WHERE WERE THEIR GODS?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Members of Samjivani Youth Club of Talcher, in a disdainful reaction to the disgusting defeat of India in the world cup competition, shaved their heads on March 25 after burning down effigies of the members of Indian Cricket Team (ICT) and performed their funeral rites befitting death of family members in Hindu society.

But it is not a solitary occurrence. Failure of Indian team was so very gross that peoples have not only been maddened to act such bizarre everywhere in the country, but also have emotionally broken down at places to the extent of cardiac casualties.

This is no love for cricket. These fellows do not love cricket as a game. The game is a medium of gambling for them.

Gambling is a pervert assertion of the instable against uncertainties and therefore under its sway one runs for an erratic mental compensation for chronic and discernible deficiencies, the secret agenda being to become eligible to hold fate, not self, responsible for happenings.

This reminds us of how these fellows had tried to invoke Gods’ grace in support of ICT through oblations organized everywhere in the country before the team’s departure. The present fits of funeral rites that they are observing post defeat of the team has its roots in the said oblations preceding posting the team for the world cup.

Where were their Gods when the team failed? Why the fellows that are burning down the effigies of the cricket players are not burning down the images of their Gods, who despite having accepted the bribes through oblations to make the team win, have betrayed it?

Both these actions – organized oblations to Gods preceding the team’s posting and symbolic funerals organized post defeat, are anti-sports in reality. These are actions of mentally instable fellows who by invoking Gods had played with the confidence of our players before they left the country.

Gods are invoked for only one purpose as we know. That is: for rescue; rescue from diseases, rescue from enemies, rescue from sins, rescue from seizures, rescue from pains, rescue from plights, rescue from dangers, and rescue from defeats. Imagine any difficulty; there is a God or a combine of Gods prescribed by scriptures as a factor of rescue.

So by invoking Gods in support of the ICT, the invokers had vehemently, though inadvertently, infused a sense of inadequacy in our players to the extent of feeling for the need of rescue in the playground but for which the Indian team in manly confidence could have contributed its best as was expected and won the cup.

The captain and individual players have admitted that they were under so much pressure that they failed to display the best in themselves. This pressure was nothing but the pressure of the presence of so many Gods invoked to rescue them from attack of rivals, which went on affecting their psyche through reverberations of a feeling of inadequacy and inefficiency, playing thereby anathema to their self-confidence that resulted in their defeat, notwithstanding world recognized proficiency individual players of the team had acquired by pursuit and practice.

The effigy burners, suffer as they from lack of ability to locate the real reason of defeat, may do better by finding out where the Gods they had invoked to the rescue of the Indian team were when it got vanquished.

And, then perhaps they can know that a country cannot and must not be allowed to run on invocation of Gods but on implementation of scientific methodology in every sphere of life, strengthening of self-confidence of sports persons being one such methodology.

They must know that the sacrificial fires they had ignited in invoking Gods to grace the players before they had left for the field is in no way different from the fire into which they are now throwing the effigies of players after their defeat. Both the fires are one inasmuch as they burn down the self-confidence of the players. And, lack of self-confidence is the main cause of defeat in any competition.

As long as Gods are there India cannot revive.

SPEAKER CORNERED: ASSEMBLY HURTLES TO A COMPROMISE

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

With Navin Patnaik as leader of the House, Orissa Assembly has been subjected to many a hurry-scurry, the latest being the first week of the current session running sans presiding wisdom of the incumbent Speaker.

Speaker Maheswar Mohanty was hurt by a notice of no-confidence from the Opposition as he is facing prosecution for having allegedly contravened the Code of Conduct in the general elections for Panchayats. The opposition had announced that it would not allow him to preside over the Assembly as he has been too soiled to be accepted as neutral.

The crux of the issue has been discussed in these pages earlier.

Pending the no-confidence notice Mohanty stayed away from the podium after the State Governor presented his ceremonial address on commencement of the budget session on March 21, 2007. Deputy Speaker Prahllad Dora, since then, was conducting the house.

Mohanty had declared that he would face the no-confidence motion if the house so desires and shall abide by its decision even though there was no chance of approval of the resolution to move the motion against him.

Mohanty belongs to BJD of the ruling coalition and has been in the center of the storm for having allegedly misused his official vehicle for BJD in election campaign for Panchayats.

BJD and its partner being in majority, the resolution had no chance to be adopted in the house; because these politicians pay more importance to their parties than to democracy.

The opposition also knew that their resolution would collapse. The only purpose of their notice was, therefore, to keep on Assembly records the allegations against the Speaker vis-ŕ-vis his defense, so that the people could have a better assessment of democracy in action.

When the people of the State were eagerly watching the developments, on March 24 the Parliamentary affairs minister Raghunath Mohanty made an appeal to the Opposition to treat the issue with parliamentary magnanimity and to the relief of the Treasury bench, the Opposition obliged. “We do no more press on the resolution to move the motion of no-confidence against the Speaker as he has proved his commitment to democracy by staying away from his podium, the chief whip of Opposition Satya Bhusan Sahu told the house.

Had it been a case of Parliamentary magnanimity, it would have been better. But it is allegedly a compromise between the two parties. And on what term the compromise has been coined? Reports say, it is an assurance from the Chief Minister to replace Mohanty with some one else after the end of the current session. Sources from BJD confide that Mohanty would be replaced with Damodar Raut, a sitting MLA, unceremoniously dropped earlier from the cabinet but to the boss still unashamedly obedient.

