Naveen Brand Of Administration: State Goes Against Its Policy Of Litigation

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

A democracy is a democracy because in a democracy the State acts as an ideal employer. But in Orissa, the government run by chief minister Naveen Patnaik has become such a tormenting employer that thousands of employees are forced into litigations seeking justice and when justice comes to their side, the State contrives new grounds to prolong the cases before the courts and/or itself enters into litigations against the employees.

Several thousands of cases provoked and/or contrived by the State are pending before the Orissa State Administrative Tribunal, set up in 1986 “for quick redressal of grievances of State government employees regarding their service matters”. Latest update of official data carries different sets of numbers of the cases, one of which shows that the number of cases instituted before the Tribunal from 1986 to 31 December 2002 was 37,082. Out of these 37,082 cases, 19,482 were disposed off by that date leaving a balance of 17,600 cases as on 1 January 2003 pending.

How many cases are instituted thereafter is not being reflected in official data. In fact, this governments feels more comfortable by not updating data on official records in as many fronts as possible. However, a secretary of a single department i.e. the department of school and mass education, Ms. Aparajita Sarangi, after the High Court punished her for contempt against court direction, in a different context has disclosed that there are around 23,000 cases raised by aggrieved employees of her department that include cases already disposed of by the State Administrative Tribunal, Orissa High Court and even the Supreme Court with specific direction to the government, are yet to be settled by the State. This figure of unending litigations in a single department juxtaposed with the total balance of 17,600 pending cases comprising cases of all the departments before the Tribunal as on 1 January 2003 is enough to assume that in Naveen Patnaik regime, service related litigations have broken all records.

But how recalcitrant attitude of top functionaries of this government is playing havoc with lives of employees is best viewable in the government’s habitual disobedience to orders of the courts in every stage. A case related to the Department of Higher Education may be viewed as a sample, specifically as this particular case shows how habitually litigant is Naveen Patnaik’s Government.

This is the case of Kailas Chandra Mishra of Orissa Education Service. A Reader of Anthropology before his premature death in a road accident, he was degraded in rank with arbitrary curtailment of seniority by ten years. Mortally aggrieved, he moved the Government for restoration of his seniority. Having failed to fetch redressal of his grievances from the Government, he filed a case in the State Administrative Tribunal in 2001. The Tribunal nullified the curtailment of his seniority and passed orders in November 2006 for his restoration in senior position in the gradation list with all consequential benefits. But instead of honoring the just orders of the Tribunal, the government in the department of higher education wanted to move the High Court for nullification of the Tribunal order. Opinion of the Law Secretary was sought for. On analysis of the Tribunal verdict vis-a-vis the case contents, the Law Secretary opined that the Government should not prefer any proceeding in the High Court, but should honor the Tribunal orders. Instead of accepting his competent opinion, the administrative department under orders of the concerned Minister sent the file again to the Law Secretary to revise his views. It did not click. The Law Secretary made it clear that Mishra’s case was so very strong and the Tribunal verdict was so very just that the Government had no chance of victory against that in any higher forum. According to the Rules of Business created by the Constitution, under Rule 2 (b) pertaining to State Subjects under Judicial Branch, institution of “appeals against sentences in lower courts” depends upon approval of the Law department.
For this, unlike the Secretaries of all other departments, the Secretary of Law department holds a statutory post, holding a Senior District Judge position in the cadre of Orissa Superior Judicial Service (Senior Branch), on whose opinion and advice the State Government is legally required to depend in matters of litigations, interpretation of statutes and study of court orders for purpose of implementation thereof or filing appeal there-against and to abide by the same. But, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik used his prerogative and ordered for filing of a case in Orissa High Court against the Tribunal order.

The High Court rejected the Government case. Appeal against the High Court order was preferred in the Supreme Court and there too Government lost.

Yet, instead of implementing the order of the Tribunal, the Government has contrived new grounds to harass the widow of the educationist, who has been harping on implementation of the order and release of her late husband’s dues illegally blocked by the Government.

