Socialism in Coma, Can be Revived to Save India: Prof. Pralaya Kanungo

Socialism cannot be kept crushed, howsoever strong be its opponents, said Prof. Pralaya Kanungo of J.N.U. at Bhubaneswar on the occasion of birth anniversary of progressive periodical Janatantra on September 28. Though in coma, it can be revived to save India, if the supporters of political economy of socialism get earnestly united against agents of capitalism, he said.

Addressing the topic – Can contemporary media contribute to socialism in India – he, as the chief guest, observed that the phenomenal growth of Occupy Wall Street movement in the very heartland of capitalism in USA is a pointer to the fact that socialism cannot die howsoever much may the imperialists wish. The capitalists know that socialism is the ultimate purpose of the people. Therefore, they even try to convince the people of their support for socialism. The concept of ‘global social democracy’ is pregnant with this mischief, he pointed out. To defeat this mischief, conscious working journalists and sincere leaders standing for socialism must stay away from the mentality of wealth accumulation so that despite corporate impact eclipsing the monumental media organizations, socialism shall have its way to save the people, he said.

Under the sway of corporate culture, mainstream media houses are in use to cultivate their audiences as targeted consumers for the open market, said chief speaker Dr. Birendra Nayak. When socialism is not expected to have any support from big Medias, the small journals and publications even in electronic sector are forums from where socialism gets its legitimate support, he said.

Prof. Nilamani Sahu found the answer in more people adopting socialism as their creed, which may force even the bigger media houses to devote their spaces to socialism.

Editor of Janatantra, Vivekanand Das, in introducing the topic, had pointed out that both the major political parties – the congress and the BJP – are not officially against socialism; because socialism constitutes the core of the preamble of Indian constitution. Yet, socialism is not in operation, as media is failing to educate the people in this matter. It is therefore essential to examine whether or not media should address itself to socialism.

Executive editor of the journal Basudev Mohapatra, who presided over the event, observed that corporate media is busy in converting news consumers to corporate citizenship. This mischief must be consciously exposed and defeated if India is to be saved and set on the track the freedom fighters had contemplated.

AMA ODISHA Makes a New Milestone: Commences Cast-Your-Vote Campaign

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

AMA ODISHA, Orissa’s frontline civil organization, founded by Sambad editor Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, had made the first milestone in social service sector by starting up, sticking to and constantly enhancing blood donation campaign, so essential for saving life in this State that the politico-executive government has reduced to a land of malnutrition. Its story is a success story of humanitarian activities with, I may say, no comparison. Another milestone it has established in matter of the mother-tongue by enkindling unprecedented zeal amongst students and general public for writing fault free Oriya with meticulous care. Remarkable is its consistency in steering these campaigns ahead with devotion.

The new milestone it has now founded is its campaign for conscious casting of votes by all of the voters.

In a unique congregation convened at Sahid Bhawan, Cuttack, on 23 January, the birthday of two most revered icons of patriotism, Veer Surendra Sai and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, whom the soil of this magnificent State had given birth to, founder President of Ama Odisha – Editor of Sambad – Soumya Ranjan Patnaik urged upon all of the voters to cast their votes certainly in every election to the body of representatives, as thereby only, Indian democracy can be saved from derailment. About 35 % of the voters are abstaining from casting their votes and these 35 % are those that are educated and informed. As inflow of fresh water into ponds is essential to cleanse out the putrified stock of stagnet water, so also active participation of educated and informed citizens in enfranchisement is essential for cleansing the filth from politics, he argued. He stressed on cent per cent voting in elections and declared that Ama Odisha will untiringly conduct the campaign with utmost commitment. An oath to this effect was administered on all who participated.

We entirely endorse this campaign, though to us, conscious casting of votes without distinctly defined determination to oust the saboteurs of the Preamble of Indian Constitution where was laid down the National Resolve for building the country up on the basis of socialism, from office and to bring in such a government that would transport the country from the present pernicious prison of inequality to the real sovereign reign of political economy of equality, the exercise will be futile.

