The History Mamata Wrote Will Stay Shining Forever

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The history Mamata Banerjee and her brave colleagues in Trinamool Congress have written on 21 September 2012 will stay shining forever in the life of independent India.

Their decision to withdraw from Manmohan Singh government in total disapproval of the Prime Minister’s attempt to push the country back into the days of the British raj through the machinations of FDI in multi-brand retail trading is a perfect example of political conscience, so invisible in present day India, where the Marxists mingle with the Mulayams and unscrupulousness stands for leadership.

The people of India are eager to extricate themselves from the labyrinth of corruption and scams and swindling of shares and loot of natural resources and misuse of exchequer that the traitors in power have thrown them into.

Various elements have tried to use this eagerness to their own advantage. From Anna Hazare to Kejriwal to Ramdev, headlines have been hijacked to create masks for clandestine operators of black money who want the status quo to continue in a new form, away from any real effective alternative. The right-wing Opposition with a dark history of corruption and anti-people disinvestment that it was known for when in power has tried to take advantage of the new mass awakening against corruption. But nobody has come forward to make such a striking sacrifice in cause of the countrymen; nobody thought of resigning from their political posts to work for democracy, nobody has relinquished coveted posts of central ministers in protest against anti-people acts of the government as the members of TMC have done.

With Marxists hobnobbing with Mulayam despite his declaration to support the government that is busy in converting India into a grazing ground of foreigners and with BJP discernibly against the tenets of national integration because of its mindset against Muslims, Mamata is perhaps the best remedy available against all the anti-people design of the Congress Party and Manmohan Singh.

It is time; the Trinamool Congress should rise above regional limitations, and lead the nation into the position where Indians have always dreamt of seeing their Republic.

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ORISSA! MY MOTHER! LET ME SHARE YOUR TEARS

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa! My Mother! On this your birthday, as I greet you, I know, your tears are rolling down in the eyes of your children who are being tortured by the Governments they have created. Let me share your tears, mother, if thereby a bit of relief manifests.

You have been in headlines, Mother, over an order of the National Green Tribunal in matter of a foreign firm – POSCO – to whom our government has pledged sovereignty on your sovereign soil in the name of SEZ.

This takes me to the year of 2004, Mother, when the State’s then Chief Secretary Subas Pani had vanished from the State along with three other Secretaries for several days, ignoring the Assembly in the last session of the year, even though they were required to remain present in the headquarters to assist the Minister(s) answer the House.

At the end of this mysterious absence, Mother, you must be remembering, they surfaced before the Press at New Delhi to announce that their secret journey was to a foreign country in interest of the State. They did not disclose who had sent them on the secret journey, which was their destination, what was their mission, who granted them the authority to use foreign exchange and why was it that the Government could not inform the House on query that they were on duty under its privilege, if they were on an assigned mission!

But, Mother, no action was taken against them, even though this child of yours, on January 1, 2005 had raised the issue specifically in the media. Pratisruti,Bhubaneswar has included the same write-up in Dura Adura, a compilation of a few of my articles, spanning pages 155 to 158, published in library edition,2009 .

It later transpired that Pani and his team had been to South Korea to POSCO headquarters, wherefrom a team had later picked up a group of Bhubaneswar based media persons for organizing their cooperation at the time of need and specifically for creation of a congenial media environment for what Pani and his team were to do subsequently.

From the POSCO side, Mother, it became clear, that it had conducted a secret search on wherefrom to acquire mines of the highest quality ores for its steel factories in massive scale at the lowest possible rate. And, had found your stocks of the ores most suitable to its purpose.

So, was it POSCO that had, through agents at Delhi, screened top functionaries of yours to find out who could be used by it and thus Pani, then a top functionary at the center, was approached and when found suitable for its purpose, his posting as Chief Secretary of the State was organized, so that it could be easy to get the way paved for its project?

And, is it, therefore, Pani, after becoming the Chief Secretary, organized his coterie, to whom he had taken to POSCO headquarters where they were tamed or trained to serve its purpose?

This could not be investigated into, Mother, as the Chief Minister did not take any action for unauthorized absence of this group of officers during the Assembly session and as the media mysteriously kept mum.

On the other hand, the Pani coterie emerged as the most powerful group in the State administration as the Chief Minister, without giving your children any opportunity to understand what was happening, dazzled them with a Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with POSCO, projected as the largest foreign direct investment project in India.

Nobody can say, mother, sans specific in-depth official investigation, as to whether any payola had played the role in this matter. But the way your children are being oppressed by the Government and Rules are being broken and Lands are being given to this firm make it clear that the Government is monstrously motivated to please this foreign firm at the cost of indigenous masses.

Why this motivation, Mother, why?

To kill the people to better their condition?

Do not cry Mother, do not cry. You shall never know why is it happening, why!

The governments, Mother, both in the State and at the Center, have been acting as agents of POSCO that at any cost wants to grab your soil, to loot your resources, your natural and human assets, and, whatever, Mother, you should have liked to keep in store for use by your future children.

Your children who would be directly affected by this project have been continuously protesting. But the Chief Minister is more committed to POSCO than to the people.

Men are blocking the roads to obstruct POSCO.

Completely overcome with distress, women are prostrating on the soil.

Children, threatened by imminent danger to self-employed status of their parents are also holding protest meetings.

General public is demanding quashing of the POSCO deal.

But, instead of respecting the people, the government has been trying to suppress them with the police, to silent them with the bullets.

And, most devastatingly, the government is active in weakening the people through cleavage.

And, Mother, they have no qualms in organizing contravention of laws of the land to help the foreigners.

They do not care for the judicial orders of the High Court, so much blindly are the motivated for serving the design of the foreign firm.

The National Green Tribunal, Mother, has, on March 30, stripped layer by layer, how the government had organized rape of environment laws to help this foreign firm.

“The entire process was vitiated in the eyes of law”, the Tribunal has ruled, while suspending the environmental clearance given to steel-cum-captive power plant and captive minor port of POSCO on your Paradip coast. The Tribunal has marked “official bias” in this matter, Mother, “official bias”.

Mother, “official bias” as marked by the National Tribunal smacks of manipulation in generation of the environmental clearance for POSCO. And, who but POSCO could have caused the manipulation?

