We know tit for tat, don’t try to destroy our Mother Tongue: Devi Prasanna Nayak


If you don’t abstain from destroying our mother tongue by atrophying the Official Language Act, we will let you know in time how proficiently we can play tit for tat, dear Chief Minister.

Eminent journalist Devi Prasanna Nayak has warned Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with such words while speaking live in the Facebook platform of Bhasha Andolan from a dedicated page styled Bhasha Maapain Pade (A few Words for the Mother Tongue) last Monday.

A great movement by the Oriya speaking people spanning from 1870 to 1936 had fetched for them a separate province in the British days and after the Republic of India was formed, the first Government of Orissa created under the Constitution of India, had enacted the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954, which had, in consonance with the purpose of creation of Orissa State, enforced Oriya as the official language for all or any purpose in the province of Orissa. This Foundation Law has not yet been implemented, as a result of which there is no informed participation of the people in democracy and anarchy sic passim the administration. Bhasha Andolan has been insisting upon provision of punishment to whosoever contravenes the Language Act. Its founder Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, as a member in the Ministerial Committee on working of the Act, has given a set of draft legislation to make the Act inviolable. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, by birth a non-resident Oriya imported by followers of his father to lead them, is perhaps too deficient in IQ to learn the language of the land and therefore, he is not able to work in Oriya. He is afraid of getting punished if Subhasbabu’s proposed legislation gets enacted. Therefore, perhaps he has inserted Section 4A in the Act to render it inconsequential, while retaining Section 3A that has de facto made English the ruling language in Orissa and when Bhasha Andolan had refused to be hoodwinked by the wrongful amendment, he has used crevice-craft to weaken the movement, said Sri Nayak.

A journalist who sticks to norms of the profession and leads the Newspaper Employees in their industrial rights, Sri Nayak expressed deep anguish and shock over the media being managed to put the most magnificent and principled movement of the people in the matter of their mother tongue to total blackout. Avaricious owners of media houses are hand-in-glove with the Chief Minister to keep the general public in dark about this great movement, which he termed the second movement of the people for their emancipation. If there is an iota of honesty and professionalism in Orissa’s media sector, it should ask the Chief Minister as to why he has inserted Section 4A in the Language Act while retaining Section 3A and, if the same is helpful to implement the Act, why there is no work in Oriya in any Office, he roared.

Sri Nayak’s well documented live speech is reproduced here through YouTube:

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