Uliburu mining scam: a legal quagmire

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

We are in a quagmire. Mafia has taken over Orissa. Loot of mines knows no limit and goes on non-stop as the governments both under Naveen Patnaik in the State and Manmohan Singh in the Center have created the most congenial climate for this crime against the land.

One such loot is estimated to be of Rs.1800 crore worth, committed in Uliburu iron ore mines in Keonjhar District. Co-accused Deepak Gupta, Haricharan Gupta, Kantidevi Gupta, and Nitu Gupta have been protected from arrest by interim orders of Orissa High Court, that continues to extend the protection.

The Special Vigilance Court, Keonjhar has been stymied from proceeding in the case against the Guptas as they are not making themselves available for trial. The vigilance police could have arrested them and produced before the court; but it is unable to act, because of the interim protection given to the co-accused Guptas. When thousands of individuals are perishing in jails because of denial of bail lest they tamper with documents or gain over investigating officers or witness if not arrested and kept in custody, why the Guptas are being kept free, is a conundrum.

When a single judge protects co-beneficiaries of such a scam worth 1800 crores of rupees by granting them interim protection and such protection gets extended from time to time, looking at the affairs askance may not be entirely unnatural. In such circumstances, is it not proper for the Chief Justice of the High Court to constitute a bench with several judges to find out if such interim protection is essential in cause of justice and if these Guptas are so reliable for the High Court to enjoy its protection from arrest, why have innumerable people of Orissa are perishing in jails by rejection of their bail petitions by the judiciary? Are they unreliable? Really?

No judicial forum should make a mockery of justice by holding co-accused scamsters reliable than ordinary citizens. The interim protection given time and again to the co-accused Guptas could not have been possible had the concerned judge not been of the opinion that they are too reliable to be arrested. It conversely raises the question: Is the Vigilance police/ prosecutor in this case, not reliable in eyes of the judge? Has the judge conducted any reliability test?

A division bench comprising several judges should find the answer so that people’s faith in judiciary does not crack and they may be saved from the current legal quagmire.

Govt. must reveal what training the IAS officers obtain in USA

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Around a hundred IAS officers have been sent to USA to obtained training. They are being trained in which matter? And why USA has become their training destination?

Since long, conspiring to capture Indian market and exploit the vast natural resources of India, the US of America has been using all its tricks including arranging occupation of important administrative and policy framing posts by its agents.

Therefore, it is essential that the public be apprised of by the government as to what training the officers are obtaining from USA at the cost of Indian exchequer.

The Government must reveal who of the IAS officers has acquired what expertise in which subject from training in USA and to what extent that expertise has benefited India.

The government should also tell the public as to whether or not India has the scope to reorient the officers with necessary training in India. If there is no scope, why so?

We have enough reason to term training in USA as pro-American mind-washing. So, to us, deputing IAS officers, whose service objective empowers them to “control” administration, to obtain truing in USA would be devastative to our national interest.

Let the government tell us everything clearly and unambiguously.

MEMBERS OF ORISSA’S ACTIVE PRESS, THINK AFRESH

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

With a pack of owners of news media organizations, marked more for exploitation of their employees and misuse of journalism in pursuit of avarice, have constituted a state level Press Club wherein a few of the working journalists believing to be elites amongst Orissa scribes, a few of them eager to ingratiate themselves with their owners, have also joined. The outfit is named: “The Orissa Press Club”.

Code of Ethics of Journalism in vogue in this land is not addressed to the conduct of the owners of the media organization, who control journalism. So, under their active instigation, docile journalists have caused severe damages to journalism in Orissa by making many unethical compromises to net in ads.

For the professional journalists of Bhubaneswar, a Press Club contrived by the same persons for whom media in Orissa is drowned under hyper-commercialism oblivious of the ethic and role of journalism, was not a matter of no significance. They, therefore, instantly and spontaneously met in a meeting where it was decided to constitute a Press Club of Professional Journalists. On deep deliberations, it was decided to name it as Orissa Media Club. Membership thereof was open to professional journalists only, belonging to all streams of journalism from print to photo to internet. I was interested to have such a Press Club.

