We have got Gopabandhu’s Signed and Probated Will: Forgery by Radhanath Rath and Lingaraj Mishra established; State must salvage the Samaja from SoPS

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
We had been trying to find the proof of forgery committed by Radhanath Rath and Lingaraj Mishra to grab the Samaja under cover of the Servants of the People Society (SoPS) and how this society has no legitimacy to keep the Samaja under its occupation.

Finally we have got the proof.

In various articles, specifically the one captioned ‘Samaja in Maze of Forgery’  we had juxtaposed Pandit Nilakantha Das’ eye witness accounts with Prof. Sreeram Chandra Dash’s hearsay narration on writing of Gopabamdhu’s Will.

When, according to Pt. Nilakantha, the Will was written by Radhanath Rath to dictation of Gopabandhu, according to the narration of Prof. Dash – admittedly guided by Radhanath Rath, who had refused Prof. Nityananda Satapathy the access to Gopabandhu’s records under his disposal – Lingaraj Mishra had taken the dictation.

This difference was putting a stymie on my conclusion. This stymie is now removed as we have got, after year long pursuit, the original Will of Gopabandhu signed by him and duly probated.

This original Will makes it clear that Lingaraj Mishra, as claimed by Prof. Dash, had written the Will on which Gopabandhu had put his signature. But there is half truth in Prof. Dash’s narration. On juxtaposing Pt. Nilakantha and Prof. Dash together with the body of Gopabandhu’s signed Will, I am sure that Rath had taken dictation of the draft, from which Lingaraj had made the fair copy and Gopabandhu had signed that fair copy even with expansion of his instructions.

I will elaborate.

The draft dictated by Gopabandhu to his employee Radhanath Rath had ended in 8 Paragraphs.

This 8th paragraph was a single-sentenced declaratory paragraph.

It read, “Babu Jagabandhu Singh, Babu Banamali Das, Pandit Nilakantha Das, Babu Harihar Das and Babu Lingaraj Mishra are appointed hereby as executors of this Will”. Below this sentence, Gopabandhu had put his signature.

But thereafter, it occurred to him that he should make some addition, specifically in favor of his second daughter and her children.

So, he asked Lingaraj to write down his extra instructions on the very same fair copy and thus, to his dictation, Lingaraj had written down rest of the Will. In doing so he had tried to insert the dictation between the last line of Para 8 and the signature of Gopabandhu.
But the insertion could not be compressed into the available space between Para 8 and Gopabandhu’s signature.

Will_Original_Para 8
It had begun as a continuation to Para 8, but had to jump the signature due to want of space.

So, atop the signature, one finds the words:
“The executors are authorized to make cash contribution of rupees five hundred for purchase of land for my second daughter Kirtimayee and the” and beneath the signature, the rest that reads: “Estate shall bear all the educational expenses of this poor second daughter’s children”.

And, then we find Para 9 that Gopabandhu had dictated to Lingaraj on body of the fair copy of the WILL, as otherwise he could not have signed below Para 9 also.

This is why, even though up to Para 8 in the original draft, Gopabandhu had given the dictation to Radhanath Rath, in view of the fair copy produced by Lingaraj from the draft as given to him by Radhanath, and writing of the last portion in addition thereto as dictated to him by Gopabandhu, it is generally accepted that Lingaraj Mishra had written the WILL to dictation of Gopabandhu.

As I have already revealed earlier, Radhanath Rath had shrewdly inserted a sentence in Para 6 for his own benefit before handing over the draft to Lingaraj for fair copy thereof for Gopabandhu’s signature. The sentence was a mismatch and interpolation; but the same had gone into the fair copy by the “easygoing” Lingaraj and had escaped attention of Gopabandhu as he was unable to keep his composure intact under pangs of sharply approaching death. In his letter to Lala Lajpat Rai on 23.12.1927, Gopabandhu had described Lingaraj as a man who was “a bit of easygoing nature” and had “not much initiative and imagination”. Radhanth had taken advantage of this nature of Lingaraj and after interpolating the original draft with his self-centric sentence: “I had a mind to take Babu Radhanath Rath as my assistant under the Servants of the People Society, shortly”, had succeeded in getting the same carried in the fair copy of the Will prepared by Lingaraj. Lest the interpolation gets exposed, he kept draft he had taken dictation of  hidden from public gaze and refused Prof. Satapathy access thereto.

Rath, however, had preserved his handwritten draft under his personal custody; because his son Prof. Nilakantha Rath, as admitted in his publication ‘Dasa Apanenka Chithipatra’ had seen the same in his possession, before it went “missing”.

However, though this interpolated self-centric sentence in Para 6 was intact in the probated Will, both of them – Radhanath Rath and Lingaraj Mishra – found that Para 7 thereof would be disadvantageous for them to grab the Samaja.

Therefore, a new draft was made in the hand of Lingaraj amending the Para 7 to suit their nefarious purpose.

This draft got typed on which an affidavit was made before the Sheristadar of the District Court, Cuttack showing the same as true copy of Gopabandhu’s Will.

As I have already shown, Rath was in constant fear that the said affidavit may someday face a challenge. So, he tried to get a ‘Certified True Copy’ of the probated copy of the Will from the District Judge Office, Cuttack, from the text thereof recorded in the register of probate. His purpose was to generate a copy with the language of the forged Will he and Mishra had created with the help of the Sheristadar, to cheat the State and the public. This was to be done by tampering with the text of the probated Will at the typing stage through a gained over typist. And, the gained over typist had done the typing accordingly. But the evil design was foiled when the the officer, who compared the typed copy with the Register before certification, spotted the mischief.

The typist was forced to apply white paint on the altered text, which was exactly the text of the forged Will and to retype thereon the correct text of the original Will. This is its photocopy:-

WILL_Probated_aborted attempt to alter the text copy
Though, thus, this attempt to tamper with the original text of the Will failed, the very endeavor to tamper with the text establishes the criminality of Rath as well as SoPS that has never tried to obtain the ‘Certified True Copy’ of the Will from the office of probate or the District Judge Office where the original Will is preserved, but has all along used the forged Will created by Radhanath Rath and Lingaraj Mishra through the Sheristadar of the District Judge, Cuttack.

