Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

My beloved Bhauja (wife of journalist Barendrakrushna Dhal) just passed away in a private clinic at Bhubameswar.

I fail to describe the grief that has instantly engulfed me and my wife.

Do not know how to console Barendrakrushna, whom I call only’ Bhai’.

Those who know them, know how immensely deep was the oneness of the couple.

Before rushing for his house, I see my son Saswat clicking the FaceTime link.

(Baba, no time to talk with you now. You know what a loss is Sneha Bhauja’s demise to me.)

Dear friends, her name was Sneha and she was personification of Sneha (affection).

Tears, stop.

Orissa Governor hopeful of UUC working for Cultural Renaissance

With Pictorial input from Laxmi Prasad Pattanayak

Chancellor of Utkal University of Culture, Governor Dr. S.C.Jamir expressed hope that in times to come the University would play a crucial role in bringing about cultural renaissance in Orissa. He was the Chief Guest in the 17th Foundation Day celebrations on Monday.


Commissioner-cum-Secretary of Culture department of Orissa Manoranjan Panigrahy lauded the faculty members of the University for having carries forward the objectives of the University “in spite of numerous handicaps”. The University running in a temporary campus would soon be shifted to its permanent building and be entitled to UGC grants, he disclosed.

Ranjit Kumar Mohanty, Director of Culture wanted the teachers and the students to work unitedly for the University when Vice-Chancellor Prof. Debendranath Jena drew attention of the authorities to the problems of the University seeking early solutions, while impressing upon the fact that, the University has come a long way in terms of academic achievement “despite problems and hurdles”.

Dr. Suman Das, Registrar, presented the annual report and highlighted the activities undertaken throughout the year.

The University’s annual newsletter ‘Sanskruti’ was released by the Governor, when the Lady Governor distributed the awards and prizes.

To mark the occasion, students of Odissi and Visual Arts Departments had offered excellent entertainment and  an Art Exhibition respectively.





A. B. Bardhan: Unforgettable Relevance

By Saswat Pattanayak

Comrade A B Bardhan (1924-2016) was not just the foremost communist mass leader of India who raised working class consciousness among millions through his oratory and organizational persistence, he was also the Marxist historian who accounted peoples’ struggles like no one else had quite done.

Well before publishing “People’s History” had become a worldwide trend, Comrade Bardhan had reflected upon the critical role of working class in India’s freedom struggle with these words –

“Official histories are apt to pass over in silence the role of the working class in India’s freedom struggle. They depict the freedom struggle as a series of events determined and influenced by individuals from the upper strata of society, who reacted against the humiliation and oppression of foreign rule, and moved the masses in their wake.

As to the workers and working people, they were considered either too weak or ignorant to play any role in this struggle, or concerned themselves with the more immediate problems of mitigating exploitation and improving their lot.

Nothing could be more one sided and false than this picture. In fact, with the growth of the working class in India and the rise of the labor movement commences the impact on India’s struggle against foreign domination.”

Well before social justice movements demanded reservations as part of parliamentary political norm, Comrade Bardhan had gone beyond the traditional proposals and recognizing the imminent pervasiveness of private capital, he had called for reservations in private sector as well –

“As Communists, we take note of the problems of the deprived communities in our society and pay special attention to them. These are for instance the dalits, the adivasis and the minorities, especially the Muslims. We shall actively support the demand that reservation should be extended to the private sector, especially when moves for privatization are afoot.”

Well before the caste discourse in public policies had gained momentum and denouncing Hindutva politics had become mainstream, and intolerance debate had gained a foothold in India to prompt celebrities in joining the chorus, Comrade Bardhan had urged the people to reject communal casteist elements from the political sphere, in these words –

“Neither Gandhi or Nehru nor the hundreds of martyrs who climbed the gallows for independence – none of them gave their lives for a Hindu nation.

Never forget that!

We who uphold the red flag – we respect all religions. For the identity and ego of one religion, you cannot attack and break the identity and faith of another religion.

Always remember this.

