Orissa Governor hopeful of UUC working for Cultural Renaissance

With Pictorial input from Laxmi Prasad Pattanayak

Chancellor of Utkal University of Culture, Governor Dr. S.C.Jamir expressed hope that in times to come the University would play a crucial role in bringing about cultural renaissance in Orissa. He was the Chief Guest in the 17th Foundation Day celebrations on Monday.

UCC

Commissioner-cum-Secretary of Culture department of Orissa Manoranjan Panigrahy lauded the faculty members of the University for having carries forward the objectives of the University “in spite of numerous handicaps”. The University running in a temporary campus would soon be shifted to its permanent building and be entitled to UGC grants, he disclosed.

Ranjit Kumar Mohanty, Director of Culture wanted the teachers and the students to work unitedly for the University when Vice-Chancellor Prof. Debendranath Jena drew attention of the authorities to the problems of the University seeking early solutions, while impressing upon the fact that, the University has come a long way in terms of academic achievement “despite problems and hurdles”.

Dr. Suman Das, Registrar, presented the annual report and highlighted the activities undertaken throughout the year.

The University’s annual newsletter ‘Sanskruti’ was released by the Governor, when the Lady Governor distributed the awards and prizes.

To mark the occasion, students of Odissi and Visual Arts Departments had offered excellent entertainment and  an Art Exhibition respectively.

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A. B. Bardhan: Unforgettable Relevance

By Saswat Pattanayak

Comrade A B Bardhan (1924-2016) was not just the foremost communist mass leader of India who raised working class consciousness among millions through his oratory and organizational persistence, he was also the Marxist historian who accounted peoples’ struggles like no one else had quite done.

Well before publishing “People’s History” had become a worldwide trend, Comrade Bardhan had reflected upon the critical role of working class in India’s freedom struggle with these words –

“Official histories are apt to pass over in silence the role of the working class in India’s freedom struggle. They depict the freedom struggle as a series of events determined and influenced by individuals from the upper strata of society, who reacted against the humiliation and oppression of foreign rule, and moved the masses in their wake.

As to the workers and working people, they were considered either too weak or ignorant to play any role in this struggle, or concerned themselves with the more immediate problems of mitigating exploitation and improving their lot.

Nothing could be more one sided and false than this picture. In fact, with the growth of the working class in India and the rise of the labor movement commences the impact on India’s struggle against foreign domination.”

Well before social justice movements demanded reservations as part of parliamentary political norm, Comrade Bardhan had gone beyond the traditional proposals and recognizing the imminent pervasiveness of private capital, he had called for reservations in private sector as well –

“As Communists, we take note of the problems of the deprived communities in our society and pay special attention to them. These are for instance the dalits, the adivasis and the minorities, especially the Muslims. We shall actively support the demand that reservation should be extended to the private sector, especially when moves for privatization are afoot.”

Well before the caste discourse in public policies had gained momentum and denouncing Hindutva politics had become mainstream, and intolerance debate had gained a foothold in India to prompt celebrities in joining the chorus, Comrade Bardhan had urged the people to reject communal casteist elements from the political sphere, in these words –

“Neither Gandhi or Nehru nor the hundreds of martyrs who climbed the gallows for independence – none of them gave their lives for a Hindu nation.

Never forget that!

We who uphold the red flag – we respect all religions. For the identity and ego of one religion, you cannot attack and break the identity and faith of another religion.

Always remember this.

In Hinduism, there is both tolerance as well as intolerance. There is humanity, but there is also a caste system. That is why for years saints and enlightened ones have tried to bring in reforms. They raised their voices against casteism, but even today caste remains. Today a new effort is being made to share power with those who were always kept out of Government, those who were considered only fit to be servants. Today an effort is being made that they too get a chance to help run the country. But the very forces who wish to preserve Hindu fundamentalism and unfurl their flags over destroyed mosques, these very forces swear by the caste system.

Recognize them and understand their mentality.”

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Comrade Bardhan had confidence in fellow Indians that they shall reject communal, Hindutva politics and usher in a new age that will put the working class in charge of its own priorities. And armed with his inspiring words and following the exemplary life he led, his dreams shall certainly be realized.

