MAN MOHAN SINGH FROM QUATTROCCHI TO KASAB: INDIA GOES ON GETTING EMBARRASSED

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh has stated that his government is embarrassed over unnecessary prosecution kept alive by Indian judiciary against an innocent man like the Italian Ottavio Quattrocchi. In reality, India is embarrassed over the role her Prime Minister is playing in patronizing anti-Indians. Let us look at that.

Dr. Singh claims credit for having defeated the 26 / 11 terror attack on Mumbai and for having subjected the lone survivor Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab to prosecution in a Special Court. This is an instance that shows the difference between Congress and BJP in handling Pak-propelled terrorism in India, he asserts.

A man, who despite being the PM of India, has not hesitated to castigate Indian judicial system for having not ended the case against the Italian broker Ottavio Quattrocchi, is claiming credit for prosecution commenced against the Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab under the same judicial system! The farce is curious.

Let us first look at Quattrocchi and then at Kasab.

Quattrocchi and the PM

Quarttrochhi is an absconder in whose context Mrs. Sonia Gandhi is looked at askance. It is for him, Sonia’s husband Rajiv Gandhi – once believed to be “Mr. Clean Prime Minister” – had come to be viewed as “Mr. Corrupt Prime Minister” and punished by the peoples of India under Bofors bribe charges.

Before Sonia’s Quattrocchi connection played the tricks, Rajiv had become Prme Minister in 1984 with 400 MPs posted by Indian voters to support him; but after the tricks were exposed, the same voters dethroned him with contempt by rejecting his party in 1989.

Even as the Indian Judicial system proceeded to determine Quattrocchi’s role in the corruption scandal and he was required to appear before the Supreme Court, the Congress leadership helped him flee India in 1993. And the Italian soon declared that he would not respond to any Indian court, as he had “no faith in India’s justice system”.

Now, in support of this arrogant and unscrupulous Italian user of corrupt practices, the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has condemned the Indian justice system in the most disparaging terms! He has said, “The Quattrocchi case is an embarrassment for the Government of India…. It is not a good reflection on the Indian legal system that we harass people while the world says we have no case”.

The words of accused Italian Quattrocchi, who is absconding from Indian Courts and the words of Dr.Man Mohan Singh, who works under leadership of Sonia Gandhi, are so strikingly similar in condemning Indian judicial system over prosecution of the charge-sheeted Bofors bribe kingpin that any proud Indian may feel ashamed of his Prime Minister, as he looks like echoing only “his master’s voice”.

Extra-Constitutional Boss of the PM

After Raiv’s death, Sonia in 1999 had resolutely supported Quattrocchi with condemning the CBI for fictitious charges leveled against an innocent man like him. “The CBI has said he is a suspect. But we have never seen the papers naming him in the deal. They should show the papers naming him in the deal”, she had said oblivious of the fact that by then three of the courts in India and one in Switzerland had already found him involved in the Bofors scandal.

Her support to Quattrochhi continues. After she became the extra-constitutional boss of the government that seemingly controls Prime Minister Dr. Singh, CBI has experienced toughest possible obstacles in proceeding against him. He is an accused against whom the Country is fighting legal battles. It is the Country that had blocked his accounts in a London Bank. But behind back of the country, the Singh government defreezed it in 2006. When he was arrested in Argentina in 2007 where upon his extradition to India was possible, Man Mohan Singh’s government asked the Indian Ambassador there not to pursue the case and the field was made congenial for him to escape. With this arranged victory, he moved the Interpol for removal of his name from the Red-Corner Notice board and Law minister H.R.Bharadwaj terming the case as “an embarrassment”, blamed the CBI for having created an unnecessary tempest on a teacup and through Attorney General Milon Banergi advised the CBI to agree to the absconder’s plea which the later has done.

But despite this, as there still stands a case against him in a Court in India that does not fit into the design of Quattrocchi, Prime Minister Singh has aggressively attacked the legal system echoing both the words of the absconder as well as the Sonia loyal Law Minister.

Is it not time to evaluate the role of Dr. Singh in embarrassing India in her fight against the foreigner who stands at the center of post-independence India’s most stupendous corruption scandal?

Kasab and the PM

Let us now look at the other issue that involves the Pakistan terrorist Kasab. He belongs to a group of Pakistani terrorists who on 26 Nov.2008 had taken over two most reputed hotels of Mumbai.

Though termed as terror attack, theirs was obviously a suicidal attack.

They knew that their number was too marginal to keep up the attack beyond a few hours. So their attack was not for victory, but certainly for something else.

What for then their attack was meant?

It was obviously for creating a condition where exchange of fire could have totally razed down the two hotels.

But why that could have been their motive?

Manmohan Singh’s yet unstudied role

The answer probably lies in the unfulfilled motive of Pakistani terror-industry to occupy real estate and hotel trade in India.

And with this motive, there comes such scenarios that the role played by Dr. Singh in his previous avatar as India’s Finance Minister comes to mind.

It was the first session of the tenth Lok Sabha.

There was a debate on Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).

Pakistan terrorism had got its free passage to India through this Bank.

Founded in 1972 by a Pakistani called Agha Hasan Abedi, it was, according to Journalist Lucy Komisar’s well documented contribution captioned “The BCCI Game: Banking on America, Banking on Jihad” a cover to funnel CIA funds for Osama Bin Laden’s Mujahadeen to help fight the Soviets in Afghanistan and was the banker for drug and arms traffickers, corrupt officials, financial fraudsters, dictators and terrorists.

