Oriya as Official Language: Know the Real Saboteur

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The question that hunts Orissa at the moment is: Who has sabotaged Oriya as official language of Orissa. My answer is:None but Biju Patnaik has sabotaged official use of Oriya Language.

In my column SINGHAVALOKANA in daily Sambad,  I had discussed the issue on March 14, 1996. It is available in my book of the same caption at pp. 211-217 for anyone of the blind supporters of Biju to revisit and react, if they dare.

Biju was a hypocrite and a political mafia who had created a gang of sycophants and BHATAs (bards) amongst politicians and journalists whose principal work was to project him as the personification of Oriya nationalism and thereby trap the gullible people to vote for him. But his Oriya nationalism was such a filthy junk that even today that is making grimace at us when we see that he had not taught even a single alphabet of Oriya to his children, as we watch his son Naveen Patnaik.

However, for ready reference for friends who have been wondering who is responsible for abandonment of Oriya as official language of Orissa, I deem it my duty to render in English the crux of my observation in Oriya around two decades ago. When Biju sycophants are ruling the roost, I do not know if it would be seen that the present Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is only following his father’s footprints in offending Oriya language. Yet, the people have a right to know. Hence it is here:

Biju had Sabotaged Oriya

Naveen’s father Biju Patnaik had sabotaged the Orissa Official Languages Act by inserting a provision that in the Assembly, English would be official language along with Oriya.

The Official Language Act, 1954 had stipulated that Oriya was “to be used for all or any of the official purposes of the State of Orissa”, but Biju Patnaik damaged this stipulation by amending the Act in 1963 providing for use of English “in addition to Oriya for transaction of business in Legislature of the State of Orissa”. This shrewd insertion subjected Orissa administration to predominance of English and ruined the utility of Oriya as a language.

Even when, in 1985, the then Chief Minister J. B. Patnaik fixed April 1, 1985 to be the day from which use of Oriya in all official work would be “compulsory”, and it was decided to enforce use of Oriya as the only official language by strengthening the 1954 Act with necessary amendments, and accordingly the Official Language (Amendment) Act, 1985 was taken up in the Assembly, it was Biju Patnaik, who opposed the proposal and refused to support the amendment. “We can progress further if we have international (English) language” (as the official language), he had said. He had ridiculed the idea of making Oriya the official language and had gone on elaborating, “If you go to Andhra, you will find DHUD DHUD, if you go to Karnatak, you will find FUD FUD ! Nothing you will understand there. So many languages there in our country. This is not a country at all”.

Biju was so very bitterly averse to Oriya that the PRASASANIKA SHABDAKOSHA which was ready to be published by the Law department of Orissa was thrown into the dusts on the racks of the department the moment he had taken over the chief minister’s chair, where it was kept buried from May 7, 1991 to March 16, 1995.

When J. B. Pattnaik led the people to end Biju Patnaik’s misrule and took oath again as the new Chief Minister, the Secretary of Law ordered, “Now it may be published immediately”.

But the concerned Deputy Secretary’s note on which the Law secretary passed the above order is mot speaking.

At page 126 of the concerned file the Deputy Secretary notes,

“By the time the chairman of the Shabdakosha Committee Prof. Khageswar Mohapatra submitted his report on completion of the work, the Government has changed. Language Policy of the new Government (of Biju Patnaik) was not only not clear, but also it was averse to use of Oriya language as Official Language. The then law minister (who was to carry Biju babu’s instructions) gave such orders in the file, the evil effect of which forced the Orissa Official Language Dictionary had to stay abandoned for so many years in the cold storage of official junks and as the new government has been formed by J.B.Patnaik, steps should be taken to publish the same”.

After Naveen Patnaik emerged as the Chief Minister, the said dictionary has been allowed to be misappropriated by a lady who has privately published it and charging heavy price to whosoever wants a copy thereof. Nothing else could have been done when compradors rule.

Sastriya Status threatened by Nveen’s apathy

World famous linguist Dr. Devi Prasanna Pattanayak, trade-unionist Ramachandra Khuntia – these two names I am citing, because by profession they are poles apart – have established the status of Oriya as a classical language of India where the status is not yet awarded to Bengali, Hindi and other languages that were, in the British time, trying to superimpose themselves on Oriya.

