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.

UUC 2

UCC 4UCC 5UCC 3

 

 

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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Oriya Language created Orissa and therefore Orissa must be ruled by Oriya Language

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik seems to have developed a wrong notion that governance of Orissa in Oriya depends upon his mercy. His press-note of December 17 and full page display advertisement in major broadsheets of today force us to arrive at this apprehension.

In his December 17 press note it was declared that he had held a meeting with the five members of the ministerial committee on that day for the purpose of “strictly implementing the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 in official and non-official level” to facilitate which a website has been floated by the government. In the full page multi-color advertisement in broadsheet dailies today, this is intriguingly missing.

The advertisement is designed to tell the people that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has taken historical steps to save and develop Oriya language, and has enumerated the steps he has taken. This is blatant lie. Neither he nor his government has executed any single item claimed to be “historical” in the official advertisement. The entire advertisement is nothing but false propaganda. What a shame it is, that, the people of Orissa are taken for granted by their Chief Minister!

We have now enough reason to apprehend that the Chief Minister is trying to render our movement for governance of Orissa in Oriya inconsequential.

I will come to the crux of the issue in course of the discussion. At the outset let me make it clear that Oriya Language has created Orissa and therefore, it is Oriya language that must rule over Orissa.

Had there been no Oriya Language, there would have been no land called Orissa. Had there been no land called Orissa, there would have been no chief minister called Naveen Patnaik.

So, it is better for Naveen babu to know that governance of Orissa in Oriya is not our begging; it is our right. For Oriya language to rule over Orissa, we don’t need the Chief Minister’s mercy.

I will come to this phenomenon later. Let me first tell Naveen’s sycophants, who pride in posing elite and, imitating the blue-colored jackal of Mitralava, howl in English to the disadvantage of the Oriya-speaking people in Orissa, that, their forefathers would have died forlorn as servants of the “native servants” of the British in neighboring provinces, had Oriya Language not created Orissa as a separate province for them to live in and prosper.

Wherever Oriya was the mother tongue, the Oriya speaking people of that place had wanted to amalgamate their areas into a single province for better management of their individual and collective affairs and in that process they had very ably fought out the nasty designs of the native servants of the British such as the Bengali, Hindi and Telugu speaking people. The main thrust behind their movement was the necessity to preserve and promote the magnificence of their mother tongue. Their mother tongue Oriya had guided them into success in this movement.

Therefore, Orissa belongs to Oriya language.

People’s eagerness to see a province of their own as quickly as possible, of course, left some Oriya speaking tracks outside the geographical limits of modern Orissa; but the Orissa we are living in, is undoubtedly the product of Oriya Language.

To educate the Chief Minister and his sycophants further on this matter, I would like to quote from the immortal poet Gangadhar Meher where he has described how Utkala Bharatee (Oriya Language) labored to create Orissa. Through Meher, she chided various Kings for their negligence to the need of amalgamation of all the tracks under her letters to save her identity, which the envious crooks of rival tongues belonging to neighboring provinces, serving as “native servants” of their British masters, were conspiring to destroy.

Cries of the Mother Tongue

I am quoting only a few instances of how various Kings were jerk-waken by Utkal Bharatee (Oriya Language) to unite with the people in their battle for their mother tongue, by cunningly using the method of scolding for their failure to have woken up in time. Such were the cries of the mother tongue (Utkal Bharatee):

(1) In reprimanding the Bolangir Patna King Ramachandra Dev for his indulgence in hunting tigers instead of coalescing with the people for the cause of the mother tongue, Utkal Bharatee had said:

To King of Bolangir Patna

(2) In Meher’s pen, Utkal Bharatee had upbraided the King of Kalahandi Raghukishore Dev on the same ground in the following terms –

To King of Kalahandi

(3) Noteworthy is the way the King of Barapalli Harihar Singh was admonished in the pen of his subject Gangadhar. In those days, Kings were more frightening than Yama, the ‘God of Death’ to their subjects. Meher was an inhabitant of Barapalli. It was normally impossible for a poor subject like him to scold his King for his negligence to get united with the people in the cause of their language. So, Utkal Bharatee used the poet to berate the King by way of linking his silence to his anxiety to preserve his royal title, lest that be quashed by the British that had deliberately promulgated Hindi as official language in Oriya speaking tracks. It was Utkal Bharat that was to dress down the King as follows:

To King of Barapalli

Many instances of how our mother tongue Oriya inspired her children in the British Raj to form our province has been given in my eBook ORISSA PRADESH STRUSTIRE GANAMADHYAMA and its forthcoming printed edition.

With these instances on records, be it known without any ambiguity that, Oriya Language has created Orissa, which has given asylum to Naveen Patnaik after his father’s death in a rejected condition.

Asylum misread

He is continuously in power, because this magnificent soil has been granting his prayers for votes, despite all his failings, in the best tradition of mercy shown to people under asylum.

