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Odisha Bhasha Andolan protest enters second week

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 27:

While the black flag protest by members of Bhasha Andolan, Odisha who are demanding use of Odia medium in official communication entered its second week there is yet no response from the state government.

Bhasha andolan

On Wednesday, a black flag protest was taken out at 5:30 pm from Vidhan Sabha to Raj Bhawan, yesterday. Senior playwriter, director, producer, Bijay Kumar Mishra, actor Kuna Tripathy,  Purnaram Dwivedi and social activist Sitaballav Mahapatra participated in the protest.

They alleged that the government was not giving importance to the Odia language. They said while Odia was accorded classical language status in 2014 but it has not been officially used due to red tapism. Those violating Orissa Official Language Act are not being punished.

The Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 is an Act of Odisha Legislative Assembly that recognizes Odia to be used for all or any of the official purposes of the State of Orissa.

In a press conference later Pradyumna Satpathy and convener Pabitra Maharatha called for strict implementation of Orissa Official Language Act, 1954.

He said that a five-member ministerial level committee was formed on July 8 this year under directions of the Chief Minister for implementation of the Odisha Official Language Act, 1954 after eight days of a fast unto death launched by Odia Bhasa Sangram Samiti  (OBSS).

This committee convener Subash Chandra Patnaik has submitted a draft proposal to fix responsibility against violation of Official Language Act. This is displayed in the  www.odia.odisha.gov.in website.

Naveen Patnaik had said in the Vidhan Sabha said that the language act will be amended, but no steps were taken.

They have warned that if immediate steps are not taken to table the amendment for strict action against those violating  the Official Language Act they launch statewide agitation.