Why this Club was necessary?

Journalists in Orissa are betrayed by their trade unions. They are treated like the subjects were being, in erstwhile kingdoms even in the Samaja founded by great humanitarian leader Gopabandhu Das. Multi District Daily Anupam Bharat has arbitrarily closed its Bhubaneswar edition and all the journalists working in this edition have been thrown into the streets. Almost all of the working journalists are facing job crisis in Orissa. But trade unions of working journalists are conspicuous by their absence in taking up their cause.

There are two officially recognized trade unions of working journalists, namely Utkal Association of Journalists affiliated to Indian Federation of Working Journalists and Orissa Union of Journalists affiliated to National Union of Journalists, India.

Both these trade unions of working journalists are headed by persons who are not working journalists themselves.

Not a single industrial dispute is raised by any of them at least during a decade that may vouch for their trade union activities.

Working journalists in media organizations are not being paid their salaries as per Wage Board awards. Not a single case is raised by any of these trade unions against non-implementation of Wage Board Awards.

None of these trade unions have any branch in any media organization to monitor implementation of Wage Board awards therein.

When the Utkal Journalist Association has transformed its premises to a hotel hub where marriages and similar social feasts are frequently held for rents, the premises of Orissa Union of Journalists has been transformed into a commercial hub with many shops running their businesses by paying rent to its office bearers. Thus both the trade unions of working journalists have severely violated the terms and condition of allocation of Government land and are busy in none-journalistic activities while keeping their eyes closed to unfair labor practices in all the media organizations and non-payment of wages to working journalists as provided for by the Wage Boards.

Conditions of services of the working journalists stipulated under the Laws are not adhered to in any media organization. But, the trade unions whose leaders bask under the glory of their proximity to media owners and ministers and government top brasses, never bother about that.

When employment interest of working journalists thus goes unattended to by their trade unions, the ethical component of journalism is expected to be served by the Press Clubs. Therefore, building up a club for professional journalists was a necessity.

Yet another club

To my surprise, a friend who was a very active participant in the preparatory meeting of the Media Club, informed me yesterday that he and many others that had joined the preparatory meeting of the Media Club, have abandoned it because of shenanigans marked in tampering with its resolutions and deviation from the original idea of having a media club on all Orissa basis. They have revived a Press Club namely “Orissa State Press Club” that was registered in 1994 and lying dormant, he informed.

Thus, a situation has been created in Bhubaneswar where three Press Clubs have raised their heads.

In this situation, those, who have dedicated their lives to journalism, ought to be apprised of who of the organizers of these “Clubs” has how much contribution to ethics of journalism so that they can decide whether or not joining a club would be congenial to furtherance of the cause of the Press.

Needed is unity against
oligopolistic designs of media owners

The ‘Press’ in Orissa has been pushed into a pattern where the common man, on whose subscription the income of media organizations flourish, has no role in policy decisions of the media he/she subscribes to.

This scenario has to be changed. The change can come only if professional journalists unite against oligopolistic designs of the owners of the media organizations. Trade Unions have failed. A Press Club, unless addressed to this aim, would be another trapdoor for detraction from real purpose of the Press.

So, friends in Orissa’s active Press, think afresh.

Action against Soumya by Congress for cultivating support for Congress!

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

A few days ago, two young girls, while taking an opinion poll as they said, wanted to know from me whether or not I support the steps Orissa State Unit of Congress has initiated against Sri Soumya Ranjan Patnaik (SRP) for having started a mass awareness campaign in favor of the party. I asked them to go to any member of that party, as I am not a Congress member to support or oppose any of its organizational behavior.

