Modern Media’s Body Selling Mentality in full Display in Sambad: Whither our Journalism?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

A tainted leader of Orissa’s ruling party, which is home to many corrupt fellows, died. Till his death, he could not establish that he was not a punishable offender.

He was Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s blue-eyed-boy, his cabinet colleague, his guide and his top preference for the Upper House of India’s Parliament.

Therefore, he was the leader of the BJD wing in Rajya Sabha. He was Kalpataru Das.

But, as is said, “Time and Tide wait for none”, the Time enjoys its own freedom to act as it likes. It sometimes randomly beams light into the dark sanctuary of criminals and they get exposed.

This happened to Kalpataru. He was earlier noted for many acts of corruption. But his latest nefarious involvement in land and housing scams as well as in chit fund got unexpectedly exposed in August-September last year. He had to resign from BJD leadership in the Rajya Sabha on September 12, 2014 and the BJD “supremo” had to “appoint” superb user of hockey stick Dillip Tirkey in his place, though, despite this, he continued in Rajya Sabha to the full enjoyment of privileges of the Parliament.

Till death, as is noted above, he could not establish that he was not a felonious offender.

Orissa’s mainstream media house “Eastern Media Ltd”, the owner of which Sri Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, who aspires to lead the political State, was a major carrier of information on Kalpataru’s three exposed offenses noted above in its flagship ‘The Sambad’. But, it was not limited to that. In course of updating, it had raised the question as to why his earlier offenses are not being investigated into for penal prosecution.

Body selling of newspapers has become so much the practice under houses that publish newspapers for money, not for guarding the democracy as its sentinel, that the same newspaper ‘The Sambad’ of the same “Eastern Media Ltd” of the same Soumya Ranjan Patnaik has forced upon the people of Orissa the same Kalpataru Das as “Yuga Purusa” (the best person of our time). Whither our journalism?

Sambad on Kalpataru copy

Prostitutes sell their bodies for money, now newspapers do. What a magic of plutocracy! What a shame! What a degradation for money!

Newspapers are owned by business houses guided by avarice. People who bear the cost of production and because of whose support ads come, revenue multiples, media owners fetch profit, have no control over the contents.

How the people will take it?

I find the feeling of the people in a poem written instantly by former Banker Tusarkant Satapathy who, post retirement, has emerged a social activist and an accomplished columnist.

Here is this poem:

Tusar babu on sambad ad of 4.8.2015We will appreciate if Eastern Media reacts.

RPF must have to return the Cassette; prompt punishment to Inspector must be a must

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

RPF authorities have suspended their Bhubaneswar Inspector Sanjay Kumar Swain, who deserves to be prosecuted for hooliganism and attempt to murder, besides dismissal.

After the suspension order was issued on the spot last evening, people have allowed trains to move with effect from 9 PM. But, now, the department must move to dismiss him with retrospective effect.

Puri-Durg Express train, which was to reach Bhubaneswar at 6.40 PM on June 28, reached on 29th at 10 AM almost 16 hours behind the schedule. As is railway’s wont, the passengers were fed with announcement of short duration delay throughout the entire period, as a result of which, leaving the platform for refreshment was not even possible for them. It had ignited acrid protests and being informed of this, media had reached the Station to cover the matter.

When Kanak TV crew was recording police misbehavior to railway passengers that were expressing their natural discontentment over the harassment they were subjected to, Inspector Swain was found leading a rowdy pack of railway police in intimidating and attacking the victims of railway irresponsibility.

He was even misbehaving with the lady protesters and was found pulling their cloths, oblivious of where his unruly hands were touching their bodies. All on a sudden he marked that his ugly manners were captured in Kanak TV camera.

He rushed to the cameraman like a mad dog, thrashed the cameraman and snatched away the cassette from the camera, causing severe damage to it in front of him and the reporter. As they protested, he asked his accompanying pack of RPF Jawans to drag them to their PS. In addition to the two, the RPF dragged 10 passengers to the police station, where the two TV journalists were mercilessly beaten up.

