Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Bangalis had conspired against the Oriya language during the British Raj taking advantage of the disadvantage the Oriya nation had been subjected to, consequent upon defeat of the first revolt it had raised, in whole of India, against the foreign invaders. British was eager to keep the Oriyas suppressed. On the other hand, Oriyas were determined not to seek any employment under the British. At this juncture, Bangalis, taken as “native” servants by the British, had started trumpeting that, Oriya, as a language, had no distinct identity of its own and hence its use in schools and offices must stop. This evil design was thwarted by the Oriya nation under leadership of Mr. Madhusudan Das. Philologically it was proved and practically it was seen that Oriya, as a language, was much more senior and superior to Bengali.

This is proved when the philologist in Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterjee said that, “of the three speeches-Oriya, Bengali and Assamees- Oriya has preserved a great many archaic features in both grammar and pronounciation; and it may be said without travesty of linguistic truth that Oriya is the eldest of the three sisters, when we consider the archaic character of the language”. (I.H.Q. Vol.XXIII, 1947, p.337)

Sir George Abraham Grierson, the famous Irish Orientalist, declared, “The Oriya language can boast of a rich vocabulary in which respect neither Bengali nor Hindi nor Telugu can vie with it”(Linguistic Survey of India, Vol.IV)

But the Bangali’s ill motive against the Oriyas has not completely relented. Their contrived claim over Sri Jaya Dev is an instant to be cited.

The latest phase of Bangali conspiracy against the Oriya Nation is cooked up in the Higher Education department of Government of Orissa where a local Bangali , Samir De, has been presiding as the minister. An official instruction has been issued to all the Government and aided Colleges to stop admitting students into the Oriya stream as and when demand on this stream seems dwindled.

The Oriya Nation must rise now to thwart this evil design again. The Government of Orissa cannot be allowed to cause any decline in study of Oriya. If demand on this stream has declined in Colleges, the government must be held responsible for that. It must introspect and ensure that employment avenues encourage Oriya language so much so that our students address themselves to their mother-tongue with due dedication.

To retain a Bangali as a minister or to keep a Chief Minister in Orissa who has no intelligence, ability and aptitude to learn Oriya, to understand Oriya, to speak and write in Oriya, is not more important than preservation and prosperity of the mother tongue of the Oriya nation.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik may take note of it.

And for the Oriyas, it is time to rise against the Bangali conspiracy and to thwart it with the contempt it deserves.

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