One Italian Released, the Other in Crux of a Question the Government must Answer

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Italian tourist Claudio Colangelo, held hostage since March 14 by Maoists, has been released at the place of his abduction in Kandhamal in the afternoon of March 25, in a hope that the government would understand the positive gesture and stop state terror unleashed on progressive ultras and fulfill the pending promises made during earlier negotiations incorporated in the instant charter of 13 demands.

Release of the other Italian, Paolo Bosusco, would depend on government response to the instant gesture, leader Sabyasachi Panda has said while handing over Claudio to a team of media persons.

To a private TV channel, he, however, has given a reason of zeroing in on the Italians. In the guise of tourists they were trying to track private life style of tribal women and capturing pictures of their natural lustier as if they were commodities for joy of the foreigners. Taking them to hostage was meant to tell them as well as to the world outside, that tribal women of Orissa living in deep forests are not commodities of tourists interest and must not be considered so, Panda has stated.

Paolo, who has not been released, hails from a place in North Italy and has been staying in Puri since 23 years, is a tourist visa holder. He is working under a cover that he has contrived and christened as ‘Orissa trekking and Adventure’ with its office on Chakratirtha Raod. This being a commercial venture, how he is allowed to operate it is a conundrum.

The progressive ultras having taken him to hostage and having not released him with the man he had taken for the “adventure trekking” is a matter that makes the government answerable on how the Italian is allowed and by whom so allowed to operate the “trekking and adventure” venture in stark contravention of visa terms.

A detail investigation into the Italian’s activities in Orissa is now a must for the government.

Martyrization Martyrs: Stop this Farce Please

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

I have full sympathy, which is never less than any’s, for the bereaved family of late Havildar Niranjan Sundarray, who succumbed to a grenade injury last Wednessday at Noida when it accidentally exploded while imparting training to jawans as a part of his duty.

His body was given guard of honor on arrival at Bhubaneswar airport with floral tributes offered by ruling party MP Prasanna Patasani and the DIG of CRPF among others.

In his village Ratanpur, he was cremated with state honor as a martyr.

I have full respect for the departed soul and I wish,he should never have faced this accident.

Yet I feel, martyrization does not fit into this case.

I have discussed this issue earlier in these pages.

It is my considered opinion that death of a Jawan, that too in an accident, should never make him a martyr.

Jawans are paid for the job assigned to them. And, their job is such that death on duty is always considered a part of life.

So, death of a Jawan is a part of his job, not a gateway to martyrdom.

To a jawan who dies on duty, the nation has enough honors to offer posthumously. And, all those honors are legal. If necessary, many more honors can be created with fabulous cash prizes for welfare of his bereaved family.

But none but the freedom fighters who have sacrificed their lives for our emancipation should be honored as a martyr.

Martyrization of paid uniformed men really martyrs. The sooner the farce stops the better.