Orissa is equipped with unique data on its letters: Latest part of Sahitya Mahabharat launched

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

AMJournalist Asit Mohanty, the insightful untiring author, whose works cover major areas of Oriya literature, has come out with his latest part of Sahitya Mahabharat, a compilation of his column of the same caption, which Sri Soumya Ranjan Patnaik – chief of ‘Eastern Media’ where he works – released in the evening of January 27 in presence of Sri Rabi Kanungo, editor of Suryaprava, wherefrom the acclaimed column was reaching the readers every fortnight.

SM-CStyled in terms of the epic of principled battle, this part is presented as the second ‘Parva’ and with this, Orissa is now equipped with unique data that help studying contemporary Orissa’ scenario of letters, with its magnificence, and its contradictions.

The compilation provides Orissan authors with a perfect mirror to locate where black spots affect their brilliance.

The column ‘Sahitya Mahabharat’ had generated lots of interest in Orissa as its author was not in byline, but under a pseudonym: ‘Sri Sanjay’. Often hit with his depictions, fame-seekers and award mongers amongst Orissa’s persons of letters were wondering who Sri Sanjay was, even though sagacious analysis and style of the write-ups was making some of them assume that the pseudonym must be of Asit Mohanty.

Release of Sahitya MahabharatPublisher of the compilation Sri Saroj Bal of Orissa’s stylish publishing house ‘Time Pass’ used the occasion to take the curtain off Sri Sanjay. Asit Mohanty came out of the pseudonym.

Editor of Suryapraava Sri Rabi Kanungo gave a great account of the stir the caustic column was making amongst the State’s authors and how he was to disappoint many of his personal friends eager to know the real name of the columnist.

Editor of Sambad and founder of Ama Odisha Sri Soumyaranjan Patnaik, in releasing the book, expressed pride over having a colleague who so ably has acted such a sentinel of Oriya literature. True, many men of letters revolve around Estern Media. But, lest they feel embarrassed, using a pseudonym and that too in a different forum was not necessary for Mr. Mohanty, he said. Uncompromising criticism helps excellence grow and hence Orissa’s writers should welcome both the volumes of Sahitya Mahabharat, opined Patnaik.

Eminent author and scholar Prof. Biswaranjan discussed on the book. We like to share his speech verbatim. It is in Oriya language and meant for the Oriyas of the world.


Ajay Kumar Mohapatra

animadversion Book Cover

New York based media scholar Saswat Pattanayak launched ‘Animadversion’ , a new book of his father, eminent Journalist Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, in a solemn ceremony on April 8 in the Red Cross Bhawan auditorium at Bhubaneswar. Prof. Biswaranjan was in the chair.

the book unveiled by prof. ajit kumar mohanty

Opening the book, priced Rs.1000/- published by Santosh Publications of Bharat Bharati group of Cuttack, former Professor of J.N.U. New Delhi, Prof. Ajit Kumar Mohanty commended it as a “priceless piece of journalistic literature” that helps living history by covering milestone moments of contemporary India, with specific focus on matters relating to Orissa.

To Prof. Jayant Kumar Biswal, Chief Speaker of the event, the book is a precious piece of principled journalism that unveils unseen scenarios, which affect the society.

Prof J.Biswal speaking on the book

When it throws new light on authors of the Charyagitis (Bauddha Gan O Doha) establishing the fact that by birth they belong only to Orissa, thereby demolishing the Bengali claim over them, as in the case also of poet Jay Dev, the book has exposed the monstrous mischief and treachery the politicians in power and the mandarins in office have played against the people, he said. He lauded the author for his commitment to the people’s right to be informed as evidenced in depiction of research based factual analysis in all the articles compiled in Animadversion.


As a token of commencement of the book’s circulation (Lokarpana), Biswajit Mohanty, a pioneer in global-utility-education-movement in Orissa received the book from Saswat Pattanayak on the dais. Mohanty is a grand son of late Madhu Mohanty,the most popular columnist of his time in Orissa.

Biswajit after receiving the book

On receiving the book in ‘Lokarpana’, Biswajit informed the audience how he had come across an exposure on a well known person of the State in Subhas babu’s writings much ahead of the CBI taking the same person to books for the same offense. He welcomed the publication of Animadversion as the book would help non-netizen persons to know the author’s online contributions to the cause of the country.

saswat addresses the audience

In presenting the book, Saswat, associated with orissamatters.com from where the articles compiled in Animadversion are picked up, described the book as “inimitably inspiring and unquestionably valuable, both in terms of content and, in its approach”.

