Forgery committed by (Padma Bhusan) Radhanath Rath Established: Signed Will of Utkalmani Retrieved

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
The Will, which Utkalmani Pt. Gopabandhu Das had dictated to his employee Radhanath Rath is missing, though Rath’s son Prof. Nilakantha Rath says that, he had seen the “original” with his father.

But the Will taken dictation of by Lingaraj Mishra with Gopabandhu’s signature in various parts of the same has been retrieved. And with this, it is established that the Servants of the People Society is using a forged Will of Gopabandhu to loot the paper he had co-founded.

The day designated for declaration of India’s independence – 14 August 1947 – was greeted with a special edition of the Samaja, of which a copy is in our possession. This special issue is especially silent about Servants of the People Society having any relationship with the Samaja. The photo copy below shows that Udayanath Sarangi printed and published it at Satyabadi Press, Cuttack when Radhanath Rath was its manager and editor.

Samaja on 14.8.1947

We have already published in these pages earlier how SoPS had asked its member Lingaraj Mishra to receive the Satyabadi Press only from the executors of Gopabandhu’s will, as he had wanted the SoPS to take over the charge only of that Press, as and when the Samaja, to which that Press was pledged, would release the Press from its duty. And, Mishra had complied with it.

On this ground mainly, we were sure that Lingaraj and Radhanath suppressed the Will of Gopabandhu and prepared a forged Will to show that along with the Press, the newspaper Samaja was also given to it; because, thereby, it is they who were to derive maximum benefits both politically and financially.

After forging the Will, they had tried to tamper with the copy of the Will recorded in the Register of Registration. Their attempt was foiled by an alert official of the court and thus having failed to do so, they have destroyed the file containing records of the probate case; and sure that there shall be no trace of the signed Will, they have used the forged Will sans any qualms in all law courts as and when they were to exhibit the Will. Because of this forgery, the SoPS have obtained registration from the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) for the Samaja, firstly as Trustee and later as Owner. We have wanted clarification from the RNI on these two distinctly different phenomena along with all applications for registration, and order sheets; but the nation’s apex authority on publication of newspapers has not yet been able to answer our query. This has led the ‘Save the Samaja Forum’ to demand for scrapping SoPS as owner of the Samaja, as the said society has occupied the Samaja through treachery and forgery. Press Laws never permit publication of a newspaper by any person illegitimately claiming to be the owner thereof. As the RNI has failed to act, SSF has preferred a writ case before the High Court of Orissa seeking action against inaction of the RNI.

Sadly, the State Government of Orissa is sleeping over such serious fraud, as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is enjoying his nexus with the miscreants in this case.

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Punish the demolishers of Gopabandhu statue instead of empowering them with your cooperation, Mr. Chief Minister!

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

When occasion arises to cite a noble soul, people of Orissa cite Gopabandhu Das, who was pioneer in making education the fountainhead of patriotism and in whom, people of this land were finding an incomparable paragon of all humanitarian virtues. To them, he was Utkalmani, the precious jewel of Orissa.

He had founded a people’s mouthpiece that he had named ‘Samaja’ (meaning the entire society), to which, with the help of Pt. Nilakantha Das, he had dedicated a printing press named the Satyabadi Press. Besides printing the newspaper ‘The Samaja’, the press was also generating some money for Gopabandhu to run the Satyabadi School where patriotism was the soul of education.

Towards the last part of his life, Servants of the People Society (SoPS) founded by Lala Lajpat Rai for imparting patriotic training to political aspirants became the platform of his social services. Gopabandhu had recruited Lingaraj Mishra as a member of SoPS.

When Pt. Nilakantha continued as his friend, philosopher and guide in matters of Orissa, Radhanath Rath through his personal service had ingratiated himself with Utkalmani and was being viewed as a personal aid of the great leader along with Mishra.

Both Rath and Mishra had tremendous political ambitions, which they were thinking of fulfilling under the impact of their proximity to Gopabandhu. In fact, Gopabandhu had launched Mishra in parliamentary politics, which he was eager to stick to, when Rath was dreaming of achieving political eminence by using Gopabandhu’s name.

Both of them were so eager to exploit Gopabandhu’s name for personal benefits that when Pt. Nilakantha sensed a rat in their conduct, he was unceremoniously thwarted out of editorship of the Samaja, which post he had taken over after the sad demise of his friend, the Utkalmani.