It is now the responsibility of the State Government to book the SoPS for the offense of using a forged Will of Gopabandhu to occupy the Samaja, the iconic newspaper of Orissa and for having embezzled hundreds of crores of rupees of the Samaja without any authority and legitimacy.

Radhanath Rath and Lingaraj Mishra need be subjected to posthumous prosecution for the crime they have committed.

The State must take over the paper and offer it to its employees to manage it, because it is the workers who have given their labor and life to give the paper its life for 94 years and to give it the shape, stature and strength to enter into 95th year of its publication.

Gopabandhu’s Samaja in the words of Gopabandhu

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

It is increasingly being clear that the Servants of the People Society has cheated the Registrar of Newspapers for India in matter of ownership of the Oriya daily ‘The Samaja’ founded by Pandit Gopabandhu Das. It has used a forged Will of Gopabandhu to claim ownership over the paper.

We have shown earlier why we suspect the paper’s former editor Radhanath Rath to be the prime offender in preparation of the forged Will of Gopabandhu. Two specific documents have contributed to our suspicion.

Nilakantha on Will of GopabandhuOne: the autobiography of Pandit Nilakantha Das where he has given his eye-witness accounts that before breathing his last Gopabandhu had given dictation of his Will to Radhanath Rath.

version of radhanath rathTwo: The biography of Gopabandhu written by Radhanath Rath wherein he has said that Gopabandhu had created a trust comprising ‘The Satyabadi Press’ and ‘The Samaja’ and appointed the Servants of the People Society as the trustee of the same trust.

The Will of Gopabandhu, which the Servants of the People Society is using is written by Lingaraj Mishra wherein the trust aspect is conspicuous by its absence.

Lingaraj Mishra was a noted man in Gopabandhu’s circle. Though Gopabandhu was not satisfied with his activities, yet he had sponsored him to the Bihar-Orissa Council and recommended him also for membership of Servants of the People Society. So, he was known to everybody close to Gopabandhu. Jagabandhu Singh was one such person whom Gopabandhu was holding with esteem and he was present at the deathbed of Gopabandhu. Had Lingaraj Mishra really taken the dictation of the Will, he being known to Jagabandhu, that could have clearly been mentioned by Jagabandhu in his eye-witnessed accounts. But, writing about the last moment of Gopabandhu, Jagabandhu has written that “somebody else” (Aau Jane) was taking the dictation. That “somebody” was certainly not Lingaraj Mishra. because, Lingaraj Mishra was well known to Jagabandhu and had he taken the dictation, Jagabandhu should have written,‘Lingaraj took the dictation’.

Who is that “somebody”? He was, as Pandit Nilakantha Das has said, Radhanath Rath.

Rath was just a low-paid servant of Gopabandhu, stationed at Cuttack. There was no reason for Jagabandhu to know him personally and therefore he has not mentioned his name while describing how the Will was noted.

Jagabandhu's versionJagabandhu’s eye-witnessed accounts were published in ‘Gruhalaxmi’ vol. III, p.13 and has found place in his biography ‘Jibanalekhya’ at pp.14-15.

This makes it clear that Radhanath Rath had taken the dictation of the Will of Gopabandhu wherein he had made a ‘Trust’ comprising the Satyabadi Press and the Samaja and appointed the Servants of the People Society as the ‘Trustee’ thereof under strict condition that the said Society must spend all its income for development of the Bana Bidyalaya at Satyabadi and in socio-political interest of Orissa. Radhanath Rath has metioned of this ‘Trust’ which is missing in the fair/final copy of the Will reduced to writing by Lingaraj before Gopabandhu signed it. Why so? Obviously it must have occured to him before signing that the Samaja being in the collective control of the panchasakha, he alone cannot push it into a “Trust” and without the so-called “Trust” being registered, SoPS cannot become its “Trustee”. Therefore, when Lingaraj was reducing the draft taken by Radhanath, Gopabandhu had deliberately and consciously ensured that the Samaja shall remain the property of the people, as contemplated by the Panchasakha and shall free the Satyavadi Press to  which SoPS should serve as a caretaker under the condition stipulated in the Will.

That, only the Satyabadi Press, and never the Samaja, was made over to the said Society is clear in the Society’s resolution of 8-4-1931, authorizing Lingaraj Mishra “to accept the press according to the will of Pt. Gopabandhu Das from the executors of the will”.

The Will in use by Servants of the People Society is shown as written by Lingaraj Mishra and shows that Gopabandhu had made over the charges of ‘The Samaja’ along with the ‘Satyabadi Press’, contrary to actuals.

On the ground discussed above, this Will is fake and forged. In order to grab ‘The Samaja’ under the cover of Servants of the People Society, as I have focussed in my previous presentations, Radhanath Rath had suppressed or destroyed the Will he had taken dictation of and Lingaraj Mishra in nexus with him, had created the Will in use, despite the original Will fair-copied by him from the draft taken by Radhanath and improved upon under orders of Gopabandhu as noted supra having been probated; and both the miscreants had circulated the wrong information that Gopabandhu had made over the Samaja to that Society.

Many authors including Sriram Chandra Dash, Nityananda Satpathy, Surjyanarayan Dash, Binode Kanungo and suchlike have helped the lie concocted by Radhanath and Lingaraj about “gifting away” of The Samaja by Gopabandhu to Servants of the People Society spread without investigation into the reality. We don’t rely upon them, as to us, their notings are based on mere hearsay. None of them was present on the spot when Gopabandhu had dictated his Will. The only two eye-witnesses – Pandit Nilakantha Dash and Jagabandhu Singh – had never said it that Lingaraj Mishra had taken the dictation. When the former has specifically said that Radhanath Rath had taken the dictation, the later has made it clear that the man who took the dictation was not known to him by name.

It is now, therefore, pertinent to know, if Gopabandhu had ever thought of giving the Samaja to the Servants of the People Society? From what Gopabandhu himself has written, we can say: No, Never.

The Servants of the People Society has brought out a Report of six years on various activities its members were pursuing. As Gopabandhu was its Vice-President his activities were also mentioned of in this Report. This had misled a few to apprehend that Gopabandhu had given away the Samaja to the said society. In reacting to that, Gopabandhu, in an editorial in the Samaja on 7.3.1927, had declared that the apprehension was absolutely fallacious inasmuch as the report was only indicative of his activities as a member and nothing else.

