NO TO NO-CONFIDENCE-MOTION IS NO CONFIDENCE IN ORISSA CM

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa Chief Minister Navein Patnaik has survived the no-confidence motion moved against him by the Opposition Congress on August 29. But it doesn’t mean that he enjoys confidence.

He is heading a coalition ministry in partnership with BJP.

As many as 20 members of its legislative wing, meaning majority of its MLAs including three of its ministers namely Samir De, Golak Nayak and Brindavan Majhi in a specially conveyed conclave had decided to withdraw support from the Government in the night preceding the day fixed for taking up the motion of no-confidence. To save the situation, the pro-power duo – law minister Biswabhusan Harichandan and revenue minister Manmohan Samal – had to invoke the controlling supremacy of their central leadership and afraid of losing power in Orissa, BJP high command suppressed its internecine revolt at the last moment. Does it mean the oral rejection of the no-confidence motion carry expression of confidence of these BJP MLAs in the Chief Minister?

So the oral ‘no’ to the no-confidence motion is no expression of confidence in Navin Patnaik.

UNPRECEDENTED: OPPOSITION SILENCE STONEWALLED ORISSA ASSEMBLY

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Opposition decided to remain silent. But their silence stonewalled the House like never before. The ministry of Navin Patnaik was too demoralized to run the business of the House for more than a hundred minutes on August 28.

The catastrophic collapse of law and order implementation in the State that has culminated in unprecedented communal carnage following killing of Hindu communal leader Laxmanananda is so serious that the Opposition has been stressing on formation of an all-party-committee to overview the situation and to use collective wisdom for restoration of social harmony and peace. But the government did not bother to care.

As the House was called to business at 10.30 a.m., deputy leader of Opposition, Mr. Narasingh Mishra wanted to put on records the concern that the Chief Minister’s conduct is not conducive to democratic norms that the House stands for.

The CM has failed to understand how Opposition is important to democracy.

He has not thought it prudent to take the Opposition to confidence in tackling communal conflicts that has set the state on fire.

Pointing out how a partner in coalition ministry, the BJP, has been caught red-handed when a nephew of its top-ranking leader B.P.Agrawal was arrested by Kendrapada police in bomb throwing offence, Mishra regretted that the CM is more partisan than prudent and it is futile to voice concern when the CM does not hear. He therefore declared to silently protest against the ongoing misrule.

Veterans of Opposition spoke in his support and the Opposition joined him in a silent Dharana in the well of the House before the Speaker’s podium. As adjournment after adjournment went in vein, the Speaker adjourned the House to 3pm. But, as the House resumed, Misra insisted upon urgent formation of all party committee for proper assessment and remedy of the communal flare-up. His words not heeded to, the Opposition again resorted to silent protests.

The Speaker, not knowing how to overcome the silent stonewalling, adjourned the House for the day, with only a Bill on Orissa’s name spelling somewhat passing unopposed.

ORISSA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY MAKES A FARCE OF LEGISLATION

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Legislative Assembly is meant to discharge two duties: Monitoring administration and Adopting Legislations.

Monitoring administration is meant to save the State from ruins and to ensure that the Ministry makes the executive perform properly; but my memory doesn’t help me finding if it has ever happened specifically since the present Chief Minister has taken over.

Now, looking at the other duty of it I feel the Legislature has made a farce of it. August 27, 2008 will be remembered for this farce. As many as five Bills have been adopted this day without application of collective legislative mind! That the House was adjourned 13 times on this day, as noisiness could not be controlled is enough to indicate under what environment the Bills were adopted.

Adoption of so many Bills including the Orissa Excise Bill, 2008 within an hour (as many as four Bills were passed within 34 minutes!) sans detail democratic discussion and that too under high-pitch uproars over collapse of law and order in the State that had totally shattered the audibility in the House is a phenomenon that may not look technically unlegislative; but it can hardly help their fair implementation as in absence of interpellant participation of legislators in their passing, legislative intention, which is most important for correct administration of law, has not been properly promoted, vetted and defined.

