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

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

Finally we have got the proof.

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

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

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

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

I will elaborate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Forgery on Gopabandhu’s Will: Cuttack District Judge Office looks like its breeding bed! Orissa High Court should look at it

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Article 227 of the Constitution of India has given the power of superintendence over all the Courts of a State to the State’s High Court. Therefore, I urge upon the High Court of Orissa to look at what has happened in the office of the Cuttack District Judge in the matter of the State’s most precious document – the last Will of Utkalmani Pundit Gopabandhu Das. The said office of judiciary looks like a breeding bed of forgery.

People’s faith in judiciary will be lost if influential persons freely tamper with or replace an original Will with forged ones and/or escape law by using the fake/forged Will in legal forums by projecting the same as the certified copies thereof granted by the District Judge.

The offense is too serious to be ignored

 I have discussed in these pages why I suspect that Gopabandhu’s last Will has been suppressed or destroyed by Radhanath Rath, a servant of Gopabandhu, who thereafter had eventually grabbed the editorship of his co-founded paper -The Samaja – after manufacturing a forged Will of Gopabandhu with the help of Lingaraj Mishra; and how the Servants of the People Society (SoPS) has taken over the Samaja to its ownership by using the same forged Will.

In order to reach the reality, I had tried to legally obtain a certified copy of Gopabandhu’s Will, projected as probated by the District Judge of Cuttack in Misc. Case No. 42 of 1928. I had filed the application for the certified copy on 21 August 2013, which was registered as Copy Application No. 353A.

As the same did not fetch any result till 7 April 2014, despite meeting the District Judge in his chamber several times, the President of Utkalmani Newspaper Employees Association Sri Deviprasanna Nayak, deeply affected by the question raised in these pages over authenticity of ownership of Samaja, in order to know the truth, used RTI to know of the whereabouts of the Probated Will of Gopabandhu.

In answering to the RTI query, the Asst. Public Information Officer-cum-Sheristadar, District Judge Court, Cuttack has informed that “the Will of Pundit Gopabandhu Das probated in Misc. Case 42/1928 is not available” as the said Will “has been sent to the Office of the District Judge, Berhampur and received by the Sheristadar of the said Office on 02.04.1936.” After release of this RTI information, I was informed by the Dist. Judge Office that my application for copy of the Will has already been rejected on finding that the same is not available.

This information makes the situation more intriguing, as I have found out in course of research that the same office of the District Judge, Cuttack has issued a certified true copy of the probated Will on 9.1.1996 to an applicant, which has been used in a case. We have located, at the typing stage of this copy, there was attempt to tamper with the text. When either the Comparer or the Certifying officer located the tampering, the same was undone by applying white paint on the intentionally and wrongfully typed portion and thereafter, on the white paint, the correction, as per the text of the probated copy of the Will preserved in the records of the District Court, was inscribed.

When the Will is “not available” in the office of the District judge, Cuttack since 2.4.1936, as it has been “sent to the Office of the District Judge, Berhampur and received by the Sheristadar of the said Office” on that date, because of which my application dated 21 .08.2013 for a certified copy of the Will has been rejected in April 2014 after at least a 8 months long search, how could the said District Judge issued a stamped certified copy of the Will on 9.1.1996, bearing the attempted tampering and correction therein?

Was it then manufactured in the District Judge Office?

This question needs be looked into by the High Court of Orissa, along with who had tried to tamper with the text thereof, which had been foiled by the District Court.

A further point that deserves attention is that, on 20.9.1930, a copy of the forged Will was generated in the Cuttack District Judge office with rubber stamps of the Court affixed thereon, with notes discernible on its page that says, the same is copied to Book No IX at Serial No.15.

The rubber-stamped copy does not carry the signature of the District Judge who granted the probate.

When this rubber-stamped copy shows that it was “filed on 15th December 1928 and was prepared on 20.9.1930, another copy of the Will, used by the SoPS as certified copy of the Will in the High Court of Delhi, shows that the same was probated on 7.9.1929 and copied on 28.2.1954.. If the Will of Gopabandhu is not available in the Office of the District Judge, Cuttack since 2.4.1936, where from this so-called true copy dated 28.2.1954 also emanated?

More intriguing is the fact that the tampering attempted on 9.1.1996 on the copy of the Will tallies with the copy of the forged Will dated 28.2.1954 filed by Servants of the People Society before the Delhi High Court in Suit No.152/96.

Radhanath Rath was ruling the roost in the Samaja in 1996. He knew that he and Lingaraj Mishra had forged the Will, He also knew that, the forged copy of the Will he was using, was not a stamped certified copy, therefore, has no evidentiary value. But having benefitted so immensely by using the forged Will, he was not daring to tell the Delhi High Court that the copy of the Will placed before it by the SoPS was not the copy of the probated Will, even though SoPS was using that copy of the forged Will against him in Suit No. 152/96.

On the other hand, SoPS had manufactured the copy of the forged Will on 28.2.1954 to meet the requirement of Audit Bureau of Circulation for membership. Establishment of ownership was necessary to become a member of ABC. But the forged copy of the Will that Rath had procured in 1930 was not traceable at that time. Therefore, on 28.2.1954, the forged copy was again manufactured from the handwritten copy of the forged will preserved by Rathanath Rath. It tallies eith the handwritten copy of the forged Will published later in Samaja on 7.7.1986.

