Rajasmita Won the Top Title: the State Should Now Wake-up

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa got a great moment to forget the continuous agony over the hostage issue, when her child Rajasmita Kar bagged the top title in Zee TV’s reality show -Dance India Dance.

She achieved distinction over Pradeep Gurung of Assam, Raghav Juyal of Uttarakhand, Sanam Johar of Delhi and Mohena Singh of Madhya Pradesh, who were also superb in their respective performances. Her mentor Geeta Kapur, whom, on winning the coveted honor, she offered her gratitude on the stage for all her guidances, attributed the success to Rajasmita’s talent, determination and matching hard work.

The reality show was not a show strictly of classical dances. So, the challenge was many faceted. Fetching the best dancer title was not at all easy for any top dancer. Rajasmita’s distinction, therefore, is of highest order.

As we congratulate her, we also remember the Prince Dance Group of Ganjam district that had bagged the best position in “India’s Got Talent” competition on ‘Colors’ TV channel in 2009.

The State government had announced to present the group a gift of four acres of land to build a dance academy for the rural talents and a crore of Rupees. The State’s department of culture that, under rules of business, handles the affairs of dance and music has no follow-up information.

A couple of decades ago there were being held folk dance competitions in every part of Orissa. When Odissi has remained its priority, folk dances are fading away. Be the members of the Prince Dance Group or be it Rajasmita, Oriya dancing talents are not being supported by the State in their practice. Orissa is Utkal, the land of excellence in music, dance and sculpture. If the land is mother to her people, they carry the gene to excel in arts they pursue. So it is necessary to provide the people with the infrastructure to make their artistic gene flourish unhindered. For this, rural institutes of dance and music and rural auditoriums are essential. The State government should wake up to this, so that many Rajasmitas will not go unnoticed.

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Silent Spectators of Killing of Oriya Classicism are Eager to Campaign for Its Classical Status: Good News to Enjoy; But Not Without Reservations

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa became Odisha and Oriya became Odia under a very misconceived law enacted sans proper study of historicity of the concerned words and application of parliamentary wisdom thereto.

Shockingly, Orissa’s community of letters preferred to stay silent spectators, even though the two words – Orissa and Oriya – were samples of international recognition of classicality of Oriya language.

But a good news is that, Bhubaneswar Book Fair Committee (BBFC), in a meeting on Sunday has expressed interest in a campaign for classical status of Oriya.

BBFC, An Appropriate Forum

It can be said without any travesty of truth that, the BBFC is the mother of bibliophilic renaissance in Orissa. It will continue to be recognized for ever as the organization that has revolutionized people’s love for books in Orissa, where bibliophily was, till book fairs were started by this Committee, restricted only to the elites.

It is therefore quite becoming of this Committee to have started thinking of a campaign for recognition of Oriya language as a classical language.

In a meeting it held on 15th, with its President Satakadi Hota in chair, while welcoming the Oriya New Year, it has stressed on this recognition. Eminent authors such as Pramod Mohanty, Fani Mohanty, Rajendra Kishore Panda, Asit Mohanty, Sarat Chandra Mishra, Jugal Kishore Dutta, Sourindra Barik, Asutosh Parida, including former Director of Central Institute of Indian languages Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak and the Committee Secretary Barendra Krushna Dhal observed that the oriya language being a very ancient language in vogue since the Puranic days deserves national distinction as a classical language.

If Oriya politicians that were and are in power, not been herds of factotums of their respective high commands and suffering incorrigibly from lack of courage due to a syndrome that has afflicted them all, which we can call the ‘supremo’ syndrome, the Government of India, when it declared Tamil as a classical language in 2004 or Kannada and Telugu in 2008, could have declared Oriya as a classical language of the country.

Juxtaposed with the apathy of Oriya politicians to Orissa’s cultural need, it should always be welcome if the State’s men of letters take up the issue and demand for declaration of Oriya as a classical language.

