Lastly Naveen babu vandalizes Utkal Divas

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

As every Oriya is to celebrate the best and the finest day of his collective life – the Utkal Divas – the day of resurrection of Motherland Orissa, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who has been offending the people of this splendid soil by lack of his oracy in Oriya, has lastly vandalized today the ever cherished and celebrated name of “Utkal Divas”.

His greetings to people published in form of an advertisement in Oriya newspapers, for which the State Exchequer is to cough up huge money, has made a mockery of the name of the day that our founding fathers had handed over to us for celebration for ever.

Not only he, but also his Information Minister, who is by birth a genuine Oriya, has used the same term “Orissa Divas” in his Utkal Divas Greetings. These being Government advertisements, it is clear that these fellows have used our exchequer to vandalize our day of celebration.

Earlier an offense has already been done against classicism of our language by changing the English spelling of the names of our motherland and mother tongue.

Our founding fathers had evolved the English spelling of these two names by using the English alphabet ‘R’ to distinguish the two different pronunciation of our 13th consonant. In our alphabet, this consonant has two pronunciations reduced to two shapes – one plain and the other with a dot underneath. The dot is provided for distinguishing the phonetical difference. The plain form of this alphabet is used at the beginning of the word that starts with it, but the same alphabet is presented with a dot underneath when it is used at the second or later place in a word.

We Oriyas understand the difference and use the two different forms of pronunciation marked by the dot under the second avatar of 13th consonant in tune with the phonetical necessity.

But how the non-Oriyas, particularly the English-speaking foreigners are to utter the said alphabet used in the second or third or any later position in a word without violating our peculiar pronunciation?

This question had engaged our founding fathers in deep cogitation for quite a long period and eventually the approximate correct phonetic presentation was evolved for the second or later placement of the particular consonant in a word with addition of ‘R’ to ‘D’ as in ORDIA. The ‘RD’ was reduced to R without compromising the phonetic peculiarity.

So, in honoring the archaic uniqueness of our language, our founding fathers had evolved the English spelling of the name of our motherland as Orissa and of our mother-tongue as Oriya.

When Naveen Patnaik, who has no oracy in Oriya, in order only to divert public attention from his misrule, indulged in the luxury of imitating Bengali or Tamil people in changing the names of their states, tried to thrive on deceit over Oriya nationalism, and his non-Oriya acolytes in administration with a hidden agenda to demolish the potency of classicality of phonetic uniqueness of Oriya, advised him to change the English spelling of the name of the State and its language, I had strongly objected to that in these pages justifying why the English spelling of Orissa should not be changed to Odisha and of Oriya to Odia.

You may read it here again:

The cabinet must not muss up Orissa

Many eminent men of letters had supported my argument, but none of them had come forward to protest publicly.

The awards or appointments available to them by pleasing the power that be, was clearly a deterrent to their speaking out against the official mischief.

I would give some more links for perusal of the late comers, such as:

Replacement of R with D is a wrong against Oriya Language

Orissa in peril: Government plays havoc with her heritage

Message of Utkal Divas: Oriyas must defeat the conspiracy against classicism of their language

Bitchy politics over classical status of Oriya language

However, over and above the links, study of the excerpt from Purnachandra Bhashakosha inserted below may help to understand the different shapes of the alphabet in question.

two forms of one alphabet in Oriya

 

If you read it truly, you may know how by changing the English spelling of Orissa to Odisha and Oriya to Odia, the sophomoric politicians in power have perpetrated an irreparable damage to the classicality of our language.

Fortunately for us, the contributions of our scholars from Gopal Chandra Praharaj to Debi Prasanna Pattanayak, have not gone barren and the nation of modern India has recognized Oriya as a classical language.

But then, the chief minister has not changed.

To suit his nefarious design for political gain by generating a false nationalism over change of the English spelling of the name and language of the State, now the famous day in our collective life – Utkal Divas – has been changed to Odisha Divas in the advertised message of Naveen Patnaik and his information minister.

