Postcards sent to Odisha CM for making Odia official language

The Bhasa Surakshya Sammilani, an outfit promoting Odia language, on Tuesday sent over 10,000 postcards to Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, demanding use of Odia language for official and judicial purposes.

They are led by BJD MP and Sammilani convenor Baishnab Charan Parida dropped nearly 10,000 postcards at the postbox located near the Post Master General office in Bhubaneswar.

“There is a deep-rooted conspiracy by the state government to destroy Odia. We urge all political parties, citizens, private institutions and students to be part of the drive,” Baishnab said.

People from different walks of life participated in the campaign organised by the Bhubaneswar district unit of the Sammilani. Odia Bhasa Suraksha Sammilani will send one lakh postcards to the Chief Minister to press its demand for official use of Odia.

“Dear Chief Minister, Odia is an ancient language with a rich heritage. For the first time in India, Odia was accepted as the official language of the state with the passing of Odisha Official Language Act, 1954. Unfortunately, even as other states run their administration in their mother tongue, this has not been possible in Odisha. This is leading to ever diminishing interest in Odia. Please take necessary steps to make Odia the language of education, administration and judiciary,” read Baishnab’s letter to the Chief Minister.

“The Chief Minister says how this (implementation of Odisha Official Language Act, 1954) can be possible now, if it has not been implemented for so long. Now, the judges can’t give a verdict in Odia and the officers can’t write a few lines in Odia. Odia has been long neglected now. We need to create pressure on the government to accept our legitimate demand and make Odia the official language,” said Parida.

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Demanding publication of draft bills in Odia language, the opposition members created ruckus in the assembly recently. The Samaj Andolon, another outfit, blackened nameplates of bureaucrats and signboards written in English outside office buildings. Demanding early implementation of the Odia Official Language Act (OOLA), 1954, another outfit Odia Bhasha Sangram Samiti has been staging hunger strike for last one week.

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