled movement of the people of a State against the political government’s willful contravention of the most benevolent law of the land is being witnessed in Bhubaneswar for the first time in human history. It is Bhasa Andolan, Orissa, led by a well-knit team of dedicated language activists.

It commenced with an ultimatum delivered to the Chief Secretary of Orissa notifying the Government of the movement in advance. As per the ultimatum, the silent black-flag rally is continuing since April 13, 2016.

It is an experimentation of how silent protests can cause resounding effects if the issue is genuine and purpose pure.

Its effect has put the government in fidgets, which is found in senior most member of the cabinet Dr. Damodar Raut openly supporting the contravention of Orissa Official Language Act in order only to counter the Bhasa Andolan in a meeting at Cuttack on May 15.

He argued that, non-Oriya officers assigned to Orissa cadre by the central government cannot read or write in Oriya and hence imposition of Oriya as a must in administration would be wrong. He, however, showed no courage to reflect on his chief minister, who, despite being in power for around 17 years, has not learned to read and write in Oriya, as a result of which, people are perishing under non-Oriya rule.

Bhasa Andolan has four demands: (1) Provision of punishment against whosoever contravenes the Orissa Official Language Act, because contravention of any law is a punishable offence; (2) Repeal of the amendment done to the Act in 1963 that revived English as an official language in Orissa in addition to Oriya, which has rendered the Act of 1954 inconsequential; (3) Change of the name of the Act to Orissa Public Language Act, so that every office and establishment – mostly private – could come under the purview of the Act and (4) to amend the Act to authorize the government to frame necessary Rules to implement these three demands.

Dr. Raut was intriguingly silent on these demands.

Had the creators of the Orissa Official Language Act not thought of the point raised by Dr. Raut? Before going to this question, let us first know as to why the Act was necessary.

Historical background

The British had no courage to attack Orissa till annexing all other regions of India.

They knew that, even to Asoka, the terror of Magadha, who had claimed to have conquered this land at Dhauligiri battlefield, had not only to discard the Brahmanya Dharma to get converted to Buddhism, but also had declared that the people of this province were unconquerable.

They also knew, when Muslims had dared to attack Orissa, they were so severely thrashed that, even the Muslim historian Minhaj-I- Siraj, who was witness to the battle, being in the Muslim Army, had to admit, “A greater disaster had not till then befallen the Muslims in any part of Hindustan” (The History of Bengal, Muslim Period, pp.48-52).

However, under the constant impact of the socio-philosophic battle between Brahminism and Buddhism, when Chaitanya had flourished under the guidance of Raya Ramananda Pattanayak and the patronage of Gajapati Prataprudra Dev, as the people of Orissa had somewhat shunned the swords, the British had dared to put their filthy feet on the sacred soil of Orissa. But no sooner than they grabbed the Orissa Gajapati’s estate through tricks, the valorous Oriyas raised their swords against the British to oust them from their territory. In “A sketch of the History of Orissa”, the British historian G. Toynbee writes, “It was not long, however, before we had to encounter a storm which burst with so sudden fury as to threaten our expulsion, if not from the whole of Orissa, at least from the territory of Khurda”.

The British tried its best to suppress this first freedom movement of India by using its advance military force and police. But failed.

It transpires from Para 18 of Magistrate W. Forrester’s report to Commissioner Robert Ker, dat5ed 9.9.1818 that, he was afraid, “The nature of the country (Orissa) and the disposition of the inhabitants will always present formidable obstacle to the suppression of these disturbances either by military or by police”.

This long history of heroic habit and valor had led to sectionalization of our motherland where Oriya was the mother tongue, by the British that could gain recognition of the people of Orissa as the Government by virtue of the treaty signed with Buxi Jagabandhu, Orissa’s General. The British not only divided our compact soil into parts, but also clubbed each part in neighboring rival provinces in the guise of its smooth administration, where the Oriya people became linguistic minorities. We perished as our language was denied official use in administration of those provinces.

So, we woke up as a whole to save our mother tongue from the rival lingual assault and this metamorphosed to a historic and incomparable linguistic movement, as a result of which our motherland Orissa emerged as the first linguistic State of India in the present geographical shape in 1936.

Thus, if Orissa is created, it is created by Oriya language and therefore, it must be governed in Oriya.

This resolution was adopted in Orissa’s special Assembly while celebrating the first Utkal Divas in independent India on April 1, 1948. Accordingly when the first Assembly was formed under the Constitution of India, it created the Orissa Official Language Act in 1954 stipulating that Oriya shall be the language for all and any official purpose in the State of Orissa.

Legislative Intention was to end Non-Oriya rule

The legislative intention of the O.O.L. Act was to end the role of non-Oriya language in governance of Orissa. The Opposition had not only totally supported the Act, but also had made it clear that non-Oriya rule shall not be tolerated. For just a reference, I will cite Hon’ble Pratap Keshari Deo, the legendary Opposition heavyweight, who was representing Junagarh of Kalahandi district.

In total support to the Official Language Bill, he had called upon non-Oriya officers and business operators to learn Oriya language properly and quickly or to get out of Orissa. “They must learn Oriya or else they will have to clear out”, he had declared (Orissa Assembly Debates, Vol.VI-No.4).