As I know SRP, he is a very sound campaigner for any cause of public importance. Though I never accept the wrong transformation of the English spelling of Orissa to Odisha, it is only he, who had pioneered the campaign for this transformation that shepherded shortsighted politicians of all the parties into his idea, which ultimately led to amendment of the constitution of India in this respect. But, this transformation, how much we may condemn it, is the most glaring instance of his ability to initiate and lead a campaign successfully. He has made blood donation a mass movement in Orissa. His social outfit Ama Odisha is another instance of his organizational excellence. In Orissa’s social and literary life, Ama Odisha has already occupied a monumental position that no other organization in similar category has so far achieved. No other newspaper has reached the circulation and stature in Orissa than what the daily Sambada has achieved under his stewardship in less than three decades. He is the only one amongst Orissa’s politicians whose presence in every type of mass media is as conspicuous as fabulous is the volume of his intellectual activities. He is the only one amongst Orissa’s politicians after Dr. Harekrushna Mahtab, who attracts to his orbit eminent men of letters of Orissa for interactional purpose. He is the only politicians of Orissa, whose fans in every nook and corner of the State are visible; and, everybody knows, had he not joined politics, he would have emerged as the most commanding personification of vox populi, no politician could have dared to vie with. The most remarkable feature of SRP is that all the marks he has made as enumerated above are because of his personal devotion to the cause he takes up, and not because of any patronage of any political party, he, in course of his activism, has ever joined.

Such a man, who could have been a tremendous asset to the Congress party against the misruling, yet incumbent, Naveen Patnaik, has been subjected to disciplinary proceedings by the very same Congress party when the time of general elections is only a few months away.

And, for what this disciplinary action? For his use of his personal channels to cultivate support for the Congress! What next!

Personally, I am not surprised.

Ever since the great server of POSCO interest has grabbed the chiefministry of Orissa, the Congress high command has always planted persons to sabotage electoral prospects of the Congress in Orissa, so that Naveen continues to rule to help the juggernaut of American interest run sans any obstacle.

Samaja in the maze of forgery: RNI moved to reject ADM’s spurious report and conduct enquiry in right earnest, as Law does not allow any newspaper to run under fake ownership

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Servants of the People Society, New Delhi, has illegally captured the Oriya daily ‘Samaja’ by taking advantage of a WILL of one of its founders Pt. Gopabandhu Das forged by his protege Lingaraj Mishra in nexus with Radhanath Rath, both of who had benefited from being successive editors of the paper and, induced to Orissa cabinet by virtue of their association with the powerful daily, had gained immensely in political life. They, in fact, had transformed the paper from basically a social service utility to a power-politics game field, where only the religious revivalists and right-reactionaries were / are conspicuous by their presence.

This transformation has played a major role in strengthening right-reactionary political set-ups in Orissa. Naturally, therefore, the present chief minister, who is known more for being a server of the interest of mega industrial houses like POSCO/Vedanta/Tata/Jindal etc than of the interest of indigenous Oriyas, has found in it an obliging ally. This nexus is demoralizing the officers so much that a district labor officer – P.K.Mohapatra – did not dare to wake up against unfair labor practices rampant in the Samaja establishment despite being notified for several months, and, instead of punishment for this stark violation of his duties as the area labor officer, he was rewarded with a promotion, to the detriment of morality of fellow officers.

Sadly, the syndrome has expanded to other departments too. It is horrific to see that government officers are being forced to serve the interest of the illegal occupiers of this paper by the circumstances created by the Chief Minister himself. A glaring instance has come to light when the ADM of Cuttack, asked by the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) to enquire into alleged illegitimacy of declared owners of the Samaja, had to stop enquiring midway to feed the RNI with a spurious report, after Save the Samaja Forum (SSF) filed a Writ Case in the Orissa High Court seeking a directive to the said ADM to act diligently on the RNI’s direction. The shenanigans marked in the ADM’s office convince us that the ADM was under pressure to rush his spurious report to RNI in order only to render the Writ petition inconsequential.

And, curiously, the ADM had to abandon his enquiry midway under pressure. From documents obtained under RTI, it transpires that, the ADM had asked the Government Pleader of Cuttack to give his legal opinion in the matter; but before the GP could prepare his legal opinion, the ADM closed his enquiry in utmost hurry and without even asking the raisers of the allegation to substantiate their allegation, rushed his report to the RNI. He was, as our sources say, under alarming pressure from above to close the enquiry and send his report to RNI as quickly as possible. Therefore, he had to abandon the enquiry midway.

