Friends and Fans Celebrate as Prasanta Patnaik becomes 72

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

For the first time, perhaps, a birthday is celebrated in Bhubaneswar in a public place in such a very unique and memorable manner.

The venue is a tea stall in the old Bus Stand which now houses books shops and magazine stalls. It is named Khati by its patrons. Khati stands typically for a meeting place of friends indulging in light talks. But, here, a good many numbers of journalists, authors, social workers, progressive thinkers and radical intellectuals congregate every morning; and, over cups of tea discuss burning issues with alert inputs and renew their camaraderie and commitment, as mutual affection and respect for each other effervesce with humor and liveliness.

Here, this morning, to intimate friends and fans, eminent journalist Prasanta Patnaik emerged a young man of 72. Almost all the daily visitors to the Khati and fans of Patnaik greeted him with wishes for continuance of his ever brilliant innings as sentinel of public interest.

The birthday was formally celebrated by his family in the evening at his residence.

RAJYASABHA MP PYARI MOHAN MOHAPATRA RUNS AN ILLEGITIMATE DAILY

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The multi-edition daily newspaper ‘Khabara’ run by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s estranged guide Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, is having illegitimate editions since two weeks as Prof. Biswaranjan whom the paper is showing as its Editor has relinquished the post since July 1.

Registration of Press and Books Act and Rules thereunder stipulate that a newspaper, in order to be legitimate, must have an editor. And, the publisher of the newspaper is bound to declare the name of the editor before the authority designated by the Registrar of Newspapers of India. Thus, sans an editor, publication of a newspaper is not legitimate and is punishable.

Sri Mohapatra, MP in Rajyasabha, was not only an IAS officer, but also had acted as the designated authority under the Act, knows the law. Yet, he has been running the newspaper by wrongfully using the name of Prof. Biswaranjan as editor, though he has resigned since July 1.

Prof. Biswaranjan had to relinquish his post because he was informed by the management of their choice of a different person as editor. This was necessary to configure the editorial rhythm of the paper with the need of its sustenance after Mohapatra’s estrangement with Naveen, which is bound to be aggressive editorial stratagem for fund raising that Prof. Biswaranjan could never have performed. What a gentleman should have done in such a situation, he did. He resigned.

But, as his name is yet being used as editor, worried over the misuse of his name, he has issued a statement to the Press, informing the public of his resignation. I got it through Sambad.

Besides being illegal, it is unethical on part of the management of Khabar to continue with printing Prof. Biswaranjan’s name as editor.

Prof. Biswaranjan, after his superannuation in State’s Higher Education Service, was approached by Mohapatra, a former Education Secretary of Orissa, to join as editor of Khabara, which he was proposing to publish.

Being a highly creative person, who, while even serving under the government had a great constituency of readers as an accomplished columnist contributing regularly to Orissa’s mainstream broadsheets, he was carefully considered for the post, because the management was sure that , Prof. Biswaranjan’s name as Editor, would launch the paper into massive public attention. Writing for newspapers being the Professor’s hobby and habit, he had agreed and thus the Khaabar had hit the news rack on 1 June 2008 with him as its funder editor and in sputnik speed it had emerged in multi-editions, from different nerve centers of Orissa like Jaypore and Sambalpur and even from outside Orissa with heavy presence of Oriyas like Surat of Gujrat.

Many noted names from amongst professors and writers of Orissa are being used by investors in newspapers to capture readers’ attention. But, these intellectuals are in reality not the men who matter in transaction of what newspapers are meant for. Media management in Orissa looks murkier day by day.

Cry Parenthood, Cry! Cry Over the Crime in Tolerating the Criminals, Who, Despite in Power, Never Bother to Keep Our Future Safe

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

At least ten pre-school kids are severely injured with seven of them dead as a wall of a 70 years old dilapidated structure collapsed on them at a time they were going to have their mid-day meals in an Anganvadi center in Nayagarh district, this July 9. The bereaved families are offered with Rs.1 lakh each from the Chief Minister’s relief fund.