I am rendering below a translation of the said editorial.

Fallacious Apprehension

Gopabandhu's versionServants of the People Society or Loka Sevaka Samaja is established at Lahore. I am a member of this society for about an year. A branch of this society has been created at Cuttack a few months ago and in that connection a public library has been established. A report of this society covering last six years has been published. In this report there is mention of whosoever member has been engaged in whatsoever pursuits. Therefore, whichever public endeavor or institute I am engaged with, has been placed in this report. That has generated an apprehension in some quarters that the newspaper Samaja or institutes like the Satyabadi School have become properties of the People Society. There shall remain no such impression or apprehension if one goes through the original report of the Society. Reading of the report would make it clear that only what I am doing as a member of the Society is mentioned there and nothing else.
(Samaja, dt. 7.3.1927)

Two months later in May 1027, in the third installment of his words on Servants of the People Society he had made it further clear that the Society had no investment in or connection with The Samaja at all.

So, Gopabandhu, in his own words has made it clear that he had never pledged or thought of giving The Samaja to the Servants of the People Society and the newspaper was to stay the property of the people of Orissa as contemplated by the Panchsakha, which he was heading.

‘The Samaja’ in deathbed: Two Editors – Lingaraj Mishra and Radhanath Rath – need posthumous punishment for their heinous crime

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

An axiom floated by ancient Oriya wisdom says, if one tells a lie, he may need to contrive a thousand lies to cover it up.

Lingaraj Mishra and Radhanath Rath, the two former ministers of Orissa, who benefitted the most, as editors of The Samaja, fully fit into this axiom. They have produced many lies to cover up the first lie they had concocted to cheat everybody in the matter of Gopabandhu’s Will.

As already exposed, Rath had taken dictation of the Will of Gopabandhu on his deathbed. But he suppressed or destroyed that Will in order to form a nexus with Lingaraj Mishra to usurp ‘The Samaja’ by using the route of SoPS.

Rathwas an employee of Gopabandhu. But by rendering inconsequential the will of Gopabandhu in matter of the Satyabadi Press, he had committed not only a blatant breech of trust that Gopabandhu had in him, but also the most heinous crime a servant may commit against a believing and loving as well as well-wishing master.

Orissa as a whole has been cheated by this treacherous duo – Radhanath Rath and Lingaraj Mishra.

Let us start with the second man, because, this is the man who has authored the forged Will of Gopabandhu in the environment the former had created.

Men of dubious conduct: Lingaraj and Radhanath

After Gopabandhu’s death, Lingaraj Mishra was the lone Oriya who was in SoPS as an “Associate Member Under Training”.

His conduct was not satisfactory, as transpires from communications between SoPS founder Lala Lajpat Rai and Gopabandhu.

Lalaji had informed Gopabandhu on 10.12.1927 that he was not satisfied with Lingaraj, whom he had recommended for membership. Gopabandhu, in his reply dated 23.12.1927 to Lalaji, also confirmed that he was not satisfied with Lingaraj either.

He had made some confidential mention about Lingaraj in this letter; and yet had urged upon Lalaji to keep him further under training lest he may improve.

On receiving this reply, Lalaji had written back on 26.12.1927 a mail of solace wherein he had assured Gopabandhu that he was not going to dismiss him immediately. “I have not yet formed any final opinion adverse to him”, he had said.

These very quoted words of Lalaji make it clear that he had a prima facie adverse opinion on Lingaraj.

Yet, because of Gopabandhu’s appeal, Lingaraj was not dismissed. He continued under training till 1930 and became a life member in the special circumstances caused by Gopabandhu’s demise in absence of any other person from Orissa in its enrollment.

According to Gopabandhu, as noted in his letter of 23.12.1927, Lingaraj was “a bit of easygoing nature” and had “not much initiative and imagination”.

But Radhanath Rath was a shrewd person with vast ambitions.

A mere low-paid servant of Gopabandhu, he had projected himself as his most trusted associate after his master’s death, and had emerged so arrogantly aggressive that Gopabandhu’s closest friend, patron and co-founder of ‘The Samaja’ – Pt. Nilakantha Das – was thrown out from the premises of Satyabadi Press and editorship of the paper quite “rudely” a few months after Gopabandhu passed away. Pandit Nilakantha who had seen how Radhanath Rath, as an paid servant of Gopabandhu, had taken the dictation of the Will, had vehemently opposed the Will purported to have been written by Lingaraj Mishra to Gopabandhu’s dictation, used for establishing ownership of SoPS over the Samaja. Rath’s most layal protege Udayanath Sarangi, who had acted as the paper’s printer and publisher, as well as News Editor, has, in his book ‘Gandhi Maharajanka Shishya’, given an account of how Pandit Nilakantha Das and Pandit Godavarish Mishra were often in contretemps and altercations with Radhanath Rath over the issue of the Will.

Such circumstantial evidences prod us to apprehend that Rath used Lingaraj to create a forged Will of Gopabandhu. He must have instigated Lingaraj to write the forged Will, the exact photo copy of which was published by Radhanath in the Samaja on 7.7.1986, as thereby greater personal benefit would be available to both of them.

Mens rea

Mens rea behind this illegal adventure is not difficult to locate.

Rath was a very ambitious person with a poor income.

He was a servant of Gopabandhu, not a friend or political disciple or colleague as he has made others believe, after his master’s death.

He was in the habit of raising disputes with Gopabandhu for higher pay and threatening him to resign from his service if his wages were not hiked. In reply to his demands, Gopabandhu had told him to seek employment elsewhere if thereby he gets better wages. The condition of the Press was not permitting a pay hike and there was no hope for any improvement in near future either. Hence he was asked to take the final decision on the question of his continuance in the job as quickly as possible, so that Gopabandhu would no more suffer from the environment of uncertainty he was creating (Reply of Gopabandhu to Rath’s letter on 6.1.1928).