For more than three decades I have been covering the sessions of Orissa Assembly, but such mockery in making Laws had never been seen.

LAXMANANANDA’S POSTHUMOUS MISUSE BY ADVANI AND CNN-IBN

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

BJP leader L.K.Advani and media organization CNN-IBN have preferred Hindu sectarian leader Laxmanananda’s posthumous misuse against Leftist ultras through premature assertions that Naxals have killed him, when, his own organization Viswa Hindu Parisad that is supposed to know where the shoe really pinched has declared that it is the Christian fanatics who are the real killers.

Both the assertions are premature and irresponsible specifically as the matter is under active investigation by rightful authorities.

We have earlier discussed that religious revivalism that has ruined the peace and tranquility of tribal belt is meant to counter Naxal influence by pushing peoples into the labyrinth of fate so that they can tolerate economic exploitation by accepting their wretchedness as the result of sins they might have committed in previous birth. So religious revivalism, conversions and counter-conversions and acrimonious sectarian quarrels practiced by both the Hindu and Christian chauvinists are not meant for making peoples religious but are promoted by Indian capitalism and American imperialism to stop evolution of exploited peoples’ conscious rising for their economic rights by blocking the spread of Naxal influence. In other words, rival religion practitioners are not their enemy; the real enemy is the Naxal organization. Therefore, Advani was quite eager to attribute Laxmanananda’s annihilation to the Naxals only.

Naxals are known as politically aggressive advocates of wretchedly poor and blatantly exploited peoples’ economic rights. Therefore to oppose them is a clear act of exploitive political activism. Advani is an exploitive political activist. When peoples of Orissa had raised the first ever Indian mass movement against deliberate price rise by profiteers and hoarders and blackmarketeers in the early eighties, Advani had instigated marwadis to observe Diwali as ‘Black Diwali” in protest against the Orissan movement. So there is nothing unusual in his attempts to make propaganda that Naxals have killed Laxmanananda. And he has not done any wrong by that, because that is the right way in pursuit of his political creed and nothing other than that is expected of him. In doing this he has just extended the mission of Laxmanananda in a political way that he is supposed to do as a right wing politician.

But why a media organization like CNN-IBN has ignored the minimum professional discipline needed in such cases and shown so eagerness to use Laxmanananda posthumously against the Naxals?

Conduct of this organization in cash for confidence vote matter exposed recently is yet alive in mass memory. Therefore it attracts suspicion in matter of its motive in trading this most premature but prejudiced propaganda that Naxals have killed Laxmanananda, the master craftsman of counter-conversions so dear to Hindu ultras.

Advani and this media organization look like close collaborators in frustrating the peoples who love democracy, peace and tranquility and want inequality to honorably end.

RELIGIOUS REVIVALISM BECOMES BLOODY

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

A stalwart of Hindu religious revivalism Laxmanananda Saraswati has been shot dead while resting in a female child asylum at Tumudibandha of Kandhamal district along with five others at about 8.30 in the evening of August 23.

RSS alleges that Christian religious fanatics have killed Laxmananand who was very active in foiling their attempts to Christianize the tribals and hence was in their hit list.

Orissa has experienced a lot of communal conflict due to religious revivalism. Laxmanananda was a known agent provocateur whom the Law and order authorities a few months ago had prohibited to enter into Phulbani in order to contain communal carnages.

Plutocracy, ushered into India by Manmohan Singh infested Congress and pampered by profiteers’ political organ BJP, is eager to keep the jungle-dweller tribes subdued forever as it is only they, who can valiantly resist the spread of industry and trade that needs to grab their land and to destroy their environment to proceed and profit.

