Subservience of people’s interest to commercial interest in the Fourth Estate must stop, if democracy is to be salvaged from the pernicious grip of plutocracy, emphasized veteran journalist Subhas Chandra Pattanayak while inaugurating the annual function of Athgarh Prahari.

Athgarh Prahari, a rural newspaper published from Athgarh in the district of Cuttack celebrated its sixth anniversary on the day of Makara Samkranti, observed in Orissa as a day of solidarity amongst agro-based communities.

Enkindling the ceremonial candle, Sri Pattanayak called upon the working journalists to consolidate their class strength to retrieve their lost freedom from the fiefdom of the media merchants.

Capitalists who need freedom to multiply their profits by using newspapers and audio-visual networks that they own, must no more be allowed to project that freedom as ‘Freedom of Press’, he said.

Rare Chapter of Journalism in Orissa

Felicitating posthumously the legendary journalist Surit Ranjan Pattnaik, who was born in Athgarh, Sri Pattanayak dwelt on a rare chapter of journalism in Orissa that may be termed as the single most remarkable battle of Press for freedom from owner’s fiefdom.

In a flashback he said: Surit Pattnaik was reporter of the daily Kalinga, founded and possessed by Biju Patnaik, the first mafia then in rise in Indian politics, who was using his chief-ministerial position to further his fortune from trade and industry in the early sixties, last century. One of Surit’s reports went against TATAs. Biju summoned him to his chamber and rebuked him for having written against TATAs and demanded an explanation on why had he written the story that may mar his rapport with the industrial tycoon. In utter wrath Biju further asked Surit to file a fresh story depicting the one he had published as a product of misconception and to remember not to write against TATAs in future.

Slap on Biju’s Face

Surit paid Biju Patnaik a patient ear as an employee ought to pay to his employer and then told Biju the like of which had never been told in India to any newspaper owner by any working journalist till then.

He told Biju in no uncertain terms that as owner of the paper he was a trade operator when as a reporter he was a conscience-keeper of the society. He made it clear that he was a working journalist and under the working journalists(Condition of Services and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, he was answerable only to his editor, not and never to the owner.

He also told Biju that as a journalist he was a sentinel of Freedom of Press which he cannot allow to be diminished under Press owner’s over-lordship. It was a sharp slap on Biju’s face.

Man Mohan Mishra’s uniqueness as Editor

This enraged Biju so much that he summoned the manager and ordered him to dismiss Surit summarily under charges of insubordination. Editor Man Mohan Mishra supported Surit and condemned managerial intervention in the matter of reporting and Biju got such a thrash that he preferred to pretend to have accepted the norm of Press Freedom by desisting from taking any action against Surit. But the issue did not die; it went on simmering, till at last Kalinga was closed down by Biju Patnaik and beyond, till the owners in mainstream media succeeded in misappropriating Press Freedom donning editors’ robe, as in Hindustan Times K.K.Birla replacing B.G.Verghese.

Profit motive of media merchants ruins the Press

Dwelling on how subservience of public interest to profit motive of media merchants has spread since those days, Sri Pattanayak bared the tricks the Press owners play against Free Press. One such trick is obliterating or dismantling the designation and status of journalists as envisaged in and defined under the Working Journalists Act. Sudden and arbitrary change of Nalapat’s designation from Chief of Bureau (a category of working journalist defined under the Law) at Delhi to that of Political Analyst (not at all defined under the Law) by the Times of India is an instance, he said. He pointed out how for having refused to render extra-professional help in securing release of Asok Jain, chairman of the Times of India group arrested then for FERA offences, H.K.Dua, the celebrated editor had to be summarily dismissed in 1998 by use of an offending method of replacement of his name with that of Executive Director Ramesh Chandra showing him as in additional charge of Managing Editor in the print-line of the paper. This trick of obliterating law-defined categories of working journalists and creation of undefined desks in editorial wing is not only playing havoc with editorial independence but also subjugating journalism to business. And such a situation is helping plutocracy to consolidate, he alleged.

Pointing out that the recent Supreme Court Judgment in the matter of Laws put under the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution of India has failed to stir public mind because a plutocratic Press is not showing due diligence in weighing the judgment on the matrix of the necessities of the poor, deprived and disadvantaged people, Sri Pattanayak called upon the working journalists to change this scenario. People have a right to know every aspect of every act of management of their Country and therefore, the Press must be salvaged from the grip of plutocracy and restored back as people’s Press. When a Plutocratic Press reduces people’s right to a non-entity and transforms information to a commercial commodity, which is happening in India, Pattanayak pointed out that a People’s Press educates the people in the matter of how best to manage their affairs through their informed participation in democracy.

Surit Pattanayak the unseen Polestar

When K.K.Birla snatched away for himself the robe of editor of Hindustan Times from B.G.Verghese in the seventies because he refused to compromise with editorial independence or when H.K.Dua was summarily dismissed in the late nineties because he did not agree to misuse his journalistic position for securing release of the times of India Chairman from FERA prison or earlier when Dilip Padgaonkar had to relinquish the position of Editor in Times of India in early nineties in favor of the management man Gautam Adhikari taking over as Executive Editor, or when a principled person like Nalapat was dismantled from the position of Chief of Bureau to be stashed in a out-of-category post of political analyst, had the working Journalists defended Press Freedom like Surit Pattanayak had done defying Biju Patnaik, the situation would not have been such precarious, Pattanayak said.

Rural Press must coalesce with rural people

In the prevailing climate, as people in the unorganized sector like the victims of Kalinga Nagar land grab have been making their supreme sacrifices to safeguard their collective interest, working journalists must unite to thwart away the plutocratic over-lordship on Freedom of Press, he said, putting emphasis on rural people making a coalition with rural newspapers run by rural journalists whom corporate culture has not yet corrupted. People must help rural newspapers in building up a People’s Press so that their own interest does no more suffer a blackout, and the Country is saved, told Sri Pattanayak while calling upon the local intelligentsia that predominated the audience to take leadership in this regard.

Prahari reaching more people: Narayan Das

Sri Narayan Das, self-employed Editor of Athgarh Prahari (AP), in his welcome address, presented a detail picture of how local interest has been best served by his paper and how for that reasons only, its popularity has spread beyond Athgarh. The AP has its circulation in 13 out of the 30 districts of Orissa and day by day its circulation is increasing and he said, he was sure, his paper will reach the rest of Orissa within two years.

Closer to the people

Ratnakar Beura who has been representing Orissa’s premier newspaper Samaja at Athgarh for last three decades, told the audience that AP is closer to the hearts of the people of the locality than the mainstream papers of Orissa because people find “their news” more accurately and elaborately in its pages than in their’s.

Mainstrem media hand-in-glove with money-grabbers

Veteran social worker Biswanath Sahu alleged that the funds provided for development in budgets are being looted by the executive. Mainstream media being hand-in-glove with the money-grabbers, the modus operandi of the executive is kept willfully secret from the people. Rural newspapers like AP run by self-employed journalist are therefore the only forum available to the people through which they can develop their collective barricades against corruption and save the country.

Social activist Basanta Kumar Sahani warned people of impending danger from mega as well as minor industries to rural environment. Rural newspapers free from influence of the industrialists as they mostly are, are the best weapons available to people to safeguard their interests, he stressed.

Posthumous Honor to Surit Pattanayak

Chief Guest Sri Pattanayak presented the citation of posthumous honor to Surit Ranjan Pattanayak, which the daughter of the late scribe Ms. Jayanti Pattanayak received. Surit Ranjan had breathed his last on 21 December 2005.

Felicitations were also given to educationist Narayan Panda for poetry, advocate Bimbadhar Raut for essay, Journalists Partha Sarathi Patnaik and Sujit Rashmi Mohanty for rural reporting. Ms. Babita Pattnaik read out the citations.

Journalist Satchidananda Panda presided.



Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Some of my readers, quite well-meaning and noble, while appreciating the factuality in my published accounts on Biju Patnaik, have observed that I am somewhat biased against a legendary leader like him inasmuch as I have not condemned the vandalization of his statue, even though he had donated all his assets to Orissa, as they have heard and believe. Therefore, the subject deserves attention, yet again.

I was exposing Bijubabu’s misdeeds when he was alive, and specifically in power. Since his demise I was silent on him. But his son and his sycophants have resurrected him to a sphinx, on which, in interest of democracy, people must be made fully informed. As a journalist I have tried to honor people’s right to be informed as a part of my duty by showing him as he was when alive, so that democracy does not get derailed. Hence there is no question of any bias.

As I understand, Press is that pillar of democracy on which the other three pillars depend to be looked into and looked after by the people, as otherwise democracy cannot survive.

So to me as a journalist, it is a disservice to democracy if position factor of a person eclipses my observation. Disinterring a person whose conduct did not commensurate with the tenets of democracy and whose posthumous use poses a threat to democracy cannot be interpreted as a bias against him. It is a democratic duty one has pledged himself to and is discharged at much risk.

Misuse of public place

I have emphasized that if followers of any political leader want to worship their master, let them do that in their respective homes, not in places that belong also to their rivals.