In the meantime, on May 17, 2011, “in view of the conditions imposed by the 13th Finance Commission in its award to lay down a litigation policy for State of Orissa based on the National Litigation Policy to ensure conduct of litigation by State Government as a responsible litigant aiming toward reducing pendency and delays in finality of litigation”, the State Government has framed a “State Litigation Policy” that it projects as “guideline to be observed and followed” in matter of litigations.

It has been stressed in this instrument that “all endeavor should be made to satisfy the person aggrieved by redressing his grievance ……. and those connected with the litigation should not leave the matter to the adjudicating forum to decide with an attitude that “LET IT BE DECIDED BY THE COURTS”. Any such attitude coming to the notice has to be seriously viewed. It should give a feeling not only that grievance is redressed but it must be shown to have been redressed within the frame work of law in a just possible manner”. It has further been underlined that “All Public servants should develop the attitude of being accountable where grievance is made by individual in respect of their actions or inactions or abuse of position in any matter. …….. The mindset should be that if a person has a claim tenable in the eye of law let him not be unnecessarily driven to the court as his ultimate success costs dearer to the State in many respect sending a wrong message and signal affecting the Governance”.

Sad, the Government run by Naveen Patnaik refuses to respect its own litigation policy, so litigant by nature it is.

Advertisements

Naveen Brand of Administration: A Peon is a Man of Millions

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In these pages we have often shown how Orissa is being looted in Naveen Patnaik’s administration.

From Public Sector Undertakings to Block Development Offices, practice of corruption by public servants and accumulation of wealth beyond known sources of their income make his administration distinguishable from all other regimes the State has experienced so far.

Even as we once disagreed with demands for CBI inquiry into mines scam on the premise that it is vulnerable to extraconstitutional pressure as apparent in Bofors kickback and Quattrocchi case, and therefore, the State Vigilance that has unmasked a pack of mines looters and taken to books certain officers of the mines department, should be encouraged to proceed, one of our esteemed readers Ms. Niharika Bose in her response wondered as to why the Secretary under whom the suspended officials of the mines department worked,has been left untouched. Her apprehensions are remarkable. She said, “Surely everything is not as it appears and the people of Odisha have come to know about the powers that remain”. This justified our views that the Sate Vigilance should tell the people if Naveen himself is not involved in the crimes against the State in matter of mines, if the vigilance raids were not stage-managed to hoodwink the public.

But instead of being controlled, corruption in Naveen Patnaik’s regime has become so pervasive that a recent vigilance raid has unveiled wealth exceeding many crores in money value accumulated by a peon, Bhagyadhar Das, working in the record room of the office of the district collector of Cuttack. Das was earlier a chain-man attached to an amin in the lowest rung of revenue set-up, who demarcates plots of lands in terms of maps and is not even confirmed in his post.

Bhagyadhar is not the only person, who in employment in the lowest rank, has amassed millions as exposed in vigilance raids. Last year, in August, a night watchman of Industrial Development Corporation (IDCO), Rajanikant Jena, posted at Cuttack Division, was found by vigilance a possessor of more than Rs.2 crore worth property.

If such Class IV employees have become multi-millionaires, just imagine what has become the spread of corruption in Naveen Patnaik’s regime.

IS IT NOT THE TIME FOR THE CONGRESS PARTY TO CHANGE ITS PRIME MINISTER?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

How much misrule will convince the Congress party that it is time for it to change its Prime Minister?

In a country of simpletons and sycophants like India, where majority voters are uninformed and misinformed and where corporate controlled media rules the roost in public information and where the election system is suspected of vitiation by maneuverable Electronic Voting Machines and where the main Opposition is a party of profiteers and communal fanatics, it was not surprising that the Congress could bag majority seats of the Loksabha to lead the alliance styled UPA and to have its own man Dr. Mnmohan Singh as the Prime Minister again.

But, Dr. Singh has given such a rule that, instead of saying him to vacate, the Congress general secretary Dig Vijay Singh has already said that it is time, Rahul Gandhi should take over as PM.

Nobody in the Congress has said that Rahul should not take over as the PM. Rather the party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan has clarified that Rahul may take over as PM whenever he so decides.

This is reflective of the fact that the Congress party is conscious about the reality that Dr. Singh has become a liability.