But this status is now threatened. Naveen babu has not addressed himself to this glorious achievement. To claim credit for it, he had engaged the entire administration and State funded celebrations were held after recognition of Oriya’s Sastriya status. But, when a case has been instituted in Madras High Court challenging this status, the State Government has not countered the case as yet as per sources in administration.

He neither says Oriya, nor writes in Oriya nor rules in Oriya. Yet he is in power; because, under his irresponsible administration, Orissa is over-saturated with mindless but self-centric sycophants in politics and public offices, and in Journalism.

To save Oriya language, we are to struggle hard.

And, we shall have to struggle, because, Orissa, our Mother is perishing.

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Does your father only count, not Madhu babu, not Gopabandhu, not Baji Raut, Mr. Chief Minister?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Dear Chief Minister,
I understand that you have taken the cue from your father Biju Patnaik who transferred his great liability – Kalinga Industries – to IDC in the guise of “gift” to the people of Orissa, when he was the Chief Minister. Justice Khanna, who had presided over the Commission of Enquiry against him, despite being very remarkably lenient, had noted, “The position, as it emerges in the final analysis, is that Mr. Patnaik was able to get rid of and pass on to the IDC the LSF Plant, which in his own words was uneconomical”. In your transferring of your grand father’s old outlived house at Cuttack to the State, to be henceforth repaired and maintained by the Government, under guise of a “gift”, I see the same modus operandi. The house shall not only be a white elephant demanding heavy fodders from the State Exchequer, but also, at State cost, it shall give you your father’s posthumous political utility in power politics.

But, dear Chief Minister, if your ancestral home deserves to be repaired and prepared as a point of tourist interest, attracting people to pay homage to your father, because he had allegedly some undefined dreams for Orissa – such dreams that he had not taught you a single alphabet in Oriya – what about the ancestral homes of the real architects of Orissa, whose dreams coming true, we have our motherland retrieved from filthy grips of our neighboring States?

Does your father only count, not Madhu babu, not Gopabandhu, not Baji Raut, just for example, whose ancestral houses had built them up to make sacrifices for the motherland to the limit that has no comparison?

Would you please come out and say, why State exchequer has never been addressed to preserve their respective birth-campuses so far, despite persistent demands from the public? Why their ancestral homes have not been made State-Monuments? Why the same treatment has not been given to the houses of Laxman Nayak, Veer Surendra Sai and all other martyrs who had laid down their lives in freedom struggle?

Is it not an affront to the wise people of Orissa to squander away the State-exchequer to make a monument in the name of your father whom people of Orissa had rejected for his misrule and who had died as a man whom people had denied another term?

Are you not misusing your father after his death for personal political purpose and thereby not attracting posthumous criticism against your father as people alive in politics generally earn? Is it not real postmortem insult to your father, which you are architecting?

So, please stop posthumous political use of Biju Patnaik. Let him rest in peace.

Stop expenditure from State exchequer for the repair, renovation and extension of your ancestral home. Consult all the political parties and whosoever has research on pre-independence and post-independence personalities marked for their sacrifice for and benevolent service to Orissa. Make a list on whose house should be maintained by the State and made State-monuments. And ensure equal treatment to all of them.

Politics in the name of father is a political nuisance. Becaause of you, Biju Patnaik is now a posthumous politician and therefore, is and would be attracting posthumous criticism. Sad.

Bills in English are offenses against Orissa: Biju had designed the subterfuge, his son has given it the finality

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Sad, the Orissa Assembly is adjourned again due to the Government’s adamancy to impose English over the primacy of Oriya language in the Legislative Assembly.

After creating the cause for unrelenting ruckus in the House, the Government has architected passage of several Bill without discussion, even though they were blatantly violative of the Orissa Official Language Act.

In this, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has given a culminating effect to the act of subterfuge his father Biju Patnaik had devised to render the mother tongue of Orissa officially useless. It was one of the reasons of mass upsurge against Biju that had forced him out of power in 1963. After 50 years of Biju’s anti-Oriya foul play, his son Naveen has given Oriya language a deadly blow by bringing in Bills only in English, not in Oriya, and getting them passed beneath the whipped up hubbub.

The people of Orissa are the creators of the era of linguistic States in India and Orissa was the first State to have made administration to run in the mother tongue of the people – Oriya.

While celebrating the first Utkal Divas after independence, on 1st April, 1948, the Orissa Assembly, awaiting adoption of the Constitution, had resolved that, the First Assembly to be created by the people must make Oriya the Official language by enacting a Law to that extent and accordingly, the first Assembly enacted ‘The Orissa Official Language Act, 1954’. This Act stipulated that Oriya was “to be used for all or any of the official purposes of the State of Orissa”.

