‘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.

 

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Annul Padma Bhushan given to former Editor of Samaja: Civilian Awards are not accommodative to felonious misconduct

WHEN TWO FORMER MINISTERS AND LEGISLATIVE HEAVYWEIGHTS INDULGE IN FORGERY, THE ISSUE DESERVES SERIOUS ATTENTION. HERE THE FORGERS ARE RADHANATH RATH, THE BASIC OFFENDER AND LINGARAJ MISHRA HIS PARTNER.

BY USING A WILL PURPORTED TO BE OF ORISSA’S IMMORTAL HUMANITARIAN LEADER, UTKALMANI PANDIT GOPABANDHU DAS, BOTH OF THESE FELLOWS HAD GRABBED EXCELLENT MEDIA POWER BY BECOMING EDITORS OF ‘THE SAMAJA’ OF WHICH UTKALMANI WAS A CO-FOUNDER.

RATH EVEN FETCHED A PADMA BIBHSHAN DECORATION AS EDITOR OF THE SAMAJA.

AS THE FORGERY WENT UNNOTICED, USING THE FORGED WILL, SERVANTS OF THE PEOPLE SOCIETY FOUNDED BY LALA LAJPAT RAI, HAS ILLEGALLY OCCUPIED THE PAPER AND HAS BEEN SWINDLING ITS REVENUE, OPPRESSING THE JOURNALISTS AND NON-JOURNALIST EMPLOYEES OF THE SAMAJA BY WAY OF UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES.

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

PADMA BHUSAN is the third highest civilian award given by Government of India “for distinguished service of high order”. Radhanath Rath, then editor of ‘The Samaja’ was decorated with this award in 1968 for journalism in the category of ‘literature and education’. But as I have already shown, his entry into journalism was based on severe moral turpitude and felonious misconduct. He had grabbed ‘The Samaja’ by creating a forged Will of its founder, the late lamented Utkalmani Pt. Gopabandhu Das and had he not done so, becoming the paper’s editor till breathing his last could not have been possible. Therefore, if dignity of journalism is to be honored, and “distinguished service of high order” is to remain the criteria for Padma Awards, the central government should order for an immediate investigation into Rath’s role in the creation of the forged Will of Pandit Gopabandhu to grab ‘The Samaja’ under cover of Servants of the People Society (SoPS) and take necessary steps to punish him posthumously which should include annulment of the civilian award given to him; because, the national civilian awards are not meant to be belittled by being accommodative to severe moral turpitude and felonious misconduct, after howsoever belatedly they are known.

The President may cancel and annul the award of the decoration to any person under Rule 10 of Notification No. 3-Pres/55, which constitute the disciplining part of the ‘Statutes and Rules relating to the awards of Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri’. So, the President should initiate action in this regard without any delay. We are ready to cooperate with any enquiry, if constituted, to find out the facts.

In these pages, I have several times discussed why Gopabandhu’s Will in use by the occupiers of ‘The Samaja’ looks like a forged one . As time passes and our research proceeds, footprints of forgery becomes more discernible and Radhanath Rath emerges more unambiguously as the basic offender in forgery of Gopabandhu’s Will, calling for annulment of PADMA BHUSHAN awarded to him.

Will Forged

In my earlier article captioned “Prof. Nilakantha Rath sponsors his father’s forgery; claims to have discharged a debt” (orissamatters.com, February 15, 2014), I have quoted the eye-witnessed accounts of Pandit Gopabandhu’s closest friend and patron Pt. Nilakantha Das who in his autobiography has said that in his presence Radhanath Rath was taking the dictation of the Will from pandit Gopabandhu.

But the Will on basis of which SoPS has wrongfully occupied ‘The Samaja’, is written by Lingaraj Mishra.

Obviously the Will is circulation as written by Lingaraj Mishra is not the Will taken dictation of by Radhanath Rath.True, Lingaraj had made the final copy of the Will out of the draft taken dictation of by Radhanath oblivious of the unuthorised insertion, as pointed out earlier, therein. That final copy was probated. But that probated Will is in no use. Rath and Mishra had been and their co-offenders in SoPS are using a document, purported to be the Will of Gopabandhu, generated through a Sheristadar in Cuttack District Court, in matter of the Samaja.

