Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The ongoing celebration of Orissa Sahitya Akademi’s golden jubilee is scheduled to be observed in the National Headquarters at New Delhi where eminent scholars, national and global, are expected to witness how rich is Oriya language.
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The vastness of its vocabulary is indicative of its richness. A few overenthusiastic language chauvinists of rival neighborhoods had tried to show their literary heritage as better than that of Orissa when her children were trying to reorganize on language basis their motherland arbitrarily fragmented by the British and forcefully annexed to adjacent provinces of Bengali, Hindi and Telugu tongues. But the world admitted the truth. In the words of Sir George Grier’son in Linguistic Survey of India, “The Oriya language can boast of a rich vocabulary in which respect neither Bengali, nor Hindi nor Telugu can vie with it”.

On the basis of the uniqueness of Oriya language, notwithstanding vigorous conspiracies of the neighboring provinces and their leaders in top positions in the National Congress and notwithstanding arguments of a section of field officers of British that taking Oriya disposition into account it would be difficult to keep them subdued if Oriya speaking tracks were amalgamated, modern Orissa had emerged as a separate province and thus Orissa is the first State of India to have organized on language basis.

But post-independence political limitations coupled with concentration of media in the hands of neighbors, who had, having ingratiated themselves to the British when Oriyas were fighting to expel those trespassers from their soil, acquired administrative influence under the British and had continued in advantageous echelon even in free India, posed such recalcitrant postures that in the national level, the Oriya language has failed to be projected in its proper shape. Even the Central Sahitya Academy has been misused by the Bengali lobby to project Sri Jaya Dev of Orissa as of Bengal!

It is therefore a long felt necessity to project the unique richness of Oriya literature in the national headquarters and before the eyes of the world. Orissa Sahitya Akademi is certainly praiseworthy for having decided to celebrate its golden jubilee at New Delhi.

With a dynamic Secretary in Dr. Hara Prasad Parichha Pattanayak and a befitting President in Dr. Deepak Mishra, and eminent activists of Oriya letters in the governing body as well as in the council, the Orissa Sahitya Akademi has started its golden jubilee with a schedule to involve the general public of Orissa with its activities by organizing the jubilee celebrations in all the districts and in all the Indian metropolises.

We will extend our best of cooperation to the Akademi in this venture as our positive contribution to our letters and we will place all relevant records and reports to the best of our ability under the golden jubilee logo of the Akademi.

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