Therefore plutocracy is apprehensive of a tribal uprising, specifically as, abandoned by mainstream politicians and exploited by local bureaucrats and middlemen and contractors and moneylenders and traders, they have got a strong ally in the left-wing ultras that the exploiters and their pet media go on projecting as Naxals or Maoists. The left-wing ultras have given the tribes their voice to raise demands for their economic rights and as evidenced in spread of Naxal influence from district to district, the poor peoples’ voice of demand for their economic right is stronger day by day. This is fidgeting the scoundrels that are exploiting the peoples.

As this new phase of peoples uprising is getting more defined, the precipitators of plutocracy are using a two-pronged strategy. One, they are using state exchequer to instigate armed forces to annihilate the left-wing ultras in blatant contravention of the civil laws in force and two, they are encouraging religious revivalists to confuse peoples into the fold of fate so that plutocracy gets a good shock-absorber to surge ahead. This is why in Orissa’s tribal areas where left-wing ultras are active, religious revivalists are seen aggressively active.

When the armed forces engaged against left-wing ultras are not ready to block the poor peoples’ demand for economic rights, the religious revivalists are intrinsic to plutocracy and are active supporters of plutocratic power play as plutocracy for survival fully depends on existence of God or Gods that the religious revivalists create, propagate and protect.

So religious revivalism is a political game aimed at putting exploiters in power. No game is a game if rivals are not there. Naturally therefore, there is bitter rivalry between the Christian and Hindu fanatics in Kandhamal and similar other places. Hindu religious chauvinists are marked for their support to Indian capitalists when Christian religious fanatics are active collaborators of foreign capitalist interest in India. There rivalry is not religious but in the guise of religion it in reality is a politico-economic rivalry that in other words may be said as national versus international rivalry in serving the system of exploitation. No wonder, it is bitter.

This bitter rivalry has led to death of Laxmanananda. If anybody is to take note of this, it is the religious revivalist of all hue, primarily.

They should note that if their foul play against poor people in the name of religion does not stop, time will come, no God would come to their rescue as Laxmananand’s God has notably failed to save him. As dinosaurs supposedly killed each other and got extinct, the religious revivalists would kill each other as bloody stooges of politico-economic rivals both in the national and international arenas.

Orissa’s Tumuribandha may just be the beginning.

EMBARRASSED OVER ITS DEPUTY SPEAKER ORISSA ASSEMBY FAILS TO PROCEED BEYOND 14 MINUTES

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa Assembly failed to proceed beyond fourteen minutes on 22nd August. Despite stout denial of the charges by the Deputy Speaker Mr. Prahllad Dora in the Press, his daughter-in-law Smita’s allegations were too serious to be ignored by the Opposition in the floor of the House.

Smita has lodged a complaint with the Police at Jeypore against Dora alleging that he had deliberately suppressed the fact that his son was already married and having a wife before he conducted the marriage of his son Chinmoy with her around one and a half month ago.

The marriage fixed at a dowry of Rs.1 lakh eventually made Smita’s father Subas Majhi cough up Rs.2 lakhs in cash over and above the ancillaries like gold ornaments and household gadgets; but to her, most unbearable is her shattered status as a legitimate wife.

She is, in the eyes of law, an illegitimate wife in view of her husband’s earlier marriage.

When she protested against this foul play and demanded for production of the court order of separation, if any, between Chinmoy and his first wife, she was tortured and kept in house arrest, she has alleged. When Dora has denied this part of her allegation, he has kept mum on the issue of first marriage of his son.

Smita is apprehensive of sloughing over of the allegation by police, as Dora being a political heavyweight, the Police have not yet shown any promptness in investigating the matter. Rather the police seemed to be very inclement, she has alleged. Therefore, she is considering knocking at the door of Orissa Women’s Rights Commission.

Her parents wonder as to why a respected politician like Dora could resort to such nasty tricks and ruin their daughter by tying her up in marriage to his son, who was already married? Was dowry the only motive?

The members of the ruling coalition are trying to hide their embarrassment even though there is no dearth of their opposition to Opposition’s demand for action against the Deputy Speaker as is marked in the hit generated over the issue that led to adjournment of the Assembly to August 25.

