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It looks like a story, but is an eye-witnessed account. I have posted it in for the Oriyas of the world to read with the aim that from this eye-witnessed account they may introspect their position in relation to their motherland, mother tongue and heritage, when Bhasha Andolan, Orissa, the world’s only movement of its kind has been fighting for governance of Orissa in Oriya.

Tathapi Santana

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Kula Gourav Madhusudan Das, the most celebrated lawyer of his time, whom Gandhiji was regarding as his Guru, had sacrificed every worldly possession and even his profession in pursuit of the final mission of his life: CREATION OF ORISSA AS A SEPARATE PROVINCE WHERE ADMINISTRATION SHALL BE MANAGED IN ORIYA. And, therefore, Orissa was created on April 01, 1936 as the first linguistic State of India.

On April 01, 1948, when the birth anniversary of the State was celebrated for the first time in our independent soil, an illustrated son of Mother Orissa from Bargarh, Laxminarayan Mishra had moved a Resolution in the interim Assembly (the second such Assembly before India became Republic) asking the Government to create a Law to make Oriya the Official Language of Orissa. Harekrushna Mahtab was the Prime Minister of Orissa as the leader of the Congress Party. Mishra was also a Congress member. The ministry, dominated by non-Oriya elements and Oriya elites of anglicized mentality, had forced Mishra to withdraw his Resolution.

Since then, the Oriya nation has been fighting of making its mother tongue the Official Language of Orissa. The final battle is being fought by Bhasha Andolan since April 13, 2016, the New Years Day of Orissa.

The attached file shall lead to its history.

Fight for the Mother Tongue -1948 to 2016

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Originally written for the Oriya daily Suryaprava, this write-up exposes how the anti-Oriya Government of Orissa has sabotaged the NEET prospects of Oriya students. The State action would help only the children of the elite class of Orissa have medical education while denying the facility to the children of poor families that have no education in English medium. These families constitute 85% of Oriya population, who survive slow-starvation because of the heavily subsidized rice supplied to them at the rate of ₹1/- per Kg.

Here is the article:

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The present day Orissa was created in 1936 as the Oriya speaking people wanted a separate province of their own to have their official affairs managed in their mother tongue. The British power that was then in occupation of India had to bow to the Oriya movement and thus Orissa took her shape as the first Linguistic State of India.

But, post independence politicians – some belonging to the families of the same non-Oriya native servants of the British dragged mostly from Bengal and settled in Orissa; some eager to show off their elitism and knowledge in English; and others too simple to control non-Oriya officers of Indian Civil Service and indigenous officers of anglicized mentality – have ruined this position. The incumbent Chief Minister’s abhorrence for mother tongue of the people has rendered this splendid classical language de facto defunct. Like the masses and mass media of Orissa had fought for separate identity of their motherland, the masses and mass media of today’s Orissa are fighting for restoration of primacy and paramountcy of Oriya Language in governance of Orissa under the banner of Bhasha Andolan.

This movement has no parallel in the history of mankind. A team of four eminent Oriyas per day takes up the movement’s flag of unity – Black Flag – and walk silently on the most sensitive part of the capital city of Orissa starting from the Assembly to the Governor’s House passing through the citadel of power – the Secretariat – daily evening at five.

The movement, begun on 13 April (Orissa’s New Yeaar’s Day) 2016, had postponed its ‘Black Flag March’ on 24 May 2016, as bowing to its demand the CM had amended the Orissa Official Language Act,1954 on the 21st to facilitate formation of Rules to ensure governance of Orissa in Oriya, with a declaration to completely remove all obstacles from the way of implementation of the Act by August 15. But, he betrayed the people and the movement has resumed its ‘Black Flag March’ since the 16th August.

This book, published on the 9th August by ‘Shabdasparsha’ and formally released on 30th November, is a documentation of the unique movement from 13 April to 24 May, 2016.

We have made the book available on Scribd for the Oriyas of the world and their supporters.