Let us not put credence on facts not on records. Whether or not Mohanty would step down and whether or not Raut would come is not the issue.

At the moment one thing is clear that the Opposition has withdrawn the notice of no-confidence against the incumbent Speaker.

But the incumbent Speaker has not withdrawn the severe allegation he had raised against the State Election Commissioner (SEC) Sanjiv Hota in this context. The allegation of violation of the Election Code raised against him was a conspiracy cooked up by Hota, bearing him as he was a grudge for the enquiry he had pressed against a notorious land-scam, with which the SEC in his former avatar was involved, the Speaker had said. If Mohanty does not withdraw this allegation publicly, how can one say that by conspiratorially tarnishing the image of the Speaker, the SEC has not deliberately soiled his privileges? How can it but be construed as contempt against the house?

So the compromise, the house has hurtled to, cannot obliterate the issue of its privileges. If MLAs do not look at this, it would be ignoring the worst possible denigration of the rampart of democracy by bureaucracy; and it would further engrave in the mind of the people that their representatives in the house may make any compromise if thereby they are safe in their own cocoons.

Let us watch, what happens.

ISSUE OF IIT AND THE GROTESQUE FACE OF PRIVATIZATION

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

A very grotesque phenomenon is taking shape in Orissa. Supporters of privatization have started demanding that the Central government establish a public sector IIT in the State.

The demand is just and genuine. But the stratagem is improper and baffling.

In a meeting to voice this demand held recently under banners of an organization projected as non-political, politicians belonging to ruling BJD were most vociferous against the Man Mohan Singh government, which they alleged, is denying Orissa her legitimate share in high-tech education. They have decided to lunch a protest campaign that seems resolved against Singh’s government. This means, it would be a shrewd campaign of pro-NDA factors against the UPA government under the guise of non-political activism. This is therefore more injurious to Orissa than blocking of an IIT.

Orissa’s immediate requirement is that it should be saved from the grip of Naveen Patnaik who, heading a syndicate of family sycophants, has been squandering away her mineral wealth for the benefit of non-Oriyas, even sans a mining policy.

Elected for a term of at best five years, and constitutionally bound to surrender or relinquish office on completion of five years if not dismissed earlier, he is playing havoc with our race by exhausting the stock of mineral ores that Mother Nature had taken millions of years to so kindly provide for use by Oriyas generations after generations.

Mineral ores are not made in a day. The ores taken away cannot be recreated. Navin Patnaik, with any number of sycophants under his command and any number of Goebbels in media projecting him as the best amongst the chief ministers and any amount of auras of Bijusonship he emanates by adopting the tactics of naming every state-run or state-owned project after his father Biju Patnaik , cannot create a grain of mineral ore that Orissa is getting denuded of day by day by mindless mining that he has precipitated.

His chief-minister-ship shall sure collapse one day; but with that our state shall not collapse. We of this generation shall pass away; but with us shall not end our race. So the mineral wealth Mother Nature has given to Orissa must be so managed that when our future generations grow up to manage our state, there should be no dearth of this wealth. Therefore framing and enforcement of a mining policy is essential. Navin never bothers about this. He is taking advantage of non-existence of a mining policy to hand over our mineral wealth to mine grabbers almost all of whom are non-Oriyas, without paying any attention to how it would disadvantage our future generations.

It is not that the people are tolerating this. It is happening, because the Naveen regime has reduced our people to such a state of inanition that they are unable to do anything other than tolerating.

Had the victims of Naveen’s Tata-love at Kalinga Nagar been financially able to seek in the Supreme Court a judicial evaluation of the Orissa High Court order that helped the official design, it could have been such that they might not have withdrawn their heroic road blockade against the inhumanly exploitation even till date.

This is enough to understand that our people are not tolerating this misrule but more impoverished in Naveen’s anti-people administration and in dire impecuniousness, they are acquiesced in to toleration. This is no rule of law. This is misrule.

Patriots who love Orissa must not provide any umbrella to this misrule.

Naveen’s meretricious manner has befooled even some high-qualified netizens to believe that he is doing well to our people.

But during his tenure poverty eradication programs are so menacingly sabotaged that the latest National Sample Survey report shows that when during the period from 1999-2000 to 2004-05 there was a 4.03 per cent reduction of poverty in the national level, it was only 0.06 per cent in Orissa. When the Country has an average of 21.08 percent of people below the poverty-line, in Orissa their number is 46.06 per cent. The biting reality is that Naveen’s misrule has kept as many as 1.75 crore of people out of Orissa’s total population of about 3.70 crore perishing below the poverty-line.

And every poor person is left at the mercy of money-lenders. Strengthened by schemers and scamsters, Navin’s government has ruined the cooperative organizations that could have, if managed by the members, saved the people from money-lenders in the state. It has denuded the forests; has subjected people to hooch-horrors repeatedly while infesting nooks and corners of the State by mindless supply of liquor through official counters; has eliminated importance of elementary schools in villages by neglecting their maintenance, has starved the high schools and colleges by slashing down faculties; has dragged the self-employed villagers to unemployment by handing over their lands to non-Oriya industrialists and amongst many other instances of mischief, has destroyed rural brotherhood by politicizing the Panchayats.

Supporters of privatization have never voiced their protests against this misrule. But by initiating a campaign for a public sector IIT in Orissa in a manner that conspicuously tries to make people believe that Congress led government under Man Mohan Singh has been creating obstacles in Orissa having her legitimate share in high-tech education, they are, perhaps intentionally, trying to divert public attention from all these failings.