Patnaik had shamelessly tried to claim credit for national recognition of Oriya as a classical language, even though his government had no role in it. It was a nefarious political stunt. In reality, he has no real relationship with Oriya language. He has no allegiance to Oriya language. He has no mind to protect the utility of Oriya language. He has committed heinous offenses against Oriya language by doing away with its official use inasmuch as his government has contravened the Orissa Official language Act in every sphere of administration.

The classical status given to Oriya has been challenged in the Chennai High Court through a PIL. But Patnaik has not yet prepared his government to face the challenge. Even the scholars whose contributions have fetched the classical status for our mother tongue have not been consulted so far on how to defeat the PIL in Chennai High Court and neither the Chennai High Court has been approached to drop the unnecessary litigation over our language nor the Supreme Court of India has been moved to quash the PIL before the Chennai High Court.

He has no discernible allegiance even to our State. Hundreds of our villages have been threatened with claim of West Bengal on one side and Andhra on the other side. Patnaik has not taken any tangible step so far to save our boarder.

Against this backdrop, his attempt to eliminate “Utkal Divas” by his so-called greetings on “Orissa Divas” speaks volumes of his mischief against uniqueness of Orissa.

But, sycophancy has so crippled the collective conscience of our people, that, this mischief is going unnoticed.

Sad and shameful.

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Silent Spectators of Killing of Oriya Classicism are Eager to Campaign for Its Classical Status: Good News to Enjoy; But Not Without Reservations

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa became Odisha and Oriya became Odia under a very misconceived law enacted sans proper study of historicity of the concerned words and application of parliamentary wisdom thereto.

Shockingly, Orissa’s community of letters preferred to stay silent spectators, even though the two words – Orissa and Oriya – were samples of international recognition of classicality of Oriya language.

But a good news is that, Bhubaneswar Book Fair Committee (BBFC), in a meeting on Sunday has expressed interest in a campaign for classical status of Oriya.

BBFC, An Appropriate Forum

It can be said without any travesty of truth that, the BBFC is the mother of bibliophilic renaissance in Orissa. It will continue to be recognized for ever as the organization that has revolutionized people’s love for books in Orissa, where bibliophily was, till book fairs were started by this Committee, restricted only to the elites.

It is therefore quite becoming of this Committee to have started thinking of a campaign for recognition of Oriya language as a classical language.

In a meeting it held on 15th, with its President Satakadi Hota in chair, while welcoming the Oriya New Year, it has stressed on this recognition. Eminent authors such as Pramod Mohanty, Fani Mohanty, Rajendra Kishore Panda, Asit Mohanty, Sarat Chandra Mishra, Jugal Kishore Dutta, Sourindra Barik, Asutosh Parida, including former Director of Central Institute of Indian languages Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak and the Committee Secretary Barendra Krushna Dhal observed that the oriya language being a very ancient language in vogue since the Puranic days deserves national distinction as a classical language.

If Oriya politicians that were and are in power, not been herds of factotums of their respective high commands and suffering incorrigibly from lack of courage due to a syndrome that has afflicted them all, which we can call the ‘supremo’ syndrome, the Government of India, when it declared Tamil as a classical language in 2004 or Kannada and Telugu in 2008, could have declared Oriya as a classical language of the country.

Juxtaposed with the apathy of Oriya politicians to Orissa’s cultural need, it should always be welcome if the State’s men of letters take up the issue and demand for declaration of Oriya as a classical language.

To me, personally, BBFC, established by Orissa’s men of letters, is an appropriate forum to raise this demand and to fetch the desired result. But, I have my reservations; because neither the Committee nor any participant in its meeting had thought it prudent to oppose the annihilation of its classicism by the Government that had used the Orissa Assembly to recommend for change of Orissa to Odisha and Oriya to Odia and steered the Bill through the Parliament till enactment and enforcement.

In these pages, I have been harping on about the classicality of Oriya language, which is evidenced by its archaic distinction and recognized by many linguists. So, nothing could be more desirable for me than a campaign for classical status for Oriya language, the ancient legacy of which needs be placed before the world.

I, therefore, most heartily welcome the BBFC and wish, its steps should be such so as to make me drop my reservations.

