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.

Orissa High Court heavily censures SoPS for acts of personal aggrandizement

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Selfless Journalists under the banner of “Save the Samaja Forum” and employees of ‘The Samaja’ on the platform of their trade union “Utkalmani Newspaper Employees Association” have been continuously alleging that a pack of self-seeking criminals, who use Lala Lajpat Rai’s Servants of the People Society as their identity, have seized the Oriya daily “The Samaja” by forging a Will of its founder Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das and looting its funds and misusing its media power for their personal aggrandizement, while keeping the State Government run by Naveen Patnaik as well as media organizations run mostly by economic offenders in Orissa muzzled, as evidenced in their total silence when it is known to them that the newspaper based on contribution of the people of the State is being looted and the morality Gopabandhu stood for is being butchered.

Orissa High Court in a judgment passed on January 22, has severely censured the said society’s office bearers – erstwhile and existing – for their acts of “personal aggrandizement”.

“Before parting with the case”, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Mr. A. K. Goel and Justice A. K. Rath, while rejecting the writ appeal of Niranjan Rath and others that have occupied ‘The Samaja’ and SoPS office, has said, “we would like to observe that the SoPS was founded by a great freedom fighter and prominent leader of the country, namely, Lala Lajpat Rai in the year 1921. The society is devoted to enlist and train national missionaries for the service of the motherland. it publishes a premium Oriya Daily “The samaja”. But of late the office bearers of SoPS, both erstwhile and existing, have dragged the institution/”The Samaja” to portals of the court to satisfy their personal aggrandizement. The founding members of “The Samaja” in their wisdom had never thought that a day will come, when the office bearers will approach the Court for settlement of their disputes. Let good sense prevail amongst members of the executive council/office bearers to devote time for the society instead of settling their scores in the court”. (Para 18, Judgment in W. A.No 532 of 2013).

Niranjan and his team, like habitual litigants, had wanted quashing of order of a single Judge of the High Court that had approved the decision of the District Judge of Cuttack, who, in an order, had denied them free hand to use the Samaja funds.

The District Judge had held that, even though he was not to pass any finding in the matter of the suit pending in the trial Court relating to election of office bearers SoPS challenged by its life member Sri K. C. Tripathy, to him, Sri Tripathy had “a full proof case”.

Therefore, instead of quashing the election and leaving the issue to the trial Court, the District Judge had ordered that till finalization of the suit, the group that has occupied SoPS/The Samaja, “shall not take any policy decision having financial implications except meeting the day to day expenses” on publication of the paper including wages of the employees.

Niranjan and his team had come to the High Court for nullification of the restriction imposed on expenditure and had failed, as the Single Judge found the DJ order perfectly flawless. Now the writ appeal against the single Judge’s verdict has failed in the Division Bench headed by the Chief Justice.

The appeal of the occupiers of the Samaja has not only failed, but also the litigants have earned the stricture.

The Court has tightened the leash put on Niranjan and his team by mandating that they “shall not take any policy decision/final decision without leave of the trial Court”.

And, they are judicially advised not to indulge in “personal aggrandizement” at the cost of ‘The Samaja’.

Bakula Bana: What was it on January 26 and what did we do?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

abandoned for years

This is how the revered statue of Pandit Gopabandhu Das, famous as Utkalmani, the Crown Jewel of Orissa, whose humanitarian services to the downtrodden people has no comparison, was lying abandoned in a very sickening ugly condition in the campus of the extinct Jatiya Vana Vidyalaya (The National School of India on the lap of Nature) when in company of media consultant Pabitra Maharatha I had an occasion to visit the place.

Servants of the People Society, which misappropriates millions and millions of rupees earned by Gopabandhu’s newspaper – The Samaja – by manufacturing a false Will of the late leader, has never bothered to maintain the site.

There are many persons who boast of their blood link with Gopabandhu. None of them has ever wanted to keep his statue in a decent condition.

We in ‘Save the Samaja Forum’ (SSF) decided to discourage the disrespect shown to Gopabandhu and his friends whose statues in the Vakula Bana were also suffering similarly sickening negligence. The Trade Union of the employees of ‘The Samaja’ – the Utkalmani Newspaper Employees Association (UNEA) – readily came forward to co-operate.

Gopabandhu and his friends were all eminent freedom fighters and with the principal purpose to create educated patriots to make the dreams for a prosperous sovereign republic come true, they had established the Bana Bidyalaya. We therefore decided to to offer our Kar Seva at the asthans of the Panchasakha on the Republic Day, 2014.

On January 25 we initiated the action by informing the people of Satyavadi about our idea of salvaging the Pancha Sakha statues from the heap of gut-wrenching negligence and disrespect. We found the Bana Vidyalaya site locked, with its key in custody of an temple executive. We met him and requested him to keep the Bakula Bana open on January 26 for our Kar Seva, giving him a printed copy of our appeal to the people against disrespect being shown to the Pancha Sakha statues. As we reached the entrance gate on January 26, we found the gate locked with garbages and litter covering the entry path. We swept them out, while waiting for the endowment caretaker to unlock the gate.

The mission was christened “Bakula Bana Safei Abhijan”. Eminent citizens of Satyavadi were one with SSF and UNEA in cleaning the garbages.

