Orissa and Oriya Language: Must we retrieve the Mana

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The first freedom movement of India – armed revolution begun by Jayee Rajguru in 1803 metamorphosing into the first non-cooperation movement led by Buxi Jagabandhi Bidyadhar Mohapatra in 1817 – had severely mauled the British in the soil of Orissa.

“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” – admits G. Toynbee, the British historian in ‘A Sketch of the History of Orissa-1803-1828’ (Calcutta, 1873), with reference to the armed attack on the British by Jayee Rajguru.

The land was such a land of valor and the Oriyas, as a people, were of such “disposition” that, it would not be easy for “suppression of these disturbance either by military or by police”, said Magistrate W. Forrester from the field to Commissioner Robert Ker (Para 18 of his Report dated 9.9.1818) in matter of the non-cooperation movement led by Buxi Jagabandhu.

On the basis of this report, the British had worked out a truce with Buxi, which had helped them gain the recognition as “government”, being part of the truce. With this new earned status, they proceeded to divide the land into parts and clubbed one part each with the Tulugu speaking Madras, Bengali speaking Bengal and Hindi speaking Madhya Pradesh in order to destroy the Mana of Oriyas by making them linguistic minorities in their traditionally rival States, while retaining the central part under Collector of Cuttack, where offices were run with their native servants brought from Bengal that plundered the land. Reflecting on the misrule, Collector W. Trower had described these native servants as “the terror and the scourge of the district” (‘Report on Revenue Administration in Orissa’ dated 23.5.1817).

Despite such speaking reports, the British Government continued to refuge sensible suggestions from well-meaning British functionaries like Sir Andrew Henderson Leith Fraser (With the Rajas and the Royats) to bring back the Oriya areas out of the de facto control of tormenting linguistic rivals to create a congruous land for administration in Oriya, simply because, the British was afraid of the Oriya “disposition”. United Oriyas cannot be kept under control, was the view of the Secretary looking into affairs of India.

On the other hand, the Telugu, Bengali and Hindi speaking people of the provinces to which limbs of Orissa were annexed, were strongly opposing the idea of allowing Oriya population to be governed in Oriya language. To make their evil design further dense, they had started even to misappropriate the Oriya Language and culture, claiming the same to be parts of their own.

To end this turmoil, a highly reputed citizen of Ghumusar – Dinabandhu Pattanayak – had convened a meeting of Oriyas from both the northern and southern sides of River Rushikulya on 11 September 1870 where it was resolved to demand for use of Oriya as official language in the areas of Oriya population. This meeting called upon for amalgamation of all Oriya speaking areas in order to create a separate province where administration should run in Oriya language. This resolution eventually had grown up into the epoch-making movement under the leadership of Kula Gourav Madhu Sudan Das. Oriya journals and authors had made tremendous contributions to this movement, watching which, even Mahatma Gandhi had to say, “This fine race cannot possibly make the natural advance, which is its due, if it is kept split up into four divisions for no sound reason” (Young India, 18.2.1920).

Despite this, the British did not give heed to the legitimate demand, as Telugus, Bengalis, and Hindi chauvinists were claiming that Oriya Language was a part of their languages.

At this critical juncture, the Linguistic Survey of India, published finally in 1928, brought to light the greatness of Oriya Language that forced the Telugu, Bengali and Hindi speaking people to shut up. It unambiguously declared that the Oriya Language can boast of a rich vocabulary in which respect neither Bengali nor Hindi not Telugu can vie with it (Vol.IV).

After this determination of Linguistic Survey of India, the Bengali, Telugu, and Hindi speaking people were forced to keep away from their unfounded claim and the British was bound to correct its wrong by bringing in all the congruous Oriya speaking areas into one administration to be governed in Oriya language and thus Orissa was created on 1.4.1936, as the first linguistic province of India. Not only in general offices, but also in the Courts, Oriya became the official language in whole of Orissa.

But, post independence politicians – some belonging to the families of the same non-Oriya native servants of the British dragged mostly from Bengal, whom Trower, as quoted supra, had described as “scourge”, but settled in Orissa; some eager to show off their elitism and knowledge in English; and others too simple to control non-Oriya officers of Indian Civil Service and indigenous officers of anglicized mentality – have ruined this position.

This ruin had inscribed its signature on the first Utkal Divas celebrated in free India on the 1st April, 1948.

Orissa Legislative Assembly, elected on limited franchise, was in session. A member from Bargarh, Laxminarayan Mishra, moved a resolution for creation of a law to declare Oriya as the Official Language of Orissa. He was severely opposed by a member of his own party – Rajkrishna Bose – who belonged to Bengali community settled in Cuttack. It is worth noting that, the member-in-charge, i.e. the Minister, was hand-in-glove with Bose to foil the noble atte3mpt of Mishra. The concerned Minister was Nityanand Kanungo. Kanungo is a surname that is used both by Oriya Karanas and Bengali Kayastas. Kabi Chandra Kali Charan Pattanayak has shown us how Nityanand Kanungo was used to foil his endeavors to earn classical status for Odissi dance. However, it is on records that he had helped Bose to attack Mishra, the first Oriya to have proposed for creation of Orissa Official Language Act to make Oriya as the Official Language of Orissa.

Bose stood up after Mishra’s speech to oppose his Resolution and declared, “Sir, since the hon’ble member in charge does not want to give a preliminary reply, I would like to speak at this stage”. And then he went on saying why Oriya should not be made the Official Language.

Mahtab was the Prime Minister, who kept mum.

Kanungo then vehemently opposed Mishra and nose led him, he being a Congress member, to withdraw his Resolution.

However, this same conspiracy against Oriya language is continuing till date. It is now in severe crisis of identity, as the State is being governed by a Chief Minister for last 17 years who does not know Oriya, who hates the Oriya language and has kept it defunct.

