Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
We repeat, the evil design formulated against Oriya language and promulgated by the minister of higher education Samir Dey, whose mother tongue is Bengali, has been defeated and the people of Orissa have saved their mother tongue again from Bengali conspiracy.
A couple of hours after Samir Dey told the Press that the decision to do away with Oriya as a subject in degree curriculum was just and proper, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took a meeting with top bureaucrats and used his prerogative to nullify his minister’s orders. He, of course, had to take this step, after we exposed the design thread bare immediately after Samir’s boastings and the people of Orissa as a whole rose in revolt against the mischief.
It is clearly a people’s victory. But this is not enough. Samir must be sacked. He has humiliated the people of Orissa by subjecting their mother tongue to negative publicity. This humiliation must be avenged.
We repeat, no Oriya can ever forget the mischievous conspiracy a small section of Bangalis had cooked up against their language 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 bureaucrats, who, as apprehended by Law Minister Biswabhusan Harichandan, might have initiated this nasty proposal, deserves exemplary punishment for having humiliated the Nation of the Oriyas. Continuing Sanyal in the department of Higher education, if he had initiated the proposal to scrap Oriya from eminent Oriya Colleges, would be a danger of higher potency to Orissa.
The role of these two Lingua-Benga functionaries in management of the Higher Education department also needs review. They say that a Committee headed by the Director, H.E. had recommended for scrapping of Oriya from degree curriculum. Under such circumstances, one is to look at this Director. He is a four in one Director. Besides being the Director of Higher education, he is Regional Director of Education, Director of Vocational Education and Director of the Text Book Press. He is not legally fit to hold these offices. But he holds, because the Dey-Sanyal duo has wanted him to hold these posts. There is, therefore, every possibility that such a favored man can cultivate or arrange a justification for scrapping of Oriya from the curriculum if that idea emanates from the top.
The top, of course, is taking shelter under wordy acrobatics likes rationalization. The colleges are guided and controlled under the UGC guidelines in respect of faculty and didactics. Rationalization as the government wants us to believe is not within this framework. So, why the idea developed and where it germinated? The people of this State have a right to know details of it.
They say, students are not coming forward in heavy numbers to study Psychology, Home Science, Mathematics, Sanskrit and Oriya. Therefore these subjects should be scrapped. How can they say that many shall not seek for this year or in future admission to these courses? Does any pro-people government behave like this?
The government is claiming credit for having formulated a mission called ’employment mission’. For success of such a mission, psychological counseling is a very urgent ingredient. The government should encourage as many students as possible to take up this branch of knowledge in right earnest. There is ample opportunity for self-employment of students of psychology if the government formulates the course properly. Beginning from classroom discipline to conjugal compatibility to industrial unrest to socio-economic management to tackling of politico-religious menace, psychology has a major role to play. Similarly, mathematics is a must for self-help culture that the government is trumpeting. Not only for the women folk but also for any body interested in profitable management of domestic affairs and in employment in tourists friendly professions domestic science possess the potential to play the part of mainstay. Sanskrit is the synthetic language of India. As regards Oriya, besides being the mother tongue of the people of Orissa, it is such a language on study of which depends the study of Indian civilization. It offers immense scope for research in Indian philology.
When the non-Oriya neighbors- Bengali, Telugu and Madhypradeshis- were trying to thwart the Oriya movement for formation of Orissa as a province on linguistic basis in the British Raj, a question of identification of Oriya as a separate language was raised by those mean minded neighbors. This question was amply answered by Oriya scholars of the day. Non-Oriya scholars of international repute were interested in knowing the truth. From their research, came the recognition of the superbly superior status of the language of the Oriyas.
Sir George Abraham Grierson, the famous Irish Orientalist, said in Linguistic Survey of India, Vol. IV, “The Oriya language can boast of a rich vocabulary in which respect neither Bengali nor Hindi nor Telugu can vie with it”.
Even the famous Bengali scholar Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterjee admitted that Oriya is unambiguously superior to his own mother tongue. To quote him, “of the three speeches-Oriya, Bengali and Assamees- Oriya has preserved a great many archaic features in both grammar and pronunciation; 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)
So any scholar, we repeat, who wants to study Indian linguistics, shall have to study the archaically richest language ‘Oriya’. In the world arena, linguistics attracts best of minds in study of human civilization. Stoppage of study in this beautiful and historically important language in the higher education institutions of its own soil is nothing but a blatant crime against the people of Orissa as well as the history of human civilization.
Hence the men who conspired to commit this crime against our people must not be allowed to go unpunished.
If Naveen hesitates to sack Samir Dey, there shall be no doubt in the latter’s version, that the CM had a hand in this too. And, the people shall be doing the best in taking up this matter into consideration when called upon to pronounce their verdict ultimately.