Secularism has made India weak

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

As a Hindu I am an atheist. I am proud of the fact that my State Orissa which is the home of the largest percentage of Hindus in whole of India had given birth to atheism in Indian philosophy .The great ‘Muni’ Kapila who founded the ‘Samkhya’ philosophy belonged to my State .His philosophy gave the greatest challenge to Vedic philosophy and its impact on society was so immense that the latter tried for centuries to diminish it but failed. From Kapila’s own village Kapileswara near Bhubaneswar and from his own clan ‘Shakya’ arose the greatest of atheists known to the mankind as Buddha whose preaching pervaded whole of the world. Both of these sons of Orissa are revered as Lords by the Hindu. So, Hinduism comprises both theism and atheism. These two opposite aspects constitute a common culture.

As mentioned above, I am an atheist. But I am a Hindu. I have never been excommunicated from the Hindu society for having professed atheism. This is simply because Hindus do not belong to a religion.

Vast majority of the Indians is Hindu. Polytheism being the mainstay of Hinduism, the theist Hindu is latitudinarian in principle and practice. Toleration is synonymous with his religion that includes in its fold even the atheists. It must not be forgotten that the Constitution of India which grants absolute freedom to every citizen to follow and practise any religion of his or her choice, was created basically by the Hindus This magnanimous mindset would never have deteriorated had the practitioners of other religions not continued their hyperactive engagements against the Hindus in independent India .To point out in Orissa context, according to Census of 1901, it was the most Hindu province in the country where 94.7% of the total population followed this faith .This percentage has shrunk severely and the number of followers of other religions has witnessed phenomenal rise .This is through conversions , basically .To what has it led ? It has led to the alleged killing of Graham Staines and his two sons in that part of Orissa which is known for its natural tranquillity .Had there been no conversion there would never have occurred any such killing. Secularism has contributed to such conversion and weakened India by weakening the nationality of the vast majority of Indians .As long as India remains secular, conversions shall not stop. Unless conversions stop, it would be difficult for India to remain composed.

History is witness to the fact that our Country was curtailed in to pieces on the basis of religious nationality. Such a sorry state had developed because of conversion from Hindu religion to others. To get a clear picture of the scenario we may look in to the pages of the Encyclopaedia of Religions and Ethics that notes as follows :

“According to the Census of 1901,the total population of the Indian Empire was 294,361,066, of whom 207,147,026(70.3 per cent) declared themselves to be Hindus .xxxx If to the body of declared Hindus be added Sikhs(2,195,339) and Jains(1,334,148) both of whom claim to be Hindus ,the total adherents of Hinduism amount to 210,676,513 If the estimates of H.Zeller be accepted, Hinduism thus stands numerically third among the religions of the world ,being exceeded only by Christians(534,940,000)and followers of Confucius(300,000,000)

“The distribution of Hindus throughout the Empire varies greatly.The most Hindu province is Orissa where 94.7 per cent of the total population follow this faith. In succession to this follow Mysore (92.0 %);Madras (89.1%);Bombay excluding Sind and Gujrat (88.9%); Hyderabad or the Dominions of the Nizam(86.6%) The United Provinces of Agra and Oudh(85.4%);The Central Provinces(82.7%); Central India (80.9%) Baroda (79.2%);Bombay Presidency(76.5%);Travancore(68.9%);Bengal Presidency(63.3%).

The least Hindu portions of the Empire are the N.W.Frontier Province with the Panjab (35.6%);Sind(23.4%) and Burma(4.3%); in the first two Hinduism having given way to Islam,in the third to Buddhism.In Eastern Bengal the percentage of Hindus has been reduced by the notable extension of Muhammadanism,and in Travancore of Christianity.(page:686,Vol.VI)

From this record of history it is clear that heavy conversion of Hindus to Islam in the N.W.Frontier Province and in the Eastern Bengal ultimately led to partition of India on the basis of Religion-Nation .The current separatistic unrest in the North-Eastern part of the Country stems from the strength the Christians have acquired through conversion .Can the Hindus, the vast majority of India, who had with much pain in the heart of their hearts tolerated partition of their Motherland on the basis of religion, afford another separation on the same basis ? In view of the past experience ,how can they tolerate further expansion of other religions at their own expense in their own soil ? The secularists ought to apply their mind to this problem. Instead of criticising the active Hindus, they should raise their voice against conversion.