In Hinduism, there is both tolerance as well as intolerance. There is humanity, but there is also a caste system. That is why for years saints and enlightened ones have tried to bring in reforms. They raised their voices against casteism, but even today caste remains. Today a new effort is being made to share power with those who were always kept out of Government, those who were considered only fit to be servants. Today an effort is being made that they too get a chance to help run the country. But the very forces who wish to preserve Hindu fundamentalism and unfurl their flags over destroyed mosques, these very forces swear by the caste system.

Recognize them and understand their mentality.”

ABBardhan_Saswat Photo

Comrade Bardhan had confidence in fellow Indians that they shall reject communal, Hindutva politics and usher in a new age that will put the working class in charge of its own priorities. And armed with his inspiring words and following the exemplary life he led, his dreams shall certainly be realized.


Com. A.B.BardhanElements welcomed Comrade A. B. Bardhan, the veteran Communist of India at the age of 92 on January 2, 2016.

A Communist never dies. For all time to come, he continues to inspire whosoever works for a better world to live in.

Live, despite death, forever dear Comrade.


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

2016: Divided We Fall

Saswat Pattanayak

Last year alone, an earthquake – among many – left 9,000 dead in Nepal. Stampede among the devotees caused death of 2,200 people in Mecca. Over 3.1 million children –  under five – died of malnutrition everywhere in the world. They were not victims of terrorism or organized murders. They did not perpetuate any evil to justify a divine plan that took their lives. And yet, not one God or multiple versions of Gods could do anything to save them. That is because there is no God. There is no reason for a belief in God, or adherence to any religion. And yet, as if such tolls were not enough, we exponentially increase the number of untimely deaths of fellow human beings while using religion, god, nationality, race, caste, gender and private capital and power as our divine alibi. Instead of love, we engage in war. Instead of sharing, we promote hoarding. Instead of cooperation, we encourage competition. Nothing will likely change in 2016. But the hope still remains that reason shall prevail over unexamined emotions, while using historical lessons from the years before, as potential tools of liberation.

2016: Divided We Fall

Yet another year went past defining
deriding, describing, disrupting
decrying. Terrorism.

In the fight against the evil
the war of the rich
pitting the poor, the unsung
the unknown, unemployed
famished, hopeless.
Handing them a shotgun
assault rifle, pistol,
an oath of loyalty
to the military, nation-state,
a god, a belief, holy text
preaching freedom, salvation
duty, patriotism, nationalism
Terrorism – both ours, the NATOs
and theirs, the ISILs.

Yet another year went past ridiculing
rehashing, regrouping, replenishing
renaming. Identities.

In the fight against the backward
the march of the elite
positioning the hungry, the oppressed
the voices without a social handle
the suicidal farmers, indebted students
the workers without a union
being Black while driving – car and life
and those bereft of privileges
to raise their consciousness.
Deluding them with elections
leader after leader, hope after hope
emptying the wallet of promises
showering the wealth of rhetorics
constructing the highway of dreams
preaching love, preaching hate,
after a while, love-hate.
Plutocracy – both ours, the voting class
and theirs, the ruling corporate bosses.

Yet another year went past propagating
polarizing, preaching, propounding
programming. Ignorance.

In the fight against the subjugated
the collusion of the masters
requiring the working class
to stay divided, trusting none
vanquishing incentives to imagine –
a planet without borders,
people without religions,
genders without assigned roles
to obliterate the regressive texts
that justify terrorism, by state; by others.
Unity, empathy, solidarity –
not anymore threats to ruling class
when the year went past us
like they were anathema to the workers.

This world never so fragmented
so in despair to not understand,
to lend an ear, a hand, a tear.
Never so lacking in care
that it advances a Trump, a Modi,
a Hillary, a Cameron, a Bibi.
Only a Paris. Eurocentric lease.
Warmongers, homophobes, xenophobes
In power everywhere, the worst of us.

Maybe its all that we can muster
– or, with contradictions exposed
we can take this just no more?
Won’t the new year notice any difference
shall we keep on penalizing dissidence?
Call fellow travelers aliens, illegals, refugees
– or, with our inhumanity exposed
we can reattempt unity amidst diversities?

