Gradually borders are fast becoming irrelevant with globe shrinking almost every day with communication revolution. Irrespective of different political systems, societies and cultures, the world is looking towards commonality of interests for a better mutual cooperation and co-existence. Obviously the call of the time is to have a common language in the world. Non-English speaking people, particularly the writers in Non-English languages, are worried because of their sensitivity towards their own mother tongues. Because they realize the ultimate move is towards one language and one village and that is village earth.
 This may be a welcome process that India has been championing as the basic tenet of its cultural heritage stands on vasudheiva kutumbakam (the whole earth is a family). But can the champions of Hindi literature accept this fact that Hindi would die down under the umbrella of English. Same is the question in the context of India ? Can the provincial languages die down under the shadow of Hindi.
 In the pre-Independence era, Gandhiji and many other leaders championed Hindustani /Hindi should be a national language and it should become relevant to the whole country and all other languages in the country should enrich the Hindi language with a harmonious merger of their languages in the Hindi.
 In the context of India with multiple languages and cultures, the sustainability of regional languages thus came under a great challenge.  Splitting people of their own language is like separating a child holding his mother’s breast when each drop of milk is adding to the health of the baby. It is not only an emotional issue. It is rather directly linked to one’s emotional connect to the land to which one belongs. Several attempts have been made in the past and in the second half 19th century when there was threat of virtual extinct of the Odia language, Utkala Sabha and Utkala Sammilani played a great role inculcating Odia nationalism among the language users. Resultantly Odia language was saved and the movement gave birth to Odisha as the first language based state in India. By then Bengali, which had already become a bread earning language, had been taken over by English. Odia could not be a job or bread earning language.
Thus in Odisha and our motivation of learning the English language stems out of the desire of getting into jobs. Fortunately in 2014, Odia came to be the sixth language the country to have the distinction of being a classical language. This language is now documented as a language of over 2500 years old. The language has its original evolution system, grammar, script pattern and literary works of distinction. Educated Odias, particularly writers, are now apparently more sensitive towards the language. This is evidenced with people taking to streets for implementing odia language in all official work. Government has accepted the demand and issued orders to this effect.
But will this be enough to sustain the Odia language. Answer is No.
The users of the language today in government offices are not educated enough to write clear odia sentences. Our teachers in over 62000 government Primary schools are not sensitive towards Odia language. Our parents today continue with their mindset of sending their children in to English medium public school and also the streams of engineering, medical, agriculture and other allied subjects inn which English has been the medium of instruction. The present day work force in the government offices is not used to writing odia language on official records.
We do understand one’s language strength lies in his emotional involvement in the language he is using. If one has the capability to express himself in one language, he can easily master another language. All that he requires is word power to express. If one has command over one language, it would mean he has already mastered the ability to express in one language.  One’s strength in one language will just add to the capability to understanding and using another language whether it is Hindi or English or any other language.
Thus the solution according to me is simple, clear and in-expensive and it does not require high intellectual ability to work on. Since use of Odia language in office records is a matter of policy, another simple policy direction will do. Let all primary school teachers write at least two pages in Odia (short stories, poems and essays) daily for three days in a week.  Let those write ups be displayed on the wall magazines.  Let students upto at least class VII also write two pages in a week. Let the best of them get niche in their wall magazines and some outstanding work from among them be published in the media. In that event teachers and students will look for quality writing so as to sharpen their own write ups. There will be keen and healthy competitions. Healthy competition would generate a demand for books, magazines and newspapers in the market. Demand for good literature in market would give rise to good productions and good writings. People would inculcate passion towards writing in themselves.
Now policy makers are sitting time and again to discuss about sustaining Odia language. In the era of computers, access to knowledge is not difficult. But we require an attitude. We require sensitivity towards it.  Use of primary school institutions will work as a foundation for saving the Odia language or else classical status to Odia language and the sensitization aftermath will be a lost opportunity to save the odia language.

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19 July 2016 at 07:39 ×

setebele odia bhasha samrudha haba jetebele odisha re rahi odia janithiba loka odia kahibe, mu emiti baht lokanku dekhichi jharsuguda au sambalpur re joumane janithibe odia kintu hindi re katha heuthibe, tapare likhita odia bhasha ku ama rajyare padhiba pain khi agrahi heunahanti, na odia madhyama svhool mane bhalere pilanku padhauchanti na english miedium chhuanku odia padhajauchi...

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