But it seems, he is misreading this magnanimity as his birthright to rule over Orissa. And under this false notion, he is behaving as if he is showing mercy to people of Orissa by declaring to grant limited use of Oriya Language in administration, as is evident from the press note issued by his office on 17th December and the advertisement dated today.

Different stands

He had told the Assembly on 14th December that for implementation of the Act, his government was working on necessary Rules. But neither the press note issued by his office on 17th December nor the Advertisement of today  make any mention of it.

The press note shows that he had taken a meeting with the five Ministerial members of the Committee which comprised, besides the said Ministers, the representatives of the Orissa BhasaSangramSamiti, (hereinafter called the Samiti) without informing them of this meeting.

Committee no product of CM’s sweet will

This Committee was not a product of the CM’s sweet will. It was formed on the basis of agreement with the people represented through the Samiti on implementation of the Act, on the basis of which, Poet Gajanan Mishra had withdrawn his fast on to death. Along with Sri Mishra, many activists including this writer had joined the fast and whole of the State had woken up against the government of Naveen Patnaik. Situation had become so threatening to his smooth sailing in power that he was compelled to declare that, use of Oriya as Official Language would now be a must. Accordingly he had entered into agreement with the Samiti to form a joint committee comprising ministers and the Samiti representatives to formulate the process of implementation of the Act and to monitor the implementation.

The Committee has already met three times and representatives of the Samiti have made the best of their contributions to the cause of Oriya Language, including ‘Language Policy’ outlined by Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak and draft of necessary legislation by this writer. Both of these milestone documents are published by the government at http://bhasha.odisha.gov.in/upload_files/pdf/notification/Vasaniti.pdf
and http://bhasha.odisha.gov.in/upload_files/pdf/notification/Draft%20Odia%20Rule.pdf respectively in the dedicated website at http://www.odia.odisha.gov.in/

Convener of the Samiti poet Sankarshan Parida, Prof. Natabar Satapathy, and Dr. Subrat Kumar Prusty have contributed most valuable advice and all documentary input to facilitate the implementation of the Act.

But, surprisingly, the CM has taken the meeting with the ministerial members of the Committee without the members of the Samiti and made certain declaration unilaterally that neither tally with the crux of the agreement nor with the purpose of the Committee nor with the aim and objects of the Act.

This is most unfortunate and never acceptable for the people of Orissa.

CM has been contravening the Act

During the16 years of his tenure as CM, Mr. Naveen Patnaik has not honored the Orissa Official Language Act. This is an offense.

The Act has mandated that, “Oriya shall be the language to be used for all or any of the official purposes of the State of Orissa”.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has willfully contravened this Act ever since he has become the Chief Minister. He has never used Oriya as Official Language in his own office so far.

Encouraged by this continuous contravention of the Act by the Chief Minister himself, the entire administration of Orissa has discarded Oriya as Official Language and resultantly our mother tongue has declined in its value of utility.

Necessity of new legislation

Why did Orissa Official Language Act – the first amongst all the regional Acts on official language – failed to operate, notwithstanding being the act of the people’s heart? I tried to find out the reason.

And, I found, the Act was inherently defective inasmuch as it had no provision to take to task its contraveners.

This is why, no action has been taken against any contravener of this Act since its enactment, even during the days of J.B.Patnaik, who had tried to implement the Act and was refusing to peruse the files if not put with notes in Oriya.

As a member of the Samiti in the ministerial Committee, it was my duty to suggest a remedy. Hence I thought it prudent to suggest for Rules to implement the Act. There was a problem. The Act had no provision to make and promulgate the necessary Rules. So I advanced a draft amendment to the Act to provide for the Rules and a draft of Rules to drive the Act ahead. My friends in the Samiti endorsed the same and Chairman of the Ministerial Committee Sri Debi Prasad Mishra and other four Ministers – Bikram Keshari Arukh, Arun Kumar Sahoo, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and Pranab Prakash Das – accepted the suggestion and directed the GA department to help the Principal Secretary of Law to proceed for legislation thereof with vetting if necessary. Therefore, the CM had told the House on 14th December that the Rules were getting prepared to implement the Act. Media had given his answer due publicity and the Samiti had wholeheartedly welcomed the his reply.

New attempt to sabotage the Act

But sadly and surprisingly on December 17 the CM took a different turn and deviated from the position of 14th December.

In his new posture, he thrashed down the scope of the Act from “all or any of the official purposes of the State of Orissa” to “circulars”, “advertisements” and “nameplates”. In the advertisement of today, there is no trace of implementation of the Act, whereas “safety of Oriya Language” and “development” thereof are the two items projected as purpose of the CM!

These are nothing but instances of wordy acrobatics devised to fizzle out the movement of the people for governance of Orissa in Oriya.