Chief Minister Navin Patnaik, as is his wont, has stoically stated that the law will take its own course in this matter. But he has no guts to react on Smita’s allegation that she has lost confidence in the Police, as it has not taken up investigation in the matter so far.

Why the Police are sleeping, as apprehended by the victim? When the Law shall start taking its course? Should not the CM apprise the House of that?

BJD FINALLY REPLACES ITS MAN IN SPEAKER’S CHAIR

Ruling BJD has on August 19 finally replaced its man in the Speaker’s chair at the eve of Orissa Assembly’s monsoon session to commence from August 20.

The new man is Sri Kishore Mohanty, representing Jharsuguda.

Sri Maheswar Mohanty whom Kishore replaces was to relinquish his post as a lady marshal of the Assembly raised allegations of sexual harassment against him, notwithstanding that she has made the allegations after being subjected to disciplinary charges for severe dereliction in duty.

The State Human Rights Commission had enquired into the matter and found Maheswar not guilty of the offences attributed to him. The lady marshal had not given any evidence to substantiate her allegations, the Commission had held.

Maheswar had withdrawn from presiding over the House the moment the allegations were made against him and wanted to be investigated. So, in fact, he had not belittled the image of the Speaker in any manner in this matter. Rather his steps deserve to be recognized as democratically correct steps.

After his innocence was established in the Rights commission investigation, it should have been proper for BJD to reset him as the candidate for the post again. But, politics is now not based on probity and commitment. No wonder, Maheswar has been replaced.

The new Speaker is known for his manners. He has adequate political experience in handling tricky situations.

But this being the last year in the life of the current Assembly, he has no much time to prove his mantle as chief of the rampart of democracy in Orissa.

He can of course do a great service to the assembly if he summons reports from members on how best have they used the computers and laptops they were given by the assembly for constituency use. Barring exceptions like Ranendra Pratap Swain of Athgarh, most of the members have not used their systems for the peoples and projects under their respective constituencies. He should take stock of this and members who fail to show the details of constituency use of the computers should be asked to surrender them to the Assembly in perfect condition failing which steps for recovery should be initiated.

Otherwise, the new speaker shall remain in public mind as just a political man in the chair, not a new one in true sense of newness.

THIS REMINDS US TO START THE FREEDOM STRUGGLE AFRESH

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s tenure has become a period of embarrassment for India. He is a PM on technical ground, not on moral ground.

Moral ground requires that a member of the Lok Sabha should be the PM. He is not a member of the Lok Sabha.

Moral ground requires that the PM should be the ideal leader of the country. An ideal leader should always remain aboveboard. But shenanigans behind the nuke deal with USA and cash for confidence vote that concussed the Lok Sabha are too conspicuous to be ignored. He is thus not aboveboard.

A Prime Minister takes an oath that he will safeguard and serve the Constitution. When the basic objective of the Constitution is building up India as a socialist republic he has opened up Indian economy to American imperialism and under his economic policy India has become divided into two countries: rich India and poor India even as the gap between the rich and the poor has widened like never before. The Constitution is bleeding and day by day becoming more and more irrelevant for the peoples. In public perception Executive is incompetent and corrupt, Press is rich man’s advertisement platform, Judiciary is a conundrum and Parliament is a domain of politico-commercial commodities, evidenced in the nuke deal survival vote.

Technically he is the incumbent PM. But, democratic prudence no more stands with his status. He has made such a farce of PM post that his own party, the Indian National Congress, does not project him as the next PM, but projects the son of Sonia as his replacement. Neither he has nor his closest cohorts have the guts to protest even though projection of a new man as his substitute is clearly indicative of how his own party is apprehensive of mass rejection with him as the Prime Minister seeking a fresh mandate.

It is a shame that Singh has no ability to understand this peculiar intricacy or is too power-hungry to destabilize his position by opposing advancing suggestions in favor of Sonia’s son.

Where then our democracy stands now? And how does it look at on the day of our independence?

