Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Under plutocratic intoxication mainstream authors of Orissa, who dazzle with awards and decorations, have thrown the splendid Oriya language into such distance from the people that the language has lost its relevance to almost all city dwellers and rural elites.
These fellows, supposed to act leaders of Oriya language, are so busy in ingratiating themselves with the power that be for awards and further awards that, they have never tried to educate the people about the harm a chief minister like Naveen Patnaik has done to Orissa’s self-respect and public interest by his anglicized administration.
It is a shame that this chief minister has not only violated the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 every day on every occasion, in all his actions as the chief minister, but also has rendered inconsequential his predecessor J. B. Patnaik’s mandatory instruction to administration to create and submit official files only in Oriya.
He has been following his father Biju Patnaik’s anti-Oriya attitude and has totally ruined the utility value of Oriya language.
The award-seeking authors of Orissa, who claim to be authors in Oriya language, are so spineless and opportunistic that, they have never demanded that, the assault on utility potentiality of Oriya language by the chief minister and his government be stopped.
The demand for governance of Orissa in Oriya language has been raised by persons that have neither aspired for nor have ever bagged any award for their writings in Oriya.
This movement spearheaded by Oriya Bhasa Sangram Samiti had gained such spontaneous support from all over the State and the Fast-on-to-Death strike by poet Gajanan Mishra, joint convener of this Samiti strengthened with sympathy hunger strikes everyday in Bhubaneswar was so very strong that, the government of the anti-Oriya Naveen Patnaik was forced to agree for governance of Orissa in Oriya and to equip all the schools from primary to secondary with necessary manpower and environment to enhance the pivotal role of Oriya language in management of Orissa.
To remove the legal lacunae in fulfilling the spirit of the Official Language Act, 1954, as representative of the Oriya Bhasa Sangram Samiti in the Ministerial Committee constituted for implementation of its demands, I had submitted two drafts for legislation: (1) for amendment of the said Act to provide for creation of necessary Rules to drive the Act ahead; and (2) the Rules.
The Government has placed both of the drafts in the official website specifically created for the purpose and the department of Law has also cleared the same.
But now two dangers to Oriya language are lurking menacingly. They are:
(1) The General Administration Department under direct control of the CM is not placing the aforesaid drafts, despite law department approval, before the State Cabinet for adoption and onward placement before the Legislative Assembly for legislation;
(2) Instead of equipping Orissa with Oriya Medium Schools as promised to the Bhasa Sangram Samiti, the government is all set to destroy every zeal of Oriya people to draft their children for proper education in their mother tongue, by establishing highly funded and elite English Medium Schools in every Block of the State where a design to appoint maximum numbers of non-Oriya teachers is being executed through outside agencies.
Minister Mr. Debi Prasad Mishra’s answers to the Leader of Opposition Mr. Narasingha Mishra and to members such as Bibhuti Bhusan Harichandan, Padmanav Behera, Ashwini Patra, Nabakishore Das, Subala Sahu, Balabhadra Majhi and Pradip Purohit etc on Thursday made shenanigans in this regard seen through to the chagrin of the entire Oriya population.
So, it is now clear that whatever little scope was there for revival of the pivotal role of Oriya in management of the State is going to be totally quashed by the government of Orissa run by anti-Oriya chief minister and his pack of spineless sycophants and the scheming pack of non-Oriya mandarins.
We in Oriya Bhasa Sangram Samiti will certainly sit soon to draw up our future course of action.
But, what the real beneficiaries of Oriya language, who are being looked at with awe, because of the decorations some of them have bagged in the name of Oriya language, and because some others of them are controlling Oriya media as owners and/or editors, are going to do in this matter?
Will any of them, come forward to call for stoppage of the new and pernicious threat to Oriya paramountcy in Orissa?
Will they demand that the proposed model schools be entirely Oriya-medium instead of being English-medium?
Let them react.