Bhasha Andolan, Orissa: A Short History


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

To her misfortune, Orissa has a Chief Minister, who does not know the Oriya language and runs an administration entirely in English when hardly 5% of the population of Orissa knows and understands this foreign language.

Sri Patnaik is in power for more than 16 years, but has not considered it necessary to learn Oriya and converse with the people in Oriya. As a result of this, the first linguistic State of India, which was the first province in India to frame and promulgate Orissa Official Language Act (hereinafter called the Act) in 1954 stipulating therein that for “all and any official purpose, Oriya shall be the language”, is being governed in English, which is not even a constitutional language, not being placed in the 8th schedule of the Constitution of India. Thus, the State is being governed unconstitutionally, when around 95% of the population of Orissa suffer administratively and perish in the labyrinth of demoralization.
A former Chief Minister J.B.Patnaik had tried his best to implement the Act and to ensure governance in Oriya. But, the steps he took could not succeed, as one of his predecessors Biju Patnaik had sabotaged Oriya language to the core by amending the Act to the effect of imposing English as Official Language in addition to Oriya “for the transaction of business in the Legislature of the State of Orissa”. Taking advantage of this amendment, as administration is answerable to the Legislature, the ministers who were eager to project themselves as rulers and hence elite, and the mandarins of anglicized mentality, transformed the entire administration into business in English to the imperilment of Oriya as people’s language of utility.

Long after J. B. Patnaik, a Member of Parliament Baishnab Charan Parida (hereinafter called BCP), who was rewarded with a seat in the Rajya Sabha from BJD for his disloyalty to the Communist Party of India, in order to save his face as a pro-people person, created an outfit styled as Oriya Bhasha Suraksha Samiti (hereinafter called Suraksha Samiti) and started demanding that the Act be implemented. He, however, had no idea on why the Act was not being implemented.

At par with BCP sans any rivalry, an advocate and poet Sri Gajanan Mishra of Titilagarh, Bolangir was campaigning for use of Oriya as the Court Language. His argument was tremendous and based on legal position. He had, to certain extent, succeeded in legitimatization of proceedings in Oriya in lower courts of the locality. But unless a general practice in Oriya prevails in Orissa’s courts, his individual endeavor was not fetching desired result. So, he wanted to shift the seat of his endeavor to capital of the State for involvement of greater spectrum of people in his campaign. A retired Banker and Columnist Tusarkanta Satpathy was the first man of Bhubaneswar to stand with him. Mishra sat on a symbolic hunger strike for a day on April 1, 2015. Poet Umakanta Raut (Aroop) was a magnetic spirit behind Mishra who roped in poet Sankar Parida (hereinafter called SP), formerly a district board chairman and a person in whom many of the ruling BJD find a friend, despite his distance from this organization.

Advised by many to end the impromptu hunger strike, Mishra declared that, if the State Government fails to implement the Act by end of June, he would sit in fast-on-to-death in support of his demand from July 1, 2015 and it was decided to extend him all support.

Accordingly, supporters of the cause were organized into a new forum, which provided a common platform to all the organizations campaigning for implementation of the Language Act. It was christened ‘Oriya Bhasa Sangram Samiti’(hereinafter called Sangram Samiti) with SP as its convener.

The agitation reached so high by July 8, with Sri Mishra in fast-on-to-death and several others on relay hunger strike every day, that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had to announce that he was ready to constitute a Ministerial Committee with five Ministers and seven representatives of the Sangram Samiti which would look into implementation of the Act by removing all obstacles from its path. On this premises, Gajanan Mishra ended his fast.

The CM posted five Ministers Viz. Debi Prasad Mishra, Arun Kumar Sahu, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Pranab Prakash Das and Bikram Arukh to this Committee with Sri Mishra as its chairman. The Sangram Samiti also sent seven of its representatives namely SP, Gajanan Mishra, Dr. Devi Prasanna Pattanayak (hereinafter DPP),Subhas Chandra Pattanayak (hereinafter SCP), Dr. Natabar Satpathy, Dr. Bhagavan Prakash, and Subrat Kumar Prusty (hereinafter SKP). Government added BCP, its party MP in the Rajya Sabha to this list.