In fact, his economic policy has ruined the economy of the common man. The official notifications on ever increasing consumer price index and ever increasing doses of Dearness Allowance for salaried officials is strong enough evidence of the fact that his government has no control over profiteers, over exploiters, over market mafia. The priority he has given to transform India into a grazing ground of foreign, specifically American nuke traders, is conspicuous by its absence in stopping exploitation of the common man by the manufactures and traders of consumer goods.

In every sphere of administration, galore are instances of misappropriation and malfeasances.

The constitutional authority, whose duty it is to locate these dangers to democracy through test audits – The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) – is being ignored by administration as in the case of MPLADS or cold-shouldered and criticized by the central ministers including even the Prime Minister himself.

The CAG in its latest report on MPLADS has said that, even though in its earlier reports (1998 and 2001) it had pointed out various lapses in the implementation of the scheme, the government had slept over them for ten and eight years respectively and when Action Taken Notes were finally produced in 2009, it was seen that the same were lackluster notes sans any real address to the issues raised and action against the practitioners of malfeasances shown.

“The current report reveals that many of the shortcomings pointed out in those two Reports still persist”, the CAG has stated.

The current Report has unveiled various types of serious mismanagement of MPLAD funds all over the country. These are such offenses that many MPs should have been taken to task and even censured in the Parliament for having hijacked through masked agents the funds allocated for the scheme in their respective areas. But, instead of that, and without insulating the scheme from MPs’ politico-personal dragnets, the amount of the fund has been enhanced, just to keep majority of them pleased to stay safe in power.

If MPLADS is a sample of how the constitutional authority of audit is being sloughed over or rendered inconsequential in real terms, the 2G spectrum is a matter where even the Prime Minister has not hesitated to embarrass the CAG.

When the apex audit reported a massive loss of about Rs. 1.76 lakh crores to the nation’s exchequer by mishandling of the allocation of the 2G spectrum in 2008, Dr. Singh had came down quite rudely upon its conduct, almost rejecting its report on the 2G spectrum scam without making any mention of it, as inaccurate, imbalanced and unfair. In a CAG conference itself, on the very same day its Report on the scam was tabled in the Parliament, he had told the CAG that it must “ensure that its reports are accurate, balanced and fair”.

He disapproved the way the audits are being conducted.

“We may benefit more if the focus of audit is not so much on minute, individual transactions”, he thundered, because the 2G spectrum audit was minute audit of individual transactions.

As if the CAG in its report on 2G spectrum had indulged in fault finding, made a mere guess of the quantum of loss to the country and therefore had made an unreasonable estimate, he said, “Very often, there is a very thin line between fair criticism and fault finding, between hazarding a guess and making a reasonable estimate, between a bonafide genuine error and a deliberate mistake”. He wanted the CAG “to distinguish between wrong-doing and genuine errors, to appreciate the context and circumstances of decision making process”, as if the CAG’s report on 2G spectrum was a product of lack of its comprehension of “the context and circumstances of decision making process”!

Such Prime Ministerial attempt to demoralize the apex audit body of the country created by the constitution had never been made by any Prime Minister.

Before the seriousness of this vicious assault on CAG is fully grasped by the people, the country is rocked by bomb blasts in Mumbai.

When the central home minister P. Chidambaram has said that, “despite the vast intelligence machinery that is available ………. this one slipped through”, he has also said, “Having no intelligence in this case, however, does not mean that there was a failure on part of the intelligence agencies”. This shows how the central government is running under utter confusion.

Chidambaram’s statement has different ramifications.

On one, it is being assumed that the series of blasts were aimed at derailing Indo-Pak talks. The union home minister also does not differ. This possibility “is not ruled out”, he says.

On another, it may also be assumed that the blasts might have been planned to divert public attention from the growing demands for extinguishment of corruption and retrieval of the monetary wealth of India secreted in black coffers in foreign banks by the traitors in politics, in public service, in trade and industry and their lobbyists.

Whatever be the ramifications, the reality is that, “despite the vast intelligence machinery that is available”, so many persons have been killed and injured in the series of blasts in the same city of Mumbai that was brutalized by Pak terrorists on November 26, 2008. Had the surviving culprit of that attack Ajmal Kasab been hanged in honoring the court order, in time and in the spirit of the verdict, the July 13 attack might have not taken place. But Dr. Singh’s government has, by not helping diligently the President to reject his mercy petition, created a situation for the Supreme Court to save his life. This has emboldened the enemies to terror attack again.

