Mukteswar Dance Festival opened with Leena and Dhiraj in their mesmerizing partnership

By Laxmi Prasad Pattanayak

Mukteswar Dance Festival

LEENAMukteswar Festivals to continue till January 16, opened on 14th with Chorus by Manmath Mishra and troupe followed by the first Oriya receiver of the prestigious Bishmilla Khan Award , Ms. Leena Mohanty presenting her mesmerizing Odissi Solo Dance to the tune of music composed by Guru Dhiraj Kumar Mohapatra.

DhirajGuru Sachidananda Das gave the accompaniment in Mardal, Guru Abhiram Nanda in flute, Guru Swapneswar Chakroverty in Sitar, Guru Agnimitra Behera in Violin. Guru Dhiraj Kumar’s perfect Odissi vocal made the inaugural event memorable.
The second item – Odissi Duet – was presented by Asok Ghosal and Bandita Ghosal. Guru Himansu Shekhar Swain gave the Vocal support, accompanied by Guru Rama Chandra Behera (Mardal), Guru Priti Ranjan Swain (Flute) and Guru Amit Kumar Das (Violin).

The third presentation was Odissi in Group bu the Adruta Dance Group of Bhubasneswar.

Mukteswar Temple Premises, house to the annual festival, was full of connoisseurs inland and foreign.

Minister of Culture & Tourism Ashok Panda and Commissioner-cum-Secretary of Culture Dr. Arababinda Padhi and eminent film artist Nandita Das profusely praised the performers.

Rajasmita Won the Top Title: the State Should Now Wake-up

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa got a great moment to forget the continuous agony over the hostage issue, when her child Rajasmita Kar bagged the top title in Zee TV’s reality show -Dance India Dance.

She achieved distinction over Pradeep Gurung of Assam, Raghav Juyal of Uttarakhand, Sanam Johar of Delhi and Mohena Singh of Madhya Pradesh, who were also superb in their respective performances. Her mentor Geeta Kapur, whom, on winning the coveted honor, she offered her gratitude on the stage for all her guidances, attributed the success to Rajasmita’s talent, determination and matching hard work.

The reality show was not a show strictly of classical dances. So, the challenge was many faceted. Fetching the best dancer title was not at all easy for any top dancer. Rajasmita’s distinction, therefore, is of highest order.

As we congratulate her, we also remember the Prince Dance Group of Ganjam district that had bagged the best position in “India’s Got Talent” competition on ‘Colors’ TV channel in 2009.

The State government had announced to present the group a gift of four acres of land to build a dance academy for the rural talents and a crore of Rupees. The State’s department of culture that, under rules of business, handles the affairs of dance and music has no follow-up information.

A couple of decades ago there were being held folk dance competitions in every part of Orissa. When Odissi has remained its priority, folk dances are fading away. Be the members of the Prince Dance Group or be it Rajasmita, Oriya dancing talents are not being supported by the State in their practice. Orissa is Utkal, the land of excellence in music, dance and sculpture. If the land is mother to her people, they carry the gene to excel in arts they pursue. So it is necessary to provide the people with the infrastructure to make their artistic gene flourish unhindered. For this, rural institutes of dance and music and rural auditoriums are essential. The State government should wake up to this, so that many Rajasmitas will not go unnoticed.

TIGIRIA SAMMAN CONFERRED ON ILLUSTRIOUS SONS OF THE SOIL

(Pictorial input from Harekrushna Pattanayak, Tigiria)

Tigiria Samskuti Parisad, hereinafter called the Parisad, founded by former Member of Parliament representing Orissa in the Rajyasbha, Subas Mohanty and young intellectuals of Tigiria, honored three of the illustrious sons of the soil on 28 December 2011 with Pranab Kishore Pattanayak in the chair.

Eminent persons from all parts of the Ex-State witnessed Tigiria Sammana presented to Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak for being an author and linguist of international repute, to Sri Amulya Ratna Nanda IAS (Rtd) for being a distinguished head of administration in various departments and ministries in State as well as Central level and to Sri Lalit Mohan Pattanayak for being a guiding light in sports didactics, honored by the President of India for best of contributions to the Scouts movement in Orissa.