Bhubaneswar scribes and general public rushed to the railway station seeking their immediate release. As Swain refused to respond, public resentment metamorphosed into track blockade, forcing cancellation of trains such as Chhatrapur-Bhubaneswar, Dibrugad-Chenai, Bhubaneswar-Palasa, Bhubaneswar-Jagdalpur etc.

Rowdiest conduct of Swain continued to aggravate the situation and the major Station drowned in total chaos. RPF authorities had to put the hooligan Inspector under suspension with immediate effect.

Chief of Eastern Media Ltd that owns Kanak TV, Sri Soumy Ranjan Patnaik has demanded for return of the video cassette taken away by Swain.

To us, not only the cassette must have to be returned, but also the damaged camera must have to be replaced with a new camera of its original make.

But, should the matter end here?

We advise the administration to review if a hooligan like Swain should continue in suspended animation even.

We strongly suggest, he should be subjected to prompt investigation to find out what other punishment should be given to him over and above dismissal from service.

His offenses are witnessed by the authorities before putting him under suspension. No other mode of prosecution is necessary. The only necessity is punishing him with dismissal as his hooliganism calls for his ejection from police service. What other punishment he deserves should be determined by way of further action, so that other goons in uniform should learn how to stay orderly.

Oriya literature enters into family festivities

Determination of Orissa’s main mainstream daily ‘The Sambad’ to strengthen Oriya literature has finally entered into family festivities, which would revolutionize the literature campaign, said the Chief Guest, Journalist Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, who is marked for having released all his books on important days of his family festivities, specifically on birthdays of his children and grand children so far.

Falguni 1Eminent educationist Kailash Chandra Nayak, in his house premises at Mirzapur, linked the endeavor of Sambad Sahitya Ghar (SSG) to associate every household with Oriya literature by celebrating his grandson Phalguni’s birthday with a conference of poets under the banner of SSG, Rasulpur chapter, which he heads.

Pattanayak recalled how India had woke up against the arbitrary rule of the British by patriotic songs and poems by her bards of the struggle and called upon poets to now devote their pens to transmit the message of freedom, the fight for which, is to commence anew. He lauded the Sambad chief Soumya Ranjan Patnaik for having launched the SSG, which is the most appropriate campaign for our mother tongue in contemporary Orissa.

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Presided over by Sri Nayak, the Sahitya Ghar conference was addressed by Guests of Honor – Rudranarayan Prusti (President of Jajpur Yuva Lekhaka Sammilani) and Sangram Singh (Jajpur District Representative of Sambad).

Secretary of SSG, Rasulpur, Prahallad Panda and poetess Anjumala Jena coordinated the poem recitation session. As many as 44 poets of the locality, who are members of the SSG, Rasulpur Chapter, including Nirmal Kumar Giri, Bidyadhara Sahu, Nrottam Sahu, Pramod Kumar Dash, Pandav Charan Das, Prabhati Khuntia, Nirmal Kumar Das, Sridhar Sahoo, Santosh Kumar Padhee, Sanatan Guin, , Pramila Devi, Nyamat Ali Khan, Achyutananda Patra, Anjubala Jena (Co-ordinator), , Kailash Chandra Nayak (Presiden, SSG, Rasulpur Chapter), Prahalad Panda (Co-ordinator), and Namasya Nayak recited their poems. Pabitra Mohan Maharatha and Subhas Chandra Pattanayak were the two guest presenters of their poems matching the occasion.

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It is remarkable that most of the poems, in the context of India’s future generations symbolized by Phalguni, whose 12th birthday the poets were celebrating, besides being letters of blessing to the boy, were revolutionary poems addressed to dreams for the future.

Young author Achyutananda Patra proposed vote of thanks, when Journalist Devi Prasanna Nayak, father of Phalguni, had introduced the Chief Guest and the Guests of Honor.

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.