If the one, Radhanath Rath had taken dictation of, the fair copy of which made in the hands of Lingaraj Mishra was probated was the real Will, the one in circulation as written by Lingaraj Mishra is undoubtedly the forged Will. Over this forgery, Pt. Nilakantha had many altercations with Radhanath and the later’s loyal protege Udaynath Sarangi, despite having suppressed the facts about why Pt. Nilakantha was in contretemps with Rath, has noted that the two co-founders of the Samaja Pt. Nilakantha and Pt. Godavarish  were rejecting Rath’s claim that the Samaja was given away to SoPS by Gopabandhu in his Will (Gandhimaharajanka Shishya, p. 195).

Nilakantha on Will of GopabandhuI am reproducing here below the photo copy of Pandit Nilakantha’s eye-witness accounts from his autobiography (Atmajivanee) published in the compilation of his works (Granthavali) for proper appreciation of this position:

When here Pandit Nilakantha has clearly mentioned that it is Radhanath Rath, who was taking dictation of the Will from Gopabandhu, the same having been published in 1963, the said Radhanath Rath had never objected to this eye-witnessed accounts anywhere at any point of time, had he not really taken the dictation of the same.

It is not that the Atmajivanee of Pt. Nilakantha was not in the knowledge of Rath. This particular work had bagged the Sahitya Academy Award for Nilakantha and got profuse publicity in the Samaja of which Rath was the Editor at that time.

mahamanishi nilakantha

Rath, in the capacity of President of SoPS and Editor of ‘The Samaja’, had patronized publication of above pictorial life-sketch of Pandit Nilakantha titled ‘Mahamanish Nilakantha’ on occasion of his death anniversary on 6th Nov.1985, wherein the publication of his Atmajivanee in 1963 is displayed.

So, Rath had certainly known that Nilakantha has written that in his presence “Radhanath Rath had taken the dictation of the Will of Gopabandhu.  In that Will Gopabandhu had gifted away the Press (Satyabadi Press) to Bharat Sevak Samaja (read SoPS). Radhanath was free to challenge this eye-witness accounts and countered it by saying that it was Lingaraj, not he, who had taken the dictation, when Nilakantha was alive. But he did it never. Because he knew that Nilakantha’s accounts on writing of the Will to Gopabandhu’s dictation was correct and it was impossible on his part to deny that during the life time of Pandit Nilakantha.

He was a mere low-paid employee of Gopabandhu. In the death bed also, Gopabandhu had used him as his paid employee by giving the dictation of his Will to him only. Nilakantha had seen it in his eyes. In Nilakantha’s views or in eyes of any of his close friends, who, with Gopabandhu were known as Panchasakha (five friends), had ever acknowledged Rath as one of them or an associate. But by patronizing the publication of ‘Mahamanish Nilakantha’, he ensured his projection as “old associate of Gopabandhu and Nilakantha”.

And, only after death of Nilakantha, he could dare to publish what he called “exact photocopy” of the “last Will dictated by Pandit Gopabandhu Das” in ‘The Samaja’ of 7.7.1986, showing Lingaraj Mishra as writer of the Will, which is a fake Will, manufactured to grab ‘The Samaja’ having facilitated Rath’s entry into SoPS. Here is that published “exact photocopy” of the so-called Will.

ALLEGED LAST WILL OF GOPABANDHU

We shall deal with this matter later again.

But instantly let us see further evidence of how this published Will was fake and recreated by Radhanath in nexus with Lingaraj Mishra, on a specific ground.

I am going to give photocopy of the depiction of Gopabandhu’s last moment from a book written and published by Radhanath Rath himself on 1st January 1964.

ulkalmani biography written by r.n.rath

version of radhanath rathThe book is titled “Late Utkalmani Pandit Gopabandhu Das A Short Life-Sketch”.

Rath had written and published it in the capacity of Editor, “The Samaja” and Member Servants of the People Society, Orissa Branch, Cuttack. Here is the photocopy of the extract:


In this he has suppressed who took the dictation. But has clearly said that Gopabandhu “constituted the ‘The Samaja’ and the ‘Satyabadi Press’ into a Trust and appointed the Servants of the People Society” as the trustee”.

In the Will published by Radhanath Rath in the Samaja on 7.7.1986 and used by SoPS in legal forums dose not contain these words. If really had Gopabandhu constituted ‘The Samaja’ and the ‘Satyabadi Press’ into a “trust” and “appointed” SoPS as the “Trustee” thereof, in the Will dictated “in the presence of his colleagues and friends”, the same is totally absent in the content of the Will in use. So, the Will in use is a forged Will,  which Radhanath Rath and Lingaraj Mishra have created by gaining over a Sheristadar of the court of the District Judge, Cuttack.