From this letter it is clear that the propaganda that Rath had given up his government service in forest department to join Gopabandhu and was posted as Manager of Satyabadi Press and The Samaja from the beginning, is a false propaganda generated by Rath himself to show his importance in the circle of Gopabandhu.

Rath has admitted in his letter dated 12.2.1928 to Gopabandhu that, by that time, he was kept in charge of management of the Press for only a little more than 2 months.

“It is more than 2 months that I have been in charge of the Press. In the meantime you have not looked to its condition nor have you enquired about my question. I only received your letter but could not find you alone to have my say finally” Radhanath had said in this letter.

What was he to “say finally” to Gopabandhu? He says in the same letter, “When I have to take a final step, I must know for certain my position as it stands at present and would stand in future”.

So it is clear that, even on 12.2.1928, Radhanath was a low-paid employee of Gopabandhu, very unsure of his future, yet far away from any alternative job elsewhere.

The kindhearted Gopabandhu had, however, offered him a salary of Rs.50 per month, if he decides to continue in his job.

Radhanath was not getting a better job with higher wages. Therefore, he was continuing in his service under Gopabandhu.

From this wretched condition, after Gopabandhu’s demise, he was eager to fly into prosperity.

That was to come to him by acquiring the Samaja under a cover and the cover was SoPS.

This is the mens rea behind his manufacturing a forged Will in nexus with Lingaraj.

Rath was tutoring Gopabandhu

I have already quoted from Gopabandhu’s letter to Rath how he had not even been given Rs. 20/- only from the income of his Press, despite his waiting for the same in what became his death bed. Now I am quoting from Gopabandu’s reply to Rath to show how the later was mentally torturing him. In this communication, Gopabandhu had requested Rath to leave his Press for any other pasture if he so likes, as thereby he could be saved from the uncertainty over management of the Press.

“If you have made up your mind to leave the job, you should tell me in advance about when you would leave, so that I may decide what alternative arrangement could be made. …… If you are to leave, take a decision quickly, as thereby the constant agony of uncertainty, suspicion and apprehension I am being tortured with will end”, Gopabandhu had written to Rath brokenhearted in that letter (translated from Oriya). Rath, despite this, had not resigned, as he was waiting for a chance as Gopabandhu was deteriorating continuously.

Hidden agenda

Rath had a hidden agenda matching his high ambition.

He was conscious of the change the freedom struggle was ushering in.

He was sure of a political carrier if the Servants of the People Society, the reputed socio-political forum, famous in Orissa because of Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das, could be used as his platform.

Except Lingaraj Mishra, there was no second man from Orissa in SoPS after demise of Gopabandhu. He wanted to be a member thereof.

True, a politically known man like Lingaraj with a stint in Bihar-Orissa Council was yet to be confirmed as a member of SoPS, it was certainly not easy for Rath to enter into that society.

But late Gopabandhu Das was a revered person in SoPS. His wishes may not be ignored by SoPS, specifically as he was dead.

Therefore, Rath must have wanted to convince SoPS authorities that Gopabandhu had wished him to be enrolled into the organization. And to do this, he must have wanted to insert such a wish of Gopabandhu in the Will he had dictated. Therefore, while taking the dictation, he must have rapidly and shrewdly inserted the words “I had a mind to take Babu Radhanath Rath as my assistant under the Servants of the People Society”, which, Lingaraj must have copied to the fair copy he had written for Gopabandhu’s signature.

A plain reading of Para 6 of the Will’s Avatar in use, makes it clear that, the above quoted sentence does not fit into the flow of the sentences in that Para. After saying, “ For future management of the Satyabadi Press I had an elaborate scheme in my mind but I cannot draw it out at the present moment”, it was natural on his part to dictate, “The short cut that appears to me at the present moment is that I shall make over the (charges of the) whole Press to the Servants of the People Society so that a permanent institution of the Society may continue in Orissa”. Taking the structure of this part into consideration, the sentence about Radhanath Rath looks absolutely odd and wrong-placed between these two sentences.

So, certainly the said sentence was inserted in Para 6 clandestinely by Radhanath Rath while taking dictation of the draft Will, which, as per his scheme, helped him get enrolled to SoPS. and later, as already mentioned, the text of the Will was willfully changed to incorporate vesting of ownership of the Samaja in SoPS in the forged Will authenticated by the Sheristadar of the probate court, contrary to contents of the probated Will.

In this nasty design, Lingaraj Mishra had actively cooperated, in personal interest.

Rath must have convinced the “easy-going” Lingaraj that his confirmation could be easier if he recommends him as a colleague of Gopabandhu for membership of SoPS. In return, Rath would help him capture the Samaja for his political benefit through the route of SoPS.

And, as Rath was continuing to manage the Press after demise of Gopabandhu, this must have clicked.

And thus the Will that the SoPS is using for its ownership over the Samaja must have been created with Radhanath Rath and Lingaraj Mishra partnering with each other.

Their crime is so grievous that even posthumous punishment would look lighter.


Prof. Nilakanth Rath sponsors his father’s forgery; claims to have discharged a debt

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Prof. Nilakantha Rath has sponsored his father’s forgery in a new book related to Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das by publishing therein a document purported to be his Will “to prevent unnecessary speculations about it”.

He hereby admits that there are “speculations” about the Will, which means, he knows, there are people who do not accept the Will as genuine. He has termed the speculations “unnecessary”; but he has not explained as to why the “speculations” are “unnecessary”.

In course of discussions in this write-up, we will deal with the Will in details and show how it is a forged Will, in production of which, we have reasons to apprehend, Prof. Rath’s father late Radhanath Rath (Padma Bhusana) was involved.

Let us look at the matter

When making a further research into ‘Contribution of Oriya Media to reconstitution of Orissa as a State’, part of which is already published, I stumbled upon a displayed document in ‘The Samaja’ with Oriya caption “Pandita Gopanandhu Das mrutyu shajyare lekhi jaithiba “Will” ba Sesha Icchapatrara Abikala photochitra” (The exact photocopy of the Wlll that Pandit Gopabandhu Das had written in the death bed), though the same was topped with an all cap caption in English that read, “LAST WILL DICTATED BY PUNDIT GOPABANDHU DAS”. Radhanath babu was the editor of the paper. It had tremendous historic value in my view. Therefore, I perused it deeply. To my shock I found, it was not signed by Gopabandhu Das. Written by Lingaraj Misra, on this document, there were three names under sub-heading “witnesses” looking as if they had signed as witnesses to what Lingaraaj Mishra had written. Below their supposed signature, the date was mentioned “17.6.28” – the day of demise of Gopabandhu. The letters of the names of these witnesses tallied with the handwriting of Lingaraj Mishra, if he had written the document.