To me, personally, BBFC, established by Orissa’s men of letters, is an appropriate forum to raise this demand and to fetch the desired result. But, I have my reservations; because neither the Committee nor any participant in its meeting had thought it prudent to oppose the annihilation of its classicism by the Government that had used the Orissa Assembly to recommend for change of Orissa to Odisha and Oriya to Odia and steered the Bill through the Parliament till enactment and enforcement.

In these pages, I have been harping on about the classicality of Oriya language, which is evidenced by its archaic distinction and recognized by many linguists. So, nothing could be more desirable for me than a campaign for classical status for Oriya language, the ancient legacy of which needs be placed before the world.

I, therefore, most heartily welcome the BBFC and wish, its steps should be such so as to make me drop my reservations.

Legacy of Ancient Orissa

Orissa in ancient days had illuminated Indian sky of knowledge so brilliantly with its own unique luster that the Rig Veda in its tenth Mandala had to advise its followers to be cautious of Orissa where indigenous people find their object of worship in wooden logs.

A formal notification recognizing the classicality of Oriya language would be helpful in conducting in-depth researches with global input into the Protohistory of Oriya language, as Oriyas are a very prominent ancient people whose valor has been mentioned as matchless even in the Mahabharata. Though the Mahabharata is believed to be telling us of an internecine battle between the sons of two cousins – Dhrutarastra and Pandu – of Bharat clan, I am convinced that it is a Puranic depiction of the battle (described as the greatest war) that two different philosophical proponents – Patriarch: the Kauravas and Matriarch: the Pandavas – had fought on the soil of India. In this war, ancient Orissa had made a matchless mark.

Protohistoric Record

In Vishma Parva of Mahabharata, it is described that, after Bhima vanquished the great Vishma, whom his Sarathi had been able to save only by taking away his chariot from the battle field, no other Kaurav could dare to face Bhima. The war was going to be lost for the Kauravas, as Vishma was their Commander-in-Chief.

Duryodhan had to take refuge in Orissa’s king Shrutayu, who, as a proponent of Patriarchy like Vishma, had joined the Kaurava’s camp against the matriarch Pandavas.

And so, Shrutayu led the battle for Duryodhan with his distinguished army, well equipped with a regiment of war elephants. (Orissa’s king emperor is traditionally known as Gajapati – the lord of elephants).

Vyasa has described that Bhima, the victor of Vishma, failed to face Shrutayu. As the Orissa army with its unique elephant regiment wreaked havoc on the Pandav side, the emperor of Orissa, despite being very senior in age, overwhelmed Bhima to such extent that the vanquisher of Vishma that day was clearly in utter grip of death in his hands.

Arjuna, drowned under surprise and shock, wanted to rush to the rescue of Bhima and boasted to eliminate the old king of Orissa to avenge reduction of his brother’s wonderful victory over Vishma into a defeat.

Krushna, his charioteer, not only refused to proceed, but also restrained Arjuna in such words that were a matchless tribute to the king of Orissa.

“Not even can I defeat Shrutayu in a battle, Arjuna; so it is not within your prowess to face him”, he said.

But as Bhima’s chariot was smashed by Shrutayu, it was essential to save him. So, Krushna asked Satyaki to rush to the spot to offer him his chariot and the moment he boards it, to bring away the chariot as quickly as possible from the engagements with Shrutayu.

While thus arranging for Bhima a narrow escape, Krushna himself rushed to Shrutayu challenging him to test his strength against him if he dares.

Shrutayu accepted the challenge and raised his divine spear to attack Krishna; but then he found that Krushna was without any weapon.

Shrutayu had, in his younger days while obtaining the divine spear, made a promise not to use it against any unarmed person.

The Spear was Abyartha – infallible – which also meant that the user must not make it fail. Once raised, it was certainly to be used, as otherwise it would tantamount to disrespect to its divinity.

With Bhima run away from engagements, at that moment in the battlefield there was only one man who was challenging Shrutayu; and he was Krushna. And, he was not armed with any weapon! Shrutayu was clearly in the worst of predicament.