Mishra and Rath, like the demons Atapi and Batapi whose legends are depicted in Mahabharat in context of the sage Agasti, were collaborating partners and had, in course of time, emerged as editor and printer-publisher of the Samaja (with the later staying editor till death in subsequent days) respectively and had also become powerful enough, by using the name and fame of the Samaja, to grab ministerial berths in Orissa.

But using the name of the Samaja was not easy for them. They had contrived an idea of grabbing the paper through SoPS as that was Gopabandhu’s last platform for social service. If SoPS could be bestowed upon with the reign of the Samaja, as its only member from Orissa, Mishra was sure to become its controller and Rath was sure of having a berth to manage it. Under such a design, they were to forge the Will of Pt. Gopabandhu Das. They did it. Pt. Gopabandhu had given dictation of a Will on his death bed which was noted down by Radhanath Rath. They destroyed this dictation and forged a WILL to grab the Samaja through SoPS. In this forged Will, wrongfully shown as dictation of Gopabandhu written by Lingaraj Mishra, the Samaja was shown as made over to SoPS and over and above Mishra, Rath was projected as a man whom Gopabandhu had the desire to take into SoPS as his assistant.

In the climate of national sorrow over demise of Gopabandhu, these two fellows could play this mischief sans any attention from anybody in his family and friends. Media of the day carried the information that Gopabandhu had dictated a WILL on his death bed without publishing the text of the WILL and merely on hearsay as deliberately spread by the above duo. So, except perhaps Pt Nilakanth Das, who was present on the spot at the last moment of Gopabandhu and had seen Gopabandhu giving dictation of his WILL to Radhanath Rath, nobody could know that the WILL shown as written by Mishra to Gopabandhu’s dictation, was not the genuine WILL. Obviously, he did not accept the SoPS claim over the Samaja and therefore was thwarted out of its editorship, which eventually came to Mishra as per his design.

Gopabandhu had never given more importance to his family vis a vis the people. Therefore his family was not in a mentality to disbelieve that the very same persons whom Gopabandhu was relying upon had tampered with his WILL. His elder son-in-law Ratnakar Pati, known for scholarly and discernibly detached life, was a lecturer in the education department and had no inclination for power, which his stake in the Samaja could have launched him to. He was also too afraid of political power to raise any objection against the forged WILL as both Mishra and Rath had developed tremendous support bases by using media power of the Samaja and had become minister of education in Orissa one after the other. When later Gopabandhu’s youngest daughter could gather courage to challenge the will, situation was created to force her into a compromise with a paltry sum of Rs.2 thousand only.

Politicians were thronging the Samaja office to get publicity and official top brasses were seeking blessings of the Samaja editor – Mishra and then Rath – to stay safe from exposure of their misdeeds. Thus their mischiefs never came to light. And, thus the SoPS became the owner of the Samaja by using the forged WILL.

And the funds generated by employees of the Samaja became funds of the SoPS to be looted by its members.

In course of time internecine quarrels over sharing the loot have become too monstrous to be kept hidden.

Members of SoPS have raised disputes against each other’s fractional rivals and police stations in Delhi as well as in Cuttack district have been flooded with FIRs and counter FIRs. Situations have gone so sore that the SoPS has been forced time and again to appoint captive commissions of inquiry into allegations of embezzlement, corruption and moral turpitude and they have found factual the felonies as alleged. But SoPS having shrunk to a body of around only ten members most of whom are involved with the located misdeeds, none of the reports have led to punishment of the fellows involve with the crimes of embezzlement and corruption and moral turpitude. But, never there is halt in internecine battle for occupying office of SoPS, the safe haven for money grabbing through malpractice. In this internecine battle, as the axiom goes that a fair lady belongs to the man of more muscular power, the SoPS office has gone into the fold of the fraction led by Manubhai Patel.

Manubhai is a man whom Radhanath Rath had shown to the SoPS top brass as a man who was not retuning the huge money he had taken from the Samaja fund to use in his electioneering in Gujurat. He has also shown him as an immoral person. To settle the score, Patel having captured the SoPS has caused the dismantlement of Gopabandhu’s statue in the Samaja campus as the same was based on a platform carrying a plate with Rath’s name inscribed as inaugurator of the statue. This is a sacrilege that needs punishment.

But, surprisingly, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has consented to inaugurate another statue of Gopabandhu to comply with the preference of Patel and his gang.

