Occupy BJD Campaign vows to retrieve the Party from Autocratic Grips

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak


The Occupy BJD Campaign led by dissident leader Pyari Mohan Mohapatra had a tremendous display of support as an estimated 20,000 campaigners, in their “revolutionary congregation” (Kranti Samaroh) at Bhubaneswar today, vowed to retrieve their party from the autocratic grip of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The Party that was created to serve the interest of the State as a regional sentinel has failed to protect the regional interests; and bereft of democratic practices, has fallen a prey to autocratic design of Naveen Patnaik, which must no more be allowed, roared Sri Mohapatra, the main architect of BJD victory in 2009 general elections.

Along with him, eminent leaders of Occupy BJD Campaign like Rajendra Prasad Singh, Jagneswar Babu, Mihir Mohanty et al made it clear that their campaign shall continue till the party is put back to democratic tracks and salvaged from commission agents.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his yes-men in BJD are so panic-stricken that all out attempts was made all over the State to obstruct party dissidents to join the campaign.

Official machineries like the R.T.O.s and Police were used to ensure that the Occupy BJD Campaigners do not get transportation vehicles to reach Bhubaneswar.
In various political nerve-centers, the panic-struck yes-men resorted to tactics of criminal intimidation to dissuade the dissidents from attending the Bhubaneswar meet. They were subjected to physical assaults, wrongful restraints, bombardments, road-blockades, as has been captured live by media. Pelting of arsenals at the dissidents and attacks on vehicles carrying them were resorted to by the chief minister’s yes-men to frighten them away from proceeding towards Bhubaneswar to join the OBC. Yet, there were around 20 thousand members of BJD, who joined the OBC congregation.

The ruling party is discernibly in panic.

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

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In such circumstances, use your conscience.

BJD members should take the opportunity offered by Pyari

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

People of Orissa are known for such disposition that it is impossible to imagine that the Congress party, the de facto owner of which is Sonia Gandhi, will get the mandate to rule, if Manmohan Singh should be continuing as Prime Minister till the election.

The people of Orissa, with their outlook inherently secular, will never vote the Communal BJP to power.

The Communists and progressive politicians are yet to unite to become fit for taking over the reign.

So, it is BJD which alone has the possibility of fetching a fresh mandate.

Yet, the mega meet it cooked at Berhampur on October 19 was to everybody’s knowledge a panic meet. Self-defense was sic passim in the speech of its ‘supremo’ Naveen Patnaik and the orations of all who spoke. The entire meet, from start to finish, was aimed at tackling the disillusionment now so discernible in the BJD rank and file. All out attempts were made to convince them that there is no threat to the party. But every worker and supporter of BJD who attended the meet was convinced that the party is in severe trouble. The reality is so very formidable that the preening prince of Bijudom, under whose autocratic control the party has drifted away from democratic norms, had to loudly hallucinate that he may or may not remain in power, but he shall have no reason to feel despaired. The sycophants of Naveen were such panic-struck that they forgot all political etiquettes and described their dissident colleagues as dogs that have betrayed the master!

All the BJD workers and supporters that had congregated there were not idiots. They understood that fear of fall has engulfed the BJD top brass.

So, BJD is in real trouble. If this condition continues, it would not be possible for BJD to bag a fresh mandate; though, till the Communists and progressive forces offer an alternative, this party is more desirable than the rest of the right-wingers.

BJD rank and file ought to understand the importance of the historical role they are to play to save Orissa from the American agents and the communalists. Therefore they ought to understand why Naveen is shuddering under fear of fall to the extent of hallucinating: “I may or may not stay in power………….”

Why should BJD get rid of Naveen

Naveen has ruined Orissa. Under his rule, the land-grabbers and mine-looters have used Orissa as their grazing ground. He has used his chief-ministerial prerogative to put the mines portfolio in the hands of first-time-ministers who, over-obliged to him by having a place in the cabinet, psychologically stay ready to carry out whatever instruction he should be giving in matters of mines allocation. Orissa has possibly suffered a loss of four lakh crores of rupees due to loot of mines; because of deliberate bestowment of the mines department to inexperienced first-timers in the cabinet (Odisha’s Proxy Mining Ministers: Sirish C.Mohanty, The Industry and Mines Observer, August 16-31, 2012, p.17). His government has collaborated with illegal mining to the drastic destruction of our eco-systems. Even the Similipal Biosphere Reserve has suffered horrific threat to its existence because of mining. He has given every reason to suspect that he has been acting a comprador, even as indigenous people are left in the lurch to perish, as Naveen has stood with the pernicious private industries. The entire State is drowned under corruption. People are distressed as disillusioned are the genuine workers of BJD.

This reality has given birth to Jan Morcha. It is remarkable that Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, the real architect of BJD victory in 2009 election, in founding this Morcha, has no ill motive against BJD. He and his intimate colleagues in the Morcha have made it clear in their Press Meet on October 19, that, they want internal democracy to return to the party and the party be made people-centric instead of being industry-centric. The Morcha is not to act against the BJD, but wants to cleanse the party of the black sheep and corrupt, commission agents and to extricate it from the autocratic clutches.

