[Comments-kannada-oriya-telugu-08aug18] Comments on Odia proposal

O Foundation mail at theofdn.org
Mon Oct 8 17:51:12 UTC 2018

We largely agree with Liang. “Oriya script seems to be a variant of Devanāgarī” is a glaring mistake. It is not just an insult to a classical language and a script that existed more than 1500 years ago in eastern India around the time Sanskrit and Tamil flourished, but undermining the struggle that went into making Odisha the first state in India to be formed in 1936 in the basis of linguistic identity. Additionally, it feels like a majority portion of the content is copied from Wikipedia without verification from external sources. Liang has already flagged the Gujarati part. It is disheartening to see that researchers are referring to Wikipedia rather than referring to primary and secondary sources. Wikipedia itself refers to tertiary and above sources and at times contains factual inconsistencies. 3.4 It is important to note that "ଵ" (U+0B35) is a non-existent character in the Odia alphabet. It was invented by a fringe group during sometime in the last few decades but never gained traction among the general public. It was later inserted in the Unicode chart for Odia based on unreliable sources but still remains an alien symbol for native speakers of the language. Documentary evidence corroborates with the historical non-existence of any such character in Odia such as Notable Dictionaries or Lexicons published over the last two centuries (including the most exhaustive and largest Odia dictionary “Purnachandra Bhashakosha”.) Odia literature has special literary genres known as Chautisa and Champu that were written from 7th century AD up to 19th century AD. These are poems where each stanza begins with a letter of the alphabet and continues sequentially. These also do not use this character making it of doubtful antiquity. Scholarly studies on Odia linguistics, literature and grammar as well primary sources such as stone inscriptions and palm leaf manuscripts. Odia language primers and textbooks including those published by Governmental agencies (eg: Dept of Language, Literature and Culture Govt of Odisha, The Odisha State Museum). Popular print or electronic media including newspapers, journals and television. 3.8 Another dubious claim with no explanation or logic whatsoever is the addition of nukta to “କ” (U+0B15),“ଖ” (U+0B16), “ଗ” (U+0B17), “ଚ” (U+0B1A), “ଜ” (U+0B1C), and “ଫ” (U+0B2B). There is no reference or any published resources to show the need or historical use of these. Simply put, the researchers should have gone beyond Wikipedia to find if the historical use actually exists as these characters ignore the efforts of those who standardized the language and the script on the basis of which the Indian state of Odisha was formed in 1936. If a script would evolve, it would evolve based on a dialogue between the experts and the larger community. Insertion of nukta to these characters are done in this document in an autocratic manner without any consensus, historical reference and to substantiate a new trend one of the researchers for Odia is promoting on social media. This should not be treated as an allegation but a cautionary flag as these serious flaws will tarnish the hard work of ICANN. Nukta in “ଚ” (U+0B1A), however, is visible in the Karani script which is another historical variation/predecessor of the current Odia script but has to be treated as a different script. The reason for nukta in “ଚ” (U+0B1A) was for a different purpose and bringing it back for another purpose is gross manipulation. We strongly support Liang's point about "ଡ଼" and "ଢ଼" as those two characters are regarded as treasure troves of Odia script. The very name of the language "ଓଡ଼ିଆ" and the geographical place — the state of Odisha (ଓଡ଼ିଶା) contains these characters. "ଡ଼" and "ଢ଼" are supposed to be treated as characters rather than variations of "ଡ" and "ଢ" as the use case for the former two are more than the latter. We are drafting this response immediately because it was our notice only today. We hope to formulate a complete response with necessary sources in the following week if an extension of the deadline can be accommodated. O Foundation (OFDN) www.theofdn.org OFDN is an nonprofit organization based in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India that works in the intersection of marginalized societies, languages, and cultures. Members : Prateek Pattanaik Nasim Ali Shitikantha Dash Shreekant Kedia Sailesh Patnaik Jnanaranjan Sahu Chinmayee Mishra Mrutyunjaya Kar Subhashish Panigrahi
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