Ceiling on Private Wealth be the New Mission this New Year

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The New Year 2016 has come to us. Let us not make it barren.

The new year has come uniformly to all of us, who live in human society. Nobody has been left behind in 2015 and nobody has been conveyed over anybody into 2017. So, 2016 has come for the equal time span to all of us in this world.

This time span equally available to all of us must also be viewed as an opportunity to wipe out inequality – financial and social – to establish that all of us are not only born equal, but also are born to equality.

The last year like preceding ones was lost to 99% of the members of human society as only 1% that comprise the machine owners, mines owners, money hijackers, land-grabbers, weapon manufacturers and monopoly traders kept the world under their pernicious grip, with their commission agents ruling the roost.

We all that constitute the 99% should wake up to destroy this grip and save our society from the greedy and inhuman 1%, so that the time span that has uniformly come to us does not go barren.

To ensure this, some may recommend a violent class war. But, averse to violence, I stand for leash on avarice.

New Theory of Political Economy

India’s emancipator Mahatma Gandhi, because of whom mostly, the world has been saved from political imperialism, had advanced a new theory of political economy. That is, Theory of Trusteeship.

Wealth accumulators should consider themselves as trustees of the people but for whom their wealth could not have been generated, was the essence of this theory.

He was murdered by the agents of the rich, because this theory was anathema to their avarice.

Gandhiji gave birth to a new world order where independence of the nations became essence of existence. But, the Political Economy of Trusteeship, which he had advanced as against Political Economy of Capitalism and Political Economy of Socialism, has not gained ground after his assassination. This is now threatening the world with a class war between the affluent 1% and the rest 99%, which, unless Gandhiji’s idea is heeded to, will certainly be violent and wipe out the 1% along with their associates and acolytes from the world in their entirety.

Violent Class War in Scriptural economy

We have seen this in Mahabharata, where Muni Vyasa had told in the mouth of his hero SriKrushna that, occupiers of upper strata should always act partners of the people in the lower strata and vice versa in order to avoid class war and prosper. The verse is:

Devan Bhavayatanena Te Deva Bhabayantu Bah / Parasparam Bhavayantah Shreyah Paramabapsyatha //( Srimad Bhagavat Gita, 3/11).

Kauravas did not study its significance and got extinguished in the class war where the clarion call of Krushna was to wipe out completely the avaricious occupiers of power, despite them being close relations. Death to the greedy – is what Krushna had said.

We see this in the concept of Mahakali too. A corpse (Shava) was lying on the way of advancing revolution (Mahakali) and that Shava became Shiva when a foot of that Mahakali touched its chest. This simple episode suggests that the dormant society was in slumber when Mahakali symbolizing the mass revolution kick-started it into action and that collective force wiped out the gene of the exploiter Raktavirjya, as so emphatically shown in Devi Mahatmya.

So, complete extermination of the exploiters is what scriptures also provide for.

But, should we resort to this?

When this question haunts, and both the political economies – capitalism and socialism – have failed to stop concentration of wealth in the hands of only 1%, the alternative to these two theories – Theory of Trusteeship that Gandhiji had advanced – seems the only alternative.

Gandhi the Only Alternative

Gandhi’s Theory of Trusteeship is the only refuse available to the world at present to save the earth from possible blood bath.

To bring the avaricious rich to this theory, they are required to be dragged into the habit of staying satisfied with limited wealth, so that they can tame their unlimited greed.

And, therefore, the commission agents of the rich that are in power with the help of the rich and running the administration for benefit of the rich, in order to save their masters from physical extermination, should impose ceiling on private wealth of the rich and their associates, before the tortured and exploited 99% respond to SriKrushna’s call: Hato Ba Prapsyasi Swargam, Jitva Ba Bhokshase Mahim / Tasmaduttistha Kaunteya Yuddhaya Krutanishchayah // (If you die in the battle, heaven would be yours, if you win the battle, yours shall be the land. Hence, Arjuna, decide to fight. And, fight.) (Srimad Bhagavat Gita, 2/37)

So, if life is not to be lost in a fight, for whosoever love the people, and love the earth, and love universal brotherhood, love peace and harmony, and love the future generation, should wake up to demand for ceiling on private wealth to make the aggressive runners after wealth habituated with limited wealth; so that Gandhiji’s Theory of Trusteeship could emerge as the alternative political economy, which may forestall a catastrophic class war.