It is noteworthy that only a day after the ADM was notified by the Advocate General of the Writ Case filed by SSF, he had to entertain a fake WILL of Gopabandhu submitted to him by illegal occupiers of the Samaja and without any enquiry into whether or not it was a genuine copy of the WILL, when absence of any semblance of genuine certification of the true copy, if it was so, of the WILL was crying for such an enquiry, the ADM rushed his spurious report to RNI, within 4 days of being notified of the Writ Case. The ADM was so much overwhelmed by the pressure from above that he did not informed the SSF of closure of the enquiry and submission of his report on July 5, 2013 even when he received a memo from SSF on July 16, 2013, demanding expeditious enquiry.

The SSF has raised a complaint against the spurious report of the ADM and demanded for a fresh enquiry by the RNI as the Press Laws do not allow a newspaper to run under fake ownership.

For documentation, the SSF letter to RNI is given below:

No. 14/CO/2013 Date 20.08.2013

To The Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI)
(Ministry of Information and Broadcasting)
West Block 8, Wing 2, R.K. Puram,
New Delhi-110066

Sub: Complaint against continuance of illegality in publication of Oriya Daily ‘The Samaj’, under false ownership.

Ref: RNI letter No. 18/177/2012-R3 dated November 20, 2012 read with Save the Samaja forum letter dated 05.10.2012 and letter of A.D.M., Cuttack bearing No. 1353 dated. 05.07.2013

Sir,
We the undersigned are reporters of at least forty years standing. On behalf of “Save the Samaja Forum”, we had urged upon you to please intervene and halt the illegal publication of the Oriya daily “Samaja” (Cuttack) under false ownership of Servants of the People Society, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi.
The Society above named has been using a false and fabricated WILL of original owner of the paper, late Pt. Gopabandhu Das claimed to have been dictated on his deathbed, just before he breathed his last on 17.6.1928. Like all others of Orissa, we too were mislead to believe the above claim to be factual, because the people who forged the WILL were known for their close proximity to Gopabandhu and had gained public esteem by successively occupying the editorship of the paper. It was beyond our perception that such persons of politico-social eminence could have resorted to naked forgery to occupy the popular paper of the late leader.
But as no sin can be hidden for all time to come, Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, Representative-in-Chief of Orissa’s premiere website orissamatters.com stumbled upon the “exact photo copy of Gopabandhu’s last will” while browsing old papers of the 1980s in professional pursuit. That “exact photo copy of the Will” did not carry the signature of Pt. Gopabandhu Das. Shocked by the unexpected discovery, he conducted a thorough research and found various documents that made him suspect that the Samaja is licensed to run under fake ownership. The forgers had operated under the umbrella of the Servants of the People Society and from their time, the said society has kept the forgery a secret and has fetched tremendous financial benefits by continuously cheating the RNI over ownership of the paper
in sharp contravention of and blatant disregard to the governing law. He exposed the matter in orissamatters.com. That constituted the base of Save the Samaja Forum, which wanted the Servants of the People Society and/or the Samaja to remove the suspicion the stumbled upon “exact photo copy of the WILL” was creating. But they kept mum. They had inserted a quarter-page advertisement in page 1 of the daily Samaja in appealing the public to ignore the allegation raised by Save the Samaja Forum; but they never came out with the genuine WILL, if any, to clear the doubt over ownership. This led the undersigned to attract your kind attention to the dubious ownership of the paper.
