OTHER SIDE OF ORISSA CABINET

NO MORE ABLE TO FEND, NAIK BECOMES THE THIRD MINISTER TO QUIT IN A MONTH

His crime against democracy taken into judicial cognizance, and being no more able to fend himself in the corridors of power, Labor Minister Pradipta Kumar Naik resigned from Naveen Patnaiks Council of Ministers today, to become the third Minister to have been shown the door within a month. The other two were Rabi Narayan Nanda and Kalandi Behera, the former found tainted in hooch trade by a judicial commission and the later put on the slate for investigation by a fresh judicial commission.

At the behest of the Election Commission, the Returning Officer of Bhawanipatna, his Constituency, has filed a case in the Court of the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate there against Naik alleging that he had suppressed vital facts relating to his criminal antecedents in the Affidavit that he had submitted to him in order to qualify to contest the Assembly election. Naik is now subjected to the trial for this crime against democracy that may draft him for rigorous imprisonment for three years, if prosecution conducts the case efficiently.

Since yesterday, April 28, 2006, after the cognizance taken by the SDJM at Bhawanipatna caused reverberations in the power circle at Bhubaneswar, he had been maintaining that he had not willfully suppressed facts about criminal cases pending against him in the Affidavit that he submitted as part of his nomination papers. He had not received any summon or warrant from any court of law in matter of any case lodged against him and therefore he had no knowledge of pendency of these cases, he was saying.

Even the President of the State unit of Bharatiya Janata Party to which Naik belongs, Mr. Juel Oram, was refusing to find any credibility in the complaint case filed by the Returning Officer. No body can be prosecuted for not including anything that he does not know in an Affidavit, Oram was asserting.

Both Naiks as well as Orams statements had no credibility. It can never be accepted that Naik had no knowledge of the pending cases. He is a lawyer by profession as per bio-data he has given to the Assembly. He has been representing Bhawanipatna Assembly Constituency since 1995 as a candidate of BJP, the party that pokes nose into everything that matters in politics. There are four cases pending against him since 1995. All these cases were lodged against him by the Police. We have earlier reported the case numbers. Responding to queries from the Press, after his resignation, he has admitted that allegations on which those cases are based are true but sans mens rea. The motive behind his alleged actions was not criminal, but political, he has clarified. Whether his action was political or criminal is not relevant at this stage. What is relevant is that it is not a fact that he had no knowledge of the pending cases.

It is note worthy that all the four cases are GR cases filed under Indian Penal Code before his party became a partner in Government. Mark the cases again. The first case bearing No.239 was lodged in 1995. The 2nd case bearing No.521 was lodged in 1996. The third case bearing No.231 was lodged in 1997 and the 4th one bearing No.407 was registered in 1998. So this is a chain of habitual offence. But there is no new police case against him ever since Naveen Patnaik joined the Union Government under Vajpayee in 1998-99 with a new wave in Orissa politics that eventually ushered the BJP into power in coalition with Naveens BJD.

Whether or not the Police are being compelled to ignore the criminal offences committed by ruling alliance members is a separate issue to study. But conspicuous absence of new cases against a person marked for habitual offences, ever since his party has usurped power, makes it abundantly clear that he certainly knows that in the earlier regime he was disadvantaged by Police cases.

This perhaps concussed the good sense of BJP bosses. Lest it leads to worse embarrassments, they decided to advise Naik to resign.

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ORISSA CHIEF MINISTER IGNORES THE FOUNDING FATHER OF THE STATE

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Had there been no Orissa, Naveen Patnaik could never have been able to become the darling of POSCO and others that are bent upon to denude the State of her mineral resources.

Orissa became Orissa because of the sacrifices of one man whom we the entire nation of the Oriyas revere as KULA BRUDDHA, the grand old man of our race and also as UTKAL GAURAV, the pride of Orissa. He is Mr. Madhu Sudan Das.

Initiated by Dinabandhu Pattanayak of Ganjam district, the idea of reconstruction of Orissa by amalgamation of all the Oriya speaking tracks under British occupation was metamorphosed into a mass movement of matchless velocity by Mr. Das leading to formation of the first province of India on the basis of language. Therefore Madhu Sudan Das is rightly adored as the founding father of Orissa.

Today, April 28, is his birthday. In every nook and corner of Orissa people who love their motherland are observing this beloved day with the best of affection they can express in recalling the memories of any they love most.

