Ravenshaw and Vani Vihar Students of 1965 Celebrate Old Friendship

If old friends have a get-together after a very long gap, what happens?

It happens as happened in Hotel Keshari of Bhubaneswar on May 29 when the 1965 batch Post Graduate students of Ravenshaw College, Cuttack and Vani-Vihar, Bhubaneswar had their first meeting after 46 years. Was it celebration of emotion? Yes. But it was more than that. It was effervescence of youth defying age in the hugs and tears of reunion. Of undying memories, it was an occasion of rejuvenation.

With Ms. Helen Mishra in the chair, all who got together narrated about the old days and the bond of friendship. They spoke about their present status, about their families and expressed immense happiness over the meeting.

It was unanimously resolved to bring out a Directory of old students with their brief bio-data, telephone number, address, e-mail ID etc. as soon as possible so that communication with each other can be easier.

Prof. Raj Kishore Mishra was assigned to edit the proposed directory-cum-who’s who , which Mr. Nrusingha Prasad Mishra of Cuttack Students Store (Nuri Mishra) agreed to publish as soon as he gets the copy.

The meeting unanimously nominated Prof. Adwait Mohanty as the President of the 1965 Almunee Association, when Krutibas Mohapatra, Bata Krshna Tripathy and Helen Mishra were nominated as Advisors. Others who were nominated unanimously were
Gopal Patra (Vice-President), Prasanta Patnaik (General Secretary), Prof. Avedananda Mohanty (Treasurer) and Pramod Kar, Nuri Mishra and Prof. Prafulla Mishra (Joint Secretaries).

It was resolved to organize another meeting of more number of members in December this year, which would be attended along with spouses for better interaction among family members also.

Daspalla Acts Advance Crematory For BJD

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Even as internecine strife has started shaking the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) that rules over Orissa, Daspalla – an Assembly constituency – has, on May 24, acted its crematory in advance, with its rank and file burning down its flag in a fierce free-for-all amongst themselves and its MLA Kashinath Mallik lodging criminal complaints against party parliamentarian Rudramadhab Roy in the Police.

Details of how the BJD members of the two conflicting camps jeered and hackled each other do not deserve mention. Significant is the fact that in the bitter wrangle, workers of the party burnt down party flags and tore off Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s photo spangled vests that their rival camp colleagues had worn.

Many Faces of Conflict

BJD MLA Bijay Singh Bariha has, last week, pointed his finger directly at Naveen by alleging that he was asked to resign from the cabinet because of his opposition to allocation of revered hills and soils – the tribals’ living environment – to multinational corporations.

On the other hand, two of the expelled ministers – Dr. Damodar Raut and Debasis Nayak – have castigated the Chief Minister as a fantoccini puppet dancing as exactly the strings are being pulled by Rajyasabha Member Pyari Mohan Mohapatra.

A few days ago, Chairman of Hindol Panchayat Samiti belonging to BJD, whose acrimony with party MLA-cum-Minister Ms. Anjali Behera was discernibly sharp and acute, was killed by a hit-and-run vehicle. When the Police admits that the real culprit is absconding, it has drafted into trial the son of a Sarpanch, who is known as a supporter of the Minister.

From dependable persons of the locality it transpires that the boy apprehended by the Police is a physically fragile boy of impaired faculty who for a serious disease is under treatment of a Mumbai based hospital and is too inane to overcome Police promptings even though that goes against him.

Scapegoats are not unreal in prosecution in such cases. But that, the son of a known supporter of the BJD MLA-cum-Minister is taken into custody in the matter of murder of the Panchayat Samiti Chairman, who belonged also to BJD, speaks volumes of how the ruling party in Orissa is busy in mutually destructive strifes.

In the organizational level, the party is posing to be one and united; but in reality, a cold war between Naveen and Pyari has started brewing.

Confused stalwarts are trying to project the scenario of two of their senior colleagues – Raut and Nayak – pointing accusing fingers at Pyari babu as incidents of personality clash. But, them coming out one after another with the same pattern of statements is suggestive of a deep-rooted crisis that has already spread into its deeper layers.

Daspalla, in this context, is of interesting significance. The tussle there did not stop at clash between two personalities: the MLA and the MP. It involved the rank and file of BJD.

Why?

Let us see.

The BJD Scenario

This Party has a President who has not been changed since its inception and the same President is also the Chief Minister ever since the party has grabbed power in Orissa. Hence the government it runs is not answerable to the Party.

With both the top posts in his hand, Naveen acts as an autocrat and members of the party practice sycophancy to keep him pleased so that they can continue deriving benefits as members of the ruling party.

Whosoever fails to keep him pleased gets ousted from his post and even from the primary membership of the party. Ouster of founding members who did not resort to sycophancy is a standing cause that prods all its members, specifically the leaders in lower ladders, to try to surpass each other in showing loyalty to the party autocrat.

Conversely, they also engage themselves in sabotaging loyalty shows of rivals in the party.

This happened in Daspalla.

But this is not the whole truth. The party being one, its rank and file could not have attacked each other to the effect of ruining the party’s official program – Yuva Sankalpa Yatra – even though that was being carried out by Mallik, the MLA, allegedly the local rival of Roy, the MP.

So what was the reason of such hostility?

As per vox populi, the hostility came from sharp pangs of jealousy over sharing the haul out of the welfare funds.

Orissa is marked for corruption and misappropriation of maximum portion of welfare funds by the politicians-in-power in nexus with the bureaucracy. And, the constituency has witnessed how both the leaders have tried to have their respective preferred persons in various official positions in Daspalla. This they have done in order to help their respective followers rule over the welfare funds with the cooperation of their preferred officers.

Thus is Daspalla

Daspalla was Roy’s original political base. As it changed into a reserved category constituency, BJD offered him the nearest Parliamentary constituency of Kandhamal, while planting Mallik in this constituency for the Assembly.

When Roy was the sole leader in Daspalla constituency, the entire lot of officials were cooperating with his supporters. But Mallik’s emergence as the most material leader in the constituency divided the scope. This had, in onlookers’ opinion, given birth to conflicts between the supporters of both of them. Hence, it is feared that the tussle in Daspalla was driven not alone by the two leaders’ respective anxiety over ingratiation with the party supremo, but also by avarice for lucre in BJD’s grassroots.