But, the administrative officers, in order to keep them as a separate distinguished class, ignored this Act and went on managing their files in English.

When a fellow like Biju Patnaik grabbed the Chief Minister chair, he pampered and patronized whosoever was priding in being elite.

In his vested interest administration wherein non-Oriya officers and favor-seekers were dazzling as the Chief Minister’s inner associates, the Official Language Act, 1954 was relegated to insignificance and English reemerged as the language of administration; and thus, Oriya language was rendered officially useless by Biju Patnaik. He even got the Act amended to make Oriya language bereft of its primacy in administration.

When the British had made non-Oriya languages the official languages in Oriya speaking tracks, the people of Orissa had woke up against the design and forced the British to amalgamate all the Oriya speaking areas to a separate province where they can use their mother tongue in offices.

But Biju Patnaik, the most hypocrite virus post-independence politics had ever produced, sabotaged this primacy of Oriya language by inserting a provision in the Official Language (Amendment) Act, 1963 to the effect that, English shall be used “in addition to Oriya for transaction of business in Legislature of the State of Orissa”.

This shrewd insertion subjected Orissa administration to predominance of English and ruined the utility of Oriya as a language.

By creating the Bills only in English language now, Naveen Patnaik has given finality to the act of subterfuge designed against Oriya language 50 years ago by his father Biju Patnaik. In his latest action, the concept “in addition to” penned in the 1963 amendment has also been discarded. It is a shame that there are sycophants who support non-framing of Bills in Oriya.

CBI and Corruption: Commonality between Father and Son_ Biju and Naveen

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

When the needle of suspicion in the compass of scams and misrule is pointing at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with increasing discernibility, Amicus Curiae Shyam Divan has told the Supreme Court on November 5 that Orissa Government is not cooperating with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the ongoing inquiry into mega chit fund scams, even though the same is being conducted under orders of the Apex Court.

This reminds me of the same experience the CBI had had while investigating into economic offenses of Biju Patnaik. The CBI Director, while confirming that certain allegations against him were “serious”, had told the Union Home Minister in his report on November 15, 1964 that, further enquiry – obviously judicial – should be instituted, to “come to a definite and clear conclusion”.

The striking commonality between the father and the son – Biju and Naveen – in corrupting administration to the extent of creating situations for the apex authorities to order for investigation thereinto by CBI, is as gross as substantial.

Everybody who is currently watching the cascading exposures of chit fund and other scams is seeing how in increasing velocity public suspicion is rushing towards Naveen. It would be better, therefore, to focus on the other one, his father Biju Patnaik.

Clandestine Comprador

After occupying the Chief Minister post in June1961, Biju unleashed such a reign of corruption and embezzlement that a former Chief Minister of Orissa, the great Gandhian Nabakrushna Choudhury had to put before the public, the modus operandi of Biju and his likes that were collecting huge sums of money in the name of election funds and swindling the same while acting as clandestine compradors of mine-owners and big businessmen, to the serious detriment of the common people and the public exchequer.

He had exposed the felony in the inaugural function of Gandhi Tattwa Prachar Kendra at Balasore on 23 July 1963.

Mass Awakening against Misrule

Following that exposure, by the end of August 1963, people of Orissa, severely affected by his corrupt practices and maladministration, had woke up en masse to seek his resignation. Students all over the State had spearheaded the campaign to oust him from the chair of the Chief Minister. Marking his swift fall, Justice H. R. Khanna, who had later headed the Judicial Enquiry into his offenses, had noted that his misuse of power for personal and family benefits had so severely eroded his credibility that, “within two or three years of his stewardship his public image became tarnished and the hopes which were built around him were shattered to pieces”.

Khanna Commission was the culmination of people’s non-stop agitations for action against Biju.

The unprecedented mass awakening led by the students had spread in full fury all over the State calling for action against him. The Congress high command and the Congress government in the center had tried to protect him. But all their nasty tricks had failed.

Forced to Quit

The tumult of the unprecedented mass agitation against him had ultimately forced the Congress High Command to ask Biju to quit under face-saving cover of Kamaraj Plan.

Biju resigned on October 1, 1963 in order to escape the wrath of the people.

His protege-cum-partner in corruption, Biren Mitra took over as Chief Minister.

