Right to Mother Tongue is Fundamental: Pradipta Nayak


Eminent human-rights educationists with a National Law School of India University background, Sri Pradipta Nayak came down heavily upon the State Government today in his Facebook-Live address on the issue of governance of Orissa in Oriya.

The Oriya race had forced the British to form this first linguistic State in its dominion in 1936 for the sole purpose of its administration in the mother tongue of the people i.e.Oriya. And the First elected Assembly as per Constitution of India had enacted the Orissa Official Language Act in 1954 for use of Oriya as the sole language in all and every official purpose. But due to wrongful amendment of this Act, firstly by Biju Patnaik in 1963 and lastly by Naveen Patnaik in 2018, all businesses of the State are running in English instead of Oriya.

Bhasha Andolan, founded by senior journalist Subhas Chandra Pattanayak has forced the government to amend the Act to ensure that the State is run without fail in Oriya language. Under its pressure the State Government has inserted Section 5 in the Act as per the draft legislation proposed by Sri Pattanayak in the Ministerial Committee to which he was nominated as a member. From the set of Rules he had given, Rule 5 and Rule 8 have been adopted by the State in different Acts. But in the Act itself, the non-Oriya- dominated bureaucracy, taking advantage of the Chief Minister’s aversion towards Oriya Language, has shrewdly inserted section 4 and section 4-A in 2016 and 2018 respectfully, a mischief that severely impairs the operational ability of the Act. As Sri Pattanayak challenged the illegality in creation of these two sections, the government, in order to appease him, has honored his demand for quashing of Section 3A by redefining Oriya as the “Official Language” in the “Statement of Object and Reason”in a 2018 amendment, but the two mischievous sections have not been repelled. Therefore, the Black-Flag campaign continues, which has become virtual in place of physical under the compulsion of COVID-19 Code.

In the changed pattern, over and above campaign updates in social and web media, the movement is organizing a weekly video-conference of the activists every Sunday evening and a Live speech in Facebook by an eminent Oriya in support of the campaign. Sri Nayak’s speech, this forenoon, was a part of this pattern. Here is his unedited speech:

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