Destruction of Biju statue has proved that there are people who are not tolerating the use of a public place for his posthumous image-building. Today they have destroyed one statue; tomorrow or day after, there may be more. It would shatter public peace and tranquility. So, every action that gives birth to such reactions should be discouraged. If there will be no Biju statue in a public place there shall be no vandalizing of the same. Vandalization of a statue arises only when a public place is vandalized by its erection. So whosoever erects such statues in a public places is an agent provocateur against democracy and should be basically responsible for any breach of public peace over the statue. This I have said without any bias.

A question has arisen as to whether it does not tell upon a civilized society when statue of a leader is destroyed.

Mafia thrives through legends

Everything that glitters is not gold. Similarly every body who occupies power at some point of time is not a leader. No proof is necessary to show that traitors are treated by their followers as leaders. So whosoever is shown as a leader is not a leader of our people. There is a distinct difference between political acrobats like Biju Patnaik and democrats like Mr. Madhusudan Das. People take pride in paying respect to Madhubabu’s statue. If some body has taken pride in vandalizing the Biju statue erected in a public place, he cannot be blamed, because to him, Biju was a political acrobat, whom people had rejected time and again.

And, in India, a new era of punishing political acrobats has commenced. We are unable to stop it and we cannot stop it; because, people derive satisfaction in punishing, even if posthumously, the political acrobats who acted or act for self-aggrandizement under the mask of meretricious concern for wellbeing of the people.

A decade ago Durga Puja, specifically in Orissa, was an occasion of reaffirmation of our commitment to noble qualities and to fight against the evil. Now it has emerged as an occasion for RAVANA PODI. People, more and more, year after year, are joining the event of burning of the effigy of RAVANA, the greatest political acrobat ever depicted by the PURANAS. In the pages of RAMAYANA, there are hundreds of instances of good deeds done by RAVANA. He was admittedly the greatest sage of his time, who had been granted boons by all the Gods. He had acquired expertise in flying a very unique aircraft called PUSPAKA VIMANA, the like of which was nowhere available and flying in that aircraft, he had subjugated the three worlds. He had engaged Gods as his personal servants and defeated even the most ferocious of them, the Lord Shiva. Being so powerful, had he wanted to rape Sita, he could have done so; but he never did it, so considerate was he. So, he had many noble and note-worthy qualities and he was the man from whom, even in the last moment of his life, his victor RAMA had preferred to learn the last lesson on politics. He was so magnanimous that even though he knew that RAMA was to use the SETU to attack him, he had accepted his invitation to conduct the foundation stone laying rituals. He was undoubtedly the most charismatic one amongst all the characters Valmiki had created. The RAMAYANA has several descriptions of how he had innumerable admirers. But now, after so many years of his death, our people are burning down his effigies. And, we do not object. This is because, he was the Mafia of RAMAYANA, the political acrobat.

Biju was charismatic; but he was the first Mafia to have entered into and polluted Indian politics. As I have shown, most of the people of Orissa had rejected him. So imposing him over the people through erection of his statues and lunching official programs in his name is bound to be rebuked by many. Just like people indulge in RAVANA PODI, people will indulge in vandalizing his statues if presence of those in a public place poses a challenge to their democratic prudence.

Mafia thrives only through legends. And legends are legends because they are contrary to realities.

An esteemed reader to whom Bijubabu was the legendary leader of Orissa has informed that he has heard and believes that Biju had donated his assets to Orissa. There is no surprise in the fact that he doesn’t know that Biju had not donated his assets to Orissa. Donation was a propaganda generated by Bijubabu himself and spread by his agents to cheat the people. In fact, Biju had tried to cover up one of his shady deals, which we shall peep into later, with a letter to the Union Planning Minister, asserting therein that the deal was “a GIFT to the State Company without any direct payment whatsoever, for the benefit of the industrial and technical development of the State of Orissa”. And the letter was systematically spread amongst the public through a tamed set of media persons and through organized debates in the Parliament and Assembly. The word “GIFT” got so much publicity that those who were not privy to the records started believing that Bijubabu had gifted away his assets to Orissa.

Let us go to the records.

Biju a commission agent

Biju had entered into an agreement with a German firm KO-WE Niederschtofen G.m.b.H. Bad Godesberg (Godesberg) on 31 August 1954 to promote the said company’s Low Shaft Furnace (LSF) Plants in India on handsome royalty over the Plants he should be promoting and a preferential royalty of 2 per cent for all the Low Shaft Furnace Plants established and operated by himself or his associated companies per annum over the selling price of their molten products for a period of ten years.

He applied for license and loan guarantee to establish a LSF Plant. Orissa’s industrial advisor H.B.Mohanty, in his note on 3 Nov.1954, pointed out that manufacture of pig-iron by LSF would not be commercially viable as it would cost Rs.140 per ton whereas the production cost in ordinary blast furnaces comes around Rs.80/- The industry secretary, after examining the matter deeply, specifically in view of the adverse note of the advisor, noted on 24 Oct. 1957 that the advisor was absolutely correct and the LSF method will not succeed; hence the State Government should neither recommend for the license nor stand guarantee for the loan he will be taking.

Kelly angle

Mahtab was the Chief Minister. He had dubious relationship with a Bombay woman called Ms. Sophy Kelly whom Kendu leaf contractors were also using to obtain favors from Mahtab. Biju was well aware of this. He also knew how Mahtab had helped Md. Serajuddin in mine matters in blatant disregard to Rules and Policies in force.

Mahtab blackmailed

On the other hand, Mahtab was running a minority government with only 56 members in a 140 member Assembly. Biju threatened Mahtab with the stick of Ms. Kelly and Md. Sirajuddin while hurling before him the carrot of support he was capable of acquiring through horse trading and thus blackmailed him to use his prerogative as the Chief Minister to recommend him for the license and to ensure Government guarantee by over-ruling the adverse notes of both the industrial advisor and secretary, which Mahtab immediately complied.

Nehru could not be captured

But the Plant, christened Kalinga Industries, as predicted, suffered heavy loss. Biju wrote a letter to Prime Minister Nehru on 30 June 1960 pleading him for permission to expand the Plant and to establish LSF Plants in other States for production of pig iron so that major Steel Plants may get tempted to divert to steel manufacturing exclusively. Had Nehru agreed he would have got more loan and profuse royalty from the German firm as per agreement noted supra. But Nehru did not respond.

Strategy cooked up

When in such a labyrinthine situation, he cooked up a strategy to capture the Chief Minister post so that he can use the State to his advantage. He persuaded Mahtab to agree to have a coalition with R.N.Singhdeo of Ganatantra Parisad for the shake of stability. The coalition was formed and on 22 May 1959, Singhdeo was taken in as undesignated joint CM. Then he poisoned Nehru’s mind against Mahtab alleging that the coalition was an insult to Congress. End of the coalition was expedited. Biju took the leadership in electioneering where Mahtab’s leaked out relationship with Ms. Kelly and Md. Sirajuddin ensured total defeat of his loyal followers and when the third Assembly was formed with a thumping majority for Congress, Biju took over as CM on 23 June 1961. Immediately after taking oath, exactly as he had planned, he concentrated on formation of Industrial Development Corporation, which got registered as a Company on 29 March 1962 and obtained certificate for commencement of business on 16 May 1962. IDC was earmarked to be funded entirely by the State Government with a motive to keep the Central Government away from having any say in its affairs. All its Directors were State government employees picked up on basis of loyalty to Biju. And, this Board of Directors, discussed a Note on 13 January 1963 to purchase a LSF Plant and authorized its Chairman to negotiate with Kalinga Industries for purchasing the Plant from them. The stage-managed negotiation was not to fail. IDC purchased the loss laden Plant which was commercially never viable. Biju Patnaik instructed the IDC to adopt his loyal servant Balan whom he had made the Company secretary of Kalinga Industries as a director and put him exclusively in charge of the LSF Plant even as his another company Kalinga Otto (P) Ltd. was appointed as technical consultant for expansion of the Plant. Chartered Accountant H. Naik & Co, formerly the auditor of Kalinga Industries and G. Basu & Co, auditor of Kalinga Industries’ sister concern, Kalinga Tubes, were appointed for evaluation and the resultant shenanigans were such that the Plant cost was not only increased to around Rs.10 Croes from 70 lakhs, but also orders were placed with the German firm, which was bound by agreement to pay Bijubabu sumptuous royalty, for supply of machineries behind back of the IDC. Thus he derived immense financial benefit by transferring the LSF Plant to IDC for the basic purpose of which he had formed it while pretending that he had formed it for ushering in an industrial era in Orissa. It is to be noted that he had obtained a mining lease over 3,900 acres of land under condition of establishing a Ferro-Manganese Plant at Barbil within three years vide his letter dated 22 August 1952. Erection of his Plant styled as Kalinga Ferro-Alloy Corporation in 1955, despite expression of doubts by industry advisor, was shown to be the plant linked to the lease. This Corporation was later renamed as Kalinga Industries. Hence he was to transfer the 3,900 acres strong mining land to IDC along with the LSF Plant. But he did not do it and went up to retaining it through court cases.

Justice Khanna, who had presided over the Commission of Enquiry against Biju, despite being very remarkably lenient towards him, noted, “The position, as it emerges in the final analysis, is that Mr. Patnaik was able to get rid of and pass on to the IDC the LSF Plant, which in his own words was uneconomical and retain for himself the mining lease, for the retention of which he was so keen that he had to file a writ petition in the High Court, even though the mining lease and the LSF Plant were admitted by him to be linked together”.