The question is: if the Pipili gang rape victim is given posthumous cash grant of Rs. 10 lakhs, why the tribals killed by Tata hired government bullets at Kalinga Nagar were offered Rs. 5 lakhs each and the kids who died in the death trap laid down by the negligent government at Suansia Sahi U.P.School of Ranapur Block in Nayagarh District on July 9 are given only Rs. 1 lakh each?

A few of pictures of the most pathetic tragedy would suffice to show how the death trap for the kids was deliberately laid. The walls had cracked and the very old tin roof was perforated and rain water had made the room vulnerable to collapse any moment. There was running the Anganvadi center like they run in many places across the State.

The central government is paying and the state government has been receiving hundreds of crores of rupees for construction of Anganvadies and mini Anganvadies. Propaganda machineries are being fabulously fueled to project the plutocratic government as pro-people on the tract of these pre-school institutes in the misruled State.

Fellows with marked allegiance to the ruling party are shrewdly recruited as Anganvadi workers when funds allotted on records for mid-day meal of the kids in Anganvadies are being used to provide profits to arrangers and suppliers of food ingredients, sometimes provoking villagers to rain vociferous blames on the government for rampant misuse thereof.

Suspicion is galore that the entire funds are also being misappropriated at certain points where the ruling party persons are in opportunistic nexus with the local officials.

Out of a total 71,134 Anganvadies in Orissa, only 17, 554 centers have their own roofs, howsoever substandard they be, whereas 16,794 centers are operating in primary schools in their designated localities. Locations of the rest 36,786 Anganvadies are not known. Are they ghost centers? Who can say,’no’? If yes, where does the entire money meant for these 36,786 Anganvadi centers go? Only an in-depth investigation into their existence may reveal the reality. Till then, you are free to speculate.

To avoid speculations, which may go wild, the government should place before the public the records in details of all the 71,554 Anganvadies for social audit / public verification of which Angavadi is really working and which are ghosts. But, sadly, the portfolio belongs to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and no executive officer has the guts to reveal the details.

When the Chief Minister is holding the portfolio, the chilling extermination of the lives of at least seven kids under a collapsed wall of the Anganvadi center belonging to the second category noted above has exposed the monstrous mischief the state government has been playing with the kids, as priority in the program is not pre-school education; but satisfaction of the urge for political mileage and avarice of political supporters of the chief minister as well as of payola payers. Reference may be made to resignation of a minister under charges of supply to moth-eaten, rotten and poisonous pulses to Anganvadies in this government.

Now as in a particular place the mischief is again laid bare, the Chief Minister’s relief fund is used to silent the bereaved families. This is a very serious syndrome Orissa is being subjected to time and again. Yet again, there is no set principle for payment from the relief fund under disposal of a political executive, the Chief Minister.

The question is: who evaluates the cost of damage in such cases and decides the quantum of relief? What is the yardstick? And, why so slapdash decision in so questionable fashion in spending this fund for political skin-saving of a person under whose reign people are put in such death traps time and again?

May this attract the attention of the Supreme Court of India and may one hope, the Court would act to honor the extinguished dreams of the innocent kids, by inflicting exemplary punishment upon the wicked villein because of whose misrule, the system of Anganvadi killed our kids by forcing them to qualify for mid-day meal by running into the death trap laid in the dilapidated room of a primary school built 70 years ago and discernibly unsafe.

The villain in power is so ingenuous that attempts to hoodwink the people have started with dismissal of two Anganvadi workers and suspension of the primary school principal and engineering of shifting responsibility to the local officials by projecting them as fellows whose negligence to keep the school safe caused the deaths.

Somanath s/o Hadibandu Totai, Sachin s/o Basanta Kumar Roy, Chiku s/o Tuku Pandi, Ankita d/o Babuna Sahu, Sonali d/o Punia Pradhan, Alisha d/o Chandeswar Jena and Pradip s/o Sant Pradhan are not killed just by the collapse of a wall, they are killed by a misruling government.