We are thankful to you for having initiated immediate action on our complaint. You were pleased to request the A.D.M. of Cuttack to conduct an investigation into the matter and report on action taken (Annexure-1).
But the A.D.M. has sent you his report without any inquiry (Annexure-2).
We had met the A.D.M. many times personally to request him to conduct the inquiry as expeditiously as possible. But regretfully the A.D.M. has sent you the report under Annexure-2 without any inquiry and without even asking us to substantiate our allegation.
It is a matter of great concern that the A.D.M. has, behind our back, entertained a fake WILL of Gopabandhu submitted by the illegal occupiers of the Samaja, even though that copy of the so called WILL is not a valid certified copy of the said WILL.
We have obtained on 13.08.2013 the photocopies of the WILL submitted by the wrongful occupiers of the Samaja through their General Manager by using RTI. A copy thereof is enclosed (Annexure -3) for your kind perusal. It is not a certified copy, whereas we have documents in our possession that proves that, this WILL submitted by the illegal occupiers of the Samaja to the A.D.M. is a fake WILL. Had the A.D.M. asked us to substantiate our allegation we could have submitted the relevant documents.
It is necessary to say here that, the A.D.M., Cuttack had asked the Tahasildar of Cuttack Sadar by his letter No. 62/Gen. & Misc. dated 04.01.2013 to inquire into our allegation and report within a week. The Tahasildar gave his response to A.D.M. in his letter No. 4584 dated 21.06.2013. The A.D.M. then wrote a letter to the government pleader, Cuttack on 25.06.2013 vide No. 2985 requesting him to examine the documents and submit his legal opinion (Annexure-4).
As it was clear to us that the A.D.M. was not acting in right earnest on your letter referred to above we preferred a Writ Petition in the Hon’ble High Court of Orissa seeking a direction to the A.D.M. for compliance of your orders. The Writ Case filed on July 01, 2013 bears the No. W.P. (C) 14507 of 2013. As per judicial custom in vogue, the copy thereof was given to the Advocate General of Orissa instantly who also immediately informed the A.D.M. of the case.
In order to render the Writ Case inconsequential, without waiting for the legal opinion of the government pleader that he had sought for (Annexure-4), the A.D.M. has sent you the misleading and wrongful report on 5th of July, 2013 vide his letter referred to above (Annexure-2).
The crux of the issue is fake ownership of the Samaja based on a forged WILL of Pt. Gopabandhu Das. In order to continue to print and publish the Samaja, the Servants of the People Society is to prove that the WILL of Pt. Gopabandhu Das which constitute the base of its ownership over the paper, is genuine. If they fail to prove the genuineness of the WILL they have produced, they must be debarred from publishing the daily Samaja under their ownership. The law does not allow continuance of publication of a newspaper under false and fake ownership.
Therefore, and specifically as the A.D.M. has blatantly failed in his duty to conduct necessary inquiry and has accepted a fake WILL as genuine to mislead you, we request you to please reject the wrong report of the A.D.M. and to please stop publication of the Oriya daily ‘The Samaja’ under false ownership till at least the Servants of the People Society proves that the WILL they have produced before the ADM of Cuttack is genuine and on the basis of the same, their ownership over the Samaja is also genuine.
Kind Regards,