Immediately after he took the oath, Mitra declared that he would rule the State on behalf of Biju, exactly as Bharat of Ramayan had done after Ram was banished from Ayodhya.

No wonder, the CBI faced hurdles in investigation. With his docile protege as his successor, Biju, as Chairman of the State Planning Board, acted ‘super CM’ .

CBI pressed on Preliminary Enquiry

People of Orissa were not content with Biju vacating the CM post. They wanted action against him and continued their agitation. The Parliament was rocked with demands for action against him. His passport should be seized and he should be subjected to criminal prosecution for felonies he committed, was the concentrated demand. It had forced India’s then Home Minister Gulzarilal Nanda to ask the CBI to conduct a “preliminary enquiry” into allegations leveled against Biju by Leader of Opposition and scores of public figures.

The CBI enquiry was ordered obviously to calm down the rising wrath of the people against the Congress Party under the banner and protection of which Biju had run his empire of corruption.

When the CBI penetrated into files and facts that formed the basis of some of the allegations against Biju, it faced non-cooperation from the State Government to proceed further. But to its utmost dismay, it was under pressure from above to give Biju a clean chit.

Pressure for exoneration

The CBI Director has very tactfully revealed this reality in his Report to Union Home Ministry on November 15, 1964. He had said, “On the basis of the scrutiny of the records, it is not possible to say that all the allegations are unfounded, unsubstantiated or untrue”. These very words of the CBI Chief most intelligently revealed that there was tremendous pressure on him from above to say that the allegations against Biju were unfounded, unsubstantiated and untrue.

Had there been no pressure to say “the allegations were “unfounded, unsubstantiated and untrue” the CBI would never have said, “it is not possible”.

Who must be the people in high echelon of power to have put such pressure on CBI?

Collaborators in Central Cabinet

We find them in the Union Cabinet who conspired to give the CBI report a burial as it went against Biju.

Instead of appointing a Judicial Commission of Enquiry, which was by then formulated and adopted as the necessary means to locate the crux of alleged felonies, when preliminary enquiries indicate prima facie correctness of allegations against persons in power, the central cabinet appointed a Sub-Committee of its own to “consider in detail the allegations against Orissa ministers, the CBI reports and the Ministers’ explanations”.

Despite Misconduct convincingly caught

The Cabinet Sub-Committee tried its best to render the CBI report inconsequential. Yet, the offenses of Biju Patnaik and his partner in corruption Biren Mitra were so vastly visible that, while refusing to institute a Judicial enquiry, it could not but say, “the manner in which Sri Patnaik and Sri Mitra, directly or otherwise, conducted government transactions in which were involved the interests of private concerns owned or controlled by them or by their relations, was definitely not in keeping with the normal standards of public conduct”.

Determined agitation

This design failed to dissuade people from their determination to see Biju and Biren ousted from the positions of power they were using to fleece from public exchequer. This determined agitation of the people forced the central leadership of Congress to ask Biju to resign from the chairmanship of the State Planning Board and his protege Biren from Chief-ministership. Biju resigned from the Planning Board chairmanship on January 29, 1965 and Biren from Chief-ministership about a month later on February 20. Shastriji appealed the people through the Lok Sabha on February 22 to “allow” this matter “to end” as both “Sri Biren Mitra and Sri Patnaik have already tendered their resignations”.

Punishment by the people

People of Orissa punished Biju Patnaik by rejecting him in all the five constituencies he contested in 1967 and also the Congress Party for having not punished Biju Patnaik.

The greatest beneficiary of people’s rejection of Biju Patnaik was R. N. Singhdeo, who headed a coalition with Jana Congress, formed by Congress members opposed to Biju.

Singhdeo appointed a Judicial Commission of Enquiry headed by Justice H. R. Khanna to inquire into and report on the charges against Patnaik and others.

Justice Khanna denounced Biju

In his report submitted on January 15, 1969, Justice H. R. Khanna denounced Biju as a morally corrupt fellow, as he was found to have used his chief-ministerial position to serve “the pecuniary and business interests of the companies, which had been started by him and with which his family members were associated” to such condemnable extent that “within two or three years of his stewardship his public image became tarnished and the hopes which were built around him were shattered to pieces”.

Scope yet to come

The ongoing CBI enquiry into chit fund scam in the regime of Naveen Patnaik offers a tremendous scope to study the syndrome in context of commonality between the father and the son in the zone of achieving personal benefits through power of governance.