The Oriya Language has remained safe by her own strength, foiling the conspiracy of the Bengali, Hindi and Telugu speaking people serving as “native servants” of the British. Rejecting their claim of superiority over Oriya Language, the First Linguistic Survey of India had clearly held that Oriya as a language was so superior and splendid and so rich in vocabulary that “neither Bengali nor Hindi nor Telugu can vie with it”. And now, thanks to Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak, Ramachandra Khuntia and Dr. Subrat Kumar Prusty, Oriya language has been recognized as Classical Language of India, when neither Bengali nor Hindi are considered for this status. So, the Chief Minister’s “safety” slogan is a contrived attempt to misguide the people. Development of the language doesn’t depend on digitization of books. Has he ever studied how many numbers of rare palm-leaf manuscripts have been missing from the State Museum Library and destroyed in the mouths of the moths? How many of them edited and published? Can he say, what happened to manuscripts and books collected by the directorate of Culture from Kabichandra Kali Charan Pattanayak’s residence after his death? What sort of preservation he is saying? Wordy acrobatics shall not develop the language. Its utility potential can do. Therefore, our demand is for implementation of the Official Language Act, because only the official use of the language can increase its utility potential and drive its development ahead. As the Act has no provision to punish the contraveners thereof, we had drafted and submitted the necessary Rules, as noted supra.

But the press note of 17th December issued by his Office and the Advertisement published by his Public Relations Department today are totally silent on the Rules suggested by this writer on behalf of the Samiti and the Language Policy submitted by Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak as proposed by the Samiti and resolved for in the 1st meeting of the Committee.

Old Tricks

The press note and the advertisement issued by the CMO and DIPR respectively are repetition of old tricks used many times to hoodwink the people.

In the intro of the press note it was asserted that the Act shall be strictly implemented. There is nothing new in this assertion. It prods me to ask the CM:

Was it not the direction of the Act when it was enacted and promulgated with “immediate effect” carrying the stipulation that “Oriya shall be the language to be used for all or any of the official purposes of the State of Orissa”?

Was it not the position when Chief Minister J.B.Patnaik (as he then was) had issued direction to all his ministerial colleagues on 3 July 1989 to use Oriya Language strictly in every case in every office under their respective control, with immediate effect?

Therefore, the CM’s fresh assertion in his press note that the Act shall be strictly implemented is nothing but repetition of earlier positions and carries no meaning without framing the necessary Rules to punish whosoever uses any other language than Oriya in governance of Orissa.

Modus operandi

The modus operandi behind the CM’s new posture is quite intriguing.

The Rules I have submitted on behalf of the Samiti carry provision for punishment and therefore perhaps, it is disturbing for him, because he is a habitual and chronic contravener of the Orissa Official Language Act. Law doesn’t discriminate between the CM and a common functionary. I am afraid; this is the reason behind his new posture.

Joke played

In this new posture, on December 17, the CM has played a joke on Oriya Language by saying that the Orissa Official Language Act shall be strictly implemented. This joke is discernible in the very fact that from that day to this day, he has not given any order in Oriya and his office has been working in English language as before. In other words, he has been contravening the Official Language Act even after declaring that the same shall be strictly implemented.

Harmful design

The harmful design of the Chief Minister is discernible in his press note where implementation even of the purpose of the Official Language Act has been left to decision to be arrived at after studying the language scenario prevalent in other provinces.

Orissa administration in Oriya language cannot be allowed to be dependent on practices prevalent in other provinces.

As has clearly been told above, Oriya Language has created Orissa as a province.

Therefore, the entire province of Orissa belongs to Oriya Language.

There cannot be any compromise on this position and any mischief that makes the governance of Orissa in Oriya dependent on practices elsewhere would stand rejected by the people of Orissa as a harmful design contrived by non-Oriyas and anti-Oriyas. The false assertion in the advertisement today is a creation of this harmful design.

Wake up dear all who love the mother tongue and the motherland.

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

Justice Pasayat’s conduct questioned

Justice Arijit Pasayat’s assertion that terrorists have no entitlement to human rights is condemned by human-right-activists.

Golak Bihari Nath of Gatantrik Adhikar Surakha Sangathan and Pramodini Pradhan of People’s Union for Civil Liberties in a Press realease on 14th December have questioned the motive of the former judge of the Supreme Court of India.

We publish here the contents of the Press Release with the hope that Justice Pasayat would explain his position, as his reported remark has serious ramifications.

Here is what the two have said:

The former Supreme Court Judge Justice Arijit Pashayat’s statement that terrorists and notorious criminals should not be given any human rights consideration, as reported in various newspapers, is unacceptable.

It is shocking when a former judge of the Supreme Court carries such an attitude.

His comments are in disagreement with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which India is a signatory. The Declaration clearly states that “Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence” (Article-11).

Right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial judiciary is also guaranteed by the Constitution of India.

In view of this, the comment of Justice Pasayat that ‘the terrorists and notorious criminals are not entitled to any human rights consideration’ is completely against the accepted values and principles of Indian Constitution as well as the United Nations’ Charter of Human Rights.

What is worrying is when a person with such prejudice about ‘terrorists’ and ‘criminals ’occupied a position in the highest judiciary of the country, what kind of justice would have been delivered to people presumed as ‘terrorists’ and ‘criminals ’by that person.