Eminent Dramatist, Advocate Suryanarayan Mohanty read out the citations to each of them as chief of orissamatters.com Sri Subhas Chandra Pattanayak presented the awards.

TIGIRIA DESERVES RECOGNITION AS BIRTHPLACE OF ODISSI

In presenting the Samman, Sri Pattanayak, by birth a Tigirian, recalled the glorious past of this ex-State and its matchless contributions to culture of Orissa. One of its contributions was the dance form that has developed into Odissi, he said.

Dwelling on the darkest phase of Orissa’a history when Sri Mandira of Puri had to suffer absence of the deities for 12 years, which, according to Pt. Kedar Nath Mohapatra in Khurudha Itihas, had begun on May 16, 1692, as on that day, the Gajapati (King Emperor of Orissa) had to concede defeat and allow the invading Muslims to take away the Jagannatha Trinity by desecrating the Ratna Vedi (The Lord’s podium) under orders of Aurangzeb, Sri Pattanayak said that in reality the Mogul General had taken away only duplicate images of the deities, willfully kept to deceive the invaders. The real images were kept hidden in Bimala’s backyard from where, according to Madala Panji, they were taken away into an unknown place. Madala Panji says, nobody knew whereto they went; but because of that, all rituals in Sri Mandira had stopped.

Recalling the scenario, Sri Pattanayak claimed that Shankarshan Tunga Mandhata, then the King of Tigiria, had, under a plan finalized with the Gajapati, secretly carried the images by trained elephants from the compound of Bimala up to Mahanadi and then in boats into his State, in recognition whereof the Gajapati had conferred on him the rank of Bada Pariccha, the second highest rank – below the Gajapati and above the Rajguru – in the deity’s protocol, with hereditary right, a position no other king of Orissa is ever bestowed upon with.

After twelve years, suffering heavy loss in pilgrimage tax as pilgrims had stopped visiting Puri due to non-existence of the deities in Sri Mandira, the Mogul Emperor commissioned new images of Jagannath Trinity in the Ratna Vedi and thus the original Trinity could not go back to Puri from Tigiria, he said.

This unexpected stay of Sri Jagannatha – called Prasanna Mani and Prasanna Purusottama Dev because of He having been pleased to stay in this small principality – not only made Tigiria the most densely peopled amongst all the princely States, but also gave rise to unprecedented cultural activities in Tigiria.

During the resultant renaissance, Prince Jadunath @ Jadumani Tung Rai Singh amalgamated Alasa Nrutya of coastal Orissa with Tunga Nrutya, the martial folk dance promoted by his family and known by his family name, as to him this must have seemed a must for maintaining agility and complete physical fitness of his subjects as they were to have been kept ready to protect the Trinity from enemy attacks at anytime, when the techniques of war including training of war animals as well as development and use of advanced weaponry was provided with in his father Gopinath Tunga’s unique work on warfare, ‘Veera Sarvaswa’, he said.

This new form of dance, that Jadunath created by amalgamating Alasa and Tunga Nrutyas, was having no name, but was in practice in Tigiria.

Jadunath had codified the process of the dance in a scripture he had authored under the caption ‘Abhinaya Darpana Prakasha’, which according to Pandit Kedar Nath Mohapatra in Descriptive Catalogue of Sanskrit Manuscripts of Orissa, was in vogue in Orissa as the grammar of the dance form now known as Odissi. But despite presence of this scripture, Odissi exponents are in dark about scriptural base of the dance, the classical status whereof they use to their benefit.

Kavichandra Kalicharan Pattanayak, whose singleminded endeavor finally fetched the national recognition of Odissi as a classical dance, had translated Abhinaya Darpana Prakasha into English with illuminating footnotes. Orissa Directorate of Culture had taken away all his manuscripts after his death for proper maintenance to facilitate their referral use. But sadly the same is no more available to scholars. This wrong must be corrected and Abhinaya Darpana Prakash be recognized as the scripture of Odissi and Tigiria its birthplace, said Sri Pattanayak, over and above many other aspects of Tigiria’s contribution to Orissan culture he dwelt upon.

