It is mandatory for all offices and establishments to use Oriya as the language in all or any activity relevant to the people of Orissa. Sad, the State Government has been contravening the Orissa Official Language Act, which has enforced this since 1954.
Oriya Bhasa Sangram Samiti has been fighting for implementation of the Act and the State Government has formed an Advisory Committee with the representatives of the Sangrarm Samiti to implement it.
Some significant steps have been taken in this regard. On request by the Committee, Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak has formulated a language policy. Sri Subhas Chandra Pattanayak has submitted drafts for necessary legislation to expedite the implementation of the Act. The State Government has created a website on implementation of the Act and the above two instruments have been posted in the site with the Act and subsequent notifications and circulars for public information. With necessary input from the Sangram Samiti, a workshop on Oriya University has been held and resolutions taken.
But despite such positive developments, officials are in the habit of denigrating Oriya language. An instance of this came to notice in the officially organized National Hand-looms Expo-2016 with its entrance gate displaying the nomenclature only in English.
Revolutionary columnist Tusarkanta Satpathy, ORISSA MATTERS chief Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, Subartta editor Pradyumna Satpathy and Language Activist Pabitra Maharatha served a notice on the Labour Commissioner against this official lapse holding it deliberate. The LC assured them to intervene.
The expo authorities were directed to replace the display boards written in English with display in Oriya. The direction has been executed.