This is a serious syndrome that shows to what low the State has been dragged down by the BJD government. However, Daspalla has also enkindled a hope that the dinosaurs shall soon eat up each other and vanish.

When the State awaits to know: who really killed the Panchayat Samiti Chairman of Hindol and why; whether or not Bariha’s ouster as minister was factored by his opposition to transfer of tribals’ living environment to industries and how far Raut and Nayak are right in blaming Pyari Mohapatra for remote-controlling the CM-cum-supremo of the party for wrong purposes, the severe strife amongst its rank and file at Daspalla apparently ignited by avarice for lucre has made it clear that the doomsday for BJD is not very far away.

Thus Daspalla appears as crematory in advance for BJD.

If Pyari Mohapatra Is Not Dismissed, He Will Replace Naveen Patnaik as CM

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The ruling BJD in Orissa is taking a bizarre turn. If its supremo Naveen Patnaik does not dismiss Pyari Mohan Mohapatra from the party, then there is every possibility of the latter replacing him as the CM.

Members of BJD are deeply disillusioned with Sri Patnaik.

In his first two terms, they were not very vociferous about his maladministration, because he was heading a coalition with BJP. But, during the last two years of his third term, more and more members of its legislative wing have stripped his government layer by layer in the legislative Assembly. The recent cabinet reshuffle is being seen as a step taken in nervous reaction to this disillusionment.

In the past, Patnaik had used the tactics of toleration if that was helpful in retention of his position. Samir De was an instance. It seems, he has been using the same tactics as regards Pyari babu.

He has, to save his own skin, used many times the tactics of jettison from his cabinet as and when headlines have focused on felonies carried out in his rule. Kalandi Behera and Pramila Mallik are instances.

He is also known for using the tactics of termination from party to preempt any threat to his leadership. Bijay Mohapatra is an instance.

He is now using tactics of induction to tame the loudmouths. Induction of Pradip Maharathy to the cabinet in recent reshuffle is an instance.

But despite all these tactics, threat to his position has not subsided.

As more and more instances of corruption come to light by way of media expositions, audit objections and judicial determinations, his credibility is plunging down sans any chance of revival and majority of the members of his party is getting discernibly disillusioned.

In such a situation Naveen has only one option.

As most of the people in Orissa believe that Naveen’s administration runs according to instructions of the de facto CM Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, he can openly admit his failure, attribute the failure to his innocence and belief in the ‘Uncle’, as Pyari babu is generally known in his context.

Instead of tactics of toleration, he can use tactics of termination and oust Pyari babu from BJD, holding him responsible for the entire gamut of maladministration. In that case, he can regain his lost credibility by hoodwinking the people and further consolidate his position by instituting a commission of inquiry against him to determine how far has he corrupted administration by misuse of his position.

He knows, fellows belonging to the category of Dr. Damodar Raut, whom Pyari babu is a fifth columnist, will forget their insult and rush back to rally behind him to ensure that he does not face any debacle.

He had used tactics of termination from the party against its founding leader Bijaya Mohapatra and can use the same tactics against Pyari babu, as without such a shock effect, ways for restoration of his credibility will not open in emerging situations. As is his wont, this is not impossible. And, perhaps this is the only option available to him.

But, if he fails to do so, what will happen?

BJD cannot bag a fresh mandate.

Therefore, it would be imperative for the majority in BJD to revolt against Naveen and to replace him with Pyari babu.

In fact, if BJD is to continue in power, it can be possible only through such a step.

Had Pyari babu not engineered the collapse of its coalition with BJP and rejuvenated it by enkindling hope in BJD aspirants that were being left out under compulsion of coalition, the party, already tainted by then on many counts, could not even have faced the public in the 2009 hustings.

It is Pyari babu, who alone instigated the BJD to cut off the alliance with BJP and to put up candidates in all the constituencies that were left in the BJP fold and it is he who most aggressively had conducted its campaign both against the BJP and the Congress.

When the suddenly deserted BJP was at its wits’ end, the next major political party – the Indian National Congress, with a new President hailing from a tyrant family that during kingship had tortured its subjects beyond comparison in the history of inhumanity, was not in a position to challenge.

Astute Pyari had studied the situation and had audaciously drawn up his strategy and carried his party to the monumental success that he alone had visualized.

If he has really stymied POSCO by secretly siding with the Communists, as alleged by Dr, Damodar Raut after his ouster as a minister, then it can be said without any travesty of truth, that for the BJD in its present condition, he is the only available panacea. This party is not based on any political economy. Its only base was regionalism, which Naveen has ruined by putting indigenous people in mare’s nest in his act of serving the interest of the agents, proponents and practitioners of imperialism. So, there is no reason for the people to support this government again.

Only a change in leadership can save the ship of BJD from sinking.

If members of BJD are in a political party, they are there because of their ambitions for power and avarice for lucre.

That matters, not Naveen.

Hence, if, taking advantage of his present position, Naveen does not dismiss Pyari babu on grounds he himself can contrive or on the ground of allegation of stymieing POSCO as raised by Dr.Raut, then the BJD members, who, to feel safe to play the game of aggrandizement, need a covering canopy over their head, will replace him with Pyari babu.

If this does not happen, next election may bring in worse fellows to power in Orissa, but not the BJD.

The Contempt of Court Episode Needs be Kept in IAS Officers’ Service Books

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

School and Mass Education Secretary Ms. Aparajita Sarangi’s unconditional apology has invoked judicial magnanimity of Orissa High Court that has remitted the cash-or-jail-in-default punishment awarded to her for “willful disobedience” to its order in a school teacher salary case.

A school teacher, Ms. Swarnalata Dei, appointed on January 2,1992 in a rural high school, was regularized on Government recognition on March 6, 1999. She harped on regularization since the day of her joining, which the government sloughed over. This had led to the litigation before the High Court, which, ultimately on July 20 last year, had ordered that her services must be counted since the day of her joining and her back wages, calculated accordingly, must be paid to her as per official scale of pay. This order was taken nonchalantly, which had given birth to the contempt of court case.