Legacy of Ancient Orissa

Orissa in ancient days had illuminated Indian sky of knowledge so brilliantly with its own unique luster that the Rig Veda in its tenth Mandala had to advise its followers to be cautious of Orissa where indigenous people find their object of worship in wooden logs.

A formal notification recognizing the classicality of Oriya language would be helpful in conducting in-depth researches with global input into the Protohistory of Oriya language, as Oriyas are a very prominent ancient people whose valor has been mentioned as matchless even in the Mahabharata. Though the Mahabharata is believed to be telling us of an internecine battle between the sons of two cousins – Dhrutarastra and Pandu – of Bharat clan, I am convinced that it is a Puranic depiction of the battle (described as the greatest war) that two different philosophical proponents – Patriarch: the Kauravas and Matriarch: the Pandavas – had fought on the soil of India. In this war, ancient Orissa had made a matchless mark.

Protohistoric Record

In Vishma Parva of Mahabharata, it is described that, after Bhima vanquished the great Vishma, whom his Sarathi had been able to save only by taking away his chariot from the battle field, no other Kaurav could dare to face Bhima. The war was going to be lost for the Kauravas, as Vishma was their Commander-in-Chief.

Duryodhan had to take refuge in Orissa’s king Shrutayu, who, as a proponent of Patriarchy like Vishma, had joined the Kaurava’s camp against the matriarch Pandavas.

And so, Shrutayu led the battle for Duryodhan with his distinguished army, well equipped with a regiment of war elephants. (Orissa’s king emperor is traditionally known as Gajapati – the lord of elephants).

Vyasa has described that Bhima, the victor of Vishma, failed to face Shrutayu. As the Orissa army with its unique elephant regiment wreaked havoc on the Pandav side, the emperor of Orissa, despite being very senior in age, overwhelmed Bhima to such extent that the vanquisher of Vishma that day was clearly in utter grip of death in his hands.

Arjuna, drowned under surprise and shock, wanted to rush to the rescue of Bhima and boasted to eliminate the old king of Orissa to avenge reduction of his brother’s wonderful victory over Vishma into a defeat.

Krushna, his charioteer, not only refused to proceed, but also restrained Arjuna in such words that were a matchless tribute to the king of Orissa.

“Not even can I defeat Shrutayu in a battle, Arjuna; so it is not within your prowess to face him”, he said.

But as Bhima’s chariot was smashed by Shrutayu, it was essential to save him. So, Krushna asked Satyaki to rush to the spot to offer him his chariot and the moment he boards it, to bring away the chariot as quickly as possible from the engagements with Shrutayu.

While thus arranging for Bhima a narrow escape, Krushna himself rushed to Shrutayu challenging him to test his strength against him if he dares.

Shrutayu accepted the challenge and raised his divine spear to attack Krishna; but then he found that Krushna was without any weapon.

Shrutayu had, in his younger days while obtaining the divine spear, made a promise not to use it against any unarmed person.

The Spear was Abyartha – infallible – which also meant that the user must not make it fail. Once raised, it was certainly to be used, as otherwise it would tantamount to disrespect to its divinity.

With Bhima run away from engagements, at that moment in the battlefield there was only one man who was challenging Shrutayu; and he was Krushna. And, he was not armed with any weapon! Shrutayu was clearly in the worst of predicament.

If he was using the divine spear against Krushna, he would be violating his own promise not to use it against any unarmed person. If he was not using it, he would be acting against its divine distinction.

So he decided not to go against his promise and not to render the raised spear inconsequential.

He, therefore, decided to pierce the spear into his own heart.

And, thus he died in absolute adherence to his own principles.

This is the single most distinguished episode in Mahabharata, the like of which in the epic of war is nowhere found.

So, Orissa has her due revered recognition in Mahabharata.

By that time, language of the Aryas had not reached Orissa. Language is the basis of the strength of a land. What was Orissa’s language then that had made her so strong and elevated her to such stupendous stature? To know it, study of her Protohistory language is essential and for this study, declaration of Oriya as a classical language is necessary.

