Left Parties in Orissa Protest Against Anti-People Hike in Petrol Price

The left parties in Orissa have raised strong protests against the anti-people hike in petrol price.

The people are so angry over the hike that the parties that are
bedfellows of the profiteers are also making dramas of demonstration against the price rise.


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Several of the kings in pre-independence India specifically in Orissa were so tyrant that they had imposed on the people they were torturing a tax called PITUNI KARA which was a fine in cash for being beaten. The masses ultimately woke up against such tyranny and the kings were so thrashed that they had to abdicate their thrones and merge their States in independent India.

When Congress misrule surpassed the limits, in several States in India, people refused to grant a fresh mandate to this party of the factotums of Nehru family in 1967 and thus in Orissa, one of the former kings, R.N.Singhdeo managed to form a ministry in coalition with Jan Congress, comprising Congress members opposed to Nehru family hegemony. Corruption in the state acquired elite status and defamation of political opponents and victimization of bureaucrats who did not dance to the tune of the CM’s proteges became the norms of the day. Hypocrisy stood for administration. And, as people got disillusioned, protests galore, Singhdeo with many ex-kings in his segment of the coalition, wanted PITUNI TAX to be imposed on areas where organized resistance to what he called governance, was discernible. It was strongly resented to in Orissa. Fissure in the coalition grew and the Jan Congress withdrew from the coalition. Government collapsed. People refused to give mandate to Singhdeo. Like a house of cards, his party – the Swatantra Party – also collapsed and got obliterated from political sky of India.

Emboldened by repeated return to power, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who by sheer misuse of power has reduced Orissa to a Bijudom by naming and renaming utmost majority of public institutes and welfare projects after his father Biju Patnaik with himself as its preening prince, has revived the PITUNI TAX of the kings’ concept, as informed, exploited and tortured people in rising numbers in every segment of society are demonstrating their protests against ongoing misrule.

This time, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation is being used as the medium of this punishment to still even the still small voices.

It would be wrong not to say that, in Orissa, the Governments in succession have gone against the people to please private industries and traders who prosper at the cost of the masses, as thereby, they, who run the Government, fetch fabulous financial gain.

In the process, people have been left at the mercy of exploiters and a climate of oppression and opportunism has engulfed administration pushing the entire working class – both in public and private sector – and self-employed ones – mostly in agriculture sector – into colonized condition. Naturally, people must protest.

One of the governments, run by J.B.Patnaik, sensing that protests in front of the citadel of power would obviously be by the well-informed ones and hence of immense impact, had contrived a method of obstructing all such protests against misrule and all possible campaigns for any alternative, by converting the vast open space kept by the original planners in front of the State Secretariat for such democratic activities, to a park named after Indira Gandhi after her demise. People of Orissa, after that, like they had thrown down Singhdeo to dustbin of time, thrashed the Congress out of office.

But, since the conversion of the democracy point to Indira Gandhi Park, despite the Governments’ insistence that people should express their concerns and/or protests in the Janata Maidan, away from the Secretariat, victims of government apathy and injustice were using the boulevards adjacent to the said park, spanning in front of the Sate Assembly up to the Master canteen square, to demonstrate their protests. Rallies and Dharana demonstrations were also being staged by the general public in expression of solidarity with the victims such as the ones conducted when the Naveen Patnaik Government became a butcher in Kalinga Nagar or its police became protector of the rapists in Pipili.

Naveen has now enhanced JB’s restrictive tactics against voices of mass conscience by imposing a PITUNI TAX in a different form.

Be it noted that the Government of Orissa rules from the City of Bhubaneswar. And, the City is run by Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation that lives under the pleasure of the Urban Development Department of the Government. Though managed on records by an elected body of ward representatives headed by a Mayor, the BMC is controlled by the Government through Laws enacted and enforced by it, through Government instructions and notifications leashing or unleashing its activities and through Government officers that administer it.

Now, this BMC has been used to tax the demonstrators to the tune of Rs.1000/- for staging their demonstration with the rider that the amount shall be recovered with penalty from leader(s)/organizer(s) of demonstration(s) if the tax amount is not paid in advance.

