MARTYRS DAY OBSERVED

Orissa observed Martyrs Day in a state level function in the premises of the Legislative Assembly with Governor Muralidhar Chandrakant Bhandare and Chief Minister Navin Patnaik recalling Gandhijis supreme sacrifice in the cause of freedom.

Organized by the Information & Public Relations department, the function was also addressed by the departmental minister and witnessed by members of Orissas Council of Ministers, MPs, MLAs, available freedom fighters and eminent invitees.

WHAT HAVE WE BECOME IN NAVINRAJ AND WHAT WE OUGHT TO DO

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

It has always been a matter of happiness for me to watch in younger generation the eagerness for development of Mother Orissa, though some misguided ones amongst the youngsters are yet unable to accept that the present government run by Navin Patnaik is the most disgusting obstacle to development of the State post-independence.

In Navins misrule natives of Orissa are most disadvantaged whereas non-Oriyas have most benefited. Younger generation Oriyas, in rising numbers, are getting marked for their eagerness to change the scenario.

But in eagerness sometimes one becomes too rash to retain power of reasoning and squanders away valuable energy in non-issues. Therefore, addressing to peripheral issues should be discarded and fixation of priority on the clamant issue should be encouraged.

The clamant issue concerning Orissa is restoration of faith in the massive majority of our people in the Motherland.

Let us cast aside braggadocios and admit the reality that Navins misrule has dragged us to.

The reality is Oriya cultivators are distress-selling their paddies, Oriya girls are distress-selling their bodies, Oriya females are distress-selling their babies, Oriya males as bonded workers in far away provinces are distress-selling their capabilities, Oriya students are distress-leaving their studies, Oriya intellectuals are distress-selling their qualities even as in rural households, overwhelmed by lack of income avenues, people are thriving on mortgaging or distress-selling their ancestral properties.

How much percent of which segment are such degraded is not relevant; relevant is the fact that these are parts of the menace that has engulfed more then 99% of Oriya families as a whole.

Use of debit as well as credit cards in purchasing consumer items, notwithstanding presence of banks in every remote corner of the state, according to a survey covering last financial year in respect to Orissa is only 0.13%. Out of the credit card users, 95% are defaulters and the real income of credit card companies come from penal interest paid by the defaulters. I had interviewed a bunch of Credit Card recovery supervisors of various Banks stationed at Bhubaneswar in August last year. The above calculation is based on their versions as per recovery records with them.

Bank Cards, specifically the Credit Cards are suggestive of their users belonging to higher income groups. If the size of this group is so abysmally small and the volume of defaults so alarmingly high, there should be no exaggeration in saying that less then 0.13 % of our people are at best capable of addressing to their consumer needs, even though their credit cards often collapse due to default in repayment.

This had led me to take a survey of consumer patterns in stationary-cum-ration shops of Bhubaneswar. I had limited my survey to shops under Unit-1, Unit-6 and Unit-4 areas. I was astonished to see that all of the shops had long lists of monthly consumers. The term monthly consumer means, a person takes goods on credit through out the month and pays the accumulated price at the end of the month, mostly after getting his /her salary.

The people who make ready cash payments are hardly one in a thousand and they are mostly non-Oriyas.

I checked up with Sub-Registrar of Bhubaneswar and found, that 97% of the people who have purchased independent or apartment houses within last two years are non-Oriyas and the people who have sold away their lands and / or buildings are all Oriyas by birth.

This being the condition of Oriyas in Bhubaneswar, condition of our people in remote areas can be well guessed.

A search in these pages will reveal how the welfare funds have been looted during this regime. Administration has become ugly in every respect.

And, in such conditions, faith in the Motherland is naturally declining. It is therefore urgent to resurrect the faith of the people in the Motherland by making the Motherland relevant.

If we are to do this, we are to compel the government to see which action can resurrect the relevance of the State.

In that direction, three steps would be necessary. One, stoppage of land and mining allocation to non-Oriyas; two, provision or redistribution of land to every landless and marginally landed Oriya family with a ceiling at 5 acres and three, provision of irrigation to every inch of land. Within a decade our people shall have enough funds at their disposal to spread into any industrial activity on the strength of our own State.

Unless this is done, the days of future would be more turbulent and more violent.

Frustration of the commons cannot be capped. Mayhem would be a must.

And in the penultimate phase, electoral politics shall not stand with the capitalists, because howsoever unscrupulous be a politician, his or her survival in power shall depend on the majority and the majority shall always be the neglected / ill-treated commons.

Industry cannot save Orissa; only agriculture can. Priority cannot be put on two things at a time. Hence, let us forget everything except agriculture at the moment and let us employ all our force against all other activities than agriculture. Instead of draining out rivers to industries, let our priority be fixed on irrigation to every inch of land.

This must be the minimum target. After this is done, we can pay attention to development in other fronts.

Let the fellows who enjoy being sycophants of Navin and who believe that such sycophancy helps them having their sway on the Chief Minister by using which they can do some good to Orissa (a tact that they call positive approach to administration) pay their specific attention to this and test if they can succeed in prevailing upon him to correct the wrongs he has so far done to Orissa.

Naryanamurthy receives highest civilian title of France: makes a farce of Indian Constitution

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In accepting the highest civilian honour of France, The Officer of the Legion of Honour, chief mentor of Infosys, N R Naryanamurthy, whose contribution to Indias excellence in IT world is unreservedly recognized by the motherland, has made a farce of Indian constitution by contravening it on the Republic Day.

The Legion of Honour is the highest civilian title of France that was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 by way of asserting his nationalistic superiority. Some other countries of aggressive background have also established orders or titles of their own in their own imagined honour and in order to make propaganda of their self-proclaimed superiority. Aware of this design of imperialistic countries, the Constitution of India has put a blatant ban on entering into this trap by any of the Indians. Article 18(2) of the Constitution of India has clearly promulgated this ban by saying, No citizen of India shall accept any title from any foreign State.
It is therefore a shame that Narayanamurthy has failed to honour Indian Constitution in his eagerness to honour the symbol of France superiority.

He should have refused the France offer of the Officer of the Legion of Honour with appropriate words in apprising them of our constitutional position; but he has perhaps no inclination for that.

When the Prime Minister has rendered the Preamble of our Constitution inconsequential by ushering in imperialism, when the central cabinet has made a farce of our Constitution by showing, as in the nuke deal matter, that instead of remaining answerable to the Parliament it can take it for granted and treat it as nothing but an approver of its actions, when the Supreme Court makes a farce of our constitution by making people feel that the government is not subordinate to the Parliament, what to speak of Narayanamurthy contravening Article 18(2) of the Constitution on our Republic Day!

Mother India, save yourself, if you can. We are more apt in betraying you than protecting your honour.

HOW CORRECT WAS NETAJI !

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

India is now a plutocracy.

Our democracy is discarded under the carpet of the rich; it is now run by the agents of the rich, for the benefit of the rich.

Democracy is a system that belongs to the people, run by the people for the benefit of the people. When people have no role except accepting whatever decision is clamped on them from above, how can democracy survive?

All the political parties in India are controlled and run by coteries, not by collective wisdom of their cadres.

When in Congress a single person Sonia rules the roost, BJP is remote-controlled by the RSS.

Except the left parties, all the rest of the political parties are in fact personal outfits of aggressively ambitious and often unscrupulous autocrats.

And the left parties, in the guise of democratic centralism, have become so much Secretary-centric that initiative of individual members as well as base level branches no more attracts attention.

When the scenario in party level is so bleak, the Parliament has also been dragged down from the position of the rampart of sovereignty to a position of acquiescence to Government actions. Prime Minister Man Mohan Singhs treat of Parliament as a mere approver of his action, howsoever anti-nation be it, as in the case of nuke deal, is a pointer.


When our democracy has thus crumbled, our mind goes to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, whose words ignored, this deterioration has occurred.

On October 23, 1938, in National Front, Vol.1, No.36, he had said, If the individual members (he had said of Congress which meant the peoples political organization) lack initiative, the committees which they will form will also lack dynamism. In that event, democracy may prove to be a failure.

Emphasizing on dynamism of organizational committees of political parties in the base level for success of democracy, he said, If the initiative has to come from the top and not from the bottom, democracy may be well nigh reduced to totalitarianism.

How correct was he!

If you want your democracy back on track, hear him even now.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE: HER UNDISCUSSED CONTRIBUTION TO INDIA’S FREEDOM

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s hint to Knighthood for Sachin Tendulkar got a ready test of Indian taste in a debate on CNN-IBN show: Face the Nation, where desirability of English language in India also influenced the discussion.

A panel comprising historian Ramachandra Guha, former BBC correspondent Sam Miller and senior journalist Swapan Dasgupta enriched the debate on whether or not the knighthood to Sachin could be interpreted in the light of imperial / colonial hangover.

But the debate eventually went beyond the knighthood issue and embarked upon English elitism.

The show promoter’s website, IBNLive.com, reported on Jan.22, 2008 that the question on importance of English language became so hot that Guha had to admit that elite Indian’s anglicized manners and over-dependance on English as principal medium of expression rather expose its inferiority complex, though, he said, “we should recognize that no relationship between a former empire and a former colony has been as harmonious as ours with Britain”. Miller preferred to observe, “The issue probably is not about colonial hangover anymore, but it is much more about a wider Western hangover, if you want to call it that”, even as Dasgupta, concluding the discussion, had to comment that the “importance of English may have begun something as colonial but today the language is linked to economic advancement and opportunity. And that is something, which is very practical”.

This prompts us to observe that the panel has totally failed to focus on the real importance of English in Indian life.

We, in The NEWS Syndicate, had cogitated deeply as to whether publication of orissamatters.com in English would not adversely affect our commitment to everything Oriya; and, deliberately had decided that Oriya nationalism would not be affected by expression in English as thereby we would be duly acknowledging the invaluable contribution of English language to our freedom from English yoke.

Expression in English is neither indicative of our colonial hangover nor inferiority complex. It refurbishes our recollection that we had used this language to convince the majority of English speaking people as on why the English must leave our land.

If the British crown had to quit India notwithstanding knowing that thereby the Sun of its Empire would set forever, it was because of three principal factors: (one) methods of non-cooperation and non-violence as used by Gandhiji as weapons of his movement for freedom, (two) more and more of Indian commons and intelligentsia accepting Marxism as their creed and rise of matching communist militancy addressed to supplement Gandhiji’s movement in progressive prospective and (three) use of English language against the English Empire.

But had we not used English language as our medium to apprise the commons and lords of the English land of our determination for self-rule, despite the active role of the first two factors, British Parliament would not have decided to quit India so soon. Had that not happened, the freedom movement would have been further prolonged. We would not have unfurled our free Flag in 1947. And, what could have happened after Gandhiji, had the British not quit in 1947 cannot be said for certain at this point of time. So, to say the least we owe our freedom from the British yoke to a large extent to English language.

This is why I had decided to admit my son to an English medium School. This is why The NEWS Syndicate, in deciding to float Orissa’s first online portal, had decided to make English the medium of expression in orissamatters.com.

So, English to us is not a foreign language; but is a friend. The British PM’s offer of Knighthood to Tendulkar may be refused by him or rebuked by Indians in the light of perception over imperial / colonial hangover. But, role of English language in India’s life should be kept above all questions.

NAVIN SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO FURTHER RUIN ORISSA

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

After Sachi Satpathy in ORISSA POLITICS exposed the massive corruption in execution of the Orissa Health Systems Development Project (OHSDP), as ascertained through Detailed Implementation Review (DIR) by the World Bank, the investor in this project, Secretary of Health, Government of Orissa, has admitted that a Minister of Navin Patnaik cabinet has been spotted to have demanded and taken bribe.

The exposure, almost confirming earlier audit objections, has concussed the discredited administration so much that bizarre shenanigans have been hitting the headlines. Shying at CBI enquiry, the Chief Minister constituted a three members high level investigation team with the Chief Secretary as its head to find out if corruption as claimed has really occurred. But he is such a CM that the team of Officers refused to proceed with the investigation! How could the Chief Secretary and his team dare to disobey the order of the CM is a conundrum. Only in two circumstances it could have happened. One, the three officers are so corrupt that they have no moral guts to expose the corruption practiced in the instant case; so they have declined. Two, the Chief Minister, off the records, has wanted them to decline so that he can proceed with a cover up exercise. It is intriguing that he has asked the vigilance wing of State Police that he controls as the portfolio holding Minister to conduct the enquiry.

At the same time, attempts have been initiated to divert public attention from corruption of Orissa functionaries to corruption of World Bank officials by marshalling posers as to why the Bank did not intervene in execution of the project when defects were first located!

Who of the borrower and the Banker could really be responsible for defects in execution of a project?

Orissa has borrowed money from the World Bank to improve her health services. If her projects are looted by her functionaries, who to blame? Her own Government or the World Bank?

It is wrong to assume that the Bank should have intervened in execution of the projects of Orissa.

It is Orissa Chief Ministers basic responsibility to see that the borrowed money is appropriately utilized in the projects for which the loan has been obtained. If the borrowed money is swindled, it is he, who must be held responsible under the Rules of Business.

It is he (Mr. Navin Patnaik) who terminated the tenure of Dr. Kamala Das in the Health portfolio during the period in question; but he has not disclosed why did he do that. It is he (Mr. Navin Patnaik) who terminated the tenure of Minister of State, Health, Debi Prasad Mishra; but he has not disclosed as to why did he do that. It is he (Mr. Navin Patnaik) who wiped out the post of Minister of State, Health while jettisoning Mishra and appointing Prafulla Chandra Gadei on 6 August 2002 as the Cabinet Minister of Health & Family Welfare in sole charge of the department. After reassuming charge of office, it is he (Mr. Navin Patnaik) who preferred not to see Gadei as Health Minister again; but he has not disclosed the cause of change of his preference. He again kept the post of Minister of State, Health obliterated and appointed Bijayashree Rautray as the Cabinet Minister, vesting in him the entire portfolio. But after around two years, all on a sudden he terminated his tenure without disclosing as to why he had to drop him. So during the period covered by World Banks DIR, Navin Patnaik had to terminate all the persons who, at different times, were appointed as Cabinet Ministers or Ministers of State with Health portfolio keeping the reason thereof a total secret.

It is curious to note that in no other portfolio Navin has terminated so many incumbents during the relevant period.

The victims know the reason; but hankering after party tickets as they are and lest they fail to come clear of their respective share of the mud, they will not dare to disclose the reason from their side.

It is therefore Navin Patnaiks responsibility to disclose the reason of why he had to terminate the tenures of so many Health Ministers and assist the general public in assessing who is how much responsible for sabotaging the OHSDP and pushing them further deep into the labyrinth of debt.

It looks ridiculous to castigate the World Bank on the ground that in spite of knowing through DIR that there was ongoing corruption in execution of the OHSDP, it did not intervene. It cannot be countenanced that World Bank uses DIR as an instrument to intervene in any execution of work undertaken by a State. The Bank is free to educate its own self on correctness of its reliance on a borrower so that it can avoid mistakes in financing in future; but it cannot be allowed to use its review results to intervene in execution of a project notwithstanding the same being dependant on its finance.

So instead of helping the wrongdoing government of Orissa to shift its responsibility to World Bank in the instant case, it would be proper to assess the role of Navin Patnaik in the ongoing misrule in Orissa, a small fraction of which has been exposed by Sriman Sachi Satpathy in matter of OHSDP.

However there is no dearth of people in the elite segment of Orissa to come to the rescue of this corrupt government as corruption creates for them a congenial climate. But, for people who love Orissa, there is no wrong in demanding resignation of Navin Patnaik.

The way he has terminated so many Health Ministers tenure during the concerned period by willful or mindless misuse of prerogative while nonchalantly sitting over his citadel under which the World Bank loan was being continuously looted is enough to suspect his involvement with the unveiled malfeasances. One, who has played havoc with the health of the people, should not continue as the Chief Minister.

He cannot be supported under the plea that he has ordered for enquiry into the matter. He has not made a reference for enquiry into his own role in this catastrophic corruption that has ruined OHSDP. He has not thought it prudent to follow the precedence R.N.Singhdeo, as Chief Minister, had established by subjecting himself to Judicial Enquiry that Justice Mudholkar had conducted on corruption. His action, in the instant case, is indicative of tactics to escape. It cannot be countenanced.

As the Chief Minister, in preferring an enquiry by a team of IAS Officers, whose tenure as Chief Executives in different departments are not without adverse audit remarks, and later, tailoring or tolerating their refusal to proceed with enquiry and silently transferring the burden to the vigilance wing of Orissa Police that he ministers, he has confirmed that he is running a government that has failed to know what has happened so far to a huge loan from the World Bank invested in the most urgent and clamant sector of Health.

If anything, it is a clear admission of non-governance and administrative anarchy that he has subjected our people to.

To help him continue as Chief Minister would be making a farce of democracy.

People like the elite persons who are his e-supporters having no connection with or concern for the commons may say that he cannot be held responsible for corruption practiced by individual ministers or bureaucrats or technocrats in the State. Therefore, let me site an instance that would show how reluctant he is to say no to practice of corruption in the department he personally handles notwithstanding this practice having been playing havoc with human health and life.

After an alarming numbers of Police personnel deployed to guard the Assembly in session died of Malaria due to mosquito bite, the Orissa Legislative Assembly made stipulations in the Municipal Corporation Act, 2003 putting a blatant ban on cow keeping within and around the limits of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation.

There were by that time around 900 Milkmen who were running dairies in different parts of Bhubaneswar by establishing cowsheds on encroached prime plots. They rushed to Orissa High Court through their organization styled as Milk Producers Association, Orissa seeking nullification of the ban on cow keeping. The High Court rejected their plea. They went to the Supreme Court of India in Civil Appeal No. 940 of 2006. The Supreme Court upheld the High Court decision in its judgment delivered on February 2, 2006 and directed that the Orissa Government must evict the milkmen from the city and must not rehabilitate them anywhere within and around the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation area as cowsheds are the most menacing pollutants and threat to human health and life over and above being precipitators of the derailment of town planning.

The department of General Administration under direct control of Chief Minister Navin Patnaik played the villain and protected the milkmen in their lucrative business on prime plots encroached upon by them by willfully soughing over the victory that had come to it in the Supreme Court.

A brilliant scribe Bibhuti Mishra adjacent to whose residence a milkman has a big cowshed succumbed to continuous pollution followed by his equally brilliant wife Rubi, who succumbed to a metabolic disease that she had developed also due to pollution. By way of obituary we kept it on records that the governments protection to illegal cowsheds has not only prematurely extinguished a couple that was famous for creativity and cultural activities but also has spread bronchial and metabolic disorders in the locality.

As Chief Minister Navin Patnaik pressed the State Exchequer to gain silence of various newspapers by patronizing them with profuse advertisements calling upon the public to cooperate with his government in malaria eradication, we thought it prudent to remind him of the necessity of eliminating the mosquito breeding centers spread all over the City by milkmen running illegal cowsheds by encroaching upon government plots. We thought it prudent to confront the functionaries in this article with hearsay information that about 20 lakhs of Rupees are being collected by officials as bribe every monthfrom around 2000 milkmen in return of protection given to them. We nurtured a hope against hope that the government would rise to the occasion, stop corruption, understand its own victory in the Supreme Court, honor its own Law (Act 11 of 2003), evict the milkmen and save the people from the menace of cowsheds. But that was never to be!

A highly respected son of Orissa, Sandip Dasverma, wrote personally to Navinbabu from USA annexing this article to his mail to him and urging upon him to honor the Law (Act 11 of 2003) enacted by his own government, fully endorsed as it has been by the Apex Judiciary and to save the people by evicting the milkmen.

But the only thing the government has done so far is raping its own Law i.e. Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, 2003 (Act 11 of 2003) as well as the Case Law created in its favor by the Supreme Court as reported at (2006) 3 Supreme Court Cases 229.

If the hearsay information we had published could have no base, the government would never have acted the way it has acted till date.

Eviction of marginal traders is going on in Bhubaneswar. Eviction of slum dwellers is also going on. But milkmen, on whose accommodation in and around the City of Bhubaneswar the Orissa Act 11 of 2003 as well as the Supreme Court verdict of February 2, 2006 has put a blatant ban, are never subjected to eviction.

Why? This very question prompts one to feel that the hearsay information of bribe is perhaps correct.

If it is correct, then it is a bribe of at least 20 lakhs of Rupees per month collected from about 2000 milkmen at the cost of hygiene and health of the inhabitants of Bhubaneswar and mutually shared amongst themselves by the very functionaries who have been sloughing over the Laws in this case.

This is happening in the department of General Administration of which the Chief Minister himself is the Minister.

Is he not morally bound to explain as to why he has allowed the Laws to be killed under his nose, if he personally is not involved in corruption?

If he cant, why should one believe that he is not personally involved in other instances of loot of funds that is going on in Orissa under his regime?

And, then, will it be improper to say that he should not be allowed to further ruin our State?

Orissa Chief Minister’s Indifference Fueled Religious Communal Riots, alleges OTN Chief

Chief of orissatoday.net, Sri Manoj Padhi has claimed that the Kandhamal communal riots could have been avoided had the Chief Minister of Orissa heed to progressive advice.

In a Press note issued from Plano,TX,United States of America, he has informed that in January 2006 he had attracted attention of the Chief Minister and law minister of Orissa to a board in the famous temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri wherein depicted is a notice that says, “Only Orthodox Hindu’s are allowed”. He had demanded that this notice board be immediately removed as it is discriminatory in tenor.

The Chief Minister had directed the State Law Department to collect opinion from the Sri Jagannath Temple Managing Committee on the issue. Accordingly the Law Department ad taken up the matter with the Temple Managing Committee, headed by Gajapati Dibyasingh Deb. The Law Department and the Temple Management Committee agreed to a countrywide opinion poll to decide on the proposal. A sub-committee had been formed to frame a suitable questionnaire, which was to be circulated among intellectuals, sadhus, mutt chiefs, senior sevayats and researchers all over the country. It was decided that their opinions, when received, will be discussed by the sub-committee before being passed on to the Temple Managing Committee for its final opinion, Padhi informs.

In December 2006, there was a month long controversy over entry of untouchables in to Keradagarh Jagannath temple leading to around 1000 lower caste Hindu’s embracing Buddhism in protest against caste discrimination. But the CM as well as Minister, Law did not act diligently to do away with the caste discrimination notice board from the polestar temple at Puri as a result of which rival religion preachers have found congenial climate to convert low caste Hindus into their casteless outfits, Padhi has claimed.

Mr. Padhi, frustrated by the attitude of the state Government, has initiated a public awareness poll at his blog portal http://www.HindToday.com. He is hopeful that, probably the Government will open its eye, after the recent communal riots in Kandhamal district. He appeals to all concerned citizens to support and endorse this initiative to put a permanent halt to the caste-discrimination, which is not sanctioned by Hindu religion, but a man made tradition. As per Hindu epic Ramayana, Lord Ram, one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu, had accepted food from a tribal lady. Apparently, this discrimination is man made and hence must be stopped by Government, he has reminded the CM of Orissa.