Badal s/o Basanta Sahu, Gyana Ranjan and Dibya Ranjan sons of Ganesh Behera are in hospital beds under serious injuries not because of their fault, but because of misrule by a political executive.

They all are symbols of how our dreams for better days are being shattered by a preening person under whose maladministration priority of the State has been shifted from safeguarding the interests of native people to serve the interest of foreigners like the POSCO and inland capitalists like the Tatas.

Cry parenthood, cry. Cry over the crime in tolerating the criminals in power who do not bother to keep our future safe.

And, onlookers, look again at the pictures to see how dreams of our future are killed and decide your own course of action.

Let the action start with a demand for a CBI investigation into the Chief Minister’s relief fund and into how far the State has fulfilled its role in Anganvadi establishment.

Political acrobats need be shown the door and be given the punishment their crimes call for.

Shocking Reality: AIDS Being Aided By Government of Orissa

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

It is shocking. But it is the reality. The Government of Orissa is contributing to spread of AIDS by sleeping over evidences of transfusions of HIV positive blood in hospitals in the State, in absence of facilities for proper screening.

The reality has come to light through a very poor person of Baramba Tahsil, Pratap Kumar Nayak, whose son of only 17 months of age is infected with the dreaded disease due to presence of the virus in the blood he was transfused with during an operation.

In a chilling case before the Orissa High Court (W.P.(C) No.13441 of 2009) Nayak narrated that his son Adarsh was born on 21 Oct.2007 in a Public Health Center (PHC) in Nayagarh district by way of normal delivery. But a day thereafter it was found that the baby had no anal canal. On contact, the PHC, not equipped with a pediatric specialist as it is, advised Nayak to consult Khurda hospital, where, a Dr. Jayaram Patra diverted him to a Dr. Subrat Mohanty, pediatrician, who again diverted Nayak to a private hospital of Bhubaneswar, The Neelachal Hospital. Nayak admitted his 3 days old son in this hospital on 24 Oct. 2007. The next day, Dr. Mohanty conducted the operation and claimed that it was successful. The baby was given transfusion of a bottle of blood, obtained from Red-Cross Blood Bank, Municipal Hospital, Bhubaneswar on requisition by the surgeon and against payment of its cost, in course of the operation. At the time of discharge, he was advised for a second operation after 10 moths for which Nayak admitted his son to the same Neelachal Hospital on 18 August 2008. As transfusion of blood was made a prerequisite to operation, on requisition of the hospital, a bottle of blood was also procured from the said Red Cross Blood Bank, Municipal Hospital, Bhubaneswar on 19.8.2008 against payment of its cost and the baby was operated on that day. The second operation was also claimed to have been successful like the earlier one and the baby was discharged after ten days of the operation. As advised by the Doctor, the baby was again admitted in Neelachal Hospital on 25.2.2009 for final surgery.

As usual, before operation, the blood of the baby was tested. Shockingly, the report indicated HIV positive. Dr. Mohanty withheld operation and advised Nayak and his wife to go to ICTC Centre for testing of their blood on 2.3.2009. On testing their blood it was found to be negative and the blood of the child was found to be HIV positive. Thereafter the baby was taken to S.C.B. Medical College & Hospital, Cuttack for collection of blood sample and the same was sent to M.K.C.G. Medical College, Berhampur for testing and also for CD 4 counting and the count was 1139 cells per M.M. on 17.3.2009. On 26.8.2009 Dr. Mohanty refused to operate the baby on the ground that there is no facility in Neelachal Hospital for operation of HIV positive patient.

As the parents’ blood test proved that they had no HIV infection, it was proved that the baby was infected with AIDS because of the blood transfused to him on being procured from the blood bank.

But, before the High Court, the State Government asserted that the blood supplied by the Blood Bank was screened for infectious diseases, specifically AIDS and was found negative. Where from the infection then came to the baby born to parents not at all infected with HIV positive?

