Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
His party senior Biswa Bhusan Harichandan, who, from the BJP segment of the ruling coalition in Orissa, holds the portfolio of Law and heads the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Higher Education, has come out with a clarification that Minister Samir Dey might have been misled by the bureaucracy to approve scrapping of Oriya language from degree curriculum in government and non-government Colleges in the State.
The whole State of Orissa is in bitter agony over the government decision to do away with Oriya study in centers of excellence in higher education like the Ravenshaw College and other 14 government and 125 non-government Colleges. It is an inexcusable insult to the national pride of the Oriyas. Politicians, irrespective of party affiliations, have expressed shock to know of this mischief. Law Minister Bishwabhusan Harichandan of BJP has said, “The Higher education department cannot scrap Oriya from the curriculum without express approval of the State Cabinet”. Many a ministers of the state have decried this decision. BJD heavyweight Sangram Keshari Berma, who heads a high-membership association of teachers, has threatened to resort to a state-wide strike against the foul play, if the minister does not withdraw the nasty order. Orissa Gana Parisad and the left parties have come down heavily on the government alleging that the Chief Minister, who does not know Oriya, has provided an anti-Oriyas with the opportunity to play havoc with the people’s mother-tongue.
Had there been anybody other than a mindless man like Naveen Patnaik in power, a Bangali by birth like Samir Dey could never have dared to pass orders to do away with Oriya in Orissa’s higher education institutions. As admitted by the Law Minister, this decision has been taken behind back of the State cabinet.
The entire Opposition, openly and senior leaders of the ruling coalition, off the record, are pointing out their fingers at the Chief Minister, who does not know the mother tongue of Orissa, for this uncalled for assault on the national identity of the Oriyas. His aversion to Oriya language proved by his conspicuous negligence to the Official Language Act of Orissa, has encouraged Samir Dey to play his foul trick against the Oriyas. If he wants to escape responsibility, he must sack Samir Dey for having caused so much damage to the Oriya pride.
No Oriya can ever forget the mischievous conspiracy Bangalis had cooked up against Orissa using the advantage of their being in the close circle of the British bosses as their “native servants”. Is Samir’s action a new version of that conspiracy? The answer cannot be a “no” unless otherwise established by an open investigation. To facilitate this, the Lingua-Benga Minister needs to be sacked summarily. So also, S.Sanyal, the Secretary of Higher education department, another specimen of Bengali-tongue bureaucrat, who, as apprehended by Harichandan, might have initiated this nasty proposal, deserves oustal from his post. Continuing Sanyal in the department of Higher education, if he has initiated the proposal to scrap Oriya from eminent Oriya Colleges, would be a danger of higher potency to Orissa.
If Naveen fails to rise to the occasion, end of his government under people’s wrath would be most welcome.