If he was using the divine spear against Krushna, he would be violating his own promise not to use it against any unarmed person. If he was not using it, he would be acting against its divine distinction.

So he decided not to go against his promise and not to render the raised spear inconsequential.

He, therefore, decided to pierce the spear into his own heart.

And, thus he died in absolute adherence to his own principles.

This is the single most distinguished episode in Mahabharata, the like of which in the epic of war is nowhere found.

So, Orissa has her due revered recognition in Mahabharata.

By that time, language of the Aryas had not reached Orissa. Language is the basis of the strength of a land. What was Orissa’s language then that had made her so strong and elevated her to such stupendous stature? To know it, study of her Protohistory language is essential and for this study, declaration of Oriya as a classical language is necessary.

On records in History

After the epics, the greatest war that history had witnessed in ancient India and which the entire world recognizes as a turning point in world civilization that made nations after nations embrace Buddhism, was the Kalinga war fought below the Dhauli Hill at Bhubaneswar of Orissa. The people of Orissa had fought back Asoka, the invader in this war and stopped the spread of his empire for all time to come.

Asoka, as history admits, had nowhere faced the resistance he faced in Orissa in this war.

To him, as he has declared, Kalinga was “unconquerable”.

In his spree of empire building, he had never found any other people than the Oriyas “unconquerable” and has never used this epithet for any other region or people.

The history written by his courtiers has noted, Orissa’s resistance was so resolutely valorous and sacrifice of the Oriyas for their motherland was so matchlessly patriotic that Asoka’s wicked heart melted in repentance by seeing the ruin he had wrought through his invasion and he changed his creed and adopted Buddhism, (the religion in original of the Oriyas) in the battlefield itself and from Chandasoka he became Dharmasoka and dedicated his life to spread of Buddhism.

But, this, despite truth to a large extent, is far from the fact.

A wicked man like Asoka had no reason to repent on his victory, if at all he had vanquished Orissa.

His heart had never melted in pity seeing the plight of the vanquished as his bards had claimed.

Had it been so, all the Oriya civilians he had taken to arrest in sudden attacks before facing the Oriya army at Dhali Hills and exported to Magadh, should have been released with their dignity and honor after the war was over and all the riches he had looted en route before reaching Dhauli, should have been returned.

This had never happened. He had never even apologized to the people of Orissa for the offenses he committed against them.

So, even though it is true that he had attacked Orissa and had converted into Buddhism in the battlefield in Orissa, he had not defeated the people of Orissa and never in his heart had metamorphosed into a true Buddhist.

The sole purpose of his attack on Orissa was to desecrate the birthplace of Lord Buddha in Kapilavastu, the land of reddish soil spread below the Dhauli Hill on river Daya and to destroy the fountainhead of Buddhism, which was the strongest obstacle to the Magadhan empire building even since the days of Ajatasattu.

Therefore he had faced the massive resistance at Dhauli hill only.

In this battle against the people of Orissa, his army was completely overwhelmed and he had no other way than accepting Buddhism as his creed to escape the wrath of the people he had attcked.

It had taken decades for him to convince the Oriyas that he had really been loyal to Buddhism and then only he had dared to visit Orissa to pay prayers to Buddha at his birthplace Kapilavastu – later converted into Kapileswar when Vedic chauvinists occupying Orissa had converted Buddhist shrines into Hindu temples – and to commission stone inscriptions highlighting his concern for the people.

I have discussed this aspect in my book ‘Sri Jaya Devanks Baisi Pahacha’ (published in 2005 by Bharata Bharati, Cuttack) in course of focusing on the background of the love lyrics complied in Geeta Govinda.

Mother tongue being the sole unifying factor and hence the basis of collective strength of the people, what was the people’s language that had made them “unconquerable” and helped them conquer the great wicked Asoka to the extent of converting him into Buddhism, their own religion and had given their land this unique distinction?

Only specific researches into the Oriya language of the concerned period will bring out the missing chapters in history in this regard. Under the prevailing legal provisions, recognition of classical status of Oriya language will facilitate such research.