This is the true picture of what he had painted as his GIFT to Orissa!

Orissa duped

Biju had admitted in the Assembly on 2 September 1963 that the transfer of Kalinga Industries to IDC had taken place at his instance. Justice Khanna noted that after facilitating this transfer, “Steps were taken to ensure that both the matter of placing orders with German concerns as well as in that of expansion of LSF Plant the effective control should remain with the Companies of Mr. Patnaik and their employees. It was during the period of such control that the estimated cost wet up to Rs.9.11 Crores”.

What a GIFT!

If this is not treachery, what else is? Is there any one who could be more treacherous than Biju? The man was such a hypocrite that he had not taught his children even two alphabets in Oriya though he was playing politics in the name of Oriya nationalism!

How can you expect that all the people shall continue to be befooled by the Protégés of this mafia for all time to come?


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

It is bad for the civilization if history is wronged. Therefore the wrong committed by Mahamahopadyaya Hara Prasad Sastri in the matter of Buddhist mystic songs needs to be corrected.

Editions of these mystic songs are under different titles that include the basically misleading title Hajar Bacharer Purana Bangala Bhasay Bauddha Gaan o Doha contrived by Sastri.

But no edition, as yet, of these songs has depicted its authors correctly or corrected the wrong willfully committed by Sastri.

The authors of these songs are known as Chaurashi Siddhacharyas. Sastri has failed to say as to why they are called like this. Legends have been depended upon to locate their identity through inference; but no attempt has yet been made to rise above legends and locate them in the pages of history. As a result, the ancient revolutionary poets of Orissa have been wrongly projected as Bengali poets.

This wrong may be corrected by analyzing what is meant by Chaurashi Siddhas and why Sastri for Bengal has hijacked their works, written originally in Oriya.

Eminent scholar Dr. Karunakar Kar has made an incomparable study and proved irrefutably that all the Buddhist mystic songs that Sastri had published as Bengali songs are the songs of Oriya language. His work is unique and linguistically most solemn and serious. When Kar’s work would be available in an international language, the world will know the mischief Sastri had played.

For me there is no necessity of proving that these are Oriya songs; because in his masterly analysis Kar has proved it.

Even in ‘History of Bengali Language’, Sri Vijay Chandra Majumdar has shown how these songs are spangled with Oriya words.

I will, in this write up, try only to apprise my readers of the fact that the authors of these songs, the Chaurashi Siddhacharyas were of Orissa and therefore, the mystic songs Sastri has shown as Bengali are in reality Orissa’s contribution to Indian culture.

We should first see as to why did Sastri try to tamper with the reality.

He had claimed to have found a Pothi (palm leaf manuscript) containing these mystic songs of Sahajayan in the Darbar (Royal) Library of Nepal in 1907. We cannot say that it was not possible. It was possible, taking into consideration the special link of Nepal with Orissa and only with Orissa in whole of India. We will come to that in course of discussion. At the moment, we can only say that knowing the Oriya origin of the mystic songs, Sastri suppressed the truth and deliberately made a false propaganda that they were Bengali songs.

The Bangiya Sahitya Parisad, publishing Sastri’s misleading title in 1916, gave birth to a litany that is yet affecting the history of literature.

Bengali language scholars, not only in India but also in Bangladesh, have been projecting these songs as carriers of their literary heritage thereby jeopardizing history in respect of Oriya literature. Therefore, howsoever be the delay, the willful wrong committed by Sastri needs to be corrected.

Sastri had allegedly collected by writing in his hand the mystic songs from a palm-leaf manuscript preserved in the Royal Archive of Nepal.

It is doubtful that he had got it from the Nepal Archive. Per Kvaerne, the Norwegian scholar who translated Caryagiti has written: The original MS utilized by Sastri has not been available for inspection. It fact, I have not been able to discover where, if at all, it is preserved. (“A Thousand Year Old Bengali Mystic Poetry” by Hasna Jasimuddin Moudud, formerly a faculty at University of Dhaka).

We shall come to it later. We shall later see, if at all the MS was there, as to why that was available in the Royal Archive of Nepal.

But let us first see if palm leaves were the medium of writing in Bengal in order to test if Sastri had any ambient reason to claim the songs for Bengal. But it seems, palm leaves were not used for writing in Bengal.

Bengal had no tradition of letters on palm leaves. Bengalis had known that Oriya authors were the authors who were publishing their works on palm-leaves.

A note of Sri M. M. Chakravarti in the Journal of Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1897, No.4, at pp.328-30 would show that even till the last decade of 19th Century, to Bengali scholars, Orissa was the only place where the tradition of letters on palm-leaves was in vogue. He had evinced much interest on how they were being inscribed. He had gone to remote parts of Orissa to see how the manuscripts were prepared, preserved and spread in Orissa.

“The Pothis are written either by the owner himself, or if able to pay, by some hired worker. Round about Puri the charge is about eight to twelve annas for a thousand slokas. In Jajpur, the charge is an anna for an adhyaya or Canto. The charge is very moderate. Extra charges are paid for good and neat handwriting, or in the case of Sanskrit works for correct copies”, he has noted.

Giving a detail description of how the palm leaves were being collected and treated for writing, how the stylus was prepared and used in writing and how the written leaves were treated with bio-colors to make them easily readable, he had come to the preservation zone. “Against white ants so common in Orissa, the only precaution taken is to keep them on raised bamboo platforms a man high or on shelved platforms, when the number is large”, he has recorded while suggesting that, as “time also plays great havoc, the old palm leaves crumbling to pieces, after 30 or 40 years the Pothis have to be recopied”. (Ibid).

Had there been in Bengal any practice of writing on palm leaves, Chakravarti would not have traversed Orissa to gather a first hand knowledge on writing and publishing of literary works on palm leaves.

This shows that the Bengali scholars knew that palm leaf publication was not practiced in Bengal. They knew that their literature was not written on palm leaves.

So when Sastri found the palm leaf manuscript of the mystic songs of the Buddhist Siddhacharyas around a decade after Chakravarti’s report was published in the Journal of Asiatic Society of Bengal, it was natural for him to assume that they were Oriya songs. In fact they were Oriya songs and he knew that. But contrary to character of a scholar, out of sheer regional chauvinism, taking advantage of publicity media available to Bengalis by then under the British Raj, he deliberately stamped them as Bengali songs, the Oriyas having no chance of knowing this mischief.

It was an act of cultural dishonesty. But by then, Bengalis had become so much a laughing stock for their claim that Oriya was not a language by itself, but a branch of Bengali, Sastri perhaps preferred this dishonesty to save the face of his folks.

To understand this phenomenon, we must take a cursory view of the relevant period of history.

Orissa was the last State to have been occupied by the British. But it was the first State to have raised the war of independence against the British.

Admitting this, G. Toynbee wrote in ‘A Sketch of the History of Orissa’, “It was not long, however, before we had to encounter a storm which burst with so sudden fury as to threaten our expulsion”.

The British had tried its utmost to suppress this insurrection but had failed. In a report dated 9 September 1818 to Commissioner Robert Ker, Magistrate W. Forrester had informed, “Since the breaking out of the insurrection very few men of any consequence have ever been apprehended and it is to be feared that the nature of the country and the disposition of the inhabitants will always present formidable obstacle to the suppression of these disturbances either by military or police”.

The British was so much afraid of the Oriyas and their disposition that it was sure of its “expulsion” if Orissa was not completely quashed.

In order to do that it had contrived two methods: first, to amend itself in respect of the leaders of the rebellion including Baxi Jagabandhu Bidyadhara Mohapatra and second, to take advantage of the truce thus available to destroy Oriya solidarity by severing Orissa into parts and merging the severed parts in neighboring provinces in order to reduce the proud people of Orissa to minorities in rival lingua regions, before they get united against the British again. And, this they did.

Misled by the British stance of compromise with Baxi Jagabandhu, before the people of Orissa were able to see through the hidden game plan, their Motherland was divided into four parts. One of these parts that comprised coastal Orissa was annexed to Bengal.

Calcutta being the seat then of British administration in India, a number of Bengalis, working as Clerks, Sirastadars, Sepoys and Chaprashis under British authorities, started grabbing Oriya Zamidaries through the backdoors to the extent of some of them becoming Zamidars! Describing how these low paid Bengali employees were plundering Orissa Collector W.Trower in his report to the Secretary of the Board of Revenue, J.P.Ward on 23 May, 1817, noted, “A regular system of oppression and peculation appears to exist throughout and instead of proving a protection to the country and a preventive against improper conduct, these people are considered the terror and the scourage of the district” (Report of W.Trower, Collector, Cuttack on Revenue Administration in Orissa, MS.Vol.387, Orissa State Archives). Orissa’s Jamidaries were being grabbed by Bengalis of wretched background by organizing “the disposing of Estates in Calcutta” as the British was “permitting native officers of government holding situations in the district to become purchasers of lands sold at Collector’s Office” (Ibid). Holding the act of the Bengalis as “downright rubbery”, Mr. Trower had reported, “Not only does the influence of these people prevent the Oriyas from entering into competition with them in the purchase of lands, but if any of their own Estates are in arrears, the Oriyas are deterred from appearing as purchasers” (Ibid). Ingratiating themselves to British authorities, even pimps of Calcutta prostitutes became Jamidars in Orissa!