The State administration organized a memorial meeting at Jaya Dev Bhawan, the State Information Center, in the evening. But, sadly noting, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, almost all of his cabinet colleagues and IAS officers of Orissa who usually stud various occasions as stars, were conspicuous by their absence in this meeting.

Presided over by the Secretary of Information & public Relations, the meeting was addressed by Energy Minister S.N.Patra.

Naveen’s Ministers: Two Resigned over Hooch, Another Booked for Crime against Democracy

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Naveen Patnaik has a Ministry that includes many such persons who belong to the category of accused under trial.

But he has a Minister who is found to have committed crime against Democracy.

The name of this Minister is Pradipta Kumar Nayak who belongs to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He represents Bhawanipatna Constituency in the Assembly and holds the Labor portfolio.

The Sub-Collector of Bhawanipatna, who is also the Returning Officer of this Constituency has filed a criminal case before the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate there on April 26, 2006 against Nayak alleging that while filing nomination papers for the Assembly elections, he had sworn in an affidavit suppressing facts of his involvement in criminal cases. The R.O. has filed the case in accordance with instructions from the Election Commission and is registered as 2( C ) C 9/06.

Nayak’s offense is strong enough to attract rigorous imprisonment for three years with or without fine. It would be very embarrassing for Naveen to retain him in the Cabinet in view of the crime he has committed against the democracy.

In India, it is now mandatory that a candidate for election to Assembly or Parliament has to file an Affidavit indicating details of criminal cases pending against him along with his nomination papers. Nayak showed in his Affidavit that there was no criminal case pending against him, on the basis of which his nomination papers were accepted and he was able to contest. But he was involved in as many as four criminal cases and evading summons. Those cases were numbered as G.R Case No. 239 of 1995, G.R.Case No.521 of 1996, G.R.Case No. 231 of 1997 and G.R.Case no.407 of 1998. It indicates how habitual an offender was Nayak by the time he filed his nomination papers for the current Assembly. In order to get his nomination papers clear and to hoodwink the voters through misinformation, he suppressed the vital fact and declared under oath that there was no criminal case against him pending in any court.

Section 181 of Indian Penal Code stipulates that such an offense shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 3 years, and shall also be liable to fine.

More than the criminal punishment it attracts, the falsity resorted to by Nayak in his Affidavit is an offense against democracy. Democracy depends upon election to the House of Representatives elected by the citizens. For elections, nomination papers constitute the basis. The Affidavit on criminal antecedents is must component of nomination papers. Without this Affidavit, no Returning Officer can accept candidature of any aspirant to the Assembly or Parliament. So the Affidavit on criminal antecedents is inseparably linked to the process of election. In other words, this particular Affidavit constitutes the core of democratic process. Therefore, any wrong willfully committed in the Affidavit is an offense unambiguously perpetrated against democracy.

Nayak has perpetrated this crime against democracy. To retain him in the Ministry would tantamount to entertain a continuing crime against the Country. Naveen must take note of it.

HOOCH TRAGEDY RECURS

ORISSA CM JETTISONS EXCISE MINISTER; OPPOSITION ASKS HIM TO QUIT

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik got the first glimpse of political reality in his home district of Ganjam when people, known as his supporters so far, raised sharp slogans against him on April 24 during his visit to Golabandha, where hooch has taken away 12 lives two days ago. It was a repetition of the tragedy that had killed 32 persons and maimed around 50 in the same district in the month of March.

Orissa Assembly then in session, the Opposition had stalled the proceedings over its demand for resignation of the Excise Minister under whose umbrage the liquor mafia was supposedly operating. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had provoked the Opposition to boycott the Assembly by showing his steadfast support to the Excise Minister.

But the second major tragedy in the succeeding month in his home district moving the needle of suspicion to his direction as people wondered if he has any role in protecting the hooch operators, Naveen Patnaik had no other way than asking the Excise Minister to resign. Accordingly, Kalandi Behera rendered his resignation in the afternoon of 25th April.

Even as stalwarts of the ruling combine are stunned at the turn of events, Leader of Opposition Mr. J.B.Pattanaik has stated that had the CM accepted the Opposition demand to drop the Excise Minister after the March tragedy, the House could have run properly and the hooch operators might have not dared to continue their crime and the fresh tragedy would not have happened.

Deputy Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra has stressed on resignation of the Chief Minister himself, as according to him, without his protection, the hooch operators could never have been so active in the home district of the highest political executive of the State.