Dhirubhai and the gang of India’s neo rich were arch collaborators of this Bank, which was their launching pad to sudden richness.

Discussing the nepharious and notorious role played by this Bank and reminding Dr. Singh of his earlier statement in the House wherein he had stated, “reports in 1988, from intelligence agency that BCCI has made overtures for acquisition of property and is trying to enter the hotel and real estate business in Lucknow and Bombay in partnership with Amar Rizvi”, Mr.George Fernandiz had wanted to know about what happened to Rizvi and what step were taken by the Government to stop acquisition of real estates and hotels by the Pakistani Bank of terror and drug trafficking.

Dr. Singh had reacted by saying, “But I also said that nothing was found “.

Singh’s modus operandi seems to be the same in both Quattrochhi and BCCI matter.

Despite reports of intelligence agencies exposing their criminal activities, Singh’s reaction remained the same: “nothing was found”.

Why Singh was eager to protect BCCI? Because this was the cover under which American activities against spread of communism was getting funded in India like elsewhere.

We will hereafter look at what happened then in the Lok Sabha.

IF DEMOCRACY IS TO BE SAVED, BJP IS TO BE HELPED

FACTORS OF POLITICAL FACTOTUMISM MUST BE DEFEATED

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

India is in the battlefield to save her democracy. It can be saved only if Election 2009 rejects political factotumism.

All the political parties except the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the left parties are parties of political factotums.

The non-BJP and non-Left parties have no internal democracy. They of course have their respective party constitutions and on provisions thereof, committees like working committee or political affairs committee etc. But these are only contrived to show that they honor democracy and therewith to hoodwink the election commission and the gullible peoples of this country. In reality, individuals own them. The factotums claiming to be members of any of these parties call their masters or owners as high command; but the media has developed the habit of describing the owner of such a party as supremo. A supremo or the high command appoints any of his or her faithful factotums to any post in the party at any point of time and the person so appointed feels no shame in celebrating the said appointment. K.P.Singhdeo’s proud assertion, after being “appointed” President of Orissa Pradesh Congress Committee, that he is a Sainik of Sonia provides us with an instant instance.

There are only two political ideologies in the world: Capitalism and Socialism. In India, BJP has its real creed in Capitalism (in Indian language, Punjivad), the Left parties in Socialism (Samajvad). Political Science recognizes these two isms as isms of democracy (Ganatantra). Hence we can say, Punjivad and Samajvad, notwithstanding difference in application, are applied form of Ganatantravad (Democratism). But the Congress and its descendants like Trinamul Congress, Rastravadi Congress etc and individual outfits like the Biju Janata Dal of Orissa do not belong to any of these two ideologies. Their common character suggests that they have developed Factotumism, which in Indian language can best be called Golamvad.

Election 2009 has called upon the citizens of India to choose any of the two isms: Democratism and Factotumism. To say if they support Ganatantravad or they support Golamvad.

If India is to be saved, Ganatantravad is to b supported and Golamvad is to be discarded.

In other words, in the present context, if India is to be saved, BJP is to be supported. This is unavoidable for a democrat, as the other practitioners of democracy, the Left Parties, have established that they are too confused to be relied upon.

The allegation of communalism raised against the BJP is not relevant; because every political party in India is communal.

Communalism is display of personal religious preference in public. Any display of religious symbols or manners in public that may not match with the religious practice of everybody in the society is communalism. Why a Manmohan Singh displays his turban in the public? Just to project himself as a Sikh. This is communalism. Why a Navin Patnaik starts electioneering from the citadel of Sri Jagannath? Just to display that he is loyal to the Almighty of Sri Mandira in whom the peoples of Orissa find the unending stream to quench all their religious thirst. Is he not communal? Who of the Communists have opposed public worship of Durga or Kali in Kolkata? Are they secular? Or conversely, are they not communal?

So communalism is not the crux of concern at the moment.

The crux of concern is whether India shall stay a democracy.

India cannot survive as a democracy if political parties afflicted with supremo-syndrome occupy power. The factors and practitioners of factotumism must be kept away from power to ensure that democracy is put in hands of parties that practice democracy in their own organization.

In view of this, Communists having forfeited their credibility by shameless hobnobbing with agents of imperialism, Manmohan Singh yesterday and Navin Patnaik today, the only available practitioner of democracy in India is BJP.

And hence, if democracy is to be saved, in Election 2009, BJP is to be helped and helped by all the progressive people so that post-elections, it may morally distance itself from Arun Shouries and Pramod Mahajans and discard the plutocratic tenets that the Congress party under Sonia Gandhi with Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister has crippled the country with.

ELECTIONS AHEAD: CONGRESS VERSUS CONGRESS IN ORISSA

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

When the general elections are not far away, the Orissa unit of the Congress Party is unable to rise to the occasion, as the lady autocrat, busy in enjoying the funniest show of sycophancy that her followers from Orissa are staging at New Delhi, has neither decided to change the provincial leadership nor has said ‘no’ to campaigners for the change.

Instead of building up united efforts to oust from power the BJD-BJP alliance that has ruined the State, packs of Congress members are busy in playing tricks at Delhi to oust their own State unit President even though that shatters the striking power of their organization at the general elections! Had there been an iota of internal democracy in this party, these fellows should have been taken to task for anti-party activities. But that never happens.