It would be an insult to patriotism if Biju’s Dakota is preserved in Orissa Museum

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

BJD member in Orissa Legislative Assembly Debashish Nayak has made a demand in the House that the parked and abandoned Dakota airplane of  Biju Patnaik’s Kalinga Airlines be brought from Kolkata airpost and be preserved in the State Museum at Bhubaneswar. Sycophancy knows no bound. But it will be the worst insult to patriotism if his demand is fulfilled.

I explain, why.

A major reason of more than eleven thousand square kilometers of our soil being lost in the Chinese aggression was because of Biju Patnaik’s treachery against the country executed through his Kalinga Airlines.

On October 20, 1962, China had attacked India. We had to suffer the most ignominious defeat in Chinese hands, because there was a man Biju Patnaik in the near circle of Prime Minister Nehru eager to make huge income by sabotaging the country.

Brig. John Delvi in his book ‘Himalayan Blunder’ has pointed out that India lost more than 11000 square kilometers of her land to China in the 1962 war because of lack of basic essentials like warm clothing, snow boots, and glasses.

Biju Patnaik had fetched a contract toJohn Delvi,  airdrop these essential supplies to our soldiers in the NEFA front. But, instead of delivering the same to our soldiers, he had sold away those supplies in black-markets  (Lok Sabha Debates (V) (1967) 7980-7990).

Because of this treason, our soldiers had lost their stamina to fight and we were in the worst of debacles after our independence.

This particular debate was generated in the environment of availability of Lt. General B. M. Kaul’s accounts on our war debacle in his book ‘The Untold Story’’.

In this book, General Kaul, who was in command, had attributed the defeat partly to inadequate supply of essential necessities too.

Nehru’s then blue-eyed boy Biju had cultivated the contract for delivering the supply of essential necessities to our fighting soldiers in the NEFA front through his Kalinga Airlines. But, instead of delivering the supply to the soldiers, he had sold them in the black-market at Calcutta, at Dibrugarh, at Jorhat and other places.

In the Lok Sabha debate mentioned above, when Hem Barua had rued over this, S. M. Banerjee had pointed out that when in the snow-clad battlefield on the border our soldiers were in dire need of basic essentials like warm clothing, and some of the countries like West Germany had rushed profuse amount of top quality woolens like blankets, pullovers, shocks and snow-shoes etc for use of our fighting forces, the same never reached them, as the rich people grabbed them for their own comfort through the black-market fed by Kalinga Airways of Biju Patnaik.
Despite having sold the essential defense supplies in the black-market, Biju had bagged Rs. 1, 78, 33, 416.00 from the exchequer towards charges of their delivery in the border (Prime Minister Nehru’s reply to Surendranath Dwivedi in the Lok Sabha on 25 January 1963)

Biju had committed many offenses against the country even before the Chinese attack. One of these offenses was unauthorized use of an aircraft of his company- known to defense intelligence as a plane under contract with their department – on 26 October 1959 in secret service of a group of unidentified persons that had traveled to and fro between Calcutta and Bombay.

Questionable conduct of Biju’s airways, specifically as the defense of the country was involved, was inquired into through a committee headed by Katju. The findings of this Committee were devastating. But, lest Nehru’s fault in relying upon Biju also gets exposed, his government claimed privilege over the report and denied even the MPs to go through it, though on December 01, 1960, the Lok Sabha was fed with a vetted synopsis thereof after a lot of ruckus.

Biju was the first mafia to have entered politics and polluted politics for personal aggrandizement. Nehru had made shameful contributions to this.

So, despite confession that the Katju Committee had found massive irregularities committed by Kalinga airways, the government was not to terminate the contract with him, as a result of which, the defense supplies did not reach the soldiers in the battle field, but fetched profit for Biju from the black-market in places like Calcutta, Dibrugarh and Jorhat.

The then Minister of State (Home)Vidya Charan Shukla had told Atal Behari Vajpayee in reply to his star question bearing No. 785 on 28 June 1962, that the Public Accounts Committee had found many specific illegalities and forgeries, which the Kalinga Airways of Biju Patnaik had committed. By blackmailing Nehru, Biju escaped prosecution.