It must be admitted that majority of the Hindus who are deeply disturbed over reduction of their strength by conversion do not get the required leadership from the latitudinarians in their own vocation as they prefer to stay aloof lest the style of secularism they profess gets affected. Such a predicament is prodding the Hindus in to the fold of the fundamentalists and tartuffes.

Orissa Assembly:Session Starts In The Same Old Style

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The seventh session of Orissa Legislative Assembly commenced on the day preceding the last month of the current fiscal year with the Governor Sri M.M.Rajendran telling the House that the “State is passing through a severe fiscal crisis of unprecedented nature.”

The Eleventh Finance Commission had calculated Orissa’s debt GDP ratio to be 46 % as on 31.03.2000. This was the highest in whole of the Country when compared to that of all the other states that averaged 24.33%. But by 31.03.2001, within one year it stood at 51%, the Governor said.

Amidst protests and after a walkout led by the Leader of Opposition, the Governor gave indications of the programmes of the Government meant for overcoming the crisis. But the printed address was of the same old style that failed to indicate as to what extent the administration really thinks of the remedy.

It has been indicated that an ambitious programme for Rabi 2001-2002 was undertaken with major thrust on oil seed production. A 50% subsidy package was offered to the farmers. But the Governor could not place the quantum of achievement in this area.

The House has been informed of the Government’s proposals to establish a model Floriculture unit as well as a Tissue Culture unit to promote Floriculture in the State. But why such proposals when a Regional Plant Resources Centre has been in full operation in the Capital City with branches spread over other places of the State? Is the RPRC not functioning properly? The OMFED procures 1.02 lakhs litres of milk but sales 1.04 lakhs litres per day besides other milk products, the Governor said. Where from the excess quantity comes? An amount of Rs.62.42 crores has been provided to Gram Panchayats from the Eleventh Finance Commission grants in the outgoing fiscal year. But this amount “will be utilised” to improve living standards of the rural people, it is said .How it is that work has not started even though for that purpose a very heavy amount has been provided in the outgoing fiscal year?

From experience in the matter of execution one can chalk out a detail plan for the future .The executive wing of the State has not placed the achievement scenario of the outgoing year while preparing the speech of the Governor.

When the Leader of Opposition walked out, he was not informed of what the State has faced in execution of the plan and programmes of the outgoing year and what has it really achieved.

If the Governor’s speech is any indication, it is clear that it was prepared without any preparation, in the same old style and the session started in no dissimilar way.

Communalists Fail To Conquer Puri

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Puri, the citadel of secular culture, has rejected communal elements in the Panchayat elections. Not a single candidate of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has won a seat within the jurisdiction of Puri Panchayat Samiti.

Eager to assess its own strength, the BJP had decided to fight the Panchayat polls in Orissa all alone. It had even decided to set candidates against the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in as many places as possible so that its strength vis-?-vis the later could be determined. It was eager to use the Panchayat polls to show that its credibility has spread in the State. Therefore it was eager to mobilise as much public support in its favour as possible. Communalisation of mass psyche need not be mentioned as the method of BJP for such a purpose.

With this motive it had organised a blatantly communal camp christened as ‘amruta mahotsava’ in the city of Puri under the umbrage of R.S.S. Puri was selected as the venue with meticulous calculations. The BJP knows that it is weak in Orissa because the land is strongly influenced by Jagannath Culture. Oriyas are born and brought up under the tradition of respecting Muslim poet Sal Baig as the ‘Bhakta Kavi’ par excellence. To them ‘Javana Hari Das’, by birth a Muslim, is a saint to be revered for ever. As long as the people accept the tenets of the ‘Mahodadhi Civilisation’ they shall remain secular in day to day practice and character. Therefore the heart of this civilisation, Puri, was targeted by the communalists.

The ‘amrut mahotsava’ was held with overwhelming fan fare. Communal slogans rented the air. But as the ‘Mahodadhi’ assimilates every stream that tries to influence it, so Puri assimilated the communalists who wanted to sacrilege its total secular character.