As it is, the Congress is presently a party of factotums of Sonia Gandhi. Every member thereof is eager to surpass the rest of the herd in displaying loyalty to Sonia. And, the lady obviously enjoys and encourages it.

The party is already in blacklist in public esteem as a party of American lobbyists. Peoples of this country have watched with horror how dishonestly Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh and Sonia-Pranab combine has destroyed our distinguished nuclear independence and clamped on our country a pernicious nuke deal that is designed to provide nuclear traders of USA a “bonanza” besides serving that country’s environmental interest at the cost of our own. Our peoples have also watched how horse trading was shamelessly resorted to by Man Mohan Singh in order to continue in power to further serve the American imperialistic design by destroying whatever little was left of socialism the Indian National Congress had earlier pledged itself to.

In the circumstances, the Congress under Sonia is not the Congress the peoples of Orissa are acquainted with and had supported in the past. Therefore they do not know the evil design Sonia has in stock against the Congress in Orissa.

Ever since emergence of Sonia as the supremo of the National Congress and of Navin Patnaik as Chief Minister of Orissa, the so-called Congress high command has created circumstances for defeat of Congress in the State in the general Elections, so that Navin, blue-eyed boy of USA cover POSCO could continue in power. Whoever watches dispassionately Orissa politics knows, Navin could never have won the last election. But deliberately winning candidates of Congress were denied party tickets at the last moment and in their places persons whom Navin had jettisoned from his party being convinced of their corruption, were planted as Congress candidates. Sonia set the Madhya Pradesh scrap Dig Vijay Singh as the controller of Orissa elections who emitted such signals that the voters understood that no leader of the party in the province enjoys the confidence of the “high-command” and none of them could be looked at as the prospective CM. Consequently it demoralized the contesting candidates so much that the party, which could sure have won, lost most pathetically.

Sonia is employing the same technique this time too. Her sycophants camping at New Delhi craving her “Darshan” are being encouraged to frequently appear before the media to announce that the provincial President shall soon be ousted along with the Leader of Opposition.

Nothing suits Navin more than this in this year of elections.

If Navin wins, who but the masks of America like the POSCO should benefit?

To American lobbyists who control the Congress, stay of Navin in power in Orissa is more desirable than any of Orissa Congress getting the position, as, no person, born and brought up in Orissa, can, sans qualms, handover her natural resources to non-Oriyas and non-Indians as Navin has done and does.

So, the curious reality that the Orissa provincial unit of Congress stands face to face is that the Indian National Congress under Sonia Gandhi is pushing it into defeat in the general elections that are almost at the doorsteps.

Till patriotic Oriyas rise against Navin, this agent of POSCO interest shall remain in power, it seems, as the Congress under Sonia and Singh combine will never allow the Congress to win in Orissa.

NEW DAWN IN USA

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

President-Elect Barack Obama has ushered in a new dawn to US of America. This can safely be said without waiting to watch his actions as the President because his victory has made it clear that he has inspired his countrymen to end the anarchy that had shattered their economy. Over and above affecting financial stability, Bush, whose rule he has ended, had squandered away the nation’s exchequer in intimidating peoples of other countries, who did not allow themselves to be cowed down by his design. Obama’s victory portends end of that design. Therefore, his post-election utterances can be compressed to say that a new dawn has already touched US.

But his declaration to continue partnership with India is a matter to ponder over. The India with Man Mohan Singh as Prime minister that the outgoing US President had dragged into partnership is not the India, which the peoples of India had liberated from foreign yoke. Singh has cleverly sabotaged the India of Indians and has replaced democracy with plutocracy. Peoples of India will welcome Obama to have partnership with democratic India but will sure resist if he tries to continue partnership with the plutocratic India. Like peoples of USA ended the Bush misrule, patriotic Indians shall soon terminate the Singh misrule too.

Then, and only then, if democracy revives in India, peoples of this country may value partnership with Obama’s US; because by then, the new dawn might have blossomed there into day.

SHAME; KILLERS OF GANDHI PHILOSOPHY LEAD INDIA ON HIS BIRTHDAY

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

It is a shame that killers of Gandhi philosophy are leading India on his birthday.

Mahatma Gandhi had freed us from foreigners; we have now a Prime Minister in Manmohan Singh, who has pushed us into foreigners’ hegemony by using his coterie to corrupt the parliament in instances like nuke deal with USA.

Ganghiji had put his entire emphasis on management of administration for elimination of poverty; Manmohan Singh has ushered in the era of enrichment of the rich that expands on exploitation of the poor and their displacement even from their marginal homestead lands so that industries can grow unhindered.

Gandiji had underlined that planning of the country should be so formulated that the poor will no more degrade financially; but Man Mohan Singh has ushered in a planning that makes the poor perish in slow starvation. Free market economy has increased price of every essential commodity so much that many fold rise in dearness allowance of government servants is too inadequate to meet the cost of living as a result of which new high scale of pay is offered by the sixth pay commission. The poor sans regular source of income and denied in almost all employments the minimum wages are unable to meet the price rise and perish.

Gandhi’s philosophy in India is in peril and the perpetrators of this imperilment are ruling over India. To see Gandhi’s birthday celebrated in the country under their leadership is seeing hypocrisy in shameless display.

It is a shame that we are unable to oppose this shamelessness in India.

STOP THE PADMA FARCE

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The farce that is going on in the name of awarding civilian titles like Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shree needs to be stopped. The highest civilian honor Bharat Ratna, excepting the nomenclatural difference, also belongs to this spectrum.

