Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
If the Chief Minister is sincere in his approach, one may call it the first positive step towards governance of Orissa in Oriya; as on being invited by the Chief Minister, Bhasha Andolan leadership comprising Subhas Chandra Pattanayak (Chairman), Pradyumna Satapathy (President) and Pabitra Maharatha (Convener), met him in an exclusive discussion in his Secretariat chamber at 6.30 pm on Friday.
Former Minister Debi Prasad Mishra, who, as Chairman of the Ministerial Committee, had the greatest role in making the Government accept the first part of the advice, which SCP had given as a member of that Committee and in, consequent upon that, in inserting section 4 in the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954, paving thereby the way for formation of Rules to drive the Act ahead under the new section, facilitated the discussion. Minister Prafulla Samal and Spokesman of the ruling party, MP (Rajyasabha) Pratap Dev were present.
The Bhasha Andolan leadership was amused to watch that the CM had nothing to say, even though the meeting was convened as per his invitation.
However, as the CM wanted to hear from the visiting activists, Bhasha Andolan Chairman Subhas Chandra Pattanayak apprised the CM of how it is the responsibility of the Government to save its own law from being contravened by its functionaries and how the Orissa Official Language Act is being contravened in absence of punitive measures in the Act. He further showed that the new section 4 inserted through Ordinance on May 21, 2016 made assize in due course in the Assembly, addressing the first part of the advice noted above, was also deficient and defective because of its total silence on punishment and ambiguity in structure. In a written suggestion submitted to the CM on the table, Bhasha Andolan demanded that the contents of the said section 4 be replaced with their draft through a further amendment, so that the purpose of the Rules created for working of the Act would not be lost. Bhasha Andolan suggestion that wants replacement of the contents of Section 4 with, is:
“The State Government may, in such manner and by such authority, as may be prescribed in the Rules made under this Act, receive complaints from general public of Orissa in matter of contravention of the Act, and over and above such complaints, suo motto review and monitor whether the directions contained in the Notification under Sub-Section (2) of Section 2 are contravened and subject the contravener to punishment stipulated in the Rules”.
According to Bhasha Andolan, the Orissa Official Language Rules, 2016, created on basis of the new Section-4 is of no consequence inasmuch as working of the Act is left therein to the mercy of the habitual contraveners of the Act. In their written memorandum, given on the table to the CM, its leadership emphasized that, it “insists upon adoption of all the proposals made in the draft Rules as submitted by Subhas Chandra Pattanayak in the Ministerial Committee and published in the specific official website”.
Bhasha Andolan shall continue with its Black Flag Campaign till punitive provisions are made in the OOL Act and its Rules, the leadership decided.