Ranjan Kumar Das: Orissa’s 2nd Martyr to the cause of the Mother Tongue

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Ranjan Kumar Das, M.A. (History), also an accredited tourist guide, was murdered in the night of 31 January 2020, because his plan to tour the entire State of Orissa in cycle along with his friends for removal of wrong caused to Oriya language had created panic in the Government.

In fact, when the Government of Orissa had damaged the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 by a wrongful amendment in 2018 and succeeded in weakening the Bhasha Andolan by taming its founder’s close colleagues,it is Sri Das and his colleagues in the Right to Information Campaign, who had rejuvenated the movement by braving highly inclement weather in a very rare feat of walking demonstration from Satyabhamapur, the birthplace of Madhubabu (Madhusudan Das), revered as the real creator of Orissa to the Bhubaneswar podium of Nabababu (Nabakrushna Chowdhury) the creator of Orissa Official Language Act, covering a span of around 60 kms, under the scorching sun. His RTI activism had irritated a gang of local miscreants, the Government had known. When his plan to lead a cycle campaign all over Orissa in support of the Bhasha Andolan created panic in the anti-Oriya Government, the said miscreants were used to kill him.

Son of Laxmikanta Das of Manikapur under Patkura PS, once the political sanctuary of Biju Patnaik,known for his blatant aversion to Oriya Language, Ranjan’s body after the cruel murder was thrown near an abandoned cottage at nearby village of Beruhan in the Marshaghai PS.

Police is not taking any action despite elapse of more than 100 days, as it has no courage to unveil the truth. Thus, he is a martyr to the cause of the Mother tongue Oriya. The first one was Pt. Laaxminarayan Mishra of Sambalpur who was the first to have moved the Assembly to make Oriya the Official Language of Orissa by creation of an Act to that effect. His murders were never prosecuted and punished.

Embedded here below is a video created by a language lover:

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