The Supreme Court has made it clear that if mercy petitions are not disposed off within three months of receipt of the applications, the Court would be constrained to commute death sentences to life imprisonments if moved by the culprit.

A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in Triveniben vs State of Gujarat had refused on February 7, 1989 to place a time cap on disposal of mercy petitions. Yet, on September 18, 2009, in Jagdish v State of Haryana it has said, “A self-imposed rule should be followed by the executive authorities rigorously, that every such petition shall be disposed of within a period of three months from the date on which it is received. Long and interminable delays in the disposal of these petitions are a serious hurdle in the dispensation of justice and such delays tend to shake the confidence of the people in the very system of justice” and, thus has justified commutation of death sentences to life imprisonment in various instances, in one instance, even saying, “These delays are gradually creating social problems by driving the courts to reduce death sentences even in those rarest of rare cases in which, on the most careful, dispassionate and humane considerations death sentence was found to be the only sentence called for”.

The government of Dr. Singh, by delaying the execution of death sentence “found to be the only sentence called for” in Mumbai 26/11 offense, is foiling the sentence inasmuch as Kasab, the guilty Pak-terrorist, because of the tremendous delay in disposal of his mercy petition, is likely to use the Apex Court orders quoted supra to judicially escape the gallows.

Meretricious sympathy of Dr. Singh with the victims of the 13th July blasts is not going to show that he is not responsible for the climate of Pak-terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Because of self-defeating politics in Parliament, the country could not know the real role Dr. Singh had played as Reserve Bank Governor and Finance Minister in the matter of the notorious Pakistani Bank of terror funding, the BCCI, which had, despite warning from RAW, been allowed to operate in and from Mumbai.

But if the 13th July blasts in Mumbai took place “despite the vast intelligence machinery that is available” as the Union Home Minister has said, it was because of lack of appropriate monitoring and coordination amongst the intelligence agencies. To make the intelligence agencies accountable, the Home Minister has submitted a proposal to create a National Counterterrorism Centre (NCTC); but Dr. Singh has not cleared it as yet.

Both the Prime Minister and Home Minister are confusing the country by using the term ‘terrorism’ against both the enemies and patriots of the country – against the terrorists from beyond the border and against the Indian progressive radicals – leading to common man’s failure in differentiating between the two types. Therefore, the intelligence agencies have been failing in spotting the cross border terrorist though the common man.

If the difference is not distinguished in the Home Minister’s proposal, the envisaged NCTC will be of no utility for betterment of India, as and when the PM clears the proposal and the central government constitutes it.

But, at the moment, relevant it is that Dr. Singh is sleeping over the proposal of the home minister to create NCTC for ensuring accountability of the country’s intelligence agencies, which might have made them alert enough to catch the culprits before the blasting took place.

No further proof of misrule is necessary. Look at any area, people are in ruins. But the people had never given majority mandate to the Congress party to ruin them. Hence, is it not the time for the Congress party to replace Dr. Singh with anybody that can try to change the scenario and retrieve the country’s dignity?

MUFP CONDEMNS ATTACK ON EDITOR OF CAREER . COM

The Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) on July 16 has strongly condemned the attack on Sri Sushant Kumar Sahu, Editor, career.com by a gang of supporters of Sri Nrusingha Sahu, Talcher MLA at his official quarters in the MLA Colony, Bhubaneswar on Friday, apparently at his instigation for having published a story that allegedly showed him in poor light.
 
In his FIR Mr Sahu has mentioned that on Friday evening he was called to the quarters of Sri Sahu by some of his supporters. As soon as he reached, he was abused and there was attempt to assault him. They have snatched away a bag from the editor which contained important documents and cash of Rs 10,000, Susant has alleged.
 
The MUFP has also been informed that the MLA has filed a counter FIR against Sushant. While the police  is probing into the matter, the MUFP demands strong action against the assailants as well as their instigator both by the police and the ruling Biju Janata Dal on the basis of the FIR  and for recovery of the mediaman’s bag along with the documents and the cash.