The Constitution of India has put a blatant ban on such titles. Article 18 (1) has stipulated, “No title, not being a military or academic distinction, shall be conferred by the state”. This means, under the scheme of this Article the Government is debarred from conferring any title excepting the military or academic distinctions on any citizen. Titles under the Padma spectrum are neither military nor academic. Hence these titles are unconstitutional, anti-constitution and unlawful. Of course, a Supreme Court verdict on 15 Dec.1995 has gone in favor of constitutional validity of these awards, but as we know, the Supreme Court has always the opportunity to disagree with its own earlier verdict. The Industrial Disputes Act is a point of reference in this respect. However the Supreme Court has not said that the ban imposed under Article 18 (1) on the State doling out titles other than military and academic is illegal. And this original Article of the Constitution is not susceptible to nullification by the Supreme Court. When this original article bans conferment of any title other than military and academic by the State, any and every legal interpretation on validity of awards of civilian titles cannot be the last word in the matter of interpretation. So, notwithstanding the Supreme Court verdict, on reading of the language of Article 18(1), which is a very unambiguously plain, simple and understandable language, civilian titles of the Padma spectrum are extra-constitutional, to say the least.

It is a shame that eminent Judges and Jurists have accepted these illegal titles without any qualm, so degraded a nation we have become!

Besides being illegal, award of these titles give glimpses of so much favoritism that it is difficult to say who has not bagged a Padma title without lobbying for the same or without grace of a godfather in Government.

“The stark truth is that in order to bag an award, one has to know how to pull the right strings”, vocalist Prabha Atre on whom the title of Padma Bhushan was conferred in 2002 after more than a decade of receiving Padma Shree, is on records to have said.

Describing it as `a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma’, Justice V.R.Krishna Iyer, even while welcoming conferment of Padma Vibhushan on jurists Sloi J. Sorabjee and K.K.Venugopal in 2002 had to say, “I must confess my puzzle about who really selects, what criteria govern and how a nationally acceptable screening process is adopted”. (The Hindu, 30 Jan.2002)

This year’s distribution of Padma titles expands this “puzzle”.

Ten persons have been selected for Padma Vibhushan, the highest amongst the three Padma Awards. Out of these ten, Delhi has bagged six, one has gone to Delhi’s immediate neighbor Haryana, one has gone to the home province of the Prime Minister’s closest ally in destroying India’s resolution for socialism, P.Chidambaram and the rest two have gone to USA.

In the next highest segment, Padma Bhushan, Delhi has bagged six, the highest in number next only to the users of their respective expertise in foreign lands; USA bagging four, U.K. getting two and Japan, South Africa as well as France bagging one each. So dwellers of the National Capital City and foreign Countries have together taken away 15 Padma Bhusahan titles leaving only 14 in this segment for the rest of India. Out of these 14, two of the provinces, Kerala and West Bengal, under grip of reformed Communists – reformed, because they have been supporting Man Mohan Singh, who opened up India’s economy to strangulate socialism- have bagged as many as six when another strong muscle of Man Mohan Government, Sarad Pawer’s Maharashtra has fetched three of these awards. One each has been bagged by Assam, Mizoram, U.P. and Tamilnadu as well as by Chandigarh. No other province of India has had any body to qualify for this second class Padma title.

Even for the third class Padma, i.e. Padma Shree, lobby looks like having played the decisive role. Otherwise, how it is that massive majority of the awardees of Padma Shree belong to places where the present central government has his support base? See the position. Delhi has bagged 17 of these titles whereas Maharastra has got nine and Tamilnadu has bagged eight. Similarly U. P., where Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and her son have their political stake, has taken five of these titles equaling the Congress ruled Andhra Pradesh. Next highest batch of Padma Shree awardees numbering four belongs to Congress ruled Uttarakhand whereas Kerala and Karnataka bag three each. When Congress led Punjab has got two Padma Shrees, two each have gone to Gujarat and Manipur.

J and K, Rajasthan, Goa, Chandigarh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, Assam, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh have got one each when dwellers in foreign countries such as Russia, Ireland and U.K. have bagged five Padma Shrees.

West Bengal, though not shown as home State of any new owner of Padma Shree title this year, the Bengalis have bagged four of this segment through two addresses at USA and one each at Delhi and U.P.

This shows that there is no uniformity in selection from the States. This again suggests that there are provinces where people are more capable and render more distinguished service than people of other provinces. If this is what the government wants us to accept, then this is bad, unacceptable, untenable and anti-integration. No true Indian can tolerate this nonsense.

Selection of majority persons from provinces, where the union government has its stronghold; and non-selection of worthy persons belonging to provinces, where the set up in central power finds opposition; is nakedly indicative of nepotism, favoritism and regional chauvinism and political parochialism.

Moreover the phenomenon is blatantly discriminatory. Lest people know this aspect, the criteria for selection and with whom the selected persons were compared to be adjudged best in their respective fields are kept hidden from public gaze.

The entire exercise needs to be tested on the matrix of the criteria, if any. But no criterion is codified.

I do not mean to say that all the persons that are not worthy of national honor for their respective contributions in enlisted fields have been given the honor, but lack of any codified and legalistic criterion to ensure that no worthier is left behind has made the entire exercise questionable.

To me as an Oriya Prativa Roy getting a Padma Shree may be a matter of pleasure. But when question of responsible citizenship arises, it becomes a matter of despair.