We mark that the Communist Party of India has staged a protest demonstration in front of the BMC office while demanding instant withdrawal of the new version of PITUNI TAX.

We deem it proper to warn the Government that if ventilation of people’s resentment against misrule is thus obstructed, the inevitable outburst of the tortured people’s wrath would be too sharp for the administration to overcome. From the former kings of Orissa who had imposed PITUNI KARA on their subjects to the former ruler of Balangir who in the attire of Orissa’s Chief Minister had taken steps to enforce PITUNI TAX, to a former journalist who had become the first CM to rule the State for a decade – all were thrashed to the dustbin by people of Orissa for having used devices to obstruct their voice against misrule. If Naveen fails to learn, it would be his mistake. This tax cannot be but anything other than a fine for being misruled in Orissa! It is better for Naveen to take note of it.

MUFP Warns Ruling Politicians of Consequences of Attack on Media

Journalists of Print, Web, Tv and Camera streams congregated under the now famous ‘Freedom Tree’ in front of the State Information Center (Jaydev Bhawan) Bhubaneswar at noon on Thursday  to condemn the rising attack on Press by ruling party leaders at different part of Orissa, specifically, attack on a media person Ashok Mohapatra , Correspondent of Khabara daily at Nischinta Koili ,  by mass education minister Pratap Jena, threat of dire consequences hurled at media men by MLA of Dasapalla, criminal
intimidation resorted to by ex-minister Pramila Mallik against Debendra Samal and chasing out journalist by the concerned collector from the venue of talk of labor laws implementation authority with Jindal steel management in the context of mass unrest generated by anti-people conduct of the industrial giant

Even as Sri Samal narrated the ordeal he has been subjected to by Ms. Mallick, MUFP congregation warned the ruling party politicians that if they remain such filthy to Press, the media would, henceforth, be constrained to think it proper to treat them as civilized persons deal with the filth. It would not be good for democracy and hence, the ruling politicians, whose primary responsibility should have been addressed to democracy, must desist from attacking the Press, the MUFP said.

It called upon the Chief Minister to look at these fresh attacks on Press and discipline his followers – the MLAs and the Minister as named above.

The MUFP demonstration was attended, among others, by Prasanta Patnaik, Rabi Das, Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, Sampad Mahapatra, D.N. Singh, Rabipriya Dash, Pramod Samantara, Lambodar Prasad Dash, Ramesh Mohanty, Lingaraj Panda and Sanjay Subudhi.


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Residents of government quarters in both the sides of Mahatma Gandhi Marg spanning between the Assembly junction and the Railway station roundabout in Bhubaneswar are deeply disturbed due to use of amplifiers by demonstrators who gather in the boulevard in hundreds and in thousands every now and then to voice their protests against unrelenting misrule.

The residents have been demanding for a ban on demonstrations and / or protest gatherings on MGM or in the boulevards in deference to their right to peace and tranquility. And conscious as they are of the adverse impact of noise pollution that the demonstrations generate, they are absolutely justified in raising this demand.

Public demonstrations and protest rallies are not the only events that bang the boulevards here; but also this is the place where state level ceremonial parades take place to the crippling of free movement of the residents as and when required by the authorities. So, the residents are really disadvantaged.

The Government quarters flanking MGM are of highest types and occupants thereof are high placed official functionaries except a marginal few from media.

No wonder the government has decided to oblige them by promulgating a permanent ban
on demonstrations and protest rallies as per demand of the concerned residents.

The Home Secretary is eager to locate an alternative place where demonstrations may be allowed.

Reportedly a high level team is pressed on the job. Nothing could be more laughable and ludicrous.

Were the boulevards flanking MGM ever earmarked as the places for the aggrieved public to offer their demonstrations that now the government is planning to change?

What sort of a government is in power now? Why it is so confused?

Are the demonstrators rushing to Bhubaneswar streets daring scorching sun or showering clouds or chilling cold waves for a dating with administration so that they should be expected to offer their proposal decently in a designated place?