Emboldened by this new advantage, as they were grabbing Oriya soil, so they started planning to grab Oriya culture.

Their rudest adventure manifested in form of their demand to promulgate Bengali as official language in Oriya speaking tracts under the plea that 95% of the hands running British Offices there being the Bengalis, it would be advantageous for governance.

This plea failed as John Stuart Mill insisted that governance could reach the governed only through their mother tongue. Then the Bengalis started claiming that Oriya was not a separate language, but a form of their own.

This Bengali pretension could not survive the test of linguistic reality.

The reality was, Bengali as a language, compared with Oriya, was of much recent origin and was not much advanced.

As Sir George Grierson said in Linguistic Survey of India, “The Oriya language can boast of a rich vocabulary in which respect neither Bengali, nor Hindi nor Telugu can vie with it”.

The sharpest rebuttal to the Bengali claim of language superiority over Oriya had come from a Bengali Journalist, Gouri Shankar Roy, addressed with reverence as Karmaveer, who on 1.9.1866 and on 20.10.1866 established in his lead articles in his journal,that, there was no original literary work in Bengal that could be considered to be better than the Oriya works in content and in volume.

He said that translation of educational course books from English to Bengali, though in abundance in Bengal, couldn’t be proof of superiority of Bengali as a language; only the original works of letters can. And, in the sphere of original work of letters, Bengal’s achievement was almost nil whereas Oriya had a sea of original literary works to her credit, he had noted.

Making a mention of ‘Vidyasundara’ that the Bengalis were marshaling as the showpiece of their literature, he had observed that this work was much junior and inferior to original Oriya works available in plenty such as ‘Rasakallola’ of Dinakrushna Das of Orissa.

He had categorically stated that Bengal was much poor in original literary treasure when compared to Orissa. When Orissa was full of original literary works, Bengal was a storehouse of pirated (“APAHRUTA”) works. So, it was a folly to claim superiority over Oriya literature on part of chauvinistic Bengalis, Roy had thundered.

And, on the basis of such realities, the British authorities had to reject the Bengali plea and promulgated Oriya as the Official language in Oriya speaking tracks.

Embarrassed thus in the world of letters, the Bengali chauvinists were in dire need of something that they can use to establish their literary base as ancient. Therefore they were not hesitant to misappropriate Oriya literary works to show them as their own behind back of the Oriyas.

Sastri’s adventure to show the Buddhist mystic songs as Bengali songs was propelled by this motive. His motive was clear from the very caption “Hajar Bacharer Purana Bahgala Bhasay Bauddha Gaan o Doha” that he had coined for his compilation. Embarrassed to the core, as discussed supra, in their nefarious design to impose their language as official language on the peoples of Orissa, the Bengali chauvinists were so eager to show that their literary heritage is not of recent origin in comparison to Oriya, Sastri deliberately coined the caption in a fashion that was meant to mean that the Buddhist songs and couplets he was presenting were in a thousand year old Bengali language!

As already discussed, Bengal had no tradition of palm leaf manuscripts. Manuscripts were being written on palm leaves only in Orissa. He also obviously knew this and knew that the manuscript he had found allegedly in Nepal was an instance of Oriya literature. Therefore, he did not present the manuscript he had allegedly “discovered”. He claimed that he had noted down the contents of the manuscript by hand.

Allegedly having discovered the manuscript in 1907, he took nine years to tell the world through Bangiya Sahitya Parisad in 1916 that he had in possession such songs in proto-Bengali! This inordinate delay makes one feel the possible scholarly qualms he must have experienced during those hibernated years in posing the Oriya works as Bengali.

Intriguingly in the same year, i.e. 1916, the same publisher i.e. Bangiya Sahitya Parisad also brought out another book captioned “Jayadev Charita” purported to be copied from a 1801 manuscript of one Banamali Das wherein Sri Jaya Dev of Orissa was depicted as a Bengali born in Birbhum. The propaganda that Banamali Das had written it in 1801 was a mischief manufactured by fraudulent minds. There was no such book written by any such Banamali Das in any such year. The basic reference sources in Bengal confess that the so-called Banamali Das’ so-called Jayadev Charita was neither seen by any nor available anywhere. No body knows wherefrom the copy of Jayadev Charita purported to be the copy of Banamali Das’ work materialized, said Harekrishna Mukhopadyaya, presenter of the Book, in Birbhum Bibaran. Even Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterjee, who has not hesitated to discard his scholarly objectivity in the flow of chauvinistic fervors to claim Jaya Dev for Bengal, has admitted that “the work is of no historical value”(Jayadeva: Sahitya Academy, New Delhi, 1973).

So, it is clear that a group of Bengali language chauvinists, combined under the banner of Bangiya Sahitya Parisad had fraudulently manufactured Jayadev Charita in order to claim Sri Jaya Dev of Orissa for Bengal and had also played the tricks with Orissa’s Siddha Sahitya in order to misappropriate Orissa’s literary heritage.

Lest their fraud gets exposed, sources of both the books were attributed to unavailable manuscripts!

But howsoever strong be a motive to impose an untruth, the truth remains stronger than that. Therefore the truth prevails.

Scholars like Pt. Kedar Nath Mohapatra have shown the truth that Sri Jaya Dev was a poet of Orissa.

Unable to say that he does not know of this, Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterjee, who has made a farce of his scholarly prudence to anyhow claim Jaya Dev for Bengal, has admitted in his book ‘Jayadeva’ (Sahitya Academy, New Delhi, 1973), “In his well-documented book, ‘A Descriptive Catalogue of Sanskrit manuscripts of Orissa, in the collection of the Orissa State Museum’, Bhubaneswar, Vol. II by Sri Kedarnath Mohapatra, curator of the Museum (published by the Orissa Sahitya Academy, Bhubaneswar, 1960), there is a long article on Jayadeva and his Gita Govinda considered from various aspects (pp.XXXVI-LVI). In this learned article, some of the contemporaries of Jayadeva as much as Jayadeva himself have been claimed for Orissa on literary and other grounds”(Jayadeva, p.6). In his entire discussion, he has not hesitated to support Bengal’s claim over Jayadev with false arguments, but has never dared to counter the “well documented” argument of Pt. Mohapatra.

Chatterjee’s reluctance to counter the “learned article” of Pt. Mohapatra has every reason to be interpreted as his shying at the truth.

However, we are, in this write up, not after the truth on Sri Jaya Deva. Our concern is to unveil the truth about authors of the Bauddha Gana O Doha, whom Sastri has wrongfully depicted as Bengali.

And, the truth in this case comes out from the fact that these authors are Chaurashi Siddhas, not Bengali Siddhas.

Why they are called Chaurashi Siddhas? Sastri and others who claim the Charyagitis for Bengal and their respective States have not gone beyond holding Chaurashi for the figure of eighty-four. Even Dr.Karunakar Kar who has irrefutably shown that the mystic songs were written in Oriya, has not dedicated his attention to the reason of these authors being called Chaurashi Siddhas. So also Dr. Navin Kumar Sahu, Dr. Khageswar Mohapatra etc. of Orissa.

But the key to understand to which province the authors of the Buddhist Mystic Songs belong lies in the word Chaurashi.

In the belt of Buddhist Tantra on Prachi basin the place Chaurashi has retained its name for Centuries even though its glory has been lost in the labyrinth of cultural confusion created by coercive Brahminism. Authors of the Caryagitis were known as Chaurashi Siddhas because of their habitation in this place.

Religio-historical literature convince us that the word Chaurashi in respect of Bauddha Siddhacharyas is not the figure 84 but is the name of their dwelling. Let us see a description in Chaitanya Bhagavata authored by Ishwara Das. At Chapter 148 thereof he has written:

Satasa Bauna Baudha / Keshari Raja Sange Bada //61//

Satapatena mrutyu hoi / Chha’sha Baudha marai //62//

Apare satasathi puna / Baudha mare nrupa rrna //63//

Baki Baudha Chaurashi / Gopye bhajanti Hrushikeshi //64//

Yemante Chaurashi baudha /Yeka swarupa nahin bheda //65//

Literally these quoted stanzas mean, Kesari King in open variance with 752 numbers of Siddhas of Satapata killed 600 of them in the first phase and later killed further 67. The rest Chaurashi Siddhas went underground and continued worshipping Buddha,the Hrushikesha (the self-controller). The Chaurashi Siddhas are thus that there is no difference amongst them; they are equals as if the same.

This quoted text is perhaps the most important help in solving the conundrum concerning the Chaur’shi Siddhas. It categorically states that there were 752 Siddhacharyas in Satapata area. The Keshari King killed 667 of them in two phases; 600 in the first phase and 67 in the second phase. Logically therefore 85 Siddhas had escaped annihilation by going underground. But Ishwara Das who has used consciously calculated words, has not used the word “Panchashi” that stands for the number 85, but has used the word Chaurashi that stands for the number 84. This means the 85 Siddhas gone underground were known not as Panchashi Siddhas, but as Chaurashi Siddhas. So, in the context of the authors of Bauddha Gana O Doha, Chaurashi is not numerical; but is geographical. Like the Bandha (Ikat) Sadhis made in Nuapatana of Tigiria are known as ‘Nuapateni Sadhi’ or the Gajapati Emperor of Orissa is known as Orissa Gajapati, the Siddhas of Chaurashi were known as Chaur’shi Siddhas.