In searching for the answer I see that the founder father of our democracy, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, while putting his final answer to the debates in the Constituent Assembly, had composed the answer as to what would happen to our democracy if the regular government formed after adoption of the Constitution fails to eliminate the possibility of the rich getting richer in India, the possibility that the propertied class representing the Congress had ensured.

In reply to the debates on third reading of the draft Constitution, he had said, “ On 26th January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradiction. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic rights we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man and one vote, one value. In our social and economic rights we shall by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny one man one value…We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously built up”. (Constituent Assembly Debates, Vol.XI, p.979)

The country has blatantly failed to remove the contradiction. Democracy has failed. Plutocracy has replaced democracy with definite speed under the present regime. Police and Military powers of the country are being used to eliminate the people who are trying to raise their voice against exploitation. Those who have subjected the peoples of India to inequality have been branding the advocates of equality as Naxal terrorists and have been using state terrorism to silent them. But as Ambedkar has so emphatically predicted, unless contradiction of retaining one man one vote while denying one man one value is removed, those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy, the Naxal activism is increasingly expanding its base in India.

This reminds us that we the people of India, if democracy is to be saved, will have to remove the inequality so ably pinpointed by Ambedkar and so, it is time to start our freedom movement afresh.

STREAK OF MENTAL TERRORISM IN NRO MAIL

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Not all that glitters is gold. So, not all the Non-Resident Oriyas (NRO) are what they look like. There are a few amongst them who emit aura of advancement in education and professions and specifically bask under the color of American link; but sometimes they give vent to such orientation that makes one see how misanthropic are they within.

One of them has posted a mail that reads as follows:

I am a bit confused. I in the following I read a lot of philosophy and a lot of good spirit-uplifting stories and how people are determined to change their fate amidst adversity, but did not get a prescription for “how to deal with naxalites”. Do we assume that all terrorists and hooligans use the same philosophy and methods? My question is why naxalite activities are strong in tribal areas but not in urban areas? Are police more corrupt in tribal areas than corrupt areas? I have answer to my own question: it is easier to hide in jungles than behind buildings. Just like tiger, elephant, bears and even snakes roam in the jungle so do the criminals, whether they exist in the name of naxalites or another violent group. USA realized this in the Vietnam war and used napam to burn down jungles. Still they lost the war eventhough they won a few battles.

Therefore, what Purna has suggested is a practical strategic approach. Men missing in the jungles of USA are searched through helicopter. Helicopter is an effective tool to search and estroy any moving object, be they animals or terrorists. We need to first accept the fact that naxalites and other violent groups are animals and have no place on the street or in the jungle. They need to be searched and destroyed physically. Those who try to study whey people become naxalite may find the reasons but have not yet found the solutions. If you arrest them and try them and imprison them, we need a lot of resources to build prisions, feed them, take care of their health and hire a lot of people to keep them behind bars. Simply destroying them is the most effective and efficient solution. The question of torture also does not arise in long-rage dissolution. The question of bribery does not arise because poeple flying in helicoptor can not be reached to be bribed. Their simple order should be “if you find any one carrying an assult weapon in a jungle, destroy them with the weapons”. I can not guarantee that any one has the guts to under take this search and destroy mission, but I do guarantee that if and when this can be done, jungle violence by human-animals will stop almost instantly.

As long as we chase them on foot, we will be just running around the circle with these human-animals throwing bullets, bribes and even brickbats at us from inside and outside the circle.
Civilized societies exist because they know how to control the uncivilized elements. Case in point: just two weeks back an Indian girl was chasing around her own mother and stabbing openly in front of every one terrorizing people in the town of Cary. Some one had the guts to call 911, Police came ordered the woman to stop, but she did not. Police gunned downed the lady instantly. Very appropriately, the police officer is being investigated for his use of force, but the criminal lady is no longer around to terrorize people. This will not be as easy for the naxalites and other violent groups, but it is doable. That is how Indian stopped Khalistan terrorists, is controlling violence in India-Pakistan border in Kashmir, and that exactly what is needed in Orissa and elsewhere. Mizoram is now prosperous because of the contribution of the Central Government Police Force and the Army. The smae thing is in the case of Nagaland. We need to send in the OMP (Orissa Military Police) for the search and destroy mission and put the local police where they belong: the police stations. Violence must be met with counter force”.