To us, Indian democracy has been transformed into a plutocracy by its political rulers simply because the most conscious segment of voters are abstaining from voting. Only the conscious citizens know that unless the country is put on the track of economy of equality, it can never be saved from vested interest mafia and whatever little semblance of democracy is still in existence will eventually give way to the nastiest of plutocracies. We are sure, if the abstaining-from-vote citizens, basically belong as they to the educated and informed segment of society, decide to actively participate in vote casting, the traitors, that, despite small numbers of vote casted in their favor, have been running the political governments, will be thrown into the trash of time and a new epoch of equality and patriotism that equality alone generates, will emerge.

Therefore, to us, Ama Odisha’s cast-your-vote campaign is the last hope for revival of democracy and survival of India.

We, with this hope, wish all success to the campaign.

The Supreme Court Should Have Used Sen’s Case to Save India from Plutocratic Terrorism

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Supreme Court Bench comprising Justice H.S.Bedi and Justice K.C.Prasad will be remembered for having granted bail on April 15, 2011 to Dr. Binayak Sen, the legendary victim of Plutocratic terrorism, who was, by Chhatishgarh government, thrown into rigorous life imprisonment under charges of sedition for alleged possession of Maoist literature as well as for harboring and /or helping them.

Dr. Sen has expressed happiness over the Apex Court’s order; but, after being released he has told PTI, “the case against me is still going on and I have to fight it with all the means at my disposal”.

All the patriots framed up by exploitative State under charges of sedition are not attracting global attention and Supreme Court consideration as Dr. Sen could do. They are, as under-trial criminals: majority in jails and a rare few enlarged on bails, perishing for no fault of theirs.

Dr. Sen’s case is an instance of how easy has it become for administration to clamp sedition charges on persons that have humanitarian sympathy for the suffering masses. They are being branded as or sympathizers of the Maoists to face prosecution under charges of sedition.

Orissa is an enormous storehouse of instances of this mischief.

Even the journalists, who are dutifully reporting on the plight of the people, are being charged with sedition. I give below two sample instances:

One: Keertichandra Sahu, reporter of Anupam Bharat, having exposed the Utkal Alumina Plant of the Aditya Birla group over the havoc it plays on the environment as well as the life of innocent and ignorant tribals and workers kept as casual workers sans any service condition, was arrested on 14 February 2004 by the police at Kashipur of Kalahandi under charges of sedition and since then is perishing under the framed up case.

Two: NGOs such as Sajag and Sahabhagi Vikash Abhiyan had shown, unemployment problem along with the condition of starvation and semi-starvation among the Kamar families was growing day by day. This had prompted two freelancing TV reporters of Nuapada District, Puturam Sunani and Meghanad Kharsel to keep a watch on Nangalghat in Sinapalli Block, as it was a hamlet of Kamar caste people. And in course of time, information reached them that under stark starvation the helpless ones in that hamlet were eating limestone, locally known as jhikiri. Initially unable to believe, they reached Nangalghat on 25.5.2007 and found that the starved people were really eating the stones. They took video recording of one Baru Singh Pahadia while eating stone and sent the same to their respective medias including OTV for further action. OTV telecasted the horrifying scene at 7 P.M. of 31 May 2007. Immediately thereafter, bags of rice were put in the houses of the villagers, job-cards pushed into families, a tube-well was dug overnight and both the reporters were arrested under charges of sedition, as, to the authorities, their reports were designed to destabilize the government. Revenue Minister Man Mohan Samal (as then he was) condemned both of the journalists in rudest possible terms while informing the Orissa Legislative Assembly the next day on June 01, 2007 of the “criminal cases” instituted against them. He had not even hesitated to mislead the House with false and manufactured reports on availability of job to Nangalghat villagers and their, including Baru Singh’s, food stability. The mischief was exposed in these pages. And, soon the Center for Environment and Food Security (CEFS) come out with details of “hunger, poverty and deprivation” prevalent in the region and observed, “the scenario looks worse than Sub-Saharan Africa”. Yet, both the TV reporters had to face prosecution under sedition charges for having shown to the society this terrible fact.

