BAN ON JAN MYRDAL’S VISITS TO INDIA WOULD BE VIEWED AS AN ACT OF COMPRADORS

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Parliament in the Rajya Sabha has been told that the Central Government would ban Jan Myrdal’s future visits to India.

The people of India have no problem with Jan Myrdal, a radical journalist, a researcher, a scholar. a socio-political analyzer, a progressive thinker, a maker of feature films and documentaries, an acclaimed author of living history, who has written more than thirty books including ‘India Waits’.

His latest book on this country, ‘Red Star Over India: Impressions, Reflections and Discussions when the Wretched of the Earth are Rising’ was released in Kolkata Book Fair this year.

This book is so well documented and well received that before completion of six months of its launching, it has reached the second edition.

The people of the country are eager to read this book as a result of which its translation is being published in Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Telugu and Tamil even as publishers in several other Indian languages are in the stage of contract for bringing out translations in their respective languages.

In fact, Myrdal was in India this January-February on a one-month conference visa given by the Government to release this book in Kolkata book fair and to attend and address various meetings and conferences in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ludhiana and Delhi, which he did to the utmost happiness of his audiences.

Persons of extraordinary erudition were in the audiences, in the designated venues and beyond, and heard him discuss how corporate influence on government is precipitating war on the people.

If government of India has been leading the people into euphoria on the trajectory of globalization created by capitalism, he ably helped his audiences peer into the gloom that capitalism has given birth to, from which the people in general need be rescued.

A man in emancipatory journalism, his world outlook is against capitalism. And, in vox populi, he is a friend of the wretched of the earth.

Naturally, he is not welcome where a government is run by compradors. Compradors are everywhere always afraid of progressive persons. Because they fear progressive persons generate revolutions.

Let us understand revolution.

Man never lives for ever. But revolution never dies.

From time immemorial, people everywhere in the world have marched ahead by way of revolution. They have marched ahead overcoming every obstacle on their way to collective progress and have revolted against every power that they have found a hindrance to their forward march and by that they have brought in changes in the course of administration, which is why progress is always linked to revolution. But revolution is fueled by interaction. Interaction enhances knowledge and streamlines expression, which shapes the revolution and paves the path towards progress.

In the cause of progress, when knowledge plays the pivotal role, people’s ability to express themselves freely is the basic ingredient, as free expression is the only launcher of knowledge.

Therefore, every attempt to obstruct free expression is an attempt to obstruct acquisition, exchange and spread of knowledge, which the human society never countenances.

Wherever freedom in expression is curtailed, the administration that imposes this curtailment, runs out of credibility and ends, because of a matching revolution against stymieing of freedom in expression.

Freedom in expression includes in itself the freedom of the people to gather relevant information from every source they want and for this, essential is freedom to interact with knowledgeable persons not reluctant to share their experience.

So, people of my country have the right to be benefited by interaction with a journalist of world repute like Jan Myrdal, whose books on India are books of living history.

No responsible government would like to ban his future visits to India, as that would be denying the people to know their living history and to gather information relevant to their democracy, under the plea that he sides with revolution that the ultra left leads.

The government has not yet told the people what exactly is this revolution and against whom this revolution is meant and why the government is so very afraid of it and is waging a war against the people who support it. But the way so very big extra amounts of fund are being allocated to development of the areas under influence of the revolution led by the ultra left makes it clear that the revolution is meant against condition of undevelopment and the factors thereof. This suggests, unless the left would not have raised the revolution, the idea of development of the backward areas and the most wretched people living therein could perhaps not even have grown in the government.

So, if people were left undeveloped and the government was busy in developing the developed instead of developing the undeveloped, and the ultra left has forced the government to read the writings on the wall and pay attention to development of the neglected people, why must journalists like Jan Myrdal be denied visa to record this living history for the global community on the basis of interaction with the involved people? If he has said that the war waged by the government against the people is caused because of avarice of the rich and executed by the agents of the rich for the safety of the rich, he has just shared with the people a phenomenon experienced all over the world under the design of capitalism. It does not disadvantage our country.

So, the people of our country will not want a ban on Jan Myrdal’s future visits. If the ban would really be imposed, that would be viewed as an act of compradors in whose cocoon Indian democracy is being metamorphosed into plutocracy.

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Regrets

We regret that in the previous posting, the name of Ms. Aradhana Mishra was inadvertently noted as Ms. Anuradha Mishra. The wrong has already been corrected in the write-up. But in the communication to our esteemed followers, the correction could not have been effected, as, before location of the defect, the mail system could have delivered them the article.

