Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Our demand was for governance of Orissa in Oriya. The State Government had agreed and had created a ‘Ministerial Committee’ to work out details of how to make it a reality in practice.
When the details were formulated and placed in a dedicated website specifically created to monitor governance of Orissa in Oriya, in a surprise and baffling move, the Chief Minister has declared that the Act would work through Official circulars, Advertisements and Name-plates, which he attributes to ‘Ministerial Committee’ held today the 17th December in the Secretariat, when no such meeting is held. The ‘Ministerial Committee’ is creation of a ‘Code’ comprising a group of Ministers and ‘nominated individuals’ including me. Neither I nor any ‘nominated member’ knows of the meeting.
Under the circumstances, the Press Note issued by the CMO makes it clear that the Chief Minister has drifted away from the decision for necessary legislation to remove the obstacles from the path of governance of Orissa in Oriya.
The official caption given to the Press Note is clear enough to suggest that the CM is not for governance of Orissa in Oriya. To his perception, issuance of official circulars, official advertisements and writing of name-plates constitute the whole gamut of governance!
But to us, amendment of Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 to proceed for formation of Rules that must include, as proposed by me in the Ministerial Committee, a provision for punishment to whosoever contravenes the said Act, is essential.
It is intriguing that the Chief Minister, having told the Assembly that the amendment of the Act is on the anvil, has not uttered a single word on that in this Press Note. Is he drifting away? We shall have to keep a close watch.