Subhas Pattanayak’s NABAKALEBARA: LEGENDS AND REALITY would help the world understand Sri Jagannath, says Soumya Ranjan Patnaik

 

Pictorial input: Laxmi Prasad Pattanayak

Journalist Subhas Chandra Pattanayak’s two historic books – (1) Orissa Pradesh Srustire Ganamadhyam and (2) Nabakalebara: Legends and Reality – were released in the evening of December 29 in the jampacked auditorium of Red Cross Bhavan, Bhubaneswar by eminent author Dash Benhur.

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Addressing the event chaired by Prof. Jayant Kumar Biswal, editor of Orissa’s largest circulated daily ‘The Sambad’ and Chief Guest of the event, Sri Soumya Ranjan Patnaik said that, had the book – Nabakalebara: Legends and reality been published at the time of Nabakalebara, it could have become best-seller. Yet, written in English, it is well set to help the world understand SriJagannatha in the perspective of history and social evolution. It is a speaking endeavor to bring out the reality from beneath the heaps of legends; and hence, as much a book of reference, it opens gateway to in-depth research on the topic, he said.

Discussing the book, Chief Speaker Prof. Biswaranjan strongly endorsed Sri Pattanayak’s deeply researched determination that Sri Jagannatha is a deity of agro-magic, originally conceived as the torso of a mother in consonance with Bouddha Tantra, which the practitioners of Brahmanya Dharma have changed into a male deity Vishnu of Hindu pantheon to wipe out the Buddhist tenets in Cult of Jagannatha. Sri Pattanayak’s work is of utmost relevance to study of Jagannath in proper perspective, he said, citing profusely from the book and comparing the same with observations of various scholars.

Famous orator and editor of Subartta, Pradyumna Satpathy gave a scholarly analysis on Pattanayak’s other book – Orissa Pradesh Srustire Ganamadhyama (Role of Mass media in creation of Orissa). Contextualizing the book with the ongoing movement for governance of Orissa in Oriya, he strongly stressed upon use of this book as a backgrounder to the current language movement.

Both the books were offered respectively to Surjyaprava editor and author Rabi Kanungo and to Columnist and thinker Tusarkanta Satpathy by the author Sri Pattanayak as a token of Lokarpana (presentation to public). In reply to the offering, both of them spoke of the relevance the books for Orissa.

Guest of Honor, eminent poet Dash Benhur held both the books as thought-provokingly relevant, when editor of the daily newspaper Sanchar Prasanta Patnaik lauded the focus the books have laid upon Orissa’s cultural excellence in advancing the zeal for governance of Orissa in Oriya and in projecting the unseen facets the cult of SriJagannatha.

In his Presidential address, Prof. Jayanta Kumar Biswal lauded the scholarly pursuit behind both the books and their value of reference.

Political Scientist Dr. Netaji Abhinandan (Ravenshaw University), quite close to the author as his son’s intimate friend, welcomed the guests, with Chief Executive of Shabdasparsha Pabitra Mohan Maharatha initiating the event. Major Dr. Kumudini Barai proposed the vote of thanks.

Leaders of Orissa Bhasa Sangram Samiti and language activists – poet Sankarshan Parida, poet Umakant Raut and Dr. Subrat Kumar Prusty were felicitated by the Chief Guest Sri Soumya Ranjan Patnaik on behalf of Shabdasparsha. Felicitations were also given to poet Gajanan Mishra and to Prof. Natabar Satpathy in absentia for their role in the language movement.

Poet Saroj Bal graced the event by reciting his poem on magnificence of Oriya language.

PURPOSE IS NOT TO REACH YOU ONLY; BUT ALSO TO SAY WHAT TO KNOW YOU HAVE THE RIGHT

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Two relevant books that I have already placed in Internet are in print editions brought out by Shabdasparsha, Bhubaneswar.

One is ORISSA PRADESHA SRUSTIRE GANAMADYAMA that I had authored to tell the friends of my fraternity about how our motherland Orissa could get her modern shape because of the media campaign to establish our mother tongue Oriya as the official language in the British days. The sole purpose of this write-up was to wake them up to the painful reality of how the unique era Orissa’s media had created is going astray as the Official language status of our motherland is getting ruined by our own government due to continuous contravention of Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 by the Chief Minister himself. It was aimed at reminding the members of my fraternity of their responsibility.