We request all of them to please read Aradhana Mishra in place of Anuradha Mishra.

We sincerely regret the unintended lapse.

Thanks, Aradhana Mishra! The Filth You had Exposed is being Followed by Sambad

Orissa’s top circulated daily, the Sambad, has made a five-column caption in its May 27 Bhubaneswar edition on how five thousand chairs in the Kalinga Stadium are rendered unusable because of heavy deposit of pigeon droppings on each of them, in the galleries.

When in 2011, thousands of valid ticket holders could not occupy their seats to witness Odissi Dance performance by record number of artists that launched the pride of Orissa into the Guinness Book of World Records, because of the filth deposited on the chairs, one of our esteemed readers, Ms. Aradhana Mishra had sent us pictures of the chairs heavily littered by the bird droppings.

That was to our pages on discussion on Odissi on 29 december 2011.

Sadly, no other media thought it prudent to highlight this harm to the stadium.

After six months thereof, Orissa’s most popular newspaper Sambad has made this issue the crux of the report on Kalinga Stadium.

We will fail in our duty if we fail to thank Ms. Mishra for having exposed this matter for the first time in our pages last year.

The government run by Naveen Patnaik is so full of filth that we cannot say for certain that the filth in the Kalinga Stadium would appear to it as alarming. But we are happy, that the issue which we had highlighted has started being reflected by mainstream print media in Orissa.

Election 2009: Returned Candidate’s Plea Rejected in the High Court, But Far Away is Justice for the Rejected Candidate

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In the 2009 election for Orissa Assembly, Returning Officers were used to reject the nomination papers of candidates that were seemingly disadvantageous to the ruling party.

In only these pages, this aspect is discussed in matter of Ranendra Pratap Swain in Athgarh as an instance.

Exposed only in orissamatters.com, – no other media had touched this point – the ruling party, after defeat of its conspiracy in even the Supreme Court, in the Court caused reelection, had to make Swain its candidate again to save its face and to keep the Constituency under its clutch, as Swain was certainly to win.

North Bhubaneswar is another instance where the Returning Officer “improperly and illegally rejected” the nomination papers of promising candidate Gyanendra Kumar Tripathy as a result of which the ruling party candidate Bhagirathi Badajena could bag the seat.

Tripathy preferred an Election Petition (Election Petition No.8 of 2009) in the High Court of Orissa. Badajena adopted dilatory tactics by filing objection to its maintainability, which the Court registered as a Misc. Case (Misc. Case No.6 of 2010) and once the Misc. Case was registered, took several adjournments, though he was legally required to prove his points sans any delay. Had he not played the dilatory tactics, the Misc. Case as well as the Election Case could have been decided in 2010.

Badajena had coined his Misc. Case on false and baseless pleas; but as there were points of law, the Court could not instantly reject his objection and posted the case to hear him. he did not cooperate and continued to seek adjournments as a result of which so vast time had to elapse in deciding the Misc.Case.

Justice Indrajit Mohanty ultimately heard the Misc. Case on 12 March 2012 and has delivered his judgment on 18 April 2012.

He has rejected the pleas of Badajena (the returned candiade) in a brilliant analysis of all the points of law he had raised and the baseless allegation he had made in attempt to mislead the Court. As for example, absence of an affidavit in Form No. 25 was made a point of objection to Tripathy’s case, claiming that Section 81(3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and Rule 94 of Election Rules make such affidavit in this particular Form an unavoidable must for maintenance of an Election Case. But this Form is a must only if the election dispute is raised on the ground of “corrupt practices” and not otherwise. “On a careful reading” (Para 13 of the judgment) of the election petition the Court found that “there is no specific allegation of “corrupt practice” made by the election petitioner. Justice Mohanty has clearly mentioned, “I am of the considered view that since the election petitioner has not made any allegation of corrupt practice in his election petition, there is no requirement for him to make any affidavit in Form No.25 of Election Rules, 1961”.

So, on basis of factuality and in analysis of points of laws such as on animo attestendi and “substantial compliance” of the requirement of Section 81(3) of the 1951 Act, Justice Mohanty has rejected Badajena’s questions on maintainability of the Election Despute raised by Tripathy.

So, the hindrance willfully created by the returned candidate to decision on the election dispute has been appropriately removed by the High Court of Orissa.

Justice for Tripathy should no more be delayed. The Court should now follow the precedence it has created in Athgarh case. Yet, as there is no specific election bench of the Court, we apprehend, justice for Tripathy is far away.