Archaeological remains indicate that Satapatakapur was spread over the Prachi basin inhabited mostly by peoples of seven Patakas (subcastes) like Chandala, Shabara, Kamara, Keuta, Tanti, Dama, and Shundhi. In Chaitany Bhagavata of Iswara Das this Satapatakapur is noted as Satapata.
Sidhacharyas belonged mostly to these subcastes. Upper caste amongst them, if any, was initiated into Vajrayana/ Sahajayana by having someone from the subcastes as spouse.

Within the geographical limits of this Satapata, Chaurashi was one of the seven principal centers of Vajrayana sect of Buddhism on the Prachi basin, the others being Turintara, Garedi Panchana, Hirapur, Kakatapur, Konarka and Kuruma.

Sri Jaya Dev, inhabitant of the now extinct Kenduvilwa on the Mahodadhi (the sea of Puri) that possibly stood where a Shiva depicted as Vilweshwara is having his temple even today, was known as a subject of Kurmapatakapur, so named after this Kuruma, where remains of a Bauddha stupa has recently been discovered along with the image of Heruka, whom he has addressed as Hari in his Astapadi love lyrics.

Connection of Prachi basin with authors of the Buddhist mystic songs is established from another major scripture called Sunya Samhita authored by Achyutananda Das wherein mention is made of the basin being the habitat of Siddhas including Lohi Das, known also as Lui.

When Heruka has been discovered at Kuruma, His Shakti Barahi is the presiding deity of Chaurashi. Brahminism has tried to drown its Buddhist importance by building up a Laxminarayan temple in this particular place and by highlighting importance of this later deity.

But Chaurashi is the place of a completely extinguished Monastery of Vajrayan where Siddha Shabaripa had possibly made tribal Jaganta a symbolic portrayal of matriarch tenets of Buddhism and eager to save Buddhism from the deficiency of Shunyavada, King Indrabhuti while establishing and fortifying Vajrayana had developed Sabaripa’s concept to the discernible image of Gurudev Buddha as Sri Jagannatha. Thus, this place being the place of metamorphosis of Gurudev Buddha into Sri Jagannatha, when new image of the deity was necessitated, it was decided to make its height eighty-four pavas symbolically using the numerical in honoring the geographical as well as spiritual identity of the source of its manifestation.

Brahminism, the divisive technique of Arya invaders to keep the subjugated people socially subdued, was promulgated with brute force in Orissa by non-Oriya dynasties in order only to eliminate Buddhism from the place of its origin.

And in doing so, it has arbitrarily transformed, in course of time, Sri Jagannatha Buddha of Oriya origin to Sri Jagannath Krushna of non-Oriya origin and has transformed Sabaripa and King Indrabhuti to Sabara Biswabasu and King Indradyumna respectively by overlapping concocted legends on the real evolution of Sri Jagannatha.

But, despite this, Sri Jagannatha is being worshipped in the manners of Buddhist Tantra and his height has been ordained to remain eighty-four pavas in honor of the Chaurashi monastery and its Siddhas, in whose lap and in whose hands it had evolved.

It is known that Buddha was out and out against Brahminism and though the derailed history is yet to be set back on the right track to admit it, he had rushed from his birthplace in Tosala of Orissa to Magadh, the heartland of Vedic Imperialism for organizing the tribal communities there in Orissa’s Ganarajya pattern in order to obstruct Brahminism so that tribal culture would remain in tact.

Orissa’s Ganarajya pattern was based on Chanda, which means management of society on majority approval obtained through ‘vote’ in which every matured member of the society was freely participating and the majority opinion obtained as such was prevailing. This was a unique practice in vogue amongst tribal communities in Tosala region of Orissa comprising Kapilavastu (Modern Kapileswar near Bhubaneswar, admittedly wrongfully misplaced by Fuhrer in Nepal ) for which the place was and is yet famous as Chandaka (fountainhead of the system of Chanda). Gurudev Buddha had developed his unique Samgha system on the basis of this Chanda practice of his birthplace Orissa and had rushed to Magadha to obstruct autocratic Vedism in that very soil of its spread by organizing the Vajjiyans and other tribes in his Samgha pattern that was based on Chanda. Therefore, the horse that had taken him from tribal democratic Orissa to the heartland of autocratic Brahminism, was famous also as Chandaka, corrupted in course of time to Chhandaka.

Bimbisara was the Emperor of Magadha when Buddha had arrived there from Orissa. Introducing himself to the Emperor he had said that straight from Tosala, the land of paddy crops and valiant people where Hema (Dhavala) hill is a landmark, he had come to him. The Emperor had deep discussions with Buddha many a times and was convinced that conflict with autonomous tribal communities and matriarchy would ultimately jeopardize his empire. Therefore he had stopped attacking the tribals.

Vedic imperialism saw in this an affront to its hegemony. Bimbisara was put under arrest and the throne was force-occupied by Ajatasattu who deputed his Brahmin minister Bassakara to dissuade Buddha from supporting the Vajjiyans when attempts to annex their lands to the empire would commence. Buddha’s reply was as sharp as strong was his commitment to human rights. In ‘Dialogues of the Buddha’ (London[1910]Vol.II pp.78-80) T.W.R. Rhys Davids, quoting Maha Parinibbana Sutta, tells us:

“The Exalted One was once dwelling in Rajagaha, on the hill called the Vulture’s Peak. Now at that time Ajatasattu, the son of the queen-concort of the Videha clan, the king of Magadha, had made up his mind to attack the Vajjians; and he said to himself ‘I will strike at these Vajjians, mighty and powerful though they be, I will root out these Vajjians, I will destroy these Vajjians, I will bring these Vajjians to utter ruin.’ So he spoke to the Brahmana Vassakara, Prime Minister of Magadha, and said: ‘Come now Brahmana, do you go to the Exalted One and bow down in adoration at his feet on my behalf, and enquire in my name whether he is free from illness and suffering, and in the enjoyment of ease and comfort and vigorous health. Then tell him that Ajatasattu, son of the Videhi, the king of Magadha, in his eagerness to attack the Vijjians, has resolved,”I will strike at these Vijjians, mighty and powerful though they be, I will root out these Vajjians, I will destroy these Vajjians, I will bring these Vajjians to utter ruin”; and bear carefully in mind whatever the Exalted One may predict and repeat it to me. For the Buddha speaks nothing untrue.’

“Then the Brahmana Bassakara, the rain-maker, harkened to the words of the king, saying, ‘Be it as you say.’ And, ordering a number of state carriages to be made ready, he mounted one of them, left Rajagaha with his train, and went to the Vulture’s Pick, riding as far as the ground was passable for carriages and then alighting and proceeding on foot to the place where the Exalted one was.

“On arriving there he exchanged with the Exalted One the greetings and compliments of politeness and courtesy, sat down respectfully by his side (and then delivered to him the message even as the king had commanded).

“Now at that time the venerable Ananda was standing behind the Exalted One, and fanning him. And the Blessed One said to him: ‘Have you heard, Ananda, that the Vajjians foregather often and frequent the public meetings of their clan?’

‘Lord, so I have heard’, replied he.

‘So long Ananda’, rejoined the Blessed One, ‘as the Vajjians foregather thus often, and frequent the public meetings of their clan; so long may they be expected not to decline, but to prosper.’

x x x x x x x x x x x x x

“So long, Ananda, as the Vajjians meet together in concord and rise in concord, and carry out their undertakings in concord,- so long as they enact nothing not already established, abrogate nothing that has already been enacted and act in accordance with the ancient institution of the Vajjians, as established in the former days – so long as they honour and esteem and revere and support the Vajjian elders, and hold it to a point of duty to hearken to their words,- so long as no women or girls belonging to their clans are detained among them by force or abduction – so long as they honour and esteem and revere and support the Vajjian shrines (cetiyani) in town or country, and allow not the proper offerings and rites, as formormly given and performed, to fall into desuetude – so long as the rightful protection, defence, and support shall be fully provided for the Arahants among them, so that Arahants from a distance may enter the realm, and the Arahants therein may live at ease – so long may the Vajjians be expected not to decline, but to prosper”.

On thus assessing Buddha’s responses, Bassakar is quoted to have said, “We may expect then, the welfare and not the decline of the Vajjians when they are possessed of any one of these conditions of welfare, how much more so when they are possessed of all the seven. So, Gotama, the Vajjians cannot be overcome by the king of Magadha; that is not in battle, without diplomacy or breaking up their alliance. And now, Gotama, we must go; we are busy and have much to do” (ibid, pp. 80-1).

Despite this veiled threat of Bassakara before leaving Buddha, Ajatasattu had not dared to attack the Bajjians during active life of Buddha. When the venerable Gurudev passed away in 483 B.C., Ajatasattu’s first attack on Vajjians had taken place in 485 B.C. in which the Emperor had to be bereft of 10 of his brothers.

It is clear, as such, that Buddha, by restricting spread of Vedic Imperialism within Magadh under occupation of the Aryas, had saved the tribal belt in Northern India and thereby, his land Orissa in the southern east was in total safety.