If this happens, the people will not reject the BJD.

Thus it can be said sans hesitation that Pyari and his team in Jana Morcha have offered the last opportunity to BJD members to save their party from being rejected by the people. The rank and file of BJD should avail this opportunity and educate each other in using collective wisdom to manage the party in a democratic way.

And, the party can be managed in a democratic way only when the members would get rid of the ugliest anathema to democracy that they call ‘the supremo’.

Origin and Development of Bhasmasura that Pyari Poses Shiv to Extirpate

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa’s ruling party BJD is in total disarray with depiction of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as the Bhasmasura (the demon that tries to destroy the master by using the tricks learnt from him) by its super brain Pyarimohan Mohapatra, who is posing Shiv for his extirpation.

Power sans proven merit

Naveen is the first man to have occupied the Chief Minister’s chair in Orissa sans any proven merit and hence, the State is in deep despair during his regime.
His father Biju Patnaik, an astute political acrobat of his time with lots of sycophants – common to influential mafias everywhere – died in a condition of rejection by the people of Orissa who had thrown him into the political dustbin after suffering a menacing misrule. J. B. Patnaik, then the State’s CM, out of political courtesy, organized a tremendous obituary for him and the magnanimous people of the State forgave him for all the damages he had done to them. And, as the people of Orissa are very simple by nature, a surge of sympathy for his bereaved family was soon seen.

Peculiar nature of the people

Let us take a short break to see how uniquely simple are the people of Orissa. I will take you to my childhood days in my native place Tigiria. Throughout the year, my father was offering a Purana Patha (recitation of epics) on the outer Veranda of our house where people of my locality, after refreshment in the evening, were gathering to hear the epics that a hired Brahmin used to recite. Ramayana and Mahabharata in Oriya were the epics that were being recited in succession. There was no electricity. The oil lamp was the only medium of light. So, beyond where the Panda was reciting the epic, there was darkness in its soothing best that the people were enjoying at the end of the active day. In that darkness the characters of the epic were, as if, reaching the rapt listeners through the rhythms of recitation, as the Brahmin , whose proficiency in adding emotions to his voice was keeping the entire environment tuned to the topic. People were coming to cheers when a hero was trouncing a villain. But they were soon in tears when the family members of the villain were crying over his death. As for example, people were cheering when Rama was making mincemeat of Ravana; but the next moment, when Mandodari was crying over the death of her husband, the cries of the same people over the demise of Ravana was gushing out in sympathy for the bereaved Mandodari. So simple were our people in my childhood days. This nature has not yet disappered despite changes.

Post-independence politico-economic complications notwithstanding, our people are, by nature, magnanimous and simple. Therefore, when Biju Patnaik died, despite the truth that, in wrath against his corruption and misrule, they had rejected him in the elections, they pardoned his offenses and joined the state obituary offered to him.

Simplicity exploited

The shrewd members of the gang of his sycophants, none of who could ever have dared to dream of occupying power in Orissa on the basis of his own strength and merit, tried to transform this obituary into a sympathy wave for his bereaved family and picking up his son Naveen as the mask, they started a political party by Biju’s name that is known as BJD. And, in the election that followed, this sympathy wave metamorphosed into ballots for Biju’s son and sycophants, who now thrive on a deliberately coined concept of Biju legacy.

So, Naveen became CM neither because of any sacrifice he has for the state, nor because of any political merit he possesses; but because of being an object of mass sympathy after becoming Baapa Cheunda (a child bereft of father).

To his good fortune, a very shrewd and intelligent former bureaucrat Pyari Mohan Mohapatra (Pyari) was available to him to give him the guidance, which he could never have got from any of the sycophants of his father, none of them having any marked political prudence, but each of them being busy in exploiting the moment to his/her personal benefit. People of Orissa became victims of their own magnanimity and simplicity.

But soon it was clear that the preening prince of Bijudom was not able to give a good administration.

Re-emergence of JB

The Congress Party had realized the mistake it had committed by replacing J. B. Patnaik with Gamango just before the elections. It tried to amend its mistake by appointing JB as the PCC Chief.

And, Naveen was no match for JB.

The scenario changed and ministers started revolting against Naveen.

JB gave a call that Naveen should quit, as he was unable to give governance. The State plunged into a state of utter confusion.

JB, as known to Pyari

While serving under JB for so many years, Pyari, the former IAS officer, had deeply understood his then political master’s peculiarities. He had understood that, JB is a man who dislikes discarding even his detractors from his circle, if once he has granted them the boon of his umbrage. He honors his foes for the good qualities, if any, discernible in them and protects the persons, howsoever bad, once they take refuge in him.

This is why he had not taken any action against super offenders like Indrajit Ray. Even sharp saboteurs like Basant Biswal and Bhagavat Mohanty were not dismissed by him despite circumstantial evidences galore to convince that they had tremendous role in Ajana Mishra gang rape episode, masterminded to expedite his removal from office.

Pyari had understood this peculiarity of JB.