By saying this I am not saying anything in support of Man Mohan Singh. I have exposed his mischief to the extent my patriotism has dictated. And perhaps, more emphatically than any.

I have shown how Man Mohan Singh had degraded the august position of Prime Minister to a level of lobby-collaborator of Bengalis in kidnapping the National Institute of Science originally conceived for Orissa to Kolkata. As sentinel of Orissa’s interest, orissamatters.com had lost no time in exposing Singh’s deplorable role in this anti-national-integration act. The foul play of Singh government against Orissa in the matter of IIT needs condemnation as strongly as possible and anybody should be welcomed to campaign for Orissa’s share in high-tech education.

But it is necessary for Orissa to know who really hinders; and to know who really are her people’s class enemies. Any attempt to attack one class-enemy to the advantage of the other class-enemy is an attempt to protect the real class enemy that poses the real threat to Orissa’s real interest. So I am apprehensive of a hidden agenda in the so called apolitical campaign for public sector IIT. The way NDA leaders are being provided with platforms to play political game against UPA government by some campaign formulators for IIT, Orissa’s real interest is bound to suffer the setback.

I recall, when senior citizens and netizens had started the campaign for NISc, some of the current campaign formulators for IIT had tried to buzz about that the BJP-led NDA government had given the Institute to Orissa, whereas the Congress-led UPA government, having failed to fetch electoral support in this State, has done away with it as a matter of political vendetta. This was absolutely misleading and deliberately so. This was meant only to project NDA as benevolent to Orissa.

But in reality, it is NDA, specifically Vajpayee’s office that had blocked the establishment of NISc in Bhubaneswar with support from Orissa government run by Navin Patnaik. Orissamatters.com, committed to tell the truth to the people of Orissa, had placed the truth on records as follows:

An international seminar on science education held in 1996 under auspices of UNESCO had stressed on building up of institutes of sciences of international standard with emphasis on their balance distribution within respective geographical limits of the participating countries. India being a signatory to this resolution, in normal course of administration, decided to establish four National Institutes of Sciences in four parts of the country including one at Bhubaneswar in Orissa. Records show that there was stiff objection to put one of the said NIScs at Bhubaneswar. The Bengali lobby, as is its wont, had whipped up this controversy. But the UGC had rejected the Bengali pressure and declared that when expansion of such institutes would be taken up in course of time, the demand for one at Kolkata might be considered. Thereafter, Vajpayee’s government slept over the proposal. Who does not know that Vajpayee’s inner court yard was murmuring under the feet of a Bengali known as his son-in-law? Who does not know how Mamata Banerjee, who leads a regional party of Bengal, was close to Vajpayee? Should one do a mistake by drawing an inference that the NISc proposed by the UGC for Bhubaneswar was willfully sloughed over by Vajpayee government as the UGC rejected the Bengali lobby for change of location of the eastern institute from Bhubaneswar to Kolkata?

Vajpayee government could not have blocked Orissa’s NISc, despite Bengali lobby, had Navin Patnaik government allocated the required land to the UGC and harped on its establishment. But the UGC’s request for land was ignored in Orissa Secretariat! And Navin Patnaik’s government did never show any speaking interest in implementation of the UGC proposal for NISc in Orissa.

When ultimately the Bengali lobby succeeded in hizacking the Institute to Kolkata by maneuvering Man Mohan Singh, Navin Patnaik government also refused to rise. That a private citizen challenged the illegality of Man Mohan Singh government in the Orissa High Court through a public interest litigation speaks volumes of how Navin Patnaik government was reluctant to express due interest for establishment of the NISc in Orissa.

Lackadaisical demonstrations of NDA MPs in protest against shifting of the NISc to Kolkata were led more by motive against UPA than urge for the Institute. Were it not been so, after senior citizens of illustrated career and diligent netizens through their consistent campaign and the fear from the PIL compelled the Prime Minister to correct his wrong which he did by lunching the NIESR in the campus of IOP at Bhubaneswar, the Institute would not have remained landless so far. The same NDA MPs of Orissa would have compelled the State government, which is their own, to have registered the required land in favor of the Institute by this time. But till date no land is located for and allotted to the NIESR as a result of which a fear of its sleeping away from Orissa to elsewhere has started restirring some alert netizens who had worked tirelessly for bringing the Institute to Orissa.

Against this backdrop, any combine, claiming to be apolitical, but providing a platform to NDA politicians to attack the UPA government for non-coming of a public sector IIT to Orissa, prompts one to look at it askance.

To me personally, most painful is association of some of very genuine watchdogs of Orissan interest in the proposed campaign, which, with its pro-NDA and anti-UPA stance, portends an exercise to divert public attention from the foul play that is going on in Orissa in the field of high-tech education.

A former Secretary of higher education in Orissa, Swapneswar Baya, retired from government service on superannuation, has been provided with a special chamber in the State Secretariat to work there on a special assignment to formulate a special law to ensure complete autonomy for Anil Agarwala’s Vedant University, in favor of which, Navin Patnaik, who had not alloted land to erstwhile NISc till shifting thereof to Kolkata and has not allotted any land to NISER so far, has allotted 8000 acres of land on the Puri-Konark marine drive. The declared aim of Anil Agarwal is to use this highly sensitive and immensely valuable eight thousand acres of land in an “economic hub” in the pattern of Stanford University where, according to his version, “more than 1200 companies are operating with a combined market capitalization of more than USD 300 Billion”.