Sd/- Subhash Chandra Pattanayak
Sd/- Prasanta Patnaik

(Joint conveners of Save the Samaja Forum)

Samaja in Maze of Forgery: Two former Ministers of Orissa – Lingaraj Mishra & Radhanath Rath forged the WILL of Gopabandhu; Both benefitted till their death; SoPS continues to Loot

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Oriya daily SAMAJA founded by late Utkalmani Pandit Gopabandhu Das, to which, out of their love and reverence for the great humanitarian leader, the people of Orissa had and have been giving their financial and moral support, is in a menacing maze of forgery and loot.

Sadly, two of Gopabandhu’s trusted men – Lingaraj Mishra and Radhanath Rath – who, because of being known so, had the opportunity of becoming cabinet ministers in Orissa, were the masterminds and/or makers of the forgery from which the paper is yet to be salvaged.

Both of them – Lingaraj and Radhanath – had partnered with each other in forging the last WILL of Gopabandhu to grab the Samaja, which being Gopabandhu’s paper was of superb credibility and the greatest political instrument of the day. They had performed this crime behind the screen of and in nexus with Servants of the People Society (SoPS), of which, while breathing his last, Gopabandhu was the Vice-President.

The 1st victim was Pt. Nilakantha

To ensure that these two persons – Lingaraj and Radhanath – grab the Samaja without any hurdle, Pandit Nilakantha Das, the most revered friend, philosopher and guide of Gopabandhu, who not only was the co-founder of the Samaja, but also had succeeded him as the editor of the paper, had been quite unceremoniously thrown out of its editorship. He has written in his autobiography (Atmajivani) that after Gopabandhu’s sad demise, he kept the paper alive by taking up its editorial responsibilities. But SoPS required him to join it in order to continue as the editor. He refused to be a member of SoPS that led to his eviction from Samaja. When he was being rudely thrown out of Samaja, Gopabandhu Chowdhury, bureaucrat-turned social worker of eminence, was standing silently, he has written. This episode might have opened up the eyes of Chowdhury to the nastiness of SoPS, because he had then refused regular membership of this organization. Nilakantha was too magnanimous a man to bother about what injury was inflicted upon him by these schemers. He was such a simple-natured great man that while reflecting on Lingaraj, he preferred to use choicest words of praise for him.

Nilakantha, matchless man of letters and patriotism, was the most revered man of Orissa after Kula Gourav Madhu Sudan Das and Utkalmani Gopabandhu. If Gopabandhu was the spirit behind the Satyavadi School, Satyavadi Press and the Samaja, he was the main architect.

Nilakantha was so affectionate towards Gopabandhu that he had procured the entire Press of Nilachala Samachar for Gopabandhu’s use and had gifted a house to him to stay along with the Press, which then was christened ‘Satyavadi Press’.

Nilakantha has written that he could not know when Gopabandhu had sold away that house to the Mahant of MR Math. But he has written, he was standing still and speechless when Gopabandhu gifted away the Satyavadi Press to the SoPS.

Obviously he was so blind in his love for Gopabandhu that he did never oppose the selling away of the house he had gifted to Gopabandhu by Gopabandhu to MR Math behind his back and had never opposed gifting away the Satyavadi Press, which he had purchased from Nilachal Samachar, by Gopabandhu to SoPS, even though he was present on the spot. When Nilakantha breathed his last, Samaja had described him as the God in the body of a man.

But, this “God” had been kicked out of the Samaja in presence of Gopabandhu Chowdhury, as otherwise the path for Lingaraj Mishra and Radhanath Rath to become successive editors of the powerful paper could not have been paved.

What must have he done to earn this rough treatment? He must have opposed occupation of the Samaja by SoPS, which is clear from his refusal to become a member thereof to continue as the editor and he must have opposed forgery of Gopabandhu’s WILL to establish ownership of SoPS over the Samaja.

Samaja was not given to SoPS

Two points are noteworthy at this stage. One: Nilakantha, who was present at the time on the spot when Gopabandhu was dictating his “last WILL and testament”, has written that, it was Radhanath Rath that had taken down the dictation and two: Gopabandhu had gifted away only the Satyavadi Press to SoPS, not the Samaja.

In several places in his autobiography, Nilakantha has written about the gifting away of only the Satyavadi Press by Gopabandhu to SoPS; not the Samaja.

Who wrote the WILL:
Radhanath Rath or Lingaraj Mishra?

The WILL in circulation by the Samaja/SoPS is claimed to have been written by Lingaraj Mishra to dictation of Gopabandhu and hence it is not the one dictated by Gopabandhu to Radhanath Rath and also signed by him as per eye-witnessed accounts of Pandit Nilakantha.

Who had then noted down the dictation: Lingaraj Mishra or Radhanath Rath?

There is no reason to disbelieve the eye-witnessed accounts of Pandit Nilakantha Das. So there is reason to apprehend that the WILL dictated to Radhanath Rath by Gopabandhu was certainly not advantageous to the design of Lingaraj and Radhanath. Therefore they suppressed/destroyed the original WILL and manufactured another to replace the original.

Gopabandhu had tremendous trust in them both. But they breached that trust. Otherwise, when Gopabandhu had not given the Samaja to SoPS, they would not have remained silent on change of the text of the WILL depicting the making over of both the Satyavadi Press and the Samaja by Gopabandhu to SoPS. Both of them had become successive editors of the Samaja and none of them ever objected to publication of the paper under ownership of SoPS, if anybody else working in shadow for SoPS than them had tampered with the text of the WILL. Instead of opposing to annexation of Samaja fraudulently by SoPS, both of them grabbed utmost benefit by being at the helm of affairs of the Samaja under the umbrella of SoPS. Their this guilt, in their anxiety to keep the forgery out of public gaze, has given birth to discernibility of a WILL of different texts being in use and circulation by the Samaja/SoPS.