By personally appearing before the concerned bench and having admitted her fault while begging apology, she has of course been saved from the contempt proceeding and resultant punishment.

But, this has not yielded a court order that she as the secretary had done no wrong to a school teacher.

Administration needs to take note of it.

The contempt proceeding against the Secretary, the cause thereof, the award of punishment therein, her confession of guilt with the timing and sequence of confession, her prayer for apology and the pardon granted because of judicial magnanimity – all these matters – need be noted in her personal character sheet as these taken together offer an index of her effectiveness as an officer and her aptitude to her subordinates vis-a-vis her responsibility.

Many incorrigibly errant officers have bagged promotions in Orissa; because, their misconducts – despite being located by enquiring authorities and determined by courts – are not properly kept in their service records. There are some instances in discussion in these pages.

To stop repetition thereof, the instant Contempt of Court episode needs be kept in Ms. Sarangi’s Service Book. This should also apply to director of school education Srikant Prusti IAS as well as to Cuttack circle inspector of schools Brundavan Satpathy, Ms. Sarangi’s co-contemners.

Karnataka Assembly Should Be Immediately Dissolved And The Governor Changed

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Every dog serves its master. No wonder, Karnataka Governor H.R.Bhardwaj, who is in this post because of loyalty to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, has recommended for President’s rule in the State, which, if accepted, would unseat BJP Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa.

He is the man, who as union law minister, had taken initiative to de-freeze bank accounts of Sonia Gandhi’s close friend Ottavio Quattrocchi, ill-famed as the corrupting commission agent of Bofors Gun that had, on exposure, costed Rajiv Gandhi his Prime Minister post and ultimately had led to his murder. While de-freezing Quattrocchi’s bank accounts, Bhardwaj had not even consulted the CBI, which had factored the freezing. He was marked for this loyalty to Sonia and her family more conspicuously than any loyalty to law as a law minister before being appointed a governor. Therefore, his step against Yeddyurappa is being looked at as a Congress game against the BJP government.

But, Yeddyurappa ministry deserves dismissal, if probity deserves priority.

Yeddyurappa might have lost his position in October last year had the Assembly Speaker not come to his rescue by disqualifying as many as 16 MLAs that had revolted against him for what they termed as his nepotism.

Supreme Court of India has quashed the Speaker’s ruling and thus the disqualified MLAs have got back their lost position.

Yeddyurappa should unperturbedly have sought confidence vote after the apex court verdict and if these MLAs, in the mean time, have changed their mind, he certainly could have won the confidence vote. In that case, the Governor might never have found any reason to recommend for President’s rule. But, he cultivated signatures of the rebel MLAs in his support and this clearly indicated political horse trading, which, in the Governor’s judgement was blatantly injurious to the State’s politico-administrative health .

As such, he was not at all wrong in recommending for President’s rule.

And, as such, the BJP march before the President in exhibiting its floor strength was entirely misconceived and uncalled for.

Yet, it is imperative on part of the President, if she, on seeing the BJP parade, considers not to accept the governor’s recommendations, to ask the MLAs now being projected as that party’s prodigal sons, to faithfully reveal as to why exactly had they revolted against Yeddyurappa and how exactly and on what reason are they now convinced that their earlier revolt against their chief minister was wrong and anti-people. If they fail to come forward with convincing reasons, the BJP parade should be ignored and in stead of allowing anti-democracy dramas of show of strength in the Assembly floor, the Assembly should be dissolved and President rule should be imposed to allow people of Karnataka to elect their Assembly afresh. An Assembly should not be made a stage for horse trading.

But, with Bhardwaj as Governor, the President rule would be looked at askance. His proven loyalty to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi will never assure people of impartiality of administration during the crucial phage before election to take place. Hence,Karnataka should be given a new governor in place of Bharadwai also, with strict instruction to act as per advice of a board of advisors drawn from outside the State till elections would be over and new government takes over.

In an earlier posting in these pages we had stressed that Smt Prativa Patil, should extricate herself from her Congress past; because the President, though the highest political post, is constitutionally kept above party politics. We now stress on that posting again.

Good for Communism: Deranged Left Dismissed In West Bengal

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

West Bengal may soon feel the void Buddhadev Bhattacharya’s defeat has created; but it has also earned the distinction of being the State that has unambiguously pointed out that Party Banner will not help if any Communist accommodates Capitalism.

Thank you, West Bengal; your mandate is good for communism.

Communism needs that the Communists in India should stay away from power. They are the last hope for our people to save them from plutocracy and plutocracy cannot be defeated by partnering with it.

And, howsoever committed to Marxism the Communists may be, when in power in India, they would be bound to, as they were in West Bengal, partner with plutocracy; because, no government in India can go against the Constitution.

Indian Constitution helps plutocracy because of components it carries since its formative days. Therefore, if Communists form government under this Constitution, people who believe and hope that they will emancipate them, will be disillusioned and distance.

West Bengal has established this in this year’s election to her Assembly.

For the Communists to perform their role, they are to start the war afresh to free India from plutocracy.

They are to reach the people with details of how the contradiction – engineered in equality amongst all citizens in voting power and inequality in economy – planted in the Constitution by the rich that had dominating majority in the Constituent Assembly, has reduced India to a grazing ground of the propertied class that run after lucre and generation of private profit and build up personal/corporate empires in this soil denuding it of its natural resources and pushing its toiling masses to further impoverishment.

They are to educate the people about this contradiction inherent in the Constitution and wake them up to remove this contradiction.

Removal of this contradiction depends upon removal of right to unlimited property and rescue of means of industrial production from private ownership.

Power politics will not help them perform this role as that would force them to collaborate with this contradiction under the overriding and judicially protected provisions of the Constitution.

This is proved by the fact that Communists in power in provinces and in central coalitions have not been able even to take any step to remove this contradiction, when, on the other hand, they have strengthened status quo by taking oppressive steps against active opponents of economic inequality and even have taken steps, as witnessed in West Bengal, to displace poor people from their lands for benefit of the rich and the private industries.