Anil Agarwal needs sovereignty over this vast land near the sea and absolute freedom to manage his “economic hub” on this land.

And, the preening prince of Bijudom has, without any study on how it shall affect the state owned and private educational institutions of Orissa, besides its eco-system, has pledged the State to Agarwal’s hidden agendas by compelling the administration to authenticate the M.O.U. with the Vedanta boss, known to people of Orissa as the man against whose objectionable and aggressive assault on our natural assets and environment, they have been fighting.

The campaign formulators for the public sector IIT, who are encouraging Navin sycophants to use their podium as a platform for beating drums against the political opponents of NDA, are conspicuous by their silence over this, even as front-rankers amongst them are vociferous in their support for this private “economic hub” veiled as Vedanta University.

No nastier than this design has ever hit Orissa.

But our people are helpless. When the government they have elected conspires against them, the Opposition seems stoically silent!

The design is really devastative. March is the month of budget session of the Assembly. The session is unavoidable.

Without waiting for the Assembly, where a Bill could have been placed for adoption, which would have been a regular business of the legislature, on March 02, 2007, the State government promulgated an ordinance vide Notification No. No. 2699-Legis, captioning it as “The Orissa Professional Educational Institutions ( Regulation of Admission and Fixation of Fee ) Ordinance, 2007” imposing thereby a lot of prohibitory provisions on private professional colleges of Orissa in matter of admission and course fees. The admission time is at least four months away. The Assembly was to commence its 10th session on March 21. A regular Bill for the same purpose could have been moved and adopted. Why the Ordinance was promulgated? Why this haste?

The haste is linked to Vedanta University. Eager to grab the land and start his empire, the Vedanta boss wants Navin to enact the Law as soon as possible to put him above all answerability over the said land. And Navin is eager to comply with his desire. As discussed supra, former secretary of higher education Swapneswar Baya has been reappointed to draw up the said special law in order to ensure that Anil Agarwal hits his target. The Law is designed to vest in him total autonomy; in fact to make him sovereign over the land he is given. The law is so designed that the Vedanta University will be above all questions. It will determine its own course, course fee, curriculum and control mechanism. In all practicality it will be vested with autocratic autonomy. Whatever the Vedanta boss wants Navin is eager to comply with.

But there is a problem. It starts with this website.

In these pages I had earlier exposed how unscrupulously private professional colleges are running their business. The owners/operators of these private colleges have invested huge black or white money, sure as they are of sumptuous profit. Profit comes from illegal collection of money from students. The black money hoarders get their ineligible children admitted to these colleges by grabbing seats through auctions clandestinely conducted. So sure is this method that they were openly advertising that just a pass mark in plus two science would suffice to get admission to engineering, medical and management courses in their colleges, the undefined norm being, the lesser the marks in plus-two the bigger the amount of secret fee. After I exposed this, the government, till then hand-in-glove with them, wanted to avoid the blame by asking the private professional college operators to declare the amount of fees they have collected through affidavits, just to pose that it was not in any connivance with them. But for the operators, it was not easy to file false affidavits. And therefore none of them complied with the government orders. But because of this website it was on net that Orissa is a place where 10,000 seats in 42 private professional colleges look like potential mints.

And then the mega-grabber looked at his acolytes. The minters must be subjugated or prohibited. Stratagem started. Prohibitions were formulated, stymies were ready.

And then it occurred that if Vedanta cannot be prohibited, no other professional educational institution can be prohibited. If all others are not prohibited, Vedanta cannot catch the mint.

In Navin-raj schemers never fail. A scheme was built up to block all the profit fetching paths of the owners of private professional colleges by a law ahead of the law that would give carte blanche to the Vedanta boss to collect, control and manage money as he likes. Otherwise question of discrimination would have arisen.

Therefore the Ordinance was promulgated on 2nd march giving it force with immediate effect.

Under this ordinance the government will, through a “fee structure committee” determine and declare for each of the institutions a quantity of fee that no private professional educational institution can contravene. If this ban is contravened, a cash punishment up to Rupees ten lakhs for each instance of contravention would be imposed.

So it is a deterrent step against profit fetching by private institutions. Outwardly it looks pro-people; but in reality its design is different.

It is designed only to subjugate the private professional educational institutions of Orissa (here in after Orissan institutions) to the non-Oriya Vedanta Empire. Let us go to the point.

Owners/operators of Orissan institutions have invested huge money – black or white – and running them as business ventures. If they do not fetch the profit, how can they get back their money? So they will either sale away their institutions to recover the money invested and close the business or explore other avenues to fetch whatever income comes regularly out of it by any means and run the business.

Such avenues are made available to them in the ordinance.

When the Ordinance is promulgated “to provide for the regulation of admission, fixation of fee, prohibition of capitation fee, reservation of admission and for other measures to ensure equity and excellence in professional educational institutions” with imposition of “fine not exceeding rupees ten lakhs on such institutions in case of each such contravention” of the provisions stipulated, Section 1 (4) of the Ordinance declares that “The provisions of this Ordinance shall not be applicable to a private professional educational institution which is established by a special enactment of the Legislature of the State of Orissa”.

And the only private institution that is slated to be “established by a special enactment of the Legislature of the State of Orissa” is the Vedanta University.

So the prohibitive provisions of the present Ordinance shall never be applicable to that institution. That means, ban on capitation fee shall not be applicable to Vedanta; so also the ban on profiteering.