The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament had found that during the war, Kalinga Airways had at least 1600 unauthorized flights over the war zone. This was a serious offense. The country had neither authorized nor had funded these 1600 flights over the border where the war was going on, in the most sensitive time. As the PAC mentioned of this matter, and it was clear that the government had to investigate into it, the number of these suspicious and unauthorized flights was tampered with and in place of 1600, the figure was projected as 200. When Mr. G. G. Swell queried on who tampered with the figure of the unauthorized flights, Minister Shukla had declared, that the committee investigating into the specific offenses of Kalinga Airlines, would also look into this mischief.

But, Biju escaped, because any action against him could also have brought to limelight the wrongful patronization Nehru had given to him oblivious of harms that was causing to the country.

The whereabouts of Kalinga Airlines was not kept track of. The loss that the nation suffered because of Biju Patnaik’s treachery was not determined. The pilots of the airways without whose collaboration Biju could not have committed the illegalities were never interrogated, when Kalingalines aircrafts crashed one after one, the last reported being a Douglas C-47A on October 17, 1965 with 8 fatalities that had extinguished the entire crew whom the nation should have interrogated to know the truth.

If anything, Biju deserves posthumous punishment for treachery against the country. Why the debates in parliament, exposures in Katju Committee as well as PAC reports were rendered inconsequential should be investigated into by a competent Judicial Commission of Enquiry, as greater interest of the country calls for that.

Therefore, it would be a great insult to Orissa and to the patriotic sense of the people of Orissa, if the sycophantic demand of the BJD member in the State Assembly is heeded to.

EC must not act haphazardly: If use of Padma word by Tirkey is bad, why BJD as a contesting party has not been banned?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Election Commission has instructed Dillip Tirkey not to use the “Padma” word in depicting the Padma Shree he has been decorated with, while projecting his suitability as a candidate before the voters of Sundergarh from where he is contesting for the Lok Sabha.

It is a legally correct step and we fully endorse it.

But what about Biju Janata Dal?

The “Biju” word should have been dropped from the said party as it is contesting for both the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha when almost all welfare programs that influences the voters are named after Biju, the father of the present Chief Minister who has contrived this mischief to mislead the voters and bag their votes. Had BJD not dropped the Biju name, it should have been banned, as all most all welfare programs and public places and institutes are named after Biju.

Look at the mischief:

Biju KBK Yojana,

Biju Setu Yojana,

Biju Gajapati Yojana,

Biju Kandhamal Yojana,

Biju Krusak Kalyan Yojana,

Biju Gramya Bidyut Yojana,

Biju Saharanchal Bidyutikaran Yojana,

Biju Yuva Sashaktikaran Yojana,

Biju Gramina Magana Swasthya Sibira Yojana.

These and suchlike welfare programs founded and funded by Orissa Government are mischievously, willfully, calculatedly and intentionally named after Biju Patnaik by his son Naveen Patnaik who has misused his chief minister position to make his party – Biju Janata Dal – be viewed by the voters as synonymous with welfare. This is the worst political misappropriation of the State exchequer, and the most harmful arsenal created to damage electoral wisdom, the like of which is never to be found in India.

On March 5, we had attracted the attention of the EC to this hazardous mischief under the caption: Election Commission now must ban operation of all Orissa Projects named after Biju Patnaik, as projection thereof was bound to mesmerize and mislead the voters.

The EC has not acted responsibly in this case. All these state projects named after Biju are being projected in massive advertisements and election rallies. Voters are unable to differentiate between Biju Janata Dal and Biju named welfare projects.

So, it is clear that in banning use of “Padma” word by Tirkey while not banning welfare projects named after Biju when the party named after him is seeking mandate, the EC has been working haphazardly and against the very spirit of fair election.

Drum-beating of imagined dreams stupefies Orissa, as the Country has failed to punish Biju Patnaik for his treason during Chinese Aggression

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

There is a Government in Orissa that is in power for twelve years as the people are stupefied under deafening drum-beating of imagined dreams of the incumbent Chief Minister’s father, late Biju Patnaik.

The opponents of the Chief Minister in the ruling party have formed a front of their own called Jan Morcha. And, this Morcha also beats the drum of dreams of Biju Patnaik!

If anything, this is an act of vested interest political acrobats to keep the people stupefied, so that vote catching can be easier for them.

I have tried to locate if Biju had really any dreams for the people of Orissa. I have found none. I have not found any dream that Biju Patnaik had for the people of Orissa. The man, who did not make his son learn even a single alphabet in Oriya language, cannot be taken as a man, who had dreams for Orissa. If he had any dream, that was only for occupying power to misuse power for his personal benefit. But yet, drum-beating of Biju dreams has been stupefying the political conscience in Orissa. Goebbels prevails when people are too gullible to go for the truth.

