KALPANA FINALLY GRACED THE EVEREST

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Sun was to march for fifteen more minutes to reach the zenith on May 21, 2008. Orissa’s dashing daughter Kalpana set her brave feet on the top of Everest and bestowed upon it the grace of Triranga at 11.45 A.M.

The Himalayas bowed majestically to the young epitome of Himalayan determination who was dauntlessly standing at a height of 8848 meters.

Kalpana, born to Dhenkanal’s Shailabala and Gunanidhi Das is a lawyer by profession but a mountaineer by mission.

When her second attempt to reach the top of the world was to be terminated at a height of 8000 meters on May 29, 2006 because of invincible blizzards, she had generated in every Oriya heart a very unique feeling of oneness with her and also confidence that she will sure reach the summit one day.

That day came yesterday.

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OFFICIAL VANDALISM ON SRI JAYA DEV IN ORISSA CONTINUES

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

People of Orissa are so loyal to their revolutionary poet Sri Jaya Dev that they have named the stairs of Sri Mandira, the temple of Lord Jagannatha at Puri as Baisi Pahacha in honor of the poet’s twenty-two love lyrics that later day compilers have captioned as Gita Govinda. But in Orissa the immortal poet continues to be vandalized by the occupiers of power.

Looking into the past we see that Emperor Purusottam Dev was the first from the throne to have tried to play the vandal tricks on Sri Jaya Dev. He had used his sovereign powers to promulgate his own work captioned Abhinav Gita Govinda in Sri Mandira by discarding daily recitation of Sri Jaya Dev’s Astapadi lyrics before Sri Jagannatha.

The brave people of Orissa had refused to tolerate this vandalism and had raised their voice most vehemently against the mighty Emperor. The mass upsurge was of such sharp velocity that the sovereign ruler had to relent, had to withdraw his book and had to restore the poet’s Asthapadi lyrics to the original status.

Nowhere in whole of the world common peoples of a Nation had so strongly stood with a poet of their soil and nowhere in the entire world a ruthless Emperor, in order to escape peoples’ wrath, had to withdraw his own work and to restore the poet’s work in a temple system the management of which was under his imperial control.

But while thus stepping back, the shrewd Emperor had legitimatized massive interpolations in the poet’s original work to pave way for the Brahmins to hijack Sri Jaya Dev into their nefarious fold with an ulterior motive to obliterate the Buddhist aura the Astapadi love lyrics were known for.

I have discussed this phenomenon in depth in my published work Sri Jaya Devanka Baisi Pahacha (the twenty-two stairs to Lord Jagannatha that Sri Jaya Dev had created). The hard edition is published and marketed by Cuttack’s eminent publishing house “The Bharata Bharati” and the e-edition is placed in orissamatters.com as well as in scribd.com. We will later return to this phenomenon in course of this serial presentation.

But at this stage it suffices to say that the people of Orissa had refused to remain silent over the tricks Purusottam Dev and his Brahmin ministers had played.

They renewed their agitation against the Emperor and despite having created many legends to impose Krushna of Dwaraka as Sri Jagannatha in place of Buddha of Orissa and to convince the peoples of the Lord’s approval of his action, Purusottam Dev had not succeeded in silencing their protests.

The people did not rest till his son and successor Emperor Prataparudra Dev issued an irrevocable order that no other work of letters can ever replace Sri Jaya Dev’s love lyrics in the ritual of dance and music before the Lord.

People of Orissa had celebrated this victory of theirs by throwing away the images of Adi Samkaracharya and his disciple Padmapada from the podium of Sri Jagannatha where the Brahmins had consecrated those images as a mark of their caste supremacy and in a brute design to impose legitimacy on conversion of Buddha Jagannatha to Krushna Jagannatha.

It is quite thrilling to try to fathom what a great peoples’ upsurge that must have been that could embolden the common man of Orissa to kick out the images of Adi Samkara and his disciple Padmapada from the Ratna Simhasana of Sri Jagannatha and to break them with utmost contempt into pieces and to throw those pieces to the dumping yards by the pavements of Puri.

This wonderful mass rise against practitioners of caste apartheid crowned with Emperor Prataprudra’s irrevocable orders that nothing but the lyrics of Jaya Dev (who had authored them as the literature of Buddhist Sahajayana in order to curb the culture of caste apartheid) could ever be allowed recitation before the Lord had so effectively exterminated the hegemony of Brahminism in Sri Mandira system that the Brahmins had to remain content with a limited role to play.

Thus under Prataparudra Dev the Buddist aura of Sri Jaya Dev and his Astapadi lyrics were restored. Caste apartheid had waned.

But religious revivalism having taken new wings as India has fallen into the labyrinth of plutocratic chaos, a new phase of attempt to extinguish the entire Buddhist aura that holds the real identity of Sri Jaya Dev has begun with official help.