Bhasha Andolan, Orissa is the last battle of Oriyas that is trying to change the scenario and hence, has been fighting for restoration of the primacy and paramountcy of Oriya Language in offices of Orissa.

To us, the Mana of our Motherland and our Mother Tongue is of supreme importance. We must have to retrieve it.

Whosoever loves our Land and Language may pore over three books for further knowledge on this most calling issue:
1. ORISSA PRADESHA SRUSTIRE GANAMADHYAMA (Role of mass media in creation of Orissa)
2. BHASHA PAI’N GANA O GANAMADHYAMA (Battle of the masses and mass media for the Mother Tongue) and
3. SHREE JAYA DEVANKA BAISSI PAHACHA (The 22 stairs Sri Jaya Dev created to reach SriJagannatha)

SriJagannatha needs be seen in historic perspective

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Umpteen attempts have been made and are being made to convert SriJagannatha of Puri from Buddha to Bishnu and judiciary is also in use to achieve this notorious aim.

The land is over-saturated with Bishnu temples. But every Oriya heart is the temple of SriJagannatha. This unique deity is mother, father and teacher to every Oriya. Why? Below is an attempt to answer:
Buddha Emerged as SriJagannatha From Orissa’s Matriarchal Concept

The Assembly Session died, but the danger prowls

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The winter session of Orissa Legislative Assembly died an organized death on Thursday. But a danger to the legally Official Language of the State has not been over.

People of Orissa are to fight now a new danger to their mother tongue. When they are fighting for governance of Orissa in Oriya, the new danger is prowling under the cover of a proposed project called the ‘University of Odia Language and Literature’ that wants to kill the priority of Oriya nation on punishment to whosoever functionary foils or tries to foil the paramountcy of Oriya language in his/her office administration in Orissa.

I have earlier discussed how the Orissa Official Language Rules, 2016 defeats the purpose of the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954.

Now let us see how Bhasha Mafia is officially being patronized by Naveen Patnaik’s government to kill the pro-language climate created by our movement. Role of Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak in this context needs deep investigation, which the writers of Orissa who benefit from Oriya Language should start in right earnest.

The Government has entered into an agreement with a private firm headed by Dr. Pattanayak styled ‘Institute of Odia Studies and Research’ (IOSR) with components of commercial interest. Yet it has made the same Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak its language policy maker. Is it ethically correct? Dr. Pattanayak should explain his position, because he is a renowned man, decorated with Padmashree and supposed to be a paragon of virtues to justify the distinct civilian decoration.

However, this mischief has given birth to an environment where the government has informed the Assembly about bringing a Bill styled the ‘University of Odia Language and Literature Bill, 2016’, with all the necessary ingredients to help the same private institute earn profits, when the University becomes functional. The Bill, according to sources, was prepared and handed over to the Secretary of Higher Education by Dr. Pattanayak himself in company of Dr. Omkar Mohanty and Dr. Subrat Prusty. Let the Secretary of Higher Education deny this information, if he can.
Sub-sections XIII, XIV, XV and XVIII of Section 5 of this Bill carry such ingredients that, if the University funds will be used to provide bonanza to Dr. Pattanayak’s private institute, there shall be no illegality in that. Here are they:

(xiii) to make contract for the purpose of transfer of technology either in whole or in part with any other institution or organization, on such terms and conditions as may be required, from time to time, to raise funds for the University;
(xiv) to co-operate or associate with any other university, authority, body, in or outside the University area which may have been formed for advancement of learning, research for the dissemination of knowledge, or for the physical and moral welfare of students, in such manner and for such purpose as the University may prescribe from time to time;
(xv) to enter into any agreement with any other institution or organization to transfer knowledge through distance mode; and
(xviii) to make provision for research and advisory services and for that purpose to enter into such arrangements with other institutions or bodies as the University may deem necessary; (emphasis added).

Dr. Pattanayak’s institute fits into this mischief of “any other” institute or body envisaged in this draft Bill.

To cultivate this congeniality, Dr. Pattanayak has always tried to keep the Chief Minister pleased. He has condemned us, who have been fighting for permanent solution to the problem of non-implementation of Orissa Official Language Act, as in his article in Samaja, 25 June 2016; and has tried to mislead the people, as in his assertion in Samaja, 22 August 2016; and has given protection to the Chief Minister, as in his statement in Nitidin, 12 December 2016.

Fortunately for Orissa, the atrophied session of the Assembly has ended. Had it continued, with anti-Oriya elements galore both in the Treasury and Opposition benches – with even the Opposition Leader making obituary mention of distinguished Oriyas in English – the University of Odia Language and Literature Bill, 2016 could have been passed like the notoriously deficient Orissa Official Language Bill was passed in the last session.

But this is a temporary relief. The Bill shall come in the next session. Unless we Oriyas foil this lurking danger, our mother tongue will perish, as Dr. Pattanayak’s cry for the new University is designed to divert people’s priority from the Bhasha Andolan demand for punishment to whosoever doesn’t work in Oriya in Offices of Orissa to unnecessary projects.

Demands must be raised to stop creation of new greasing grounds for the Bhasa Mafia in the shape of the University of Odia Language and Literature. Instead of the proposed University, the Government needs be asked to strengthen the existing Odia Bhasha Pratithan, Orissa Sahitya Academy, Utkal University of Culture and all the other institutes of higher learning and research. My discussion in Oriya print media (Sarbasadharan, 11 December 2016) focuses on this phenomenon.

Mother tongue Oriya needs be saved from the prowling Bhasha Mafia, the greatest danger to her primacy and paramountcy in the State she has created.

Wake up dear brothers and sisters, wake up.

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