But in creation of the forged Will by Lingaraj Mishra, Radhanath Rath was the basic offender. If he knew that Gopabandhu had constituted a “Trust” comprising ‘The Samaja’ and the ‘Satyabadi Press’ and “appointed” the SoPS as its “Trustee”, how could he publish and project the SoPS as “owner” of ‘The Samaja’, unless he had deleted the “Trust” and the “Trustee” matter from the Will before handing over the same to Lingaraj Mishra for production of the fair copy?

I will come to the dubious and treacherous character of both Radhanath and Lingaraj in course of discussion. But let me go to some other speaking evidences of falsehood of the Will in use.

The Will in use shows that Gopabandhu had made over the charges of both the ‘Satyabadi Press’ and ‘The Samaja’ to SoPS. It is wrong. Gopabandhu had never made over the charge of ‘The Samaja’ to SoPS, because he knew that The Samaja was a collective venture of the Panchasakha – he and his four friends – Pandit Nilakantha, Pandit Godavarish, Pandit Krupasindhu and Acharya Harihar, who were, as and when necessary, editing and bringing out ‘The Samaja’ and to keep the paper afloat as a medium of socio-political awareness in Orissa, had willfully separated the accounts of the Satyabadi Press, transfering the same to Gopabandhu’s ownership. So, it was within the legitimacy of Gopabandhu to made over the charge of the Satyabadi Press only to SoPS, under the stipulated condition that income of the Press must be spent for betterment of the Vana Vidyalaya (Satyabadi School); not the charge of The Samaja. By virtue of being the eye witness thereof, Pandit Nilakantha had rightly written in the Atmajivanee (quoted supra) that Gopabandhu gave the Press only to SoPS (inadvertently mentioned as Bharata Sevak Samaja). That, Nilakantha’s version is correct, is established by the relevant records of SoPS that I am going to give below –

SoPS asks Lingaraj to take over the Press only

This is the resolution dated 8.6.1931 of SoPS, officially translated from Hindi on 22.1.1996, for use if possible in law suits. In the last para of this resolution, Sri Lingaraj Mishra “was authorized that on behalf of the Society he should accept the press according to the will of late Pt. Gopabandhu Das from the executors of the will”. There is no mention of ‘The Samaja’ in this resolution. This makes it clear that the Will in use is never the Will Pandit Gopabandhu Das had dictated.

After forging the Will, the forgers duo – Radhanath and Lingaraj – de facto occupied “The Samaja’ and hoodwinked the remaining founders of the paper – Pandit Nilakanth, Pandit Godavarish and Acharya Harihar – in the matter of the paper’s ownership. When Radahanath Rath continued as Manager, in some of the copies – never made public so as to avoid attention of the remaining founders of The Samaja’, a false ownership was being clandestinely inserted in the printers line to make out a case for future projection of SoPS as the owner. The then leadership of SoPS was perhaps hand-in-glove with the forger duo in this mischief.

I am giving below photocopy of the last page of The Samaja dated 2.1.1936 that shows Lingaraj Mishra as the Editor, Radhanath Rath as the Manager and a ghost like Peoples Ltd, Lahore as the owner.

Samaja printerline 2.1.1936

If at all Pandit Gopabandhu Das had made over the charge of ‘The Samaja’ to the Servants of the People Society, how could it be that the duo gave “The Peoples Ltd, Lahore” the ownership status in the printers line?

They have never explained this and none of the founders of ‘The Samaja’, who were alive by that time – Pandit Nilakanth, Pandit Godavarish and Acharya Harihar – have ever mentioned anywhere in their writings about “The Peoples Ltd, Lahore” owning the paper that they had unitedly founded, suffered for and possessed.

Looking from any angle into the matter, one gets convinced that Radhanath Rath, the greatest beneficiary of ‘The Samaja’ was a fraudster, who, in nexus with Lingaraj Mishra, had created a forged version of the Will of Gopabandhu with the sole purpose of hijacking the Samaja.

As I have already shown earlier in the article captioned “Even the District Judge Office made a breeding bed of  forgery”, this forged Will having no legal entity, as it was not probated but merely authenticated by a Shreistadar, attempt were made obtain a Certified Stamped Copy by changing the text of the probated Will at copy-typing stage to suit the nefarious purpose of Rath. When the attempt failed, a backdated one showing transfer of both the Samaja and the Satyavadi Press to SoPS by way of that Will, was manufactured on the desk of a Sheristadar behind back of the District Judge and  used by Radhanath Rath to his personal benefit under the cover of SoPS.

