Bhasha Andolan: Office obstructs the CM’s Orders

Bhubaneswar Bureau

The unique movement of Orissa for governance of the State in Oriya language and for punishment to whosoever contravenes the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954, espoused by Bhasha Andolan Orissa, having woken up the entire State against the discernible official apathy that has atrophied the splendid language and has defeated the very purpose of creation of Orissa province, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had invited the leadership of the movement to a face-to-face discussion on how to implement the Act. The meeting had taken place in his official chamber on the 19th of May,2017.

In the presence of former Minister Debi Prasanna Mishra who was heading the Ministerial Committee on working of the said Act and Minister Prafulla Samal as well as MP Pratap Keshari Dev, supported by Pradyumna Satapathy and Pabitra Mohan Maharath, President and Convener respectively of Bhasha Andolan, its Chairman Subhas Chandra Pattanayak apprised the Chief Minister of how the amendment done to the Act as per Ordinance of May 21, 2016 promulgated on the 39th day of the famous Black-Flag campaign of the Andolan, was too wrongly worded to ensure governance of Orissa in Oriya.

It was Subhas Chandra Pattanayak who was the first to have located the lacunae in the Act that were responsible for constant contravention thereof. As a member in the Ministerial Committee, convinced that unless the Act is suitably amended and Rules are framed to drive it ahead, the Act would continue to be contravened, he had submitted a draft for amendment of the Act and a draft of the Rules containing detailed provision of punishment to the contraveners. In terms with this the Act was amended through an ordinance on May 21, 2016. The Ordinance was defective and deficient.Yet the Andolan had postponed its BlackFlag campaign as the CM had declared that by August 14, 2016 all hurdles from the way of implementation of the Act were sure to have been removed, which had generated the hope that the defects in the Ordinance would certainly get corrected when steps were to be taken to make it a law in the Legislature.

Sadly, the Legislature failed and a section namely section 4 got added to the Act with the same defects that the Ordinance had carried.

Keeping this in mind, Sri Pattanayak handed over the Chief Minister a fresh draft for further amending the inserted Section 4 of Orissa Official Language Act. The draft of the Rules, which Sri Pattanayak had given on Sept.3, 2015 resting in the official website created for working of the Act was also handed over to the Chief Minister. Both the drafts were then handed over to the attending officer by the CM with instructions for follow up action thereon.

But, query in the department of Law makes it clear that despite lapse of a month, the same drafts of legislation have not reached the Law Secretary. An RTI query as to what happened to the drafts handed over to the CM is yet to be answered.

Clearly, the office of the Chief Minister has obstructed the order of the CM. What Next!

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