Founder of Bhasha Andolan requests Orissa Governor to refuse assent to OOL Act amendment

Roving Reporter
Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, founder of Bhasha Andolan that has been espousing his demand for strict implementation of the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 since 13 April 2016, has requested the State Governor to refuse assent to its second amendment, as the first amendment, on which this second amendment is based, is nothing but a legislative blunder that absolutely arbitrarily diminishes the scope of the Act and is designed to refuse the people of Orissa their right to have administrative services in their mother tongue, for which the State was formed in 1936.

When the first amendment was passed in the Assembly on 1st May 2018, Sri Pattanayak had requested the Governor to return the same to the Assembly for reasons elaborated in his letter. Had the Governor paid heed to his plea, this notorious repetition of legislative blunder would not have hit the State.

If the second amendment is given assent, it would perpetuate the damage done to the Act and would be absolutely detrimental to the right of the people of Orissa to get official services in their mother tongue.

Here below is the copy of the mail Sri Pattanayak has sent to the Governor:

His Excellency the Governor of Orissa,
Raj Bhavan, Bhubaneswar

Sub: Request for returning the Odisha Official Language (Second Amendment) Bill , 2018

Ref. My Memorandum dated 24.5.2018


The State Government has yet again misled the Assembly to pass the Odisha Official Language (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018 by suppressing vital facts, which I had informed you in my Memorandum under reference.

On behalf of Bhasha Andolan, Orissa, I had appealed you to please refuse assent to Odisha Official Language (Amendment) Bill, 2018 that severely threatened the effectiveness and relevance of the Odisha Official Language Act, 1954 by inserting a mischievously designed notorious Section namely Section 4-A into the Act, on the grounds mentioned therein.

I am sure; Your Excellency didn’t sleep over my demand for repealing the same Section for the illegalities it was based upon.

Sadly, instead of repealing the same, the Government has misled the Assembly again to refurbish the same section by a shrewd amendment that would continue to create further confusion in administration of the Act.

Furthermore, Your Excellency, continuance of the Section 4-A means legalization of the wrongful ‘Statement of Objects and Reasons’ that the illegal Section 4-A was based upon. The administration of anti-Oriya mentality has arbitrarily linked this Section to Cabinet decision dated 26.12.2017 instead of the finally relevant Cabinet decision of 14.03.2018 in order to render inconsequential the real legislative intention the State Cabinet had formulated on this later day by superseding decision of the former day.

I, therefore, request you to please call for the records of the suppressed Cabinet Resolution dated 14.03.2018 on Official Language Act and to please refuse your assent to the Odisha Official Language (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018 with advice that the totally illegal Section 4-A be replaced with a fresh amendment keeping intact the scope and applicability of the Act while flawlessly and unambiguously providing for punishment to whosoever functionary violates the Act.

Kind Regards,
Subhas Chandra Pattanayak,
Member, Ministerial Committee on working of Odisha Official Language Act (defunct)
Founder Chairman,Bhasha Andolan , Orissa

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