OTHER SIDE OF MEDIA ACTIVISM

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

ETV ORGANIZES ORISSA CM’S VICTORY OVER A FOUR YEAR OLD POOR BOY

Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was desperately anxious to show others that his credibility has not declined.

I had discussed this in these pages on 30th March.

Exactly as I had suspected, he has defeated a four year old boy in credibility contest even though the boy had never been made aware of the significance of such a contest!

The boy is Buddhia Singh, not even five years in age. He is the son of a wretchedly poor woman residing in a slum of Bhubaneswar. Marked for his self-confidence and readiness to brave all obstacles to hit a target, this wonderful boy has attracted world attention as the youngest but the most popular sports person of Orissa. Many a foreign forums have started suiting documentaries on him. He is such a darling of the people of Orissa that wherever he is going to participate in a marathon run, thousands and thousands of people from every nook and corner of the area, irrespective of age, stature and gender, are thronging the streets to have a glimpse of him, to welcome him. It is impossible on part of Naveen Patnaik to surpass this boy in popularity in a real contest.

Therefore a fake contest was organized by electronic media major ETV, which, notwithstanding being run by a non-Oriya owner, has been able to spread its network all over Orissa ever since Naveen Patnaik has become the Chief Minister. Another non-Oriya concern Airtel collaborated.

The contest was captioned PRIYA ORIYA, meaning Orissa’s dearest person. Selected persons were asked to suggest ten names for the contest. The organizers printed their own ballot papers, selected spots convenient to them for collecting the so-called votes, scrutinized and counted the so-called ballot papers after the stage managed polling, stored the ballot papers wherever they preferred and declared five names including Buddhia’s, as contestants in the final round.

Buddhia’s name provoked some to believe that the contest was perhaps genuine; because for any genuine Oriya this boy is certainly a dear one. But Buddhia was not made aware that his popularity was at stake in a contest against the Chief Minister. The final votes were collected through mobile phones. Buddhia has no mobile phone; he does not know how to use a mobile phone. He does not know who of the people that love him have mobile phones. He even could not support himself through a mobile phone. But according to ETV, Buddhia was surpassed in support by Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Minister of the State! Could there be a more crude mockery of popularity contest?

It was a surprise that the Chief Minister rushed down from Delhi to receive the felicitation given to him by ETV in a grand ceremony at Bhubaneswar, for having vanquished the four year old illiterate and ignorant boy Buddhia Singh in popularity contest. Has he not been personally eager to bag such a title as PRIYA ORIYA, could he ever allow himself to accept such a felicitation in such a manner?

He told the viewers that he was very happy to be felicitated by a girl child who was born on the day he had taken oath as the Chief Minister.

But how could he not grasp the significance of a Chief Minister publicly admitting that he knew of and has known that there was a contest between him as the Chief Minister and a four year old illiterate, ignorant, wretchedly poor slum dweller boy on the question of popularity, in which he has been declared as winner? How could a Chief Minister stoop so low to enjoy his own victory over such a boy, when, in reality, the boy, whose projected defeat helped him to bag the PRIYA ORIYA title, had no knowledge of the so-called contest?

Besides telling us how fidgety has become Naveen Patnaik after media survey showed his popularity in decline, the so called PRIYA ORIYA contest also shows to what extent ETV is capable of making a farce of media activism.

SUPERIOR LANGUAGE ORIYA LANGUISHES DUE TO INFERIOR LEADERSHIP

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

“The Oriya Language can boast of a rich vocabulary in which respect neither Bengali nor Hindi nor Telugu can vie with it. The richness of the vocabulary is the index by which the vastness of a vernacular can be gaused”. This well founded observation of Sir George Grier’son is available in Linguistic Survey of India, Vol. IV.

Sir Grierson had to take up a comparative study of these languages when Oriya, as a vernacular, was threatened by the other three, i.e. Bengali, Hindi and Telugu.

British administrators had to admit that Oriya race was the most formidable amongst all the peoples of India.

In fact, Orissa was the last of all provinces in India to be annexed by the British and the Oriyas were the first amongst all the Indians to revolt against that foreign power.

Overwhelmed by Oriyas in the first upsurge known to history as “Paik rebellion”, British officials had to notify their masters that “It is to be feared that the nature of the Country (Orissa) and disposition of its inhabitants will always present a formidable obstacle to the suppression of these disturbances either by military or police”- W.Forrester to Robert Ker at Para 18 of his Report dated 09 September 1818.