The Farce called Election Cases starts commencing with Petitions filed in Orissa High Court

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Some of the defeated candidates including media heavyweight Soumya Ranjan Patnaik and popular Congress leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra have filed election petitions in Orissa High Court. With this a new farce with very remote possibility of conclusion has commenced.

We have in these pages been insisting that the Supreme Court should come forward to constitute a separate election bench for exclusive hearing and timely disposal of election cases, binding the High Courts to create such exclusive benches at their end, so that the houses of people’s representative are helped to get rid of manipulators of elections, if any, as pointed out in entertained election petitions, without being affected by illegitimate members. But it has remained a cry in wilderness.

The result is, election cases have become de facto farcical, inasmuch as most of them are not heard and decided till the alleged manipulators complete the entire term of five years as people’s legitimate representatives!

Former Finance Minister P.Chidambaram is a case for reference.

These topics may help study the phenomenon:
1. Democracy needs Supreme Court to create separate Election Benches
2. Sivaganga shows us how hollow has become our democracy
3. Cidambaram could not have dared to contest: But Judiciary should be ashamed of how it helped him stay in power for the whole term
4. Exclusive Election Tribunals Essential

As long as separate Election Benches in High Courts or in the Supreme Court or an Election Tribunal like the National Green Tribunal do not get formed, election cases, in our opinion, can at best be viewed as a pattern pf political farce.

The Country needs a law that should put an elected member of an Assembly or the Loksabha in suspended animation the moment an election petition challenging her/his election is admitted for hearing , binding every such election court to dispose of the admitted case within the first year of election. As otherwise, democracy shall have no escape from the hands of the manipulators.

People should not be fleeced for the chit fund depositors

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

When a government creates a corpus fund for a specific purpose, the money deposited in the said fund does not come from the pocket of the head of that government. It comes from the State Exchequer.

Chit Fund operators in Orissa have allegedly cheated several lakhs of people, touted to be of 40 lakhs families whose monetary loss is claimed to be of the tune of Rs. 60,000 crores, though in this “scam”, the exact number of duped depositors and the money involved has not yet been authentically determined.

There is reason to suspect that many high-positioned persons including politicians, bureaucrats and judges were operating the chit funds through their frontmen, which, otherwise, could not have become so monstrous.

As the so-called duped depositors started filing FIRs against the cheating and the police smelled the enormity of the offense, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik attempted to lessen the wrath of the depositors by pronouncing a corpus fund for payment of their dues, just in order to keep the climate congenial to his interest in election.

The declaration of the Chief Minister, basically a stunt as it was to keep the so-called duped depositors somewhat assuaged before election-2014, the proposed corpus fund has not yet materialized. The budget placed before the Assembly is entirely silent on this score.

When media has no ethical role in cultivating funds for payment to chit fund depositors, it is intriguing that, media-mega-power Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, leading a delegation of the allegedly duped depositors has submitted a memorandum to Finance Minister P. K. Amat demanding formation of the corpus fund without delay and refund of deposits to the affected depositors.

As a sentinel of Orissa’s interest, we strongly oppose the proposal to create a corpus fund to refund the money deposited in the chit funds by the so-called duped depositors.

There are branches of nationalized banks and official organs all over Orissa that offer many saving schemes with assured interest. The so-called duped depositors could not have been duped had they preferred their deposits in such saving schemes. Their avarice led them into the trap of chit funds and deposit of their money in chit funds was an offense against the State inasmuch as the deposit in chit funds denied flow of funds to the State coffers.

Notwithstanding the size of deposits in chit funds, every such deposit was contributive to black money. And the same cannot be encouraged by the State with assured refund of their money avariciously stashed in black money coffers.

Depositing in chit funds was not made with State approval and hence, State should have no financial liability in misappropriation of the said deposits by the chit fund operators.

The State has only one role to play in this matter. That is, investigation into allegation of cheating and prosecution against the chit fund operators if the allegations are prima facie convincing. Beyond this, the State must not take any step.

The chit fund depositors must be held as willful allies of black money syndicate and for their benefit, the people of Orissa must not be fleeced by the Chief Minister through his proposed corpus fund as every pie to be used in that fund would come from the money of the tax-payers.