It comes to notice that a worthy Oriya like Barendra Krushna Dhal has been again ignored for such an honor. Why? The question hunts.

Dhal has not only won Central Sahitya Academy award, but also he is the soul behind the Book-fair movement that has made innumerable people develop reading habit in Orissa.

So as a man of letters his role is solely social.

Selection of persons for Padma title, though the criteria are not yet codified, is touted to be based on how far useful to society are the life long contributions of the person under consideration.

On this ground only, as a man of letters, Barendra Krushna Dhal, the social campaigner for letters, surpasses every Indian in merit for the first class Padma Award for literature and education.

If journalism’s sole aim is to educate the people about everything that affects man and society and earth and environment, Barendra Dhal is a top ranking educator.

His contribution to the cause of journalism is well recognized by the National Union of Journalists of India that had unanimously elected him to the post of its President. He has the rare distinction of having reported the last public meetings of Prime Ministers like Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, going against the tides and overcoming many odds in the process that establishes his devotion to duty for democracy.

When Roy is selected for the Padma Shree title in the segment of literature and education from Orissa, why a more worthy person like Dhal has been ignored?

Unless some body has conspired against him, he is not likely to have been ignored.

I cannot say who is responsible. But when Roy is selected under the category of literature and education, non-selection of Dhal seems intriguing. This prompts to recapitulate the past.

When Roy had been made a member of Orissa Public Service Commission, it is Dhal only, who had questioned the appropriateness thereof in his column. She was not found by the OPSC eligible to become a Reader; but there after, as the then Government, marked for manipulative tactics, placed senior lecturers in selection grade in the Readers’ scale of pay, she became a de facto Reader. Dhal had questioned as to how a person like her could be given a constitutional position to control and conduct selection of Professors; specifically when some of such persons were the very persons who had superseded her for promotion to the rank of Reader?

Against this backdrop, selection of Roy for Padma Shree when Dhal remains in oblivion generates suspicion.

Who can say whosoever suggested and/or selected Roy was/were not made not to consider Dhal, who alone had questioned the wisdom behind appointing her to OPSC?

Lobby and further lobby

Circumstances discernible in Dhal’s attack on the said appointment suggest that without a strong lobby Roy could not have been chosen for the OPSC membership.

There was also reason to suspect the role of lobby behind her bagging the Central Sahitya Academy award. Dr. Hara Prasad Parichha Patnaik, former Secretary of Orissa State Sahitya Academy had told me four months before she got it that she will get the Central Sahitya Academy Award. And to my astonishment that had come true. When the Central Sahitya Academy award was not finalized, how could Dr. Parichha Patnaik know that Roy would surely get that award? Was he aware of the lobby and the power of that lobby?

If lobby like this has propelled her to positions and recognitions in the past, it would not be surprising to suspect that the Padma title might also have been netted through the lobby. As Prabha Atre, quoted supra, has stated, “in order to bag an award, one has to know how to pull the right strings”!

Unless the government makes it unambiguously clear by placing before the public as to who were taken into consideration along with Roy and why it is only they that were taken to consideration and with whom her contributions were compared and by whom compared, the injustice done to Dhal cannot be fully comprehended and the conspiratorial side of the story cannot be wiped out.

This is an intricate issue. It would not have developed had the criteria for selection of persons for Padma titles been codified and made public.

As lobby plays the trick, worthy persons are often ignored. Not only in Orissa, also elsewhere.

I remember, Kathak Queen Sitara Devi had expressed reluctance to accept Padma Bhushan in 2002 because persons far below her age, experience and expertise had been conferred with the higher category title of Padma Vibhushan.

Who does not know how announcement of the title of Padma Shree in favor of Shyama Charan Pati for his supposed contribution to Chhau had been objected to by almost all of the Chhau exponents from Jharkhand and Orissa last year?

Terming it “a big Padma Shree fraud”, they had attracted attention of President A.P.J.Abdul Kalam (The Telegraph, 10 Feb.2006) and had demanded for a probe, which had exposed to what nasty extent lobby helps in bagging Padma titles.

Pati was a person whose credential as a Chhau artist was also seriously questioned. Accoding to Tapan Kumar Pattanayak, Director of Government-run Chhau Nritya Kala Kendra, Seraikela, “ever since the organization came into existence, there is no mention of Pati having contributed in any way to the art form”. Stating that the State of Jharkhand organizes Chhau festivals every year, Pattanayak had revealed, “Pati never featured in that event. There are eight Gharanas of Seraikela Chhau while four of Kharsawan Chhau. But we have no information as to which Gharana he belongs to”, he had told then.

On being apprised of how Padma titles are manipulated, the Supreme Court had issued a direction that the no selection beyond the list prepared by selection-committees in various States can be made in respect to persons belonging to the corresponding province.

The Secretary of Culture of the Jharkhand Government, N.N. Sinha had made it clear that Pati was never recommended by his department. It transpired that he was not sort listed by the provincial government. But his name was announced on the eve of the Republic Day! This shows that some one in the top most corridors of power had selected him from beyond the official list in stark disregard to the Supreme Court order. Who is this person that unofficially selected him, when and why?

The Pati issue has made it clear that absolute lack of eligibility notwithstanding, people have been bagging Padma titles if they know “how to pull the right strings”.

Famous poet Dilip Chitre is quoted in Times of India on 2 Feb.2003 as having said, “We have a darbari culture and awards are often doled out as favors, apparently in exchange of personal loyalty”. He has cited how Yashwantrao Chavan had cultivated a Padma Bhushan title for his professor N.S.Phadke, even as senior and more deserving litterateurs languished in anonymity.