On records in History

After the epics, the greatest war that history had witnessed in ancient India and which the entire world recognizes as a turning point in world civilization that made nations after nations embrace Buddhism, was the Kalinga war fought below the Dhauli Hill at Bhubaneswar of Orissa. The people of Orissa had fought back Asoka, the invader in this war and stopped the spread of his empire for all time to come.

Asoka, as history admits, had nowhere faced the resistance he faced in Orissa in this war.

To him, as he has declared, Kalinga was “unconquerable”.

In his spree of empire building, he had never found any other people than the Oriyas “unconquerable” and has never used this epithet for any other region or people.

The history written by his courtiers has noted, Orissa’s resistance was so resolutely valorous and sacrifice of the Oriyas for their motherland was so matchlessly patriotic that Asoka’s wicked heart melted in repentance by seeing the ruin he had wrought through his invasion and he changed his creed and adopted Buddhism, (the religion in original of the Oriyas) in the battlefield itself and from Chandasoka he became Dharmasoka and dedicated his life to spread of Buddhism.

But, this, despite truth to a large extent, is far from the fact.

A wicked man like Asoka had no reason to repent on his victory, if at all he had vanquished Orissa.

His heart had never melted in pity seeing the plight of the vanquished as his bards had claimed.

Had it been so, all the Oriya civilians he had taken to arrest in sudden attacks before facing the Oriya army at Dhali Hills and exported to Magadh, should have been released with their dignity and honor after the war was over and all the riches he had looted en route before reaching Dhauli, should have been returned.

This had never happened. He had never even apologized to the people of Orissa for the offenses he committed against them.

So, even though it is true that he had attacked Orissa and had converted into Buddhism in the battlefield in Orissa, he had not defeated the people of Orissa and never in his heart had metamorphosed into a true Buddhist.

The sole purpose of his attack on Orissa was to desecrate the birthplace of Lord Buddha in Kapilavastu, the land of reddish soil spread below the Dhauli Hill on river Daya and to destroy the fountainhead of Buddhism, which was the strongest obstacle to the Magadhan empire building even since the days of Ajatasattu.

Therefore he had faced the massive resistance at Dhauli hill only.

In this battle against the people of Orissa, his army was completely overwhelmed and he had no other way than accepting Buddhism as his creed to escape the wrath of the people he had attcked.

It had taken decades for him to convince the Oriyas that he had really been loyal to Buddhism and then only he had dared to visit Orissa to pay prayers to Buddha at his birthplace Kapilavastu – later converted into Kapileswar when Vedic chauvinists occupying Orissa had converted Buddhist shrines into Hindu temples – and to commission stone inscriptions highlighting his concern for the people.

I have discussed this aspect in my book ‘Sri Jaya Devanks Baisi Pahacha’ (published in 2005 by Bharata Bharati, Cuttack) in course of focusing on the background of the love lyrics complied in Geeta Govinda.

Mother tongue being the sole unifying factor and hence the basis of collective strength of the people, what was the people’s language that had made them “unconquerable” and helped them conquer the great wicked Asoka to the extent of converting him into Buddhism, their own religion and had given their land this unique distinction?

Only specific researches into the Oriya language of the concerned period will bring out the missing chapters in history in this regard. Under the prevailing legal provisions, recognition of classical status of Oriya language will facilitate such research.

Proto-Charya-Oriya

The Charyagities by Chourashi Siddhacharyas present us a previous shape of modern Oriya language that linguists suggest to be Proto-Oriya.

But Pali was Proto-Charya-Oriya.

Gurudev Buddha had preached in Pali and Pali was the then Orissa’s mother tongue.

So, it is necessary to know how modern Oriya evolved from Pali.

In the post 2004 scenario, only a legal declaration of Oriya as a classical language can help us conducting this highly expensive and world encompassing research. Therefore, it is essential to obtain classical status for Oriya language.

And, therefore, it is most welcome that the BBFC has now expressed interest in campaign for this.

But I know, no campaign can be a real campaign unless the campaigners have the total commitment and adherence to the cause of their campaign.

Neither the BBFC nor the participants in its 15th April meeting have raised any voice at any point of time against annihilation of a great instance of international recognition of classicism of Oriya language caused by change of Orissa to Odisha and of Oriya to Odia. The harm this change causes to classicality of Oriya language is discussed in these pages.