Proto-Charya-Oriya

The Charyagities by Chourashi Siddhacharyas present us a previous shape of modern Oriya language that linguists suggest to be Proto-Oriya.

But Pali was Proto-Charya-Oriya.

Gurudev Buddha had preached in Pali and Pali was the then Orissa’s mother tongue.

So, it is necessary to know how modern Oriya evolved from Pali.

In the post 2004 scenario, only a legal declaration of Oriya as a classical language can help us conducting this highly expensive and world encompassing research. Therefore, it is essential to obtain classical status for Oriya language.

And, therefore, it is most welcome that the BBFC has now expressed interest in campaign for this.

But I know, no campaign can be a real campaign unless the campaigners have the total commitment and adherence to the cause of their campaign.

Neither the BBFC nor the participants in its 15th April meeting have raised any voice at any point of time against annihilation of a great instance of international recognition of classicism of Oriya language caused by change of Orissa to Odisha and of Oriya to Odia. The harm this change causes to classicality of Oriya language is discussed in these pages.

Ignoring the Wrong Law is Essential

If the BBFC is serious about its proposed campaign, the campaign should begin with demands for legal restoration of the international spelling of the name of the State as Orissa and of its language as Oriya. It may look time-barred and unrealistic, specifically as the change has come through a constitutional amendment. But, Orissa’s lost classicality in this particular regard can be reclaimed by authors ignoring the wrong law that hampers the uniqueness of their language. Here in Orissa Matters, we have declared to ignore the wrong law, as to us our mother tongue is too precious to be rendered subservient to any set of law, even if that be an instrument created by the country’s constitution. We have been using Orissa and Oriya in these pages because these two English spellings of our motherland and language depict the archaical magnificence of our mother tongue; and because, no law can force anybody to change the spelling of his / her mother’s name as the stupids in power desire. Therefore, BBFC should work out how to reclaim the politically dropped two words – Orissa and Oriya – as the first step to claim classical status for Oriya language.

Otherwise, to us, its attempt would appear like a farce, that men of letters hankering after publicity often resort to.

The agents of the rich in power have already shrewdly changed India into a plutocracy.

A plutocratic government kills the character of the people. Hypocrisy becomes the software of society. It corrupts even the creative persons whereupon authors hanker after prize and publicity instead of staying committed to preservation and furtherance of their languages. In this light we would allow ourselves to interpret the BBFC endeavor if no step is taken to revive Orissa and Oriya, the two words that were the global gateway to classicality of Oriya language.

Nalini Mohanty No More; Orissa Bereft of a Popular Politician

A fighter against many odds from the young days, Nalini Mohanty gave a fight against death till breathing his last in the afternoon of Friday. Orissa lost a popular politician.

He was a smiling face in Orissa Assembly whose wits were matched with preparedness to participate in its proceedings. Minister many a times, he was seldom in controversy, but always in excellent control over his portfolios.

Majority of his career spent in anti-Congress camp, he had succumbed to ‘supremo-syndrome’ in BJD and joined the Congress, where he had soon been recognized as an asset.

While in Opposition, his attacks on the treasury benches were razor-sharp, yet his target was never personally wounded. As a minister he was seldom stonewalled; but whenever he was being horned in, the fellows in the officers gallery were sure that he was not letting them down.

In his demise, we have a feeling of loss too. Leaders across political parties, watchdogs irrespective of allegiance, general public of and outside his constituency have paid him obituary tributes. We add ours to them.

Tribals Reject Bail Offer, Demand Withdrawal of False Prosecution

Abductors, allegedly Maoists, may release Jhinna Hikaka, the hostage MLA of ruling party, if persons as per their list that include Chasi Mulia Adibasi Sangha (CMAS) members are released from jails. Government of Orissa agrees to help them if they apply for bail.

But, thousands of tribals congrigated at Kaberibadi of Bandhugaon block, on April 16, have rejected the government suggestion.

Police cases against tribals are false and fabricated and hence be withdrawn, they say. Bail does not bring the end of prosecution. So, the CMAS will not want any tribal to apply for bail, they have declared.