Hence, dear friends, ceiling on private wealth be the new mission this new year.

Subhas Pattanayak’s NABAKALEBARA: LEGENDS AND REALITY would help the world understand Sri Jagannath, says Soumya Ranjan Patnaik


Pictorial input: Laxmi Prasad Pattanayak

Journalist Subhas Chandra Pattanayak’s two historic books – (1) Orissa Pradesh Srustire Ganamadhyam and (2) Nabakalebara: Legends and Reality – were released in the evening of December 29 in the jampacked auditorium of Red Cross Bhavan, Bhubaneswar by eminent author Dash Benhur.


Addressing the event chaired by Prof. Jayant Kumar Biswal, editor of Orissa’s largest circulated daily ‘The Sambad’ and Chief Guest of the event, Sri Soumya Ranjan Patnaik said that, had the book – Nabakalebara: Legends and reality been published at the time of Nabakalebara, it could have become best-seller. Yet, written in English, it is well set to help the world understand SriJagannatha in the perspective of history and social evolution. It is a speaking endeavor to bring out the reality from beneath the heaps of legends; and hence, as much a book of reference, it opens gateway to in-depth research on the topic, he said.

Discussing the book, Chief Speaker Prof. Biswaranjan strongly endorsed Sri Pattanayak’s deeply researched determination that Sri Jagannatha is a deity of agro-magic, originally conceived as the torso of a mother in consonance with Bouddha Tantra, which the practitioners of Brahmanya Dharma have changed into a male deity Vishnu of Hindu pantheon to wipe out the Buddhist tenets in Cult of Jagannatha. Sri Pattanayak’s work is of utmost relevance to study of Jagannath in proper perspective, he said, citing profusely from the book and comparing the same with observations of various scholars.

Famous orator and editor of Subartta, Pradyumna Satpathy gave a scholarly analysis on Pattanayak’s other book – Orissa Pradesh Srustire Ganamadhyama (Role of Mass media in creation of Orissa). Contextualizing the book with the ongoing movement for governance of Orissa in Oriya, he strongly stressed upon use of this book as a backgrounder to the current language movement.

Both the books were offered respectively to Surjyaprava editor and author Rabi Kanungo and to Columnist and thinker Tusarkanta Satpathy by the author Sri Pattanayak as a token of Lokarpana (presentation to public). In reply to the offering, both of them spoke of the relevance the books for Orissa.

Guest of Honor, eminent poet Dash Benhur held both the books as thought-provokingly relevant, when editor of the daily newspaper Sanchar Prasanta Patnaik lauded the focus the books have laid upon Orissa’s cultural excellence in advancing the zeal for governance of Orissa in Oriya and in projecting the unseen facets the cult of SriJagannatha.

In his Presidential address, Prof. Jayanta Kumar Biswal lauded the scholarly pursuit behind both the books and their value of reference.

Political Scientist Dr. Netaji Abhinandan (Ravenshaw University), quite close to the author as his son’s intimate friend, welcomed the guests, with Chief Executive of Shabdasparsha Pabitra Mohan Maharatha initiating the event. Major Dr. Kumudini Barai proposed the vote of thanks.

Leaders of Orissa Bhasa Sangram Samiti and language activists – poet Sankarshan Parida, poet Umakant Raut and Dr. Subrat Kumar Prusty were felicitated by the Chief Guest Sri Soumya Ranjan Patnaik on behalf of Shabdasparsha. Felicitations were also given to poet Gajanan Mishra and to Prof. Natabar Satpathy in absentia for their role in the language movement.

Poet Saroj Bal graced the event by reciting his poem on magnificence of Oriya language.