Media in Orissa Should Make Rahul Reveal His Black Money Stashed in Swiss Banks

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Rahul Gandhi is visiting Orissa. He is attracting attention because, notwithstanding presence of Dr. Manmohan Singh on the seat of the Prime Minister, he is being projected by the Congress party as the man to whom “it is time” to “become the Prime Minister”.

PTI quoted Congress General Secretary Dig Vijay Singh having said on June 19, “I think, it is time that Rahul can become the Prime Minister”. Even as Singh was neither dismissed nor censored by the Congress President, its spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan (who has now been elevated to central council of ministers) clarified on June 21 that Rahul himself would decide as to when he should take over as the PM. “When Rahul will take over as the Prime Minister will be decided by him”, she declared.

This was such an embarrassment to Dr. Singh that on June 29, he had to tell the public that whenever required by the Congress President. “I will be very happy to step down, but so long as I am here I have a job to do”.

Such a statement itself speaks volumes of how the incumbent PM is rendered psychologically unstable on the score of his suitability for the office he is holding. Unprecedented it is, that a sitting Prime Minister is defending his incumbency in such a manner and with such a statement.

Sad, the media in India has not yet looked into this danger to her democracy even though the Prime Minister has delivered this statement through a group of eminent editors of the country.

India is thus in an unprecedented political predicament, because the unmuzzled loudmouths of the Congress party have been trying to tell the people that Rahul will be a better substitute for Manmohan Singh.

However, howsoever loudly Sonia sycophants may be singing glory to her son, it is clear as daylight that Rahul has no originality as a politician. He has not yet defined which political economy he belongs to. He is what he is, because his father had occupied the Prime Minister’s chair which, in this country of simpletons and sycophants, was under possession of his paternal grandmother and his father’s maternal grandfather for the majority of India’s post-independence period when the present PM is also under the control of his mother since the start of his incumbency.

The Congress party having emerged as the benefactor of Corporations, corporate media is cooperating in Rahul’s image-building. This is the reason of public ignorance about Rahul Gandhi.

But media in general, as far as Orissa is concerned, specifically the language media of Orissa, is not yet entirely engulfed by corporate identity. Hence, it may be hoped that during Rahul’s visit, media in Orissa can ask Rahul to clarify his position in matter of black money stashed in his Swiss Bank accounts.

This has already come to public knowledge in other parts of the globe. Switzerland’s top ranking Schweizer Illustrierte had exposed on November 19, 1991 that, “Sonia Gandhi, widow of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, was controlling secret accounts with 2.5 billion Swiss francs (equal to $2.2 billion in her son’s name”, the journal reported. On December 7, 1991, Amal Datta of CPI(M) had raised this issue in the Parliament, but Gandhi’s name was expunged from the proceedings by speaker Shivraj Patil, whose loyalty to Gandhi family reminds one of a dog’s loyalty to its owner.

Swiss bank accounts being multiple profit fetching accounts, this amount, in Indian money, must have exceeded Rs.50 thousand crores by now, a recent analysis has revealed.

With Rahul’s family factotums in power, his black money coffers in Swiss banks are of course kept beyond public gaze.

However, there is reason to suspect that he / his family has accounts in foreign banks beyond Switzerland too.

An acclaimed journalist Yevgenia Albata has quoted in her book THE STATE WITHIN A STATE: THE KGB AND ITS HOLD ON RUSSIA – PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE a KGB letter that had sought for permission to pay Rajiv Gandhi’s family in US Dollars revealing inter alia that when he was not even made the Prime Minister, but was all to the good in KGB top circle as the son of the Prime Minister of India, he was expressing deep gratitude for the benefits his family was deriving “from the commercial dealings of the firms” he was controlling “in co-operation with the Soviet foreign trade organisations”. The KGB document revealed that, “R.Gandhi reports confidentially that a substantial portion of the funds through this channel are used to support the party of R.Gandhi”. (p.223)

These are documented exposures that Rahul gandhi cannot pretend to be ignorant of. These are instances of treachery that fellows to whom politics is a profit fetching business play against the country.

