Bhubaneswar: The Jharkhand Government on Tuesday officially acknowledged Odia language as the second official language of the State. Jharkhand Cabinet on Tuesday approved Odia to accord it the status of second official language while officially recognising another five regional languages.
Chief Mister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday expressed happiness over the Jharkhand Government’s decision and thanked Chief Minister Arjun Munda alongwith the Odia speaking population of the State.
The Government’s decision came only after prolonged demand by the Odia residents under the banner of the Utkal Sammilani and the Odisha assembly and the Odisha Government.
The Sammilani (West Singhbhum) activists were on a dharna agitation at the State headquarters at the time the decision was taken.
Odias are in overwhelming majority in 10 districts of the State like East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum, Sadheikala-Kharsuan, Ranchi, Gumla, Dhanbad, Bokaro, Simdega, Lohardega and Latehar.
The language was abjectly neglected and there have been allegations that Government after Government, even prior to Jharkhand broke from Bihar, had made brazen attempts to obliterate the language through education and various other devious methods.
The Odisha State Assembly had recently passed a resolution and sent it to the Jharkhand Government requesting it to accord Odia the second official language status in the State.