Bishuba Milan Refreshes Orissa’s Unique Feature: Devotion to Mother Tongue and Culture

In Orissa, the famous ancient soil of Buddhism and agriculture, the Mahabishuba Sankranti is celebrated as the day of dreams for a better world to live in. It is Orissa’s New Year’s Day.

Co-operation amongst social forces to face the dryness caused by the scorching sun and transform it into preparedness for cultivation of paddy – the most staple food of Oriyas – at the end of summer, gets refreshed on this day, as Panji – the Oriya annual almanac that basically carries weather forecasts relevant to agriculture and instructions on consuming agro-products as would be suitable to individuals on the basis of their respective zodiac signs – gets launched with the blessings of the most revered son of the soil- Lord Buddha, worshipped as Sri Jagannatha at Puri.

As the summer that disinfects the soil for better agriculture starts on this day, Oriyas prepare themselves for agriculture with propitiating the Mother Earth with water sweetened by treacles and fruits that they call ‘Pana’, which also is offered to the Goddesses that symbolize Mother Earth and shared and celebrated amongst all the Oriyas irrespective of caste and status in surge of brotherhood defined by their mother tongue. The significance of propitiating Mother Earth with ‘Pana’ is so huge that the day is also known in Orissa as ‘Pana Sankranti’.

Orissa was the last land of India that the British had been able to annex, but was the first soil to have raised the battle of independence against the British, which, afraid of the “disposition” of her children, had dismembered her body and yoked the divided parts with neighboring provinces that it had already occupied and was plundering. The Oriyas had raised unprecedented objection to this mischief and had got back their Motherland in a new shape, based on the uniqueness, strength and spread of their mother tongue.

So, on ‘Pana Sankranti’ day, Oriyas also celebrate their language and brotherhood.

Presentation of ‘Bishuba Sammana’ to an eminent Oriya author by ‘Prajatantra Prachara Samiti’ in its seat at Cuttack every year on this occasion is an instance.

This year, as we have informed earlier, eminent poet Pramod Mohanty has been honored on April 13 with this ‘Samman’. Along with him, ‘Jankara Puraskara’ named after ‘Jhankara’ the journal of Oriya letters, has been awarded to Ajay Kumar Mishra, Amarendra Khatua and Giri Dandasena. Other awards of the Samiti, such as ‘Minabazar Shishu Sahitya Puraskara’ has been given to Laxmikant Rath, ‘Justice Harihara Mohapatra Smaraki Natya Sahitya Puraskara’ to Rajkishore Varadwaj, ‘Ajit Anubad Bharati Puraskara’ to Binay Kumar Das, ‘Rajiv Smaraki Lalita Nibandha Puraskara’ to Niranjana Padhi and ‘Manoj Smaraki Shishu Sahitya Puraskara’ to Abhilas Bal.

The event presided over by eminent poet Sitakant Mohapatra was addressed by famous author Gangaprasad Vimal, with Saroj Ranjan Mohanty, editor of Jhankar giving the introduction.

This being Orissa’s New Year’s Day, its Capital was formally shifted from Cuttack to Bhubaneswar on this day.

Hence the Capital Foundation Day was observed with students of 49 institutes of the city participating in a commemorative parade, with the Speaker of Orissa Assembly Pradip Amat taking the salute.

The day was celebrated in different form in different places.

Such as, about a hundred families of mutual friends, Dr.Jyoti Prasad Pattnaik, Er. Sayad Suleman Ali and others celebrated ‘Mahabishuba Milana – 2012’ at hotel ‘Dalma’ in Bhubaneswar, where two books authored respectively by Sri Satyanas and Smt. Indira Mishra were formally released.

Ekamra Hat effervesced in ecstasy as Oriya housewives joined a pageant with their traditional costumes and ornaments for selection of Shrestha Odiyani (the best amongst Oriya housewives). Kadambini, a journal for women organized the pageant.


These celebrations were just samples of how happily the day was celebrated all over Orissa.

