Naveen’s Roman script speech goes viral,draws flak

It was first published by local daily Suryaprabha on December 27.

Written by Debabrata Mohanty | Bhubaneswar | Published: May 18, 2013 2:57 am

A photo of Naveen Patnaik’s Oriya speech written in Roman script that has gone viral in social networking site Facebook has sparked outrage over his lack of interest in learning the language.

The photo was posted by one Rajat Dash on his Facebook page two days ago. The photo was taken on December 26 last year,on the occasion of the 15th Foundation Day of Biju Janata Dal,when Naveen was delivering his speech at the party office here. It was first published by local daily Suryaprabha on December 27.

The 16-page speech centered on central neglect towards Orissa,a pet theme of the party since past seven-eight years.

The photograph is of page 15 of the speech. Written in capital letters,its speaks about BJD’s effort in seeing a prosperous Orissa. Roughly translated,it says,“Biju Janata Dal has always been striving hard to upkeep the security and prosperity of Orissa. Our biggest asset is Biju babu’s ideals and faith reposed on us by people of the State. Biju Janata Dal is now a movement. The fight and the movement would go on to protect the interest and development of the state.”

Mentor-turned-foe Pyari Mohan Mohapatra,who is now heading Orissa Jana Mancha,said there was nothing surprising in the way Naveen treats Orissa and Oriya language. “His Public Relations Officers have been writing the Oriya speeches in Roman scripts all along. When he won his third term as chief minister in 2009,he said he need not learn the language as people love him because of his ignorance of the language. He said ‘Let’s run Orissa like East India Company did in India’,” alleged Mohapatra.

“His first Oriya teacher Rajkishore Mishra left in 2000 frustrated at his effort. I kept telling him ‘sikhantu,sikhantu (please learn)’. In turn he would tell me bujhuchhi,bujhuchhi (yes,I understand). In 2010,he even committed in front of his sister Geeta Mehta that he would learn the language. But he would never learn the language,” said Mohapatra. “In the next Assembly election,our party’s slogan would be English rule must end.”

State BJP unit president K V Singh Deo said Naveen Patnaik has not addressed a single press conference in last 13 years due to his poor command over Oriya.

“He heli-hops from one place to another because he is afraid of meeting people on the road and get questioned by them in Oriya. Somebody who speaks of Orissa’s swabhimaan and issues instruction on use of Oriya language in official work should have used the lanuage in his daily life. We would make it an issue in the next election,” he said.

Pradyumna Satpathy,a journalist and member of Utkal Sammilani that fought for separate statehood of Orissa in 1930s,took a jibe at Naveen,saying if his daughter born in 1996 is writing her examinations in Oriya,why not the Chief Minister who came to the state in 1997.

“He actually hates Oriya people and treats us as beggars through schemes like Re 1 a kg rice. He is actually challenging the Oriya people through his action. Orissa was the first state to be formed on the basis of language. But we are being ruled by a man who hates Oriya language. In which other state would you find such politicians,” he asked.

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