Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Had the two fellows I had trusted not sabotaged the Bhasha Andolan, by this time English language would certainly have been jettisoned from administration and the purpose of emergence of Orissa should certainly have been fulfilled. When we were fighting for amalgamation of Oriya speaking tracks to create a separate province for management of our affairs in our mother tongue Oriya, Gandhiji had rightly observed that this movement “raises the large question of redistribution on linguistic basis.” (Young India, 18 Feb.1920). But, because of treachery of all our chief ministers except Nabakrushna Chowdhury and Janaki Ballav Patnaik, despite Orissa being the first linguistic State, and Orissa Official Language Act being the first of its kind in a province, we are being governed in English, which has pushed our people into utter disadvantage even in the time of COVID-19, as none of the guidance-documents, Acts and Regulations relating to this pernicious epidemic is available in Oriya.
I had founded the movement to achieve my goal of governance of Orissa in Oriya, for which I, as a member in the Ministerial Committee, had given the Government a set of draft legislation on the 3rd September 2015 along with my recommendation for provisions of punishment to whosoever violates the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954, in the hands of the people in the forum of Law.
After J.B.Patnaik, whose chief-ministerial activism to rule the State in Oriya failed despite sincere endeavor, I had made a thorough research into why the Act, enforced on 14 October 1954 was not being functional and I found that it had no provision of penalty against its contravention, which was making fellows violate the Act sans an iota of fear.Therefore, I inscribed this provision in the draft Rules I advanced. But the Act had not given any power to the State Government to frame the Rules. So, I also gave simultaneously a draft for addition of a new Section in the Act to empower the Government to frame Rules for working of the Act.
In fact this step of mine educated the government for the first time in this regard. The Chief Minister informed the Assembly that the Act would be soon amended to ensure its implementation. This was on 14.12.2015, when my proposal was with the Law department for vetting.
A non-Oriya IAS officer G.V.V.Sharma,kept by the CM in charge of the Committee, derailed the Committee, the proof of which is elaborately published in this website.
Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak and a gang of his proteges, who have been given lakhs and lakhs of rupees including free accommodation even in officially sensitive buildings in the name of language, were used by the CM-Sharma nexus to foil my endeavor and to push the Committee into coma.
That made me found the Bhasha Andolan on 1st April 2016 to espouse the cause I had advanced in the Committee.
After deep deliberation with many intellectual friends of known loyalty to our language and with my personal aficionados,I picked up Pabitra Maharatha and Pradyumna Satpathy to proceed with the movement in my own method of Silent Black Flag Campaign. At that time Pabitra was my blind supporter and therefore, he had no objection to my suggestion for the silent march from the eastern gate of the Assembly everyday to the front of the Governor’s House, the statues of Nabababu and Madhubabu consecrated respectively at both the points. Rather,it was he, who had volunteered to join the campaign. But Satpathy took three days to pledge his support.
The silent campaign commenced on 13 April 2016 at 5 pm as per my strategy and was an instant heat. I had made Pabitra the convener, he being my most trusted fan at that time and designated Sri Satpathy as the President after a week or two. As many activists from various spheres joined the unique campaign, a former student leader Sanjib Patry picked up a quarrel with Pabitra and asked Satpathy to clarify as to who is the leader of the campaign. Satpathy had answered, “the movement is the brainchild of Subhas Chandra Pattanayak and we (he and Pabitra) were just the managers, nothing else.” And, both of them – Pabitra and Pradyumna Satpathy – had been sincerely serving the campaign till inferiority complex and avarice grabbed them.
I had no medicine for these two syndromes to administer.