Two texts of the same WILL circulated by Samaja/SoPS

The WILL in use and circulation by the Samaja/SoPS has two different texts. The one published in Samaja on 7.7.1986 as “exact photocopy” of the WILL of Gopabandhu is not the same as the WILL submitted by one S. C. Mantry Rtd. IAS claiming to be its General Manager before the ADM, Cuttack on 2.7.2013 in order to influence his enquiry into the legitimacy of ownership of the Samaja.

The difference

The handwritten WILL published in the Samaja on 7.7.1986 as the “exact photocopy” of the original does not carry the signature of Gopabandhu. Under the text therein, the words ‘Sd/ Gopabandhu Das’ are written sans any date. Towards the end of this “exact photocopy” on the left side of the column 2 (or the page 2), under the caption “witnesses”, three names have been written by the writer of the manuscript that are D.V.R.Patnaik, Basudev Mohapatra, Ramachandra Raut seriatim with a date – 17.6.28 – written underneath.

On the other hand, the copy of the WILL submitted before the Cuttack ADM by the agent of Samaja/SoPS is a typed copy projected as certified true copy of the WILL obtained from Sirastadar, Commissioner of affidavits on 7.9.29. Had it been so, it should have been authenticated on the strength of prescribed payment of fees in shape of ‘Stamps’. No affixation of Stamp is discernible on the body of the typed copy submitted before the Cuttack ADM. Moreover, on the body of this typed copy of the WILL, below the text, Gopabandhu has been shown to have signed on 17.6.28. Then, after writing the words – “written by me to his dictation”, Lingaraj Mishra is shown to have signed on 17.6.28 and then it is written, “Sd. Rama chandra Raut, President, Satyabadi U.Board, 17.6.28, Sd. Basudev Mohapatra, Sriramchandrapur, 17.6.28” and below that, “I testify that the contents of this will were dictated by Pandit Gopabandhu Das, while in his full senses, nd was read over to him and he signed in our presence and we signed in his presence 5 P.M. Sd. D.V.R.Patnaik, L.M.P. 17.6.1928 attending Doctor”.

Hence, it is clear that the “true copy” of the WILL submitted by the agent of the Samaja/SoPS before the Cuttack ADM is different from the “exact photocopy” of the handwritten WILL published by the Samaja on 7.7.1986.

In the “exact photocopy” there is no mention of the WILL read over to Gopabandhu and of his signing the WILL in presence of the witnesses and the witnesses signing in his presence and of the averments of Lingaraj Mishra, “Written by me to his dictation” as well as of the dated signatures of the witnesses in the order that the handwritten WILL carries. So, certainly the typed copy produced as the “certified” true copy of the WILL of Gopabandhu is not the copy of the original WILL.

Dubious role of Radhanath Rath

What was the necessity of publication of the “exact photocopy” of the so-called WILL of Gopabandhu in the Samaja of 7.7.1986 by Radhanath Rath? We shall soon bring its answer to light. But for the present, we can say, it was Radhanath Rath who had obstructed a noted research scholar from bringing out the correct position of the WILL of Gopabandhu. Dr. Nityananda Satpathy, had tried his best to persuade Rath to allow him to go through the original documents and speeches of Gopabandhu for his research on him. Rath rejected all his requests. He has noted in his work on Gopabandhu titled “He Sathi ! He Sarathi !” that disappointed, he had attracted the attention of Gopabandhu’s another closest comrade Acharya Harihar Das to such shocking conduct of Rath. Acharya was very sorry on knowing of this, but seemed helpless. In the circumstances, Satpathi had to rely upon whatever Dr. Sreeram Das had written on Gopabandhu. But, noteworthy is the fact that when Gopabandhu’s so-called WILL has been placed in the book written by Dr. Das on which Dr. Satpathy has relied upon, it has not been kept in the book of Dr. Satpathy. He has kept the page blank instead. I had asked Dr. Satpathy in his residence while obtaining from him a copy of the out of print book as to why has he not placed the text of the WILL. “Having failed to go through the original as Rath did not allow me access to Gopabandhu’s records, I did not deem it prudent to feed my readers with the copy in circulation”, he said.