Manipulation established, the project, being of foreign interest, needs be dismissed in its entirety.

The Supreme Court’s order in Aravali matters needs be applied to mines that POSCO and the likes are determined to loot. Your this child had stressed upon it in these pages. But, the Court has yet to look at the issue in Aravali spirit.

The tribes who would be rendered destitute by destruction of their living environment as well as all of your children, who would be affected by destruction of the eco-systems, Mother, are being subjected to State terror as they oppose the evil design, when, like the proverbial blue colored jackal, packs of fellows who benefit by amassing illicit wealth in the environment of opportunism plutocracy has provided and packs of neo-elites who want to do everything that may distinguish them as brighter than the rest in society, are supporting the state-terror and are playing every nasty tricks to demoralize your children that are opposing the foreign firm.

On your birthday, Mother, the same functionaries that are thus playing havoc upon the lives of your children are greeting each other and enjoying fireworks that tally with their laughter at the people pushed by them thus into predicament.

They have not spared anybody who is not gorgeous in position.

So severe is the savagery of state oppression, that the media despite being controlled by the neo-rich now mostly, is sometimes publishing pictures of oppression as above, with an aim, of course, to catch readership amongst the oppressed.

I will, Mother, place here some of those pictures, picked up from published pages, assuming that you permit me to do so.

Crores of rupees are shown as spent on primary education. But Mother, in your most undeveloped districts, schools are functioning without rooms or roofs and any of the students are forced to take up classes under any tree in the earmarked open spaces as teachers are engaged in other works. This is a picture from Rayagada:

You know, Mother, primary students, specifically kids in Anganvadies, have died by being forced to eat poisonous Khesari dal, that too moth eaten, as the contractors – blue eyed boys of the government – have preferred the same to fetch more profit, with no punishment against the crime. But, the Anganvadi and Ganashikshya teachers engaged in works that require their regular daily attendance are being forced to work sans the minimum wages, their protests not heeded to.

Who does not know how the lady health workers are perishing under hardship in absence of service conditions and minimum wages. But the government is more ready to suppress them than hearing their appeals.

The government, Mother, never bothers about promises and policies made in matters of family welfare, specifically in respect of green card holders. Their collective voice to press their grievances are being suppressed by police.

When the government is not getting required numbers of allopathy doctors to manage health care and engaging homeopaths, specifically in rural areas to tackle emergencies, the homeopathy colleges in different parts such as in Sambalpur are in dilapidated conditions. Yet, the advanced homeo college managed by the government in Bhubaneswar has scant provisions for proper study. The students, Mother, are battling in vain to gain attention of the government to their legitimate grievances.

Tortured and exploited low-paid employees, who despite in work of regular nature, continue without regularization of their service,rush to Bhubaneswar to demonstrate their legitimate grievances when the Assembly commences its session, in hope against hope that the House may wake up to prevail upon the government to give them their due. But days pass away. Assembly does not wake up. Government does not hear. Yet, in hope against hope, they retire to soothing lap of the goddess of sleep in their demonstration tents to rise in the early morning to continue their stir.

The Assembly does not wake up to the call of the Opposition. Government runs on the strength of numbers and a frustrated Opposition often resorts to physical stonewalling. The government does not bother.

Farmers are committing suicide in utter helpless condition as government apathy is flaming up draughts and non-maintenance of embankments and channels causing floods that wash away their crops. Unbearable price rise in essential commodities, lack of concern for the common man in every sector of life, has prompted the parties of working class interest demonstrate their protest time and again. But the government that is wedded to POSCO interest never bothers.

Corruption has so engulfed the State that question papers gushing out into black-markets has become norm of the day. Sudents are demonstrating their wrath against the mischief; but no action against top persons responsible for the grave dislocation in students lives are not punished.

Who will stand with you, Mother?

The media?

Supposedly.

But, Mother, whosoever of media is taking up the cause of the people and causing awareness against misrule, is being attacked through hired goons, harassed through the police, implicated in cooked up cases, some even charged for sedition. The journalists determined to protect freedom of Press have formed a front of theirs styled Media Unity for freedom of Press and have been collectively working for safety of the journalists. They had, Mother, after representing before the Chief Minister many times in vain, released a White Paper on atrocity on media person within your geographical limits, but the government is conspicuous by its nonchalance so far. Their demonstrations are never heeded to by the government.

Mother, when India was under the British yoke, as you had raised the first battle against them, you know, they had dismembered your body and appended your different parts to rival neighbors. The outsiders were grabbing your soil by treachery with the help of the British and rendering your children wretched. Your children rose up in demand for your restoration and even though the rival neighbors were creating every possible hindrance and heavyweights in British administration were too afraid of your “disposition” to allow union of your divided limbs, you became the first State of India to be formed on the basis of language. To our misfortune, Mother, we have a Chief Minister who does not belong to our language, who does not talk in your tongue, but in whose administration you have been reduced to grazing ground for non-Oriya land-grabbers. The phenomenon against which Buxi Jagabandhu had commanded your militia in the first battle of freedom that you had raised against the British, has returned in full strength, Mother, taking advantage of the present regime that has no concern for your toiling children.

Mother, to what extent your children are irritated and embarrassed over the hypocrisy in vogue in the name of administration can be judged from how they refused to respond to the government’s call to observe the death anniversary of Buxi Jagabandhu. In the heart of the citadel of power, at the State Information Center, arbitrarily renamed jayadev Bhawan, the people of Bhubaneswar deliberately stayed away from official function on Buxi. This was not for any disrespect for the great commander. But to your children, this government stands for everything that Buxi Jagabandhu had stood for. Recalling him in a function organized by the government run by the agents of POSCO and the likes was an affront to the sacred memories of Buxi. Therefore, Mother, as is captured in the picture below, the hall was empty. There was none in the audience except a 3/4 employees of the Information and Public Relations Department though the chairs on the podium were occupied by arranged speakers.

Mother, with these pictures, I offer my tears to you, in consanguinity with your tortured children and share yours, unable at the moment as am I to raise my arms to force quit the traitors.

UTKAL DIVAS 2009: AN OBITUARY

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa has a distinction that can never be surpassed by any in India. She is the founder of the modern epoch of State formation on language basis.

