PARADIP: In a novel way of protest against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s ‘poor command’ over Odia, the activists of Paradip Yuva Bahini on Monday took out a rally and wrote 12,000 letters to him urging him to learn Odia.
They launched a campaign in Paradip and Kujang and appealed to the public and students of different educational institutes to send letters daily urging the CM to learn Odia. They also sent an Odia learner’s book ‘Mo Chhabi Bahi’ to the CM. “The CM’s ignorance of Odia language has been a sensitive issue with Odias. It hurts the sentiments of people of Odisha that the CM does not know the language of the State he is ruling since 2000. While elected representatives in Panchayati Raj system have lost their posts for not being able to read and write Odia, so why the CM, who is representing four crore people of the State, should not lose his post on the same ground,” they asked.
As per Section 25 of Odisha Panchayat Act, 1964, there is a provision that candidate contesting panchayat election should have the ability to write, read and speak Odia otherwise he/she would be disqualified. A woman sarpanch of Jajpur district, Binita Samal, had lost her post last year on this ground, they added. Yuva Bahini president Gatikrushna Satpathy said, “We also sent 12,000 postcards, urging Naveen to learn, write and speak Odia.”