Notwithstanding the poet’s own description and notwithstanding ancient literary evidences showing Kenduvilwa on the sea near the city of Puri as Sri Jaya Dev’s birthplace, modern agents of Brahminism have been trying to establish a Brahmin village called Kenduli near Bhubaneswar as the poet’s birthplace.

When the State Exchequer as well as Bureaucracy of the State was for the first time used in this campaign, we had, in these pages, deemed it proper to object to that offensive endeavor and to urge upon the Government to desist from cooperating with false projection of the most uniquely socio-philosophic revolutionary poet of Orissa.

Orissa’s history has been wronged by vested interest attempts to eclipse Sri Jaya Dev’s real identity with a creed he never belonged to by a section of regional chauvinists amongst the Bengalis as well as by the caste chauvinists amongst the Oriyas.

So, we had in these pages tried to apprise the State Government of Orissa of the necessity of keeping the State machinery away from attempts to push Sri Jaya Dev into the fold of the culture of caste apartheid.

But instead of paying attention to our culturally competent pleadings, the State is increasingly being used to play patron to the caste supremacist design to hijack Sri Jaya Dev again into the culture of caste apartheid. The role of the State Government last week in celebration of his birthday can be nothing but an affront to Sri Jaya Dev and his creed.

It is being marked that at par with official attempts to legalize Sri Jaya Dev’s placement under a caste fold, caste apartheid has increasingly raised its ugly fangs in Jagannatha temples at different places in Orissa. And also it has started infesting Oriya society as a whole.

How long the State shall continue under confusion and how long Sri Jaya Dev shall continue suffering official vandalism in his own State with savage violation of the creed he had propounded in his love lyrics?

Should we not cogitate if at all we have any love for our culture?

AJIT ADDS STRENGTH TO DISCOVERY OF TRUTH ON BUDDHA’S BIRTHPLACE

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

With this site exposing how Buddhists all over the world have failed to honor canonical instruction for paying homage to Gurudev Buddha in the place of his birth at least once in life, as they are misled by a historical mischief placing his birthplace in Nepal, there was a short-lived but acrimonious shrill of protest in a section of global media following which a new wave of academic activities has commenced flowing with incisive interest to find out if Orissa’s claim is correct.

We are sure, the truth must prevail and the future world shall surely accept Kapilavastu of Tosala, converted to present day Kapileswar near Bhubaneswar, as the real birthplace of Buddha; because that is his birthplace.

Intellectuals who are seriously pursuing this issue are active in different parts of the glove. One of these truth seekers is Sri Ajit Kumar Tripathy, an IAS officer, currently the Chief Secretary of Orissa. He has published two booklets on Buddha’s birthplace abridging the research work of late Pandit Chakradhar Mohapatra, who was the first to revive the status of Kapileswar as the birthplace Kapilavastu of Buddha.

Produced with clarity and in eloquent English, the two booklets, while acknowledging the contributions of Mohapatra, inasmuch as the author telling us that he “does not claim any original research on the subject of birthplace of Gautam Buddha but he has arranged the materials systematically often using the same language in the book of Sri Chakradhar Mohapatra” (preface to Goutam Buddha and Kalinga), it is clear from the steps Tripathy has taken that he has gone through the findings of Mohapatra quite seriously and juxtaposing them with materials and observations of eminent scholars beyond Mohapatra, has been convinced that yesterday’s Kapilavastu is today’s Kapileswar and therefore, by systematically abridging the arguments Mohapatra in his two booklets has advanced, he has added authenticity to his finding.

Students of history all over the world would be glad to note that Tripathy’s step is a positive step towards making history arrive at the truth in the matter of Orissa being Buddha’s birthplace.

As initiator of global debate in this matter we offer our thanks to Mr. Tripathy.

MARTYRS DAY OBSERVED

Orissa observed Martyrs Day in a state level function in the premises of the Legislative Assembly with Governor Muralidhar Chandrakant Bhandare and Chief Minister Navin Patnaik recalling Gandhijis supreme sacrifice in the cause of freedom.

Organized by the Information & Public Relations department, the function was also addressed by the departmental minister and witnessed by members of Orissas Council of Ministers, MPs, MLAs, available freedom fighters and eminent invitees.

HOW CORRECT WAS NETAJI !

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

India is now a plutocracy.

Our democracy is discarded under the carpet of the rich; it is now run by the agents of the rich, for the benefit of the rich.

Democracy is a system that belongs to the people, run by the people for the benefit of the people. When people have no role except accepting whatever decision is clamped on them from above, how can democracy survive?

All the political parties in India are controlled and run by coteries, not by collective wisdom of their cadres.