When her children were trying to form the new State on the basis of their mother tongue Oriya, packs of regional chauvinists from Bengal led by R.L.Mitra had tried hard to convince their British masters that Oriya was not a separate language, but rather was a part of Bengali. Their falseness was razed down by scholars with factual records so detailed that Bengal’s famous linguist Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterjee had to admit in course of time, as noted in Indian Historical Quarterly, Vol. XXIII, 1947 at p.337,

It may be said without travesty of linguistic truth that Oriya is the eldest of the three sisters (Oriya, Bengali and Assamese), when we consider the archaic character of the language”.

Before Chatterjee had said this, taking cue from chauvinists like Mitra and his associates, inhabitants of Hindi and Telgu speaking tracks had also started claiming linguistic superiority over Oriya in order only to retain the opportunity to exploit the Oriya peoples and their soil made available to them by the British that had annexed Orissa to their States by fragmenting her body under a state of fear psychosis, which shall be discussed later.

But their false claim was dismantled when Sir G.A. Grierson declared in Linguistic Survey of India that Oriya was highly superior to these three languages. To quote him,

“The Oriya language can boast of a rich vocabulary in which respect neither Bengali nor Hindi nor Telgu can vie with it. The richness of the vocabulary is the index by which the vastness of a vernacular can be gauged”.

Why the peoples of the Bengali, Hindi and Telgu speaking provinces were in conspiracy against Oriya language?

This was simply because, if Oriya language was to be restored to its original majestic position and Oriya lands were to go back from their provinces, they were sure to loose financially; and massively.

The peoples of those provinces were in traditional rivalry with Orissa and traditionally envious of Orissa’s matchless cultural, sculptural, commercial and natural splendor.

None of those provinces was able to aspire to be compared with Orissa. Observations of impartial historians and administrators, available on records, confirm this.

As for example, Rev.J.Long, in Notes and Queries Suggested by a Visit to Orissa in January 1859 has written,

“Antiquarian enquiries in Nepal, Ceylon and China show that the Buddhism so noted in its regard for enlightening the masses and opposing caste, was for ages predominant all through Orissa both among rulers and the people, though Orissa be now the garden of the Hinduism and Jagannath its Jerusalem” (Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1859, No.III, Vol.XXVIII, pp.185-187).

The peoples of those days knew that Buddha was born in Orissa. Hence Buddhism, as “antiquarian enquiries in Nepal, Ceylon and China” had made Rev.J.Long note, “was for ages predominant all through Orissa both among rulers and the people”.

Afraid of Buddhism and unable to defeat its impact, the Vedists had accepted Buddha as their own Lord and had equated their Lord Vishnu to Orissa’s Lord Buddha Jagannatha and thereby had succeeded to transform Buddhism to Hinduism in Orissa with Jagannath as the epitome of casteless culture. This had made Orissa such a land that as reported by Rev. Long above, Orissa had become “the garden of Hinduism and Jagannath its Jerusalem”. No land of India, specifically in the neighborhood of Orissa, had to her credit such splendid historical distinction.

When other provinces of India, specifically those in Orissa’s neighborhood were surrendering to or being subjugated by Muslims, Orissa was the land that was attacking and occupying Muslim dominions around her territory.

Describing how the King of Orissa had out-generalled the Bengal ruler Tughral Tughan Khan, the Muslim historian Minhaj-i-Siraj, who had also joined that war, which, to him, was a ‘holy war’, had to admit that a greater disaster had not till then befallen the Muslims in any part of Hindustan. (Dr. K. R. Quanungo, The History of Bengal, Muslim period, (pp.48-52). No land in India, specifically those in Orissa’s neighborhood had ever been credited, in enemy’s pen, with such valor. This was the cause of envy of the peoples of those provinces towards the Oriyas.

When India was perishing under occupation of Muslims, Orissa was so sure of her invincibility and so victorious over enemies, specifically the Muslim Rulers in the neighborhood, that in support of Buddhist Sahajayana and in exhibition of her power and opulence and in celebration of her victory, she had addressed herself to build up the wonderful Konark temple.

Analyzing the sculpture of war animals in display at Konark, in Indian Sculpture and Painting, Havell equates the fire and passion expressed therein with the greatest European art – the pride of victory and the glory of triumphant warfare. (Noted in History of Orissa by Prof. K. C. Panigrahi, at pp.413-14)

No people of India were more marked than the Oriyas for establishment of colonies overseas by name akin to those of their own soil and society. Known for the best of ports along her vast coastline, Orissa was famous for her matchless ships. Even when the British occupied India and eventually thereafter Orissa, to their mind, Orissa’s vessels were the best in India. “…by far the best that I ever saw in any part of India”, wrote E.Watson, 4th Judge, Calcutta Court of Circuit, to W.B.Bayley, Secretary to Government in the Judicial Department on 3 May, 1817) No other province, specifically those in Orissa’s neighborhood was of such historic heritage. They were therefore envious of Orissa.

Orissa was such unique that when peoples of those provinces had accepted the British as their lord, her children had been fighting against British invasion.

History knows that Orissa was the last of all the Indian States to have been occupied by the British. And according to British historians, Oriyas were the first amongst all the peoples of India to have raised battles against the British to “expel” them from their soil.

“It was not long, however, before we had to encounter a storm which burst with so sudden fury as to threaten our expulsion, if not from the whole of Orissa, at least from the territory of Khurda”, G. Toynbee has admitted. (A sketch of the history of Orissa, O.H.R.J. Vol No.1 & 2).

British had ruthlessly fought back the battle. But it had to eventually admit that the

“nature of the country (Orissa) and disposition of the inhabitants will always present formidable obstacle to the suppression of these disturbances either by military or police”(Report of Joint Magistrate W. Forrester dated. 9th September 1818 to Commissioner Robert Ker).

It is thus clear from Mr. Forrester’s Report that the peoples of Orissa were too valiant to be suppressed by “military or Police” of the British power.

This being the reality, it had to devise means to weaken the Oriya peoples in order to stay safe.

And thus it had divided Orissa into parts and annexed those parts to neighboring States compelling the brave peoples of Orissa to suffer the ignominy of minority status under rival populations. They were deliberately tortured by being forced to accept the language of those rival populations as their official language. Taking advantage of their ignorance of the so-called official language, the crafty inhabitants of the rival States to which Oriya speaking tracks were arbitrarily annexed, were grabbing Oriya properties by tampering with Official records.