As long as economic inequality enjoys Constitutional support, economic emancipation for our people will not be possible.

So, for the Communists, seeking power under allegiance to the Constitution in its entire form, would be defeating by themselves their own mission. And, partial allegiance to Constitution is not permissible.

So, they should decide to stay away from seeking people’s mandate to form Government(s).

People in various parts of India, in various forms, are battling against Governments, against economic exploitation, against economic inequality, against corruption, against corporate empires, against loot of exchequer, against communalism, against casteism, against religious revivalism, against misrule, against misuse of Law, against State terrorism and against environment of defeat of their independence. Communists should consolidate all these active groups. The country needs selfless sacrifice to ignite a new war for emancipation from exploitation, from politico-economic confusion and from anti-people administration.

Faithful refusal to seek power under the Constitution that accommodates annihilation of the dreams for and the environment of independence can only help revival of people’s faith in the Communists and then they can proceed to fulfill their unfinished historic task of making the world a better place to live in.

Introspection should tell them that, forming Governments in certain States and occupying portfolios in the Center or calling the shots through coalition with class enemies, has not helped them bringing in Communism in India. Rather it has distanced the people for whom the Communists stand and whose emancipation they aim at.

The 2011 verdict, specifically that of West Bengal, has given them the opportunity to introspect.

The verdict is, therefore, good for Communism.

Use of National Flag as Drapery over Sai Coffin Was an Offense against India: Required is Immediate Codification of State Funeral and Ban on Funeral Use of Flag

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

It is sad that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh could not understand that use of Indian National Flag as a drapery over the coffin of Sathya Sai baba in his presence was perhaps the ugliest offense not only against democracy of India, but also against the selfless freedom fighters and all the martyrs that had laid down their lives for this Flag.

In moving the Constituent Assembly to adopt this Flag, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, on the 22nd July 1947, had said:

“I remember and many in this House will remember how we looked up to this Flag not only with pride and enthusiasm but with a tingling in our veins; also how, when we were sometimes down and out, then again the sight of this Flag gave us courage to go on. Then, many, who are not present here today, many of our comrades who have passed, held on to this Flag – some amongst them even unto death – and handed it over as they sank, to others to hold it aloft”.

This is most shocking that, in presence of the present Prime Minister, this Flag, this most precious epitome of our freedom and sovereignty, was used as a drapery over the coffin of a person who had no contribution to keep it aloft.

Let Us First Know Our National Flag

This Flag was originally the Tricolour Flag of our freedom movement with Gandhiji’s Charkha (Spinning wheel) in the middle band, under which the Congress as well as the Communists / socialist et al were fighting for the country’s freedom. While presenting the Flag of our struggle for freedom for adoption as the National flag of free India, the official Resolution moved by Nehru had shown that in place of Charkha only the wheel of thereof was retained by way of modification.

Many members of the Constituent Assembly were opposed to this modification. They gave notice for amendment against the official Resolution.

As for example, Dr. P. C. Desmukh, who had given a notice against the bare wheel on the white band, said:

“My idea was essentially based on the retention of the Tricolour absolutely intact with the Charkha retained, as it is the Charkha which is the emblem of Ahimsa and the common toiling man associated so inseparably with the acquisition of our political freedom and the name of Mahatma Gandhi”.

On seeing such opposition to substitution of the Charkha by the wheel, Nehru had to give an explanation while placing the Resolution. He said that just to give an artistic look to the wheel of the Charkha, the wheel which “appears at the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Asoka” was preferred.

Explaining elaborately this phenomenon, Nehru told the House:

“It will be seen that there is a slight variation from the one many of us have used during these past years. The colours are the same, a deep saffron, a white and a dark green. In the white, previously there was the Charkha which symbolized the common man in India, which symbolized the masses of the people, which symbolized their industry and which came to us from the message which Mahatma Gandhi delivered. Now, this particular Charkha symbol has been slightly varied in this Flag, not taken away at all. Why then has this been varied? Normally speaking, the symbol on one side of the Flag should be exactly the same as on the other side. Otherwise, there is a difficulty which goes against the rules. Now, the Charkha, as it appeared previously on this Flag, had the wheel on one side and the spindle on the other. If you see the other side of the Flag, the spindle comes the other way and the wheel comes this way; if it does not do so, it is not proportionate, because the wheel must be towards the pole, not towards the end of the Flag. There was this practical difficulty. Therefore, after considerable thought, we were of course convinced that this great symbol which had enthused people should continue but that it should continue in a slightly different form, that the wheel should be there, not the rest of the Charkha, that is, the spindle and the string which created this confusion. The essential mitt of the Charkha should be there, that is the wheel. So, the old tradition continue in regard to the Charkha and the wheel”.

With Nehru’s this explanation, the amendments proposed on the Resolution stressing on retention of the Charkha, were not pressed by their respective proposers and thus the old Tricolour took the new shape.

Flag against Imperialism

Even though the wheel, designed as it was in the pattern of the wheel on Sarnath pillar, had prompted some members to add Asoka’s imperial luster to the Flag in their speeches on the occasion, it was made unambiguously clear in the body of the adopted Resolution that the wheel was the wheel of the Charkha, “which”, Nehru said, “symbolised the common man in India, which symbolised the masses of the people, which symbolised their industry and which came to us from the message which Mahatma Gandhi delivered”.

So, our National Flag stands for the common man of India, stands for the masses of her people, stands for common man’s industry as conceived by Mahatma Gandhi.

It never is meant to stand for imperialism. Therefore the Constituent Assembly had “cheered” Nehru when he declared:

“This Flag that I have the honour to present to you is not, I hope and trust, a Flag of Empire, a Flag of Imperialism, a Flag of domination over anybody, but a Flag of freedom not only for ourselves, but also a symbol of freedom to all people who may see it”.