Later the government tactfully changed this status. Both DPP and SCP had insisted that the Ministerial Committee should have the minimum required legal status. In response to this insistence, the Chief Minister proceeded to form a Code bearing the number 18715/GA dated 31. 07. 2015 with a single term of reference that wanted determination of ways to remove the obstacles from implementation of Orissa Official Language Act, 1954. Under this Code, the status of Sangram Samiti was quashed and the persons that were representing the Sangram Samiti were changed into the status of “nominated persons” obviously without voting powers in the Ministerial Committee (hereinafter MC).

When the first meeting of this Committee was held on August 01, 2015, DPP advanced an argument that unless a Language Policy is formed, governance of Orissa in Oriya cannot be carried out. Even as BP had tried to derail the proceedings, the MC chairman Minister Debi Prasad Mishra asked him to draft the policy. The MC, however, resolved to create a website completely addressed to implementation of the 1954 Act. Members were called upon to submit their suggestions.

Accordingly, in the next meeting, DPP placed his draft language policy and SCP placed a set of draft for amendment of the Orissa Official Language Act to remove its lacunae because of which it was not being implemented and also the Rules he wanted to be adopted to drive the Act ahead.

Both the drafts were decided to be placed in the specific website that was eventually named ODIARE SHASANA at odia.odisha.gov.in, under the links: http://odia.odisha.gov.in/bhasa-niti.html and http://odia.odisha.gov.in/niyama-bali.html respectively read with http://odia.odisha.gov.in/upload_files/pdf/notification/Draft%20Odia%20Rule.pdf .

The committee decided that the Principal Secretary of Law should work upon the draft sets of legislation submitted by SCP as above, before it was placed before the Assembly for adoption. ORISSA MATTERS published the information at http://orissamatters.com/2015/09/04/orissa-official-language-act-has-no-drive-amendment-along-with-rules-suggested/ .

With this information available to him, the Chief Minister also told the Assembly on December 14, 2015 that the government was actively working upon the formation of necessary Rules to implement the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954. We had welcomed the CM’s Assembly statement.

But to our surprise and shock, only two days after this statement, the CM dramatically drifted away from the proposed legislation. He took a meeting of the Ministerial Committee’s five ministers only in completer oblivion of the nominated members of the MC on December 17, 2015 and after that, caused issuance of a Press Statement declaring a 9 point agenda for governance of Orissa in Oriya, sans any mention of the necessary legislation. It was a completely confused Statement, inasmuch as from letter No. 213 of General Administration department issued on December 18, to different Secretaries; it transpires that the said meeting had drawn up a 14 point agenda, not nine. Surprisingly, on December 20, the Information & Public Relations department projected 10 of these 14-point programs as already advanced for implementation by the CM! Rampant the shenanigans!

However, there was no trace of the proposed legislation either in the said statement or in the final projected 14 point agenda. SCP strongly protested against this mischief of the CM. Once the MC was constituted as per GAD-CODE-CORDES-0013-2015-18715 date 31.07.2015, it was absolutely arbitrary on part of the CM to force upon the said Committee his 14 point agenda in absence of the nominated members who were there as representatives of the Sangram Samiti, he alleged. He discussed the issue at http://orissamatters.com/2015/12/17/orissa-cm-drifts-away-from-the-decision-for-governance-of-orissa-in-oriya/ and continued to discuss the issue in ORISSA MATTERS.

Agenda before the Ministerial CommitteeIt was strange that, instead of correcting the wrong, the government called the MC to session on 12.1.2016. The 14 point agenda as noted above was the only agenda before the Committee. It was clear that the government was trying to ratify by the nominated members the CM’s agenda arbitrarily adopted behind back of the nominated members representing the language activists; and beyond the Term of Reference. SCP and Gajanan Mishra vehemently opposed this mischief. But, surprisingly, other nominated members in the MC kept mum. It was quite perplexing inasmuch as the imposed agenda was breathing a hidden agenda to play havoc with the objectives of Odia Bhasa Pratisthan, which a private body comprising DPP and SKP had been trying to execute in PPP mode.

When removal of all obstacles from the path of implementation of the Act was the only task before the MC under the terms of Reference, and when the amendment of the Act and creation of the Rules as advanced by SCP were essential for achieving this aim, the MC was being shepherded into the game plan of a number of Bhasha Mafia working for self interest under its cover. The situation was really perplexing.

However, the number one item in the agenda – Odia Open University – was objected to by all in this meeting. Therefore, a resolution was adopted to decide the issue in a “workshop” on this item during the said month. This “workshop” witnessed the CM’s agenda for Open University was rejected by the majority participants. In course of its proceeding, one thing got clearer and it was that, if the government goes for the University, it should be such as to stay in consonance with the draft language policy DPP had advanced. And, in the said policy, aims and objectives of the private body which he was heading were visible.