The truth is that Biju was a profit fetcher from politics. He had entered into politics to drag in funds and profits for his industries and eventually had left the industrial life as politics appeared to him to be the easiest way to fetch fabulous wealth without any botheration for cultivating and repaying loans, organizing markets and paying salaries.

So, politics for Biju was a profession for personal profit. And, in pursuit of profit, he was always trying to fetch and stay in power. His sycophants are trying to hide this reality under torrents of cooked up Biju dreams.

We have heard the deafening drumbeats of Biju dreams by both the quarreling fractions of the ruling party named after him on October 19, as the Chief Minister’s mega meeting at Berhampur militated against the dissidents’ press meet at Bhubaneswar on the same day. Therefore it would be proper to recall a particular episode of Biju’s life that had occurred 50 years ago when October 19 had metamorphosed into October 20, 1962, to get a glimpse of his dreams in pursuit of which he was using political power.

On that day, China had attacked India. And in that war, India had to suffer the most ignominious defeat after independence, because persons like Biju Patnaik had their dreams to fulfill.

Brig. John Delvi in his book ‘Himalayan Blunder’ has pointed out that India lost more than 11000 square kilometers of her land to China in the 1962 war because of lack of basic essentials like warm clothing, snow boots, and glasses.

Why the Indian Army had not got these essential supplies? This is because; Biju Patnaik had played the treachery.

He had fetched a contract to airdrop essential supplies to our soldiers in the NEFA front. But, instead of delivering the essentials to our soldiers, he had sold away the same in black-markets (Lok Sabha Debates (V) (1967) 7980-7990). Because of this treason, our soldiers had lost their stamina to fight and we were in the worst of debacles after our independence.

This particular debate was generated in the environment of availability of Lt. General B. M. Kaul’s accounts on our war debacle in his book ‘The Untold Story’, published on January 01, 1967.

In this book, he had attributed the defeat partly to inadequate supply of essential necessities too.

Biju Patnaik had obtained the contract for supply of essential necessities through his Kalinga Airways in the border to our forces engaged in defense of our land. But, instead of delivering the supply to the soldiers, he had sold them in the black-market at Calcutta, at Dibrugarh, at Jorhat and other places. In the Lok Sabha debate mentioned above, when Hem Barua had rued over this, S. M. Banerjee had pointed out that when in the snow-clad battlefield on the border our soldiers were in dire need of basic essentials like warm clothing, and some of the countries like West Germany had rushed profuse amount of top quality woolens like blankets, pullovers, shocks and snow-shoes etc for use of our fighting forces, that never reached them, as the rich people grabbed them for their own comfort through the black-market fed by Kalinga Airwayss of Biju Patnaik.

Despite having sold the essential defense supplies in the black-market, Biju Patnaik had bagged Rs. 1, 78, 33, 416.00 from the exchequer towards charges of their delivery in the border (Prime Minister Nehru’s reply to Surendranath Dwivedi in the Lok Sabha on 25 January 1963)

General Kaul had tried to hush up Biju’s offenses by attempts to divert public attention from Biju to Krishna Menon for India’s debacle. He has tried to convince us that Kalinga Airways could not carry out the supply, because Krishna Menon refused to grant Biju the necessary financial assistance for procuring more aircraft to use in transportation of essentials for the soldiers. He has written,

“Bijoo Patnaik, whom I had known for many years, and who had not yet become the Chief Minister, Orissa, came to see me in my office one day. …….. He told me, a fact which I knew, that owing to the limited resources of the Air Force, the External Affairs Ministry were maintaining the far-flung Assam Rifles military posts by air-drops in NEFA through the Kalinga Airways which was one of his concerns. Due to shortage of planes – which was, in turn, due to shortage of foreign exchange – the Kalinga Airways were unable to carry out this commitment fully. He, therefore, asked me if I could persuade my Defense Minister, Krishna Menon, to help in this matter by getting him the necessary foreign exchange for purchase of the additional aircraft. ………. I approached the Defense Minister ……… Krishna Menon told me that on no account was he prepared to help Kalinga Airways as it would indirectly mean that the Air Force, one of the Services under him, was incapable of carrying out this commitment. ……… No amount of argument on my part, however, was of any avail. The result was that the Assam Rifles posts remained inadequately supplied and in fact we were prevented at times from establishing more such posts, due to logistical reasons, which was operationally necessary”.

