Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
As per decision in the Joint Action Committee, i.e. the Ministerial Committee on the implementation of Orissa Official language Act, 1954, linguist Dr.Debi Prasanna Pattanayak is to draft a Language Policy to be placed before it in its next meeting.
But I feel, unless there is a specific set of Rules to drive the Official Language Act ahead,with provisions of punishment against whosoever disobeys the Act, it may stay defunct as it has, since 1954. Because of this lacuna, former Chief Minister Mr. J. B. Patnaik, despite all his sincere attempts, could not implement it.
There are intermittent circulars from various departments for use of Oriya in official works and correspondences, but they have not been honored, simply because, in absence of the Rules, the Act has failed to propel itself.
Therefore, I have advanced a draft of the Rules for consideration in the Committee. Problem is: the Act has no provision for the creation of the Rules. Hence, necessary amendment to the Act is also suggested.
On the other hand, we need Oriya to be used in private, State-based foreign industries, trade and commerce outfits, corporate houses, public sector undertakings, cooperatives, and all autonomous organizations in Orissa. But, these bodies are not “official” in status.
Therefore, the word “Official” in the original Act needs to be replaced with a word that would encompass all such non-official organizations, in order to ensure that the purpose of the Act is not defeated. Hence, I have suggested that the name of the Act be changed into Odisha Public Language Act,1954.
Here are the suggested amendments to the Act and the Draft of the Rules, which, if accepted, will drive the Act effectively ahead.
I have submitted the same to Hon’ble Minister Debi Prasad Mishra, Chairman of the Committee yesterday as per Resolution No.3 of its meeting dated August 1, 2015. Here below is the draft: