ORISSA UNDER THE CLIMATE OF CRIME

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa is under the climate of crime.

Chief Minister Navin Patnaik has dragged this splendid and traditionally peaceful land into the hot lap of capitalism and all the crimes that capitalism generates and instigates have now engulfed the State.

Administration has gone such astray that the people of Orissa are being compelled to pay for officers who under official orders are exempted from rendering any service!

This was earlier done in cases of noted miscreants Ramesh Behera and Santosh Mishra of Indian Administrative Service as well as Sisir Acharya and Amaresh Jaiswal of Indian Forest Service. Now it is Priyabrata Pattnaik of IAS.

But the Chief Minister protecting Priyabrata from Law is not new.

In 2000, his conduct in context of a youth congregation styled Dreamfest at the Bhubaneswar Club was so sexually offensive and crude that the Government had been compelled to appoint a single judge judicial enquiry headed by District Judge Mahendra Patnaik. His report was submitted to Chief Minister Navin Patnaik. It has been suppressed and no action has been taken as yet.

His conduct in respect of the most valuable Kandadhara mines needed special investigation when people of Orissa were sharpening their protest against POSCO.

The foreign firm was so eager to grab Khandadhar mines and was so apprehensive of not getting it in view of public protests that it was suspected to have tried to succeed in its design using the Bhubaneswar club headed by Priyabrata as a mask. The secret deal could have been unveiled had the modus operandi of Bhubaneswar Club applying for Khandahara on lease been investigated into and Priyabrata’s clandestine connection, if any, with POSCO in violation of the Code of Conduct of Government Servants could have come to light. This could not happen as the Chief Minister’s chair was occupied by Navin Patnaik.

Going into the history of such misdemeanor is not relevant at the moment. What is relevant is the conduct of Chief Minister in protecting him despite he having admitted that Priyabrata’s conduct was not becoming of an officer.

The order he has passed for posting of Priyabrata as Officer without portfolio confirms that the Government has lost confidence in the officer. To the Government he is not trustworthy.

But by posting him as Officer without portfolio, Navin has ensured that he shall continue enjoying his rank and receiving his salary sans any work and the peoples shall go on bearing compulsorily the burden of his high pay package without obtaining any service from him.

This is sufficient evidence of how the Chief Minister has supported a man whose nexus with the underworld has hit the police hard emanating directly from the lips of a contract killer who by profession is a hit man, in course of interrogation in the matter of cold-blooded murder of Judo coach Biranchi Das.

Murder of Biranchi yet unsolved and suspected assassins yet at large; it does not look correct to deal with that subject.

In our view, police should be kept off pressure so that investigation would proceed systematically. Media activism should be least encouraged in crime investigation. The media in Orissa has no criminologist on employment and no media organization has ever imparted in-service training in criminology to any journalist reporting crime. So, as we have watched, Orissa media having no education or expertise in criminology, has overwhelmed the process of investigation with uncalled for suggestions, unqualified suspicions and immature innuendoes and like mud water suits the crab, the confusion created by media has suited the assassinator of the Judo coach so far.

Therefore without any prejudice to how the prosecutors are proceeding in the instant case, we shall limit our focus on the climate of crime the CM has allowed to engulf Orissa in Priyabrata context.

This blue-eyed boy of POSCO-Navin nexus, after Acharya’s close colleague Chagala alleged that the hit men including himself were engaged by Priyabrata, had wanted to keep on records in a press conference that he neither had known nor had ever seen gangster Raja Acharya, the suspected killer of Biranchi. But in course of a mild interrogation he confessed before the police that he had met Raja a couple of days before Biranchi was murdered.

Whether or not he had hired the hit men is a matter for the State to reveal. But the people do not wait for the State to see how the needle of suspicion is sharply rushing towards him.

By posting him as an officer without portfolio, Navin Patnaik has ensured that he can freely and in opportune moments contact any functionary anywhere in the citadel of power.

In the climate of crime that Navin Patnaik has ushered into Orissa, what better method could have been invented to help an untrustworthy officer escape Law?

AJIT ADDS STRENGTH TO DISCOVERY OF TRUTH ON BUDDHA’S BIRTHPLACE

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

With this site exposing how Buddhists all over the world have failed to honor canonical instruction for paying homage to Gurudev Buddha in the place of his birth at least once in life, as they are misled by a historical mischief placing his birthplace in Nepal, there was a short-lived but acrimonious shrill of protest in a section of global media following which a new wave of academic activities has commenced flowing with incisive interest to find out if Orissa’s claim is correct.

We are sure, the truth must prevail and the future world shall surely accept Kapilavastu of Tosala, converted to present day Kapileswar near Bhubaneswar, as the real birthplace of Buddha; because that is his birthplace.

Intellectuals who are seriously pursuing this issue are active in different parts of the glove. One of these truth seekers is Sri Ajit Kumar Tripathy, an IAS officer, currently the Chief Secretary of Orissa. He has published two booklets on Buddha’s birthplace abridging the research work of late Pandit Chakradhar Mohapatra, who was the first to revive the status of Kapileswar as the birthplace Kapilavastu of Buddha.

Produced with clarity and in eloquent English, the two booklets, while acknowledging the contributions of Mohapatra, inasmuch as the author telling us that he “does not claim any original research on the subject of birthplace of Gautam Buddha but he has arranged the materials systematically often using the same language in the book of Sri Chakradhar Mohapatra” (preface to Goutam Buddha and Kalinga), it is clear from the steps Tripathy has taken that he has gone through the findings of Mohapatra quite seriously and juxtaposing them with materials and observations of eminent scholars beyond Mohapatra, has been convinced that yesterday’s Kapilavastu is today’s Kapileswar and therefore, by systematically abridging the arguments Mohapatra in his two booklets has advanced, he has added authenticity to his finding.

Students of history all over the world would be glad to note that Tripathy’s step is a positive step towards making history arrive at the truth in the matter of Orissa being Buddha’s birthplace.

As initiator of global debate in this matter we offer our thanks to Mr. Tripathy.

MAHODADHI MUST REPLACE BAY OF BENGAL IN ORISSA REGION

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Describing how Orissa had attacked and subdued the Muslim Bengal, Dr. K. R. Quanungo writes in ‘The History of Bengal, Muslim Period’ at pp.48-52, that, Tughral Tughan Khan was no doubt out-generalled by the king of Orissa who had drawn the enemy far away from their frontier and must have concealed more than one surprising party along the whole route of the enemy’s advance. A greater disaster had not till then befallen the muslims in any part of Hindustan. The Muslims, says Minhaj [the historian Minhaj-i-Siraj who had also joined the war that was, to him, a ‘holy war’], sustained the overthrow, and a great number of those holy warriors attained martyrdom.

Relying on Havel, who noted in ‘Indian Sclupture and Painting’ that the war horses and elephants sculptured at Konarka depict the “pride of victory and glory of triumphant warfare”, Dr. K. C. Panigrahi writes in ‘History of Orissa’ at pp.413-414 that King of Orissa, Langula Narasimha “began his campaigns against Muslim Bengal in 1243 A.D. His victory over the Muslims of Bengal and his acquisition of the southern districts of Western Bengal must have enormously raised his prestige in the eyes of the contemporary Hindu Rulers, and augmented his resources, which in all likelihood enabled him to undertake the construction of a stupendous structure like the temple of Konark, designed to exhibit his power, prestige, opulence, devotion and perhaps to commemorate his victory also”.

But despite this truth recorded by history, Bankim Chandra of Bengal had overreached over a Bengali claim over Konarka through throwing an article in a school textbook in Bengali that Narasingh Dev belonged to Bengal and the Sun temple was an epitome of Bengali architecture!

Bankim Chandra’s trick was just an instance of how taking advantage of the British rule in Bengal when Orissa had kept them at bay and was the last land to have been annexed by the British but the first land to have raised a revolution against them in the entire country of India, the Bengalis had tried to misappropriate every gem of Oriya culture to create for themselves a fabricated cultural heritage. Their false claims over Sri Jaya Dev, creator of Radha and author of Sahajiya love lyrics squeezed into the Geet Govind as well as on Chaurashi Siddhacharyas, authors of Charyagitis (Bauddha Gan o Doha) have been exposed in these pages, wherein their mens rea behind this cultural dishonesty has been discussed.

It has also been discussed in these pages that the sculptures of Konark, the love lyrics of Sri Jaya Dev and the Charyagitis of Chaurashi Siddhacharyas are intricately linked to and influenced by Orissa’s now extinct Mahodadhi Civilization.

The sea in Orissa region was famous as the Mahodadhi. But the Bengalis, under circumstances hinted to above, as in the aforesaid three instances, have succeeded in changing the name of Mahodadhi to Bay of Bengal.

This wrong done to history needs correction.

The Mahodadhi civilization of Orissa was so developed that in whole of India, it was only Orissa the people of which were the pioneers amongst Indians to establish their colonies and dominions in far away lands beyond Indian limits where geographical names akin to names of Orissa give ample evidences in this regard.

Dr. Nihar Ranjan Roy informs us in ‘Brahminical Gods in Burma’,

“The ancient name attributed to old Prome is Srikshetra, so often mentioned in the Mon records as Sikset or Srikset, and by the Chinese pilgrims as Si-li-cho-ta-lo; and Srikshetra is the holy land of Puri on the ancient Kalinga coast”.

“Likewise” he also informs, “the earliest colonization of the Malaya Peninsula and Java had probably been made from Kalinga, for the Hindus of the Peninsula and the islands were and are still known as Kling.”

“The two examples from Tholan, now housed in the Rangoon Museum”, he says, “are decidedly Indian in form and composition as also in execution, done no doubt locally by Indian artists or by artists trained under Indian masters. They seem to have very intimate artistic affinities with the most recent finds of Brahminical and Mahayanist divinities from Orissa by Rai Bahadur Ram Prasad Chanda, B.A., now housed in the Indian Museum.”

Melaka, one of the thirteen States of Malaysia, was founded 2 degrees north of the equator by the shore of the Straits between Singapore to its south and Kuala Lumpur to its north by an Oriya prince, probably Hamvira (known there as Hang Tuah), which as far back as the early 15th century, had become a metropolis with traders and merchants of very many nations from east and west having there their business negotiation centers. It was developed by its founder for this purpose and also as a common shelter for seafaring traders and the response was so worm that as many as 84 different languages were being spoken there at the height of its glory. Melaka is a typical Oriya word (as in MELAKA PADICHHI RAJA YOTAKA) and the place where the prince of Orissa, its founder, breathed his last and took his final rest is famous as Tanjung Keling. When people of the place mean Kalinga (Orissa) by Keling, Tanjung means to people of Orissa even today the moving throne of the king and it stands for the chair on which seated the Gajapati Maharaja of Puri visits the temple or chariots of Sri Jagannatha.

A letter received recently from Sri Ramroop Jugurnauth of Mauritius is very significant. He writes, “My ancestors came to Mauritius more than 150 years ago. I made searches for my roots and I came to know that my ancestor came from Orissa. I also have in my possession some handwritten documents in an ancient Indian language. An Indian friend of mine forwarded it to the BHU (Language Dept). There they confirmed it to be an ancient Oriya. I therefore consider myself a cut-off branch from Oriya culture”. He further writes, “My family name Jugurnauth is infact Jagganath and it itself suggests my Oriya origin”. The pictures below are pages of handwritten Oriya manuscripts preserved by his family for 150 years in Mauritius.

Be it Mauritius or Melaka, be it Singapore or Ceylon, it is Oriyas of India that had established their colonies and commercial empires because they alone had the best of ships and shipping activities.

Even the British have admitted it. Writing to W.B.Bayley, Secretary to Government in the Judicial Department, in his Report dated 3 May 1817, E. Watson, 4th Judge, Calcutta Court of Circuit has unambiguously told of the ships of Orissa that they “were by far the best that I ever saw in any part of India”.

Nowhere any of the British authorities has recognized so eloquently any marine activity of Bengal even though they had there their seat of power.

So, it was wrong on part of the British to have named the sea that was under shipping activities principally of the people of Orissa as Bay of Bengal.

This offense the British colonialists and their Bengali collaborators have committed against the people of Orissa by obliterating the ancient name of Mahodadhi and by replacing it with Bay of Bengal shall have to be changed in respect of Orissa region.

This should be the program of Oriyas on the occasion of celebration of the birthday of Madhubabu (Kulabruddha Madhusudan Das) today.

IT PORTENDS JUDICIAL ANARCHY

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The lawyers of Berhampur have been brutally beaten up by Police as they were mounting collective pressure for establishment of a branch of Orissa High Court in that part of the State.

The lawyers of Sambalpur have already kept their demands for a branch of the High Court in their region on records.

Bhubaneswar has already witnessed a lawyers’ stir in demanding a High Court seat.

Similar demands from remote parts of Orissa have started rumbling.

But, the police assault on Berhampur lawyers has not only made lawyers of different parts of Orissa emotionally embarrassed, but also has tormented the litigant public to apprehend that it perhaps portends a judicial anarchy.

We are made to believe that stir of lawyers for a seat of High Court in their respective regions has earned stern disapproval of the High Court. But that cannot be a cause for subjecting lawyers to such a nasty treat.

If the lawyers have been building up collective pressure for a seat of the High Court in their respective regions, it is not in their personal interest, but in interest of the litigant public.

The litigant publics of Orissa are severely hit by inordinate delay in justice. Justification of delay in disposal of cases under the plea of insufficiency in numbers of judges in the High Court is itself a mockery of justice. A High Court is the highest court of justice in a state and is the controlling authority of dispensation of justice in the area under its jurisdiction. A High Court is competent to make laws as would be required in interest of justice. A High Court is competent also to issue a judicial direction to a government to carry out the judicial law it so frames. If existing judges are inadequate in Orissa High Court to dispose off cases without delay, it should formulate necessary methods to avoid delay in justice and if more judges are required it should determine the required number and make the government arrange for their appointment. Instead of doing that why should there be maintained a climate where delay in justice would be justified?

Peoples have a birthright to receive justice at the quickest possible opportunity; but in Orissa they are being compelled to tolerate enforced loss of their age and energies in waiting for the High Court decisions.

Besides O.J.C., litigants affected by decisions at lower level also prefer appeals in the High Court. The lower Court lawyer, eager to protect his/her client’s interest often prefers an appeal in the High Court.

In these or in Writ cases, whosoever prefers any litigation in the High Court, may be by own intelligence or under advice of the lawyer of the lower court, does so only through a High Court practitioner at Cuttack.

So when a case gets inordinately delayed in the High Court, the lawyer in the periphery through whom the litigant might have contacted or engaged a High Court practitioner at Cuttack is bound to be embarrassed by being required to explain his or her client the delay. On the other hand, there are brilliant lawyers in the periphery who, notwithstanding failure in the lower court, might be because of deficiency in comprehension or lack of probity on part of the concerned judge, are much more competent than many of the High Court practitioners to handle the case in the High Court, interpretation of the Law there being pivotal. In the circumstances demand for a High Court seat in Berhampur, Sambalpur and elsewhere is justified and is not averse to justice.

In fact, establishment of seats of a High Court in various regions of a State would be an act of ensuring speedy and less expensive justice to the peoples.

Demands for branches of the High Court cannot be anything other than a revolutionary expression of legal activism that aims at making justice available at doorstep.

Instead of appreciating this silent revolution, if repression goes on, judicial anarchy would spread.

Needless it is to elaborate that judicial anarchy cannot be preferred to legal activism as long as democratic sovereignty remains the creed of the country.

NEED INTEREST-FREE FINANCE? SATISFY A BJP MINISTER, LOOT AN OFFICIAL INSTITUTE

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Do you need heavy cash to invest in business? Do you want that there should be no interest charged for the large amount you would take? Do you find it impossible to obtain such interest-free finance from any nationalized /commercial Bank?

Do not worry. Satisfy a minister of Orissa specifically if he or she belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a way would surely be devised to help you loot an official institute.

Look at how a team of land dealers styled as Konark Hovel (P) Ltd (herein after called Hovel) has looted the premier cooperative housing society of Bhubaneswar, the Capital Cooperative Housing Limited (hereinafter called the Society). You may get the clue.

Look at what has happened.

In 2004, operators of Hovel were in need of funds worth about Rs.50 lakhs to invest in real estate trade. No Bank was ready to grant it a loan of such heavy amount.

Had they taken a loan they would have paid heavy interest; the trade being speculative and the time to earn ability on their part to repay the loan being uncertain and inestimable.

So, looting cash of an official institute seemed more lucrative. Aravind Dhali, then of BJP, was minister in charge of the department of cooperation. This department runs and controls banking networks. He agreed to collaborate and organized the necessary umbrage for the looting.

The Society at that time was running perfectly under an elected Board of Directors. The Government in the department of Cooperation under Dhali superseded the elected Board and appointed a man called T. Prasad Rao Dora as President and a pack of sycophants of Dhali as Directors of the Society.

Rao and his team provided Hovel with the funds it needed from the funds of the Society.

To this effect a scheme was cooked up.

Accordingly the Society would search for land to develop a housing project and Hovel would come forward with an offer and money was to be paid to it against procurement of ghost lands.

Even as the Society would not get the land registered, Hovel would be free to use the money received against the offered land in its own business and return the amount sans any interest at any unspecific time to its own advantage. And, the amount so refunded would be accepted by the Society as to its prudence it would then be fed that an unregistered agreement for transfer of any property having no legal binding under The Transfer of Property Act, 1882, it would be better to get back the money, at least in principal.

But this transaction being entirely illegal, it was planned to purchase cooperation of the Chief Executive (an officer of the cooperation department) and the officer, according to a source, agreed to agree to the proposal at a price of Rs.10 lakhs.

The source says, Rs.0.10 lakh was paid to him immediately on 6 March 2004 and it was decided to pay him Rs.10 lakhs in two installments. Firstly a token amount of Rs.2 lakhs would be sanctioned as advance against cost of land so that Hovel would be sure of the flow of money. On receipt of the first installment of Rs.2 lakhs towards advance, Hovel should pay that entire amount to the Chief Executive. After receipt of the final dose, Hovel would pay him the rest amount of Rs.8 lakhs, it was decided.

Then came the question of agreement.

A Notary was taken to confidence. But sensing the rat, the Notary demanded half a lakh of Rupees to Notarize the agreement. The deal was finalized at a sum of Rs.0.40 lakhs on 8 March 2004.

A ghost agreement was notarized in the same night.

And, it was decided to pay Hovel Rs.2.40 lakhs instead of Rs.2 lakhs so that the payment of Rs.0.40 lakhs to the Notary would be covered therein. Signatures of the parties and witnesses were to be collected on the body of the ghost agreement later in order to give it a genuine color.

The signatures of the parties and witnesses were collected on 10 March 2004 and then, as conspired, on 12 March 2004, a sum of Rs.2.40 was paid to the Chief Executive of the Society by Hovel in cash against receipt of the same amount from the Society as a token of advance payment against the proposed land deal.

After cooperation of the departmental officer thus purchased, a sum of Rs.40 lakhs was paid to Hovel only the next day, i.e. on 13 March 2004.

Hovel was in dire need of this money. But Rao and his team of Directors wanted their mutually decided amount of payola out of this payment lest it escapes with the money, as they knew that the so-called agreement would have no legal enforceability.

At this stage Dhali came to the rescue of Hovel.

Under his advice off the record, the Chief Executive devised a new trick of cheating.

Accordingly an “Irrevocable General Power of Attorney”(IGPA) was formulated and a further sum of Rs.15 lakhs was paid to Hovel on 29 April 2004. Rao and his team of Directors shared their share of payola with Dhali out of this payment.

The IGPA was later registered authorizing the Chief Executive, Dr. Prasant Kumar Pradhan, s/o Anant Charan Pradhan of village Nuapada under P.S. Kundeigola of Deogarh district to dispose off any portion or entire of the land mentioned in the agreement to any party or parties as he would prefer at any time on behalf of the Society.

Even as this document was used to hoodwink the general members of the Society in case any of them gets suspicious about the transaction, it was mutually decided that the Attorney holder would never use this IGPA and to ensure that Dr. Pradhan remains loyal to this decision, he was paid the rest of the promised amount i.e. Rs.8 lakhs on 13 May 2004 by Hovel after receiving the amount in shape of advance on that day.

With the loot thus complete, Rao and his co-Directors gave way for election of a new Board. The CE being involved with the loot, the matter could not come to the notice of the general members.

It needs be marked that Dr. Pradhan is continuing as the CE, but has neither got the land registered in the Society’s name nor has ever used the IGPA to its advantage.

Had he wanted, he could never have succeeded; because, he knew the so-called documentation had no practical enforceability. He was only organizing time so that Hovel could organize a repayment without interest.

But with an elected Board in power, it could not have been possible to keep the issue dormant always. So a nominated body was needed.

It was not a problem with the saffron lady Surama Padhi as the Minister of Cooperation.

She took such steps that election was not carried out in respect of the Society. The department nominated a saffronist Govind Chandra Panda as the President –cum-single member Board of the Society. Notwithstanding election of the Board much later, Panda continued as President and Hovel was provided with the necessary climate to refund the money sans interest and get rid of the threatening ghost deal issue forever.

With this congeniality established, after long four years, Hovel has returned Rs.62 lakhs against the principal amount of Rs.65.10 lakhs drawn from the Society funds and paid to it as discussed above.

The amount has clandestinely been accepted putting the Society in loss of several crores of Rupees.

If you want to have interest-free finance, you may try this trick till the Cooperation department is in charge of a saffronist minister.

HOW DO YOU RATE THIS GOVERNMENT?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Now I am not going to tell you how manufacturers of fake medicines have enjoyed political patronage when Navin Patnaik has been running the State Government.

I am not going to tell you how contractors have hijacked welfare projects under the umbrage of administration.

I am not going to tell you how with official help looters have ruined the Health System Development Project for which the State had obtained loan from the World Bank

I am not going to tell you how social auditors have held the State Government responsible for embezzling of public exchequer by persons in power.

I am not going to tell you how the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has unveiled massive misappropriation of official funds by functionaries in different departments under Navin Patnaik’s regime.

I am not going to tell you how Navin Patnaik has shown eager interest in handing over Orissa’s mineral and other natural resources to non-Oriya and even non-Indian business operators when about 70 percent of the children of this soil are perishing sans land and livelihood.

I am not going to tell you how underworld has built up nexus with the police and how mafia is ruling the roost.

I am not going to tell you of this; because, you know all this and much more.

I am going to tell you how Navin Patnaik Government is playing havoc with human life by willfully killing the Laws of the land. And, I will place only a few examples.

We all know that bio-medical waste is very harmful to human health. For its management and handling, a specific set of Rules, called The Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 has been framed and enforced.

Under Rule 4 thereof,

“every occupier of an institution generating bio-medical waste which includes a hospital, nursing home, clinic, dispensary, veterinary institution, animal house, pathological laboratory, blood bank by whatever name called, is to take all steps to ensure that such waste is handled without any adverse effect to human health and the environment”.

Bhubaneswar is the capital city of the State. The main hospital of this city is the Capital Hospital. It has overcrowded wards in almost all streams of human health. General Surgery to Orthopedics to Dental to Gynecology to Gastroenterology to Pediatrics to contagious diseases- every ward is overcrowded by indoor patients. It has Operation Theaters – general and departmental- minor and major; it has pathological labs and blood bank and it generates massive bio-medical waste everyday. It stands on the road traversed daily by Chief Minister Navin Patnaik between his residence and the Secretariat. His party headquarters stands adjacent to this hospital. How does it handle the bio-medical waste? The picture placed below should tell you that.

The hospital has kept broken the western side of its compound wall through which the waste is shunted out into the open space touching the public road and as rag-pickers jump on to it in search of used syringes and transmission pipes etc that find buyers in the recycling racket, the concerned staff sets fire to the waste deposits. The smoke spreads clouds of obnoxious smell all over the adjoining locality.

If this is how the bio-medical waste is handled by the Capital Hospital, I think, you can easily grasp what havoc Navin Patnaik government is playing with human health in other parts of Orissa.

But such mismanagement of bio-medical waste is not the only hazard that human society has been subjected to under the Navin regime. Deliberate massacre of civil health Laws such as the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 (hereinafter called the 2000 Rules) and the Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, 2003 (hereinafter called the 2003 Act) are some of the instances of how Navin has been running a nonchalantly anti-people administration.

The 2000 Rules referred to above stipulates under Rule 7,

“any municipal solid waste generated in a city or a town, shall be managed and handled in accordance with its compliance criteria and the procedure laid down in Schedule II”.

This Schedule has given elaborate instructions on how to manage and handle the waste.
But there are also prohibitions imposed by this Schedule.

In the Compliance criteria, the basic instruction in the matter of collection of municipal solid waste is stipulated with the words, “littering of municipal solid waste shall be prohibited in cities, towns and in urban areas notified by State Government”.

And, under criterion (vii), the stipulation is, “waste shall not be burnt”.

How this criterion is raped naked is discernible in the picture already placed above.

But the picture below, which is just a sample of what is happening, would show you how solid waste is littered in every busy lane of the city and allowed to lie like that sine die.

Would you like to know where the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) dumps whatever solid waste it collects?

See the picture below. It is a School premise.

See further.

In every open space between buildings of sophisticated colonies, solid waste is dumped like this by the BMC.

Obnoxious?

Leave the open space and come to the roadside. See the picture below. See how deliberately civil waste is deposited by the BMC on the side of a major road adjacent to the residence of the State Governor.

Who rules over BMC? It is the ruling coalition of Orissa, BJD and BJP. The capital city being the citadel of commission agents nothing else could have been possible specifically as at the time of election to this urban body, Navin Patnaik as Chief Minister had the advantage to use his might in favor of the coalition candidates.

To show how massive is the might of administration, the BMC, supported by the Government in the General Administration (GA) Department and Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), has razed down hundreds of shops including temples alleged to have grown on government lands notwithstanding the facts that these lands have no suitability for any other use than for what they were being used and has smashed thousands of cottages in various slums.

That the slum clearance in certain cases was carried out with a motive to free the land for allocation to mafia under different guise is strongly suspected by the very fact that affected people have recaptured the concerned plots when concerned authorities had been looking at that act of retaliation but were keeping mum lest their hidden design gets fully exposed.

The pictures below would show how the shops have been razed down at different parts of the city.

These shops constituted the life-spring of the localities. The city being a nasty nest of the rich has no concern for the lower middle class and poor people who live here and/or visit this place from out side daily in search of livelihood. The star hotels and emporiums are too sophisticated for them to step in. For them the roadside shops are the only solutions.

If the authorities were sincere in their approach, they should have regularized the shops instead of demolishing them by subjecting them to beautification programs, if any, of the city.

But the purpose seems vitiated by unannounced motives.

Aggressively avaricious persons have golden days during the present days. Givers and takers of bribe know that money shall play the magic if authorities build up kiosks on the roadsides. Demolition of existing shops on the roadsides in the guise of termination of encroachments is therefore being suspected as a facilitator program. If extrication of government land from encroachment would have been the program of the authorities, the encroachment on the most sensitive plot of land in front of the residence of the Governor could not have been ignored.

The following pictures depict just a sample of the cobweb of encroachment that the rich and powerful weave around government plots in the capital city.

The land shown in these pictures is the most valuable land of the locality standing in front of the residence of the Governor. An IAS officer then in service had acquired the prime plot in front of the Governor’s house in a dubious way. This land, marked in a government document as land for a petrol pump, was in the area earmarked for government use. He had used his official influence to convert the land to a private residential plot and he was the only person to build up a private house in the official housing zone. In three sides of this plot, in east, west and north, there were vacant government lands surrounded by roads. He soon encroached upon the eastern side and built up an extended house. A powerful politician has allegedly acquired this land after demise of the retired IAS officer and soon has set his grip over the government land lying vacant in the northern side. The method used to tighten the grip is remarkable. Official staff surrounded the land with iron grills one day and then seedlings were planted to present a picture of official care of the vacant place. As the seedlings grew, the barbed wire fences of the existing house were removed and thus the cobweb of encroachment expanded. The authorities that have cleansed roadside shops and temples in the guise of extricating government lands from encroachment have never bothered to stop encroachment of prime plots by the rich and powerful.

But the way the government as well as the BMC have willfully raped the 2003 Act is indicative only of how badly anti-people a government has grabbed Orissa.

Thousands of milkmen flocking into the capital city with cows and buffalos having made human life very unsafe by putting up cowsheds on encroached government lands in every nook and corner of the city, specifically as a number of police personnel guarding the Assembly in session succumbed to brain malaria as a result of mosquito bite, the cowsheds being the main breeding centers of mosquitoes, the Orissa Legislative Assembly took a prompt but strong decision and enacted the 2003 Act, enforcing therein a blatant ban on cow/buffalo/goat keeping in and around the municipal area of Bhubaneswar.

The Milk Producers Association, Orissa (hereinafter called Gowalas) moved the High Court of Orissa seeking nullification of this Act in their respect, with expressed willingness to shift their sites if regular allocation of land elsewhere in the city is made in their favor for enabling them to continue their trade. The High Court rejected their plea and made it clear that the 2003 Act is just, proper, legitimate and substantive in context of urban management.

In Civil Appeal No. 940 of 2006 the Gowals moved the Supreme Court of India to intervene. The State Government, in response to this Appeal, had stressed on the thrust of this Act where it “prohibits keeping of animals in the premises so as to be nuisance or danger to any persons besides having other stringent conditions with regard to keeping the cows and buffalos within the city limits of Bhubaneswar” to which the Court had fully agreed and rejected the appeal of the milkmen.

Taking the 2003 Act as an Act that “aims at maintenance of health and hygienic condition amongst the residents of the town of Bhubaneswar” the Supreme Court recapitulated its 3-Judge Bench judgment in (2004) 9 SCC 362 where it had observed,

“the power under the Act cannot be treated as a power simplicitor, but it is a power coupled with duty. It is the duty of the State to make sure the fulfillment of conditions or direction under the Act. Without strict compliance, right to environment under Article 21 could not be guaranteed and the purpose of the Act will also be defeated”.

Citing Friends Colony Development Committee v. State of Orissa case, the Supreme Court relied upon its own 2004 decision therein where it had observed,

“Not only filth, stench and unhealthy places have to be eliminated, but the layout helps in achieving family values, youth values, seclusion and clean air to make the locality a better place to live”.

The 2003 Act having bestowed upon the State government a duty to ensure a safe environment free of filth, stench and unhealthy places, the Supreme Court not only appreciated the provisions therein prohibiting cow keeping in the city limits, but also ordered that the Gowalas cannot be allowed to operate even in the periphery of the town.

The Gowalas submitted that the State government had earlier proposed to rehabilitate them in places outside the core sector of the city of Bhubaneswar and so the State should be directed to rehabilitate them in the periphery of the city before eviction.

The Supreme Court also rejected this plea.

“As by reason of the Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, within the periphery of the town, dairies or cowsheds cannot be maintained, the State would not be entitled to adhere to its earlier plan of rehabilitating them in the villages mentioned therein”,

it ordered.

Even if they offer to pay for the plots, they cannot be rehabilitated in and around Bhubaneswar City, the Supreme Court decided. It decided,

“only because they are agreeable to pay for the plot which may be allotted to them, that by itself in our considered view would not clothe them with the legal right to be rehabilitated”.

The above decision of the Supreme Court was delivered on 02 February 2006. But till now the Navin Patnaik government has not evicted a single milkman form the Bhubaneswar City.

In every unit and locality of Bhubaneswar the milkmen have encroached upon lucrative vacant plots and have been playing havoc with the lives of the local public.

Now mark the two pictures placed below. They depict the picture of encroachment on a prime plot as large as half an Acre of land in the heart of Unit 6 by a single milkman. The picture taken on 15 Nov. 2004 shows that the milkman had built up two sheds, one for his family and the other for the cows. The picture taken on 19 April 2008 shows how the same milkman has expanded his empire by adding three more cowsheds to his earlier one.

Brilliant scribe Bibhuti Mishra and his equally bright wife Rubi, residing then in the government quarter close to the cowshed, succumbed to acute environmental pollution caused by accumulated cow dung, filth and stench generated by the cowshed.

After we discussed the devastation in these pages, the Government has constructed compound walls around the quarters standing at both the sides of the ever-expanding cowshed as you may see from the following picture.

Why the Government is protecting the milkmen and allowing them to expand their empires to the total impairment of hygienic environment of Bhubaneswar in blatant contravention of the Act it framed and promulgated in 2003, that too in stark disregard to the Supreme Court decision discussed supra?

As we have expressed our inclination to rely on hearsay information, the concerned functionaries of this Government are collecting bribe at the rate of Rs.2000 per cowshed every month and thus, there being 2000 milkmen in Bhubaneswar, there is a 2000 X 2000 = 4,000,000,00 of Rupees illicit income reaped every month by persons who are in positions to halt operation of the Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, 2003.

How do you rate this government?

LAXMIPUR VERDICT: BJD IS WORSE THAN THE CONGRESS

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Laxmipur has delivered its verdict: BJD is worse than the Congress.

Result of the by-election to Orissa Assembly from this constituency, held because of midterm death of Congress MLA Anantram Majhi, has come out today.

Congress has retained the seat through Anant’s son Purnachandra Majhi, who was deliberately planted in anticipation of sympathy support, which is a marked phenomenon in Indian politics.

Congress is very jubilant over this victory, specifically as, it has not only effected defeat of the candidate of the ruling BJD in whose favor Chief Minister Navin Patnaik had led an unprecedented expensive campaign, but also, being the last occasion to test voters’ tilt before general elections, it looks like having ingredients to build up self-confidence and solidarity amongst its wrangling leaders and demoralized rank and file.

But a study of the scenario would lead us to see that the jubilation in the Congress camp is misconceived and misplaced. People have not voted in Congress favor.

As we have already predicted, Congress can never win with Man Mohan Singh as Prime Minister. He has ruined the country by forcing on us USA motives and the resultant degradation of our masses. So, people in Laxmipur have not voted for Congress.

The Congress candidate has won; not the Congress.

In order to understand this phenomenon, understanding only two aspects of the Congress side of the scenario may help. First, planting of the candidate and second, reaping of the result.

The candidate was the son of the deceased MLA.

In planting the son of the deceased MLA, the Congress had only confirmed that as a political party it had forfeited peoples’ confidence and so, it had no chance of winning.

With this perception, it had planted Purnachandra, son of the deceased MLA Anantram.

There was no dearth of senior leaders of the locality in Congress. So there was no dearth of suitable candidates. But because there was blatant absence of confidence in the party, it could not dare to plant any of them.

Congress knew that the wretchedness, to which pro-American economic policy of Prime Minister Singh has pushed our peoples into, would stand as the greatest barrier to generate votes.

But it has the experience and expertise in converting obituary sympathy of the peoples into votes as was seen in Rajiv’s vote catching following Indira’s death or in its gaining massive majority following Rajiv’s assassination. So, selection and planting of Purnachandra, son of the deceased MLA, was calculatedly finalized with an eye on obituary sympathy in Laxmipur.

Purna won because of the sympathy factor. Had his father not died midterm, he could not have attracted sympathy and could never have won. Had this bereft son of the deceased MLA not been planted as the candidate, no other candidate of Congress could have won. So, Purna’s victory is not Congress victory.

It is clear that in total despair due to anti-people policies of Prime Minister Singh, the voters of Laxmipur have conspicuously registered their resentment against Congress by drastically reducing their traditional support for it. Otherwise, despite the sympathy wave, Purna’s victory could not have been so meager. He has won by only 484 votes. His father had won with more than 14 thousand margin in the last general election. In the same election, BSP had bagged around 15 thousand votes despite presence of electoral wave in favor of Navin Patnaik. And in this election it has directed its support to the Congress.

So these voters, who despite presence of a wave in favor of Navin had marked their votes against him in the last election, were the persons who should have marked their votes against Navin’s candidate this time too.

Had it happened, the Congress candidate should have won with a margin of around 30 thousands. But this has not happened.

This indicates that the peoples have not supported the Congress. They have not supported the Congress because of the anti-people policies of Prime Minister Singh

But how then the Congress candidate could win? He could win, because, otherwise it could have been our peoples’ expression of approval of Navin’s misrule. To our people Navin Patnaik is worse than Man Mohan Singh.

The way Navin electioneered in Laxmipur was viewed by the local public as a blot on democracy. He being the Chief Minister unleashed a hate campaign against the Union Government in stark disregard to national integration and tried to overwhelm the rural electors by pressing into campaign a team of eleven of his ministers and as many as 47 MLAs of the ruling alliance. He tried to make people awestruck by blitzkrieg of campaigning in copters and by making them see how the officers of the area who rule over the people were at his beck and call. He electioneered in such a fashion that democracy looked as if subdued by autocracy in that rural constituency where 90 percent inhabitants are illiterate. He shed meretricious tears over the plight of the people who have been perishing under continuous slow starvation sans land and livelihood when he is single-mindedly busy in handing over Orissa’s land and mines and natural assets to non-Oriya business operators and swindlers. His dazzling campaign that poured down at least 10 crores of Rupees into electioneering in this constituency, where cholera due to loss of immunity under continuous slow starvation extinguished hundreds of life last year, made people conscious of the quantum of corruption his government must have been involved with in order to arm BJD with the huge election funds.

People came to the conclusion that Navin Patnaik is worse than Man Mohan Singh.

They decided to teach him a lesion.

They stamped their kicks of disapproval on the face of Navin’s campaign by refusing to elect his candidate and conversely therefore, they decided to elect the Congress candidate with as small a margin as possible.

As they also disapprove the anti-people policies of Man Mohan Singh, they refused to grant Congress a grand victory. The Congress candidate got elected on the border of defeat.

PRIME MINISTER?! MY DOG SERVES MY INTEREST

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

After the last one of my pack of Dachshunds passed away at the age of 18, I have adopted Tommy, a female German Shepherd. She is around 18 months now.

When I am absent from my study, she guards it.

When I am busy in reading or writing, she delights in watching me.

I have a rooster called Badsah.

Tommy entertains me by playing with it.

When my grand daughter is in the garden, she guards her.

She gives me company during my daily morning walk from five to six A.M.

I do not put her on a lead. She walks obediently by my side. I of course carry a lead in my hand for use in emergencies. But seldom that occasion arises.

On return to my residence I wait for the hawkers to deliver me the morning newspapers.Tommy collects the newspapers from the hawkers at the gate and comes straight to me.



She deposits the papers in my hand.

When I browse through the first delivered newspaper,

she sits attentively by my side looking at the gate in anticipation of the next hawker.

She serves my purpose with dedication and in all her actions indicates that she is ever ready to render all the expected services.

Why should I be astonished if Arjun Singh barks aloud that Congress must project Rahul Gandhi as its Prime Ministerial candidate?

“Internet Journalism is reshaping the freedom of press”


Orissamatters Representative-in-Chief Subhas Chandra Pattanayak speaks about media reforms in India, Orissa headlines and Price Rise, on Sambad Samikshya.
Video courtesy Subham Television, Dhenkanal.
Interview by advocate Diptish Prasad Pattanayak.
Date: March 31, 2008, 6-7pm

Click below to view Part 1 of the interview:

Transcripts (translated) follow:

DPP- Allow me the pleasure to introduce Sri Subhas Chandra Pattanayak who has been actively involved with journalism for over four decades now, contributing immensely to the growth of media in Orissa. He has written extensively on burning issues of Orissa. And it’s heartening to note that he has transcended the barriers of print media and has been lending support to electronic journalism for over six years now. And it’s also matter of joy for us to invite him as the pioneer in the field of web journalism for being the first and the only such journalist to have been accredited by the government.

Subhas babu, you have been a journalist for over forty years now. Do you think the place of media in nurturing Indian democracy is still gaining importance at this stage?

SCP: If that were not the case, one could not envision a cable network right here in a small city like Dhenkanal. People are growing more conscious about their rights by the days, and this is so, mainly due to media’s proactive role in information dissemination. Media have been instrumental in not only educating people about their political consciousness, but also in enacting an “Applied Democracy” in the process.

I feel we are witnessing a glaring plutocracy in India, but at the same time, it is also true that the masses are equally getting equipped to continue their struggles against the monopolists. As a result, owing to continued public pressure to gain access into the power structure, today we have the Right to Information made available. Likewise, if the large-scale conscious opposition to the ruling parties are thriving today, both in the state and at the center, it is because people have been expressing the countercurrents through the media. In a way, the enrichment of democracy in India has been depending on the responsibilities of journalists.

Click below to access Part 2 of the Interview:

DPP: In that case, how does a journalist carry out his/her responsibilities? What are the roles of journalists in the most ideal situation?

SCP: Of course, the most ideal role of a journalist is to present the news for, and on behalf of the ordinary masses. This is the most fundamental role of a journalist. What is ideal is for the journalists to educate the masses about their political rights to overcome systematic obstacles imposed by the ruling classes. Sadly, the newspapers are refraining from their primary roles these days, which is to render political education to the people.

If we look at the history of our media, we shall see in context how journalism was deeply committed to the freedom movement. It was this commitment to freedom movement against the colonialists that also in process, granted the rightful freedom to the press in return. However, as time passed by, the elite classes of our society — as though the new colonialists — have started snatching away the freedom from the journalists. As an instance, the owners of the newspapers — the core management– have started claiming themselves as the editors.

In the past, this was not the case. What used to happen then was, only a professional journalist could be the editor of a publication. This used to facilitate the process of transparency since the bureau or desk staffs were carrying out tasks based on instructions from their senior colleagues in the field of journalism.

Since the time Birla Group took over the editorial team under the wings of its corporate management, journalists have been working for the media, no doubt, but at the same time, they are also serving the interests of the management. This has created a great dilemma for our press, since this corporate takeover of journalism has become almost a norm throughout the country.

Click below to access Part 3 of the Interview:

And to counter this trend and fight the corporate monopolies, most conscientious journalists have now turned to Internet Journalism. This is so because Internet Journalism is the only such field which enables journalists to present their news and views to the entire world without necessarily remaining obliged to one specific corporate concern. In this way, Internet Journalism is reshaping the freedom of press in a novel manner. In this zone of immense possibilities, grassroots journalism is growing in its presence. The flow of news is no more vertical. In fact, many mainstream publications are also using the grassroots media as their primary resources.

The dialectic of media as it stands today involves these two parallel and powerful processes. On the one hand, there is an attempt on part of the corporate media to suppress information that may empower the people. Certain information can be so powerful that the masses may use it to their advantage which certainly can topple the plutocratic nature of our republic. So the mainstream media are very meticulously trivializing the profession of journalism so as not to enable it as an emancipatory tool for the citizens.

On the other hand, what is also true, and more relevant to me, is the fact that most journalists are working to overcome such limitations and wage their battle against the management, albeit in a passive form. As a result, we still see human interest stories appearing in the mainstream media from time to time. The struggle that journalists have with the management is not new. It is only becoming more apparent these days, since the realization is dawning more that a democratic society cannot be envisioned without free press, just as the press cannot be imagined without a free society.

DPP: Thank you, Subhas Babu, for enlightening us about the role of the press in our democracy. Amidst all the press freedom that we enjoy, we are also acutely aware how the media have been hijacked by the rich, business class, the capitalists. And hence many information remain within their control, leading us to believe there is even more need of freedom for the press.

Let’s now turn to an article in Times of India which Subhas Babu has brought to our attention today. It’s written by Nalini Hazare who says we need another revolution. This revolution is in sphere of agriculture. Going by the agrarian nature of Indian economy, we all know that the common masses will greatly benefit from agricultural reforms. And yet, as this article points out, the reforms in agriculture have been absolutely inadequate when we compare to how much of investments the country has made towards industrial progress. Hazare says that people have been bereft of the resources the country has allocated towards agriculture in its various plans, thus leading to mass-scale poverty.
Subhas babu has recommended this article for our discussion today. So let me now ask him what his views are:

SCP: Needless to state, there can be no progress of India without substantial progress made in the field of our agriculture. Even those who claim that India is making economic progress are well aware that in the name of progress, the national wealth is merely getting consolidated in the hands of the few upper class families. And the huge majority of Indians are growing poorer by the days. Such is the situation right here in Orissa that, our abled, skilled youths are leaving our state to work as bonded laborers abroad. Mothers are selling babies just to survive a day or two more. Poverty is such widespread that people are eating tree roots, and even in many cases, as news attest, consuming stones. Poverty is widening in its scale and nature even as wealth of our country continues to remain controlled by a handful of people.

The root cause of such economic disparity lies in the systematic apathy towards agricultural growth on part of the government. Ever since India has gained independence, we have rampant unemployment problems. Prior to that, no one was unemployed. We have observed during our childhood, everyone used to contribute to their household works. Every village was a self-sustained, economically independent unit. All these have crumbled. Its because, no matter if someone was a carpenter or potter, they were dependent on agriculture. Forest was there, rain was abundant. Cultivation was excellent. We were leaders in agriculture which is why India was called an agrarian society. Unfortunately, in the post-independence phase, we have only emphasized on industries and businesses, and various laws have been passed and implemented only to favor the industrialists. As a result, the most fertile lands for agriculture today lies barren.

What’s even ironical is that we are being deprived from perfecting our inborn talents. No modern scientific textbook ever taught us about seasons and crops. As children, as well as neighbors, we were naturally brought up to understand agriculture as part of our lives. Seeds, seasons, crops, irrigation, and cultivation were our second human nature. Our skills, dedication and experiences in the field of agriculture were part of our subconscious since time immemorial. People could sustain on their own utilizing this knowledge.

However as we started the process of industrialization, deforestation was going to be one outcome. Subsequently, we noticed there are infrequent and irregular rains, and seasonal disturbances that are naturally illogical. At this point, what we should have done was to shift back our attention to agriculture and at least ensure that agricultural lands are provided with sufficient water. Unfortunately, that did not happen. And today, its as though our Mother Earth is crying for water and we are unable to provide the same when she needs it the most. Not only Orissa, many states of India are affected by drought. This is so because of a simple reason: cultivation is impossible without sufficient provision for water. How did our planning boards overlook this fundamental aspect? My suspicion is that it was a deliberate omission on their part.

As Diptish babu would be knowing, being a prominent advocate, our Constituent Assembly during the time we were framing the constitution for India, comprised of people, only from the propertied class. There was not a single representation from the farmers and working class. Dr Ambedkar in his last speech to the Assembly, in desperation declared that when we shall have the elections for India, it will be an India of deep dilemmas. It is because, he said, we are merely granting political equality meaning each citizen is equal with the other simply because everyone has one vote to spare. But the reality is, we are only forcing them to economic inequality. As a matter of fact, Ambedkar said, the ruling Congress is itself funded by the capitalists and hence it’s only natural that the right to property has emerged as a fundamental right. It’s only necessary that the free India pass laws to abolish such property rights and actually implement ways to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, otherwise the freedom won through such relentless struggles will become meaningless.

While agreeing with Dr Ambedkar, at this stage of my life I am of the firm opinion that India is on her way to lose the independence that was so relentlessly fought for. Today, my country is once again colonized in the hands of the few, and every government that should be serving the mass, instead are serving the interests of this elite class.

So sad is the scenario that in Orissa, 70% of people are landless. Landless! Even a news item appeared this morning that said how anAdibasi student who has passed matriculation is unable to qualify for an interview in reserve category because he could not receive a caste certificate. He is unable to get a certificate because he has no land or house anywhere. There is nothing in his father’s name either. Without this, it’s becoming difficult to determine his caste. The tehsildar in his locality is trying to get him a two decimals worth of land to facilitate the process. Such students are seeing their dreams getting shattered throughout the state, only because of their landlessness. They are waiting for the day when they can raise their heads as citizens of free India. The time is nowhere to be seen.

The indigenous population in our country used to dwell in the forests and had never claimed the land to be their own property. They of course never had a land in their or their father’s names. Now that the corporate houses are encroaching upon the forest lands for their private business interests, and displacing the tribal people from their rightful lands, it’s becoming impossible for these landless people to claim their land, or their identity as free humans.

Such injustice is prevailing because we have no laws that govern property acquisitions. No law restricts how much one can grab lands for private purposes. So the more one can grab, the more one can own. As a result many government officials, politicians (as World Bank has cautioned against) who know the loopholes in our system are facilitating the business class to encroach upon, or grabbing the lands on their own.

——-

See the rest of the interview on the videos that follow. SCP talks about the current issues in Orissa (including about Speaker Maheswar Mohanty), and about the cause & consequences of price rise.

Click the video below to access Part 4 of the interview.

Excerpts:
On the Issue of allegation against the speaker, SCP asks, where is the polygraph test? Why tarnish the democratic positions? Why not set up a committee to find out the interest groups?:
SCP: Our CM always says that law will take its own course. This is exactly what he should not say to the people. It’s most unfortunate and confusing statement to come from a state leader. He should rather inform the people what the law is and what legal steps shall be taken or has been taken in a specific instance. I strongly feel that only those people who are indifferent towards law and order, or are unaware of legalities or simply do not care, can only come up with such a statement as “law will take its own course”.

Click below to access Part 5 of the Interview:

On the issue of Price Rise, SCP says if at all, this issue alone should pose questions about the so-called economic progress.
SCP: If there is price rise, where is the progress? If progress indicates increase in production, why is there a rise in price? The rhetoric behind economic progress needs to be revisited. So, has there been any actual progress? If so, whose progress are we talking about here? Only of the producers and capitalist class…

Click below to access the last part of the Interview:

REPAIR THE DAMAGE DONE TO DEMOCRACY

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Mr. Maheswar Mohanty has resigned from the Speaker position following lady marshal Gayatri Panda’s allegation of sexual harassment against him.

Ms. Panda was admittedly facing disciplinary proceedings before raising such an allegation.

This is enough reason to suspect that her allegation might have been vitiated by motive to browbeat the Speaker under whose orders she has been put under suspension for dereliction in duty.

Sadly the Opposition as well as a section of women activists has not thought it prudent to treat the matter in this light even as they have voiced vehement demands for action against Mr. Mohanty absolutely oblivious of how adversely it may affect the dignity of the esteemed office.

It is sad to further note that though the Speaker is the Constitutional guardian of the rampart of democracy, the State Government has failed to appreciate that it was the duty of the State to ensure that he was not a prey of false charges.

It was the minimum responsibility of administration to eliminate all possibilities of false charges against the Speaker in order to safeguard the dignity of the esteemed Chair.

Therefore it was necessary to test the veracity of the allegation of the lady marshal through polygraph testing before entertaining it for any action against the Speaker. We, in our lead article on 27 March 2008 had stressed on it, but the Government, as is its wont, preferred to slough it over.

Prosecution all over the world is increasingly depending on polygraph testing, as it is considered to be one of the most reliable methods to identify liars.

Accuracy of the result of polygraph testing has been established by more than 200 studies conducted by the American Polygraph Association during the past 25 years.

In India, the browbeaters are in the habit of citing Article 20 (3) of the Constitution to exclude polygraph results from forming irrefutable base of judicial verdicts under the plea that this Article has protected everybody from being compelled to be a witness against his or her own self in any court of law.

But there is no bar in use of polygraph in investigation. In fact it helps check labyrinth of lies engulfing the process of law.

In response to a recent query from the Supreme Court of India, Solicitor General G E Vahanvati has submitted on January 22, 2008 that use of polygraph in detecting liars in course of investigation is neither illegal nor unconstitutional.

“In the complex social milieu which obtains today, in particular having regard to the proliferation of crimes against society and against the integrity of the country, it is necessary to keep in mind the interest of the society at large and the need for thorough and proper investigation as against individual rights while ensuring that constitutional rights are not infringed.

“If these tests are properly considered to be steps in aid of investigation and not for the purpose of obtaining incriminatory statement, there is no constitutional infirmity whatsoever”,

Vahanvati has submitted before a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, while harping on how the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) permits its use.

So, in a case as sensitive as this one, it was necessary to ascertain the truth of the allegation by conducting a polygraph test on Ms. Panda before proceeding further in the matter. But the Chief Minister has measurably failed to lead the State in proper direction in this case.

It is to be marked that he has dismissed his blue-eyed boy Debashish Nayak from the Council of Ministers alleging openly that Nayak’s conspiratorial role in this particular case has extinguished his confidence in him and, as a person not enjoying confidence of the CM cannot continue as a Minister, he had to be dismissed.

Navin’s assertion juxtaposed with Mohanty’s claim of innocence makes it unambiguously clear that the Chief Minister personally knew that the lady marshal was a part of the conspiracy cooked up against the Speaker. In view of this he should have stressed first on ascertaining as to whether or not Ms. Panda was telling a lie. He has not.

Consequently, a Speaker of the Assembly, who initiated disciplinary proceedings against the lady marshal for serious dereliction in duty, has been elbowed out from his position and has been subjected to police investigation to the total detriment of democratic dignity.

The injury done to democracy in such a fashion will not stop at this point. Male Officers all over the State will no more dare to draw up any disciplinary proceeding against any woman worker in any instance of dereliction in duty. It shall have a total demoralizing effect on administration.

Hence, it is time, instead of insipid utterances that law will take its own course, the Chief Minister should use his prerogative to stop all sorts of investigation in the matter till the voracity of the delinquent lady’s version is not test through polygraph that medico-legal science so painstakingly has developed. The Opposition, the Women Commission, the women activists and common politicians should wait till polygraph testing results show that the lady has not told a lie.

This may repair the damage done to democracy.