Media in Orissa should discharge its duties to the people of the State by trying to know from Rahul of his coffers secreted in foreign banks as revealed by at least the two documents quoted supra and sharing the same with the people of the State who needs to be rightly informed on the person whom Congress is building up as its leader and projecting as fit enough to take over as Prime Minister of the country, the day he decides.

The country needs to be saved from professional politicians to whom politics is the safest way to stash their black money looted from the country away in foreign banks.

How Far is Maryland from Puri? Oriyas here Celebrate Car Festival of Sri Jagannatha

By Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

On July 3, the Oriya people residing in Maryland celebrated Ratha Yatra (Car Festival) of Sri Jagannath at Murugan Temple.

I had the rare opportunity of witnessing the celebrations along with my family.

An epitome of Oriya nationality at this end, Srikanta Nayak, as every year since commencement of this festival in 1991, invoked Lord Jagannatha to commence the Car Festival for human beings, belonging to no religion or any religion whatsoever, to be able to pull the Car forward in the mission of one-world-one human-society, which lies at the core of the cult of Jagannatha, literally meaning the Lord of the Universe.

Dr. Lipishree Nayak supplemented by saying that the three individual colors of the Trinity – Sri Jagannath in black color, Sri Balabhadra in white color and Sri Subhadra in yellow color – represent people of all colors of the world, thus justifying the universality of Lord Jagannatha.

Amongst others, M/s Sabyasachi Rath, Pratap Pradhan, Pratap Das, Rathibhai Patel and Baibaswat Nayak actively participated in making the festival successful. Pandit Mahasrunga Pani performed the Puja and also led the Sankirtan.

Devotional tradition melted in emotional oneness with their motherland Orissa lying far away in India as every Oriya present on the spot was in ecstasy to touch the sacred Car of the dearest Deity, who is the only Deity that despite having been transformed into a male Deity is still resembling the female torso and retaining the lifestyle of a female with all the rituals starting with Snana Yatra after Raja (ceremonial bath on menstruation) to Anasara Nibasa (secluded living during menstruation) to Naba Jouvana Darshan (public appearance for social appreciation of suitability for marriage) to Ratha Yatra decorated with Naka Chana, Kanaphula, Hara et cetera (journey into the midst of seekers bedecked with female ornaments and costume) that reflect the custom of tribal society in respect of a nubile girl from her menstruation to journey in search of her lover, the Dahuka (ceremonial attendant) continuously and loudly chanting highly sex-provocative litanies through out the journey. (Sri Jayadevanka Baisi Pahacha by Subhas Chandra Pattanayak: Bharata Bharati, Cuttack). Unique is this festival that carries matriarch tenets of Buddhist Tantra and unique is this Deity that embodies the universality and world outlook of the best son of the soil of Orissa, the beloved Gurudev Buddha.

A sheer coincidence it may be, but interesting it is to note that Maryland’s icon of knowledge, the University of Maryland, has the tortoise as its protector of advancing knowledge (testudo); when the inner campus of Lord Jagannatha in Srimandira of Puri, Orissa, is called Kurma Bedha, literally meaning the tortoise-Compound that acts also as its testudo with the tenets of Tantra such predominant that not only the nasty facet of Hinduism – the caste-supremacism – is laid powerless in this compound, but also, in front of the seat of the caste-supremacists – the Mukti Mandap that argues that procreation is factored by the God – worship of Anangatura (a concupiscent female) is performed to show that not the God, but sexual union is the factor of procreation.

Instead of tenets of the Vedic scriptures, tenets of the Tantra thus prevails in the Kurma Bedha.

Despite all out attempts of Brahminism to transform Sri Jagannath from Buddha to Krishna in order to convert him into Hindu deity Vishnu, the Kurma Bedha makes one feel that the Lord has remained Lord Buddha, the greatest ever leader and benefactor of the people of Orissa, His Motherland.

This Kurma Bedha is such a testudo against casteism that the people of Orissa belonging to non-Brahmin castes had, in a decision taken here during the reign of Gajapati Prataparudra Dev, thrown away the idols of Adi Samkaracharya and his disciple Padmapada, whom he had appointed as the first Sankaracharya of his mission branch called Gobardhan Math at Puri, from the Ratnasinghasana (podium) of Sri Jagannatha in the strongest possible protest against caste-supremacism propounded by him and his followers.