From Kaul’s accounts it is clear that the Assam Rifles military posts were being maintained by air-drops in NEFA through Biju Patnaik, much before China attacked us. And, more significantly, the Defense Minister, who was averse to his department’s contract with Biju Patnaik for the air-drops of essentials in the NEFA border, was not able to undo the contract. Obviously Biju’s patron was more powerful than the Defense Minister in deciding whether or not Biju was to continue with the contract. This most powerful man was Prime Minister Nehru. Because of Nehru, Krishna Menon was not able to discard Biju Patnaik.

Why did Menon reject Kaul’s pleadings for for Biju? It is because, he was aware of Biju’s profit motive and the illegalities Kalinga airways was involved with under his avarice. He was not willing to equip Biju with further opportunity to expand his business of treachery.

Biju had committed many offenses against the country even before the Chinese attack. One of these offenses was unauthorized use of an aircraft of his company- known to defense intelligence as a plane under contract with their department – on 26 October 1959 in secret service of a group of unidentified persons that had traveled to and fro between Calcutta and Bombay.

Questionable conduct of Biju’s airways, specifically as the defense of the country was involved, was inquired into through a committee headed by Katju. The findings of this Committee were devastating.

Had its report been placed before the Parliament in its entirety, Prime Minister Nehru’s short-sighted patronization to Biju and the felonies perpetrated through Kalinga Airways could have come to public knowledge. Therefore, Nehru’s government claimed privilege over the report and denied even the MPs to go through it, though on December 01, 1960, the Lok Sabha was fed with a vetted synopsis thereof after a lot of ruckus.

Biju was so much under the Prime Minister’s protection that the government had come out with a written statement that even though the Katju Committee had found massive irregularities committed by Kalinga airways, the government was not to terminate the contract with him.

However, the government would keep watchful eyes on Kalinga Airways so that no further irregularities it can commit, the minister had promised to the House.

But despite the promise given to the Parliament, the government failed to keep eyes on Biju, as a result of which, the defense supplies did not reach the soldiers in the battle field, but fetched profit for Biju from the black-market in places like Calcutta, Dibrugarh and Jorhat.

Minister of State (Home)Vidya Charan Shukla, as he then was, had told Atal Behari Vajpayee in reply to his star question bearing No. 785 on 28 June 1962, that the Public Accounts Committee had found many specific illegalities and forgeries,which the Kalinga Airways of Biju Patnaik had committed. He had informed that on the basis of the report, a committee of inquiry had been appointed to go into the details of the offenses and to recommend specific action to be taken. But no action was taken against him.

When the war was going on, Kalinga Airways had at least 1600 unauthorized flights on the war front. This was a serious offense. The PAC had located this offense. Who had funded these 1600 unauthorized flights over the border where the war was going on, and in the most sensitive time, has not been determined. But, surprisingly, after conclusion of the PAC report, the number of the suspicious and unauthorized flights was tampered with and in place of 1600, the figure was projected as 200. As Mr. G. G. Swell queried on who tampered with the figure of the unauthorized flights, Minister Shukla had declared, that the committee investigating into the specific offenses of Kalinga Airways, would also look into this mischief.

But, Biju never got the punishment he deserved for these offenses and treachery against the country when India was engaged in the war. Evidently though we lost 12000 square kilometers in the war, as our soldiers did not get the life-saving essentials, as Biju’s airways fed the black-markets with the same instead of air-dropping them in our military posts, the country has not yet punished him for the treason he committed. He escaped, because any action against him could also have brought to limelight the wrongful patronization Nehru had given to Biju oblivious of harms that was causing to the country.

The whereabouts of Kalinga Airways was not kept track of. The loss the nation suffered was not determined. The pilots of the airways without whose collaboration Biju could not have committed the illegalities were never interrogated. But reports were in print media that some of the aircraft had faced accidents that extinguished also the pilots whom the nation should have once interrogated to know the truth.

The drum-beaters of Biju-dreams are befooling the people by taking advantage of the country’s failure to punish him for his treason during the Chinese aggression. The Opposition Congress is not in a position to expose Biju’s treacheries; because thereby the bungling that Nehru had made, would also be exposed.

In such circumstances, use your conscience.