To SCP, it was clear that, if the CM was reluctant to amend the Act and adopt the Rules, because thereby he may also be punished for contravention of the Act, which was perhaps the reason of his drifting away from his Assembly announcement, the MC will just go on killing time to hoodwink the people of the State, but shall never want the proposed legislation get the status of Law.

In such a situation, he thought to create a new platform of movement. And, this platform is Bhasha Andolan, Orissa.

Besides SCP, four other media persons – Pradyumna Satpathy (Editor of Subartta), Pabitra Mohan Maharatha(Media Consultant and Freelance Journalist), Tusarkanta Satpathy (a former Bankerturned Columnist) and Sagar Satpathy (Editor of News Insight are leading the movement that uses a novel method of protest against a ruthless government, the like of which is not seen anywhere.

The most sensitive nerve of power in Orissa spreads from the Legislative Assembly to the Governor’s house in Bhubaneswar, the Capital City of Orissa. The whole area is under Sec.144 of IPC, prohibiting any congregation of more than four persons, which has become a permanent feature. On this chest of power, according to the plan of the movement, four persons of distinction and eminence marched silently with black flags every day at a particular time. Governance of Orissa in Oriya and punishment to whosoever contravenes the Official Language Act were the only demands displayed in placards were also in their hands. The whole State woke up slowly but steadily like never before. For the first time the the government felt that a silent protest can raise the strongest voice.

Thus this unique movement has forced the government to amend the Act whereupon formation of the Rules would be worked out. Punishment to whosoever hampers governance of Orissa in Oriya by contravening the Act through legislation is now the minimum demand of Bhasha Andolan. The Government is yet to accept this demand.

The movement shall continue till this demand is fulfilled.

AISF TO COMPLETE 80 YEARS ON AUGUST 12, ORISSA PLANS 40 DAYS LONG CELEBRATION


From Com. Jayanta Das

Bhubaneshwar, August 8
8
AISF Orissa State Council and Former AISF Leaders had a meeting at AISF State Office Bhubaneshwar on 7th Aug 2016 . It was presided over by Veteran Journalist Com. SubHash Ch Pattanayak. The Veteran former AISF Leaders like Ex MP Com. Duti Krushna Panda, Ex MP Com. Shibaji Pattnaik, Advocate Com. Gobardhan Pujari, eminent artist Com. Asim Basu, Ex Minister Sj Prafulla Ch Ghdei, Com. Ajeya Rout, Poet Com. Banchhanidhi Das, Com. Girija Nayak, Advocate Com. Dhaneswar Mohanty, Com. Prfulla Tripathy, Com. Laxmidhar Nanda, AISF State Secretary Com. Jagannath Patra addressed the Meeting on 80 Years Celebration.

Com Jayanta Das moved the Programme schedule of 80Year Celebration of AISF.

The Ceremony is to be inaugurated on 12th August 2016 in IDCOL Auditorium Hall at 9.30AM.

During the period of celebration, National Level Seminars will be held across the State on contemporary issues, such as, ‘Is education a privilege of the privileged section in India?’, ‘Religious Fascist Terrorism is the Enemy of Civilized Society’, ‘Freedom versus Sedition’, ‘Development versus Deprivation’, ‘Students Union Election and Students Legislation’, and ‘Poverty ridden population in Natural Resources Rich State of Orissa’.

Competitions in Essay, Debate, Songs and Arts will be organized at Educational Establishments, and at Districts and State levels by AISF.

The Celebration will publish a Souvenir and Make Documentary on 80 Years of AISF. The Ceremony will be concluded in 3rd Week of September involving Students from all educational establishments and all former AISF Leaders.

The Concluding session will felicitate outstanding former and present students which was unanimously resolved. Budget of the Celebration was placed by Com Satish Mishra and passed unanimously.

Com Bijay Mohanty appealed everybody for making the 40 Days long Celebration a grand success.

BE ONE WITH NAVEEN AT THE MOMENT

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

There is every justification in Opposition allegation that the Orissa Government has failed to act the expected sentinel of Orissan interest in matter of Mahanadi, upstream which, the Chhattisgarh Government is busy in erecting several dams and barrages in blatant disregard to inter-State relationship.