The panacea Pyari prescribed

When the astute JB was humiliating Naveen and BJD leaders were at a loss to understand how to make the government functional, Pyari came to his rescue. He gave him a panacea. He advised Naveen to do what JB had never done, so as to give the people a matrix for juxtaposition of the two Patnaiks, which he was sure, would be of utmost advantage for the former.

He advised Naveen to dismiss a pack of his ministers soiling them with innuendoes of corruption even though they were the founder members of his party.

This trick created an occasion of comparison between JB and Naveen in the public and gave an image to Naveen as a crusader against corruption as against JB’s cohabitation with corrupt fellows in his regime.

This was the key to his survival in CM post at that critical juncture. And, thus the former secretary to his father had emerged as ‘uncle’ to Naveen.

Since then Naveen has dismissed many ministers, as and when necessary, to save his own skin and knowing of his wont to dismiss any minister at any time, his cabinet colleagues have remained so docile that there is no real use of collective wisdom in managing the matters of the State. And, therefore, the POSCOs and the Vedantas and the Tatas and the Ravishankars and the likes have used the administration to transform Orissa to their grazing ground. People of Orissa have perished.

Abhorrence in the rise

Therefore, admiration for him is changing into abhorrence in the heart of his own followers in BJD. Biju sycophants are not leaving the party; but are opposing him in the party. This is so sharp that a person like Jagneswar Babu, regarded more as a gentlemen than a politician, has been suspended on disciplinary ground. In every district, BJD is distinctly divided into two fractions – pro-administration and pro-organization. In every nook and corner of Orissa, Congress is getting flow of support from disillusioned members of the BJD in its Parivartan Padayatra which the latter is trying to counter through Jana Sampark Yatra. The Jana Samparka Yatra itself is indicative of how abhorrence to Naveen is in the rise.

Ministers Morcha Vrs Jana Morcha

How far the Padayatra campaign of the Congress party can bring in Parivartan (the change in power) is, curiously, not the crux of public interest in Orissa. The anti-people policies shamelessly pursued by the Congress party and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh under American influence are being intently watched by the people and the Congress leadership knows that the people are waiting to give the American agents the lesion they deserve, when they are to give their verdict in elections. Individuals like Prasad Harichandan, marked for personal honesty, integrity and efficiency may win; but that won’t be a Congress win.

So, what forms the crux of public interest in Orissa is the internecine tussle that has engulfed BJD.

In every unit of BJD, members recruited by Pyari are active in organization and they are active also against their colleagues who rally round the ministers for personal benefits while neglecting the organization. The ministers boast of power and bask under self-glorification in the company of sycophants and habitual order-carriers of whosoever holds power. Genuine party workers with a bit of self-respect are blatantly ignored in every party unit. On the other hand, Pyari had inspired party workers with recognition of their political worth after deliberately extinguishing the BJD alliance with BJP by unilaterally declaring to set party candidates in every constituency. Had he not done that, Naveen would never have got MLAs to continue as CM for the third term. When innumerable people of Orissa are getting displaced because of Naveen’s nexus with the Tatas and the Ambanis and the POSCOs and the likes, when eco-systems are getting destroyed because of the same nexus, when development funds are getting looted, when welfare projects are getting derailed, when crop fields are inundated with toxic industrial ashes, when slow starvation continues, when distress sale of paddy, distress sale of body, distress sale of baby child are regular phenomena, when officers are ruling the roost, it was not unnatural for genuine BJD members to explore if Pyari could intervene and bring out a change in the stance of administration. But this has landed the party in such a jam that Pyari himself is suspended sans any scope for self-defense. Rightly for him, he has described Naveen as a Bhasmasura.

BJD is becoming murkier as the ministers and their yes-men (Ministers Morcha) want to nip in the bud the Orissa Jan Morcha that Pyari has given birth to.

The scenario may usher in an alternative

Orissa is discernibly disturbed. The scenario is shocking.

But it may usher in an alternative.

The Main Opposition – Congress – is trying to revive itself. But with compradors comprising its high command, patriotic people of Orissa will not vote for it.

Agrarians by birth, with social outlook refined by ideology of Jagannatha-Buddha, the Oriyas are a people who are proud of their ancient culture of universal brotherhood; and therefore, can never support aggressive communalism. Hence BJP has no chance of having the people’s mandate.

Left is the best alternative the people dream about. But, when CPM feels no qualms in publicly projecting Mulayam Singh Yadav as the communists’ prime-ministerial candidate, people are too shocked to rely upon them.

During the last two months, one has witnessed various think-tank-seminars in Orissa that search for possible alliance between genuine left and democratic progressive forces, so that a viable alternative could be placed before the voters. But political opportunism promoted by the plutocrats is so very rampant that such an alternative looks very remote.

With no other alternative readily available, Pyari’s Jan Morcha may fill up the vacuum.

Strategically they may use Biju’s name to withstand what the Ministers Morcha would be doing for Naveen.

But, the genuine left and democratic, progressive forces may find in it a ready ally to save the State from anarchy.

Thus, come, October 28, with Orissa Jan Morcha defining its real shape, an alternative may emerge if the genuine left finds in it a progressive ally.