The infection comes through (i) Unsafe sex, (ii) child born through HIV affected persons, (iii) through needles, and (iv) through blood transfusion.

The High Court determined that the baby being hardly 17 months old, he had no scope of infection from unsafe sex. His parents were not infected; hence infection through parents was ruled out. There was no possibility of infection through needles, as the hospital used only disposable needles to which the parents of the baby were witnesses. Thus the only cause of infection was the transfusion of infected blood.

How could then the HIV virus was not detected during screening of the blood? It was found that, blood screening in Orissa is not being done in Nuclear Antizen Test (NAT) or Polymer Chain Reaction (PCR) method, as a result of which, HIV virus is escaping detection.

As per medical science, the length of time following the infection of an individual to develop detectable antibodies is about three months after the infection. This is called the “Window Period”. The blood that Nayak received was certainly collected in this “Wndow Period”. NAT/PCR method could have detected the infection during the “Window Period”, but, as these methods are not in use in Orissa, the poor baby, for no fault of his own or of his parents, developed HIV positive.

“There is no provision in the State to identify virus during the Window Period. Unless special test known as Antizen Test is conducted through Polymer Chain Reaction (PCR) method, the virus cannot be identified during the Window Period i.e. during three months of infection. Therefore, the receipt given by the blood bank stating therein that the blood units are tested against HIV seems to be a myth” claimed Ms. Sujata Jena, Nayak’s lawyer in the High Court.

The Court has agreed with her and awarded cash compensation to the infected child, by making the following direction a must for the Government:

Needless to say that blood donated by one saves life of another. Donation of blood is a noble work. In order to achieve this avowed objective all necessary safeguards must be taken while collecting, testing, storing and supplying blood. Otherwise, instead of saving the life, the contaminated blood would take the life. It is not disputed that during window period, unless the special test known as Antizen test is conducted through Polymer Chain Reaction (PCR) method, the virus cannot be identified. Therefore, the Government must ensure that in all blood Banks the Polymer Chain Reaction (PCR) method is available to identify the virus of HIV during window period. We, further direct opposite party no.1-State to provide free medical treatment to the baby of the petitioner who is a HIV patient.

The judgment was delivered on 28 July 2011.

A year has elapsed. The State Government has not honored the judgment.

Infected blood is going on being transfused sans any check.

AIDS is admittedly menacingly spreading in the State.

Innumerable Nayaks are perishing.

The Government of Naveen Patnaik is so very busy in serving POSCO and the likes, that there is perhaps no time for it to read the High Court verdict even.

Any blood collected in camps and through campaigns such as of Ama Odisha may be HIV infected blood in “window Period”.

Everyone getting a transfusion is vulnerable to AIDS as recalcitrance of the government as discussed above is aiding to its spreading.

Will the High Court please take a note of it?

Mohini Mohan Makes a Marvelous Mix of Odishi and Hindustani with Folk Tunes on World Music Day

Utkal University of Culture celebrated World Music Day with legendary flutist, Prof. Mohini Mohan Pattanaik making a mix of Odishi and Hindustani with Orissa’s folk tunes in the evening of July 6 at Jaya Dev Bhawan, Bhubaneswar, to start the event. He captioned it as ‘Tridhara’ (mixure of the three streams: Odishi, Hindustani and Folk) while glossing it with a bit of western stint.

Addressed by the State’s Minister of Culture Prafulla Samal, the occasion was used to felicitate two eminent senior musicians: Pandit Bishwanath Pujapanda (Odishi vocal) and Guru Dhanurdhara Reddy (Mrudanga).

Odishi Brunda Gayana that exemplified how superb is classicality of Oriya songs was collectively performed by students of Odishi department of the University in two twin episodes. When the Raganga episode with the Madhyamadi meter in rhythm Ekatali was composed and conducted by Guru Ramahari Das, the Nrutang episode, depicting how a love-lorn heart simmers in ecstasy as earth receives the rhythms of rain, was conducted by Guru Dhiraj Mohapatra. Guru Dibakar Parida and Guru Anil Parichha were on Pakhauj.

