COME THE CAR FESTIVAL, THE TRUTH MANIFESTS IN ORISSA

“Rathastham Bamanam drustwa punarjanma na lavyate”.

By finding the Bamana on His chariot, one shall have no reason for rebirth, this is what the above much quoted stanza says.

But due to decadence in cultural research, the original meaning of the stanza has been lost. The sociological aspect that gave birth to this conception has been buried under spiritual jargons. To understand the real meaning of the quoted stanza we ought to have a critical look at it.

Bamana is one of the ten incarnations of God according to world famous poet of Orissa, Sri Jayadev. If so, why only Bamana is revered in this particular stanza that goes on to say that seeing Him on the chariot there shall be no reason for rebirth?

Let us first see what does the word ‘rebirth’ mean. The learned persons are known as twice born in India. The first birth is coming out of the womb of the mother in a state of knowledgelessness. When one acquires knowledge he gets recognition as ‘twice born'(Dwija). This is the state of ‘rebirth’. So, when one acquires the complete knowledge, for him, there remains no reason for rebirth.

Now let us come to the word Bamana. It means the small shape of a big sort, particularly human. The stanza has depicted Sri Jagannath as Bamana. Why so? And why finding Him as the Bamana on the chariot one’s knowledge is considered to be complete?

The answer lies in the name of Sri Jagannatha. Literally the name means ‘Lord of the Universe’. But, in the system of Sri Mandira, the abode of the Lord, Sri Jagannatha is four in one. Integrated in Him, the other three are ‘Sudarshana’, ‘Subhadra’ and ‘Balabhadra’. These three are His three other inseparable facets.

To understand the significance of these facets one is to watch the colour they bear. When Sri Jagannath is black in colour, Sudarshan is slightly red, Subhadra is yellow and Balabhadra is white. If we look at the world, the entire human race is distributed within these four colours. And, in the body of Jagannath all the four colours are placed. Hence, not only He carries with Him all the facets of human world, but also He personifies all the four facets. In a nutshell, He is symbolic of the entire human race. Therefore He is considered to be the small shape of the entire humankind, the Bamana.

On the second day of the bright phase of Asadha, He comes into the fold of the people of the world of all colour, creed and culture. This is His world famous chariot journey or Ratha Yatra. Anybody belonging to any region or religion of the world, and in any physical condition, can mingle with Him during this unique Yatra.

It is no less symbolic.

Agricultural activities in this part of the globe are heightened during the month of Asadha. Amongst all the activities the human race pursues, agriculture is the most fundamental, because this provides the food on which the human race lives. So, His car festival carries universal significance of the human activities and emphasizes on the common cause of human society.

If one understands this much, what more knowledge he needs to know about how to act for building up of an integrated world on the basis of universal love and brotherhood? It is commonly believed that man takes a rebirth to live in a better world. If we follow the ethics Sri Jagannatha stands for, and the common cause His car festival cultivates, our blind ally with religions, the root cause of disintegration of human race, shall stop and a new world of universal brotherhood based on understanding and tolerance will emerge. When, thus, the Jagannath culture succeeds, the world where we live in would be the best place to live in and there shall be no reason for rebirth to live in a better world. This would be emancipation as contemplated in the quoted stanza.

Welcome to the Ratha Yatra of Puri and Glory to this unique universal truth that manifests in Orissa so enchantingly and always.

POLITICAL PARTIES SUPPORT EMPLOYMENT GUARANTEE DEMAND

OrissaMatters Bureau

New Delhi:

Major political parties have supported demand for immediate adoption of the Employment Guarantee Act (EGA) sans any dilutions.

Addressing a �Jan Mach� at the Constitution Club here on July 02, the CPI (M) general secretary, Mr. Prakash Karat, asked the UPA government to pass the EGA in the monsoon session of Parliament without any dilutions and only after incorporating the �very good recommendations� made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

Indicating that the recommendations enjoyed the support of all political parties, Karat stressed on effective implementation of Food-for-Work (FFW) programmes.

The Jan Manch was organized by the People�s Action for Employment Guarantee, a countrywide network of over 150 mass organizations, to welcome the participants of the Rozgar Adhikar Yatra on their return to Delhi on 1st July after touring for 52 days in ten States.

Expressing solidarity with the campaign for employment guarantee, former President Mr. Narayanan said, �Any movement that has greater representation of the women in its fold cannot but be genuine and hence, is bound to succeed�.

Women participation in the Yatra was spontaneous and tremendous. Annie Raja, national secretary of the National Federation of Indian Women, had taken the lead.
The Bill pending before the Parliament breaths restriction of employment guarantee to only one member of a household, which, the women apprehend, in a patriarchal society, would keep women bereft of benefits. So they have been demanding, among other things, to make this Act open to all adults.

Arguing for the right to work to be made a fundamental right, CPI leader D. Raja said, �No government can succeed without addressing issues of unemployment, poverty and other concerns in rural areas.� Raja added that the success of EGA depended on effective mass movements and people�s intervention.

Declaring Samajwadi Party�s �total support� to the Act, Dr. Sunilam hoped that the Standing Committee�s suggestions would be accepted in full and the EGA would be passed only after incorporating them.

The Congress Party made its presence felt through Madhusudan Mistry, an MP from Gujarat. Mistry assured that his party was committed to get the EGA passed in the monsoon session of Parliament. He, however, did not say whether the recommendation of the standing committee would be accepted- in part or full.