The Best of Awards Ever Received

In response to the felicitation, Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak said that he has been bestowed upon with various awards in the national and international level. But Tigiria Samman given to him by the soil of his birth, is certainly the best of awards ever received. He fondly recalled his childhood days and narrated how this land was a land of universal brotherhood. Those days are always desired, he said.

Sri Amulya Ratna Nanda recalled the romance of learning that teachers and classmates had generated, as he remembered Tigiria of his student days. Working life might have made him stay away, but the birthplace has remained always attractive. Therefore, Tigiria Samman would remain for him most cherished for ever, he said.

Sri Lalit Mohan Pattanayak recalled how unreserved cooperation of the people of Tigiria had helped him make his contributions to the world of sports in the region and inspired him to expand his interest into the scouts movement. The President Award that he got for the outstanding marks he made in Scouts was like a dream come true, but if, he said, there was anything to feel proud in that, he shared that pride with his villagers, because here in Tigiria, his priorities were shaped. He said that the youngsters must chase dreams of their own choice with social relevance so that a better world to live in would emerge. To him, no award was greater than the honor his birthplace gave him.

In his Presidential speech, Pranab Kishore Pattanayak informed that the Sanskruti Parisad would go on honoring illustrious children of Tigiria in the soil of their birthplace every year from now on.

Pujya Puja (honoring the worthy) is a major objective of the Parisad, said Advocate Bikram Keshari Dash, Secretary, in his report.

Advocate Surya Narayan Mohanty acted as the coordinator.

Amongst the eminent persons from different parts of Tigiria, present in the auditorium were: Bikram Pratap Singhdeo (2nd son of the King of Tigiria), Gopinath Dash (Retired Chief Engineer), Gobind Chandra Sahu (Retired Head Master), Naba Kishore Mishra, Gagan Bihari Pattanayak, Bijay Mohanty, Ramakant Panda, Durga Charan Das and Sushil Kumar Nanda. Advocate Pranakrushna Dash and Advocate Fani Bhusan Rath from Athgarh were also present.

Eligible for High School graduation, but financially disadvantaged eight students were given gift packets containing money towards their examination fees by Sri Pranakrishna Choudhury, Secretary of John Augustus Prison and Social Services, Athgarh, in course of the meeting. Sri Choudhury in a short speech apprised the audience of humane manners of Augustus.

The Parisad is a brainchild of former Rajyasabha member Subas Mohanty who witnessed the entire proceeding from the dais.

Odissi gone into Guinness Records Despite Filth Created by Orissa Government

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak with pictorial input from Aradhana Misra

Orissa Government has pathetically failed in preserving, protecting and projecting the true history of Odissi dance, which, with 555 artists performing for 28 minutes at a stretch at the Kalinga Stadium of Bhubaneswar, on 23rd December, has gone into Guinness Book of World Records.

A dance is a classical dance, because of its creation by and adherence to specific scriptural codes. The scriptural codes of Odissi are provided for in Abhinaya Darpana Prakasha authored by Jadunath Rai Singh, then the prince of Tigiria belonging to Tunga dynasty, which, the famous scholar Pt. Kedarnath Mohapatra, in Descriptive Catalogue of Sanskrit Manuscripts of Orissa prefers to describe as “the Grammar of Odissi dance”.

To keep warriors of his State physically fit and agile for protection of the Jagannatha trinity that his grand father Sankarshana Chamupatisigh Mandhata – the King of Tigiria – had, under a plan prepared by him and the Gajapati Emperor of Orissa, secretly transported into his principality from the backyard of Goddess Bimala in the night of 16 May 1692 by misguiding the Moghul commander take away a duplicate set of images from the temple podium of the Lord (as per Pt. Mohapatra in Khurudha Itihasa), Prince Jadunath had amalgamated Alasa Nrutya prevalent in coastal temple systems and the martial dance called Tunga Nrutya developed by his own predecessors. And for the new form of dance thus created, though not named by him, he had prescribed the codes in Abhinaya Darpana Prakasha, the scripture he authored as referred to above.

Centuries after his death, the unnamed dance form metamorphosed into Odissi.