The Hindustani vocal performed by students of the University had the instrumental support from Guru Laxmi Prasad Pattanayak (violin), Guru Upendra Kumar Swain and Guru Gadadhar Saran (Tabla) and was conducted by Guru Karunakar Nayak.

The last item was Tala Badya Bichitra, composed and directed by Guru Sandip Kumar Raut and conducted by Prof. Jagannath Kuanr. Students of the University were on Tabla (Binod Bihari Biswal), Mardal (Rashmi Ranjan Misra), Ghatam (Soumya Ranjan Nayak), Dholak (Prabhas Basantray), Dhol (Baibhav Kumar Das) and Dhumsa (Sitakant Jena. When Ms. Manisha Mishra performed Bol Padhant, Kshiti Prakash rendered the vocal support. Guru Nirmal Nayak gave the Harmonium support when Guru Laxmi Prasad Pattanayak enriched the event with Violin.

IT WOULD BE WRONG AGAINST INDIA TO VOTE FOR PRANAB

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The outgoing President Pratibha Patil has shown us how dangerous it is to have a Sonia Gandhi family sycophant as President of the country.

Another of her sycophants, Pranab Mukherjee is now a candidate for the highest office in India, to be elected by the sitting representatives of the people in the Central as well as the State Legislatures.

But it would be a wrong against India if the said representatives vote for him.

It is:

not because, he is a Sonia Gandhi family sycophant that the President of India should not be;

not because, he is habituated in working under the pleasure of the present Prime Minister and hence may stay a habitually subdued President;

not because, as a minister for many years under Dr. Manmohan Singh, the present PM knows where, how and to what extent he has willfully erred in administration and may use the same to keep him tamed and thereby he may at best be a puppet President;

not because, he was under spy-cam by unknown persons while in office as Finance Minister, which, despite his intimation to the PM not being solved, will keep him in constant discomfort so as to deter him from using his conscience against any bad decision of the government needing Presidential approval;

not because, he has been avoiding a debate to establish his suitability for the top-most post despite stress laid thereupon by his rival Mr. Sangma;

not because, Mr. Sangma, who not only is a flawless former Speaker of the Loksabha, but also a man that made a monumental mark of distinction as the perfect-most central labor minister, is personification of aspirations of majority of Indians – tribals and the working class – is a better presidential candidate;

but because, he is the man, who, sabotaged India’s constitutional resolve and sovereignty by subjecting the country to GATT behind back of the Parliament.

In 1993-94, when the country had very strongly protested against this treachery, he had, with Rao as Prime Minister, even subjected the Parliament to the ignominy of being a mere instrument of paving the way for implementation of the treaty so unauthorizedly signed behind the people, a tactics which he again used in the matter of the Hyde Act with Singh as the Prime Minister.

Instead of trying to enhance Parliament’s supremacy in matters of such international treaties, as the concerned minister in both the regimes of Rao and Singh, he had tried to exploit the weak points of Indian Constitution to justify the government’s executive powers to sign the treaties sans permission or approval of the Parliament, though thereby the country was to be drastically affected in all fronts of interest of the people of this country. In eagerness to serve the interest of foreigners than Indians, specifically in consonance with American design, he had even ignored the advice of Indian Parliament, as witnessed in signing of the TRIPs agreement.