This Flag, the most precious materialization of our sacrifice for freedom, of our resolve to end exploitation and of our fight against imperialism, was, in presence of the present Prime Minister desecrated as a drapery over the coffin of a controversial person who had no contribution to our freedom movement, no contribution to our fight against exploitation; but had a lot contribution to weaken our stand against imperialism. We will come to this sad scene latter.

Let us first see what this flag had meant to its creators: the founding parents of our Constitution.

Sir S. Radhakrishnan had elaborated on significance of the colors and the wheel of the Flag in the following term:

“The green is our relation to the soil, our relation to the plant life here on which all other life depends. We must build our Paradise here on this green earth. If we are to succeed in this enterprise, we must be guided by truth (white), practice virtue (wheel), adopt the method of self-control and renunciation (saffron)”.

But to Pandit Govind Malaviya,

“The importance of National Flag does not depend on colour, its bands or its other parts. The Flag as a whole is important and other things – the colour etc – are immaterial. The Flag may be of a piece of white cloth or of any other insignificant material, but when it is accepted as a National Flag, it becomes the emblem of national self-respect. It becomes its dearest object”.

Sad, Dr. Manmohan Singh allowed this dearest object of India, this emblem of our national self-respect for use as a drapery on the coffin of a person whose conduct was not at all conducive to our national self-respect.

Of course, Singh has belittled our national self-respect in many ways. The world has watched, how our national resolve for socialism inscribed in the Preamble of the Constitution was killed behind the country at the altar of WTO, how our Parliament was hoodwinked in the matter of nuke deal that according to stalwarts of USA was meant to provide the traders of that country with their long awaited “bonanza”, how the CBI under his portfolio had to protect the Italian Ottavio Quattrocchi, the commission agent whose connection had cost Rajiv Gandhi his Prime Minister position, to mention a few. It was not surprising for him to support draping of our National Flag on Sai coffin. But to patriots of India, this Flag is more valuable than their lives.

Let us again go back to Pandit Malaviya’s speech to see how the patriots had seen this Flag.

“This, our Flag, has been the symbol of the hopes and dreams of four hundred million souls for the last 27 years. For the honour of this flag millions holding it dearer than their lives, suffered tremendously. Numberless people went to jails leaving their children starving. People had their heads and bones broken by the lathis of police and the military to keep it aloft. Unarmed youngmen and students of the country opened their chests before the bullets of the English military or police to protect the honour of this flag. For generations it has been our flag and the great feeling, emotion and enthusiasm we have in our hearts for this flag is beyond human description”.

Speaking of how the six thousand years of struggle of the Adibasis (tribals) for freedom had fetched success with materialization of this Flag, Jaipal Singh had said:

“This National Flag will give a new message to the Adibasis of India that their struggle for freedom for the last six thousand years is at last over, that they will now be as free as any other in this country”.

Speaking of the minds of the most downtrodden of Indians, the Harijans, V.I.Muniswami Pillai had said:

“The Harijan classes and all those communities, who are in the lowest rung of the ladder of society, feel that the Constitution, which is on the anvil of this supreme body, is going to bring solace to the millions of the submerges classes……..after accepting this great Flag”.

Talking in the tone of the peoples of the Princely States, Dr. Mohan Sinha Mehta had said:

“I am, therefore, speaking here not only on my own behalf, but also on behalf of a large number of States; I have not consulted them, but I am sure they will agree with me when I say that this Flag, whether it is flying over a building in India or on the high seas in foreign waters, this Flag would represent the combined sentiments of the Union of India, irrespective of what places of worship we go to, irrespective of the difference in our names and nomenclatures; we are all Indians and this is our Flag”.

Saiyid Mohammad Saadulla, speaking of the Muslim mind had said,

“The Flag symbolises the evolution of our aspirations, the fulfillment of our struggles and the ultimate result of all our sacrifices”.

And, Chaudhuri Khaliquzzaman had said:

“I think that from today everyone, who regards himself as a citizen of India – be he a Muslim, Hindu or Christian – will, as a citizen, make all sacrifices to uphold and maintain the honour of the Flag ……. I know that a flag to look at, is simply a piece of cloth but a country’s Flag symbolises its ideals and its aspirations ……. I think that from whatever angle, we may view it, the step taken today will only strengthen the foundations of India. Every Muslim, Hindu and Christian will feel proud in hoisting this flag throughout the length and breadth of India, and he shall honour it”.

On behalf of the Indian Christian community, Dr. H.C.Mookherjee had pledged “allegiance once more to the Flag”. Mr.Frank R.Anthony had said,

“This Flag is the Flag of the Nation …. while this is a symbol of our past, it inspires us for the future. ….. it should be the duty and privilege of every Indian not only to cherish and live under it, but, if necessary, to die for it”.

Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafar had expressed the Sikh mind recalling how the Sikhs had made many sacrifices “to see this Flag up in the air”. He said,

“Now it is equally incumbent upon us to maintain the dignity of this fluttering Flag. Perhaps at times, we may have to make the same sacrifice to keep it aloft as we have had to achieve it. Therefore, I promise on behalf of my Sikh community that they shall continue to make sacrifices for upholding the honour and dignity of the Flag with the same vigor, daring and fearlessness, as they have shown in the cause of the country’s freedom”.

Ah! the enjoyers of the fruits of this sacrifice have degraded the dignity of the Flag by its use as a drapery on the coffin of a man sans the Nation’s permission.

“If the honour of the Flag, maintained by us even up to this day is besmirched anytime, my community along with other inhabitants of the country will sacrifice themselves to save the honour of the Flag”,

had declared H. J. Khandekar.

To Balakrushna Sharma, the free India was to “give a message of eternal peace to the entire human world from under this Flag”.

Even as we are to omit other speakers to shorten this essay, we cannot omit Smt. Sarojini Naidu, who had epitomized the say of the Motherland on this occasion. She had said,

“If I am speaking here today, it is not on behalf of any community or any creed or any sex, though women members of this House are very insistent that a woman should speak. I think that the time has come in the onward march of world civilisation when there should be no longer any sex consciousness or sex separation in the service of the country. I therefore speak on behalf of that ancient reborn mother with her undivided heart and indivisible spirit, whose love is equal for all her children, no matter what corner they come from, in what temple or mosques they worship, what language they speak or what culture they profess”.