As reported in orissamatters.com, on July 6, the ‘Save the Samaj Forum’ has informed the CM about this sacrilege and urged upon him not to be associated with the miscreants. His reaction thereto is yet to be defined by CMO.

But our strong opinion is that the CM, instead of helping the miscreants gain credibility, should initiate action to punish the illegal occupiers of the Samaja for the offense they have committed by dismantling the statue of Pt. Gopabandhu Das in the Gopabandhu Bhawan premises.

Employees raise Dispute against under-dose of wages in ‘The Samaja’

The President of Utkalmani Newspaper Employees Association, Sri Devi Prasanna Nayak has raised a dispute over under-dose of wages in a mail sent to President of the Servants of the People Society, New Delhi.

He has said,

“Even as the Servants of the People Society has not made us know of the annual gross revenue of The Samaja, from various sources it has come to our knowledge that the gross revenue of the paper exceeds Rs.1000 crores per annum. On this basis, we are entitled to wages applicable to newspapers of class-1 category.
Instead of paying us wages in the scale of Class-1 category papers, you have been paying us in the scale recommended for papers belonging to class-IV category.
Therefore, we demand, our pay scale is immediately raised to that of the newspapers in Class-1 category with retrospective effect as required under the Act.”

Sri Nayak has given the SoPS a week’s time for the purpose.

Samaja Editor served with Damage Notice worth Rs.1 Crore by the Family of Sub-Editor Devi Prasanna Nayak

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

It is increasingly being clear that the once most popular language daily of Orissa, The Samaja, is in the worst phase of its life. Its editorial conscience is rendered unstable. Massive corruption has crippled its normal functioning. Employees are being subjected to alarming unfair labor practices and acts of intimidations by a gang, the legitimacy of which has been judicially challenged by the officiating President of the Servants of the People Society, which, again, is suspected to have hijacked The Samaja by using a forged Will of its original owner, late Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das.

The gang, whose legitimacy is challenged by the SoPS authority, comprises fellows whose moral turpitude and corruption had come under the radar of Justice Arijit Pasayat Committee of Inquiry, leading to its recommendations for action against them.

This gang has, sans any proven legitimacy, appointed a board of management and has allegedly arbitrarily changed the printer and publisher of the paper and has re-empowered a manager whom the officiating president of SoPS had, on records, divested of his responsibilities and asked to go on long leave.

This gang is playing havoc with jobs of the journalists and non-journalist employees of The Samaja with the apparent intention to keep them intimidated. Transfer and suspension of Sub-Editor Devi Prasanna Nayak is an instance. Sri Nayak , besides being an acclaimed journalist, is the President of the Utkalmani Newspaper Employees Association, the recognized and the only one trade union of the Samaja employees and therefore a protected workman under the Industrial disputes Act. Sri Nayak is not being allowed entry into the premises of the paper by the alleged hijackers of The Samaja, as hired musclemen termed security guards are engaged to keep him out of the newspaper campus. Thus the trade union is being strangulated. The trade union has raised a dispute against this malpractice and illegality and the concerned labor office has issued repeated notices to the employer to respond to the allegations. But the gang has kept the labor office notices hidden from the SoPS authority, for which the Opposite Party is conspicuous by its absence in the labor laws implementation forum.

This gang, on the other hand, has tried to damage the reputation of Sri Nayak by misusing the space of The Samaja to feed the public with derogatory information on him. Sri Nayak is a distinguished journalist with an unblemished career and a very promising future. Everybody who knows him deeply knows that he is a totally disciplined person dedicated to his profession and wholeheartedly committed to virtues of journalism. Besides, he belongs to a highly esteemed family, well connected with the society. Spread of derogatory information about him that paints him as an absconding man of misconduct by this gang in the pages of the newspaper, in order only to intimidate the employees whose union he leads, is taken very seriously by his fans, friends as well as his family.