SCP on his  book

Author Subhas Chandra Pattanayak recalled how orissamatters.com that gave birth to a new era of Internet journalism in Orissa was established. When scope for standing truthfully with the people was “shrinking” around 1999, his son had inspired him into the new generation journalism, leading to creation of orissamatters.com, he said. “This new platform gave me enough independence to write as prudence entailed to be written in public interest. For every piece of my posting in orissamatters.com, I have searched for facts to the best of my ability and have used my long experience and professional wisdom to help people know what the agents of plutocracy have always wanted to keep buried under the carpet of mediacracy” informed Sri Pattanayak.

prof. biswaranjan

In his Presidential speech, Prof. Biswaranjan praised the author for his unperturbed role as a people’s sentinel even in the environment prevalent in India, where the media is increasingly getting more infested with devotion to rich man’s rule than the common man’s sovereignty.

Prof. Major Kumudini Barai proposed vote of thanks when Amrita Mishra had welcomed the guests.

Media consultant Pabitra Maharatha coordinated the event.


Unless plutocracy is defeated, India, as a nation, cannot survive, warned Journalist Subhas Chandra Pattanayak on August 2, in a congregation of intellectuals and social reformers at the State Information Center (Jaya Dev Bhawan), Bhubaneswar. The occasion was Free Speech Day organized by Anti-caste Marriage & One-child Family Organization of India (AMOFOI) and he was the Chief Speaker-cum-Chief Guest.

With Prof. Biswaranjan in the chair, AMOFOI president Joan Omprakash, welcomed the event.

After inaugurating the AMOFOI publication on free speech, Pattanayak recalled Dr. Ambedkar, who, in his reply to debates on the third reading of the Constitution had warned the nation of premature death of democracy if Government of independent India fails to take immediate steps to remove the economic inequality, the country was burdened with, under colonization and feudatory condition.

Sadly, Pattanayak said, the post-independence regimes, instead of removing inequality, have transformed Indian democracy to plutocracy that perpetuate inequality; as a result of which, protests of the victims of inequality are taking the shape of armed revolutions. And, Ambedkar’s forecast is appearing to be coming true.

He elaborated on how agents of the rich are collaborating with each other in covering up crimes against the country so that perpetrators and beneficiaries of plutocracy can consolidate their position. As an instance, he cited the collapse of the motion in the tenth Loksabha against the notorious bank of terror-funding, Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) because of nexus between the Congress in Government and BJP in Opposition.

He cited several instances of how popular governments have no qualms in destroying the faith of people in governance, as both the systems – democracy and plutocracy – being based on elections, look similar and the majority voters – the wretched poor – fail to understand, that, by electing their representatives, they are giving power only to the agents of the rich, planted as they are by all political parties pursuing economy of inequality. The deterioration in ideological sphere is so sharp and severe, that the mainstream communists are also having no qualms in coalescing with the capitalist parties, he said.

In such a situation, aggressive observance of right to free speech by every citizen can put a leash on whosoever occupies office, he opined.

In justifying August 2 to be called the Free Speech Day, he recalled how on August 2, 1971, Orissa High Court had declared two Rules of Orissa Government Servants Conduct Rules void, as they restricted the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution.

AMOFOI founder B.Ramachandra, then a lecturer under the State Government, was subjected to disciplinary action for having criticized a government policy.

The Court had set aside the official action with the observation that the government servants shall have the right to criticize the Government , as thereby administration can be cleansed of misrule.

The policy that Ramachandra had criticized had to be abandoned after the Court order, but sadly, the two restrictive rules still stay, despite being declared void. Therefore, observation of Free Speech Day on August 2 every year would act remembrancer of the necessity of writing off the two restrictions imposed on government servants in the conduct rules, said Pattanayak.

The function was presided over by Prof. Biswaranjan who gave a short but specific speech on the essence of freedom of speech.

Advocate Chittaranjan Nanda of Orissa High Court deliberated upon the importance of Article 19(1)(a) of Indian Constitution when Prof. Ramachandra, in his key-note address, stressed on elimination of caste system, of all traces of feudalism and exploitation. He cited John Stuart Mill, Voltaire, Bertrand Russell and Rabindranath Tagore and Universal Declaration of Human Rights in support of free speech campaign and called upon people to be rationalists and humanists rather than becoming religious chauvinists.