The other book is NABAKALEBARA: LEGENDS AND REALITY.

When the world was eager to know the significance of Nabakalebara in the philosophy SriJagannatha epitomizes, the State Government was dancing to the tune of the real antagonists of the Cult of SriJagannatha on the platform of concocted legends. To me, it was my duty to tell the world whatever best was possible on my part on the reality of Lord Jagannatha.

Both these works were available to the netizens the world over. To help non-netizens know of it, Shabdasparsha has produced the print-editions.

With pleasure, I am conveying you its invitation to the launching ceremony of both the books to be held at Red Cross Bhavan on December 29 at 6 pm.

The purpose is not to reach you only, but also to say what to know you have the right.

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Indian Parliament showed no concern for the soul of India; President should refuse assent to the Juvenile Justice Bill 2015

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Majority of the members of Indian Parliament have shown no concern for the soul of India, as has been established by passing of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015 on 22nd December in the Rajya Sabha completing its parliamentary course that had got the stamp of adoption in the Lok Sabha on 7th May. It is such a mockery of legislation, having not paid any heed to cries of India for justice to its soul – Nirbhaya, that, the President should do good by refusing the Bill his assent.

Had Jyoti Singh of New Delhi not been brutalized by a gang of satyrs in December 2012, too savage and severe for medical science to save her life, this Bill would not have been generated at all. Her indomitable will to live to see the bruits punished by her motherland had kept her alive till in utter despair she allowed her breathe to pass away. Her desire to see the criminals punished did not die with her death. We the People of India took her to be the symbol of our tortured yet courageous entity by calling her Nirbhaya, the soul of India.

It was soon found that the youngest of the criminals that brutalized Nirbhaya was juvenile, four months to cross the age of 18 years.

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000 (as amended in 2006) was protecting him from punishment applicable to adult criminals. Hence, as demanded by whole of India, the Bill in question was conceived to reduce this age limit to 16 from 18 to give justice to Nirbhaya by punishing the youngest and yet the severest savage.

When the Bill was drafted it was inherently defective meant as if to ensure escapement to this young bruit. It was a haphazard draft very much in need of vetting in a Parliamentary Select Committee. The age factor was creating confusion. The approach was not based on criminology of rape. Before leaving the House in protest, Sitaram Yechury, leader of CPI (M), had rightly asked, “Today you are demanding the juvenile age to be reduced from 18 to 16 ; what if tomorrow a 15-year old commits a horrendous crime?” Members, who passed the Bill, did not bother about the question. Had the Bill been sent to Select Committee, members thereof might have stumbled upon the angle I am pointing to. But that did not happen.

The members did not bother to make the new law applicable to the juvenile criminal because of whose savagery Nirbhaya had lost her life. Minister-in-charge Maneka Gandhi had made it clear in the House that the Bill won’t be retrospective. Sad, the members could not catch even then that the main purpose of going for the new law was going to be defeated. They did not bother about this mischief.

The Supreme Court refused to intervene, because, by applying the old law of 2000 to set free the criminal in absence of any law to keep him under the Court’s clutch any further, the High Court had committed no illegality.

Before passing the Bill, the Rajya Sabha was aware of this. It was aware of the fact that unless given retrospective effect, the core purpose of engagement with the Bill before it was to be lost. It should have woken to the occasion and made the Bill retrospective. Had it acted diligently and passed the Bill in time with retrospective effect, at least from December 16, 2012 the day on which the horrendous crime having shocked the country had necessitated this new Law, the bruit that according to government has not reformed, could not have been put back in the society, to the panic of the society, as has been done.

It is better for the President, in the circumstances, to refuse his assent to this Bill, so that legislative wisdom may get a new chance to do away with the wrong the lawmakers have committed in this case in the aspect as discussed above.

Orissa CM drifts away from the decision for Governance of Orissa in Oriya

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The demand of Oriya Bhasa Sangram Samiti (OBSS) was for governance of Orissa in Oriya. The State Government had agreed and had come to an agreement with OBSS to work out details of how to make it a reality in practice.

When the details were formulated and placed in a dedicated website specifically created to monitor governance of Orissa in Oriya, in a surprise and baffling move, the Chief Minister has reduced the State to Official circulars, Advertisements and Name-plates, in a meeting held today the 17th December in the Secretariat.