Grateful tribals of Orissa, speculating on factor of creation in terms of tribal matriarchy, had reduced their concept to concrete shape expressed in a log of wood that they were calling as Jaganta that represented the female factor. In course of time they had painted two breasts (Thana in colloquial Oriya) on this log as to them the breasts were the factors of sustenance of life. With these breasts or Thana abbreviated to Tha, Jaganta became Jaganta-tha gaining philosophical viability under spiritual activism practiced by Bauddha Siddhacharys at Chaurashi in the basin of Prachi. And, therefore it was easier on part of King Indrabhuti to transform this Jaganta-tha to Jagannatha consecrating in it the shape of void that the Gurudev had already been projected to have taken after his death. In his Jnanasiddhi, Buddha was for the first time addressed as Jagannatha and the word Jagannatha was for the first time formed and used in such a revolutionary scripture.

But before Indrabhuti consecrated Buddha as Jagannatha, Orissa being the birthplace of Buddha, and therefore, the greatest hurdle on the way of Vedic imperialism, had been attacked continuously by North Indian Aryas, starting with Asoka’s battle under the very same Hema (Dhaval or Dhauli) hill of which Buddha had so proudly spoken to Bimbisara as noted supra, known to the world as Kalinga war. History has wrongfully credited Asoka with spread of Buddhism across the oceans. In fact he very tactfully destroyed Buddhism. Buddha was against the phenomenon known as God. Vedic imperialism was playing havoc with human life by obliterating social solidarity under the guise of Varnashrama and by subjecting the children of the soil to caste apartheid. Buddha was the strongest opponent of the system of disunity and therefore God, the pivotal force behind the system of disunity, was totally rejected by him. Buddhism was synonymous with atheism. And, therefore, in Buddhism, Vedic imperialism was seeing its arch and the strongest opponent to eliminate which Asoka had attacked Orissa. He had, no doubt, taken many a persons of Orissa to custody in a blitzkrieg, but the area being matriarch, he was so severely attacked by the female warriors that in order to escape alive, he had to acquiesce into being initiated in Buddhism and to declare on the spot that it would be his creed till the last. And, no sooner than escaping with this tactics, he used his initiation into Buddhism to destroy Buddhism in India. Had he, as is the propaganda, been changed from Chandasoka to Dhrmasoka on seeing the devastation wrought to human life by his greed for power, he should have set free the Oriya male soldiers and taken back his grip over Oriya soil. But he never did this. All the Oriya soldiers under his capture succumbed to brutality by being reduced to slaves and Orissa was made to perish under misrule perpetrated by the maurya plunderers. So he had not really changed to Dharmasoka from Chandasoka. He remained Chandasoka till his death under the guise of Dharmasoka. And, under this guise of Dhrmasoka, he destroyed Buddhism by infesting it with theism. He played a cleaver trick. He started projecting himself as the beloved of the Gods as seen in his self-propagated epithet ‘Devanam piya’. By acting as a supporter of Buddhism, he succeeded in gaining popularity amongst the Buddhists and by insinuating himself as beloved of the Gods (Devanam piya) he set Buddhism on reverse gear to God’s revival. Thereafter, as we see, Buddhism declined and Brahminism got new wings to spread all over India. Scholars of our land, belong as most of them to the upper castes and Buddhists, basking as they under the glory of Godhood of their Master, are yet to be free from dormant mindset to examine this aspect and discover the truth.

However, Asoka’s treachery notwithstanding, Orissa being the birthplace of Buddha, Buddhism refused to die in this soil. But being a soil basically of Autonomous Social Units or Village Democracies it had neither specific boundaries nor a common, united, strong and systematic war-force to defend whatever could be its geographical limits. As a result, non-Oriya invaders with avowed motive to obliterate Buddhism by destroying it in its place of origin were trespassing into the Oriya speaking tracks and establishing their dynasties here. One such was the dynasty of the Somavamsis.

Yayati Keshari of this dynasty had imported ten thousand Brahmins from Kanyakubja under the cover of performing a Dasasvamedha Sacrifice at Jajpur. But his real agenda was to use these non-Oriya Vedic chauvinists for suppression of Buddhism, which was – being of Orissa origin – the creed of Oriyas, by imposition of Vedic supremacy in the entire landmass under his occupation. Dr. B.K. Rath writes in Cultural History of Orissa that under his rule, “the Brahmins occupied the highest position in the social hierarchy” and their main function was “the study and teaching of Vedas and performance of religious rites and Vedic sacrifices, as laid down in the Smrtis” (p.120). And had become so powerful that “it was important to get religious sanction and recognition from the Brahmana class before becoming the king of the country. This proves that the Brahmanas occupied a superior position than the ruling class in society during the Somavamshi rule in Orissa”(Ibid. p.121). So through Yayati Keshari the Vedic chauvinists had in fact occupied Orissa. The excavated Buddist heritages in Ratanagiri, Lalitagiri and Langudi near Jajpur silently say how barbarously the Keshari kings and the imported Brahmin goons had destroyed them.

Originally an important center of Mahayana, the Ratnagiri complex had developed into a nerve center of Vajrayana during 8th and 9th century. It had played a significant role in the emergence of Kalachakratantra during the 10th century A.D records Pag Sam Jon Zang.

Similarly Lalitagiri, where Hieun Tsang, while visiting the Puspagiri Mahavihar, had even seen a magnificent Stupa on the hilltop that emitted a brilliant light remitting the bliss of sacredness, had become an important center for study of Vajrayana.

Langudi, under excavation, is marked for being the place where Buddha’s relics were preserved and significantly also, two kneeling Vidyadharas are marked here offering a reverential floral tribute on the occasion of the birth of Buddha.

Apart from these, ancient centers of Buddhist philosophy like the Kaima and Deuli systems are also in this area.

Yayati Keshari had destroyed all the Buddhist shrines and Stupas in this area with the help of the 10,000 Vedic chauvinists that he had imported from outside Orissa, i.e. Kanyakubja. The peace loving Buddhist shramans were brutally killed by these butchers through out the area under his capture, the cruelest ones amongst them boastfully projecting themselves as Pashupata Saivas. They were so powerful that loyalty of kings to Brahmins was tested on the basis of gold coins offered by the king to the Pashupat Saivas on his beheading a Bauddha. Such brutal butchering of Buddhists has never happened anywhere in India or outside except in Orissa. This was because Orissa was the birthplace of Buddha and being his birthplace, Buddhism was the common creed of the people of Orissa.

The effect was so terrifying that Buddhist started giving their sermons in an esoteric style. They started preaching their philosophy by using such words that were having hidden meanings. Therefore, the language they were using, though Oriya in her ancient form, is known as Sandha Bhasa. The word Sandha connotes to stashing of a secret meaning under an outer layer of known meaning of a word or of an expression. Sastri and others have admitted that the Charyagitis are written in Sandha Bhasa; but they have not told of this cause. Had there been no such brutal assault on Buddhists of Orissa by the imported Vedic chauvinists of non-Oriya origin under the umbrage of non-Oriya Rulers whose principal aim was extermination of Buddhism in the soil of its origin, the Charyagitis would not have been written in Sandha language, but could have been written in simple Oriya.

In use of this Sandha technique on language, the lead was taken by the Siddhas of Chaurashi, in the Satapatakapur (Satapata) on the Prachi basin in Tosala part of Orissa where Buddha was born. To match the advantage Brahminism was having by projecting an idol of a God to tackle a human problem, the Chaurashi Siddhacharyas had helped evolution of Jaganta in a wooden log that eventually had metamorphosed to Jaganta-tha before being transformed into Jagannatha by Indrabhuti. And, perhaps under their leadership, the entire landmass from Bhubaneswar to Puri via Kuruma had become a place of active practice of Vajrayana.

This area was the original place where Buddhism proper had originated and flourished. But to face the challenges posed by idol worshipping Brahminic menace, which Shunya concept was unable to meet, this area developed Jaganta – Jagantatha to Jagannatha as the universal idol conceived to represent all past, present and future idols of all possible creed and culture and created Vajrayana as its supportive philosophy on universality of Buddhism.

Vajrayana being the Buddhist reassertion of matriarchy, Vedic chauvinists had aggressively tried to convert this area into an area of phallus worship as a way of imposing patriarchy that the Vedas stood for. Even Dharmachakra pravartana pillars were broken to pieces and misused as Shivalingas like the one in the Bhaskareswara temple of Bhubaneswar.

“Buddhism was probably eclipsed with the rise of Saivism at Bhubaneswar”, informs Dr. B.K.Rath in Cultural History of Orissa at p.157. But this was not without protests. As he quotes D.Mitra (Bronzes from Achyutarajpur), “The imprint of the images of Buddha on the figures of the deified Pasupata teacher Lakulisa on the temples of the seventh and eighth centuries A.D. is unmistakable. But for the staff (lakuta), the images of Lakulisa would easily be confounded with those of Buddha”.

So there was continuous attempt by Vedic chauvinists to destroy Orissa’s Buddhist heritage by converting Buddhist monuments to Saiva and by imposing Lakulisa the leader of the Pasupat saivas whose principal work was annihilation of Buddhists as the deified Guru on the psyche of the Guru-centric people of Orissa to whom Buddha was the Gurudev. And in reaction to that the people of Orissa were trying to imprint Buddha on the image of Lakulisa. This is perhaps the Bada or quarrel that Ishwara Das has hinted to in Chaitanya Bhagavat.