When in Congress a single person Sonia rules the roost, BJP is remote-controlled by the RSS.

Except the left parties, all the rest of the political parties are in fact personal outfits of aggressively ambitious and often unscrupulous autocrats.

And the left parties, in the guise of democratic centralism, have become so much Secretary-centric that initiative of individual members as well as base level branches no more attracts attention.

When the scenario in party level is so bleak, the Parliament has also been dragged down from the position of the rampart of sovereignty to a position of acquiescence to Government actions. Prime Minister Man Mohan Singhs treat of Parliament as a mere approver of his action, howsoever anti-nation be it, as in the case of nuke deal, is a pointer.


When our democracy has thus crumbled, our mind goes to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, whose words ignored, this deterioration has occurred.

On October 23, 1938, in National Front, Vol.1, No.36, he had said, If the individual members (he had said of Congress which meant the peoples political organization) lack initiative, the committees which they will form will also lack dynamism. In that event, democracy may prove to be a failure.

Emphasizing on dynamism of organizational committees of political parties in the base level for success of democracy, he said, If the initiative has to come from the top and not from the bottom, democracy may be well nigh reduced to totalitarianism.

How correct was he!

If you want your democracy back on track, hear him even now.

A SORROW TO SHARE; PURUSOTTAMA SIR NO MORE

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Happiness can be shared with all. But one shares his sorrows only with the people he loves.

I love you, my dear readers. Therefore I will share with you a sorrow: I am bereft of my childhood teacher Purusottama Panda. I am bereft of one of my most revered mentors. My birthplace Tigiria, the smallest amongst all the ex-States of India, is bereft of a Bhagiratha of the Ganges of modern education in her soil.

I will tell you of him; but let me first tell you of me.

In sixties I am satisfied with my life. Life has given me every opportunity to enjoy it.

Till date I have lived a life worth living.

I have never run after money; never run after fame. But I have never run away from any cause that my conscience has asked me to take up.

I have been subjected to conspiracies, to incarcerations by an exploitative administration, time and again in the past; but my heirs shall never feel that any of my activities could be termed as inconsistent with the tradition of truthfulness of my ancestors.

I have loved my library, loved my letters; I have loved to read, loved to share my knowledge with others.

I have loved my pets, loved the plants.

I have loved my family, loved my village, loved my friends, loved my motherland.

I have loved my countrymen, loved my work and have loved to remain rude to the miscreants.

I have loved my being and becoming. And, I have loved myself for whatever I have been.
late purushottam panda
I owe this satisfaction mostly to my teacher Purusottama Panda, who, born in Baliput of Tigiria in 1921, passed away at 8 in the morning of December 9, 2007 at a Bhubaneswar Hospital.

Everybody of us human beings has his unique congenital character. Teachers define that, refine that and fortify that.

In my life Purusottama Panda had a major role in doing that. I remember the first of the classes he had taken. He had given us a stanza to write in good handwriting on the first inner page of our notebooks. The stanza read THILE THAU PACHHE GUNA HAJARA, CHARITRA BIHUNE SABU ASARA that literally meant, one may have a thousand of good qualities, but they do not matter if there is no character.

He had made us understand that character is adherence to principle, to prudence, to perseverance in bettering the society, in cause of the commons. He was citing relevant stories from epics and ancient literature in a manner that had really penetrated our mind and heart and had refined our character, which as a man I am proud to have possessed.

He was my teacher in the Minor School. This was the only school in whole of Tigiria before independence. The King of Tigiria had established it; but it was not named after the Kings as was being done in other Princely States. It was named after Tigirias legendary poet, scholar and teacher, Pandit Bhubaneswar Badapanda, in the list of whose pupils were Sir Basudev Sudhala Dev and Mahamahopadyaya Samanta Chandra Sekhar Singh, known as Pathani Samanta. In this school, where the King of Tigiria, by the very act of naming it after Badapanda, had shown that the Teacher was more venerable than the Ruler, Purusottama Panda was an assistant teacher. For four years, from Class Four to Seven, I was his student and in these four years he had fortified my character to go against odds to stand with a cause.

Dressed in a Dhoti and Kamiz, spotlessly white, he was coming on a bicycle every day to the school from his three-kilometer distant native village of Baliput. When other teachers were being addressed with the suffix Babu like Kunja Babu (then our Headmaster), he was addressed with Sir. He was known and revered as Purusottama Sir through out Tigiria. We had in our school only two more teachers whom people were addressing as Sir; they were Lokanath Samal (Second Sir) and Narasingha Mishra (Narasingha Sir). None but these three were called as Sir. Such was his personality. He was solemn in appearance; but was always smiling. None of us had ever seen him angry. Never. He was always helping us correct our mistakes with utmost patience and pleasure. His class was not restricted to the textbook; he was telling us stories depicting humanitarianism and quest for knowledge even as he had an uncanny ability to link the morale of the said stories to the lessons at hand. In doing so he was generating in us love for the books we were reading.