In fact, the proponents of Brahminism did not belong by origin to Orissa. They were imported from Kanyakubja by Yajatikeshari to destroy Buddhism in its birthplace and to spread Hinduism.

Ekamra Purana has described that the non-Oriya kings, patronizing Brahmanism, were giving sumptuous gifts and gold coins to Pasupat Shaivas (fanatic followers of Hindu God Shiv) as rewards for butchering Buddhist Monks.

Iswar Das in his Bagavata (Stanzas 61-65 in Chapter 148) has described how a Keshari king had massacred 667 out of 752 Buddhist monks in the Saatapaata area or Kurma Pataka Pur on river Prachi spread up to Puri through Konarka forcing the rest of the Siddhacharyas belonging to the monastery at village Chaurashi in the same region go underground.

Thus Orissa was taken over by Hinduism and Jagannatha metamorphosed into Vishnu. But, to the Buddhist world, she was the only place where Buddhism was all through predominant for ages. Rev. J.Long has recorded, “Antiquarian enquiries in Nepal, Cylone and Chaina show that the Buddhism, so noted in its regard for enlightening the masses and opposing caste, was for ages predominant all through Orissa both among rulers and the people, though Orissa be now the garden of the Hinduism and Jagannath its Jerusalem” (Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1859, No.III, Vol.XXVIIII,pp.185-87). In this essay, he has given a narration of Jagannatha’s Buddha identity. “Even Jagannatha itself stands on the site of a Buddhist temple and contained the celebrated tooth of Buddha, which was kept there till the 4th century AD, when it was carried for a short period to Patna, the ancient Palibothra, then the capital of north India. It was soon after brought back to Puri. But on an invasion of the country, it was conveyed in AD 311 by a king’s daughter concealed in her hair to Ceylone, which was then becoming a place of refuge to the Buddhists from the Brahmins’ rage” (Ibid).

There are innumerable description of Jagannatha as Buddha in ancient Oriya literature.

Buddha had his most intimate followers in the Kurma pataka region where by and during the time of Indrabhuti, the founder of Vajrayana and Sri Jagannatha, many centers of Buddhist Tantra had flourished.

Sri Jagannatha has his entire physical entity in this region.

His Nava Kalebara rests entirely on orders of Mangala of Kakatapur of this region and is performed in the Tantric manner.

When Veda was the avocation of the caste supremacists, the lower caste people, to whom Buddha was the redeemer, were followers of Tantra evolved from agro-magic and promoted by Buddhist philosophers of Orissa like Indrabhuti and Laxminkara. These lower caste people in Orissa are called ‘Pataka’. And, seven prominent centers of Bauddha Tantra in the region of Buddha’s birthplace were called Sapta Pataka Pur, which, in Iswar Das Bhagavat is shown as Saatapaata.

Like today, the turtles in those days were visiting the Orissa coast, specifically through the Prachi estuary in huge numbers and they being known as Kurma, the area was eventually known as Kurma Mandala and the Patakas were called Kurma Patakas and a very important monastery of Buddhist Tantra was even named after Kurma. Discovery of remnants of this monastery at village Kuruma – corrupted from Kurma – strongly indicates how the Buddhist ‘pataka’ (Buddha’s followers belonging to lower castes) were known as Kurma Pataka and the area of their inhabitation was called Kurma Pataka Pur on river Prachi. Chaurashi Siddhacharyas belonged to this area, with whose cooperation, Indrabhuti had established Vajrayana and propitiated Gurudev Buddha as Jagannatha in Gnanasiddhi that had begun with “pranipatya jagannatham sarvajinavararchitam / sarvabuddhamayam siddhibyapinam gaganopamam//” (Jnanasiddhi: i, 1). He had created the first temple of Jagannatha Buddha with the help of the Pataka people of Kurma area, who, though earmarked as lower caste people by the Brahmins, were in reality casteless, being the Buddhists.