Transformation of Buddhist monuments to Saiva shrines being perpetrated by the king, the people of Orissa, non-violent under Buddhist orientation, were unable to protect them physically. So, the Buddhist teachers, the Siddhas, adopted the technique of preaching in Sandha songs. As said supra, Siddhas of Chaurashi in the Satapatakpur area on the Prachi basin took the lead.

When Yayati Keshari, who had imported ten thousand Vedic chauvinists from Kanyakubja to exterminate Buddhism in the place of its origin, Orissa, could have known of this, he might have certainly been blind in rage and decided to annihilate all the Sidhacharys dwelling in the Chaurashi monastery on the Prachi basin.

And, in the first phase, as Ishwara Das has described in the cited stanzas, he killed 600 Siddhas out of a total of 752 and subsequently, in the second phase, he killed 67. The rest 85 Siddhas went underground and started secretly worshipping the the greatest conqueror of senses, the Gurudev Buddha. And these Siddhas were so famed as Chaurasi Siddhas that he has described them as Chaurasi Siddhas despite they being numerically eighty-five.

Now the question is why Sastri discovered the Charyagitis of these Chaurasi Siddhas of Orissa in the Royal Archives of Nepal. But did he really discover them in Nepal? The doubt persists, specifically as the palm-leaf manuscript from which he has said to have copied the text is not found by any except him. After discovery, he has taken long nine years to say of this. He has not explained as to why he caused this inordinate delay in making the declaration. On the other hand, Bengalis being in habit of visiting Orissa frequently, he might have got a palm-leaf manuscript from Orissa and could have taken much time to make a handwritten copy in a manner to manage it as a sample of proto-Bengali and destroyed the original. The fraudulent manner of claiming Sri Jaya Dev of Orissa for Bengal by concocting a book styled as Jayadev Charita through the same publisher in the same year and ascribing it to a non-existent manuscript of 1801 as discussed above justifies suspicion in the second line.

But it cannot be said that the first line is incorrect. Nepal kingdom had a traditionally secret link with only one place in India, i.e. Orissa.

In the system of Sri Jagannatha, the King of Nepal is the only person in the entire world except the Gajapati Emperor of Orissa who is entitled to enter the Temple on a paliquin. He enjoys special privileges in the Sri Mandira complex of Puri inasmuch as there are specially designated Sevayats to attend him and his family during their visit to the Temple. His paliquin entering the Temple through the southern gate halts only under the Kalpabata from where he goes to Sri Jagannath by foot and performs the Special Puja that only he as the King of Nepal is entitled to perform.

Why this special treatment to the King of Nepal in the temple of Sri Jagannatha? The answer lies with the secret chapter of history in respect of Buddha.

Canonical instructions are clear that Buddha’s birthplace should be the first amongst the four places of pilgrimage for every follower of Buddha. So Buddha’s birthplace was and is the most sacred place for a Buddhist. After Buddha’s demise, specifically after Asoka captured the area of Buddha’s birthplace in Kalinga war and following the war that area became very vulnerable to desecration by the Brahmins, it was perhaps Nepal that came forward to help in keeping the sacredness of the birthplace of Buddha unaffected by floating in its territory a legend of Buddha’s birth in a secluded jungle there by allowing the place to be known as Kapilavastu in imitation of the name of Buddha’s birthplace in Orissa. In ‘The Life of Buddha’ (p.19) E. J. Thomas quotes Fa Hien of 5th century A.D. as he noted of that place as a place where neither any people nor any king was to be found, a wilderness except for priests and some tens of families. According to Cunningham in ‘Ancient Geography of India’ (p.349), there was no trace of Kapila despite intensive search at the foot of the Himalayas.

There is no reason to be surprised over this as the name of the place was mutually concocted by both the kings of Nepal and Orissa in order to keep the real birthplace of Buddha, the real Kapilavastu in Tosala of Orissa safe from being desecrated by the agents and perpetrators of Brahminism.

Describing how the celebrated tooth of Buddha, kept safe in the idol of Sri Jagannatha (as this was the idol of Buddha himself), was “conveyed in A.D.311 by a King’s daughter concealed in her hair to Ceylon, which was then becoming a place of refuge to the Buddhists from the Brahmins’ rage”, Rev. J. Long has given us a clear picture from his personal account of investigation on Buddhism in Nepal, in Ceylon and in China, of how Orissa, the fountainhead of Buddhism, was the only place where people from kings to commons were Buddhists en masse and how the Brahmins, after she was captured by non-Oriya Aryan invaders, had in “rage” ravished the State and converted it into a place of Hinduism by the time of his visit to Orissa in January, 1859.

The most significant aspect of his revelation is that he had made an in-depth investigation in Nepal, Ceylon and China to find out where Buddhism had really flourished. And, his study had pointed his attention only towards Orissa, even though by that time Hinduism had engulfed the land.

He has noted, “Antiquarian enquiries in Nepal, Ceylon and China show that the Buddhism so noted in its regard for enlightening the masses and opposing caste, was for ages predominant all through Orissa both among rulers and people, though Orissa is now the garden of the Hinduism and Jagannath its Jerusalem”.

The Buddhists in those three countries had helped him understand that Orissa’s Sri Jagannath was in reality the idol of Buddha and therefore this idol was containing Buddha’s celebrated tooth relics.

It was quite natural. Buddha being of Orissa by birth, his relics were brought to Orissa after his demise at Kushinagar. In ‘The Life of Buddha’ (p.159), Thomas has relied upon ‘Sariradhatu vibhajanam’ accounts wherein his citation “Kalingaranno vijite punekam” tells us of handing over of the celebrated tooth relics to Orissa, (it being the place of Buddha’s heirs). This celebrated tooth was consecrated in the body of Sri Jagannatha Buddha, in short Jagannatha.

Narrating this from the sources of Buddhists of Nepal, Ceylon and China, Thomas notes, “Even Jagannath itself stands on the site of a Buddhist temple and contained the celebrated tooth of Buddha, which was kept there till the 4th century A.D.” Ibid).

Unveiling how this splendid Buddhist soil succumbed to Hinduism, Rev. Long has hinted at the oppression perpetrated on Buddhists by the Brahmins with the help of their patron kings of non-Oriya origin as noted supra.

The north Indian invaders had once taken away this tooth relic to Patna of Bihar. But people of Orissa had fetched it back after a short while. Not only from the northern part of India, but also from the southern part, Brahmanya forces were determined to destroy it. Pt. Chakradhara Mohapatra, the first in modern times to have unveiled proofs of Orissa being Buddha’s birthplace, tells us, “It is quite evident from ‘Datha Dhatuvamsa’ that the spread of Buddhism mostly depended upon this Buddhist relic. So one of the Brahmanya kings, Kshiradhara of Asmaka (i.e. Travancore, Kerala) tried to destroy this tooth but he failed in his attempt and died. After his death, his relations with the help of the kingdoms of Cheta, Rastrika, Bhoja, Avanti and Kamvoja etc tries to invent Kalinga and destroy the relic of Buddha. So, the then emperor of Kalinga, Guhashiva, who was the great grandson of Brahmadatta sent that sacred relic in the hand of his daughter Hemamali. Princess hemamali took that tooth with her husband Danta Kumara, the prince of Ujjayini, and sailed for Ceylon through the Tamralipta port”. (The Real Birthplace of Buddha, Grantha Mandir, Cuttack, 1977; p.53)

Rev. J. Long reports, “When it (the tooth relic) was carried for a short period to Patna, the ancient Palibothra, then the capital of North India, it was soon after brought back to Puri, but on an invasion of the country, it was conveyed in A.D. 311 by a king’s daughter concealed in her hair to Ceylon, which was then becoming a place of refuge to the Buddhists from the Brahmins’ rage”.(Notes and queries suggested by a visit to Orissa in Jan.1859; Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1859, No.III, Vol.XXVIII, pp.185-87)

So, it is clear that, Orissa, being the birthplace of Buddha, had transformed Buddha from omnipresence after his death to the present form of Jagannatha in whose system Buddha’s emphasis on elimination of the caste system was in full practice. It was the greatest challenge Brahminism was facing and hence the Vedic chauvinists had been making all out attempts to subdue Orissa and destroy her Buddhist heritage and creed. And by 4th Century A.D. they had become so much powerful that the Tooth relic of the greatest son of its soil, Buddha, fetched back from Patna, had to be secretly transported to Ceylon.

This subjugation of Buddhist Orissa by brute forces of Brahminism leads us to the phase of symbolic worship of Buddha in his birthplace, Orissa, by his ardent followers, who had developed a peculiar technique of preaching their philosophy in songs capable of spreading from mouth to mouth in a style where esoteric meaning of an expression was being stashed under an outer layer of misleading words cunningly coined in a pattern that we call ‘Sandha Bhasa’ or ‘Sandhya Bhasa’ so adopted in order only to hoodwink the Vedic chauvinists.

So the composition of the Charyagitis in Sandha pattern or pattern of double meaning is unmistakably a pattern developed only in Orissa by the Buddhists who had developed this pattern in order only to hoodwink the brute forces of Vedic chauvinists.