Sri Veer Bikram Singh, the then Raja of Khariar had raised a literary revolution against this exploitation. “Utkal Durdasha” (The miseries of Orissa), a drama authored and enacted by him though out western Orissa had heart touching stanzas depicting the exploitation to which Orissa had been subjected to after division.

Sir Andrew Henderson Leith Fraser, who was Chief Commissioner of Central Provinces when Orissa’s western part was annexed to that province, in his famous work Among Indian Rajahs and Ryots, having seen in his own eyes how the peoples of Orissa, reduced to linguistic minority status, were being harassed in CP, had mentioned details of the damages done to the Oriyas and had recommended that the Oriya speaking tracks be amalgamated for better administration. But the British Secretary of State for India had turned down Fraser’s proposal as to him, the Oriya peoples were of such disposition that once united again, they shall be the most formidable danger for the Britishraj in India.

When peoples of the western parts of Orissa were thus being exploited under the CP administration, condition of the Oriyas of the southern part of Orissa annexed equally arbitrarily to Madras was no less disadvantaged.

Dinabandhu Pattanayak of Dharakot made a public appeal to peoples of Cuttack to come forward to fight for amalgamation of the Oriya speaking tracks in entirety as otherwise Oriya culture, sculptures and natural wealth cannot be saved from non-Oriyas.

This call of Dinaandhu eventually gave birth to Utkal Sammilani, the great Oriya movement that paved the path for formation of language-based States in India.

Why the peoples of Cuttack responded to the call given by Dinabandhu Pattanayak?

We get the answer from the Report of W. Trower, Collector, Cuttack on Revenue Administration in Orissa, dated the 23rd May 1817, in which he says,

“I believe I am the first and the only officer of the Government that has hitherto visited the interior of the District. I have traveled through the greatest part of it, conversed with all classes of people from the highest to the lowest and certainly the complaints against the Police, and the Moonsifs exceed anything I could have supposed. A regular system of oppression and peculation appears to exist throughout and instead of proving a protection to the country and a preventive against improper conduct, these people are considered the terror and the scourge of the district”. (Ms.Vol. 387, Orissa State Archives.)

The Peoples of Cuttack had responded to the call of Dinabandhu Pattanayak as in that they had found the reflection of their own feelings.

Who were these Police officials and Munsifs? They were the peoples from Bengal whom the British officials were calling as native servants.

Why Mr. Trower has mentioned that they were “considered the terror and the scourge of the District”? It is because, these fellows were looting Orissa taking advantage of their situations under the British.

Trower has described,

“Of the evil of permitting native servants of Government holding situations in the District to purchase lands at public sale I have had many proofs, and in a letter to the late Commissioner under date the 1st October, 1813, I stated my sentiments on the subjects. Not only does the influence of these people prevent the Oriyas from entering into competition with them in the purchase of lands, but if any of their own Estates are in arrears, the Oriyas are deterred from appearing as purchasers.”

He has given details of how Estates of Oriyas were being auctioned at Calcutta under stratagems contrived by Bengalis and how they were grabbing the same by way of cheating.

“It appears from accompanying statement…. that from December 1906 to December 1816, a period of 10 years, the number of Estates sold by public auction, have been 1011, which gives an average of 101 yearly”. Showing that 350 principal Estates out of the above-mentioned sales have gone into Bengali hands, Mr. Trower has told, “The Board will further remark that of those, 235 have been purchased by persons holding official situations under Government directly in their own names, or indirectly by their relations or dependents and by a reference to the price paid for those Mehals (more particularly during the four or five fist years) they cannot fail to discover strong marks of that undue influence, complained of by me. But as the number of Bengalees have increased in the district and advanced in opulence, greater competition has taken place between themselves and a somewhat fairer market established. The Jumma of the lots marked in the margin was 121695 rupees and the money paid for them at sale 46205 which can be considered as little better than downright rubbery.” (Ibid.)

The use of the words “downright rubbery” by Trower in this report speaks volumes of how peoples of Orissa were being looted by Bengalis as well as those of Hindi and Telgu speaking provinces when afraid of Oriya disposition, the British had fragmented their motherland and merged those parts with provinces of rival tongues.

The entire Oriya speaking community had woke up against this mischief under the ablest leadership of its ‘pride personified’ Kula Gaurav Madhusudan Das. The Congress party, under influence of the leaders hailing from those provinces opposed Madubababu, so much so, that Harekrshna Mahtab, then a crafty ambitious young man with a motive to ingratiate himself to Congress high echelon, went to the extent of pressing an organized assault on an audience at Cuttack gathered to hear Mr. Das.

Gandhiji stood firmly with Madhu babu and insisted that unless Oriya speaking tracks are amalgamated into a separate province, the “fine race” of Oriyas would continue to suffer and that cannot be accepted.

The culturally advanced elements in British administration ultimately accepted the Oriya demand and the new province of Orissa was created on 1st of April 1936.

Since then we have been celebrating Utkal Divas on the 1st day of April and all the Governments have fully participated in this celebration and treated it as National Day of Orissa.

But this year, a lady IAS officer of non-Oriya origin, in charge as she is of election 2009 has blocked the official celebration of this treasured day and Navin Patnaik, who has enjoyed power as Chief Minister sans any respect to official status of Oriya language and has, heading a headless pack of sycophants, served the non-Oriyas at the cost of Oriyas, repeating what the British was doing in allowing non-Oriyas to loot the land and properties of Oriyas, to loot their natural wealth and assets, as narrated supra, has readily cooperated with discarding of the official celebration of Utkal Divas.

Shocked over the degradation, as I slowly regain my composure, I write this obituary on Utkal Divas 2009.

If you like, you may join me remembering our National Day.

Dead is Utkal Divas 2009.

Live forever hereafter it may.

I WILL NOT RECITE VANDE MATARAM: IS ANYBODY MORE PATRIOTIC THAN ME?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

I cannot say that I am more patriotic than others. But I can certainly say that there is no body in our Country who is more patriotic than me.