The panchayat election is a pointer to this. Not a single BJP candidate has won in Puri block. The communal forces have failed to conquer it. At least, at the moment.

Naveen In Confusion

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

He took a helicopter to attend the marriage ceremony of the daughter of central minister Arjun Charan Sethy at later’s Balasore village but did not attend it. He came back to his residence and ordered the aids not to allow anybody- whatever be his position-to disturb him.

A few days later, the BJP high command had to prevail upon their state unit leaders to bear with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, in order to protect the interests of Bajpai government at centre. That notwithstanding, BJP members of Orissa Assembly made a scathing attack on Patnaik for the lack of political acumen in running the state. His own party members did not spare him either. Most vociferous was the Government Chiefwhip.

He dropped four of his cabinet colleagues on charges of corruption in utter disregard to natural justice and fair play. It was found, the state by that day had not determined the charges to be levelled against them. The following endeavour of administration to frame charges has failed to show the gravity of the offences they had allegedly committed. As time elapses, the dropped ministers do gain public sympathy,their oustal being viewed as more capricious than fair.

He has allowed himself to continue as the Chief of BJD. Followers of Biju Patnaik had formed this political outfit and enthroned Naveen as their president, under whose cover they were eager to operate without any compunction. The party has not yet been able to acquaint all its members with its constitution, inasmuch as it has not yet printed the draft submitted to the Election Commission. Barring a very small number of its members who belong to the higher echelon of the party, all others are absolutely ignorant of the contents and provisions of their party constitution. Taking advantage of this, the party managers have declared him re-elected as the president. Consequently, he has appointed a team of Office-bearers most of whom are not acceptable to the general members of the party. Many of the office bearers themselves are also dissatisfied with the positions offered to them. It is clear that if the party could have come to the position of holding the election of office bearers, the present set might never have come to existence. Naveen is aware of this.

Having come to power to eliminate corrupt practices from administration, he has utterly failed to understand its operational methodology. Intelligence reports are reaching headquarters from every corner of the State carrying instances of misutilisation and unutilisation of the M.L.As’ Local Areas Development Funds. Most of the M.L.As stay most of the time of the year in the State capital in urban comfort. Almost all of the ministers have the bitterest experience of succumbing to the lobby of bureaucrats for posting in creamy positions, spearheaded through M.L.As, even as the Assembly seldom gets a member in perfect tune with its practices and procedures.and its legislative requirements.

Unmindful of such deterioration, the Naveen Patnaik government has cultivated a sanction of the House to provide the M.L.A.s with laptop computers. The cost factor apart, no assessment has ever been made into the ability of the M.L.As to handle the laptops. There are members who have not graduated even from high schools. Can they use the computers? Who can, and how, compel a member to undergo a training course to use a laptop computer? When the voters reject a member in subsequent election, should he surrender the machine or take it as a souvenir? If he shall have to surrender the same, should he do that without any damage? It seems, the government has not applied its mind to this. Then how this project involving more than a crore of rupees got passed notwithstanding stout shouts from the treasury benches that the citizenry of the state is to tolerate stringent cuts in welfare expenditure? It became possible because a relation of a heavyweight acolyte of Naveen is the disguised supplier of laptops. A reliable source says that Naveen has of late seen through the game, but he is unable to stop the scheme.

It is always alleged that he totally depends on a very small syndicate of bureaucrats in running the administration. He may be seriously embarrassed if the allegation raised in a writ case by a former electrical executive engineer R.K.Sahoo receives adequate judicial attention. In this case, the challenged order of the Chief Minister does not seem to have been written unwittingly. To dispose of a file with personal observations is the prerogative of a chief minister, but not to do so on a dotted line.

The ever willingness of Naveen Patnaik to sign on dotted lines has landed him in such a situation that the last session of the Assembly had to have the indecent distinction of being the first to witness its Speaker unambiguously uttering words like “change the government?” on the summit of members of the treasury benches, castigating their own ministry for failure in almost all fronts. The atmosphere was so tumultuous that the government could have collapsed had the Congress not moved a vote of no confidence.

The day might have been saved. But the condition has not improved. Most of his cabinet colleagues are surreptitiously engaged against each other, which has resulted in the impasse over panchayat election. Clearly, Naveen is in a state of confusion.