Land to Tribal: Government’s New Device to Deceive or is Real?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

“I am talking about millions of men whom they have knowingly instilled with fear and a complex of inferiority, whom they have infused with despair and trained to tremble, to kneel and behave like flunkeys”. ( A.Cesaire in ‘Discourse on Colonialism’ ).

When majority of our people is in such a pusillanimous state, tribals are distinctly different. Soft like children in heart, they are like lions in attitude. They constitute the majority amongst all segments of inhabitants in Orissa. They never hesitate to hit back on reaching the limit of endurance. Not only as Bhagavati Panigrahi had told of Ghinua in his famous story ‘Shikar’, but also as witnessed in present days, a tribal fearlessly reports to police with chopped off head of a person whose tortures he was no more able to endure. This disposition, the government knows, is conducive to spread of ultra left influence, as it also knows that Naxal activism has grown more discernibly in the tribal dominated areas of Orissa, which are worst hit by the anti-people alliance of political administration with private and foreign industries. As most correctly interpreted and established by Felix Padel (author of ‘The sacrifice of human being: British rule and the Konds of Orissa’) and Samarendra Das, this alliance has pushed the tribals of Orissa into a state of living death.

“…..seeing the sudden confiscation of the land where their ancestors lived and the collapse of their communities, no longer able to grow their own food and forced to eke a living through degrading, exhausting coolie work for the very projects which destroyed their homes, Orissa’s displaced Adivasis exist in a living death, witnessing the extermination of all they have valued” ( Anthropology of Genocide: Tribal Movements in Central India against Over-Industrialization, 2006).

Naturally, therefore, retaliation is what is logically expected of them. Howsoever the governments brand it as Maoism, the fact in reality is that tribal endurance reaching its limit, the sleeping lions in tribal hearts has started roaring. The Maoists, as per their agenda, are adding ideological strength to this roar.

Therefore the governments, both in the Center and the State, headed respectively by Manmohan Singh and Naveen Patnaik, whose priority on private industry and imperialism is more defined and discernible than on the people, are in nervousness and impatience. They have been using all possible tricks to suppress and silent the rising tribals.

When they have been using state-terror of the most heinous and monstrous type as witnessed in killing of tribals in Kalinganagar or Maikanch and seen in arrests of hundreds of them under false charges, because the industries want the treasure of ores that Mother Nature has stashed below the lands the tribals dwell, they are also assuring them with allocation of land in exchange of the land the rich men need. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 is an instant of this mischief.

Originally moved as the Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill, 2005 in the Parliament on 13 December 2005, it had to suffer the attacks from Indian Parliamentarians that, eager to oblige the industries for reasons best known to them, were in mentality against the tribes. Eventually, it metamorphosed to “The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006” and with President’s assent on 29 December 2006, came into force. But has it given the tribals the benefits it had pronounced? Has any tribal displaced by industries and their agents in power been allotted with the alternative land of his choice? How far it is implemented?

Council of Social Development (CSD), New Delhi, had taken a stock of its implementation in 2010. A synopsis of its findings makes it clear that “all of the key features of this legislation have been undermined by a combination of apathy and sabotage during the process of implementation. ……. The testimonies made it clear that this is not merely a result of bureaucratic failure; both the Central and the State governments have actively pursued policies that are in direct violation of the spirit and letter of the Act”.

So, the spirit of the Act was being killed by the administration in nexus with the mafia when the central government had been asserting to use helicopters to shoot at the tribals opposed to displacement, in the name and design of getting rid of Maoists, as to it, the rebels in the forests were Maoists.

Manmohan Singh’s meretricious tears for the tribals threadbare exposed by the social and official audit organizations such as CSD and CAG, and by the very fact that the Act of 2006 is more violated than implemented, special funds are being addressed to development of areas where tribal disposition is adding strength to ultra left bodies, so that people in the grassroots may stay away from rebellious agendas. To further the conspiracy against the people, Dr. Singh is actively for developmental investments from corporate companies so that they shall emerge as de facto government exactly as the East India Company had emerged as the government of India.