Nowhere in India except Orissa Buddhism had become the creed of kings and commons en masse and nowhere in India except Orissa, Brahminism had so ruthlessly and for so many centuries concentrated against Buddhism. Therefore, nowhere in India except Orissa the Sandha pattern or the pattern of usage of double meaning words in colloquial Buddhist literature was necessitated and therefore, nowhere in India except Orissa the Charyagitis or the songs marked as Bauddha Gana O Doha by Sastri were composed. It was nothing but cultural dishonesty on part of Sastri to have projected these Oriya songs as Bengali.

In a foreword to ‘Pratna-Oriya’, the book on the grammar of the Charyagitis by Dr. Khageswar Mohapatra, eminent philologist Dr. Devi Prasanna Pattnaik has opined that that those who claim the Charyagitis for Orissa, Bengal, Assam or Mithila may be partially right as these languages having a common root are not supposed to be not without similarity in their proto form. He has further observed that amongst Oriya, Bengali and Assamese, Oriya was the first to have advanced into a distinct form of its own and later the other two i.e. Bengali and Assamese separated from each other due to changes in philological perspectives. Many a proto properties preserved even today in Oriya language speaks of its conservative character, which, no wonder, has components more akin to Charya language in comparison with Bengali and Assamese. (Pratna-Oriya, Dr. Khageswar Mohapatra, 2nd edition, p.IV)

Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterjee comparing Oriya with Bengali and Assamese had also earlier said, “of these three speeches – Oriya, Bengali and Assamese – Oriya has preserved a great many archaic features in both grammar and pronunciation; and it may be said without travesty to linguistic truth that Oriya is the eldest of these three sisters, when we consider the archaic character of the language”.(I.H.Q.Vol.XXIII, 1947, p.337)

So, scholars, who see similarity in the core of constitution of the three rival languages but do not fully agree with Orissa’s claim over the Charyagitis, have no hesitation in admitting that Oriya had emerged as a separate and distinct language ahead of Bengali and Assamese.
Undisputedly being a language distinctly manifested much ahead of Bengali and Assamese (and Maithili), Oriya is the language, naturally, wherein expression in poetic form had become a reality much ahead of that occurring in Bengali. On this premise it can be safely said that the Charyagitis Sastri has claimed for Bengal were flowers of Oriya language, being the oldest available poetic expression in this region.

Scholars like Dr. Karunakar Kar of Orissa in his famous work ‘Ashcharya Charyachaya’ (Orissa Sahitya Akademi) has proved word by word that the words used in the Charyagitis are Oriya words. Another scholar of Orissa Dr. Khageswar Mohapatra in his book ‘Pratna-Oriya’, which depicts a “tentative grammar” of Proto-Oriya in context of these songs, has also proved how the words of Charyagitis are words of Oriya language. Even scholars of Bengal with scholarly composure like Bijoy Chandra Mazumdar (Calcutta University, 1920, Lecture XIII, as informed in Charyagitika, Prof. K.Mohapatra, Friends’ Publishers, Cuttack, Eighth Edition, 1999, p.43) have shown how sic passim are Oriya words in these songs. In ‘Buddhist Esoterism’ scholar Binoytosh Bhattacharya has held that Krishnacharya (Kahnupa) “wrote Dohas also in his own vernacular, which was probably Udiya”. But thus saying, Bhattacharya has also said that Kanhupa’s writing in his own vernacular Udiya “had a great affinity with the old Bengali language”. This affinity aspect is so misleading that some of the Bengali scholars have been able to satisfy their own chauvinistic urge by declaring, as has done Dr. Suniti Kumar in History of Bengal, Ch.xii, (Dacca University, 1943), that notwithstanding the affinity with Oriya (and over and above that with old Magadhi, old Maithili, or old Bhojapuri), the language of the Charyagitis is Bengali.

But no Bengali scholar has shown as to why the language of the Charyagitis is Sandha in pattern. Groping about in the dark they have made many speculations like Sastri describing it in introducing his compilation as “Sandhya Bhasa” and defining the word Sandhya as “Alon-andhari” meaning an admixture of light and dark even while admitting that under the outer layer there are inner meanings hidden in these songs. Binoytosh Bhattacharya, his son, has furthered the confusion by saying that as the Siddhas have written their songs in Sandhya Bhasa, contents thereof “may be explained either by the light of the day or by the darkness of the night” (An Introduction to Buddhist Esoterism, London, 1932, p.35, relied upon by Mohapatra, Caryagitika, p.10). The same source also cites Panchakadi Banarjee’s definition “Sandhya means borderland” in justifying which Banarjee has gone up to connecting the songs to the language of a country named Sandhya in between Aryavarta and Banga. So, it seems, the Bengali scholars have tried to define the word “Sandhya” after the word “Sandha” was corrupted to this form by Sastri, instead of trying to find out why the Charyagitis were written in duel meaning pattern (Sandha) even though in introducing Bauddha Gana O Doha he has admitted that there are inner meanings hidden under the outer meaning of these songs.

They cannot be blamed entirely; because the circumstances under which the Chaurashi Siddhacharyas had to write their songs in Sandha (hiding the real meaning under a superficial layer) pattern was not known to them.

The Siddhacharyas had composed their songs in different popular meters and with litanies, which makes it clear that they were meant to be sung in public with mass participation. So they were mass purpose songs. Why then they made them complicated by using duel-meaning words stashing the real meaning under the superficial?

Sastri and others have not supplied us the reason. They know that the songs were composed in dual meaning pattern. Therefore they also know the reason of use of this pattern. But they have preferred to keep mum as otherwise it would not have been easy for them to claim these Oriya songs for their regions.

In Orissa, and in Orissa alone, writing these songs in Sandha pattern was necessitated to hoodwink the goons of Brahminism. Nowhere in India except Orissa, as has already been described above, destruction of Buddhist shrines and annihilation of Buddist Monks was being carried out so brutally by Aryan invaders with the help of imported Vedic chauvinists styled as Pasupata Saivas.

After the non-Oriya Yayati Keshari vandalized the Buddhist heritages in Jajpur with the help of the ten thousand Vedic chauvinists he had imported from Kanyakubja in the guise of horse sacrifice to destroy Buddhism in the place of its origin, Orissa, his nasty eyes were cast on the Chaurashi monastery in the Prachi basin where, like in Jajpur, Barahi was the presiding deity of applied matriarchy, providing a perfect cover to practice of Vajrayana and where Sabaripa had transformed the tribal Jaganta to Jagantatha paving the way for Indrabhuti to idolize Gurudev Buddha to Jagannatha.

The monastery of Chaurashi, where Jagannatha was thus given his shape and in honor of which, the height of Sri Jagannath has become 84 pavas, was the citadel of the authors of the Charyagitis whose emphasis was on two aspects of human life: firstly, recognition of female factor as supreme cause of creation, creativity and bliss and secondly, refusal to recognize caste system in human society. Therefore they had given feminine appearance and lifestyle to Jagannatha notwithstanding Buddha being idolized in his shape and they had epitomized castelessness in personal as well as societal life. Brahmins who were against Brahminism were welcomed to their fold and honored as Siddhas, for an example, Krushnacharya alias Kanhupa. Therefore, they were regarded as philosophers and guides of the Satapatakas meaning broadly the seven subcaste habitants of the Prachi basin where including Chaurasi, seven important centers of applied Buddhism had also developed under guidance of the Siddhas of Chaurashi.
This was never to be tolerated by the Vedic Chauvinists. To them, it was impossible to spread and stabilize Brahminism in Orissa unless the Siddhas of Chaurashi, active guides of applied Buddhism in the Satapatakapur on Prachiu basin were exterminated.

Therefore, the Keshari King, as described by Ishwara Das in Chaitanya Bhagavat (cited supra) killed 600 Satapata Siddhas in the first phase and 67 in the second phase out of a total 752 identified Bauddhacharyas. To avoid complete extinction, the rest 85 Siddhacharyas went underground. Despite their number being 85, Ishwara Das had described them as Chaurashi Siddhas, which, as already discussed, makes it absolutely clear that the Siddhacharyas of Orissa’s Prachi basin were known as Chaurashi Siddhas. No other place except Orissa can claim the Chaurashi Siddhas as its own.

So this scriptural description of historical irrefutability has made it clear that the Chaurashi Siddhas belonged to Orissa and in Guru-Sisya Parampara, they were known as Chaurashi Siddhas, who were never to be seen or treated separately (“Yemante Chaurashi Bauddha / Yeka swarupe nahin bheda”) and, who had authored the Charyagitis and Dohas in their own vernacular Oriya as a literature of applied Buddhism; but had done that in Sandha style in order to hoodwink the brutal practitioners of Brahminism by then in power in Orissa.

As Orissa’s princess had transported the celebrated Tooth of Buddha concealed in her hair to Ceylon in 311 A.D., because by then she had emerged as a safe soil for Buddhists to save the Master’s sacred relic from “Brahmins’ rage” (Rev. J. Long, cited supra), so in similar vein, some of the Chaurashi Siddhas of Orissa might have taken refuge in Nepal as by helping Orissa in saving the real birthplace of Buddha from being vandalized by the Vedic chauvinists, the Himalayan State had emerged as the safest place for the Siddhas of Orissa.

Therefore, there is nothing to be surprised if Sastri had really found a palm leaf manuscript of the Charyagitis in the Royal Archives of Nepal. Availability of Charyagitis and Dohas elsewhere does not do away with the reality that they are songs of Oriya language authored by Chaurashi Siddhacharyas of Orissa.