The ‘draft agreement’ on TRIPs, pushed mainly by multinational medicine manufacturers, had ignored every major matter mentioned in the background paper India had submitted to the ‘Negotiating Committee’ on 27 July 1989. The entire country showing serious concern over this, the government had to place the matter before the Parliament, as a result of which the the ‘draft agreement’ was forwarded to the Standing Committee of the Parliament attached to the Commerce Ministry for its consideration, opinion and direction. The Standing Committee, comprised of 40 eminent MPs drawn from all political parties, after intense examination, had decided to disagree with all the major terms and conditions and stipulations spelt out in the ‘draft agreement’. In its report submitted on 13 November 1993, the Standing Committee opposed the ‘product patent system’ stipulated in the ‘draft agreement’ as it would lead to steep increase in prices of medicines. It was not proper for India, in the opinion of the Standing Committee, to accept the ‘draft agreement’ that, as it pointed out, would be of drastic negative impact on manufacture of drugs and medicines in the country, essential for health of its people and affordable health care. It suggested several amendments whereby Indian interest should not be compromised. But, Mukherjee signed the draft agreement in total disregard to the report and recommendations of the Standing Committee of the Parliament, rendering the Parliament absolutely irrelevant.

Dishonoring the Parliamentary Standing Committee’s report and recommendations is dishonoring the Parliament of India itself.

It is an offense against India that Pranab committed by misusing his position as the Minister-in-charge.

But it was not the sole offense against India. Offense was committed against the people of India in several fronts by signing the GATT behind back of the Parliament that has disadvantaged the people in matter of economy involving agriculture, business and industry as well as impinged seriously upon the country’s eco-systems.

The same modus operandi of rendering the Parliament irrelevant was also employed in signing of the Hyde Act and 123 agreement that subjected India to American nuke hegemony. In pushing the Hyde Act, the US Congress had even made it clear that Indian Parliament must “approve the text of the Act” before signing it. But the “text” of the said Act was never placed before the Parliament.

In both these mischiefs played against the people, Mukherjee was the main collaborator of the two instruments of USA, Rao and Singh, in the two most relevant phases. Before signing these treaties that so severely affect the life of our present and future generation, neither the people of India nor the Parliament were taken to confidence by the two Prime Ministers and their common tahalia, Pranab Mukherjee, who had the role next only to the Prime Minister in signing treaties so devastative to India.

His steps in the name of globalization, ever since the dark acts of signing the said treaties behind back of the Parliament, have thrown the country into the labyrinth of disadvantages for majority of Indians, forcing them to suffer continuous price rise and economic instability while facilitating concentration of the country’s wealth in hands of the favored few, over and above which, the country has been forced to serve the trade-interest of foreign nuke dealers at the peril of India’s environment and indigenous expertise in use of its own raw materials for its own safety and prosperity.

To keep the Parliament powerless in matter of signing international deals or treaties in foreign interest, the team that included Mukherjee, has ignored the necessity of making the necessary law to regulate the procedure of signing such instruments. Nothing can be more severe a treachery against the country by its government, be it of Rao or of Singh where saboteurs of Indian Constitution like Mukherjee have served as relevant ministers. They have entered into international treaties disadvantageous to India under the umbrage of executive powers, though making of such treaties is not within the expressed exclusive competence of the Executive.

And, when the Indian Parliament has tried to take stock of the state action, Pranab has always steadfastly defended the executive powers of the government while denigrating the demands for making Parliamentary permission a prerequisite for signing the treaties. As for example, when a private member’s bill to amend the Constitution, introduced in February 1992 by M.A.Baby, was taken up for consideration in Rajyasabha in March 1997, requiring Parliament’s approval before signing any international treaty, Pranab had stressed on undesirability of restricting the executive to Parliament’s permission in signing treaties, which, in opinion of the executive were beneficial to people. In this, his aptitude against parliamentary democracy is discernible inasmuch as it emphasizes on keeping parliamentary sovereignty subservient to state sovereignty executed by a political government enjoying its power through the often questionable number game. This aptitude is dangerous to democracy.

On this premise alone, it would be wrong on parts of the members of the houses of people’s representatives to vote for Pranab in the presidential election. Of course, it depends upon whether or not the present MPs and MLAs consider India’s Parliamentary sovereignty more important than freedom of the executive to treat India as its fee simple.