In this context, we again put our emphasis on the need of separate and specific Election Bench to give justice to election petitioners that are victims of the mischiefs played by the Returning Officers and other players that endanger Democracy.

Left Parties in Orissa Protest Against Anti-People Hike in Petrol Price

The left parties in Orissa have raised strong protests against the anti-people hike in petrol price.

The people are so angry over the hike that the parties that are
bedfellows of the profiteers are also making dramas of demonstration against the price rise.

Better to Keep in Mind: Aircrafts are Flown by Pilots, not by Courts

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Air India should not have preferred contempt of court proceedings against its pilots in the Delhi High Court as it makes it a habitual litigant against its star employees. The Supreme Court has unambiguous rulings that the State/ Public sector should act as ideal employers and desist from dragging the employees to litigations.

When the pilots are in strike over issues relating to their career progression, it would have been better had the court not intervened and instead of ordering the pilots to join work, because their strike was causing “huge loss to the exchequer”, it could have ordered the Union Government and Air India to act as ideal employers in the light of the Supreme Court rulings and to proceed for settlement with the pilots.

Now when the Air India is so eager to settle the issue amicably with the pilots that civil aviation minister Ajit Singh has expressed readiness to reinstate all the 101 sacked pilots, it is clear that the authorities have understood their follies in creating the atmosphere of confrontation. They have precipitated the impasse by making the strike ‘illegal’ and by sacking 101 pilots on the flimsy ground of their strike being ‘illegal’.

The minister has declared, “I am ready to talk on all issues only after they join work, not before”. Why? What problem is there in talking the issues to usher in the end of the strike? The minister’s ego satisfaction is not more important than restoration of congenial fight environment.

The pilots should not be subjected to repressive steps that want them succumb to tactics of demoralization. Extinguishment of the strike through court orders should never be the choice in respect of the pilots. It is better to be appreciated that aircrafts are flown by the pilots, not by the courts or their orders. Pilots need peace of mind to concentrate on their job, which is as intricate as immensely responsible. Court verdicts cannot give them that peace.

If the minister is not capable of managing his portfolio properly, courts should not come to his rescue. The air passengers have the right to fly safely and so, the flight environment should never be endangered by putting pilots to demoralization.

A Serious Syndrome That Needs Immediate Attention

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Through eminent journalist Prasanta Patnaik, a serious syndrome that has afflicted the fire brigade in Orissa has come to my attention. Away from the country, I had missed the Press Release of Water Initiative Orissa (WIO), datelined Sambalpur, 13 May 2012, that had condemned misuse of “Fire Fighting Water Tanks” of the Fire Department of Orissa to cause artificial rain in Bhubaneswar Club compound for its members to dance under the drizzle when Bhubaneswar was reeling under unbearable heat wave.

WIO is a State level coalition of civil society organizations, farmers, academia, media and other concerned, which has been working on climate change, water and environment since around two decades.

Bhubaneswar Club is the elitist conglomerate of life enjoyers in Bhubaneswar, which, originally known as the IAS club, is not only a combine of IAS, IPS and other high-powered civil servants, but also by extension has become a place where commission agents find a moorage.

When WIO has expressed deep concern over the use of fire fighting vehicles for “water dance” of the elite in this club, Prasanta babu has supplemented that on his query the fire brigade officials informed him that the water used for artificial rain in the club was not drinking water, but was drawn from the river Kathjori.

So it is confirmed that fire brigade vehicles, bound to be kept ready with water tanks for any eventuality of fire at any moment, were used to create artificial rain for “rain dance” of high-powered civil servants and their families and their relatives and the other men who mingle with them.

Prasanta babu says, “As far as I know, Bhubaneswar Club is organizing Rain Dance every year for over a decade in which Fire Brigade is being used to create artificial rains”.

He further says that “such vans are frequently used by film producers during shooting to create artificial rains” as and when necessary.

He has lauded the WIO for having focused on this misuse of fire fighting vehicles while attracting attention to “colossal misuse of drinking water for construction purposes, water parks and swimming pools in clubs and hotels”.

The issue involved is quite serious. The government should take immediate steps to put a permanent ban on use of fire fighting vehicles for enjoyment and pleasure of private persons as informed by WIO and Prasanta Babu. And, departmental action against whosoever in fire brigade had pressed the water tanks to create artificial rain in Bhubaneswar Club for satisfying wild urge of the elite, must be a must, if Naveen Patnaik’s Government has an iota of concern for administrative discipline.