Mrs. Nayak has immediately sent a notice of damage to three persons who carry the orders of this gang in The Samaja. They are, (1) Gopalkrishna Mohapatra, (2) Niranjan Rath and (3) C.R.Das

The Notice says:

Whereas in page 4 of The Samaja dated 31.10.2012 a notice has been published addressed to my husband Sri Devi Prasanna Nayak under a boxed caption ‘NOTICE TO BE PRESENT IN THE DOMESTIC ENQUIRY’;

And whereas in the said notice attempts have been made to denigrate the image of my husband in public eyes;

And whereas the author of this notice, C.R. Dash has no legitimacy to issue such notice in the known environment of disputes over management of Servants of the People Society before the appropriate court of law;

And whereas Sri Niranjan Rath has no legitimacy under the same environment to publish such a piece of character assassination of my husband;

And whereas Sri Gopal Krushna Mohapatra is responsible for anything published in Samaja as its editor;

Now, therefore, I issue this notice, that you all three must publicly apologize to my husband and to my family for having played such mischief against the reputation of my husband as well as my family within a week of issuance of this notice in the same paper, at the same place, in the same format, failing which I will sue you three individually and collectively for a damage worth at least a Crore of Rupees against each in the appropriate court, over and above any prosecution deemed proper against the crime involved.

This notice has been issued on November 1, 2012.

It was never expected that Utkalmani’s noble spirit shall get killed in the premises of the paper he founded. But this is now the shocking reality.

The media persons of the State are silently but keenly keeping a watch.

The Samaja in Deathbed: Crime Branch must address itself to Felonies perpetrated by Servants of the People Society

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Ulkalmani Pt. Gopabandhu Das’ newspaper The Samaja is a victim of felonies perpetrated by the Servants of the People Society.

I had, in these pages, exposed how possibly the SoPS has hijacked the paper and its press and properties by forging a Will of Gopabandhu after his sad demise.

Possibly, Pandit Lingaraj Mishra, then a life member of SoPS, with a motive to grab editorship of the popular paper by ensuring his society’s ownership over it, forged the Will. Mishra had a strong political ambition and the paper’s editorship had helped him tremendously in achieving the same.

Radhanath Rath, decorated with Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award, for literature and education, in the specific field of journalism as editor of the Samaja, was hand-in-glove with Mishra and was the other highest beneficiary of the forgery if at all Mishra had done it. So, there was no inkling from Rath’s side on the suspected forgery, even though he knew that the purported Will lying under his custody was not signed by Gopabandhu.

After I stumbled upon the document that smacked of the forgery, I deemed it proper to place the matter before the public.

Editor of Janatantra, Vivekanand Dash translated my report into Oriya and published the same in the first fortnight edition of his paper in August 2012, thus making the information reach the readers beyond Internet.

On the other hand, an organization namely ‘Save The Samaja Forum’ (hereinafter called the Forum) was formed, which demanded that the SoPS must make its position clear on the issue of the suspicion that Gopabandhu’s will used by SoPS to occupy the Samaja, was not a genuine will, but a forged one.

The SoPS kept mum.

On the other hand, it forced the editor of the Samaja to black out the press statement of the Forum and, instead, to hurl abuses at the leaders of the Forum, which he did through a quarter-page display in the front page of the Samaja on 30 August 2012.

The forum has written to the Registrar of Newspapers for India to verify the ownership of the Samaja as the SoPS has no legitimacy, unless proved otherwise, in claiming ownership over the paper and, if the said society fails to produce the genuine will of Gopabandhu in original, to take action against it for filing of false declaration.

Utkalmani Pt. Gopabandhu Das is a national icon of Orissa. Capturing of his paper and property through a forged will is a crime that cannot be condoned. If the Crime Branch in Orissa is working with honesty, I believe, it will take up investigation into this felony and help us know – in view of total silence of SoPS in the matter – the entire gamut of the crime perpetrated and the entire amount of money swindled from the income of the Samaja by the SoPS and the two late editors – Lingaraj Mishra and Radhanath Rath – who were the ones that had, besides being the editors, headed the management of the paper as well as the Orissa branch of SoPS.

Contextually it may be mentioned here for attention of the Orissa Crime Branch that a captive investigation committee of SoPS, headed by Justice (Rtd) Arijit Pasayat is on records to have marked embezzlement of the Samaja funds to the tune to several hundreds of crores of rupees by certain members of SoPS and their cronies in the management of the Samaja, over and above misappropriation of massive amount of money in the Samaja office itself through fabricated records as unveiled by an earlier probe conducted by Dr. Nilakanth Rath.

So, by occupying the Samaja through a will of Gopabandhu that convincingly appears to be a forged document, the SoPS have created a menacing history of continuous corruption and misappropriation of the paper’s revenues.

The State cannot sit silently on this crime. Therefore, the Crime Branch must address itself to these felonies with immediate effect.

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.