So, it is Jadunath Tunga Rai Singh, who alone should be recognized as the father of Odissi dance. Yet, he is not honored as the real creator of this classical dance or provider of its scriptural codes.

On the other hand, it is Kabichandra Kali Charan Pattanayak whose single minded campaign carrying his dedication to and concentration in revival of the dance system has earned the classical status for Odissi. He was the real man behind recognition of this system as a classical dance. The Odissi practitioners now-a-days do not remember this man, who, despite subterfuge resorted to by envious elements, had obtained for the dance the recognition of its classicality.

But sadly, a few famous artists like late Kelucharan Mohapatra and Kumkum Mohanty, taking advantage of the political Government’s sophomoric approach to culture of the State, have, in their own way and through cronies, exploited different forums and occasions to project themselves as creators of the dance form.

The Odissi Dance Festival that commenced with the Kalinga Stadium event and is scheduled to continue till December 30 in different halls at Bhubaneswar, wherein a USA based organization is collaborating, had the occasion even to accept without any grumble that it is Kelu babu, from whom the dance came into form.

This happens when a political Government remains addressed to benefits of the ruling party than to benefit of the State.

The political government of Orissa is so very averse to cultural environment of the State that it had made the mega event take place in obnoxiously filthy an atmosphere.

A conscious subscriber, Ms. Aradhana Misra, has sent us pictures of the Odissi dancers while performing for the purpose as well as of the filthy environment where they were forced to perform before the observers from Guinness Book of World Records.

All the seats of Kalinga Stadium – that had costed the State Exchequer Rs.103 crores, according to a functionary thereof – are littered by bird droppings with no attempt ever made to clean them up as a result of which the filth is standing for years on the chairs and on the floors and between the rows and wherever the eyes go.

It is claimed that an amount of Rs.10 crores is spent on costumes for the dancers on this occasion. In the prevalent environment of scams, whether or not the said amount is really spent on costumes is a different matter; but it is sure, had a portion thereof been drafted for cleaning the filth, the guinness records could have come in a befitting condition.

We congratulate the artists, because of whom, Odissi has created a landmark in the world records. But, we should be failing in our duty if we do not say: Odissi has gone into Guinness Records despite the filth created by Orissa Government.

Except resizing, the pictures used in this report are absolutely unedited for records.

ACTIVE PRACTICE OF RELIGION AND UNLIMITED ACCUMULATION OF PROPERTY IN PRIVATE HANDS SHOULD BE BANNED, SAYS SCP

A blatant ban on active practice of religion is most urgent as otherwise the country can never be saved from the worst of unrest, warned eminent scribe and social activist Subhas Chandra Pattanayak at Athgarh on January 12 while addressing as the Chief Guest a congregation of politicians, academicians, advocates, students and youth on occasion of the National Youth Day dedicated to Swami Vivekanand.

Strongly disapproving the way religious revivalists have endangered Indian society by using conversion and counter-conversion as their weapons, Sri Pattanayak lauded the landmark contributions of Vivekanand to lessening of venoms of religions by spreading his mentor Ramakrishna Paramahans’ dictum that no religion is better than the other.

He regretted that the Hindu religious fundamentalists are using Vivekanand as their icon through misinterpretation of his words and speeches though his stress on co-ordination of all religions is indicative of his conscious endeavor to free religions of their respective venomous fundamentality.

Elaborating his observation, Sri Pattanayak clarified that fundamentality besides being the basis of peculiarity of every religion is the chain with which the preachers keep their respective followers bonded. Emphasis on co-ordination of all religions means emphasis on removal of all the streaks of fundamentality from all the religions, which Vivekanand had tactfully undertaken, he said.

But, he also said, Vivekanand or his mentor was not the first to find out how dangerous were the religions fundamentally.

SCP addressing audience in Athagarh

SCP addressing audience in Athagarh

Muni Vyasadev in saying “Sarvadharman parityajya mamekam saranan vraja” in the Bhagavat Gita in the lips of Sri Krshna, had made it unambiguously clear that all the religions must be discarded for saving the society from disunity and fall.