Ignoring the Wrong Law is Essential

If the BBFC is serious about its proposed campaign, the campaign should begin with demands for legal restoration of the international spelling of the name of the State as Orissa and of its language as Oriya. It may look time-barred and unrealistic, specifically as the change has come through a constitutional amendment. But, Orissa’s lost classicality in this particular regard can be reclaimed by authors ignoring the wrong law that hampers the uniqueness of their language. Here in Orissa Matters, we have declared to ignore the wrong law, as to us our mother tongue is too precious to be rendered subservient to any set of law, even if that be an instrument created by the country’s constitution. We have been using Orissa and Oriya in these pages because these two English spellings of our motherland and language depict the archaical magnificence of our mother tongue; and because, no law can force anybody to change the spelling of his / her mother’s name as the stupids in power desire. Therefore, BBFC should work out how to reclaim the politically dropped two words – Orissa and Oriya – as the first step to claim classical status for Oriya language.

Otherwise, to us, its attempt would appear like a farce, that men of letters hankering after publicity often resort to.

The agents of the rich in power have already shrewdly changed India into a plutocracy.

A plutocratic government kills the character of the people. Hypocrisy becomes the software of society. It corrupts even the creative persons whereupon authors hanker after prize and publicity instead of staying committed to preservation and furtherance of their languages. In this light we would allow ourselves to interpret the BBFC endeavor if no step is taken to revive Orissa and Oriya, the two words that were the global gateway to classicality of Oriya language.

Orissa Became Odisha: What Else Could Have Happened When Stupids Rule the Roost?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Government of Orissa celebrated the assent of the President of India to the erroneous Orissa (Alteration of Name) Bill, 2010 that tampers with classicism of Oriya language by enforcing change of the State’s English spelling from Orissa to Odisha with effect from November 01, 2011. The Chief Minister declared November 05 a holiday to mark the success in the mischief and announced that signboards all over the State and official files shall be made to replace Orissa and Oriya with Odisha and Odia respectively by end of March, 2012. The Hindi words – Urisha and Uriya – must also be changed in use accordingly.

The Bill was erroneous inasmuch as it is surprisingly silent about so called wrong naming of the State in Bengali and other Indian languages. It is erroneous, further because, its nomenclature was misconceived. It was not meant for altering the name of Orissa and in fact it does not. Orissa as pronounced in Oriya is kept in tact and is to continue like that. So, there is a blatant mismatch between the nomenclature of the Bill and the purpose thereof. Over and above this mismatch, the aim of the Bill was detrimental to the classic character of Oriya language. Hence the Parliament of India should not have passed the misleading Bill and when despite our protests, the Bill was passed, the President should not have given assent to it sans required cogitation. The Parliament was certainly conspicuous by its absence of mind in considering the Bill and has made a blunder in passing it without going into the history of transliteration of these two most material words. But the President acted a mere rubber stamp of political power holders and approved it without application of mind to the issue raised by us.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is a congenital non-Oriya born to Biju Patnaik through a non-Oriya mother. He has neither any education in Oriya nor any commitment for this matchless language, which not only is recognized in Linguistic Survey of India (Vol.IV) as a language “of a rich vocabulary in which respect neither Bengali nor Hindi nor Telugu can vie with it”, but also is marked as the most distinguished language on archaic aspect of languages of India, specifically amongst the neighboring tongues when linguistic authorities like Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterjee of Bengal points out that, “Of these three languages – Oriya, Bengali and Assamese – Oriya has preserved a great many archaic features in both grammar and pronunciation and it may be said without travesty of linguistic truth that Oriya is the eldest of the three sisters, when we consider the archaic character of the language” (Indian Historical Quarterly, Vol.XXIII, at p.337). Neither Naveen Patnaik and his followers and fellow politicians in Orissa nor the members of Indian Parliament who passed the Bill know of this archaic distinction of Oriya language. But, they have given a death blow to this distinguished feature by making this misconceived Bill a Law of the land giving it effect through an amendment in the Constitution of India. This happens, when stupids rule the roost with determination to stay in power by any means and contrive schemes to divert public attention from blatant failure of their administration to misled satisfaction on fulfillment of misconceived pride that the schemers deliberately coin.