Eventually what shall happen? All the Orissan Institutions will negotiate with Vedanta and get affiliated to it as a result of which the present prohibitions will become inconsequential. They will even agree to transfer major share of their institutions to the Vedanta boss in lieu of regular flow of whatever amount of income would be mutually fixed. Thereby Anil Agarwal will get a vast and developed infrastructure of 42 Orissan institutions over night as part of his “economic hub” and become the professional education emperor as he designs to be.

According to Vedanta Resources source, Anil’s decision to establish his educational empire in Orissa was preceded by a vast in-depth research. So perhaps ever since his obliging Navin has taken over the reign of Orissa, he has been planning to take over the State’s professional education field.

When this scenario attracts our attention, it become crystal clear as to why Navin Patnaik had not allotted the land sought for by the UGC to establish a world class NISc in Bhubaneswar till it was finally transferred to Kolkata. In fact, the world class NISc, if established in Bhubaneswar, would have been most disadvantageous to Anil Agarwal. This is perhaps the reason again behind Navin’s non-allocation of lands so far in favor of the NIESR. It also makes one look with suspicion at the State Government’s failure to take up the issue of IIT in right earnest. Circumstantial evidences suggest that more than Man Mohan Singh or UPA, it is Navin Patnaik and NDA factors that are responsible for hijacking of the NISc and non-coming of the IIT.

Before closing this topic, let me cite a report published by Basant Rath of Nabarangpur even in a right-winger paper like The Pioneer. I deliberately cite it because it is such a representative piece of misrule that even a supporter paper of Navin has not though it prudent to supress it. It is:

“Lack of infrastructure and shortage of staff continue to plague education in Kasturba Gandhi Residential Girls’ U.P.School in Maidalpur of Papadahandi block, the only institution of this kind in the district.

The school was established on October 31, 2005 under Central Government’s assistance to impart quality education to the tribal students, especially school dropouts (either for lack of proper environment or financial crunch) with 50 tribal girl students from Class VI onwards.

With one teacher deputed from education department, the school was inaugurated in the premises of Maidalpur ME School temporarily.

Till date excepting the only teacher deputed no other staff has been appointed. It is sad to note the class is functioning in outer verandah and 50 students are accommodated in a single room without basic facilities.

The students are forced to sleep on the floor of that room which needs immediate repair. Basic facilities like latrine, urinal and bathroom are not sufficient.

The only teacher deputed, imparts education to students in all subjects, including looking after the hostel, cooking, marketing and managing the school which speaks volumes about the type of education being imparted to the needy tribal students.

The parents as well as senior citizens of the locality demanded intervention of the concerned authority, for the betterment of the students and to check further dropout.

Though finance is not a problem for the project, the will power of the authority concerned is lacking resulting in suffering of students.

This is how Navin Patnaik has managed Orissa and its educational institutions. This is how he is sincere in spreading education in Orissa.

Therefore, when thinking minds get together to voice a demand for a public sector IIT, if their’s is not a cover to hoodwink the poor tax-payers of the state in a way that would divert public attention from the ongoing misrule, they must first say as to why they are not seen in demanding development of primary education; why they are not seen equally aggressively hammering on Navin to ensure that primary education be available to Oriya children in proper form instead of helping a single non-Oriya businessman usurp 8000 acres of our prime land on the rare beach of Mahodadhi to sale education inaccessible to our children to the children of the rich and the students from foreign lands.

If, however, they are sincere in their endeavor for the IIT, it would be better for them to keep their combine apolitical as they are wishing us to believe; and utmost care should be taken to ensure that Navinites do not misuse the platform to reprimand Singh or UPA with an ulterior motive to shield the saboteur. Otherwise it would be reaffirmed that elite fellows fail to see the grotesque face of privatization. Then the people will loss faith even in non-political organizations formed by the intelligentsia. And, then, that would be a irreparable loss to the people.

MEDICO-LEGAL LEASH ON CRIME LOST IN THE MORTUARY OF TIME

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

When the real culprits who precipitated the Kalinga Nagar massacre on January 02, 2006 have not yet been punished, the Doctors, suspended from service in the aftermath of mass protests against chopping off of the palms of five victims of police firing, have been subjected to stringent disciplinary proceedings and penal prosecution. They are charged for having exceeded their briefs while conducting the autopsies. To what extent the prosecution shall succeed can be seen in future; but it is discernible that the action against these particular doctors has a demoralizing effect on the community of doctors.

Of course, chopping of the palms of people killed by police at Kalinga nagar is too grotesque an act that neither clinical nor legal necessities could be sited for justification. Why then did the doctors do this? Under pressure from the police, as they had then said. But Law does not permit a doctor to conduct any autopsy under pressure from the police. Hence Law shall not come to their rescue. It is they, who alone shall remain answerable for the uncalled for chopping off of the palms.

Here lie the intricacies of legal management of human casualties.

Before going to that, let us first look at the phenomenon called autopsy. Qualified doctors are the only persons to conduct it. And it is the most dependable medical process to pave the path of human society to greater safety and soundness.

An autopsy is conducted on a dead body to determine the cause of death. This word itself is derived from a Greek word “autopsia” that means “seeing in own eyes”. This means, the doctor is to see in his own eyes the reason of death of the deceased. The reasons of death are only two in number: clinical and non-clinical. So, seeing the reason of death in his own eyes by a doctor rests with two different types of autopsies, namely clinical autopsy and coroner’s autopsy.