When it was the “Exact Photocopy” of the will dictated by Gopabandhu and witnessed by these fellows, why had they not signed it? A doubt crept up in mind on genuineness of the “unsigned” Will published in the Samaja.

Gopabandhu had died immediately after giving the alleged dictation. He was very very seriously ill and the civil surgeon on his visit a few hours ago had predicted his death within a very short span. But the flawless language used in the so-called Will was so superb and mindful of every details of his property, that it seemed very unnatural. It was not easy to accept that a man at the nearest verge of death could have retained his composure to dictate his Will so meticulously and in such flawless language. I consulted some very eminent physicians, forensic experts and psychologists, without telling them that I was querying on Gopabandhu, and rather reading them the text of the published Will with substituted names, as to whether in such a condition, specifically when a senior and expert civil surgeon called on emergency from a district headquarters hospital had declared that death was sharply approaching, a man could have the composure to give dictation of such a brilliant Will without being perturbed at all? All of them said, it was not normally possible.

Formation of Save the Samaja Forum

In that peculiar situation, I  decided to attract public attention to this issue and published my views in ORISSA MATTERS on August 8, 2012. A group of journalists shocked over the absence of Gopabandhu’s signature in what was published by ‘The Samaja’ as the “Exact Photocopy” of his Will, studied the matter and formed a forum called ‘Save the Samaja Forum’ (SSF) to seek clarification from the publishers of the paper/Servants of the People Society (SoPS).

Unethical reaction of Samaja publishers

SSF held a press conference and issued a press note. Though the press note as well as a copy of the published Will purported to be of Gopabandhu were collected by the reporter of the paper in the press conference, the news was not published by it. On the other hand, its editor published a display ad in its following edition savagely attacking the office bearers of SSF.

SSF had given them a call to clarify on the issue raised and publish the genuine Will, if any, authored by Gopabandhu. The matter could have ended on publication of the real Will, if any, and publication of reasons of absence of Gopabandhu’s signature and signature of the witnesses on the the Will if what was published in ‘The Samaja’ was the “Exact Copy” thereof.

As “The Samaja’ did not publish the real Will, if any, we investigated into what could have happened to it.

And, our investigation leads us to documents that make us apprehend that the Will of Gopabandhu, which SoPS has been using to claim ownership over The Samaja, is a forged Will.

SSF informed the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) about this and demanded action against publication of the newspaper under illegitimate ownership. We are yet to hear from the RNI.

Radhanath Rath involved with forgery

Now as our investigation proceeds, we have come across documents that make it clear that Gopabandhu’s Will, by using which SoPS has grabbed ‘The Samaja’, is a product of forgery and Prof. Nilakantha Rath’s father Radhanath Rath was involved with this forgery. His partner in this forgery was another acolyte of Gopabandhu, Lingaraj Mishra. Both of them had immensely benefited from the forgery, as occupation of Assembly and Parliament seats and Cabinet berths by both of them was easy by use of Gopabandhu’s name and fame and the media power of ‘The Samaja’. Both of them were Education Ministers of Orissa; and so antagonists were they in real terms to Gopabandhu in their minds, that the famous National Bana Vidyalaya, which Gopabandhu had established in the Bakula Bana of Satyavadi was obliterated without any of them paying any attention to its salvaging.

ORISSA MATTERS continued to expose the mischief. Its write-ups are also posted in a specific site – savethesamaja.com for easy watch.

The social media – FaceBook has a page dedicated to ‘save the samaja’ campaign, where the subjects published in the above two sites are being posted.

Till date, neither ‘The Samaja’ nor the SoPS has shown that the Will used by SoPS is genuine.Eminent journalist and joint convener of SSF Sri Prasanta Patnaik has presented the shock of Orissa over the silence of SoPS/ The Samaja publishers in this calling matter.

But instead of clarification, attempts have been made to mislead the authorities as well as the public by projecting the forged will as genuine.

Prof. Rath sponsors the forgery

Sadly, an eminent Professor like Nilakanth Rath has tried to mislead the public by publishing the same forged Will as “the probated Will of Gopabandhu”, in a notorious attempt to add authenticity to the forged Will. The Will he has published as the probated Will of Gopabandhu has never been probated. So his projection of the forged Will as probated Will is a punishable mischief and a calculated endeavor to hide his father’s crime. He has used a crude technique in his endeavor to hide his father’s crime. Lest people seek the original Will to compare with the same the one he has published, he has declared that he has published the “probated copy” of the Will “since Pandit Gopabandhu’s original Will was already missing from the store room”.

When the “original” Will “was already missing” and when he admittedly knows that there are “speculations” about Gopabandhu’s Will, how could he ascertain that the the Will he has published is genuine enough to stop the speculations?

His book is styled as ‘Dasa Apanenka Chithipatra’ with the English caption: ‘Correspondence of Pandit Gopabandhu’ which he has released in a public meeting at Cuttack, claiming that, thereby he has “discharged a debt (his) father owed to his Guru (Gopabandhu Das), to the Samaja and to the Odisha society at large”. When the purpose of the book was to publish the letters of Gopabandhu, why has he published the purported Will though the same never belongs to the category of ‘Chithipatra’ (Correspondence)?

It seems he has a hidden motive. And, that motive is discernible in his declaration that the original Will of Gopabandhu, which he had seen in his father’s possession, is missing. He might have seen the real Will that his father Radhanath had taken dictation of from Gopabandhu and suppressed. He might have, despite this reality, felt that if the same be brought to records, the crime of his father in suppressing the real Will and promulgating a forged Will in its place, would be exposed, exposing his father to posthumous condemnation for his crime. So, obviously, he has used this technique to hoodwink the people in matter of the Will.