Vivekanand had made improvisation on Vyasa’s drastic rejection of religion by stressing on coordination of all religions that necessarily meant discarding of the components of fundamentality inherent in all of them. Now as religious revivalism has re-emerged with all its macabre machinations and fundamentalists of all the religions are wrecking havoc on human lives, as witnessed latest in Kandhamal, Vivekanand looks more relevant, he said.

SCP delivering speech at Athgarh

SCP delivering speech at Athgarh

He called upon right-thinking peoples to unite to force the religions to co-ordinate with each other for saving the society from religion-generated mayhems or, if the fundamentalists don’t listen and do not desist from dragging people to hell while living in misguided anticipation of happiness after death, to ban active practice of all religions, as no religion is more important than human beings.
Speakers Manoranjan Mohanty and Divyajyoti Pani dwelt on life and time of Vivekanand and how he had inspired the youth to make supreme sacrifice for the motherland.

Presiding over the event, Lalatendu Senapati, Journalist and principal organizer of Gadjat Parikrama, lauded Vivekanand’s contribution to the concept of Universal Brotherhood and thanked Sri Pattanayak for the new angle he gave to contextual interpretation of the person, who had and still inspires the brilliancy in youth.

Audiance At Athgarh

Audiance At Athgarh

The event being organized by Gadjat Parikrama there was a seminar on contributions of Gadjats (Ex-Princely States) to Orissa.

SCP observed that the most magnificent contribution of Gadjats to Orissa is discernible in the Odissi as well as Chhau dance systems and in tie-dying textiles.

Recognized by culture-scholars as the grammar of Odissi dance, the unique scripture captioned Abhinaya Darpana Prakash was authored by the Prince of Tigiria, Jadunath Rai Singh Tunga, who had developed the new system of dance by amalgamating his family dance discipline called Tunga Nrtya with Alasa Nrtya of coastal Orissa, he said. Similarly the Chhau dance discipline was developed in three princely states such as Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Sareikela with extensive practice in the Oriya populated track of West-Bengal, Purulia. Gadjats being hilly regions, many tribal dance forms such as Ghumura of Kalahandi, Dhenkanal and Tigiria, Ravana Chhaya of Talcher and Palalahara etc had developed to the tune of nature that are now attracting world attention.

On the dias

On the dias

Sri Pattanayak gave details of how the unique tie-dying technique used in production of the famous Khandua was developed in Tigiria and how Bibhuti Kanungo acquiring training in this technique from Arjuna Subuddhi of Nuapatna of Tigiria had contributed the technique to weavers of other regions, such as Sambalpur, for which he was awarded by the central government. Maniabandh of ex-State Baramba has also enriched this technique, he said, while stressing that princely States like Sonepur have made unique contributions to indigenous textile technology.

But the greatest contribution of Gadjats, he pointed out, is their peoples’ role in shaping the country. The youngest martyr of India, Baji Raut, was from Orissa’s Dhenkanal and his brutal assassination by the British and Royal forces had sharpened the freedom struggle that ultimately extinguished kingship in the country. The peoples’ movement of Dhenkanal developing into militant revolt against the kings of Orissa, they were forced to merge their respective States with the Union of India after the British had left. Had the peoples not forced their Kings to merge their respective States in the Union of India, the country could never have acquired the geographical shape it has at the moment. In fact, merger of the Princely States of Orissa with India had paved the path for merger of other Princely States in other parts of the Country, he said.

Pointing out how the supreme sacrifices of martyrs have been lost due to lust for money in peoples in power and in trade and commerce, Sri Pattanayak said that the peoples of Gadjats were traditionally respecting their kings as gods, specifically as in Hindu scriptures they were equated with Vishnu. But the same people revolted against the kings and wiped out kingship. In doing this, they in fact had expressed their disapproval of unlimited accumulation of properties by individuals. This was perhaps the best ideological contribution of Gadjat peoples to the country. But the politicians have killed the spirit of this ideology as a result of which mafia has taken over India; economic offenders have emerged as achievers and traitors have emerged as leaders.

The peoples of the Gadjats, by forcing kings out of their thrones in order to extinguish the system of accumulation of unlimited property by individuals had shown the way, let us not shy away, he said.