I am Subhas Chandra Pattanayak of Tigiria. I am born to Late Nishanath Pattanayak who was one amongst the few freedom fighters my native land had given birth to. I am adopted and brought up by my elder father Late lamented Kanhu Charan Pattanayak, who, when the King of Tigiria sold away all his properties and left the native place to reside at Puri, was the only man who was spending most of his income at the cost of the comfort of his family to provide the bare minimum means to organize daily rituals of Lord Jagannath (PrasannamaNi), abandoned in his campus by the King, incognito, so devout was he. And, I am the grand son of Late Jagabandhu Rautray Pattanayak, the utterance of whose name, his contemporary people of Tigiria in my childhood days were saying, lessens the burden of sin, so noble was he.

Therefore I declare that, I will not recite Vande Mataram and I accept the challenge posed by Bharatiya Janata Party to throw away from India whosoever refuses to recite it. I am proud of my noble heritage. And, I am proud of the fact that I have been incarcerated in my youth many a times because of my love for my people with my father standing firmly with me.

My father, who had contributed his might against British Raj in his own noble way believed and I do, that, India belongs also to the Muslims against whom a Hindu fanatic Bankim Chatterjee had authored the song Vande Mataram. The entire scheme of his novel Anand Math that floated this song was mischievously designed against Muslims at the behest of the Britons, who were sure of consolidation of their position and continuation of their rule if Indian population was divided into two nations on the basis of rivalry between the two religions: the caste-based Hinduism and the casteless Islam.

It was an act of misuse of an Indian pen in accordance with the divide-and-rule policy of the British.

Those who know this cannot accept it as a national song in free India.

The people who are in the habit of cheating India are playing their nefarious game by hiding the crux of the song and by misplaying selected portions with the only specific aim at perpetuating their cheating. This cheating game is a game of dishonesty and hence it cannot be accepted as patriotic.

If anything, this particular song is composed not in favor of India, never in support if India’s freedom, but only against the Muslims who were posing a threat to Brahminism. Anand Math was an attempt at convincing the common people like Mahendra through Hindu fanatics like Bhabananda that opposing the Muslims and supporting the British was the same as worshiping their Goddess.

Why the Goddess or Goddesses? Because, to the common people, agriculture being their only avocation, Goddesses were factors of production, Gods were not. This is established by the presence of Goddess in every village. Go to any village, you may not find a God there, but you must find a Goddess as the village deity. Hence attempts were being made to adopt Goddesses by Brahminism and as Brahminism was to thrive on division of the society on caste factor, the Goddesses were being increasingly projected as power-source against enemies of Brahminism i.e. the Muslims, terming them as Neries, as the Sahajayani Bauddhas, their earlier opponents were called.

Hence, Chatterjee’s emission of venom against the Muslims in Anand Math and the Song Vande Mataram was not propelled by his love for India, but by Brahminism of which he was a part.

Had there been no propagandist of the mentality Bankim Chatterjee was having, there would never have been division of Banga and subsequent division of India separating from the mainland the areas densely populated by Muslims.

Muslims did not come from outside India to form such a massive population. It is Brahminism that compelled many Indians to become Muslims.

It is Brahminism that divided Indian society into castes and reduced this splendid soil into a nasty laboratory of apartheid.

When Indians, the victims of apartheid, came in contact with the Muslims and found that, that is a religion where caste does not count, they embraced Islam.

Take for example the case of Kashmir. There was no Muslim there. But ultimately the massive majority of Kashmir people became Muslims because of caste apartheid enforced by Brahminism.

We get a picture from Kalhan’s classic work ‘Rajtarangini’. It descries how the Brahmins conspired against Queen Dida as she was not patronizing to Brahminism and after her death, beheaded from behind Sri Tunga, the most powerful protector of the liberal policies of the Late Queen.

So ruthlessly the Brahmins known as Kashmir Pundits imposed their caste supremacy that the people exploited under caste apartheid jumped into Islam which was not vitiated by caste system. They not only became Muslims en masse, but also they became so with so much revengeful resolution that they drove away the Pundits from the soil.

The entire land mass that has now become Pakistan and Bangladesh was the dwelling place of Indians where our ancient people had established their own civilization. It is the Brahmins’ supremacist mentality that has helped Islam to spread in India.

So whosoever has embraced the Muslim religion in this Sub-Continent is an Indian who has revolted against Brahminism, against Brahminic caste apartheid.

Therefore those of the Brahmins who constitute Brahminism oppose the Muslims. In other words, only those of the Brahmins, whose class interest rests on political economy of exploitation want caste apartheid to continue and hence casteless Muslims are considered by them as their worst enemies.

Bankim Chatterjee was such a Brahmin. Therefore he had conceived Anand Math against the Muslims and coined the Vande Mataram song in order to misguide the gullible people in the name of Goddesses into the trap of Brahminism, which, besides serving his class interest, was designed to fetch British support against the class enemies of the Brahmins of his orientation.

Chatterjee was so very caste-centric that he has not hesitated to support the British rule in India as under its umbrages the rule of the casteless Muslims was to end! So, if the Britons were eager to rule over our land by dividing Indian societal solidarity through incitement of Hindu-Muslim enmity, no better a server than him they could have fetched.

Our own people have become Muslims revolting against caste apartheid perpetrated by Brahminism. They were born in India and they belong to India. People like Bankim Chatterjee have forced most of the Muslims of India to think of separation because of the sense of insecurity the agents of Brahminism had injected into them in the final phase of our peoples’ war against the British. In spite of separation and in spite of the fact that they would be a marginal minority in new India on whom the fundamentalist Hindus will never stop nagging, the Muslims who have stayed in India, stayed in India. Are the fundamentalist Hindus more patriotic than they? They have remained in India because India is their motherland. They are Muslims because their forefathers had embraced Islam by revolting against caste apartheid practiced by the fundamentalist Hindus, the agents of Brahminism, who were exploiting Indian working class under the guise of religion. So Indian Muslims are patriotic Indians, more patriotic than the fundamentalist Hindus.

To impose a song as the national song for freedom, when in fact it was composed to say that freedom means freedom not from the British but from the Muslims, is an insult to our freedom. It is sad that it is being imposed as the national song by the nation’s education minister Arjun Singh. Why is he doing this? There is a reason. To arrive at it we ought to know what exactly he is.