Though not a part in circulation of the alleged WILL, Dr. Satpathy has also said that Nilakantha had taken down the dictation. This he has said, because his work was admittedly influenced by materials collected from Dr. Das’s work on Gopabandhu. However, this book of Dr. Das published by Gopabandhu Sahitya Mandira, with the help of Radhanath Rath, while including the WILL of Gopabandhu as supplied to him by Radhanath, gives us the accounts of Gopabandhu’s life after giving the dictation of the WILL. It says, “After dictating his WILL, he said, “You must all be careful. My time has come. Let me go”. He directed his friends and colleagues to sit around him and say prayers. Every one started praying and Gopabandhu also joined them. In course of the prayer Gopabandhu said, “Why is my breath moving upwards? I am feeling waist pain because of this”. Acharya Harihar Das began massaging him. The pulse-beat had already stopped and repeated injections did not produce any effect. He had full consciousness and with his hand on his chest he said, “I wish this upward movement of the breath had stopped”. It was stopped after two minutes. Gopabandhu passed away at 7.25 p.m. on the 17th June, 1928”. From this detail description of what happened to Gopabandhu after he dictated his WILL, nowhere it transpires that the WILL as noted down was read over to him and he signed in presence of the witnesses and the witnesses signed in his presence. So, the depiction on the body of the typed copy of the WILL of D.V.R.Patnaik’s averment that “the contents of this WILL were dictated by Pandit Gopabandhu Das, while in his full senses, and was read over to him and he signed in our presence and we signed in his presence” is not correct. Had this “signing” episode occurred, Dr. Dash could have given its narration too. I am afraid, this was added by Dr.Rao Patnaik to give the will the necessary lega; strength.

Our analysis leads us to be convinced that neither the “exact photocopy” of the handwritten WILL published in the Samaja on 7.7.1986 nor the typed copy submitted before the Cuttack ADM by the agent of the Samaja/SoPS on 2.7.13 in course of investigation into ownership of the Samaja is the genuine WILL of Gopabandhu.

We have reason to apprehend that the WILL dictated by Gopabandhu to Radhanath Ratha, as eye-witnessed accounts of Pandit Nilakantha is no more in existence. Both Radhanath and Lingaraj have done away with the same in order to annex the Samaja to SoPS so that both of them – Lingaraj being the lone life member from Orissa after demise of Gopabandhu, and Rath, his associate, could be the beneficiaries of the tremendously popular paper in their political and economic pursuit.

This is a serious offense, well planned and neatly executed by Lingaraj Mishra and Radhanath Rath to grab the Samaja under a guise. Both of them them used the Samaja to their own benefit till their death and SoPS continues to loot it by using the forged WILL.

Dr. Mrinal Chatterjee gives a great touch to Orissa’s History of Journalism

Journalist-turned media academician, presently the Prof. and Head of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Dhenkanal, Dr. Mrinal Chatterjee, has his signatures in almost all facets of mass media with his role as a sub-editor and later North-Orissa edition-in-charge of Sambad, as a popular anchor in radio and television programs, as screenplay writer and as an author. His lated publication is “History of Journalism in Odisha”.

The book maps the status of journalism in orissa till mid 2013, encompassing print, radio, television and web media. It attempts to provide a ringside view to the exciting and fascinating world of journalism in Orissa and to a large extent of India and to some extent of the world.It will help the media students, practitioners and scholars to know the history of Oriya journalism and also to understand the factors impacting the course of history.

From the early years of journalism to the future of journalism in Orissa, the book covers from print to web media and discusses specialty strands like business journalism, entertainment journalism and sports journalism. Cartoon and Cartoonists, Photo Journalists, Columnists, Women Journalists are focussed too, even as present trend of journalism in Orissa is discussed as is politics twined with journalism.

We very strongly recommend the book.
History of Journalism in Orissa
Readers may collect the book from the publisher ‘Sephali Communications, Sanchar Marg, Dhenkanal or from Modern Book Depot, Station sqr, Bhubaneswar.