We have reasons to suspect that by publishing the forged Will of Gopabandhu in circulation by the Samaja publishers, Prof. Rath has sponsored the forgery committed by his father in collaboration with Lingaraj Mishra.

Dissimilarity between the two documents

There is vast, basic, and clear dissimilarity between the “Exact photocopy” published in the Samaja and the one published by Prof. Rath in his book.

The “Exact Photocopy” of the Will is handwritten and has 10 paragraphs with margin notes at the end of which it is noted “Sd/ Gopabandhu Das without any date. Below that is written “Written by Lingaraj Mishra” without any date. To the left side thereof, it is written, “Witnesses” below which it is written, “D.V.R.Patnaik Basudev Mohapatra Ramachandra Raut” in descending order without any coma or serial number and without their identity; and below that, a date – 17.6.28 – has been mentioned.

But the so-called Will, which Prof. Rath has published in his book, has the date – 17.5.28 – written to the right of “Sd/- Gopabandhu Das” in one line. Then the words “written by me to his dictation” has been prefixed to “Sd/- Lingaraj Mishra. 17.6.28”. Thereafter it is typed, “Sd/- Ramachandra Raut, President, Satyabadi U. Board, 17.6.28″ and next, “Sd/- Basudeva Mohapatra, Biramchandrapur. 17.6.28”. Below these depictions, it is written, “I testify 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 at 5 P.M.” Below this testimony, it is written, “Sd/- D.V.R. Patnaik, L.M.P. 17.6.28” and below that, “Attending Doctor”.

A comparison between the two above documents shows that they are not the copies of the same document and there is speaking difference between the both. The document published by Prof. Rath seems to be improvisation done to the document, the “exact photocopy” of which was published in the Samaja on 7.7.1986, which was not also the real Will that Prof. Rath had seen in possession of his father; but, according to him, “was already missing from the store room”. Prof. Rath has not explained the phenomenon.

The document produced by Prof. Rath not only does suffer from dissimilarity with the document, an “exact photocopy” of which was published in the Samaja, but also is indicative of foul game his father had played.

Eye-witnessed accounts of Pt. Nilakantha Das

If Gopabandhu Das was Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das, that was because of the strongest support and affectionate patronage of Pandit Nilakantha Das. The Vana Vidyalaya had attracted national attention because of the masterly and matchless academic input Pandit Nilakantha had been giving it. Samaja was collectively created by Gopabandhu and Nilakantha with all necessary support from other teachers of the Vana Vidyalaya, collectively known as Panchasakha.

Nilakantha had procured the Satyabadi Press for generating funds for the Vidyalaya in 1918. He had also purchased a house for Gopabandhu from where about a year later ‘The Samaja’ was published in 1919. Satyabadi Press was handed over to the Samaja for its printing.

Rath was taking the dictation of the willPandit Nilakantha was Gopabandhu’s closest comrade. He has given eye-witness accounts of the time of Gopabandhu’s death. In his Atma-Jivani (auto-biography) he has written that when he was standing speechless looking at Gopabandhu degenerating into death, Radhanath Rath was taking dictation of his Will. He has written, at p.115 of his autobiography,”I stood speechless for 10/15 minutes while watching him dying. Before breathing his last he dictated his last Will. Radhanath Rath was taking the dictation. He sobbed as he informed his elder son-in-law Ratnakar Pati that he was dictating his last Will and testament. At the end, he threw away the Will after putting his signature thereon. He donated the Press to SoPS”.

There is no better evidence than the eye-witness accounts of Pandit Nilakantha Das to prove that the Will produced by Prof. Nilakantha Rath is a forged one. Prof. Rath has published the forged Will, by using which, SoPS has grabbed the Samaja. When the Will published by Prof. Nilakantha and used by SoPS says that Lingaraj Mishra had taken the dictation, it is proved by eye-witness accounts of Pandit Nilakantha that it was Radhanath Rath to whom Gopabandhu had dictated his Will.

Where has that Will gone? That has gone certainly into the wastepaper basket by Radhanath Rath as none but him could have destroyed the same.Prof. Rath has admitted that he had seen the real Will in his father’s possession. It was never probated. Had it been probated, it would never have remained in the possession of Radhanath Rath, because, he was neither the executor nor the heir of Gopabandhu and furthermore, it should have been preserved in the strong room of the District Judge of Cuttack, who had granted the probate.So, definitely Radhanath Rath, who had taken the dictation of the Will, had hidden the same and used Lingaraj Mishra in manufacturing a forged Will to his own advantage as already has been discussed in these pages.As we have already seen, the draft Will taken dictation of by RadhanathRath was reduced to fair/final copy by Lingaraj Mishra and was probated. But, as the same did not suit the evil intention of Radhanath and Lingaraj, in nexus with Radhanath, Lingaraj made a new draft which they got authenticated by a sheristadar of the District Judge, Cuttack and used to grab the Samaja. But as their produced document was not a stamped “certified copy” of the Will, its authenticity, despite being authenticated by the Sheristadar, was always questionable.So, attempts were made to obtained a “certified copy” whereupon at the copy-typing stage, tampering was done to match the forged Will made by the duo and authenticated by the Sheristadar. We have documents in our possession that shows how tampering was attempted to on the typed copy of the Will preserved in the office of the District Judge, Cuttack. Radhanath Rath was Editor of the Samaja at that time and was the greatest beneficiary of the forgery and was to stay safe for ever had that tampering in the typed “cerified copy” could have escaped the comparer’s attention.  Prof. Nilakantha Rath has reproduced in his book the last forged avatar of the Will, when, according to him, his father Radhanath Rath had kept the real Will in his store, which he had seen, yet unable to retrieve, because it “was already missing from the store room”.

The heinous crime

Radhanath Rath had clearly played the mischief. In collaboration with Lingaraj Mishra, he had suppressed or destroyed the Will that he had written to dictation of Gopabandhu and cunningly replaced the same with another document where Lingaraj Mishra has been shown as the writer. Obviously, the Will that is shown as written by Lingaraj Mishra and in use by SoPS/ occupiers of the Samaja, is a forged Will manufactured by both Radhanath Rath and Lingaraj Mishra. It is a heinous crime that requires criminal punishment for the both of them even if it be posthumous.