Arjun Singh is a self-centric shortsighted political hoodlum of low caliber.

When Chief Minister of M.P. he had sided with Union Carbide that deliberately caused the Bhopal Gas catastrophe. The larking danger being exposed by the media and a Communist MLA having harped on this in the M.P. Assembly, Arjun Singh had rejected the warning and had stood firmly with the American firm. When the catastrophe happened and the local police suspecting that it was an act of testing of gas as a weapon for future use in warfare, arrested the chief executive of this operation Anderson, it is Arjun Singh who had not only set him free but also had provided him with the State airplane to escape. On arrival at his headqrs Anderson had informed the directors of his company that there is no reason to be panicked as his agents are holding positions in India that matter. So Arjun Singh is an old and time-tested pal of American imperialism.

A question may arise as to how American Imperialism is linked with imposition of Vande Mataram? The answer rests on another action that Arjun Singh has taken in recent past. That is reservation of seats in high caliber institutes of technical education. We have witnessed how menacingly the advantaged section of the society reacted against this. Indian society got polarized again on caste conflict. This reminds us of the bloody caste antagonism whipped up by V.P.Singh when as the Prime Minister he had brought into force the recommendations of Mandal Commission. Why Arjun Singh did it can be best understood by knowing why V.P. Singh had done that.

V.P.Singh had made Rajiv quit under a cloud of suspected kickback in Bofors gun deal. He had cultivated credibility for himself by allying with the Communists. The Indian middle class opportunists who were traditionally in the Congress because of their inherent aversion to the Left found it difficult to maintain that Congress was not in a mess. But they refused to support V.P.Singh, as to them he was a betrayer besides being an ally of the Communists whom they abhor. So they jumped into the camp of Bharatiya Janata Party.

This development helped the party of Indian trading community to rise from two to 88 seats in the Loksabha when both the Communist Parties were kept limited with half the strength of BJP and frustrated the USA-led imperialism that had the eyes on the vast market and massive resources of India. Rise of BJP, the party of Indian traders, was not congenial to the American interest. So it was imperative for them to clip the wings of BJP.

Besides being the party of the traders, BJP was also the party of people who had been engineering Hindu nationalism to grab power. But Hindus do not belong to one nation. They are amalgamation of various caste-nations. So a caste conflict can disintegrate the Hindu society and can curb spread of BJP. Convinced of this, V.P.Singh was prompted by his behind- the- curtain promoters to enforce, all on a sudden, the dust gathering report of Mandal and as expected, it precipitated unprecedented fissures in the Hindu society. Otherwise BJP would have bagged record braking majority in the following elections. That it could not grab power by its own strength and had to depend on coalition was because of the division of Hindu society over the Mandal mischief.

As is well known, Man Mohan Singh does not give a good government. Various popularity surveys have shown him in poor rank. If he does not improve, (and he being a stooge of imperialism is not likely to improve), the American watchdogs apprehend that BJP will benefit. Such an eventuality may derail the American plan that slowly but steadily is engulfing India; POSCO in Orissa being an example. Therefore the American agents want that the support base of BJP, i.e. the Hindu society be divided again on caste ground. And hence, Arjun Singh, their UCL tested ally, was used to precipitate a caste conflict through the seat reservation imbroglio. The present scheme of reservation being beneficial to OBC that include Ksyatriyas and Vaisyas, the proponents of Brahminism have been disadvantaged. Arjun Singh has played the Vande Mataram card to assuage their wounded feeling.

The song appeals in favor of imperialism. If it was then favoring British imperialism, its promulgation as India’s national song from today breaths of support for American imperialism when all over the world the US of America is considered as the most active opponent of the Muslims, against whom this song Vande Mataram was primarily composed.

Long live economic imperialism, die humanity. Long live religious fanaticism, die social solidarity. Those who accept these slogans may sing this song. But I do not support economic imperialism and religious fanaticism. I love my Motherland and love my people. I cherish the dreams of my father and his contemporary patriots to make India a Sovereign, Socialist,Secular, Democratic Republic and therefore I refuse to accept Vande Mataram as my national song notwithstanding what the agents of imperialism may say.

BAJI RAUT: THE YOUNGEST MARTYR OF INDIA

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

“NUHEN BANDHU, NUHEN EHA CHITA,
E DESHA TIMIRA TALE E ALIBHA MUKATI SALITA”.

(It is not a pyre, O Friends! When the country is in dark despair, it is the light of our liberty. It is our freedom-fire.)

When the dead body of BAJI RAUT was burning in the pyre, Sachi Rautroy, who was one of the seven Marxist revolutionaries whom time had chosen to be immortal by burning the mortal remains of THE YOUNGEST MARTYR OF INDIA, had, in the light of the pyre, on the cremation ground of Khannagar, Cuttack, in the night of an unforgettable October 10, 1938, had given this wordy expression to the inconsolable cries of his heart, while his other comrades: Baishnav Pattanayak, Ananta Pattanayak, Govinda Mohanty, Rabi Ghosh, Motilal Tripathy and Bishwanath Pasayat were doing the last service to his co-martyrs: Hurushi Pradhan, Raghu Nayak, Guri Nayak, Nata Malik, Laxmana Malik and Fagu Sahu.

The stanza quoted above is the first stanza of Sachi Rautroy’s famous poem “BAJI ROUT”, which translated into English by Harindranath Chattopadyaya, had set the entire nation on an unprecedented motion for freedom of people from the Kings of princely States. People in various States were agitating against their respective ruling chiefs. But the supreme sacrifice the thirteen-year-old boy Baji Raut had given the necessary momentum to the movement that ultimately wiped out kingship from India.

Baji Raut, the light of liberty, was born in 1925 in the Village of Nilakanthapur in Dhenkanal, His father Hari Raut, had passed away when he was a tiny tot. He was brought up by his mother who was thriving on wages earned by rice-husking in the neighborhood. He had watched how mercilessly the King of Dhenkanal, Shankar Pratap Singhdeo was fleecing the poor villagers including his mother of their earnings by using armed forces. So, when Baishnav Charan Pattanayak of Dhenkanal town, later famous as Veer Baisnav, raised a banner of revolt against the King and founded Prajamandal, Baji joined it despite tender age.

