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.