From the answer of Chief Minister Nabakrushna Chowdhury it transpires that the Government had granted a grace period of three years to the non-Oriya officers to learn and excel in Oriya language so that administration shall not suffer for their deficiency in Oriya. He had made it clear that whosoever officer shall fail to use Oriya proficiently and properly as official language, shall be punished (Ibid).

Subterfuge by Biju Patnaik

But before end of the grace period of three years, on 19.10.1956 Naba babu preferred to relinquish his office, partly because of personal reasons and mainly because of his disillusionment in politics marking the ever increasing imprudence in public life.The tricks the central government played to keep Sareikela and Kharsuan in Bihar despite they being the homes of Oriya speaking people, in order to please the then President Rajendra Prasad , had precipitated his decision to resign.

This suited the non-Oriyas most. Later when Biju Patnaik became the Chief Minister, they got their strongest ally in him.

Biju babu was not efficient in Oriya. He was eager to show himself as too elite to write in Oriya. The Act was the hindrance. So, he invented a way to hoodwink the people and render the Act inconsequential. Accordingly, he brought in the first amendment to the Act in 1963, taking advantage of a step taken by the central government to please the anti-Hindi campaigner of South India.

This amendment is Act 18 of 1963. It inserted a new section (Sec. 3-A) in to the Act of 1954 to continue with English in addition to Oriya in transaction of the business in the Legislative Assembly of Orissa, even after the 26th day of January 1965, the maximum period granted by the Constitution for replacement of English with the language of the people. It reads, “Notwithstanding the expiration of the period of fifteen years from the commencement of the Constitution of India, the English language may, as from 26th day of January 1965, continue to be used, in addition to Oriya for the transaction of business in Legislature of the State of Orissa”.

When, thus, this amendment was relevant only to the business of the Legislature, the ministers and the mandarins have arbitrarily subjected the entire business of governance to English Language. This is blatant contravention of the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954.

Dr. Damodar Raut, the most prominent member of the cabinet, supports this contravention!

Oriya Language Movement is Movement for Orissa’s Emancipation

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

This write-up is published in I put it here for my esteemed readers, in context of the silent black-flag rally going on for last 34 days at Bhubaneswar demanding stoppage of official contravention of Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 and for necessary amendments to the Act to remove all obstacles for implementation thereof in keeping with the dreams of founding fathers of the State.

Oriya Language created Orissa and therefore Orissa must be ruled by Oriya Language

odia language

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik seems to have developed a wrong notion that governance of Orissa in Oriya depends upon his mercy. His press-note of December 17 and full page display advertisement in major broadsheets of today force us to arrive at this apprehension.

In his December 17 press note it was declared that he had held a meeting with the five members of the ministerial committee on that day for the purpose of “strictly implementing the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 in official and non-official level” to facilitate which a website has been floated by the government. In the full page multi-color advertisement in broadsheet dailies today, this is intriguingly missing.

The advertisement is designed to tell the people that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has taken historical steps to save and develop Oriya language, and has enumerated the steps he has taken. This is blatant lie. Neither he nor his government has executed any single item claimed to be “historical” in the official advertisement. The entire advertisement is nothing but false propaganda. What a shame it is, that, the people of Orissa are taken for granted by their Chief Minister! Read more →

Navakalevara: Legends and reality

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Legends are the most misguiding mischief aimed at superimposing lies on reality so that indigenous people of an occupied land are kept too dazzled to see the dark face of the rulers and the class of exploiters can keep its victims subjugated to its authority, while forcing them to forget the heroic history of evolution of their own philosophy of life, their own splendid spiritual realizations, their own socio-economic uniqueness, their own ancient culture, their own valorous past, their own way of social integration and their own civilization.

We see this mischief galore in the context of Navakalevara of SriJagannatha.

So, here, we are to rip apart the legends and bring the reality of the Navakalevara to light, as thereby alone we can reach the lost uniqueness of the people of Orissa.

We will use Puri Sankaracharya’s self-proclaimed authority over Navakalevara to proceed with our purpose.

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Samaja in Maze of Forgery: Two former Ministers of Orissa – Lingaraj Mishra & Radhanath Rath forged the WILL of Gopabandhu; Both benefitted till their death; SoPS continues to Loot

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Oriya daily SAMAJA founded by late Utkalmani Pandit Gopabandhu Das, to which, out of their love and reverence for the great humanitarian leader, the people of Orissa had and have been giving their financial and moral support, is in a menacing maze of forgery and loot.

Sadly, two of Gopabandhu’s trusted men – Lingaraj Mishra and Radhanath Rath – who, because of being known so, had the opportunity of becoming cabinet ministers in Orissa, were the masterminds and/or makers of the forgery from which the paper is yet to be salvaged.

Both of them – Lingaraj and Radhanath – had partnered with each other in forging the last WILL of Gopabandhu to grab the Samaja, which being Gopabandhu’s paper was of superb credibility and the greatest political instrument of the day. They had performed this crime behind the screen of and in nexus with Servants of the People Society (SoPS), of which, while breathing his last, Gopabandhu was the Vice-President. Read more →