As this exposure is well documented, I hope the authorities will wake up to calling issue and institute an investigation into the felonious conduct of Radhanath Rath and make the President annul the third highest Civilian Award given to him in a misguided state, even though that would be posthumous.

Samaja Editor served with Damage Notice worth Rs.1 Crore by the Family of Sub-Editor Devi Prasanna Nayak

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

It is increasingly being clear that the once most popular language daily of Orissa, The Samaja, is in the worst phase of its life. Its editorial conscience is rendered unstable. Massive corruption has crippled its normal functioning. Employees are being subjected to alarming unfair labor practices and acts of intimidations by a gang, the legitimacy of which has been judicially challenged by the officiating President of the Servants of the People Society, which, again, is suspected to have hijacked The Samaja by using a forged Will of its original owner, late Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das.

The gang, whose legitimacy is challenged by the SoPS authority, comprises fellows whose moral turpitude and corruption had come under the radar of Justice Arijit Pasayat Committee of Inquiry, leading to its recommendations for action against them.

This gang has, sans any proven legitimacy, appointed a board of management and has allegedly arbitrarily changed the printer and publisher of the paper and has re-empowered a manager whom the officiating president of SoPS had, on records, divested of his responsibilities and asked to go on long leave.

This gang is playing havoc with jobs of the journalists and non-journalist employees of The Samaja with the apparent intention to keep them intimidated. Transfer and suspension of Sub-Editor Devi Prasanna Nayak is an instance. Sri Nayak , besides being an acclaimed journalist, is the President of the Utkalmani Newspaper Employees Association, the recognized and the only one trade union of the Samaja employees and therefore a protected workman under the Industrial disputes Act. Sri Nayak is not being allowed entry into the premises of the paper by the alleged hijackers of The Samaja, as hired musclemen termed security guards are engaged to keep him out of the newspaper campus. Thus the trade union is being strangulated. The trade union has raised a dispute against this malpractice and illegality and the concerned labor office has issued repeated notices to the employer to respond to the allegations. But the gang has kept the labor office notices hidden from the SoPS authority, for which the Opposite Party is conspicuous by its absence in the labor laws implementation forum.

This gang, on the other hand, has tried to damage the reputation of Sri Nayak by misusing the space of The Samaja to feed the public with derogatory information on him. Sri Nayak is a distinguished journalist with an unblemished career and a very promising future. Everybody who knows him deeply knows that he is a totally disciplined person dedicated to his profession and wholeheartedly committed to virtues of journalism. Besides, he belongs to a highly esteemed family, well connected with the society. Spread of derogatory information about him that paints him as an absconding man of misconduct by this gang in the pages of the newspaper, in order only to intimidate the employees whose union he leads, is taken very seriously by his fans, friends as well as his family.

Mrs. Nayak has immediately sent a notice of damage to three persons who carry the orders of this gang in The Samaja. They are, (1) Gopalkrishna Mohapatra, (2) Niranjan Rath and (3) C.R.Das

The Notice says:

Whereas in page 4 of The Samaja dated 31.10.2012 a notice has been published addressed to my husband Sri Devi Prasanna Nayak under a boxed caption ‘NOTICE TO BE PRESENT IN THE DOMESTIC ENQUIRY’;

And whereas in the said notice attempts have been made to denigrate the image of my husband in public eyes;

And whereas the author of this notice, C.R. Dash has no legitimacy to issue such notice in the known environment of disputes over management of Servants of the People Society before the appropriate court of law;

And whereas Sri Niranjan Rath has no legitimacy under the same environment to publish such a piece of character assassination of my husband;

And whereas Sri Gopal Krushna Mohapatra is responsible for anything published in Samaja as its editor;

Now, therefore, I issue this notice, that you all three must publicly apologize to my husband and to my family for having played such mischief against the reputation of my husband as well as my family within a week of issuance of this notice in the same paper, at the same place, in the same format, failing which I will sue you three individually and collectively for a damage worth at least a Crore of Rupees against each in the appropriate court, over and above any prosecution deemed proper against the crime involved.

This notice has been issued on November 1, 2012.

It was never expected that Utkalmani’s noble spirit shall get killed in the premises of the paper he founded. But this is now the shocking reality.

The media persons of the State are silently but keenly keeping a watch.

FIGHT ALSO AGAINST BLACK SHEEP IN MEDIA IS ESSENTIAL TO SAVE INDIA

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

On September 7,2004, in these pages, I had commented upon the mischief played against our democracy by certain media persons, under the caption: Free Press? Think Afresh.