She very strongly had disapproved the “Bihari” assertion that the wheel on the Flag was of Asoka, the hero of Bihar.

“I was especially reminded by the people that sit behind me from the Province of Bihar that it was at the risk of my life and seat in their province should I forget to mention that this Flag, so willingly and proudly accepted today by the House, has for its symbol the Dharma Chakra of Asoka, whom they claim ( I do not know with what historical veracity ) to be a Bihari”.

And, had asked:

“Does not that wheel stand as a symbol for every national interest and national activity? Does it not represent the Charkha of my illustrious and beloved leader, Mahatma Gandhi and the wheel of time that marches and marches and marches without hesitation and without halt? Does it not represent the rays of the Sun? Does it not represent eternity? Does it not represent the human mind? Who shalt live under this Flag without thinking of the common India?”

Thus refuting the misconception that the wheel in this Flag was Asokan, Smt. Naidu had roared:

“Remember this Flag. There is no prince and there is no peasant, there is no rich and there is no poor. There is no privilege; there is only duty and responsibility and sacrifice. Whether we be Hindus or Muslims, Christians, Sikhs or Zoroastrians and others, our Mother India has one undivided heart and one indivisible spirit. Men and women of reborn India, rise and salute this Flag. I bid you, rise and salute the Flag”.

The Constituent Assembly had risen and saluted the Flag and adopted the Resolution sans any change.

Then it was decided that the mother community of India, the women, shall create and present the first National Flag to be officially hoisted when India shall be formally independent with August 15 emerging on the heart of the night of August 14, 1947.

Accordingly, a Flag Presentation Committee comprising prominent women leaders including Amrit Kaur, Vijayalaxmi Pandit, Hansa Mehta, Sucheta Kripalani, Malati Chowdhury, Mani Ben Patel etc was constituted with Smt. Sarojini Naidu as its head. A few hours before the midnight of August 14, 1947, in absence of Smt. Naidu, Smt. Hansa was called upon to present the Flag “on behalf of women of India”.

She said:

“Mr. President, Sir, in the absence of Smt. Sarojini Naidu, it is my proud privilege, on behalf of the women of India, to present this Flag to the Nation through you. …….. It is in fitness of things that this Flag that will fly over this august House should be a gift from the women of India. We have fought, suffered and sacrificed in the cause of our country’s freedom. We have today attained our goal. In presenting this symbol of our freedom, we once more offer our services to the Nation. We pledge ourselves to work for a great India, for building up a Nation that will be a Nation among Nations. …… May this Flag be the symbol of that great India and may it ever fly high and serve as a light in the doom that threatens the world today. May it bring happiness to those who live under its protective care”.

Thus the reborn India was put under the protective care of this Flag, in honor of which, after its presentation, Smt. Sucheta Kripalani was called upon to sing the “first verse of Janaganamana Adhinayaka Jaya He” giving the clear message that this Flag is the Janaganamana Adhinayaka of India.

I have no word to condemn the conduct of the present Prime Minister of India as he has caused desecration of this Flag, our epitome of patriotism, our essence of sacrifice for motherland, our quintessence of political sovereignty, the soul of our martyrs, the dream object of our founding parents, under the protective care of which our emancipators had left us, our Janaganamana Adhinayaka, by allowing its use as a drapery over the coffin of Sathya Sai baba.

Sai in Alert Eyes:

Hypnotized “devotees”, who were worshipping Sai baba as God and believing in all sorts of concocted stories that were contrived to convince themselves and others that he was a God, now know that their God has died.

But controversy over his role as God has not died and is never to die.

Dr. Abraham T. Kovoor, in depicting his encounters with spiritual frauds – captioned BEGONE GODMEN! – has shown how a nuclear scientist and former scientific advisor to Government of India in matters of our nuclear programs, Dr. S. Bhagavantham, had concocted stories to project Sai baba as a God.

Dr. Kovoor’s report deserves perusal to locate the pattern of image building of Sai baba as a God. Here is what he says:

