Inviolability of Official Language Act desecrated by Orissa Assembly: Governor should refuse Assent

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The winter session of Orissa Assembly that suffered premature death as the Chief Minister who commands brutal majority decided not to be answerable, has, however, been able to pass certain Law Bills drafted not at all in Oriya, but only in English language.

In passing the said Law Bills, de facto surreptitiously, under cover of the deafening commotions, the Government has blatantly violated the Orissa Official Language Act 1954, and if the Governor gives them his assent, the Laws thus made would be illegal.

The Opposition had rightly demanded for recall and rejection of the adopted Bills as they are written only in English; but the Speaker has ruled that Bills made in English are not unfit to be adopted, as English is in use in the Assembly.

The Speaker’s ruling is not challengeable in any court of law, the treasury bench is convinced. But the Governor has the right to deny his assent to the adopted Bills, because notwithstanding what the Speaker has ruled, presentation of Bills only in English was violative of Orissa Official Language Act, and, therefore, illegal. The legislative body adopting an illegal Bill is illegal.

When the Act in original had made it a must that Oriya is “to be used for all or any of the official purposes of the State of Orissa”, Biju Patnaik – father of present Chief Minister, who has not taught his son a single alphabet in Oriya – had sabotaged the primacy of Oriya language by amending this Act in 1963, in order to satisfy his personal ego of elitism and to please the non-Oriya officers, who, like their fathers in neighboring States, were always against the mana of Oriya language.

Biju was the greatest political hypocrite of his time equipped with uncanny ability to hoodwink anybody. After grabbing the Chief Minister position, he used his position for his self interest, indulged in all sorts of corruption and even sabotaged the country during Chinese aggression. Yet, he had claimed his steps to be patriotic and motivated with sacrifice for the people! Anybody who searches for Biju in these pages will get the evidences.

Destroying the spirit of Orissa Official Language Act 1954 was not a problem for this shrewd operator. He engineered an amendment in the Act in 1963. The amendment added English to be the language for use in the Assembly; but lest the people revolt, the amendment said, English would be used “in addition to Oriya”, not in exclusion of Oriya.

This shrewd amendment opened the road for use of English to the detriment of Oriya as the language of administration. Biju Patnaik had thus destroyed utility value of Oriya Language; but yet, in fear of public wrath, he had not dared to undo the primacy of Oriya language in businesses of the Orissa Assembly. The amendment had allowed English to be used IN ADDITION TO ORIYA.

The Opposition had, therefore, rightly demanded for recall and nullification of the Bills made in English language alone. The Speaker’s Ruling that there is no wrong in Bills written only in English, is, therefore, wrong.

The Orissa Assembly has clearly done a wrong to Orissa by adopting Bills written only in English, not in Oriya. But nobody except the Governor can protect the mana of Oriya at this stage.

We urge upon the Governor to refuge his assent to the Bills adopted in blatant contravention of Orissa Official Language Act. The Act, despite the treacherous amendment in 1963, has the inviolable stipulation that Oriya shall be the language of Law, “in addition” to which, English may be entertained. When the Bills were not written in Oriya, but only in English, they violated the inviolable stipulation laid down in Orissa Official Language Act, 1954.

The Governor should appreciate this position of Law and refrain from giving the Bills written only in English, his assent.

The Legislative Assembly must not be allowed the luxury of making Laws in ways that are basically illegal.

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Orissa Gana Samaj Dharana at Raj Bhawan Reminds the Governor of his Duties to the State

Governor Muralidhar Chandrakant Bhandare has, of course, refused to be mislead by the report of the chairperson of Orissa State Commission for Women in the matter of Pipili gang rape and has advised her to review her own work and come up with a credible one; but that is not enough, as Orissa Gana Samaj has observed.

In a Dharana at Raj Bhawan on February 18, Orissa Gana Samaj has reminded the Governor of his duties to the State in circumstances of rising oppression on the people and relentless deterioration in law and order with a police siding with the offenders.

The Gana Samaj used the occasion to thank the people of Orissa as in every nook and corner of the State they have stood with it in accepting its call to put moral pressure on the government to discipline the police which has forced the Chief Minister to issue instructions for immediate registration of every information on atrocities on women and weaker sections.

ORISSA ADMINISTRATION: WHEN THE GOVERNOR IS ATTACKED THE GOVERNMENT KEEPS MUM!

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa government is keeping mum when Amarikatha, a daily broadsheet preferred by the administration to spread official advertisements, has alleged that the Governor of the State has succumbed to bribe and bureaucratic design in appointing the Vice-Chancellor of Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT), Bhubaneswar for a fresh term in stark disregards to the UGC norms.

The paper has raised serious allegations against the conduct of the VC. According to it, D. P. Roy is not the real name of the VC. He was earlier Sambeta Devi Prasanna Rao, a compartmentally passed matriculate, who had entered into Agriculture course by using an allegedly fake intermediate certificate in science and in BSc (Agiculture), had got 14 F grade markings. It has alleged that for such poor result in the Bachelor level, he was refused admission to Masters in Agriculture in OUAT. While somehow doing his Masters at Kolkata, he changed his name to the present one by virtue of an affidavit. He had joined, the paper has further alleged, as an agriculture supervisor under the government, but could eventually succeed in equating this post with that of an Associate Professor and has cultivated an impression as a scholar by using others’ works through plagiarism. His first term as VC was marked for crores of rupees corruption about which allegations are sent to President Mrs. Prativa Patil, the paper has reported in its top-prioritized front page story on November 3, wherein it has alleged that despite being aware of this, the Governor has reappointed Roy as the second term VC obviously under suspected influence of corruption in oblivion of restriction imposed by UGC on reappointment of one person as VC in any university for two consecutive terms.

These allegations are grave in nature inasmuch as a VC of an University has been projected as a miscreant and more seriously, the Governor of the State, whom people have been showing love and respect, has been dragged into a controversial condition.

But astonishingly the VC as well as the State Government have kept mum over the report.

ST. JOHN AMBULANCE SHIELDS A CHARGESEETED COLLEGE TEACHER

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

A college teacher facing charges under Section 13(2) read with section 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 as well as Sections 420 / 463 / 471 / 477(A) and 120(B) of Indian Penal Code before the Vigilance Court at Bhubaneswar since March 2001 is rewarded by the St.John Ambulance Orissa State Centre with its coveted post of Joint Secretary.

As revealed from the charge sheet, this fellow, Jantrana Parikshit by name, was involved with rampant corruption and forgery while working as Principal of different colleges. On investigation by Puri unit of Orissa Vigilance Police, he had been forwarded to the Vigilance Court where he is under trial.

Sunil Kumar Pradhan, Life Member of St. John Ambulance organization is at a loss to understand as to how a man of such dubious background has been given such a lucrative position in St.John Ambulance organization.

Even as the media in Orissa has extensively covered the details of the case, Pradhan smells a rat, as his letter to the State Centre Secretary demanding dropping of this man from the chair is lying sloughed over as yet.

Pradhan has reportedly attracted attention of the State Governor against rehabilitation of a chargesheeted person in the St.John Ambulance Centre in a top position.

But, who is his godfather in the government? Who has provided him with this shield?

The Governor being its statutory head must find out the facts and expedite the remedy.