The moment it had come to our attention that the lingua non-Oriya fellows in power in Orissa were conspiring to kill the classical feature of Oriya language through this misconceived instrument, we had tried to place our views on records and had urged upon the CM that the English and Hindi spelling of the name of the State and its language should not be changed, as the same was nothing but recognition of Oriya’s classic distinction by non-Oriya Indians and English speaking foreigners.

People of this State had not coined the words Orissa or Oriya or Urisha or Uriya to pronounce and spell the name of their land or language. The non-Oriyas – Indian and foreigners – had to develop these spellings by using ‘R’ for approximately correct pronunciation of the concerned Oriya words.

The peculiarity of Oriya language lies in different appearances of the same alphabet to serve the purpose of two patterns of pronunciation. This was posing a problem for the non-Oriyas, particularly the British occupants of the land. To remove this difficulty, a British officer – Mr. T. J. Maltby of the Madras Civil Service – had authored a ‘Handbook’ in 1874 “mainly for the non-Oriya officers serving in the Oriya speaking districts of the Madras Presidency”. Orissa Government adopted the book – A Practical Handbook of the Oriya Language – in 1945, by courtesy of Miss Lilian Cranworth Maltby, daughter of the author. In this book, Maltby has most ably and faithfully located the pronunciational differences of similar Oriya letters to the extent of even a single letter and has laid down rules for transliteration thereof to Roman equivalents. In the process, he has marked the two patterns of pronunciation of the single Oriya letter represented by Roman D. When the first pronunciation of D is “dental” or “soft” like ‘D’ as in ‘Did’, the second pronunciation of the same D is “cerebral” or “hard” as in the word “Dol”, he has noted. The second pattern of pronunciation of this particular letter was being stressed by the children of the soil by adding distinction to the same alphabet with a dot underneath. M altby, who mandated that “Oriya words in the Roman character are to be pronounced as in German or Italian rather than as in English, and care must be taken that every letter be distinctly sounded” ruled that the relevant alphabet represented by Roman D with a dot underneath justifying its “cerebral” or “hard” pronunciation must stand converted into ‘R’ in transliteration and therefore, in transliteration, Odissa with a dot underneath ‘d’ had become Orissa and Odiya had become Oriya. Attempts were made in 1930s in the all-time authoritative lexicon of Oriya language – Purnachandra Bhashakosha – to present a new transliteration form by prefixing ‘R’ to ‘D’ in representing the dot underneath in matter of cerebral or hard pronunciation thereof and thus Ordisa was posted as transliterated name of the State and Ordia of the language. But, as this was practically problematic, the Bhashakosha’s prefixing of ‘R’ to ‘D’ was discarded by the founding fathers of this State and Mr. Madhusudan Das et al had accepted the rule of transliteration framed by Mr. Miltby and thus Orissa and Oriya had become the transliterated forms of the names of its land and language. Therefore these two words are symbolic of the classical status of Oriya language. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who celebrated the stupidity of tampering with the classical components of Oriya language in this matter does not know of this.

Oriya language is not only matchlessly superb as pointed out in Linguistic Survey of India and Indian Historical Quarterly as mentioned supra, but also is the language that has given birth in India to the concept of linguistic states.

But, Naveen Patnaik, after taking over the Office in the name of Orissa’s regional interest, has shown constant disrespect to this splendid language and has continuously contravened the Orissa Official Language Act 1954, which stipulates that Oriya is “to be used for all or any of the official purposes of the State of Orissa”. In his regime, administration runs not in Oriya language, but in English. And, in his regime, massive majority of projects have gone to non-Oriyas, all major allocation of land have gone to non-Oriyas and priority of administration has been steered into serving the interest of non-Oriyas to the utter disadvantage of indigenous people of Orissa. This man now celebrates the death blow on the classical features of Oriya language and asserts to impose/enforce replacement of Orissa and Oriya by Odisha and Odia by March 2012 in the name of Oriya pride!

What a great farce! What else could have happened when stupids rule the roost?