(Dr. Bhagavantham had written) “The wonderful experience, some years ago, of a world-famous watch manufacturer of Japan, while he was on tour in India, was awe-inspiring.
“After completing the Seiko series of watches he made the model of a more superior type, and kept it in his safe for further tests.
“While touring in India he paid a visit to Sathya Sai Baba’s abode just out of curiosity. On seeing the Japanese gentleman among the devotees Sathya Sai Baba materialized a small parcel from the air and gave him. On opening the parcel he was astonished to see the same watch that was kept in his safe. When he saw along with the watch the silk ribbon and the label with the new name of the watch and its price marked on it, all his doubts about the divine powers of Sathya Sai Baba simply melted away. He fell prostrate at Sathya Sai Baba’s feet and worshipped him. Since then he is an ardent devotee of the Bhagawan.
“On his return to Japan, he was shocked to see that the watch he had kept in his safe was not there. What his Personal Secretary told him was still more startling. The Secretary said that a divine-looking person with bushy hair walked into the office one day, opened the safe and walked away with the watch.”
Does Dr. Bhagavantham, who is the holder of covetable qualifications in science, think that a thesis of this nature to prove the miraculous powers of a man, by any scientist, will be accepted by an academic body of scientists if it is not backed by scientific investigations and fool-proof evidence?
Although Dr. Bhagavantham is reluctant to test the veracity of his Godman’s miraculous powers, I decided to do it myself. With this aim in view I wrote the following letter to Dr. Bhagavantham:
“Tiruvalla”, Pamankada Lane,
Colombo-6, Sept. 11, 1973.
Dear Dr. Bhagavantham,
I read your story about a Japanese watch manufacturer getting his own watch that was kept in a safe in Japan, materialized in India from air by Sathya Sai Baba. My scientific attitude does not permit me to accept this fantastic story as true without verification. The reported statement of his personal Secretary enhances my doubt. The first reaction of a responsible Secretary when a stranger walks into the office and opens the safe would be to raise the alarm and to summon the police. As I feel it is unscientific even for a scientist to believe this type of cock-and-bull story without verification, I request you to kindly let me know the name and address of this Japanese so that I may verify the truth about it. Your failure to help me to conduct this investigation by withholding this information, will lead me to suspect your sincerity and honesty, and discard all what you have said about Sathya Sai Baba as utter falsehood deliberately propagated with ulterior motive and vested interest.
Yours in search of Truth,
Abraham T. Kovoor
As there was no response from Dr. Bhagavantham even after two moths, I decided to pursue the matter on my own. The Japanese Embassy in Sri Lanka was kind enough to provide me with the name and address of the proprietor of the Seiko watch-manufacturing firm.
In my letter dated 30th October, 1973 to Mr. Shoji Hattori, president of K. Hattori & Co. Ltd., the manufacturers of Seiko watches, I reproduced Dr. Bhagavantham’s story about the miracle, and requested him to provide me with answers to the following questions:
1. Did you or any other partner of yours visit Sathya Sai Baba of India any time?
2. Did Sai Baba materialize a watch from air and present it to you or to any of your partners?
3. Did your personal Secretary tell you or any of your partners that a stranger opened the safe and walked away with a watch?
4. Are you or any of your partners a devotee of Sai Baba?
For the benefit of numerous innocent devotees of Godmen of India I reproduce below Mr. Hattori’s reply. This I do with the sincere hope that they will be sensible enough to realize the truth that these charlatans who go about in the garb of holy men have numerous agents like Dr. Bhagavantham everywhere working in collusion to propagate the huge hoax and profit materially:
SEIKO
K. HATTORI & CO., LTD.,
5, Koyobashi 2-chome, chuo-ku, Tokyo 104, Established 1881,
Cable: Hattori Tokyo.Phone: Tokyo 563-2111.
November 8, 1973.
Dr. A.T.Kovoor,
Pamankada Lane, Colombo-6, Sri Lanka.,
Dear Dr. Kovoor,
Thank you for your letter of October 30th. I can appreciate your interest in conducting scientific research of paranormal claims, but I am in no way able to further your knowledge as regards the man mentioned in your letter, Mr. Sai Baba. Neither I nor any members of my staff have ever made the acquaintance of this individual. I am sure that these reports are completely unfounded. I must therefore reply in the negative to all four of your questions concerning this incident.
Sincerely yours,
K. Hattori & Co., Ltd.,
Sgd. Shoji Hattori,
President
On receipt of this letter I wrote the following letter to Dr. Bhagavantham enclosing a Photostat copy of Mr. Shoji Hattori’s letter.
“Dear Dr. Bhagavantham,
Absence of any response from you to my request made over two months ago has made me suspect the veracity of your story about the Japanese watch manufacturer getting his own watch that was kept in his safe in Japan from Sai Baba. To pursue my investigation in the matter, I got the name and address of Seiko watch manufacturer from the Japanese Embassy in Sri Lanka. In his reply to my inquiry, Mr. Shoji Hattori, President of K. Hattori & Co., Ltd., who are the manufacturers and proprietors of Seiko watches wrote:
“I can appreciate your interest in conducting scientific research of paranormal claims, but I am in no way able to further your knowledge as regards the man mentioned in your letter, Mr. Sai Baba. Neither I nor any members of my staff have ever made the acquaintance of this individual. I am sure that these reports are completely unfounded.
“If Mr. Shoji Hattori is not the person concerned in your story, please let me know about it, and provide me with the correct name and address. Absence of any reply from you for this letter also, will only confirm my firm belief that you are an agent of Sathya Sai Baba doing propaganda for him with ulterior motive and vested interest.
Yours in search of Truth,
Abraham T. Kovoor”.
Since there was no reply so far to this letter also, I had to confirm my belief that Dr, Bhagavantam is in collusion with the charlatan Sathya Sai Baba to do false propaganda for him with ulterior motive and vested interest”.

(Source: Begone Godmen!: Dr. Abraham T. Kovoor, First Jaico Impression [1976] pp 20-24)

Not only Dr. Kovoor, but also many scientists, scholars and investigators have exposed the falseness of legends woven around Sathya Sai baba. But possible “religio-maniacal neurosis or avarice for lucre” (Ibid) has roped in a few of famous scientists to project his tricks as miracles and him as God by concocting improbable legends.

One such scientist is Dr. G.Venkatraman, also a nuclear scientist, who, during his official tenure was in top echelon of India’s highly sensitive nuclear projects.

When such a great nuclear scientist became Sathya Sai baba’s principal global propagandists, it was not unnatural for simple-natured people to fall in the trap to believe that he was a God.

Motive Behind Image Building

Why this image of God was being built? It is now clear that this image was helping Sai baba amass massive wealth, which, though shown as trust property, was lying under his supreme control and being handled solely by him according to his whims and caprices.

But the aspect which is not yet clearly seen is that India’s topmost nuclear scientists like Dr. Bhagavantham and Dr, Venkataraman had been working for him and projecting him as a God from propaganda machineries established in America when President Bush and Prime Minister Singh were actively working upon nuclear collaboration as drafted by USA. Curiously, Dr. Singh was present at Sai baba’s deathbed defying the discipline required from the Prime Minister of secular India and allowed use of our National Flag as a draper over his coffin. Whether or not Sai baba was a cover for clandestine American nose poking in our nuclear activities is a matter for investigation, specifically as such eminent players of our nuclear program and policies had a common master in him.

The Issue

But the immediate issue is: Whether or not draping of Sai baba’s coffin with our National Flag was an offense against India. Patriotism calls for cogitation on this issue.

Our freedom fighters had dared all sufferings and our martyrs had laid down their lives for this Flag to rise on our sky as the symbol of our triumph over imperialism and of our dreams and determination for emancipation from all sorts of plutocratic mechanism.

But Sai baba had no contribution to our freedom movement, no contribution to our freedom from exploitation, no contribution to our rise as a Nation. Instead, he had contribution to plutocratic evolution, the opposite to what our martyrs had died for. Our National Flag on his coffin!