When these are instances of journalists framed up to face charges of sedition because of their reporting on plights of the people, there are journalists in Orissa that are charged for sedition simply because their reports went against certain members of the police force. One example:

Orissa’s highest editional Sambad has its man in Laxman Choudhury at Mohana. He has been subjected to charges of sedition simply because he exposed the nexus between the area Inspector of Police and the marijuana mafia. The Inspector contrived a method to teach him a lesson and accordingly clamped a case of sedition against him on concocted allegation that a packet of Maoist leaflets was seized from a private bus conductor who, he claimed, informed him that the packet was meant for Chaudhury. Later the said Inspector was caught redhanded by the Vigilance Police while receiving his share of profit from the marijuana mafia; but despite repeated requests from Media Unity for Freedom of Press, the false case of sedition that the corrupt Inspector had cooked up against him has not yet been withdrawn.

From the records of agreement between the State Government of Orissa and the mediators during the course of negotiation for release of Malkangiri district collector R Vineel Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Mohan Majhi from Maoist hostage, it transpires that, as many as 600 illiterate tribals are perishing in prisons under sedition charges, because, misusers of power wanted them prosecuted that way for their supposed links with the Maoists.

In Dr. Sen’s case, Mr. Justice Bedi told the lawyer of the prosecuting State that if it was real that some materials on Maoist ideology were found in his possession, that does not make out a case of sedition.

“We are a democratic country. He may be a sympathizer. That does not make him guilty of sedition”, said the Justice.

His judicial wisdom made him ask the state lawyer, “If Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography is found in somebody’s place, is he a Gandhian? No case of sedition is made out on the basis of materials in possession unless you show that he was actively helping or harboring them [Maoists].”

And, thus, Dr. Sen’s enlargement on bail was shaped.

But here is how justice failed to fully blossom.

While saying that possession of Maoist materials does not make one a Maoist, the Apex Court should simultaneously have determined if Maoism is an act of sedition.

That could have expedited the end of Dr. Sen’s turmoil as well as of the massive number of Indians perishing under charges of sedition, framed up as Maoists or their supporters / helper /harborers. Even the persons in whose support the Maoists raise their voice, are being projected as Maoists like the tribals / forest-dwellers / landless laborers of Orissa – as the 600 persons mentioned supra – and being tried under charges of sedition. It has become easiest for the exploitative state to project any antagonist to economic inequality / exploitation / corruption / maladministration as Maoist and torture him / her under charges of sedition.

If, for judicial decision on right to liberty, the Constitution of India provides the base, it is pertinent to revisit the Constituent Assembly debates, specifically of the concluding session where Dr. Ambedkar, whom we regard as the creator of the Constitution, had to answer to the last debates, before it was adopted.

In reply to the debates on third reading of the draft Constitution, he had said, “ On 26th January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradiction. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic rights we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man and one vote, one value. In our social and economic rights we shall by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny one man one value…We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously built up”. (Constituent Assembly Debates, Vol.XI, p.979).

Are these words of Dr. Ambedkar’s anxiety and warning capable of being interpreted as expression of sedition? If not, no amount of antagonism expressed against economic and social inequality, even if the antagonists project themselves as Maoists, can be termed as sedition.

And, what is Maoism? It is a political ism opposed to capitalism.

The country can run on only two political economies. It is either political economy of capitalism or political economy of socialism. Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh stands for the former and the Maoists for the later.

Mixed economy propounded and practiced by Nehru has been experienced as a path-paver for peaceful transformation of democracy to plutocracy and a silent killer of socialism in support of capitalism. So, either capitalism or socialism is relevant.

When India, running under capitalism, is experiencing all out corruption in every sphere of administration, has become a land of starvation deaths, has become a land of farmers’ suicide, a land of distress sale of babies by starving mothers, a land of distress sale of paddies by loan-ravaged farmers, a land of unemployment for the unprivileged, a land of inequality in scope of education, a land of inequality in availing healthcare, a land of turmoil for the majority of citizens, a land of parliamentary manipulation, land of cash-for-question parliament, a land of cash-for-confidence vote, a land of nonchalant bureaucracy, a land of no-land-to-landless, a land of displacement of tillers for benefit of private trade operators, a land of religious revivalism and acrimonious communalism, a land of commission agents’ supremacism, a land of State-terror and all sorts of mass-harassing methods and lastly has become a grazing ground of profit-seeking foreigners that have started dictating terms, the people who want India extricated from this mess, will certainly oppose capitalism and hence they will want the country to change its course to political economy of socialism, which also is enshrined in its constitution as its resolve.

Maoism is a sort of expression of determination to lead the country to socialism.