It is a shame to recall how Atal Behari Vajpayee as Prime Minister was seen as the force behind a junior vocalist of Mumbai in being chosen for Padma title in 2001 leaving behind much more deserving, senior and superb exponents to languish, simply because he had given voice to his poems.

This reminds one of how such phenomenon was described by S. Kalidas, Associate Editor of India Today in its pages in February, 2001 in a reaction to refusal of Padma Bhushan by Ustad Vilayat Khan. He had noted, “Our mandarins in the government have always behaved like the proverbial lotus-eaters. They are invariably so full of their own sense of self-importance and power of patronage that they are blind to all nuances of ground realities. Besides the system of selection of Padma Awardees is flawed to the core. For some reason this is something that the ministry of Home Affairs, the cabinet, the Prime Minister and the President are all involved in. And with these luminaries, State Chief Ministers, Chief Secretaries and Governors also have a say in recommending people from their respective States. But none of these VIPs are ever really well informed about any of the fields that they are supposed to select the recipients from. So the choice is more often determined simply by the exigency of who knows whom”.

Giving a picture of how mandarins manipulate Padma awards, B. N. Tandon, an erstwhile power-player in the Prime Minister’s Office during Indira Gandhi’s regime, in his diary dated January 17, 1975, has noted, “This afternoon, at lunch, the topic of the Padma awards came up. This year I have not taken any interest in this. It is true that I wanted Amjad to get the Padma Shri because last year his name had been left out. The committee of secretaries has recommended his name again this year, but it has been removed by the Prime Minister at the instance of Usha Bhagat. Sharda didn’t approve of this and he told the Prime Minister that it was his and my view that it would be wrong to deny this award to Amjad this year. Then something happened which necessitated consultation with Haksar who also took the view that Amjad should definitely get the Padma Shri. Now his name is on the list, but I haven’t told him.” (PMO diary-I, page 157)

Evidences of manipulation in conferment or achievement of Padma titles are galore. Mr. K. Natwar Singh has put on records that in 1983 he had wanted Padma Bhushans and Padma Shrees for those who had helped organised the two summits, NAM and CHOGAM in New Delhi on the precedence created by conferring Padma on organizers of the Asian Games in 1982. But Indira Gandhi did not approve. She approved Alexander’s recommendations in his favor as a result of which, his name was announced for Padma Bhusan on 26 January 1984. (Profiles and Letters, P. 204).

Call it an instance of sycophancy if you like. But conferment of Bharat Ratna on Indira Gandhi by V.V. Giri on his own accord points out to the fact that the highest Civilian Title of the Country is susceptible to individual preference. How President K.R.Narayan had wanted Bharat Ratna for C. Subramaniam has been on records by former Prime Minister I.K.Gujral.

So, lobby and the ability to pull “the right string” are fetching Padma titles for the aspirants. Even the committees constituted for selection are suspected to be comprising of lobbyists of different aspirants. Had it not been so, in 2005, Ranbaxy Laboratories founder Bhai Mohan Singh, then under trial for bouncing of a Cheque, would not have been chosen for Padma Bhushan.

The entire business of Padma besides being ultra vires of Indian Constitution; is unprincipled.

Jawaharlal Nehru as Prime Minister was a man of many dreams and as dreamers usually arrive at emotional decisions, he had formulated these national honors. In a letter to Chief Ministers in 1954, he had told them that the awards were meant for “rather distinguished people in science, engineering, medicine, art, literature and social work. This indicates the way India looks today. We honor the creative and the developmental activities of the nation and we wish people to honor them”. He had not contemplated then that a time will come when self seekers shall not only engage lobbyists to fetch these titles, but also shall endeavor to fetch still higher titles one after the other.

Look at Orissa’s Kelucharan Mohapatra, in whose perception his son and his daughter-in-law are the only true sources of education in Odissi dance, on whom students of the dance form may depend in future. To a question from Orissa’s the then art-sentinel Bibhuti Mishra as to as Sanjukta Panigrahi was no more there, who could be considered a guide; he had said that role may fit to his son who holds his banner Srjan or to “any dedicated student of mine or my daughter-in-law or even my granddaughter” as if no other Odissi exponent had any worth. In fact so averse was he to others that he had no hesitation in alleging that they are polluting the dance form “in the name of improvisation and innovations and many so-called great dancers are also guilty of this”.

When reminded of the innovations he has claimed to have made himself, in this interview, Mohapatra had tried to confuse the interviewer by jargon like “I have operated within the basic idiom of the classical code”.

What classical code? Mohapatra had never given due credit to Kavichandra Kali Charan Pattanayak but for whom Odissi was never to earn classical status and artists like him were not to so easily shine as they did. On the other hand, he has never followed Abhinaya Darpana Prakash, the only scripture held as Grammar of the dance form, on the basis of which Odissi is bound to be regarded as classic for ever. He was a performing artist, not a scriptural scholar. When he is no where on records to have followed the Code of Odissi, i.e. the Abhinaya Darpana Prakash, authored by the Prince of Tigiria, Jadunath Rai Singh, his attempts to justify his so called innovations in the name of classical code is nothing but a tactful escapement.