The participants pledged to devote themselves for all round development of Gadjat areas. Activists Lalatendu Senapati, Sanatan Rai, Brahmanand Lenka, Chandrakant Mishra, Asok Dash, Ratnakar Beura, Bhubananand Pattnaik, Pratap Chandra Rautray, Prakash Puhan, Nachiketa Parmanik, Sudhansu Nanda, Prakash Sethy, Harihar Sahu, Radhanath Das and Bijoy Kumar Nayak were felicitated. Students of Athgarh Nrtya Sangeet Vidyalaya sung the title song on Gadjat authored by eminent lyricist Radhanath Das.

(Source: Gadjat Parikrama, Athgarh)

SURYA OF TIGIRIA ILLUMINATES THE WORLD OF BUSINESS


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

As a man of Tigiria, I am thrilled to know that my land has given a new contribution to the world of excellence in the shape of Surya Sahoo, who has been honored for being a champion entrepreneur in the business world.

Tigiria’s contributions to world of culture is immense.

The world famous Odissi dance, had its origin, incognito, in Tigiria. It was created by a prince of Tigiria, Jadunatha @ Jadumani Tunga Rai Simha. Later Kavichandra Kali Charan Pattanayak had given it the name of Odissi.

Prince Jadunatha had developed this wonderful dance system by amalgamating the love dance Alasha nrtya, then prevalent in the coastal belt of Orissa and martial dance of Tigiria named in his family name as Tunganrtya and codified the manners of this new dance form by providing it with a scripture captioned as Abhinaya Darpana Prakasha, which, in the words of eminent scholar Pt. Kedar Nath Mohapatra,“has got wide circulation in the land, as the classical ‘Odisi’ dance and ‘Odisi’ music were being regulated by the injunctions given in this work” (Contribution of Orissa to Sanskrit Literature, Orissa Sahitya Akademi, 1960, p. CXCIX).

Pt. Mohapatra has further noted,“Jadunatha Simha, the author of this work was a chief of the Tigiria royal family of the ex-State Tigiria, not far from the city of Cuttack” (Ibid).

Raja Gopinath Tunga Champatisimha, his predecessor in the throne had authored Veera Sarvaswa, which is regarded as the grammar of warfare that, over and above missilery, for the first time had codified the training techniques of war animals.

The world famous ikat (bandha) fabric of Orissa owe its excellence to Tigiria. This is evidenced by the very fact that all the sets of Bandha fabrics- Sadhi, Khandua, Pheta and Phuta– needed for Sri Jagannatha, Balabhadra and Subhadra during a year comes from Nuapatna of Tigiria. Madala Panji has recorded that the Gajapati King of Orissa had requested the Raja of Tigiria to prevail upon the weavers of Nuapatana to continue supply of the bandha fabrics to the deities in return of which he had offered them hereditary positions of Patra.

Eberhard Fischer and Dinanath Pathy at Chapter 12 of Jayadeva And Gitagovinda (Harman Publishing House, New Delhi, 1995), citing their earlier research with Sitakant Mohapatra in the team captioned Orissa, Kunst and Kultur in Nordost Indian have noted,

The ikat technique of tie-dying threads before weaving to produce multicolored designs in the warp, or in the weft, or in the combined wrap and weft, was practiced by Orissa weavers since several centuries in simple forms, especially in the region of Nuapatana and Tigiria where silk was used as raw material.

Even in development of these “simple forms” to multi-designed pictorial motifs, the earliest historical documents they have discovered depict Tigiria as the source of such excellent textile technology.

The late legendary Bibhuti Kanungo had learnt this technique from a master weaver of Nuapatana, namely Arjuna Subuddhi, staying in his house for months during my childhood days and had transferred this technique to weavers of Sambalpur through Krutartha Acharya for which he was awarded by the central government. The words in the citation of felicitation that he was given bears proof of this. By adopting the Tigiria technique, Sambalpuri Vastra has surged ahead.

It is Tigiria where Mahamahopadhyaya Chandra Sekhara Simha Samanta (Pathani Samanta) had mastered astrology under the famous scholar of his time Bhubaneshwara Badapanda and it is Tigiria, that in modern times, has given the world one of the finest philologists in Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak.