After invaders of Orissa succeeded in transforming Jagannatha from Buddha to Vishnu, the shrewd practitioners of Brahminism have changed Indrabhuti of history to an imagined king called Indradyumna and have created legends of Indradyumna tank linking the turtles therein to Kurma pataka just to obliterate from history the role of Indrabhuti in establishment of Jagannatha and thereby to establish reign of the upper castes in Jagannatha temple.

Yet, the inner campus of the temple has remained named as Kurma bedha and remained casteless like the Kurma Pataka people. The Kurma Bedha reminds us that Lord Jagannatha of Puri has his root in Kurma Pataka Pur and therefore tenets of Tantra still prevails in Sri Mandira and in his intimate rituals.

Specifically for this, it was a pleasure in watching the Car Festival of Sri Jagannatha in Maryland, where coincidentally, Kurma or the tortoise remains the permanent testudo to protect the advancing knowledge. And, as we all know, knowledge is casteless.

(Photography: Saswat Pattanayak)

Delhi Oriya Students Association Hijacked for POSCO that Attacks People of Orissa

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The foreign company POSCO has been attacking the indigenous people of Orissa in Kujanga Tahsil of Jagatsinghpur district by using the government run by Naveen Patnaik.

Oriyas have been fighting against the foreign design to protect their soil, their living environment and their ancestral sources of livelihood.

From the senior citizens to school-going kids, from the grand mothers to the grand daughters, from the well-informed persons to the illiterates, the families of indigenous Oriyas have been opposing their displacement and the State Government’s mad manners to hand over the soil of their birth to the foreigners.

It is a shame that instead of supporting the indigenous people in their fight for preservation of their freedom, a gang of six, claiming to be research scholars and elite institute alumnus from Orissa at Delhi, have hijacked the Delhi Oriya Students Association (DOSA) to use that organizational name in creating a media environment in support of the foreigners.

One Tejeswar Parida, posing as the President of the Association, informed the Press that he and five others, in a delegation, were to meet authorities of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on June 22 seeking prosecution against POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), the strongest fighting forum of Oriya people against the foreign design, as, according to imagination of Parida et al, in its protest rallies and road blockades the children were being forced to participate.

Eminent Journalist Prasanta Patnaik immediately dissuaded Parida and his gang from their proposed attempt to mislead the NCPCR in the matter. In his e-reply to Parida’s e-mail on June 21, Patnaik pointed out that the children in the POSCO site are never exploited by PPSS; rather, they have been proudly protesting against the threats posed to their future. “The poor children at the proposed POSCO site have every right to struggle for existence, which has been dangerously threatened by the POSCO and the State Government of Orissa as well as the Government of India”, he stated. Editor of Samadrusti, Sudhir Pattnaik wondered why Parida or for that matter DOSA was not moving the NCPCR against the government as the children of the concerned area are forced out of their studies as the schools are allotted to police forces that are their to provide armed support to POSCO land acquisition design.

And, many members of intelligentsia who are deeply disturbed over the governmental attack on human rights of the people in manners suitable to POSCO also supported the concern expressed by Patnaiks.

But as Parida did not respond to any advice, but on the other hand, went ahead with publicizing his proposed use of DOSA in meeting the NCPCR, the news attracted attention of some students of Orissa studying at Delhi. From their reaction, we gather that DOSA has never authorized Parida to use its name against Orissa kids fighting for survival from the foreigners’ design. There was no formal meeting of DOSA to discuss this issue and no such resolution constituting a delegate to meet the NCPCR was ever adopted. No majority view of members of DOSA was taken and hence, the gang of six has no authorized power from DOSA to mislead the NCPCR in the style it has publicized, which is designed to demoralize the kids of Orissa that stand with their families in the cause of saving their living environment and ancestral sources of livelihood.

The Oriya students studying at Delhi have not discussed how the children of Kujanga are struggling for their own survival from the pernicious clutches of the foreign firm POSCO on the platform of DOSA; because it is not functioning as a democratic body since long and hence the gang of six has acted unauthorizedly in using this platform in support of POSCO and in an attempt to demoralize the children that are standing with their parents to save their soil from the foreign company.

It would be proper for NCPCR, if at all it has accepted any such representation under banners of DOSA to ignore the same as an act of unauthorized persons anxious to ingratiate themselves to powers that be in search of their personal avenues and for other reasons known to themselves.