Reacting sharply to Bibhuti’s suggestion that Sanjukta Panigrahi “could not get anything beyond Padma Shri while others of doubtful merit but with better contacts and lobbying power got even the Padma Bhushan …” he had asked “what has my wife, Laxmipriya Mohapatra got? She was the first female Odissi dancer who brought the dance form to the stage. She is also the one who inspired a whole generation of dancers, but she has remained unsung. Even the State Sangeet Natak Akademi has not bothered to honour her”.

Mark the man. He was so severely angry over his wife not getting State recognition that he did not hesitate to keep it on records. But he has never said that the best of civilian title should be bestowed upon Kavichandra Kalicharan who was the real architect of Odissi’s classical status. Can any self-centric person be different from this type?

But this gentleman is remembered for the promotions he acquired one after one in the ladder of Padma. He bagged Padma Shree in 1972, Padma Bhushan in 1989 and Padma Vibhushan in 2000. Is there a curriculum in Padma scheme on fulfillment of which one qualifies for higher degree? If in 1954 this scheme was formulated for recognizing people of excellent contribution to various fields of academic and socio-cultural activities, any one ward in recognition thereof must suffice. Why a man like Mohapatra had been given all the three Padmas in succession? There is no codified yardstick to determine as to what quantum of contribution would justify what sort of Padma. So which part of his activities exceeded which determined quantum of his Padma Shree fetching contributions to justify his elevation to Padma Bhushan and similarly to further elevation to Padma Vibhushan?

Mohapatra is not alone. M.S.Subhalaxmi had started her run from Padma Bhushan in 1954. Her performance in music was matchless and if at par with Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Dr. Chandrasekhar Venkat Raman and Chakrvarti Rajgopalachari she could have got Bharat Ratna in 1954, which she finally acquired in 1998, there was nothing to object. But she was first conferred with Padma Bhushan in 1954, then with Padma Vibhushan in 1975 and finally with Bharat Ratna in 1998. Many such instances are there. Sans a governing Law, it is fed to public that it requires a decade to lapse for a Padma title holder to be conferred with a higher Padma title. This is also an attempt at hoodwinking the nation, because in reality it is not followed. As for example, Dr. V.S.Arunachalam who had a Padma Bhushan title in 1985, bagged Padma Vibhushan in 1990, which is not a decade but only a half of it.

What does it show? It shows that Padma titles are manufactured and manipulated in favor of persons who know how to pull the right string and distributed sans any principle.

This apart, religion and castes are also being taken into consideration while entertaining any nomination for these titles into consideration. The columns that are required to be filled up in the nomination Form comprise one item captioned “Religion” and another item captioned “Category” where information on whether the person nominated belongs to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe or Other backward Castes or General Castes are sought for.

This farce must not be allowed to infest our body politic like this any more.

A NEW TAMMANY NOW TARGETS KBK

DEMOCRACY NEEDS THIS NUISANCE BE DEFEATED

A new tammany now targets KBK even as whole of Orissa is taken for a ride. It stares at us from the Ramparts of our Democracy. Take note.

The eighth session of Orissa Legislative Assembly began on July 31 and ended on August 12 generating an alarming impression that it has been degraded from a Rampart of Democracy to a bailiwick of Biju traders who thrive on his posthumous value by contriving ever newer advertisements to push him into the voters’ psyche.

This session witnessed two such advertisements. First: blocking businesses of the House by the treasury bench in the guise of protest against destruction of a statue of Biju Patnaik in a rural public place and Second: announcement of a state plan for KBK districts in the name of Biju Patnaik to be styled as “Biju KBK Plan” in the guise of protest against the Center’s decision to change its strategy in respect to this region.

I have discussed the motive behind the first one and have shown how he was being rejected by the people of Orissa time and again all through his life for his mafia manners, corrupt practices and treachery against the Country. In those discussions I had expressed apprehensions that the mischief of Biju statue was a neo-Nazi method to cow down opponents by cultivating him posthumously to a cult figure, so that the present pack of power-grabbers including and under his son Naveen Patnaik can go on bagging terrified votes to keep Orissa under their pernicious grip. The second one has confirmed this mischief.

When the Assembly was winding down its last session on August 11, Naveen announced in the House that the Central Government has refused to renew the Revised Long Term Action Plan (RLTAP) for KBK and asserted in the same breath that instead of going to the Center with a begging bowl, he will launch a new plan for KBK as “Biju KBK Plan” and allot Rs. 600 crores for its implementation. He declared that his father Biju Patnaik had created the KBK Plan which the central Government has now stopped. Therefore the State Plan for KBK will be named as Biju KBK Plan. The announcement was so sudden and shocking that the Opposition was at a loss to understand its mischief.

The next day, i.e. the concluding day of the Session, the Opposition, particularly the Congress, alleged that the Chief Minister has misled the Assembly by not placing the real fact before the House. But no sooner than that the House was dragged into controversies raised on individual members in such a fashion that this vital issue got sidetracked.

Therefore the question that still hunts is: Is the Chief Minister correct in claiming that his father had created the KBK Plan? Is it proper to name the KBK Plan as Biju KBK Plan? As annals reveal, Naveen Patnaik has tried to mislead our people.

When his father Biju was perishing under continuous rejection by the people of Orissa, and J.B.Patnaik was the Chief Minister, it was determined that the two most backward districts of the State, Koraput and Kalahandi suffer so acutely because of two basic factors: one, hill area backwardness and two, backwardness due to severe natural calamities like draughts and floods that ravage the area in quick succession.