Congress dismisses a leader whose only concern was strengthening of the Congress in Orissa!

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Soumya R. PatnaikOrissa’s Soumya Ranjan Patnaik has been dismissed from the Congress Party, as his endeavors to strengthen the Congress in the State were viewed as stark indiscipline.

Earlier as disciplinary actions were initiated against him, we had predicted how this would be detrimental to the organization. The just concluded urban election has proved the accuracy of our prediction, as in the action initiated against SRP, people of Orissa again noted that the Congress high command stands not with the Congress in the State, but with the agents of POSCO – the BJD – at the time of elections. Had it not been so, the Congress could have achieved tremendous success in Orissa ULB elections.

Despite a noted offender like Jagdish Tytler imposed on Orissa Pradesh Congress by its national boss, Orissa had witnessed how the party was woken up from its slumber in the State by Sri Niranjan Patnaik after his appointment as president of the provincial committee. The unprecedented display of public support to Congress was marked in the mammoth rally at Bhubaneswar on September 06, 2012. And, as we had marked, the Congress was getting back its acceptability day by day under Niranjan Patnaik.

But all on a sudden, he was replaced with Jaydev Jena, whom the Congress had, at the verge of the last general election, replaced with the son of the tyrant king of Dhenkanal whose tyranny was exterminated by the organized body of the tortured people – Praja Mandal – that forced him to abdicate his kingship and merge his State with the new independent country.

As there was no logic behind replacement of Jaydev Jena by K.P.Singhdeo at that time, there is no logic behind replacement of Niranjan Patnaik with Jaydev Jena this time.

But all these times, the discernible design of the Congress high command has remained same. Come elections, Congress high command injects confusion into psyche of Orissa voters about the stability and acceptability of whosoever leads the Congress in the State, so that the agent of POSCO retains power in Orissa.

This time, lest the people get glimpses of this secret design, Jairam Ramesh – somewhat considered pro-environment by the people here, hence far from POSCO and the likes – was shrewdly used to convey that the Congress is right in initiating disciplinary actions against SRP.

And, finally, the design has succeeded in dismissal of SRP.

Had the Congress motive not been vitiated with the design to help Naveen by deliberate weakening of the Congress in Orissa, the entire leadership of the Congress party should have stood with SRP and adopted the method he was using to strengthen the Congress. But that was never to be and that has not been. Fate of Congress in next election is doomed. Its electoral prospects would never be salvaged by any leader it has planted in the State. It may pin its hope only on an yet to evolve environment when the masses like the asses will rise up against the ruling commission agents of Orissa chapter, if at all that happens.

Should the prodigal son return home?

As far as SRP is concerned, as a man who knows him and wants his potentiality used for betterment of Orissa, I would like to suggest that he should go back to BJP. Under the wave Modi has already created, BJP should have become an achiever in the just concluded ULB election, as fellows of class character akin to BJP constitute the commanding layer in urban areas. But, it is in such sophomoric hands in Orissa that it has suspended Murli Manohar Sharma, the man totally dedicated to BJP, who could manage to help BJP take over Barbil ULB with mere two members in the Council. In fact, with the present set of leadership, BJP has no prospect in Orissa. So, if the wave being created by Modi is to be taken advantage of in Orissa, BJP must need a new leader with tremendous mass contact in the State. And, under such circumstances, if BJP approaches SRP, he being never averse to political economy of capitalism that BJP stands for, there should be no hesitation on his part to accept the BJP offer. Thereby, the prodigal son may return home and the POSCO agent in power in Orissa may be shown the door.

Need of Orissa

If this does not happen, SRP should consult his colleagues and friends to transform AMA ODISHA to a provincial political party. To safeguard Orissa’s regional interest, BJD having gone to the pockets of POSCO and the likes, Orissa essentially needs a strong political sentinel of her own. And, AMA ODISHA can be that political sentinel, with no specific political economy, but with the single aim to do everything that suits Orissa.