Clinical Autopsy

The autopsy conducted to discover the reason of death when there was no dearth of medical attention is known as clinical autopsy. It is conducted, subject to permission from proper quarters, on the body of a person who despite best of medical care, succumbs to a disease, beyond the known realm of diagnosis, whatever be the age, in presence of a doctor, to study the inner symptoms of the unknown disease. It helps in expansion of medical knowledge for more safety of human body.

Coroner’s Autopsy

But when a person dies without a disease and unattended to by a treating doctor, autopsy on his/her body is conducted to determine as to which extra-physical force extinguished the life. This is called Coroner’s or Medico-legal autopsy.

Every death without disease is bound either to be suicidal or self-accidental or homicidal- whether or not intentional.

For every such death, an external factor or a person other than the deceased is individually or collectively responsible.

If suicidal, there must be one or more persons responsible for having driven the deceased to that mental stage where life must have become unbearable. If self-accidental, the deceased might have succumbed to external factors such as slipping into a dug-well while collecting water, slipping into the trap of water-currents while bathing in a river or a sea, falling from a tree while collecting fruits or flowers or dry wood, crashing into another object while driving a vehicle, slipping into the zone of a serpent or an animal to earn its assault and etc. If homicidal the deceased might have been killed by criminals intentionally or by a non-criminal unintentionally or accidentally.

So when a person dies unattended to by a treating physician, the death needs medical investigation to determine the cause thereof so that human society could be provided with better guidance and safety.

As such, autopsy, be it clinical or medico-legal, is an unavoidable must factor in the best cause of human body as well as human society.

In this discussion that aims at addressing the issue of prosecution of doctors who conducted autopsies on Kalinga nagar victims, we are concerned with the second type of autopsy, i.e. coroner’s or medico-legal autopsy.

Importance of medico-legal autopsy

When cause of death is external, it must either be judicial or criminal. Judiciary orders to kill a person by hanging till death. No investigation is needed on that; because that is judicial. The society gains by a death if that is judicially induced. But criminally induced death of a person is a loss to the society. So, that is to be investigated upon to find out and punish the culprit. This responsibility is discharged in our country under the Indian Penal Code that has given the power to investigate and prosecute the culprit to the Police.

The police locates the culprit through three types of tests. It may be depositional test such as the versions of eye-witnesses. It may be forensic test such as matching a gun with the bullet. It may be medical test such as matching body fluids or determining if an injury projected as the cause of the death is ante-mortem or postmortem.

So, besides the eye-witness accounts, the two most important tests to find out the culprit are the forensic and medical tests.

Forensic tests are conducted by personnel belonging to or controlled by police as forensic laboratories spread from Center to States form parts of police network. When police itself is involved with the crime, as in custodial deaths or when politico-administrative nexus is involved like in Chhabirani murder case, forensic test is of no unveiling use. The tactics adopted by police in such cases may be best defined as “a conspiracy of silence from top to bottom” by borrowing the words from former Director General of Police of U. P. Mr. N. S. Saxena as published in Indian Police Journal (January-March, 1999). A more scathing unveiling of police involvement in brutal crimes is perhaps available in the words of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission when he says, “Records maintained in police stations are not based on facts, but on convenience… Evidence is fabricated so as to implicate the targeted individual… Monetary considerations largely determine the fate of investigations.” I owe this quotation to a Report of National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, published recently under the Criminal Justice India Series. In fact, seldom one finds a man in India who has undiminishable confidence in police. So forensic test left entirely to the forensic experts belonging to and under control of police, though heavily relied upon for discovery of crime and determination of who committed it when and how, is some times inadequate to convince the society on its correctness. Medical tests, beyond police control as administratively they are, help establish the cause of death, in a more authentic manner in most of the cases. There lies the importance of medico-legal investigation of death or coroner’s autopsy.

The Crime Scenario

The crime scenario of the country presented by the 2005-06 annual report of the Union Home Ministry indicates a continuous rise in IPC crimes, notwithstanding concealments as quoted from Saxena supra. The reported IPC crimes during 2004 (18,32, 015) increased by 2.9% and 6.8% respectively, over the years 2002 (17,80,330) and 2003 (17,16,120); out of which crimes against the body, specifically murder, culpable homicide not amounting to murder, kidnapping and abduction and hurt in the year 2004, stood at 3,37,738 and were 6.1% more than those in the year 2003 (3,18,181 ) and 3.7% more than those in the year 2002 (3,25,789). This continuous rise of crime against human body is going on despite utmost importance given to forensic tests. Since 1973, records the National Crime Records Bureau, even as homicide rate has increased, there has been a sharp reduction in the disposal of murder cases, from 35 percent in 1973 to about 15 percent in 2005 with a steady decline marked in conviction rates for murder and culpable homicide. It is sad that how far lack of importance on medico-legal studies is responsible for lack of punishment to culprits is not being looked at.

Absurdity as reported by Bhore Committee

If we look at the Bhore Committee Report, in 1946, the position “in regard to the investigation of medico-legal problems was very unsatisfactory”. The Report had noted, “Every medical; practitioner in charge of a remote dispensary whatever his qualification or experience, is asked to undertake medico-legal postmortem in complicated cases of crime and he is liable to be held in question thereafter, the presumption being that every medical man is competent to undertake these responsibilities, but unfortunately neither the profession nor the judiciary nor the State have stopped to consider the absurdity of such a presumption.”