We condemn the neighborhood government. It has not only jeopardized Orissa, but also has thrown a nasty challenge to national integration of India.

As we study the scenario, we also find that the Opposition parties have not bothered about what harm is being done to Orissa by the Chhattisgarh Government. If Naveen Patnaik’s government is sleeping, was there any ban on any Opposition party to locate the lacuna and raise the issue in due time and lead the people to determine how to save the Mahanadi from the neighbor’s mischief?

I have exposed almost all instances of misrule Orissa has been subjected to in this regime. Yet, in the instant case, I find it prudent to say that Naveen babu being the Chief Minister, all the Opposition parties and responsible Civil Societies should stand solidly with him to handle the Mahanadi imbroglio. The entire nation of Oriyas must act as one in foiling the neighbor’s notoriety and the Chief Minister should be assured that the whole population of Orissa is with him to fight the evil design of Chhattisgarh.

Punishment against contravention of Official Language Act is the key to Governance of Orissa in Oriya: Soumya Ranjan Patnaik

Bhubaneswar Bureau

In the history of Oriya Language the period from April 8, 2016 to May 25, 2016 shall have an everlasting distinction for being the period of an unique struggle of the people against their own Government for emancipation of their mother tongue from the pernicious grip of English Language, to obtain which the grand old man of Orissa, Kulagourav Madhusudan Das and his compatriots had made immense sacrifices, under the impact of which, the present geographical Orissa was born as the first linguistic State of India.

The Orissa thus born had enacted the first ever official Language Act of India in 1954 declaring Oriya to be the language for “all and any official purpose” in the State of Orissa and with adoption thereof, English as official language in the post-independence grace period had lost its official utility. But, the present Chief Minister’s father had, during his regime as CM, sabotaged the Act of 1954 by reviving English as official language in addition to Oriya in context of the Legislative Assembly by way of an amendment in 1963. The present Chief Minister has totally shattered whatever little importance the language had in its home state before he took over. He does not know Oriya and has not learned Oriya despite being in power for last 16 years in Orissa, running a proxy government driven almost by his non-Oriya private secretary, viewed by the public in a recent opinion poll as the third most powerful person of the State.

The mother tongue being in such a quandary, bruised Oriyas had been crying in various ways for governance of Orissa in Oriya, lest thereby the utility value of the language could be enhanced to save it from total atrophy.

But none of them had found as to why the Official Language Act that had stipulated that “for all and any official work Oriya shall be the language”, was not being implemented.

Journalist Subhas Chandra Pattanayak of ORISSA MATTERS conducted a deep study and found that the Act was being contravened, as there was no provision for punishment against its contravention. This was in September 2015, when he was a member in the Ministerial Committee constituted to monitor the implementation of the Act. He further found that the Act had not given any power to the Government to frame Rules to implement the Act. He, therefore, submitted two draft legislation; one, for amendment of the Act to give the government the powers for framing the Rules and the other, the Rules that provided for punishment against contravention of the Act.

As official shenanigans suggested that the government was not going to heed to this proposal, he revolted against the role of the Ministerial Committee and constituted a new platform styled Bhasha Andolan, Orissa wherein four other media persons – Media Consultant Pabitra Maharatha, Subartta Editor Pradyumna Satpathy, Columnist Tusharkanta Satpathy, News Insight Editor Sagar Satpathy joined hands with him.

On behalf of this new organization, an Ultimatum was served on the government on April 8, 2016 notifying that in support of the proposal for provision of punishment against contravention of Orissa Official Language Act by amending the Act to frame such Rules, the Andolan shall offer silent Black-Flag demonstration on the principal road of the capital city spanning from the Assembly to the Governor’s House every afternoon from the New Year’s Day of Orissa that was to come on April 13, 2016.

From this splendid day, every day, four distinguished persons continued to hit the street with Black-Flags in full silence, in support of the demand. They were starting from the front of the statue of the great Gandhian yet progressive Nabakrushna Chowdhury, who had framed the Orissa Official Language Act in 1954 and were dispersing after offering their homage to Kulagourav Madhusudan whose leadership was the main factor behind creation of the Linguistic State of Orissa.

This was an unique experience of oneness with the mother tongue and an equally unique experimentation of how silence could be vociferous in transmission of revolutionary message. The whole of Orissa woke up to its call.

