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Letter to Koshalis from Dr Arjun Purohit

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Dear Koshalis,

I know we all want to get our language recognised under 8th schedule. But simply having a desire does not result in fruition. It is not even very crucial to have all the legitimate grounds for such recognition because had it been so, we would have got the recognition long ago. Unfortunately, in a democracy, legitimate demands must be yoked with effective political campaign by people who are united behind the issue. Campaign to get Odia recognised as a classical language should serve as lesson to us all. Odia scholars were financed by the state government, as per Sambad report, to produce five hundred fifty page reports which were published as a book in a very short time. Active lobby was conducted in New Delhi which involved canvassing and button holing of all key politicians in New Delhi. Two government officers were deputed by the state government to see to the success of the project. Against this, what have we done? Sure we are debating among ourselves, which is like preaching to the converted. What is even more injurious to our cause is in-fighting among ourselves as to the name of the language: Koshali or Sambalpuri ! Such unnecessary conflicts are weakening our resolve. We are focusing on inconsequential/peripheral aspect of the issue which has no substantive importance. We have to project our issue both at Bhubaneswar and New Delhi as a non-negotiable demand which every Koshali demands. And we have to take every possible measure to achieve success in spite of active opposition from the coastal Odia intellectuals as well as state government’s attempt to undermine our demand. We, me included, from outside can provide only helping hands towards the cause, but heavy lifting must be done by you all on the ground. You all know the sacrifice and efforts to get dream of Telengana actualized. It took fifty years of unceasing struggle to achieve this goal. If we are mired by an un-substantive issue like name of the language, and use up all our energy, then we are not going anywhere. As far as I can gather, legitimacy of our demand is already established in New Delhi. But to translate a legitimate demand into reality, we need effective political lobby. So let us not be our own worst enemy. As you know, Rajasthani and Bhojpuri are about to be declared for inclusion under 8th schedule. If we do not get it, it will be our fault, nobody else’s. nahi suptasya sinhasya mukhe prabisanti mrugAh !

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