“Untrained and ill-trained” Doctors

In the 1950s, the union Government has constituted the Central Medico-legal Advisory Committee (CMAC) to advise the Central and the State Governments on matters of medico-legal procedure and practices and on how to use medical science in determination of crime against human body like murder and rape. It had reported, “The one important single factor in the stalemate in the medico-legal practice in our country is the lack of Medico-legal Institutes or full-time Departments of Forensic Medicine in Medical Colleges imparting post-graduate training in Forensic Medicine. This has resulted in the paucity of regularly qualified experts. The work has been carried on by “untrained or ill-trained” State Medical Officers. We would urge and emphasize that forensic medicine is as much a specialty as any specialized branch in medicine or surgery and medico-legal work cannot be lightly thrown on the shoulders of any every medical man. The fact that all medical jurists in the United Kingdom are experienced forensic pathologists might be followed in India with advantage”.

CMAC ultimately killed: What next?

But the Committee was killed unnoticed and its observations/ recommendations have been, like that of Bhore Committee, abandoned in the mortuary of time.

In absence of independence and autonomy, the doctors, “untrained and ill-trained” in forensic pathology as they are, while conducting medico-legal autopsy are left under the mercy of fate under the whims and caprices of police, administration, scheming politicians and gullible public.

Thinking minds must ponder over the issue.

Danger lurking in the Public Service Bill 2006 contemplated by PM

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

It is deeply disturbing that the Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh has floated a suggestion, which, if not rejected, may eventually transfer India’s administration to foreign hands.

This grueling possibility is lurking in the calculatedly worded sub-clause (3) of clause 10 under Chapter III of the Public Service Bill, 2006, the draft of which is published by the Prime Minister’s Office for public reaction.

Mark the mischief:

The Chapter is captioned as ‘Appointment to Public Services’ and the concerned sub-clause says, “A person who is not a citizen of India shall not be engaged as a public servant unless the government has special reasons to do so to be recorded in writing”.

Its shrewd promoters will say and show and the idiots will accept that the proposed Bill is patriotic inasmuch as it bans a person who is not a citizen of India from being appointed as a public servant, because this is the portion emphasized in the sentence that constitutes the sub-clause. But mischief lurks in the last portion. It is a cunning coinage that makes it unambiguously clear that the ban pronounced in the first portion of the sentence shall be of no use if the government records in writing any special reason to appoint any foreigner in any public service.

Special reasons may be many. Let us speculate:

Promoters of WTO have invested massive funds in various projects in India after Dr. Singh in his previous avtar as Finance Minister had, asserting special reasons, subjected the Country to the GATT, behind the back of the people of India, precipitating our transformation from democracy to plutocracy. In the congenial climate plutocracy has provided to them since then, the World Bank over and above individual imperialists has invested hugely and the country under persons like Dr. Singh has been so deficiently running that the public sector industries which are the only medium to earn for the people and pay back the foreign loans are being sold away to private individuals. Failure of the public sector sans any responsibility fixed and any way to their profit adopted is enough evidence of failure of the country. Suppose the foreign investors move the International Court with the plea that the administration of India should be left to them till at least they get back their money as Indian administrative system, corrupt and incompetent as it is, could no more be relied upon in the matter of recovery of their investment; and the court decides in their favor, what will happen? I suspect, Dr. Singh or his likes in power by that time, will agree and Indian bureaucracy lead by IAS officers, under whose stewardship our administration has ruined our country while black money accumulation in few hands phenomenally rises day by day, will welcome the decision. To support these saboteurs at that time, the laws for handing over our administration to foreigners must be kept ready. And, who can say that the Sub-clause (3) of clause 10 of the proposed Public Service Bill, 2006 is not meant for that?

This is a serious mischief contemplated against the country.

Under no circumstances we can allow this mischief gets approved as a Law.

When the people of Bhopal were hit by Gas tragedy and many suspected the explosion to be a testing of chemical weapon, Arjun Singh, now the HRD minister in Dr. Singh’s cabinet, as chief minister then of Madhya Pradesh, had helped Anderson to escape from custody of Law and was rewarded by Rajiv Gandhi with position of a governor till agitation in his home state subsides. Anderson, after the escapement, had assured the share-holders of Union Carbide that every body who would guard their interest in India was in appropriate position and hence they had no reason to be apprehensive. And, as we know, Union Carbide is not punished.

From this saddening experience, if we look at the proposed Public Service Bill, we may apprehend that the vested-interest foreigner do not now like to have their Indian agents in appropriate public positions, but want their men from their own soil to occupy public positions in India so that they rule over us.

From the Objective of the proposed Bill, it transpires, “Hon’ble Prime Minister has emphasized the need to have a comprehensive Public Service Law/Act, which would be an umbrella Act to cover the numerous rules/regulations enacted earlier. Pursuant to this, the Central Government has drafted a Public Services Bill, 2006 which would provide a statutory basis for the regulation of Public Services in India”. This is while maintaining, “The Article 309 of the Constitution of India lays down that Acts of the appropriate Legislature may regulate the recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to Public Services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of any State”. The objective goes on saying that the proposed Bill is drafted as, “till date, no comprehensive Public Service Law has been enacted except the All India Services Act, 1951 which has a limited application”. So the provision to appoint foreigners to public service posts in India as and when government decides is as emphasized by the Prime Minister.

He must therefore now publicly explain as to why it has occurred that the country’s administration in any sphere can be put under control of any person who is not a citizen of India. We as a nation cannot tolerate to be administered by foreigners.