Fountainhead of Plutocracy

Plutocracy has its fountainhead in peoples’ belief in supernatural power. Every attempt to generate belief in supernatural power is an attempt to perpetrate plutocratic exploitation. Belief in supernatural power pushes people into spiritual exploitation that facilitates physical, financial, social, emotional and psychological exploitation. They become so vulnerable that it becomes quite difficult for them to obstruct plutocracy and the country goes further deep into the grip of the rich and resultantly, the common public perish.

Sai baba was generating belief in supernatural power. And thus, he was contributing to strengthening of plutocracy; to physical, financial, social, emotional and psychological exploitation of the people. In other words, he was strengthening the system of exploitation and in return, deriving immense benefit from the players of the system, which accounts for the massive wealth he had amassed before death.

The system of exploitation is always supported by anti-socialists. No wonder, Sai baba was having massive support from the operators of business empires of anti-socialist countries, specifically of the tycoons belonging to epitome of imperialism, US of America.

Wrongful State Funeral

It is therefore an offense against India to have draped his coffin with our National Flag.

The offenders have tried to save their skins by arranging a State Funeral for Sai baba by taking advantage of the fact that State Funeral has not been legally defined in India.

The offenders have misled the masses by misconceived interpretation of the Flag Code (3.58) that says, “On occasions of State/Military/Central Para Military Forces Funerals, the Flag shall be draped over the bier or coffin”.

This provision has no applicability to a private citizen like Sathya Sai baba, because the Code (2.1.iv) has stipulated that the Flag shall not be used as a drapery in any form whatsoever including private funerals.

No law of the country has given any authority to the government to hold State Funeral for any private citizen.

Legal precedence

When any law has not been framed in India on State Funeral, as per judicial and legislative practices in vogue in this country, the UK practices provide us with the necessary precedence till the relevant Law is framed and enforced. Hence let us see how State Funeral is held in UK.

State Funeral in United Kingdom

The honor of a State Funeral is entirely a matter of protocol in UK and usually is reserved for the Head of State and requires a motion or vote in the Parliament. If the honor is proposed for any other dignitary distinguished for service rendered to the State under banner of the State, than the proposal has to be placed before the Parliament and voted, which is a must for a State Funeral.

No such proposal for giving State funeral to Sai baba was placed before the Parliament of India and voted.

Practice in USA

On the other hand, as our Prime Minister is more known for his love for and faith in USA, let us see how State Funeral is held in that country.

State Funeral, governed by a federal law, is viewed there as the highest possible honor given to a person after his death. And, is given to any sitting or former President of the United States and even to a President-elect. Military officers of 4-Star or 5-Star ranks are the other distinguished ones that are given this honor. State Funerals are held in its National Capital and besides protocol, the decision as well as planning in this regard are largely made by the President of United States and the first family.

State Funeral Given to Sai Blatantly Wrong

So, State Funeral is not a matter of whimsical favor given to any person posthumously. It is the highest honor given by the Nation in due recognition of the person’s contributions of unambiguous distinction on which the Nation must have flourished and proceeded to achieve its objectives. The people of the country, in their Parliament, must evaluate the contributions of the person proposed for State Funeral and if satisfied, must “vote” in favor of the proposed State Funeral. Anything less will not be countenanced, if dignity of a Nation is not to be compromised.

In view of this, State Funeral given to Sai baba was absolutely arbitrary, unauthorized, anti-Nation and illegal.

It is a shame that a man, who, in his life time could not legally refute the serious charges of moral turpitude authentically leveled against him by the very same persons that were once very close to him; a man, who could, by way of any judicial verdict, never come out clean of the cloud of murder and suppression of evidence that had shrouded his citadel; a man, who thus was never a paragon of virtues; a man, who had been willfully sloughing over the Fundamental Duties spelt out in India’s Constitution and doing disservice to India by throwing stymies on her way to progress as his principal avocation was pushing people into belief in supernatural power conducive to faith system rather than political system and thereby was strengthening system of exploitation, was honored with State Funeral without vote of Parliament and on his coffin the National Flag was used as a drapery.

Our Flag is Our Master

It is shown supra that the founding parents had left our Nation under the “protective care” of our National Flag and had greeted it by singing the first verse of Janaganamana Adhinayaka Jaya He. Hence our Flag is our Master. It is this Flag that is greeted as Janaganamana Adhinayaka.

In codifying the pledge of allegiance to the Flag, the Flag Code (2.3.viii) has laid down that “Standing with folded hands, all repeat together the following pledge: I pledge allegiance to the National Flag and to the Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic for which it stands” and the Code (3.31) stipulates, “During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the Flag or when the Flag is passing in a parade or in a review, all persons present should face the Flag and stand in attention. Those present in uniform should render the appropriate salute. When the Flag is in a moving column, persons present will stand at attention or salute as the Flag passes them”. In National / State parades, salute is given to this Flag only and the highest available dignitary designated for the purpose, receives and acknowledges the salute on behalf of the Flag only. Hence our National Flag is our Master. This Flag is our real Janaganamana Adhinayaka, to whose glory we sing our National Anthem.

Use of this our most revered, beloved Flag – our real Sovereign, the real Adhinayaka of our Janaganamana, the real Master of our mass identity, for having whom for ever over our heads our martyrs had laid down their lives and freedom fighters suffered – as a drapery on Sai baba’s coffin is certainly the ugliest offense against India perpetrated by a pack of persons in power.

Required is Law on State Funeral and Ban on Funeral Use of Flag

Such an unauthorized offense had earlier been committed against our Flag in the funeral of Mother Teresa in 1998. As, as a Nation, we could not condemn the offense, it has been repeated in Sai case. To stop further repetition of this offense, State Funeral must be codified in a specific Law vesting its implementation on decision of the Parliament in consonance with precedences in U.K., the country we follow in judicial and legislative matters even as yet. And, a total ban on funeral use of our National Flag.

Let the Indians, whose patriotism is not yet dead, think over this suggestion. And, if possible, let the Supreme Court of India invoke its inherent powers – which in the past had prompted media to coin words like Judicial Activism – to formulate a Law in this regard, as our Parliament does not seem strong enough to act upon this.