It encourages oppressed people to revolt against the capitalist state so that India can extricate herself from the labyrinth of social and economic inequalities, which, unless done, would, as Dr. Ambedkar apprehended, “blow up the structure of political democracy” that the Constituent Assembly had “so laboriously built up”. (cited supra).

Revolt against a capitalist (exploitative) State is not revolt against the State that the people of India in their Constitution had resolved to have.

Hence Maoism cannot be same as sedition.

The Supreme Court should have appreciated this in putting a complete look into Dr. Sen’s case and saved the country of innumerable litigations over wrong interpretation of Maoism as manner of sedition by the crafty perpetrators of plutocratic terrorism and thereby could have saved the people from perishing under charges of sedition without having ever acted seditious.

But as nice hopes cannot die, one hopes, a day will come, when a Bench of the Supreme Court to come, will cogitate upon this issue and settle the matter for ever.



Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

India is in the battlefield to save her democracy. It can be saved only if Election 2009 rejects political factotumism.

All the political parties except the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the left parties are parties of political factotums.

The non-BJP and non-Left parties have no internal democracy. They of course have their respective party constitutions and on provisions thereof, committees like working committee or political affairs committee etc. But these are only contrived to show that they honor democracy and therewith to hoodwink the election commission and the gullible peoples of this country. In reality, individuals own them. The factotums claiming to be members of any of these parties call their masters or owners as high command; but the media has developed the habit of describing the owner of such a party as supremo. A supremo or the high command appoints any of his or her faithful factotums to any post in the party at any point of time and the person so appointed feels no shame in celebrating the said appointment. K.P.Singhdeo’s proud assertion, after being “appointed” President of Orissa Pradesh Congress Committee, that he is a Sainik of Sonia provides us with an instant instance.

There are only two political ideologies in the world: Capitalism and Socialism. In India, BJP has its real creed in Capitalism (in Indian language, Punjivad), the Left parties in Socialism (Samajvad). Political Science recognizes these two isms as isms of democracy (Ganatantra). Hence we can say, Punjivad and Samajvad, notwithstanding difference in application, are applied form of Ganatantravad (Democratism). But the Congress and its descendants like Trinamul Congress, Rastravadi Congress etc and individual outfits like the Biju Janata Dal of Orissa do not belong to any of these two ideologies. Their common character suggests that they have developed Factotumism, which in Indian language can best be called Golamvad.

Election 2009 has called upon the citizens of India to choose any of the two isms: Democratism and Factotumism. To say if they support Ganatantravad or they support Golamvad.

If India is to be saved, Ganatantravad is to b supported and Golamvad is to be discarded.

In other words, in the present context, if India is to be saved, BJP is to be supported. This is unavoidable for a democrat, as the other practitioners of democracy, the Left Parties, have established that they are too confused to be relied upon.

The allegation of communalism raised against the BJP is not relevant; because every political party in India is communal.

Communalism is display of personal religious preference in public. Any display of religious symbols or manners in public that may not match with the religious practice of everybody in the society is communalism. Why a Manmohan Singh displays his turban in the public? Just to project himself as a Sikh. This is communalism. Why a Navin Patnaik starts electioneering from the citadel of Sri Jagannath? Just to display that he is loyal to the Almighty of Sri Mandira in whom the peoples of Orissa find the unending stream to quench all their religious thirst. Is he not communal? Who of the Communists have opposed public worship of Durga or Kali in Kolkata? Are they secular? Or conversely, are they not communal?

So communalism is not the crux of concern at the moment.

The crux of concern is whether India shall stay a democracy.

India cannot survive as a democracy if political parties afflicted with supremo-syndrome occupy power. The factors and practitioners of factotumism must be kept away from power to ensure that democracy is put in hands of parties that practice democracy in their own organization.

In view of this, Communists having forfeited their credibility by shameless hobnobbing with agents of imperialism, Manmohan Singh yesterday and Navin Patnaik today, the only available practitioner of democracy in India is BJP.

And hence, if democracy is to be saved, in Election 2009, BJP is to be helped and helped by all the progressive people so that post-elections, it may morally distance itself from Arun Shouries and Pramod Mahajans and discard the plutocratic tenets that the Congress party under Sonia Gandhi with Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister has crippled the country with.