I am happy, the first attempt I had made to focus on the mischief of mediacracy, is not lost. Alert journalists, howsoever marginal in number, are bringing out how mainstream media persons are piloting corruption in India.

Some of the recent attempts have exposed with documentary evidence how eminent journalist are acting as power brokers, political pimps, story planters and posts/position fixers. Open the link and form your own opinion.
Open also this. And this too.

Manmohan Singh and his team has pushed the country into doom where massive majority is perishing under unending poverty. True, there has risen the list of rich people. But, reports of CAG and CVC make it clear that the rise in the number of the rich is linked to looting of India under the new economic order Singh has ushered in.

Most of the political parties are combines of right viruses of the like of Singh, known for the epithet of left viruses he created for the opponents of his economic policy.

So majority of politicians, the right viruses, irrespective of different names and flags they use to identify their respective political entities, are one in looting the country and collaborating with the looters. Disinvestment during Vajpayee days or the unveiled felony in 2G Spectrum allocation under Manmohan Singh are speaking pointers to what extent the right viruses can eat away our national assets and damage our democracy.

Media was the last hope for survival of our sovereignty. Sadly, it is now so full of negotiators and lobbyists of the right viruses of all hue that one who belongs to journalism by profession and prides in his role as a journalist feels ashamed of being in the forth estate that has turned into a greasing ground of the black sheep.

It is time, thinking patriots must act to save the country from the right viruses and commission agents. Fight also against the black sheep in media is essential to save India.

Think, if you can, think for at least your future generations, please.

Emancipatory Journalism Must Be Protected From Sedition Charges

By Saswat Pattanayak

As Published in Kindle

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Laxman Chaudhury’s arrest in Orissa is the latest in the series of assaults on press freedom. In the guise of fighting the Maoists, various state governments in India are now harassing journalists in an unprecedented manner. But what is more peculiar in this specific oppression of the people is the manner in which grassroot scribes associated with vernacular media are being specifically targeted.

Chaudhury from Mohana has been charged under sedition and for having waged war against the state. A committed journalist who exposed the nexus between ganja smugglers, women traffickers and the police, is suddenly declared as an enemy of the State after being framed for alleged links with Maoists. OTV reporters Khusiram Sunani and Kirti Chandra Sahu, editor of Nissan, Lenin Ray, Samaj correspondent Jagannath Bastia, Aaromv reporters Sriharsha Mishra and Kiran Mishra are also instances of journalists being harassed under similar pretexts.

Sedition is possibly the most serious charge envisioned against an unpatriotic and disloyal subject of the State. To bring up such a charge against active journalists who are championing the voice of the underrepresented clouds the vision of a vibrant democracy. Not only are the charges of sedition inappropriate to be brought against any journalist who advances the voices of dissent, but the very code of sedition needs to be reevaluated, and subsequently purged from the legal paraphernalia.

We need to remember that the original Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (1870) defined Sedition thus: Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards Her Majesty or the Crown Representative in British India or British Burma shall be punished with transportation for life or any shorter term, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.

Conveniently enough, our judiciary and legislative power combines have not amended this section much, and have merely replaced “Her Majesty or the Crown Representative” with “the Government established by law”, “British India/Burma” with “India”, and the “transportation for life” with “imprisonment for life”. What has entirely gone amiss from juridical interventions is the need to rethink the absolutely abominable colonial strategies to continue enslaving human subjects in the name of loyalty to the ruling structure. Its utter disgusting to sustain such a tradition of oppression even to this date, let alone fabricate freethinking conscientious journalists into submitting to charges of so-called sedition.

What has gone missing from the critical discourse is the unique history of humankind against colonial empires. Had the unfree subjects obeyed such unjust legal systems enforced upon them, there would have never been a single instance of civil disobedience or non-cooperation, or outright opposition against social injustice. It is important to recall that revolutionaries of our freedom movements were not so much opposed to the British individuals per se. In fact, many of them were educated by British professors, admired rationalist traditions of the British, and joined internationalist forces in declaring their freedom rights. This was the reason why our leaders, moderates and extremists alike, did not prefer to incite violence against the British individuals. They were chiefly opposed to the unjust methods of the British colonial system. They demanded overhauling of the system, but did not preach hatred against the rulers. This is the approach of the revolutionaries – to heed to the peoples‘ causes and calls and stir up a new movement to replace an older unjust one. It is not mere opposition to specific political parties that is desirable for a journalist to air, but also the demand for replacement of a whole gamut of corrupt structure when it has failed its entire purpose.