From the day they had put their dirty feet on the holy soil of Orissa, the British had earned such experience that their fear for Oriya disposition was ever in the rise. To overcome this fear, they had to divide Orissa in parts and to merge these parts in neighboring provinces of Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra (then in Madras), declaring the languages of those regions as official language for the people of Orissa after merger.

This crude conspiracy ruined Orissa. Our mother-tongue was shattered. Our existence as a race was threatened.

Administratively we were most disadvantaged as we were being compelled to write every communication to put forth any grievance in the language of the province in which we were merged. We were being compelled to adopt their language as our own. We were even being bound to accept our land records in their languages.

Taking advantage of our predicament, the Bengalis who were satisfying the British officers as ‘native servants’, not only grabbed our valuable lands, becoming landlords in different parts of Orissa by the grace of the British, started saying that Oriya was not an independent dialect. Encouraged by the Bengalis, the Hindi tongue of Bihar and M.P. as well as the Telugu tongue of Madras started playing their nefarious games against Oriya.

When thus our mother-tongue was threatened we awoke again. India saw the first, the finest and the most united awakening of the splendid segment of her children who from ancient days were known and respected not only for their original thinking and Buddhist outlook, but also for their unique contribution to culture and art captioned in the name ‘Utkala’ of the place they were dwelling in, in support of their language. There had never been as strong and specific a mass movement as that under the banner of ‘Utkala Sammilani’, which, as Gandhiji observed in Young India on 18 February 1920, “raised the large question of redistribution (of population and landmass) on linguistic basis”. We were the first in India to found our State on strength of our language.

But when the Lingua-Benga chauvinists were trying to convince their British masters that Oriya was not a separate language but was a branch of their’s, and their partners in Hindi and Telugu tongues had been conspiring to keep us subjugated, the bona fide arguments advanced by our leaders to show the unique ancientness of our mother-tongue had attracted eminent linguists to find out the truth.

Sir Grierson, as quoted supra from Linguistic Survey of India, after intensive study, in pursuit of this quest under such circumstances, had arrived at the conclusion that neither Bengali nor Hindi nor Telugu can vie with Oriya in richness of vocabulary. Oriya, in the opinion of the world famous linguist, is certainly vast and superior to Bengali, Hindi and Telugu as a vernacular.

Oriya’s superiority was factually so unquestionable that eminent Bengali linguist Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterjee had to say, “Of these three speeches: Oriya, Bengali and Assamees, Oriya has preserved a great many archaic features in both grammar and pronouciation; and it may be said without travesty of linguistic truth that Oriya is the eldest of the three sisters, when we consider the archaic character of the language”-(I.H.Q. Vol.XXIII, 1947, p.337).

But our mother-tongue is again in danger. We have a Chief Minister who does not know Oriya. The sycophants of Biju Patnaik, a mafia of yesteryears, who was such a fraud that in spite of having grabbed political top post of Orissa many a times only by projecting himself as the sentinel of Oriya nationalism has not taught his mother-tongue to his sons, have made and maintained one of his sons, Naveen Patnaik as the Chief Minister. He is in power continuously for the second term. But during his tenure, the earlier importance given to Oriya in administration has declined and it has suffered the worst of ignominy.

Our beloved mother tongue, which, as admitted by eminent linguists quoted supra, is a classic language with so much archaic immensity and such vast vocabulary “in which respect neither Bengali nor Hindi nor Telugu can vie with it”, has been humiliated by a Lingua Benga Samir De, who, as Minister of Higher Education, had dared to drop Oriya from courses of study in degree colleges; and yet, Naveen has ignored our demands for dropping him from the Cabinet.

Because of Naveen’s nonchalance, geographical limits of Orissa bordering Bengali and Telugu speaking provinces have been rampantly encroached upon under official umbrage of those States even as a separatist movement has gained strength in the area bordering Chhatisgarh, carved out of M.P.

Now, he has posed a threat to Orissa Sahitya Academy by creating a new organization of letters styled as ‘Odia Bhasa Pratisthana’. When during the tenure of the incumbent Chief Minister the Sahitya Academy has lost its priority position, the vernacular schools in the State have been managed so menacingly badly that English medium schools have mushroomed as alternatives even in remote villages.

Oriya, our mother-tongue, though recognized as vast and superior in the context of Indian languages, is now languishing under inferior leadership. But in a democracy like that of ours, who can ensure that leadership shall not fall in inferior hands?

Where is the remedy? The Oriya race must have to cogitate this question and recognize the urgent necessity of freeing our State from the pernicious grip of persons who have not cared for Oriyanising themselves.