The meeting was held behind back of the other part of the agreement, i.e. the OBSS and the Press Note issued by the CMO makes it clear that the Chief Minister has drifted away from the decision for governance of Orissa in Oriya.

The official caption given to the Press Note is clear enough to suggest that the CM is not for governance of Orissa in Oriya. To his perception, issuance of official circulars, official advertisements and writing of name-plates constitute the whole gamut of governance!

We will discuss the Press Note in a separate post. Let us now see what does it say.

Press Note 1Press Note 2

After the CMO issued this Press Note, the leadership of OBSS hold an emergency meeting and passed the following resolutions.

We place it here for records.

Press release 17.12.2015 Odia Bhasa Sangram Samiti

Governance of Orissa in Oriya // CM apprises Assembly of Rules on the Anvil

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

ama bhasa ama rajabhasaOur struggle for governance of Orissa in Oriya is fetching success step by step despite a ruling party MP trying to misguide the people.

In reply to a question, i.e. UDAQ No. 2325 from Member Nabakishore Das, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has told the Assembly on 14th December that the government is now finalizing the Rules to make it a must for the authorities to use Oriya as the Official Language.

The Chief Minister has almost admitted that notwithstanding enactment and instant enforcement of Orissa Official Language Act in 1954, which had stipulated that “Oriya shall be the language to be used for all or any of the official purposes of the State of Orissa”, the administration is not running in Oriya.

We had, in our meetings with the ministers, submitted various departmental circulars that had directed the departmental officers to work in Oriya language. These circulars were not traceable in headquarters. We had collected them – credit goes certainly to Joint Convener of Odia Bhasa Sangram Samiti Dr. Subrat Kumar Prusty – from the guard files of field offices at great pain and given copies thereof to the government to show how the Act was not functioning. In his reply referred to above, the Chief Minister has cited those circulars. Despite such circulars, the officers are not using Oriya language for official purpose.

JB's OrderIn course of my investigation I stumbled upon the order of Chief Minister J. B. Patnaik, as he then was, directing all offices to use Oriya as the language of administration. This was a mandatory order from the Chief Minister of the constitutional government.

It is surprising that despite such clear orders from the Chief Minister himself, officers did not care to use Oriya.

In the regime of the present Chief Minister, various orders have also been issued for administration in Oriya; such as GA Department letter No.10552 of 17/4/2013. Another instance is letter No. 16086 of 12/6/2013 of the same department that controls all other departments. Yet, the officers did not use Oriya as official language.
What could be the reasons of this?

On research I found, there were no Rules to drive the Act ahead. The contraveners of the Act should have been subjected to disciplinary action; but there was no provision to administer discipline, including necessary prosecution for offense against the State. I found the Act itself had no provision for framing of the Rules. The Officers knew this lacuna and knew that they should be enjoying immunity under the shade of the deficient Act even if they continue to contravene it.

To eradicate this lacuna, I submitted the draft of proposed amendment to the Act of 1954 along with a draft of the proposed Rules to the Chairman of Official Language Advisory Committee Hon’ble Minister Sri Debi Prasad Mishra. Behind this was the collective wisdom and support of the entire leadership of the Odia Bhasa Sangram Samiti led by eminent poet Shankarshan Parida and fortunately for the State of Orissa, the Chairman and members of the ministerial committee formed by the Chief Minister wholeheartedly appreciated the initiative. The same has officially been posted in the dedicated website for public suggestions if any.

We are most happy to note that the Chief Minister has approved the website titled ODIARE SHASANA entirely dedicated to our demand for governance of Orissa in Oriya. On his behalf, Minister Debi Prasad Mishra who heads the Official Language Advisory Committee (formerly the Joint Action Committee) has launched this site in the presence of all the Ministers and representatives of the Odia Bhasa Sangram Samiti, that constitute the Committee and author of the proposed Language Policy Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak.

We congratulate the Chief Minister for having informed the House as noted supra that the Rules are currently under active consideration of the Government for adoption.

Once the Act is amended and Rules adopted, no Officer, whatsoever be his / her rank and status, would dare to play mischief with our people’s right to get governance of our State in our mother tongue Oriya.

We put below the Assembly document carrying the question and the CM’s answer as a matter of documentation.

Reply of the CM