In his last part of life,Rath not only handed over the Samaja management to his son-in-law Padarabinda Mohapatra, but also handed over editorial responsibility to his daughter Manorama Mohapatra by arranging her induction into hierarchy of SoPS through manipulations. This ignited conflict between him and the SoPS. He knew that Gopabandhu had never given the samaja to SoPS. It was he and Lingaraj Mishra who had forged the will to grab the Samaja under cover of SoPS. So, he dissolved the Board of Management of Samaja which the SoPS had created. SoPS challenged him in the Delhi High Court using the forged copy of the Will Rath had created on the solid assumption that Rath cannot challenge the said Will in that Court.

But, the SoPS also knows that copy of the Will it had filed in the Court was a copy of the forged Will. Elsewhere in these pages, it would be seen that after death of Gopabandhu, SoPS had asked Lingaraj Mishra to take over the Sayabadi Press as per the Will of Gopabandhu. The Executive of SoPS had not asked Mishra to take over Samaja, because it was known to it that Gopabandhu had not bequeathed to it the Samaja as it was common a common venture of Satyabadi Panchasakha and spiritually the property of the people of Orissa. The handwritten copy of the forged Will published in the Samaja of 7.7.1986 has notes on its margin about implementation of the Will. When it is noted against Para 6 containing Gopabandhu’s desire to make over the Press to SoPS the margin note says that the Press is made over against receipt, there is no note on the para 7 that contains the forgery. So, SoPS is unambiguously conscious of the forgery Rath and Lingaraj Mishra had done through the copy of the Will they had manufactured. Yet, it had submitted the forged copy of the Will manufactured on 28.2.1954 for use in ABC membership as a document in its case against Radhanath Rath assuming that the forgery shall not be exposed by Rath as he himself was its architect.

Yet, the fact that this forged copy was not in stamp paper but in plain paper with rubber stamp of the court illegally used, was making the plentiffs fidget. SoPS was apprehensive that the Delhi High Court, while hearing the case, may insist upon production of the Certified Copy on stamped paper. So, a fresh attempt was made to generate a copy of the forged Will on a stamped paper. After obtaining an order for the certified copy, SoPS had gained over the Court typist to prepare the copy on stamp paper with court fee affixed from copy of the forged Will in their hand and get it stamped as certified true copy. But to dismayof SoPS,the certifying officer compared the typed copy with the copy of the probated Will preserved in the Book IX at serial 15 and found the foul play. The typist had to apply white paint on the text so wrongfully typed and then on that white paint, had to type the true version of the probated Will as copied to Book IX. Then the corrected copy was authenticated.

This authenticated copy could have exposed the forgery of the Will in the copy SoPS had submitted in the High Court and could also have led to punishment for the crime of forgery. Hence the certified stamped copy was abandoned by SoPS and landed in our hand during research.

High Court of Delhi could not reach the stage of examining the document filed by SoPS including the forged copy of the Will dated 28.2.1954. When SoPS was reluctant to expedite the hearing of its case lest the forgery be known, to its great relief Radhanath Rath died. On 1.5.1998 it filed a petition in the Delhi High Court seeking leave not to press the case as Rath had died and the SoPS had come to compromise with other defendants. Thus they have avoided punishment for using a forged Will and have been using the same forged Will to continue their illegal grip over the Samaja.

This question needs be looked into by the High Court of Orissa.

In course of our investigation we have also found that the Will of Gopabandhu was probated on two different dates – 20.9.1930 and 7.9.1929 in the same probate case bearing No.42/1928?

How this was possible is a question the High Court of Orissa should look into.

It is baffling that the probate order dated 7.9.1929 covers a Will that it mentions as “Amend Will”.

Pundit Gopabandhu had died after dictating his Will to Radhanath Rath, as per eye-witness accounts of Pundit Nilakantha Das. The Will probated on 20. 9. 1930 as per stamped certified true copy dated 9.1.1996 is written by Lingaraj Mishra. Yet again, the Will probated on 7.9.1929 is written by the same Lingaraj Mishra. How could the District Judge in the same 42/1928 case grant probate to the “Amend Will”, when the Will filed on 15.12.1928 was kept pending till 20.9.1930?

This question needs be looked into by the High Court of Orissa.

The point to be noted is that, if at all the Will probated on 7.9.1929, was the Will dictated by Gopabandhu in his death bed, he had not amended the will after his death. So the “Amend Will” doesn’t deserve any credence. Was it real and really probated? This question needs be looked into by the High Court of Orissa.

Both the avatars of the Will being not the same, the District Judge office of Cuttack has played the role of a breeding bed of forgery, at the behest of its beneficiaries – Radhanath Rath, Lingaraj Mishra and Servants of the People Society.

This is a serious offense against the people of Orissa.

The High Court of Orissa, being the Court of superintendence, should immediately take cognizance of this matter and institute a time-bound inquiry to find out the truth and to take action against everybody- alive or dead – if forgery is ascertained and to ensure that the people of this State are not left in the lurch to bear with judiciary’s suspected role in forgery of this type.

This is really urgent.

Gopabandhu’s Samaja in the words of Gopabandhu

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am rendering below a translation of the said editorial.

Fallacious Apprehension

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

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

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

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

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

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

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

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

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

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

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

Men of dubious conduct: Lingaraj and Radhanath

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But Radhanath Rath was a shrewd person with vast ambitions.

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

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

Mens rea

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

Rath was a very ambitious person with a poor income.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rath was tutoring Gopabandhu

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

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

Hidden agenda

Rath had a hidden agenda matching his high ambition.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

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

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

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

The 1st victim was Pt. Nilakantha

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Samaja was not given to SoPS

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

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

Who wrote the WILL:
Radhanath Rath or Lingaraj Mishra?

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

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

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

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

Two texts of the same WILL circulated by Samaja/SoPS

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

The difference

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

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

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

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

Dubious role of Radhanath Rath

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

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

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

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

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