What is Bhasha Andolan?
Bhasha Andolan is the unique movement of the people of Orissa for governance of Orissa in Oriya.
Founded and led by senior journalist Subhas Chandra Pattanayak along with four other media persons namely Pradyumna Satpathy, Tusarkanta Satpathy, Sagar Satpathy and Pabitra Mohan Maharatha, this movement is known for using a novel method of protest against a ruthless government that has denied the people of Orissa their right to be governed in their mother tongue Oriya. The like of this movement is not seen anywhere. It owes its origin to reconstruction of Oriya linguistic nationalism by Sri Subhas Chandra Pattanayak through a highly inspiring and instigating researched work published in scribd.com as well as his own website orissamatters.com in 2009 under the title ଓଡିଶା ପ୍ରଦେଶ ସୃଷ୍ଟିରେ ଗଣମାଧ୍ୟମ (Role of mass media in creation of Orissa). Six years later, in 2015 a lawyer of Titilagarh in the district of Bolangir Gajanan Mishra agitated for use of Oriya as Court language and, as the Government did not heed, started a fasting hartal on 1st April 2015 in support of his, which fetching no result , he notified the government for a fast unto death till Oriya is made the Court Language. The fast forced the government to form a ‘Ministerial Committee in July, 2015 whereinto Sri Pattanayak was taken as a member along with Sri Mishra and five others who had supported Mishra in his hunger strike. The Committee was appointed on a single term of reference, i.e. working of Orissa Official Language Act. Pattanayak located lack of penal provision in the Act as well as power of the Government to frame Rules to implement the Act as the two inherent lacunae in the Law and submitted draft legislations to remove the lacunae. Absolutely averse to punishment for contravention of the Act, the Chief Minister rendered the Committee inconsequential.
Pattanayak, who had developed and used the technique of silent Black Flag March to awake the people against misrule in the 1980s in the constituency of the then Chief Minister , Orissa, contemplated to reuse the technique to awake the people to the peril to their mother tongue. His above named four friends agreed and Bhasha Andolan was born with Pattanayak as Chairman, Pradyumna Satapathy as President and Pabitra Mohan Maharatha as Convenor. The silent march starts daily at 5 pm from the front of the Assembly where stands the statue of Nabakrushna Choudhury, who created the Act and disperse in front of the Governor’s House where the most revered leader of Oriyas, Kulagourab Madhusudan Das, the man behind creation of Orissa as the first linguistic province of Orissa, has his statue.
On completion of 39 days , this unique movement has succeeded in forcing the government to amend the State’s Official Language Act to pave the path for formulation and promulgation of Rules to ensure governance of the province in the mother tongue of the people. But, as punishment for contravention of the Act is not yet provided for, the movement continues.
This site shall keep on records the details of this movement and act as the effective weapon in hands of the people of Orissa to quash every obstacle to governance of the State in their mother tongue.