The mens rea

By gaining over or by being associated himself with Radhanath Rath, Lingaraj Mishra has forged the Will, as he has written to have written the same “to Gopabandhu’s dictation”. The two fellows who are shown to have signed the forged will as witnesses to Gopabandhu’s dictation and Dr. Rao who is shown to have given the testimony are all part of this heinous crime.

This forged Will was certainly written much after Gopabandhu’s demise and there was certainly no signature of Gopabandhu thereon. Dr. Rao’s testimony inscribed in the so-called Will does not have an iota of factuality, in view of the eye-witness accounts of Pandit Nilakantha Das, that clearly says that Gopabandhu had dictated the Will to Radhanath Rath (not Lingaraj Mishra).

The mens rea behind this forgery is very clear.

As per eye-witness accounts of Pandit Nilakantha Das, Gopabandhu had given to SoPS the Satyabadi Press only, not the Samaja. Mishra and Rath knew that the press shall not help them much in achieving their political ambitions. The Samaja being known by the name of Pt.Gopabandhu, Pt.Nilakantha, Pt.Godavarish, Acharya Harihar and other founders of the ‘Satybadi Era, had tremendous media and political power that they could use to rise in political ladder. Therefore, they willfully suppressed or destroyed the original will of Gopabandhu dictated to Radhanath Rath and later manufactured the forged Will to convince the public that Gopabandhu had gifted away the Satyabadi Press and ‘The Samaja’ to SoPS, under the cover of which, it was only they, who were to become the real beneficiaries.

Nilakantha was threw outPandit Nilakantha who inherited Gopabandhu as editor of ‘The Samaja’ as co-founder thereof, had, as per Udayanath Sarangi’s accounts, vehemently opposed this foul game of Radhanath Rath. But after capturing the Samaja thus fraudulently, the forger duo had rudely thrown him out of the Samaja after a few months of Gopabandhu’s death. Obviously, he had to pay the price by not accepting the forged Will.

We have more documents in our possession that will further expose the felony of forgery perpetrated by Radhanath Rath and Lingaraj Mishra.

Let Prof. Rath accept a challenge

Let Prof. Rath reveal as to why he has accepted (in the absence of the original Will) the document he has published in his book as “the probated copy of Pandit Gopabandhu’s Will”. And, say, on what ground he believed that this is the “probated copy” of the Will. On the basis of documents in our possession, we have no doubt that Prof. Rath has sponsored his father’s forgery to hoodwink the people of Orissa.

Let him say if he has anything else to say.

Oriya Newspaper ‘The Samaja’ under illegitimate ownership; RNI silent! What next!

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) was informed by ‘Save The Samaja Forum’ (SSF) founded by a section of senior journalists and admirers of Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das of Orissa, that, the Oriya daily newspaper ‘The Samaja’ is being published under illegitimate ownership, which the Press Laws do not countenance. SSF had specifically alleged that Servants of the People Society (SoPS) has been claiming ownership over the paper by forging a Will of Gopabandhu, which the RNI should investigate into and take appropriate action. The RNI is silent. It has not informed the SSF about what happened to its speaking allegation.

Before proceeding further, it would be better to mention why The Samaja deserves RNI intervention.

The truth about The Samaja is that, it has become a substandard newspaper with no adherence to ethics of journalism. Yet it is the most important newspaper for the general public of Orissa, because this is the paper that Pandit Gopabandhu Das had established.

People of Orissa have never forgotten his selfless humanitarian services to his helpless countrymen when Orissa had lost its identity under the British rule and was being plundered by non-Oriya communities of neighboring provinces working as native servants of the invaders.

People of Orissa revere him for ever; and when any of them finds any cash to spare, he / she usually prefers to donate it to the Samaja for use in relief to the disadvantaged people, as Gopabandhu had dedicated his life to provide relief to the uncared for victims of natural and man-made calamities. Hence, despite its degradation to a low standard, Samaja has remained a very unique newspaper.

Forgery and loot

This unique newspaper is under illegal occupation of SoPS that has captured it by forging a Will of Gopabandhu.

A gang of its life-members have been looting the Samaja. As we have already exposed in these pages, an enquiry committee headed by retired Supreme Court judge – Arijit Pasayat. – has also determined that the hoodlums have swindled the Samaja funds through fraudulent means. A case of misappropriation of huge sums of money in which SoPS top brass Manubhai Patel is involved is pending in a criminal court for several years, as the Samaja management does not want the truth to come out. The High Court of Orissa has issued specific direction to Orissa’s Director General of Police to act on allegations of misappropriation and misuse of the Samaja funds by the SoPS gang, which the DGP could normally never have dared to ignore. But, as the Chief Minister is gained over by the gang, the Police Chief has no guts to initiate criminal action against the miscreants.

Save the Samaja campaign

After this reporter exposed how SoPS has been using a forged Will of Gopabandhu to keep the Samaja under its grip, a body called ‘Save the Samaja Forum’ with Subhas Chandra Pattanayak and Prasanta Patnaik as joint conveners, has started a campaign to salvage “The Paper of the People of Orissa” from the illegal occupation of SoPS.

This forum has asked the RNI to enquire into the matter and take necessary action as the Law does not permit publication of a newspaper under illegitimate ownership.

The RNI had authorized the Additional District Magistrate of Cuttack to enquire into the matter and report. After sleeping over around a year, and on being informed that a writ petition has been filed in the Orissa High Court against his inaction in the matter, the ADM tried to expedite the investigation. But he has closed the enquiry midway under pressure from the Chief Minister, as the SoPS miscreants have pledged pages of the paper to his propaganda. SSF has informed this mischief to the RNI; but no communication in the matter has been received from that end.

There have been silent black flag rallies seeking official action against black deeds of illegal occupiers of the Samaja and the public have been addressed by SSF in its campaign to save the Samaja from the looters attired as life-members of SoPS.

ORISSA MATTERS has shown how the people loyal to Gopabandhu refused to associate with the SoPS hoodlums in offering oblations to him on his death anniversary. It would be an affront to the sacred memories of the great humanitarian leader if killers of his spirit and hijackers of his paper were co-operated with, they thought.

