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.

Padma Award be Considered for Sri Satyendra Dubey and Sri Manjunath Shanmugan: IRDS

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

I am indebted to Sri Sanjib Kunar Karmee for having helped me, by way of circulation, get the opportunity to go through what Sri Amitabh Thakur, President, Institute for Research and Documentation in Social Sciences (IRDS), Lucknow, has appealed to the Government of India, for posthumous national respect to two of the immortal sons of our Motherland, who have made supreme sacrifice in cause of the country.
I reproduce here below the most appropriate appeal of Sri Thakur for perusal of all esteemed visitors to these pages and for their unreserved support to the just cause.

Sri Satyendra Kumar Dubey

Sri Satyendra Kumar Dubey (1973 – 27 November 2003) was born at the village Shahpur, district Siwan, Bihar. A talented and dedicated boy he did his B Tech from the prestigious IIT Kanpur and M Tech from IT-BHU in 1996. He was selected for the Indian Engineering Service (IES) and in July 2002 he was employed by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). Here he exposed some serious financial irregularities. He discovered that the contracted firm, Larsen and Toubro had been subcontracting the actual work to smaller low-technology groups, controlled by the local mafia. His letters to his NHAI bosses exposing the corruption went unheeded and faced with possible high-level corruption within the NHAI, Sri Dubey wrote directly to then Prime Minister, detailing the financial and contractual irregularities there.

In August 2003 when he was transferred to Gaya where he again exposed large-scale flouting of NHAI rules regarding sub-contracting and quality control.

On November 27, 2003, when Sri Dubey returned from a journey to Gaya, he never reached home and was found dead by road side.
The CBI did the investigations but Mantu Kumar, prime accused, escaped from the court premises, leading to different kinds of allegations.

A Patna Court has convicted three accused persons including Mantu for the crime.

Sri Dubey’s murder drew several protests in India and abroad, including the media. Student and Alumni bodies of IITs took the lead in raising this issue. IIT Kanpur instituted an annual award, Satyendra K Dubey Memorial Award, to be given to an IIT alumnus for displaying highest professional integrity in upholding human values. Sri Dubey was recognised posthumously by several awards, which included those from Transparency International and All India Management Association.

Sri Manjunath Shanmugam

Sri Manjunath Shanmugam was born on February 23rd, 1978. After finishing his engineering from SJCE Mysore, Sri Manjunath went into the prestigious IIM Lucknow, and graduated from there in 2003. Instead of joining the big corporate firms for hefty pay, this idealist youth joined the Indian Oil during campus placements. Here he was posted as the sales officer in Lucknow to manage the Lakhimpur Khiri region of UP – a known hotbed of petroleum adulteration.

While working here, he had ordered two petrol pumps at Lakhimpur Kheri to be sealed for three months for selling adulterated fuel. When the pump started operating again a month later, Sri Manjunath decided to conduct a surprise raid around November 19, 2005.It was this act of his that irked the powerful patrol pump owner and that very night, he was shot dead in Gola Gokarannath town of Lakhimpur Kheri. His body, riddled with at least six bullets, was found in the backseat of his own car.

Following the murder, there was immense media spotlight on the case. The Alumni from IIM Lucknow and elsewhere in the shape of the Manjunath Shanmugam Trust took up the case with dogged determination. The main accused Monu Mittal (the petrol pump owner) and 7 accomplices were convicted of murder by Sessions judge, Lakhimpur Kheri. Monu was awarded death sentence, when the other seven accused were sentenced to life imprisonment.

In the aftermath of murder, the matter of adulteration in petrol and diesel was taken up by the Energy Coordination Committee chaired by the Prime Minister. Later the MS Trust started the Manjunath Shanmugam Integrity Award to honour those who have reported and worked to rectify systemic corruption.

From these brief introductions, we can easily see that these two bright young men (Sri Satyendra was 30 when he was murdered while Sri Manjunath was only 27 at the time of his death) got their life suddenly ended because of their commitment to fight against the system and because of their determination and inner urge to stick to their values and personal ideals. They were not being forced by their organization to adhere to these principles; on the contrary they often had to face difficulties because of their non-compromising views. Another thing common to both was that despite being respectively from IIT and IIM, they chose to join the Public sector which has traditionally been given lower importance by students of these Institutes. They both had a deep sense of commitment and an inner urge to do something for the society. It was this burning idealism that ultimately led to their untimely death.

Through their supreme sacrifice they gave a much needed impetus to the values they held so closely to their heart. Their sacrifice has not exactly gone in vain but they are now the symbol of hope, idealism, commitment and values for a society that clearly needs them in huge amounts. It is a fact that most of us are not able to follow these principles in our own lives, simply because we are not made of the mettle that these two people were constituted of. But then, just because we lack these virtues, it does not stop us in any way from appreciating such values which are the foundation stone of any truly enriched society.

The IRDS, like a whole spectrum of people acknowledges the great virtues and the huge contributions made by both Sri Satyendra Dubey and Sri Manjunath Shanmugan, who are now the heroes of the entire nation.

This being so, we sincerely feel that the Union government also recognizes this fact officially by bestowing these two heroes the honour they truly deserve.

One way of doing this could be to confer one of the Padma awards (Padma Bhushan or at least Padma Shree) to both Sri Dubey and Sri Manjunath posthumously, as has been done in many other instances.
Honouring them would be to honour their cherished ideas, ideals, principles, virtues and believes.

We have requested the concerned officials and authorities to consider this suggestion. At the same time, I also request you friends to carry forth this mission.