Baishnav Charan Pattanayak deliberately joined as a painter in the Railways in order to be able to move from place to place free of cost by using a railway pass he was to obtain. Taking advantage of this Pass he not only started moving from place to place along the Railway track, instigating people against the King, but also established contacts with leaders of National Congress at Cuttack and attracted their attention to the plight of the people of Dhenkanal.

He associated himself with the only revolutionary journal of those days, THE KRUSHAKA, which was being produced and published by the Marxists. Thus, while educating himself in Marxist revolutionary theory and practices, he prevailed upon local intellectual Hara Mohan Pattanayak and founded the people’s movement called “Prajamandala Andolana”. The tortured people of Dhenkanal joined this movement with rare and unheard of courage. Soon, subjects of adjoining Princely States also formed Praja Mandalas in their respective States.

Seeing this, many other kings offered their cooperation to the king of Dhenkanal to suppress the people’s movement. King of Bolangir R.N.Singhdeo, King of Kalahandi P.K.Deo, Shankar Patap’s father-in-law who was the King of Sareikela and the king of Keonjhar sent their armed troops to Dhenkanal to terrorize the people. The British authorities also sent from Calcutta a platoon of soldiers comprising 200 gunmen to assist him. The King of Dhenkanal unleashed a reign of terror to suppress the mass movement.

For maintenance of these outside forces, Shankar Pratap clamped another tax on the people, called ‘Rajabhakta Tax’ or Loyalty Tax. He declared that whosoever fails to pay this tax, shall be adjudged a traitor and punished accordingly.

The houses of the people who did not pay the Rajbhakta Tax were being razed to ground by use of royal elephants and all their properties were being confiscated. Such repressive measures failed to deter the people from joining the movement.

Deciding to crush the movement forever, the king pressed his entire force against the leaders of the movement. All the ancestral properties of Veer Baishnav were confiscated. Hara Mohan Pattanayak and other top leaders were taken into custody in a surprise raid on September 22, 1938. But the royal forces could not arrest Veer Baishnav Pattanayak.

While frantically searching for him, news reached the palace that he was camping in the Village of Bhuban. The armed forces of the King attacked Bhuban on October 10, 1938 for the third time and destroyed many houses by using the elephants and tortured many a persons. But they could not elicit any information on Veer Baishnav despite use of all sorts of brutality.

They arrested as many as eight persons and let loose terror to elicit information on Baishnav Pattanayak. At this stage a source informed that he has escaped by jumping into the river Brahmani and swam across to the villages on the other side. The troop started immediate chase. People obstructed. To disperse them, they started firing. Two of the villagers lost their life on the spot. The troop rushed to the nearest ferry at Nilakanthapur on River Brahmani.

Baji Raut was on the guard at the Ghat at that time. He was ordered by the troop to ferry them across. He refused.

By that time he had heard from those who fled from Bhuban details of the brutality the troop had resorted to there and had understood that if Veer Baisnav Pattanayak was to be protected, the troops were to be obstructed. He therefore refused to comply with the command.

The royal troop threatened to kill him if he did not ferry them across immediately. He rejected their orders again. Surrender to the Pajamandal first, he retorted.

A soldier hit his head with the butt of his gun that fractured his skull severely. He collapsed. But he rose. He collected whatever little strength was left in him, and raising his voice to the highest pitch beyond even his strength, warned his villagers of the presence of the royal troop. A soldier pierced his bayonet into the soft skull of the brave boy even as another fired at him. Somebody who was watching this cruelty run to the people and informed them. Charged with wrath and contempt, people in hundreds rushed to the spot like angry lions. Seeing them, instead of running after Baisnav Pattanayak, the panicked troop fled for life.

Taking hold of Baji’s boat after killing him, the troop oared away in utmost haste; but while escaping, opened fire on the chasing masses causing four more deaths.

Baishnav Pattanayak collected the corpses and brought them by the train to Cuttack. The news spread like wild fire. People rushed to the Cuttack Station and received the dead bodies raising revolutionary slogans with Lal Salaam to the martyrs. Post mortem tests on bodies of the martyrs were conducted at Cuttack medical. Eminent leaders of freedom movement like Sarangadhar Das, Nabakrshna Chowdhury, Bhagabati Panigrahi, Gouranga Charan Das, Sudhir Ghosh, Surendra Dwivedy and Gurucharan Pattanayak discussed with Veer Baisnav Pattanayak and it was decided to lead the last journey of Baji Raut and his co-martyrs to Khannagar crematorium through the lanes of the town so that everybody in Cuttack including the women and children could have glimpses of the immortal sons of Orissa, who sacrificed their lives to emancipate their people from tyranny in the dark State (Andhari Mulaka) of Dhenkanal.

Then such a thing happened which has no parallel in our history. You can take it as the rarest of the rare events of our freedom movement. People volunteered to carry the bodies of the martyrs in their bullock carts in a procession to the cremation ground. Quite unusual it was. The peoples of Orissa worship bullocks. One cannot imagine that a person of Orissa can allow his bullocks to carry a corpse. But this happened. Such a thing had never happened earlier and has never happened thereafter. Patriotic fervor was so high. Ah! How it pains to feel that we have now become a different people altogether!

Sachi Rautray, Anant Pattnaik, Govind Ch Mohanty, Bishwanath Pashayat, Rabi Ghosh and Motilal Tripathy drove bullock carts carrying the martyrs’ bodies. Thousands and thousands of people thronged the streets to join that unheard of obituary march led by Veer Baisnav Pattanayak and other luminaries of our freedom struggle like Bhagavati Panigrahi, Prana Nath Pattanayak, Guru Charan Pattanayak, Nabakrushna Chowdhury, Surendranath Dwivedy, Pranakrushna Padhiari, Sarangadhara Das, Gouranga Charan Das and Sudhir Ghosh etc. Excepting only the occasion of cremation of Kulabruddha Madhusudan Das, (the immortal Madhubabu) Cuttack had never, and has never, witnessed such an obituary procession.

Sachi Rautroy took several days to regain his composure to finish his poem Baji Raut that he had started on the cremation ground itself in the light of the pyre.

When, after elapse of long sixty-seven years, this episode strikes the mind, somebody from within cries helplessly at the ghastly fall of our society where the supreme sacrifice of this splendid boy has been lost in the labyrinth of vested interests that has taken over our beloved motherland.

