Oriya Language in atrophy: Authors in pursuit of trophy

On the birth anniversary of Kulabruddha Madhusudan Das, whose dedicated endeavor to help the ancient race of Oriyas to have a State where their mother tongue would be the language of all public transactions, the Bhasha Andolan expressed dismay over the discernible apathy of Oriya authors to the enforceability of Oriya as the official language of Orissa.

In a documentary produced by bhashaandolan.com captioned E EKA TAPASYA, founder of the movement Subhas Chandra Pattanayak depicted how the scenario prevalent in the time of Madhubabu before the creation of Orissa as the first linguistic State of British India is the same as on today with a single difference. The difference is that the authors and journalists of those days were eagerly cooperating with people’s demand for making Oriya the State Language whereas the authors and media of the present day are conspicuous by their reluctance to take up the cause lest that angers the power-wielders that have put the mother tongue of the people in atrophy by non-implementation of the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 and by wrongful amendment thereof to obstruct forever its implementation, in pursuit as they are of trophies for themselves available/achievable only under the pleasure of the Government.

On this occasion, a symposium was organized on the topic: Oriya Language in atrophy: Authors in pursuit of trophy.

Prof. Kamala Prasad Mohapatra, one of the pioneers of Language movement in Orissa, called upon the authors to come out of their cocoons of self-interest and be in the Black Flag Campaign of Bhasha Andolan, as the mother tongue is the soul of literature.

Dwelling on the topic, progressive media person Satish Mishra, awarded by the State as the Best Dialogue Writer of Capital Khati, a tremendous TV serial on socio-economic matters of public interest, warned the litterateurs against the menacing threat to people’s basic splendor,i.e. their mother tongue, from the market-oriented elitism.

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, founder of Bhasha Andolan, under whose concept and command the unique campaign has entered into the 4th year, in response to a query from the audience, elaborated how harmful is the Section 4A inserted into the Act by the present government, by way of amendment, which is designed to render the Act inconsequential, if not repealed.

Eminent social activist and columnist Tusarkanta Satpathy, who was associated with the movement in its initial phase and has remained a strong supporter of the cause, mentioning how stooges of government that have deserted the movement, are misleading the campaigners by claiming majority support behind them to declare the campaign closed on correct correction of the Act. He pointed out how an environment of entrapping the people, on the basis of their avarice, for siding with politicians in power or in pursuit of power has grown in Orissa in this regime.

Two fellows – Pradyumna Satpathy and Pabitra Maharatha – strong followers of Subhas Chandra Pattanayak till the latter’s illegal embezzlement of the movement’s funds was located, were gained over by the government and, as strongly suggested by shenanigans discernible in their activities in the evening of July 16, 2018, were used as contract killers against the movement. They had produced One Janakish Badapanda and another Nabakishore Pradhan before Sri Pattanayak as alibi in support of their claim that the finance minister Sashibhusan Behera had assured them to re-amend the Act exactly as Sri Pattanayak had wanted, in lieu of their pledge to stop the campaign. They were so eager and anxious to oblige the minister that, despite the advice of Pattanayak to wait till the government issue a press note to this effect, and collective wisdom of all the campaigners is obtained, they had announced in an impromptu press meet that as per the decision of Bhasha Andolan the Black Flag Campaign stopped with immediate effect.

Now the gang stands threadbare exposed and the government is reportedly exploring other avenues to stop the movement. But Bhasha Andolan is too dedicated to the cause of the mother tongue to stop before the original scope of the Orissa Official Language Act is restored with provisions of punishment to whosoever functionary contravenes it with authority, as suggested by Sri Pattanayak in the Ministerial Committee, given to every citizen of Orissa to initiate penal prosecution against any violator of the Official Language Act.

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