Bakula Bana safei abhijan 1safei abhijan

Then the statues as well as the podiums of Gopabandhu and the other four revered teachers were cleaned.

kar seva 1kar seva 2


The Kar Seva gave tremendous patriotic pleasure to the participants. Here is picture captured at the podium of Gopabandhu, just to facilitate a comparing with the picture at the top of this presentation.

after kar seva

After Cleaning the podium and the statue by way of kar seva, participants sat with satisfaction at the feet of the the statue of Gopabandhu (as also at the other four podiums).

sitting with satisfaction 1sitting with satisfaction 2

Young activists of Satyavadi – Satyabrata Hota, Rakesh Mohapatra et al have vowed to see that podiums of the Pancha Sakha – holier than holiness – are not any more disrespected.

The Samaja Editor is under Enforced Hallucination

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

A front page boxed clarification in today’s edition of The Samaja published in fidgeted reaction to the statement of ‘Save The Samaja Forum’ in a press conference yesterday, gives a pathetic feeling that its editor is now under enforced hallucination.

The Samaja was invited to the press meet and had also deputed a reporter to cover the event. The said reporter had not only heard the joint conveners of the Forum, Sri Subhas Chandra Pattanayak and Sri Prasanta Patnaik addressing the Press, but also had been supplied with a copy of the written statement on which both the conveners had elaborated.

But, instead of publishing the information transmitted to his representative in the press meet, including document-based allegation of forgery against the Servants of the People Society (SoPS), and massive, unpunished misappropriation of the funds of The Samaja by functionaries of the SoPS, and unfair labor practice resorted to by the dubious occupiers of The Samaja, the editor has published the boxed clarification, denigrating therein the persons that are trying to save The samaja.

This clarification has failed to deny the allegation that the SoPS has hijacked The Samaja by forging a will of Pt. Gopabandhu Das.

It has failed to deny the allegation of massive misappropriation of the funds of The Samaja by the SoPS functionaries.

It has failed to counter the fact-based revelation of monstrous irregularities in finances of The Samaja.

It has failed to deny unfair labor practices resorted to against leaders of the employees association.

It has failed to produce the true will, if any, of Gopabandhu Das, if that differs from the one orissamatters.com had exposed on 8 August 2012 and the Forum had displayed in the press meet and distributed amongst the media persons including the representative of the editor, yesterday.

But, instead, in fidgets, it has tried to tell the people that by challenging the genuineness of the will, the Forum has raised fingers at the morality of Lala Lajpat Rai, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Rajarshee Purusottam Das Tandon, Balwantrai Mehetta, Bishwanath Das, Radhanath Rath and Krushna Kant et cetera, they having led the SoPS in the past.

The issue is not the morality of the persons named above by the editor. The issue is loot of The Samaja on the basis of a forged will.

The SoPS must show the people if any will, other than the one exposed and discussed by the orissamatters.com and displayed in the press meet and circulated to the Press by the Forum, is under its possession.

Only thereby, there shall be no question on the morality of any.

Otherwise, the question we have raised cannot die.

The SoPS, which appears now as a body of forgers engaged in active exploitation of a forged will of Utkalmani to their individual and collective benefit, cannot escape under the smokescreen of morality of the persons the Samaja editor has named in his misconceived clarification.

And, what a farce, and what a tragedy!

The press meet and the Save The Samaja Forum and this reporter, who had stumbled upon the so-called will of Gopabandhu and on examination had rejected its genuineness, are all in one reflection of vested interest, the editor has said.

As we know the editor personally, he being a member of our fraternity for decades, and a close colleague of ours in the Media Unity for Freedom of Press that has been fighting against every hurdle to freedom of expression, it is very paining for us to see that he has suppressed the press statement of the ‘Save The Samaja Forum’, which tantamount to suppression of information and, on the other hand, has, in his published clarification, used obnoxious terms against the very people that are trying to save the Samaja from the grip of forgery, embezzlement and irregularities and from the environment that is killing the spirit of Utkalmani.

As we know the editor, and know of his adherence to journalistic ethics, we are sure, in normal condition, he could never have done this disservice to journalism.

Obviously he is under enforced hallucination.

Orissa High Court Steps In: Sahitya Award 2011 Stayed on Allegation of Manipulation

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa High Court has stayed the Sahitya Award, 2011 to Kahani published Achihna Basabhumi in Oriya language, seemingly fixed through corrupt process.

The new dimensions of danger that the book posed to societal unity of Orissa were first discussed in these pages that gave birth to hot debates in print and tele-media, leading to complaints against its authoress before different police stations and Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before the High Court.

Credit goes to Barendra Krushna Dhal for having resigned from membership of the Akademi’s Language Advisory Board (LAB) in protest against manipulation in selection of the book for the Award; to Asit Mohanty for having tactfully eliciting from Jury member Chandra Sekhar Rath the inner picture of manipulation by the Akademi top brass and the convener; to Mukta Sahitya Manch for organized protests against the manipulation; to Sambad and its editor Soumya Ranjan Patnaik as well as to The Samaja and its editor Gopal Krishna Mohapatra for print media strength given to opposers of the manipulation; to Kanak TV and Kamyab TV for having educated the relevant public through panel discussions on the manipulation; to persons of letters of Orissa, who, personal relationship notwithstanding, came down heavily – individually and collectively – upon the nasty conduct of Jury members and Akademi officials in execution of the manipulation; and to Sricharan Pratap (Kanisk) for having preferred the PIL before the HC.

The book being the corpus delicti of the crime against Oriya language, it surely is a matter of solace for everybody affected by the offense against the mother tongue to see that the High Court has stepped in to stay the Award announced in its favor by the National Academy of Letters through manipulation.