Journalists, more than any other professionals, are representatives of the people’s voices. It is through their views and interpretations that some people aspire to be politicians, some administrators look for policy changes, and some judges inform themselves before releasing a verdict.

Not only journalists need to be forever shielded from sedition charges, they must work together to influence the masses to demand for abolition of such unjust colonial legacies in our legal system. If people demand Her Majesty to be ousted, so be it. And if the majority of India, impoverished in poverty and being penalized for being poor, demand the existing government – elected through fraudulent methods of indoctrination, money power and manipulations – to go, so be it.

If a grassroot journalist can be accused of sedition, then its time to reassess the executive-legislative-judiciary branches in view of their former colonial masters, and they must together be declared guilty of graver charges. Crimes against the people must be denounced far more stringently than crimes against the authorities.

JOURNALISTS OF BHUBANESWAR PAY EPITAPHIC TRIBUTES TO GOPAL MISHRA

There are different organizations of Journalists stationed at Bhubaneswar. But they all were united on Tuesday evening to pay epitaphic tributes to deeply mourned Gopal Misra, who passed away in the evening of Sunday and whose cremation, witnessed by many a luminaries of Orissa, was performed at Swargadwara, the classic gateway to the abode of the gods, on the beach of Mahodadhi, wrongfully known as Bay of Bengal, at Puri, on Monday.

condolence meetingThe condolence meeting was held in the auditorium of the Department of Information with eminent journalist Barendrakrishna Dhal in the Chair. Under request of the scribes present, senior journalists Ramahari Mishra, Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, Rabi Das and Sarat Das were on the dais when Ramahari Mishra coordinated the event.

Ramesh Chandra Mohanty initiated the obituary when Barendrakrushna Dhal dwelt on how suave but strong was Mishra in his mission all through his life as a journalist. There was a time spanning at least two decades in the last century when he was regarded as the reigning luminary in Orissa media, but there was not a single moment, even then, when he had no time to come to the needs of the newcomers to the profession, he said.

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak focused on the professionalism he personified. Recalling his contributions to putting on records Chakradhar Mohapatra’s well researched determination of Orissa being the real birthplace of Buddha as well as Kavichandra Kalicharan Pattanayak’s meticulous endeavors to obtain recognition of Odissi as a classical dance, he said that Gopal Mishra was so sharp and quick in reporting critical issues by locating its crux as cautiously as consciously that for ever he would remain not only a poll star to follow but also a professional to imitate.

Rabi Das recalled Gopal Babu as a trendsetter in pro-people journalism even as to Sarat Das, were Mishra not there to organize his stay at Bhubaneswar in the initial days of his posting, he perhaps could not have ascended up to the bureau chief position of PTI in Orissa. This eagerness to help newcomer journalists in getting settled was a distinct part of Mishra’s way of life, he said.

the daisRamahari Mishra recalled his association with Gopal Babu prior to and after his joining Amrit Bazar Patrika. He cited instances to show how he was regarded as unquestionable as a journalist. He said that the sad demise would always give the journalists of Orissa a feeling of loss.

Prasanta Patnaik deeply mourned the sad demise. To him, Mishra was a man in whom journalism had blossomed into dignity. Commitment to profession and devotion to democracy had created the distinction that Mishra had personified, he said, while making specific suggestions on how the scribes of Orissa may make the bereavement bearable to the family of the late doyen.

Bimal Krushna Bhanj and Akshaya Pati described how the entire media community has been drowned in grief due to the sudden demise that has created a void hard to be filled up, when from his chair in the audience, Pradyumna Mohanty expressed deep dismay over failure of the ministers of the incumbent government in physically paying last respect gopal mishra last journeyto the departed scribe who till breathing his last was active in the fourth estate of democracy.

(Gopal Mishra’s last contribution as a columnist, published in the daily Sambad at the end of the night he passed away, was speakingly critical of the style of administration of the Orissa Ministry that was, on the one hand, irresponsive to SOS cries of the farmers, but on the other hand, over eager to serve the multi-national corporations. This perhaps explains the absence of Orissa ministers from paying individual and / or collective respect to the departed scribe who by choice had preferred this profession to serve the people.)

The former and founder Mayor of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, Dr. Jagannath Mohapatra recalled the unique joie de vivre that Mishra personified despite his being in his entirety a dedicated sentinel of the State.

A close relation of Mishra, R.N.Dash, who happens to be the Secretary of the Information Department, recalled from his personal memories how affectionate was Gopal babu and how averse was he to falsehood and hypocrisy.