**Bhubaneswar:** Just few days left to the Odia festival ‘Raja’ celebrating womanhood, a humble initiative undertaken by freelance journalist Rudra Prasanna Rath clearing airs regarding the pronunciation and spelling of ‘Raja’ has gathered momentum on social media.
He started the protest by holding a placard ‘#RajoNuhenRaja’ in front of a prominent garments showroom in Bhubaneswar which had projected a huge billboard advertising a discount offer on this festival. It not only caught the attention of people, but persons from all walks of life supported his cause by posting their pictures with similar placards on social media.
It gained momentum and within days, hundreds of people joined in the campaign.
Talking to OMMCOM NEWS, Rudra Prasanna Rath said, “The big corporate companies have been misguiding and misleading the people by spelling ‘Rajo’ instead of ‘Raja’ thereby losing the originality of the term. This campaign has now created waves as lots of people have joined. Many corporate had already created their ads much before our protest, and many are still continuing with ‘Rajo’ by turning a deaf ear to our dissent. But we are still continuing our protest.”
“Kalamandir Royale has changed its billboard. Kolkata Bazar has promised to change the spelling in its sticker and poster ads.We have mailed to Grand Central, and have requested various organizations to listen to our pleas and term the festival as ‘Raja’, not ‘Rajo’, he further added.
Various cinestars, politicians, noted personalities have joined the awareness campaign. The common people have started to display pictures of themselves carrying placards having the slogan on social media. They want to make their point across very clearly, that desecration of the Odia language would not be tolerated and business establishments should ensure that Odia as a classical language is given pride of place in their signboards.
Last year, ‘Peter England’ was forced to apologise for wishing the people of Odisha with ‘Happy Pujo’ instead of ‘Puja’ during Dussehra. Similarly, Air Asia showed a sorry face after it had minced the language by addressing the people of capital city as ‘Kemon Achcho, Bhubaneswar’ on the eve of its launch of direct flight services to the city from Kuala Lumpur.
Clearing the airs on the ongoing spelling controversy, he further said, “I would not point out any specific language but it is likely that the ads have a Bengali flavor as most of the regional head offices of noted business establishments are based in Kolkata, and the ads are formed there. So, our slogan is “Ama Acharana, Ama Ucharana, Amari Bhasare Ama Bigyapan”(Our attitude, Our Pronunciation, Our Ads In Our Language)”. This campaign is already a success and I think that it will have a widespread impact in the coming years. There was no protest earlier, but now people have come forward and many business establishments have taken our protest into consideration.”