All of the Language activists had formed a common platform to strengthen their movement for governance of Orissa in Oriya as per Orissa Official Language Act 1954. The platform was named Oriya Bhasa Sangram Samiti (OBSS). Under its banner poet Gajanan Mishra offered a ‘Fast-onto-Death’ for implementation of the Act of 1954 in every sphere including judiciary, so that people could be saved from official exploitation and their mother tongue should get back paramount position in administration and its utility value would be restored.
When tremendous support from all over the State flowed in to the unprecedented movement, the Chief Minister formed a high power committee with 7 representatives of the OBSS and 5 of his cabinet colleagues to take all steps for implementation of the Act.
On deep study, it was found that the Act had no drive. Rules were necessary to punish whosoever functionary contravenes the Act, which had made it mandatory that Oriya language shall be the language for all and any official work in Orissa. So, necessary amendment to the Act of 1954 as well as the Rules were drafted and submitted to Government, which published the same in the official website created for the specific purpose of giving a monitoring platform to the people in the matter of implementation of the Act in right earnest. The CM also informed the Assembly that the amendment is being seriously pursued.
But, thereafter the CM started playing different game. His endeavor to drift away from adoption of the suggested amendment was driven by the design to foil the people’s demand for governance of Orissa in Oriya. Attempts were made to dilute the demand for implementation of the Official Language Act by throwing new traps like Oriya University. A highly shrewd step was taken to hold a workshop on this proposed University, as if unless the University is created, governance of Orissa in Oriya would not be possible. Perceiving that such an university would be a must, a bunch of retired Professors advanced arguments that if it should be created, it should be an Open University, comfortable for them to grab its faculty posts under the guise of preparation of course materials, question setting etc, which, in a regular University they cannot get. Various vested interests came to light in the workshop, where eminent persons on invitation emphasized that, for governance of the State in the mother tongue, the available manpower could only be generated by the University. Now, in current Budget, we find funds have been earmarked for a ‘Virtual Oriya University’ and different ‘Chairs’ in Oriya in different Universities, without a single pie provided for appointment of Oriya teachers in every school. So, these are nothing but attempts to hoodwink the people, whom governance in their mother tongue is being denied.
In the circumstances, the language activists, whom governance of Orissa in Oriya is more important than creation of the so-called virtual University or Chairs in Universities, are seriously contemplating to start the movement afresh, with all the force they can command.
Sri Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, author of the proposed amendment to the Act with the Rules, has made an appeal to his friends in social media, who are eager to see Orissa administered in Oriya, to advance their advice in the matter. His appeal, in Oriya, is reproduced here for the esteemed visitors and followers of this site with the same hope that they shall advance their suggestions through the mail id specifically addressed to the proposed movement – firstname.lastname@example.org.