Posts tagged Language Movement

The sole purpose of the Oriya race to create a separate State of it’s own was to ensure that its official affairs would be managed in its mother tongue Oriya. Orissa official Language Act, 1954 had to declare that for all and any official purpose Oriya shall be the Language of the State of Orissa. The Act is not being honored. Bhasha Andolan, Orissa completed on April 12, 2017 one year of its unique, entirely non-violent, silent yet most speaking ‘BLACK FLAG MOVEMENT’ calling for codification of punishment to whosoever sabotages official use of Oriya. This special story is published in Orissa’s largest circulated newspaper ‘SAMBAD’.

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.

A.K.Mohapatra

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Chief of orissamatters.com that has always acted the most alert and strongest sentinel of Oriya interest, Sri Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, advisor of Oriya Bhasha Sangram Samiti, has given a new twist to the fast-on-to-death taken up by poet Gajanan Mishra with Ms.Madhumita Samal and Sanjib Parida, by offering sympathy fast for 12 hours. The trend he has set shall be followed up by language activists everyday till end of the fast by Sri Mishra and his two co-strikers.

The movement has been wholeheartedly supported by the founder chief of Ama Odisha Sri Soumya Ranjan Patnaik in a front-page signed leader in Orissa’s highest circulated broadsheet daily ‘The Sambada’ of which he is also the founder and Editor.

Sambad editorial on Gajanan's fast