The Chief Minister also woke up in alarm on May 21. By way of addressing his Council of Ministers under the guise of celebration of the 2nd anniversary of his present phage in office, he declared that the Official Language Act shall be amended and the rules to dive it ahead shall be framed and Orissa’s governance in Oriya shall be complete by August 15.

The Andolan leadership immediately reacted with a demand that the the Act be amended by way of Ordinance if the CM was sincere in what he had announced. The Ordinance, as demanded, was notified in the night the same day. The published copy of the Gazette carrying the Notification was available on May 24. In responding to the good gesture, the Black Flag demonstration was kept in abeyance till August 15, 2016.

It was announced in the gathering of the participants in the Black-Flag-March and language activists formally in the evening of May 25.

With the Chairman of Bhasha Andolan Subhas Chandra Pattanayak in Chair. President of the Andolan Pradyumna Satpathy gave details of who had joined the historic march for the mother tongue.

Sambad Editor Mr. Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, who had supported the movement all along, was the Chief Guest. Punishment against non-adherence to Orissa Official Language Act is the key to governance of Orissa in Oriya, he agreed. Here below is what he had said-

While praising Sri Soumya Ranjan Patnaik for his support to the movement, the Andolan Activists who have been renewing their pledge with garlanding Madhu babu every evening, today reviewed the position since postponement of the Black-Flag demonstration and expressed alarm at the discernible negligence of the government in finalizing the draft of the Rules. They wished that the Government should do better by hearing what Sri Soumya Ranjan Patnaik has said.

NAT has already saved 21 lives from possible AIDS and other serious TTIs

Bhubaneswar Bureau

aids iconThe Government should have thanked and felicitated Advocate Sujata Jena of Orissa High Court, as at least 21 unsuspecting patients have been saved from possible AIDS and/or other transfusion induced fatal diseases, because of NAT PCR used in blood screening in the Capital Hospital and two Government Medical Colleges at Burla and Berhampur, which could not have been possible, had Ms. Jena not convinced the Court in the case of a kid infected with AIDS by receiving blood on the operation table in matter of the necessity of NAT.

Had the Government provided the SCB Medical College Unit with Electric Backup to operate the system, many more persons could have received safe blood within this period.

The High Court on hearing Ms. Jena had issued a mandamus on 28 July 2011 directing that the “Government must ensure that in all the Blood Banks, the NAT PCR method is available to identify the virus of HIV during window period”.

As the government did not act in this regard, ORISSA MATTERS exposed the reluctance of the mandarins to implement the judicial direction, consequent upon which Mr. Prasad Harichandan, then Opposition Chief whip, raised the matter by way of an adjournment motion on Sepember 1, 2012. The Health Minister had assured the House in replying to the motion that the State shall certainly implement the Court Order and to begin with, shall commission the facility in four major Blood Banks covering the three Medical Colleges and the Capital Hospital.

But the habit of Orissa bureaucracy, which considers itself as superior to any power, took long four years to implement the most welfare judgment of the High Court of Orissa.

ORISSA MATTERS has been showing in these pages how the non-implementation of the judgment is creating more AIDS patients in Orissa through deficient blood screening.

However, the NAT system is installed in the above hospitals and a new era of safe bolld to patients has commenced.

NAT catches HIV+ shown negative
in ELISA test

NAT ICONInaugurated in BIMSAR Burla on 7.6.2016, the NAT use was initiated on 14th June. Out of total 400 blood samples, which were shown negative in Elisa test, 2 samples have been caught as HIV+ in NAT test.

Similarly, in Model Blood Bank, Capital Hospital, Bhubaneswar, where the facility started functioning on 11.6.2016 after inauguration on 9th June, out of 850 samples tested so far, 2 samples have been marked HBV+ whereas one HBV+ has come out from 360 samples tested here by the BMC blood bank.

MKCG Medical College Blood Bank inaugurated on June 21, has caught 2HBV+ cases out of 413 samples since 23rd June.

Due to want of Electric Backup, which the government is to provide, despite the unit installed in SCB Medical College Blood Bank on 10th June, no NAT test has yet been possible.

However, from the above position, it is clear that, the NAT system has detected 2 numbers of HIV+ and 5 numbers of HBV+ within a small span of time from 14th June till date, which otherwise could have been taken by the patients as pure blood.

This means at least 21 persons have been saved from getting HIV+ and/or HBV+ blood, had the NAT not been installed. This is because, each unit of blood goes to three patients after it splits into components of platelets, plasma and packed RB cells.

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.

  Read more →

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 →