Time has changed. Our democracy has changed into plutocracy. Shankar Pratap, the very person under whose tyrannical grip Baji Raut had lost his life has been immortalized as a man on whose “sad” demise, the Parliament of India had to rise in respect.

I must make you note that the people of Dhenkanal had not sent him to the Parliament. But he had become a member of our Parliament by the help of his old collaborators in crime, R.N.Singhdeo and P.K.Deo, who had formed a political outfit of their own and by corrupting election process had succeeded in capturing so much seats in the State Assembly that they could send tyrants like Shankar Pratap to the upper chamber of Parliament. What more disrespect to the memory of Baji Raut could have been committed in this Country?

We have, as a people, failed. Therefore, not only the tyrant Shankar Pratap, but also his wife and son have occupied seats in the ramparts of our democracy many a times!

We have, as a people, measurably failed. Therefore, history has witnessed that those, who were sabotaging our freedom struggle, have befooled us to the extent of becoming Prime and Deputy Prime Ministers of our country.

Those who have redefined our independence to be dependant on foreign powers have grabbed the highest political posts in our Country. And, those who should have opposed this mischief have allied with them in the style of safeguarding secularity! Those who should have remained unfazed on the issue of political economy of capitalism vrs socialism, have, only in order to remain in close proximity to power, been parading new ideas of political philosophy of secularism versus communalism! All the traitors!

Commission agents have basked in various top positions. Even in the very State of Orissa where boys like Baji Raut had never hesitated to lay down life for benefit of fellow beings, commission agents have occupied Chief Minister Gadi many a times.

Time has taken a turn towards the worse. Our brilliant boys have been leaving our Country in search of better living avenues in foreign lands.

In such a situation, when Baji Raut comes to mind, if every iota of patriotism is not extinguished, how can one suppress his agony?

Before parting, I would like you to know the following three aspects of Baji, which the history has not yet noted. They are:

(a) He is the youngest martyr of India in the in the struggle for her freedom.
(b) History did not create him. He created history. And,
(c) It is he, for whom alone the India we see now has been able to take this form.

Let me elaborate.

(a) Born in 1925, he was killed on October 10, 1938. (Who’s Who of Indian Martyrs, compiled and published by Government of India, Vol.2, p.271) He was 13 then. No Indian patriot has sacrificed life at more a tender age in the way Baji did. I have searched the Who’s Who of Indian Martyrs in its entirety and found none to compare with Baji. Hence he is the youngest martyr of India of his genre. The world should be made aware of this unique position.

(b) Many martyrs have been made by history. The two villagers of Bhuban who succumbed to firing by police as noted above were martyrs created by history. There are many such instances. But Baji was different. He obstructed the royal troops to protect the Prajamandal leader. He could have saved his life by complying with the orders of the troop. But he bravely refused to heed to them, even though he knew that the bloody bruits were capable of killing him. He stood loyal to his people till he breathed his last and although injured beyond endurance, he never forgot to make people aware of the arrival of police so that they could hide their leader in a safer place. He dared death to defeat the evil design of the tyrant king. Therefore, he was a martyr whom history did not make but who made history.

(c) All of us know that there were 618 Princely States in India when we gained our independence. All of us know that the British Crown had restored sovereignty in all of them at the time we got our freedom. But none of us acknowledge that Baji Raut was the basic factor behind merger of all those States with the new independent India. Had he not been born, the India of now might never have taken this geographical form.

His heroic sacrifice inspired all the people of Princely States who, being highlanders, once provoked, were beyond control of the kings. The tyranny of the king of Dhenkanal having been convincingly exposed by Veer Baishnav Pattanayak and exposure of oppressions let loose in other Princely States having come to lime light by the Praja Mandal organizations of those States, the National Congress also formed a fact finding committee headed by Harekrushna Mahtab in Orissa. This Committee was convinced that unless the Princely States are taken over, plight of the majority people of Orissa (because most of Orissa was under Princely rule) would not end. With independent patches of land having their own sovereign rulers at various parts of Orissa, and for that matter, of the country, shall also play havoc with administration when India becomes independent, the committee concluded.

The Kings of Orissa met in a conference in July 1946 at Alipore and resolved to form a Feudal Union. It was clear that they shall not allow their people to be free from their rule.

In sharp reaction to this evil design of the kings, Veer Baishnav Pattanayak took the first militant steps against Shankar Pratap, the King of Dhenkanal. He transformed the passive Praja Mandal movement to armed revolution. It is to be noted that people of Nilagiri where a brother of Shankar Pratap of Dhenkanal was also the king, heightened their militant attack on the Palace under leadership of famous Marxist leader Banamali Das, compelling the King to flee. In most of the Princely States of Orissa, militant attacks were made by Praja Mandal activists on the Kings and their cronies causing panicky in them. The kings felt that if they do not merge their States with India, the Praja Mandal activists will eliminate them, their protector, the British, having left the Country. Hence under that extraordinary situation, they agreed to surrender their kingship and to merge their respective State with independent India. Kings of Dhenkanal and Nilagiri were the first persons to agree. On watching this development, Mahtab prevailed upon Sardar Patel to come to Orissa finalize merger terms. He came along with V.P.Menon, the then Secretary in the Department of States to Cuttack on December 13 and on the next day held a detail discussion with the Kings. Finalization of the terms and conditions of merger took a fortnight and On January 01, 1948 all the Princely States except Mayurbhanj merged in Orissa. The later volunteered to merge on January 1st in the following year. The Orissa experience prompted all the Kings in all other provinces to merge their respective States with Independent India to escape violent uprising of their people. And thus, with merger of all the 618 Feudal States, left as Sovereigns by the British, the modern India became able to take this new form.

If the people of Orissa had the English Media at their command, and had the historians been able to interpret events without fear, martyrdom of Baji Raut could have been recognized as the main factor behind elimination of Kingdoms and creation of the new geographical shape of the modern India. The Peoples Movement in Dhenkanal being basically lunched and led by a Communist revolutionary was never to be given its due importance by post-independence intelligentsia. In consequence, Baji Raut has not yet been properly evaluated, even though he is mentioned in the Who’s Who of Indian Martyrs, published by Government of India.