But twentieth century’s only Mahakavya in Sanskrit Matrumukti Muktavali (Published by Orissa Sahitya Akademi) also comes from Tigiria, Prof. Jayakrushna Mishra being its author.

Bengalis owe the origin of their first library of palm leaf manuscripts to Tigiria, as at Shantiniketan it was begun with hundreds of such manuscripts, most of them rare and original, donated to Visva Bharati for referral use of the world by the Raja of Tigiria when Dr. D.P.Pattanayak was working there as a member of faculty.

Now Surya, as the Sun is called, has illuminated our other side of the globe.

As said above, Tigiria, though the smallest amongst all the ex-princely states of India, has a lot of contributions to many distinguished fields of human pursuits.

The latest in the list, Surya, the “champion entrepreneur in the business world” as Houston Business Journal of November 16-22, 2007 depicts, makes me as a Tigirian happy beyond description.

I thank Prof. Debasmita Misra for having shared with all of us Oriyas, through his forum ‘myodisa’ this pleasing news of this honor bestowed upon Surya.

So nicely and so aptly Prof. Misra has put his pride to pen that I think, I should reproduce it in its entirety in these pages.

This is what has said Prof. Debasmita Misra.

How many of us have come across the name of Surya Sahoo? Except for the Houston bAsi oDiAs of USA, not many.

However, if you read the Houston Business Journal of November 16-22, 2007, you will be proud to see a simple smiley face of this individual who has been honored for being a champion entrepreneur in the Business World.

Fairing originally from Panchagan, Tigiria of Cuttack District, the journal states that as a child, even while counting the stars at night, Surya Sahoo always had a technical aptitude. ‘We have seen quite difficult times in our early married days’, says his wife Kabita Sahoo. Surya graduated from NIT Rourkela in Chemical Engineering in 1986 and did his MS and Ph.D. from University of Memphis, TN in Environmental and Civil Engineering, respectively.

In 2000, Surya Sahoo, along with his wife Kabita and sons Amlan and Ishan, initiated the company called Institute of Information Technology (IIT) in the outskirts of Houston, TX. Getting vehicles where they need to be in the least amount of time possible is the goal of the Institute of Information Technology Inc. Located in The Woodlands, the privately owned company founded of Surya Sahoo, combines Geographic Information Systems technology with operations research optimization methods to provide solutions to a variety of spatially based challenges. ‘Basically we develop software applications that address the problems businesses find in their industry that are spatially based,’ says Clive Thomas, chief operations officer for the Institute of Information Technology. ‘Distance and space is a critical factor to be able to route vehicles
efficiently, and we support those challenges.’ (cf. Houston Business Journal)

Surya’s business acumen and his leadership has been recognized consistently through awards such as,

1. Fast Tech 50 Award in 2003
2. Who’s Who in the Heritage Registry in 2004-2005
3. Franz Edelman Finalist Award in 2004
4. Fast Tech 50 Award in 2004
5. Enterprise Champion Award from Fast Tech 50 in 2007

Faring from a simple oDiA family, Surya has reached a point in his career, where he has made everyone proud. Despite his achievements and accomplishments, he is a person with immense humility and generosity. He has increased his employees by 40% over the last year by expanding his operations. He is being considered now as a leading businessperson of Houston.

Surya Sahoo’s parents are Sri Bansidhar Sahoo (Retd. Asst. Engineer) and Smt. Kumudini Sahoo. His wife Kabita Sahoo’s parents are Sri Sankar Sahu (Retd. Reader in Physics) and Smt. Pravasini Sahu (Retd. Asst. Teacher) of Bargarh, oDishA. I am sure, their blessings have made Surya and Kabita to achieve what they have today.

Such achievements should be an encouragement for all oDiAs. Please join me to give a big hand to Surya and Kabita Sahoo for their success. Please pass on this message to all oDiAs so that Surya and Kabita be the inspiration in the heart of any aspiring entrepreuner. A profile of their acomplishments will appear in Duradrusti, January Edition, 2008. I have attached a brief note to this communication for your perusal.

On behalf of myodisa, I offer my sincere CONGRATULATIONS and best wishes to Surya, Kabita, Amlan and Ishan.