Nervous attempt to counter SSF

So, sure that people of Orissa will not cooperate with them in countering the impact of SSF campaigns, the looters of The Samaja, ganged up in SoPS, had to take shelter under the Chief Minister under pledge of pages of the paper to his political propaganda; following which, the CMO had issued oral instructions to various field officials to help these fellows project their legitimacy before the public. Yet, they could not dare to go to the people directly to show them their devotion to Gopabandhu.

Panic hiring of event managers

A private organization of event management namely Sanket was hired for around a crore of rupees to organize, on their behalf, shows of devotion to Utkalmani with a vehicle styled Gopabandhu Jyoti Rath carrying some of the SoPS hoodlums.

They held a meeting with the event manager of Sanket on 13 August 2013 and drew up a route chart for the “Rath”. Accordingly, the show began at Jagatsinghpur on August 16, 2013 and proceeded day by day seriatim to repeat the farce at Kendrapada, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore, Baripada, Kendujhar, Deogarh, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Bargarh, Balangir, Nuapada, Bhawanipatna, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Paralakhemundi, Chhatrapur, Phulbani, Boudh, Sonepur, Nayagarh, Khurda, Puri, Dhenkanal, Anugul, Bhubaneswar and finally, Cuttack on 15 September 2013. They did not dare to visit the Sayabadi Bakula Bana where Gopabandhu had established his famous Vana Vidyalaya, for preservation and improvement of which he had made over the Satyabadi Press to SoPS in his last testament.

In this Will, Gopabandhu had given only the Satyavadi Press to SoPS, but not the Samaja, as it was co-founded by Satyavadi Panchasakha. But to Radhanath Rath and Lingaraj Mishra, and also to SoPS with which both of them were in nexus, the Samaja was considered a better source of income and a platform of power. So, when Radhanath Rath had suppressed the Will he had taken dictation of and in nexus with Lingaraj Mishra had manufactured a forged Will mostly for his own benefit, the SoPS had located that in the said manufactured Will, only the Satyavadi Press, not the Samaja, was given to it. Therefore, having taken over the Satyavadi Press as per the Will before them, they must have insisted upon inclusion of the Samaja in the property they were to capture. Therefore, situations might have been created to obtain a certified copy of the Will with mention of the Samaja as given to SoPS along with the Satyavadi Press. Attempts were made to create a copy of the already probated forged Will to match this plan. We, therefore, see that the words “ while the Samaja making over the charge of the Satyavadi Press to the Servants of the People Society” recorded in the preserved probated (forged) Will, were attempted to be replaced with the words “while making over charge of the Satyavadi Press and the Samaja to the Servants of the People Society” in the typed copy to be certified. At the stage of signing the certified copy of the Will, the magistrate concern located the manipulation and saved the document from being tampered with. Then, that certified copy of the original Will was discarded and another copy was forged, which is, without being certified, is in use by the SoPS, blatantly cheating the official forums including the RNI.

Secret mission of miscreants

With SSF harping on about the forgery, over and above the aforesaid two steps, SoPS has taken a third step in the escape route. A pack of illegitimate occupiers of the Samaja has visited the room called Gopabandhu’s Sathighara,where he was born in village Suando and tried to gain over members of his family by offering to build up residential houses for every branch thereof and to engage in the Samaja any member of the family branches if he/she has or will be having any qualification in journalism. This is a very serious syndrome and the hooligans must not be allowed to play this act of bribing to Gopabandu’s heirs, so that the forged Will shall stay beyond being challenged by anybody even remotely related to Gopabandhu.

Unless the RNI acts on the allegation raised by SSF, it would be difficult to save The Samaja from the swindlers and forgers.

But, the RNI is silent. What next!

Samaja publisher’s Communal Footprints unambiguous

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

That the offensive picture of Prophet Mahammad was deliberately published in the Samaja to precipitate a communal flare up with a motive to help BJP to polarize the majority community of Hindus to its advantage when the process of CMC election is in progress and when general elections to the Assembly and the Loksabha are not far away, looks unambiguous now with provocative publication of Bajrang Dal rally in its support in its pages on January 17.

SAMAJA_communal footprints

Highly provocative words are used in this posting in a special page dedicated to justify the publication of the communally offensive, imagined picture of the Prophet. Nowhere in the page, the publisher of the picture that has offended the Muslims has been condemned and no demand has been placed to arrest the publisher of the offensive picture.

Attempts to instigate the people of Orissa, who in majority are the Hindus, against the Muslims has been made by Bajrang Dal, in the guise of rueing over desecration of a statue of Gopabandhu Das by the Muslim demonstrators. The rueing fails to appear genuine; because, Bajrang Dal has never opposed to desecration of Gopabandhu statue by the Samaja itself even though such offense was executed by the corrupt functionaries of Samaja and Servants of the People Society in order to ingratiate to the Chief Mnister, who, thereafter, has been protecting them from police action against their mischief.

In view of this, the Samaja publisher’s communal footprint is unambiguous and it is incumbent upon the Government to find out why the communally provocative picture of Prophet Mahammad was published by the Samaja and to do it correctly, it is necessary to arrest the gang of five – Executive Editor, Chief News Coordinator, Joint General Manager, General Manager as well as the Printer – cum -Publisher to elicit the truth from them through necessary interrogation.

Secret agenda for communal flare up must not be left unpunished.

Employees raise Dispute against under-dose of wages in ‘The Samaja’

The President of Utkalmani Newspaper Employees Association, Sri Devi Prasanna Nayak has raised a dispute over under-dose of wages in a mail sent to President of the Servants of the People Society, New Delhi.

He has said,

“Even as the Servants of the People Society has not made us know of the annual gross revenue of The Samaja, from various sources it has come to our knowledge that the gross revenue of the paper exceeds Rs.1000 crores per annum. On this basis, we are entitled to wages applicable to newspapers of class-1 category.
Instead of paying us wages in the scale of Class-1 category papers, you have been paying us in the scale recommended for papers belonging to class-IV category.
Therefore, we demand, our pay scale is immediately raised to that of the newspapers in Class-1 category with retrospective effect as required under the Act.”

Sri Nayak has given the SoPS a week’s time for the purpose.