He and his colleagues in the Minor School were very worried that most of their students were unable to obtain higher education, as there was no High School in Tigiria. They prepared the ground for a High School and though the Minor School was a government School, they decided to offer the Schoolrooms as well as their own time to run High School classes if people of Tigiria cooperate. So, they asked all the students to bring their fathers/ guardians to the School. Before them, they placed their proposal. It was accepted by one and all. Then eminent persons of Tigiria from all its villages were called to a meeting at the School premises. A committee was constituted with the then Sarpanch of Tigiria Sadar Panchayat as the Secretary and the private High School of Tigiria started in the Government Minor School. Had the High School not started, my father was so attached to me, that I am sure, he would never have sent me out to have High School studies. On this premise I can say, Purusottama Sir was a Bhagirath of the Ganges of higher education in Tigiria.

With his passing away, all these and many more memories of my childhood days come rushing to my mind.

Time has changed. We, as a people, have lost the romance of education; of giving education, of receiving education. The personal touch of a teacher, the personal respect of a student, (Ah! The nice days!) no more exist.

Purusottama Sir was in existence a few days ago. He is no more.

Tears! Do not drop. It is better; a person like him has left this land of self-seekers where qualification has killed education.

But I know, I cannot say others not to cry. Whoever was born in Tigiria and was senior or contemporary to me, will cry over passing away of their beloved teacher.

Dear readers, people born in my birthplace Tigiria are living in various parts of the world. If any of you is a member of any e-group, please post a message in the group forum that Purusottama Panda of Tigiria, teacher of Bhubaneswar Badapanda M.E. School till his superannuation, a patron saint of higher education in Tigiria, whose emphasis on education was more than on qualification, has passed away on December 9, 2007. I am sure, a person from Tigiria, if he or she is a member of your e-group, will stand up in silence to remember the beloved teacher a like of who shall no more be available.

LET HIM TAKE BIRTH, AGAIN, IN EVERY HEART

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Madhu Sudan Das

Indias first President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, when a student, had organized Bihar Students Conference at Motihari in 1912. The conference had the rarest opportunity of being presided over by the father of Oriya nationalism, Mr. Madhusudan Das, addressed with affectionate reverence as Madhubabu, who to one and all was the personification of probity and in whom it was absolutely settled that there was no difference between ones mother and motherland

Personally I associate my love for my country with my mother; he had told the conference.

It was my mother who presented me as her offering to my country. When I was in the dark chambers of my mothers womb, I drank and drew my mothers blood. She starved herself to give me nourishment. This was an object-lesson on self-denial to me and with this lesson of self-denial ingrained in my nature, she presented me as a sacred offering of her to my country. This lesson on the importance of self-denial was reiterated every moment of my childhood, for she nourished with blood from her heart blood whose color and taste her sacred love had changed blood changed into milk. When I grew stronger and looked for stronger nourishment than mothers milk, my country fed me and clothed me.

None of us Indians, and none in the world, as far as I have meticulously probed to find out, has ever seen the motherland as the mother by birth in this vein.

Today is his birth anniversary. We in orissamatters.com join the entire Oriya race in remembering him with love and reverence. But I offer my oblations to his beloved mother Parvati Devi who had offered this matchless man to my country, the man to whom the country became his mother.

My reverence also goes to Raghunath Das, for having fathered the father of my nation, the Oriya nation.

The first Oriya to have a Masters degree, the first Oriya to be a Vakil, the first Oriya to be an Advocate, the first Oriya to visit Europe, the first Oriya member of the Provincial and Viceregal Legislative Councils, the first Oriya to become a Minister, Madhubabu was the first leader of India to have resigned office as his demand for working without salary was not acceptable to the system then in vogue.

In an organization in which all the workers are honorary, a salaried minister mars the symmetry and harmony of the organization. The office of the minister of local self-government ought to be an honorary one, was his opinion.

This opinion was too revolutionary to earn approval.

And probity was too precious to be abandoned for office.

Madhubabu resigned office and has ever since been reigning over every heart that dreams of days when politics shall end to be a professional pursuit and political leaders shall function as true servants of the people.

Here was an Oriya who never feared power and who was never lured out of right path.

This is his autobiography uttered for the universe to know, from the lips of this lover of human beings, in presence of Pandit Nilakantha Das, in the briefest possible manner, at the moment that was dropping down the last curtain on the life of the first and the last man till date to whom Orissa was the mother; mother and nothing else.

Let him take birth, again, in every Oriya heart.