Peoples are thronging MGM boulevards to voice their protests against lack of probity in administration, against loss of direction in administration, against injustices they are subjected to under administration, in a nutshell, against misadministration.

They are coming to break law on records on the roads of the capital city in order to show the government that they have no more any respect for the laws of the land as the same do not help the peoples but act as umbrellas to protect the exploiters and the enemies of the peoples.

One is to see to believe how enthusiastically peoples are breaking laws and jumping into police vans after administration arrests them; no qualms, no remorse, no repentance. This happens when peoples perform patriotic duties oblivious of repressive measures the government may take.

The Country is theirs and that is collapsing under continuous misrule by commission agents in possession of posts of power. Therefore the protest rallies, therefore the demonstrations.

Is the government expecting that the peoples who gather to register their protests through civil disobedience would obey official orders to demonstrate their protests in a place directed by the government at a far away distance from the State Secretariat?

If the government feels it would happen then here is a government that seriously lacks in sense of proportion.

Peoples will never honor any order that would restrict their rights to voice their protests against misrule.

Therefore, instead of making a farce of its own order, it would be better for the administrators as well as for democracy to dismantle the Indira Gandhi Park and to restore it to its previous position of a democracy points.

When Capital of Orissa shifted to Bhubaneswar, the ground where Indiara Gandhi Park now stands was earmarked as the democracy point. It was reserved for democratic activities. The State Level ceremonial parades on occasion of the Independence Day and the Republic Day were taking place on this ground. When eminent leaders were addressing the peoples they were doing that on this ground. Prime Ministers beginning from Jawaharlal Nehru to Indira Gandhi had addressed the peoples on this ground only. Similarly Leaders of Opposition beginning from the legendary communist leader A.K.Gopalan, who was the first recognized Leader of Opposition in India to the present leader of Opposition L.K.Advani had addressed the peoples on this ground. Leaders neither in power nor in the opposition benches of Parliament but in hearts of every Indian like Rajaji had addressed the peoples from podiums on this ground. This was the ground where aggrieved peoples of Orissa were voicing their concern and demonstrating their protests against bad governance and this was the ground from where peoples of Orissa were receiving informed signals to change administration in their State.

J.B.Patnaik, under whose rule in nineteen eighties, this ground had been umpteen times used by the peoples of Orissa as their lunching pad to send salvoes of protest against corruption and misadministration, had wanted obliteration of this excellent point of vigilant participation of the general public in democracy. The opportunity came to his hand when Indira was assassinated on going back from Orissa after delivering her last speech on this ground. His coterie proceeded immediately to destroy this ground of immortal memories and to extinguish every possibility of its future use by the vigilant public against misrule. In the name of creating crescent lake, profuse money was spent to remove soil from where now the water pool of BDA Nicco Park stands and to dump that soil on this ground to build up Park landscape. Money was looted both the ways; but the loss was nothing for the government to bother. Indiara Gandhi Park emerged on the deathbed of democracy on this ground.

Now when the government is planning to obstruct people from expressing their vigilant reaction on misadministration by putting a ban on use of the MGM by demonstrators, it would be better for officials to note that the government that had then declared to have ceremonial parades in the Kalinga Stadium or in a ground to be named Janata Maidan following conversion of this ground to the Indira Gandhi Park is not keeping to its decision and on the contrary, it is causing the parades on MGM as hinted to above.

So, it is time, the mischief behind creation of Indira Gandhi Park be reassessed and steps be taken to demolish it in order to restore this ground as the democracy ground where peoples as before would address and be addressed in matter of vigilant participation in democracy. It would be rather a befitting tribute to Indira who had delivered her last public address here.

The Forest Park is quite near to this spot and is enough to accommodate the visitors of Indira Gandhi Park.

Unless it is done, any attempt to deny peoples the right to voice their protests against misrule or to air their warnings to their government on basis of vigilant participation in democracy would be futile and lead to confrontation which would be dangerous to democracy.

So, demolish the Indiara Gandhi Park with Indira’s statue kept in tact to witness democratic participation of general public in keeping on leash an errant administration.