Defeated in Two-Third of the States, Congress Must Get Rid of Man Mohan Singh

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Who heads a party doesn’t matter, but who heads the government matters in the matter of fetching a fresh mandate.

The people in two-third of the provinces that went to Assembly polls last month have refused to give a fresh mandate to the Congress.

It is not that the rejected provincial governments were not working for the benefit of their people. But they had to go because of their inability to save the people from the misrule of Dr. Man Mohan Singh that the Congress has imposed on the entire country.

The Congress should feel fortunate because the country as a whole had not gone to the polls. Otherwise it would have suffered a complete route.

The reason of this debacle as the Congress has located in the eyes of its President Sonia Gandhi is the unbearable price rise. But it has failed to locate the reason of price rise.

There was not a single patriotic intellectual in India who had not cautioned that unless the plans of Man Mohan Singh are rejected, unless his clandestine collaboration with WTO is terminated and unless the market economy clamped on the country by Singh is replaced by socialistic pattern as resolved for in the Constitution, rise in price of essential commodities cannot be checked and the people will perish. The present situation is the outcome of ignoring those warnings.

If memories should not be buried, it may be recalled that Singh had to resign from the then finance minister post at the summit of financial anarchy that had engulfed India consequent upon what he did to Indian economy. His policies tailored to suit American imperialism and indigenous black market gave birth to the empire of scams. In stead of India rising, his formula helped Harshad Mehta and his likes to rise. He was even held responsible for stock-scams by the joint parliamentary committee. He would have gone following the JPC report but for Prime Minister Narasingh Rao, who had to come to his rescue by refusing to send his resignation to the President under inexplicable shenanigans that had made us mark to what extent pro-America lobby may manipulate our administration. How can we fail to recall that people of this country had punished the Congress for its pro-Ameriacan policies formulated by Man Mohan Singh and, in a Hobson’s choice had to hand over the reign to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), notwithstanding it being the party of Indian anarchists!

Everybody in India knows that from behind the Ram’s mask, the Ravan’s real face got exposed and in the last Lok Sabha polls, notwithstanding the ad-blitzes of Bharata Udaya, the workers and peasants forming the majority of India rejected the BJP. But everybody also knows that our people had not voted Dr. Man Mohan Singh to replace Vajpayee as Prime Minister.

The forces that were keen in frustrating peoples’ mandate managed to make such scenarios that Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, the mass choice of India for the top post, had no other way than gifting away the position to Dr. Singh.

The Communists, who had not hesitated to question the timing of ‘Quit India call’ in 1942 as to them that call at that time was detrimental to the concentrated efforts against fascism, were not hesitant to extend their support to Dr. Singh if thereby the neo-fascists under the saffron colour could be kept away from further polluting the motherland. But this finer thread of leftwing politics has failed to help the people as was expected. Singh has taken full advantage of communists’ obsessions against BJP and the pro-imperialism economic system that he has clamped on the country has been allowed to run relentless. Result is what the Congress President has partially comprehended after the poll debacle.

Congress cannot change the track unless it gets rid of Man Mohan Singh. And unless it changes the track, people will change its government.

The Congress may take note of it.

Panchayat Polls: BJD Almost Rejected, but Congress Couldn’t Win

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

It needs no elaboration to understand that political parties, by their official involvement, have vitiated the panchayat polls with partisan chauvinism and thereby have ruined the very purpose of panchayatiraj that aims at consolidating apolitical unity and collective activities amongst the rural people.

I have earlier discussed how the incumbent Chief Minister of Orissa Mr. Navin Patnaik took the lead in destroying the mission of decentralization of democracy. The people in Orissa, therefore, have thrashed him to a defeat in 508 out of 854 Zilla Parisad constituencies, the BJD, the party of his family sycophants, having managed to acquire certificates of success in only 345 seats, one seat yet undeclared.

His partner in power, the BJP, was so much hit by his partisan preferences that it preferred not to keep the alliance in tact in the panchayat polls. But in spite of this, the people refused to put on it their faith. It managed to win in only 129 seats far below 50 per cent of 303 seats that the Congress won.

So it was clear that the environment was congenial for the Congress. It could not take the advantage. It could have gained in a number of more ZP constituencies had the officials been allowed to act impartially. But it could have gained most of the ZP seats, notwithstanding misuse of officials by the BJD and BJP under their respective ministers, had it been able to fetch the youth support of the State.

It is a matter of grueling agony for the Congress cadres and supporters in Orissa that the party could not transform popular support to votes. But one who keenly observes the party is not at all surprised. The youth wing of the Congress is not that active even as the student wing is not operative in absence of its President for last six months. It is sad on part of the premier political party of the Country to have failed to have a President for its student wing.

In Oriya we say �Bapa pua rati anidra, mugura pachha mela!� which means, if the wickerwork cage to catch the fishes is not bound at the tail, the father and the son, howsoever keenly they may keep guard, cannot catch any fish at the end of the night.

The Congress ought to learn from this. It alone is the Party that can save Orissa from Naveen misrule. Hence it must make itself prepared for the calling responsibility. During my youth, students of Orissa that were not with the Communists and the Socialists were proudly with the Congress. If now they are not active in Congress, fault lies not with them but with the leadership of Congress. So Congress must visualize the role it is to play to save Orissa from the current anarchy and must not make any delay in making its student wing active by ensuring that an experienced student leader heads it.