Hence J.B.Patnaik took up the matter with the Center in 1986 vide Official Press Note dt. 11.11.1986.

Consequent upon this a Special Sub-Plan called Area Development Approach for Poverty Termination (ADAPT) to ensure poverty amelioration by provision of round the year employment to the rural poor and readjustment of cropping pattern keeping in mind the natural calamities was formulated and implemented in 1988. It covered fifteen Blocks in these two districts, 8 in Kalahandi and 7 in Koraput.

It was experienced that such target oriented special programs can bring out a change. Therefore, basing on this experience, attempts were made to expand the targeted area with higher quantum of funds.

Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi facilitated this by asking the Planning Commission to draw up a Special Plan for the area adding the adjoining as well as tribal dominated district of Bolangir to the two Districts already under ADAPT. He underlined that Orissa being inadequate in funds, the entire Special Plan must be cent percent centrally supported.
Thus came the KBK Special Plan.

Biju had no role in it at all. On the contrary, Biju was the man who was responsible for its staggering.

In fact, had there been no Congress Government in the Center, the KBK Plan would have been killed by Biju.

His priority was privatization of Public Sector, not poverty amelioration. So after Rajiv Gandhi resigned and V.P.Singh took over the Prime Minister Chair on 2 Dec.1989, the program got lost.

Allying with VP, Biju usurped Orissa on 5 March 1990. But during the entire tenure of VP, the KBK Plan remained abandoned. Chandrasekhar succeeded VP on 10 Nov. 1990 and resigned on 21 June 1991. Biju was continuing as Orissa CM. But KBK never came to his priority list.

When the whole Country was eager to hand over its reign to Rajiv again, he was assassinated by the stooges of privatization and P.V.Narasimha Rao, under whom Man Mohan Singh enjoyed immunity in destroying our Constitution’s commitment to socialism, became Prime Minister of India on 21 June 1991.

But the Country was so emotionally one with Rajiv Gandhi that it was impossible for Narasimha Rao to jettison any of his pet projects. Therefore, Rajiv’s order for formulation of a Long Term Action Plan (LTAP) for KBK Districts got official expression in 1993.

Due to want of appropriate cooperation from Orissa under Biju, it could not proceed.

When J.B.Patnaik took over the reign of Orissa from Biju Patnaik again on 15 March 1995, the LTAP for KBK got a seven-year-shape from 1995-96 to 2001-02 with an envisaged outlay of Rs.4557.03 crores. But Man Mohan Singh as Rao’s Finance Minister had unleashed a new phase of assault on our economic priorities and the County was subjected to scams of Harshad Mehta caliber and to market-economy of WTO genre. There were no funds for welfare-economic programs like KBK LTAP. So the LTAP failed to take off.

J.B.Patnaik fought against this odd and went on harping over the urgency of implementation of the KBK LTAP before the successive Central Governments. And, ultimately he succeeded. On advice of the Central Government, Orissa under his stewardship, submitted a Revised Long Term Action Plan (RLTAP) to the Central Government in 1998 and got it approved with an outlay of Rs.6251.06 Crores envisaged for a period of nine years from 1998-99 to 2006-07.

So, if any leader of Orissa can be given credit for creation of KBK Plan (be it Sub-Plan, Special Plan, LTAP or RLTAP) he is J.B.Patnaik, the present Leader of Opposition.

Biju Patnaik had neither conceived the program nor had any contribution to its formulation and implementation. So it would be an insult to our people if a KBK Plan to be funded from our public exchequer is named after Biju.

Naveen has tried to mislead our people through a mischievous propaganda that that the Central Government has refused to renew the KBK Plan. He has suppressed the reason thereof. J.B.Patnaik had relinquished office on 17 Feb. 1999 after framing the KBK RLTAP in 1998 and obtaining Central Government approval thereon. The State plunged into the chaos caused by the super cyclone, 1999 and went into Naveen’s hand on 5 Dec.2000. So implementation of the RLTAP was left at his disposal. It was a part of the program to put a very senior officer in charge of it as Chief Administrator with Headqrs at Koraput. But Naveen Patnaik never did it. The Chief Administrator of KBK remained at Bhubaneswar under the very nose of Naveen and maximum portion of the KBK fund was looted through remote control. When a Central Government suggested that the Chief Administrator should shift to Koraput, pet politicians as well as puppet journalists were pressed into action to impress upon the people that shifting of the office of the Chief Administator to Koraput will not make any difference.

Thus, unable to check corruption in KBK, the scheme being under administrative control of the provincial government, it looked prudent for the Central Government to salvage the RLTAP from the grip of Orissa Administration in best interest of the people for whose benefit the Plan was in operation.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs decided to put all the Districts covered by KBK Plan in Backward Regions Grant Fund so that the Central Government can monitor the matters directly. The amount of the funds will not be reduced.

It is not a fact that the Chief Minister does not know it. But he is shrewd enough to divert public attention from his own failing by misuse of his position to impress upon the people that the scheme has been jettisoned by the Center. This is a wrong and crude mischief played against the federal system. This is an attempt to antagonize a section of Orissa against the Union.

Moreover, it is a method contrived to add posthumous value to Biju’s name and to make people in eight of the districts of Orissa believe that he was the man who was behind the Plan for KBK development. No better advertisement of Biju would be possible than brandishing his name in the context of KBK Plan.

We have witnessed how Naveen has dragged down the Assembly to the level of a bailiwick of his Biju traders.

But our Democracy needs that this nuisance be defeated.