Among others, Ramdas Athavale of the Republican Party of India, pledged support to the EGA. �We are not content with a guarantee of 100 days. Out of 365 days, at least 300 days� job availability should be guaranteed,� he stressed.

Professor Jean Dr�ze, who led the Yatra, presented some findings on massive corruption and irregularities in FFW programmes. �The government is making no serious effort to implement its own guidelines,� he observed. Dreze further said that with an Act in place, officials would be bound to implement norms and prevent corruption.

Eminent economists like Prof. Prabhat Patnaik, Prof. Jayati Ghosh and Prof. Abhijit Sen, who is a Planning Commission member, also addressed the gathering. They said there was no justification in questioning the feasibility of the Act by citing the �huge financial burden� the Act would entail.

�The notion that the only way you can give to the poor is by first snatching away from the poor is simply not acceptable,� said social activist and Magasasay winner Aruna Roy, warning the government not to use the EGA as an excuse to push anti-people fiscal reforms like withdrawing subsidies or disinvesting from PSUs.

Testimonies on Rural Distress

The occasion witnessed testimonies by ordinary people on the general state of affairs in rural areas. Speaker after speaker, many of them women, dalits and adivasis, gave striking revelations of how government sponsored programmes end up benefiting contractors and the local powerful without actually reaching the poor and the needy.

�Hardly 10-15 percent of the funds reach the poor. The rest go the pockets of the contractors and officials,� said Gangaram Paikray, an adivasis who came on the Yatra from Chhatishgarh. �They displace us from our land and forests without rehabilitating us. How are we supposed to live? If the Act is passed, then at least we can demand work and earn our living,� said an adivasi woman from Gujarat.

Minister for Rural Development, Dr. Raghuvansh Prasad, who attended the entire second session listening to numerous testimonies and demands, denied any dillydallying in processing the Bill or any attempt to dilute it. The EGA would be passed in the monsoon session, he assured.

In his concluding remarks, former Prime Minister V.P. Singh gave a detailed analysis of the flaws of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Bill 2004, and outlined the essential requirements of an effective EGA. On the failure of the Food-For-Work, he reiterated: �If the experiment fails, it is a failure of the government. You cannot punish the poor for this failure.�

The Bharatiya Janata Party, however, was conspicuous by its absence, although invited to the programme. Incidentally, BJP leader and former U.P. Chief Minister Mr. Kalyan Singh was heading the Standing Committee to which the Bill had been referred

Cautioning that testimonies on the failure of FFWs do not mean that an EGA will also meet the same fate, Nikhil Dey, a member of the Rajasthan-based Mazdoor Kishan Shakti Sangathan sought to clarify the matter.

Talking to Orissamatters, Dey said that these testimonies, in fact, strengthened the need for EGA because �effective implementation of such programmes can be ensured only if there is a law so that the violators can be punished�. He added: �There is a need to expand the FFWs with strict vigilance which the EGA can only ensure.�

The Jan Manch ended with a unanimous pledge to �struggle together until the right to work is reflected in a full-fledged Employment Guarantee Act�.

Meanwhile, the People�s Action for Employment Guarantee has decided to further step up its campaign. Prof. Jean Dreze and Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy told Orissamatters that the People�s Action would now mobilize support for the Act at local levels by bringing more and more mass organizations into its fold.

STPI TO OPEN NEW CENTER AT BERHAMPUR

OM Bureau

Bhubaneswar:
Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) will set up a center at Berhampur in the district of Ganjam following an understanding it has reached with Government of Orissa.

The Secretary of Information Technology department of Government of Orissa and Director General, STPI, have signed the MOU in this respect on July 01, 05 at Bhubaneswar.

When Government of Orissa will release Rupees one crore as grant-in-aid besides providing 3 acres of developed land and 10,000 sft built up space for the Park, Government of India will contribute Rs.5 crore by way of computing and networking infrastructure.

The STP scheme bundles together the benefits of 100% Export Oriented Unit (EOU) and Export Processing Zone (EPZ) schemes of the Government of India. It envisages single window clearance mechanism, up to 100% foreign equity participation, Income Tax holiday and duty free imports to the units registered under the scheme.

STPI successfully operates 44 centers across the country.

The Berhampur Centre shall open up facilities like high-speed data communication, technology incubation services, training and consultancy, Internet & Video Conferencing that will go a long way in attracting investments in IT to this region. It will provide a conducive environment to encourage and promote local entrepreneurship besides taking care of all statutory needs of the software exporting industries like project approval, import approval, bonding and export certification.
The data communication facility integrated with point-to-point microwave, copper and fiber channels will ensure 100% uninterrupted data connectivity and bandwidth on demand to the users. The incubation infrastructure is aimed at providing ready to occupy plug and play space at an affordable cost to the small scale entrepreneurs motivating them to experiment and nurture innovative ideas transforming those to commercial realities. The STPI center will also maintain internal engineering resources to provide consultancy services in networking, web hosting, server and security management.

According to official version, more than 90% of the total national software export of Rs. 51,458 crore came from 4,000 STPI registered units in 2003-2004. In Orissa, at present more than 100 IT units are registered with STPIs at Bhubaneswar and Rourkela. The software and professional services export from Orissa at Rs.383 crore in 2004-05 has registered a growth rate of 20% over the previous year. (The report carries official version)