Subhas Chandra Pattanayak’s Singhabalokan Formally Launched

A compilation of Subhas Chandra Pattanayak’s works of animadversion published originally in Orissa’s highest circulated daily major Sambad was formally launched in the auditorium of the Red Cross Bhawan at Bhubaneswar in the evening of June 13, retaining the column title Singhabalokan.

Editor of Sambad, Sri Soumya Ranjan Pattanaik offered the mega work as a token of launching to the former Director of Orissa Treasuries and Member of Orissa Public Service Commission Sri Hemant Kumar Das, who is also well known for his uncategorized comments on current events. In response, Sri Das recalled how effective were the articles delivered in the column Singhabalokan and welcomed the compilation thereof that, to him, would enrich Orissa with a matchless storehouse of reference on subjects from administration to information.

Addressing the event as the Chief Guest, Sri Pattanaik described Sri Subhas Chandra Pattanayak as the lighthouse in journalism whose analysis of current events presented with uncommon courage of conviction on the basis of documentary details that he digs out, interprets and relies upon in editorializing his reports, is unique.

“It is not that I always agreed to his analysis, but depiction of the other side of the discernible being his forte, I used to publish them as a challenge to whosoever could come out with a different view with similar strength of argument for proper appreciation of the public”, he said.

Describing the author as a single-minded journalist who dwells in his topic sans fear and compromise, he recalled that as a newspaper operator with economic and politico-social obligations, it was not always easy to publish his merciless exposures on luminaries in power, who were, bruised by his pen, crying out allegations of one-sidedness; but, he said, “I used to publish them as to me Sri Subhas Chandra Pattanayak was not saying anything beyond boundaries of research that he was meticulously making before reaching at a conclusion; and once in a conclusion, he was presenting his findings oblivious of who gets affected”. He said, he rather liked to side with Sri Pattanayak’s one-sidedness, as to him “the lighthouse is always one-sided for which navigators get saved from wandering into the wrong side. The author of Singhabalokan is such a lighthouse”, he said.

Recalling the specialties, as the editor he had marked in Subhas babu’s writing, he informed that the same may be seen as classic instances of how best the vast Oriya vocabulary could be journalistically used in depicting tricky and sensitive issues. “In Sri Pattanayak’s writings one finds not only new approach to the subject in hand, but also finds new formation of words in Oriya that makes one understand the technically difficult and tricky topic with ease and clarity” he said, citing a few of his contributions to Oriya vocabulary such as “Dhanatantra” meaning the politico-economic mischief of wealth and “Kabaratantra” connoting to overall mischief of an atrocious press. He strongly recommended Singhabalokan to serious researchers on socio-cultural and politico-economic life of Orissa, if the missing links in her past history and between the lines of contemporary times forms the crux of the research.

Speaking as the Guest of Honor, eminent journalist Sri Prasant Patnaik discussed on the courage of conviction sic passim in journalistic deliveries of Subhas Chandra Pattanayak while simultaneously showing how Sambad has become the top most circulated daily because of its courage displayed in carrying columns like that of Subhas babu and pioneering column publication as a regular feature amongst Orissa’s newspapers matching its pioneer role in adopting high-tech components in newspaper industry. He harped on reader contribution to newspaper economy by supporting rise in price per copy of the editions, as to him reader-publisher collaboration in newspaper publication is a must for evolution of independent press by reduction of massive dependence of newspapers on advertisers.

Prof. Biswaranjan, eminent author and Editor of Orissa’s latest daily major, Khabar, was in the the Chair.

Discussing on the ever-lasting relevance of subjects dealt in-depth in Singhabalokan, he said that the author has not only made his contributions exemplary in journalism by basically making them research-based, but also has made them so strong in language and so poetic in expression that they emerge as a distinguished entity of penmanship that elevates journalism from a profession to a culture.

Major Prof. Kumudini Barai proposed the vote of thanks. On behalf of publisher Bharat Bharati, Sri Umesh Prasad Sahoo presented the book for launching.

The mega collection is priced at 500 INR per copy.

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Nandini Satpathy Fondly Recalled

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Nandini Satpathy had epitomized the determination against gender discrimination and was in her assertive best in the male dominated political scenario. In this respect she was the first in Orissa and one of the first few in India that have made their marks in applied democracy.

Orissa, to her credit, had, before emergence of Nandini, excellent leaders amongst the women like Sarala Devi, Rama Devi and Malati Choudhury. But, though legendary Gandhians, none of these leaders had ever been in assertive politics.

One of the three founders of Communist Party of India in Orissa, Bhagavati Charan Panigrahi, who philosophized annihilation of exploiters through his immortal character Ghinua, which depicted in Mrigaya bestowed upon Mithun Chakravarty his first national award for best acting, and who is regarded as the initiator of progressive writing in Orissa was her elder father. Bhagabati’s younger brother and who was the first to refuse to salute Sri Jagannath as the supreme deity of the land but saluted him as a mark of respect for all the labor of the artist who created his image and all those workers who built up his excellent temple in a powerfully speaking poem, Kalandi Charan Panigrahi was the father of Nandini. She not only inherited but also epitomized this revolutionary inheritance and therefore, it is she that could dominate the mail-dominated political spectrum. She defeated in elections most popular stalwarts like Biren Mitra and Malati Choudhury and in that all the shadow fighters including luminaries like Biju Patnaik and H.K.Mahtab. But amidst all her astuteness in assertive politics, she was absolutely humane, abundantly affectionate, immensely friendly and unfailingly motherly.

I was a victim of machinations in emergency as I was expressly against administrative interference on freedom of press. Over-enthusiast bureaucrats had made the climate so clumsy that emergency became synonymous with oppression. Because of her assertive manners, in the mass mind, she appeared to be the architect of all that denigrated democracy in the regime. And, to the best of my ability I had tried to expose the excesses. Naturally the bruised mandarins were eager to teach me a lesion and the time was such that for anything tyrannous, not the mandarins, but Nandini the Chief Minister was viewed responsible. I was not different in my perception too. But she was such in her private life that when my father Nishanath Pattanayak passed away, I got the first condolence message from her in writing through a special messenger.

She was in fact a wonderful personality in politics. She was in public perception the architect of emergency excesses in Orissa. But to the progressive people, she architected assertion of State against indiscipline. She architected land reform and accommodated the communists to the extent of reshaping state approach to progress. It is she who gave rural orientation to industry by commissioning a spinning mill at Govindpur of Dhenkanal to begin with, which in the context of those days was a unique instance of prioritization in planning beyond the beaten track. But remarkable was her ease in enjoying life like boundless commons sans artificiality of politics in the domain of her heart.

Her birthday was celebrated on 8th at the State Information Center she had founded in Bhubaneswar. The day had begun with an exhibition of her photos that are preserved by her son Tathagat Satpathy, M.P. and editor of Dharitri. In the evening, its auditorium was jam-packed to remember her and to hear eminent writer and activist Indira Goswamy as well as Sarojini Sahoo. Both of them, famous for emancipatory writing in interest of women, paid their rich tributes to Mrs Satpathy who had personified women emancipation even as they dealt with the unending psycho-physical trauma females are yet being subjected to in the male-dominated society. Juxtaposing the present time with the time of the formative stage of Mrs Satpathy, they praised her for having pioneered the rise of a new epoch where females feel free to face the challenge from the gender-supremacists.

The event with Tathagat Satpathy in the chair and coordinated by Bijay Malla was consecrated with a video show on Mrs Satpathy and with the magic of Orissi presented by famous danseuse Sujata Mohapatra.