State Government determined to kill Oriya Language in Academic Sphere too

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Resolution No.3 of the Ministerial Committee on ‘Working of Orissa Official language Act, 1954’ of which I was a member, in its meeting dated 12 January 2016, had called upon the Higher Education Department to fill up all the posts of Oriya teachers lying vacant in Higher Education sans any delay.

With Bhasha Andolan hitting the heart of Bhubaneswar, its Black-Flag-March roaring silently for unfailing use of Oriya language in every establishment dealing with the people of Orissa, the Chief Minister asked his Secretary (Additional Chief Secretary of Orissa) to look into the matter, consequent upon which a high-level meeting under his chairmanship resolved that within 15 days steps would be taken to recruit Oriya Language Teachers against all the vacant posts in Colleges and Universities (Resolution No. 7, Dated 19.4.2016). It was further resolved to create new posts within 15 days to ensure teaching in Oriya in higher education.

Information obtained by Mr. Pradeep Pradhan, Chief of Soochana Adhikar Abhijan, Orissa, reveal that in almost  all the colleges ,  the  posts  of faculties in Oriya are lying vacant  for  years together.  The  Govt. has not taken any steps to fill up the  vacancies.  Similarly ,  in all  Universities, Post  of  Professors are also lying  vacant. 

To quote Mr. Pradhan,

In the midst  of  continuing   public outrage  and generated   by  Language  Warriors  of Odia Bhasa Andolan (  a frontal organization steering  campaign for  introduction of  and  implementation of Odia language as  official  correspondence    language    in state  administration and  demanding  provision of penalty for  violators)    accusing    State  Govt.  for its  lackadaisical attitude  towards  Odia  Language  and lack of seriousness  of Odisha bureaucracy  to ensure  effective  implementation of use  of Odia  language  as  official corresponding  language  in state administration , Chief  Minister declared  establishment of  Odia  University in 2018  as  show of his commitment  and love for  Odia  Language.  The media   covered and highlighted this declaration portraying   Chief Minister- how he   loves  so much Odia  Language. 

>In fact, RTI Application was filed in the Department of higher Education, Govt. of Odsiha seeking  information about  establishment  of Odia  University.  The information provided by the  Dept. shows  that how  Construction of the  infrastructure  of Odia  University  has not  yet  started , though three  years  passed.

Secondly, RTI application dt. 15.2.21  Was  filed  to  the  Department  of Higher  Education  seeking information  about  situation of  Odia  Professor, lecturer  in different colleges and Universities.  RTI Application was  forwarded to all the  colleges / Universities  to supply  the  information.  within period of two months, 67 Colleges and Universities  have  supplied  the  information.  Barring  few,  almost  all  colleges ,  the  post  of Odia  Lecturer / Professor  is lying vacant  for  years together.  The  Govt. has not taken any steps to fill up the  vacancies.  Similarly ,  in all  Universities, Post  of  Professor  is also lying  vacant. Even  Odia  chair  like  Satyabadi  Chair, Arttabandhu Mohanty  Chair  is lying  Vacant since  1989 and 1998  respectively.  Though Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja Chair  was established  in Benaras Hindu University, UP  in 2018  with  sanction of  Rs. 3.8  crore, the  Dept. of  Culture  does not have  information whether  the   any Prof. has  got  appointment.  This  is the  sorry  state  of affairs  of Odia  Language  in Odisha.”

The complete RTI exposure is available at Post of Odia Lecturers lying vacant in Colleges and Universities in Odisha

When the Government has thus failed to appoint Oriya teachers in Government Colleges and Universities, its aversion to educating students of Oriya origin in Oriya Language is discernible in in its drive to fill up vacancies in Non-Government Aided Colleges of Orissa. This aversion is displayed in Advertisement No. 005/2021.

Under this advertisement a total number of 972 lecturers shall be recruited in 18 subjects including English, but, not a single recruitment would be made for the Oriya subject. The position was discussed in on December 17, 2020. Several Corrigendum-Notices have been issued on this Ad. But possibility of recruitment for vacant faculty positions in Oriya is conspicuous by its absence in the Ad.

The State Government led by Naveen Patnaik seems determined to kill Oriya language not only by disuse in Offices, but also in academic sphere too.

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