And, his Orissa supplementer Naveen Patnaik, who, as Chief Minister, did not bother to utter even a single word of sympathy to the family members of the tribals that were brutally exterminated by his police at Kalinganagar simply because of their opposition to hijacking of their habitat by Tata, has been working upon a scheme to allocate around an acre of lands to every tribal family living in 17,974 hamlets under 118 tribal dominated Blocks shrouded by ultra left influence. On Wednesday, minds were steered into this scheme in the highest level of administration.

The contemplated scheme is aimed at assuaging the piling up anger of tribal people of Orissa over their enforced displacement and continuous threat to their natural habitats and living environment as one after one eco-systems that they depend upon for their livelihood are being handed over to private industries, shattering their every dream to live peacefully in their soil.

But the scheme shall not work. It cannot give economic emancipation to the tribals. it cannot help their habitats substituted.

Firstly, the bureaucratic conduct witnessed in the Forest Rights Act will not be – and in a corrupt environment that has engulfed Orissa, can never be – congenial to implementation of this scheme in right earnest.

Secondly, the tribals, who from birth are habituated in their own traditional, yet, peculiar process of fetching their livelihood to their satisfaction from the forest land they belong to, will not be able to use the new land in their own method, if at all they are allotted with any.

Thirdly, the new allocations will give them dry lands away from the cooling trees and streams. One acre of such dry land will never be cultivable economically and hence will be of no use to the tribals except fetching a supposedly small sum of money by mortgaging the same to land grabbers, from whom the same would never be retrieved. The planners know it and the people too.

So the scheme to provide the tribals with around an acre of land per family to justify the official acquisition of tribal lands for industry, will push them further into penury with no scope of rescue.

This is going to happen to the majority portion of our countrymen, because the governments run by collaborators of industry and imperialism are determined to handover our hills to be mined by corporate companies, who, if the central government’s scheme to make them major players in area development works, will eventually turn people dependent on them, consequent upon which, the company that would be addressed to for development of the area, will emerge as the de facto government just as the East India Company had become the government.

If constitutional authorities like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik are not for such an undesirable scenario, it is incumbent upon them – as they run the governments – to desist from giving the corporate companies priority over the people and to frame and enforce laws for community cultivation of lands as only thereby fragmentations thereof under laws of inheritance can be stopped and scientific cultivation can commence. Instead of creating image of industries as providers of funds for development, they should frame and enforce laws for imposition of ceiling on accumulation of wealth in private hands and as Indira gandhi had done in respect to agricultural lands, should confiscate ceiling surplus wealth for use in mass development programs. Ceiling on personal wealth will also stop corruption.

To begin with, Orissa government must not proceed with allocation of a mere acre of land to each tribal family as is being contemplated. Instead, it should first earmark consolidated plots of land congenial to tribals and put that consolidate patch under their collective ownership in identified villages, to be managed by their commune democratically. As for example, if a village has 50 tribal families, a single patch of 50 acres of land, at the rate of one acre to each family as the government proposes, should be put under their collective ownership after they are educated and trained in collectively sharing the package of practices, the products and profit. This would stop future fragmentation of the one acre being proposed to be allotted and facilitate scientific management of the entire patch of land leading to higher productivity.

But for this, the government will have to be pro-people, not pro-industry. Otherwise, the new contemplated scheme would be viewed as a new device to deceive the tribals, not to serve them in reality.

Poet Pramod Mohanty Felicitated with Bishuba Samman

Famous poet, Prof. Pramod Mohanty has been felicitated with the 63rd annual Bishuba Samman, founded by Dr. Harekrushna Mahtab and Prajatantra Prachar Samiti, Cuttack.

Author of many works of poetry, such as Kramash, Debipada, Alagakuha et cetera, Prof. Mohanty has got national award from Indian Academy of Letters for his book ‘Asaranti Anasara’.

We feel proud in congratulating him for Orissa’s oldest eminent award for literature of highest order.