The writer of this mail lives in USA and heads a body that propagates American friendship. There are a lot of spelling and grammatical mistakes in his mail. But as I am quoting his mail, I have not touched them. They help catch a glimpse of his ultra mental excitement that made him write the mail. However he is a relation of my childhood teacher and is emotionally linked to my village Tigiria. By birth he is also a highlander, belonging to ex-princely state of Dhenkanal. When Tigiria is his maternal uncle’s place my maternal uncle’s place is Dhenkanal. Therefore to me he is a man residing in my heart.

Highlanders, specifically of Orissa, are simple in mind and magnanimous in heart. Therefore I shudder to see the misandry in his mail.

Is the streak of mental terrorism sic passim in his mail cited supra any less terrifying than the terror attributed by him to the Naxals?

Or stay in USA degrades our village born simple natured brethren so low that in order to ingratiate themselves to American imperialists they feel no qualms in posting such mails calling for “destruction” of revolutionaries so that plutocracy can engulf India without any obstacle?

Cry Mother Orissa, cry. You have given birth to such children who nestled in USA are so much eager to keep the Americans pleased that they are resorting to mental terrorism in order only to please your exploiters back home and their mentors abroad. Cry Mother Orissa, cry.

RICE FOR THE STARVED SWINDLED AT BIJU JANATA CLUB!

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Intellectuals of Orissa are divided over official supply of rice at the rate of Rs.2 per kg to 59 lakhs of families that are in our opinion families under slow starvation categorized as people below the poverty line (BPL).

The impartial intellectuals view it as Navin Patnaik’s chief ministerial acrobatics aimed at evading wrath of the starved peoples at the polling booths whereas the hardcore admirers of Navin are shocked over the announcement sans study of its economy even though some of them maintain that whatever be the motive behind the scheme and its financial implications, it is good that the wretched poor is going to get rice at the cheapest rate.

But people who bask under the Biju Janata brand are most happy as this official adventure provides them with umpteen opportunities to bag black money by bilking the illiterate and ignorant beneficiaries of their rice quota and selling the same in the black-market.

For an instance we may look at what happened at the Biju Janata Club in village Rekhideipur of Dharmasala Block on August 6 and 7. Under the banner of Biju Janata, local political hooligans were dealing in BPL rice taking the dealership in the name of a member of their group. BPL cardholders intimidated by the hooligans had handed over their cards to their front man officially appointed as the dealer, who, through ghost entry of supply in the cards, was swindling the rice meant for the beneficiaries. The same rice was being disposed off in the black market at higher rate.

Compelled by an unbending picket of protesters, the Block Development Officer had no other way than conducting a raid. On his information, that he was compelled to lodge with the local police, the Biju Janata Club was sealed with police on guard in the late afternoon of August 6 and on the next day, officers of civil supply department with local Tahsildar and Magistrate unsealed the Club and seized from inside the Club around 25 Quintals of BPL rice and many more empty bags. In an extended inquiry, the team seized many BPL ration cards as well as job cards issued to beneficiaries under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, but over and above this, many publicity leaflets of Biju Janata Dal.

This is not a solitary instance. On August 6 a truckload of BPL rice in transition to black market was seized by villagers of Beruanbari near Bahadajhola of Odagaon Block and handed over to Police. An embarrassed administration has suspended the dealer concerned and the area Inspector of Civil Supply in a damage control attempt.

These are just stray instances.

Had the local public, disgusted with the rampant hypocrisy that Navin administration stands for, not seized the BPL rice in transition to black market in both the cases, officials would never have dared to conduct the raids and the scheme behind the scheme could never have been dragged to official records.