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.

Govt. brought in Baishnab Parida to push the Joint Action Conference on implementation of Orissa Official Language Act into chaos

 Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In our previous posting, we had given vent to our suspicion that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is backing out from the agreement with Oriya Bhasa Saangama Samiti (hereinafter called Samiti) to implement its five point charter of demands through discussion with it after Niladri Bije (Completion of Bahuda Yatra of SriJagannatha), as by then, there was no notice for the discussion from the government to the Samiti.

Exposed, the government immediately contacted the convener of the Samiti to assure that the first meeting of the Joint Action Committee on its demands will be held on the 1st of August without any deviation and the Samiti representatives should be intimated accordingly. Convener Sankar Parida told the joint Secretary of General Administration department who had come with the oral message that the government should immediately notify the Joint Action Committee comprising the five ministers nominated by the Chief Minister and the seven representatives of the Samiti whose names were already submitted to the Government; and then to invite the said members officially to the discussion.

It was surprising that without notification of the Committee, representatives of the Samiti including this reporter were served with individual invitation each addressed as “Oriya Bhasa Sangrama Samitira Pratinidhi” (representative of the Samiti), not as member of the Joint Action Committee originally suggested by the government at the time of braking the fast of Gajanan Mishra. To reaction of the Samiti on this serious lapse, the Joint Secretary who had come with the bunch of invitations to deliver to the members through the office of the Samiti, declared that the Notification was in print stage and will be delivered on the table of discussion. Therefore, he requested the members, on behalf of the Government, to join the discussion at 5 p.m. in the Conference Hall in the 2nd floor of the Secretariat. The time was too short to intimate all the seven representatives of the Samiti. However, the members available instantly at Bhubaneswar, whom the government had invited as noted above, believing the J.S. that the notification would be served on the discussion table, proceeded to attend the meeting.

Welcome in EnglishSCP and G,MishraDebi babu and officialsRepresentatives of the Samiti, including Convener Sankar Parida, Joint convener Gajanan Mishra, Dr. Subrat Prusti, Prof. Natabar Satpathy and this reporter were ushered into the conference hall where welcome into the hall displayed only in English was showing how abhorrent is Naveen Patnaik’s Government to Oriya Language.

Soon, Rajya Sabha member of the ruling BJD Sri Baishnab Charan Parida entered into the hall and an official requested him to occupy a seat meant for the members of ministerial sub-committee in the Joint Action conference between it and the Orissa Bhasa Sangram Samiti. The Samiti had not recommended him as its representative.

Then came Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak invited by the government to the conference as a linguist.

And, officers of various departments including the Law Secretary, Special Secretary of G.A. department, and others occupied seats with necessary files.

Ministers in JACThen the five-member body of ministers including Law Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh, Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Power Minister Pranab Prakash Das led by Industry Minister Debi Prasad Mishra, who chaired the joint action conference, entered and adjusted their seats to accommodate Baishnab Parida, who had already occupied a seat meant for the Ministers.

Orissa Bhasa Sangram Samiti convener Sankar Parida initiated the discussion with thanks offered to the Orissa Government for convening the Joint Action Committee to end the sixty years old hibernation of the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954.. He expressed hope that if the government’s attitude remains positive, there shall be no difficulty in running of Orissa administration in Oriya language.

The joint action conference was called on five-point charter of demand of the Samiti submitted by it to the group of ministers authorized by the Chief Minister on July 8 and reportedly accepted by the CM pending formulation of modalities on the basis of which poet Gajanan Mishra had broken his fast onto death in presence of Law Minister Sri Sahoo in the evening of July 8, after Sri Sahoo gave a clear picture of the CM’s approval of the government’s collaboration with the Samiti in implementation of the 1954 Act, with announcement of the day fixed for the Ministers-Samiti joint action meeting to the day following Niladri Bije. Very aptly therefore, for appreciation of all the members and officials, Dr. Subrat Prusti read out the five-point charter of demands of the Samiti.

Joint Convener Gajanan Mishra and Subhas Chandra Pattanayak discussed various Laws to stress that, use of English in administration is illegal and unconstitutional and neither any office nor any court can be asked or allowed to work in English language to the detriment of people’s interest.

At this stage, Baishnav Parida, ruling party MP, whose presence in the hall was not in consonance with the July 8 agreement of the government with the Samiti, tried to belittle the sanctity of the discussion by bragging about his role in movement for use of Oriya as official language.

Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh asked him to elaborate what steps he has taken in the matter. He told that as a Rajya Sabha MP he has raised the issue thrice in the house. As Mr. Arukh advised him to send the details thereof to the Samiti, he tried to escape by saying that recently he has even written to Central HRD Minister on the matter. When he was asked to produce the copy thereof, he faltered and said, he has not given him anything in writing, but has discussed the matter with the central minister.

However, he continued to disturb the discussion deprecating the official talk with the Samiti oblivious of others active in the field of literature.

Law Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo at this stage intervened and made it clear that the Samiti had tremendous support from all over Orissa and to the government it was necessary to form a Joint Action Committee with the Samiti to implement the Official Language Act in right earnest. The situation was precarious with Navakalevar issue concussing the State and in that extraordinary situation, the Chief Minister had to approve the recommendation of the group of Ministers to go ahead with the Samiti which very aptly gave the Government a breathing time for which this joint action conference has been possible. Yet Sri baishnab Parida went on disrupting the meeting. Bellow is the relevant portion of what Sri Sahoo said:

Prof. Natabar Satpathy, whose long association with the language movement is as principled as forceful, suggested that immediate official steps be taken to make Oriya language the most utility language for the young generation and he showed how this could be possible.

Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak stressed upon formulation of a Language Policy sans any delay. On proposal of the Samiti convener Sankar Parida, it was unanimously decided to give the responsibility of drafting of the policy to Dr. Pattanayak. A website would be soon launched for the specific purpose, chairman of the ministerial group Debi Prasad Mishra assured.

Mr. Mishra further said that Sri Baisnab Charan Parida was invited to be involved with the Joint Action Committee. Government have no objection to implement the Official Language Act; but the modalities need be formulated. For this purpose, the Government would discuss with cross sections of men of letters and language activists, he said.
The Samiti opined that all willing men of eminence in field of literature who should have no objection to the Joint Action Committee should be consulted by the Government with a positive motive. Samiti will not tolerate if unnecessary dilatory tactics are used, the Samiti leadership warned. The Government, if it so desires, can consult with Bishnab Parida’s outfit. But that should be outside the purview of the Joint Action Committee, the Samiti stressed.

The way Sri Baishnab Charan Parida behaved in the joint action conference held between the government on the one side and the Samiti on the other side pursuant to resolution of July 8, it was clear that he was deliberately called and given opportunity to create disturbances. There was no problem for him to submit his views to the government separately. But, attempt to disturb the scheduled joint action conference was not becoming of a ruling party MP.

The Samiti leadership has justified reasons to smell a rat in the official conduct.

Firstly, the known official conduct is anti-Oriya. Despite enactment and enforcement of the Orissa Official Language Act since 1954, the government has kept the law inoperative till date and the present Chief Minister, lest the elite he serves be irritated, has not yet learnt to run administration in Oriya language.

Secondly, despite decision of July 8 and despite declaration of the desk officer that the notification on the Joint Action Committee would be handed over to the Samiti on the conference table, the notification is not issued. On the other hand, as would be clear from the Law Minister’s above placed statement, the government has devised a new plea to say that the July 8 resolution was situational, not sincere.

In such circumstances, it is not unreasonable to apprehend that the Government had brought in Bainab Parida to push the joint action program on implementation of the Official Language Act into chaos.

It is also not unreasonable to suspect that the government is using Sri Baishnab Paridas to kill the language movement led by the Samiti. He had given a very strong speech before Sri Gajanan Mishra on fast onto death under the canopy of the Samiti in presence of leaders like Panchanan Kanungo and Kailash Acharya and Hemant Rath and eminent language activists like Barendra Krusna Dhal, Pradyumna Satpathy, Padmakar Guru, poets like Umakant Raut, Sanjib Parida, and social activists like Pabitra Mohan Maharatha and hundereds of more language activists against the Chief Minister. “Mada au tanka balare kshamata dakhala karichhanti Naveen Patnaik. Kintu se jananti nahin je bhasa prati biruddhata tanku mahanga padiba” (Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has acquired power by use of wine and money. But shall face the defeat if his abhorrence to language of the people continues), he had, roughly, said. How the same man tried to disturb the joint action conference that was the first of its kind addressed to implementation of the Language Act?

It would be not out of place to mention that Sri Baishnab Parida’s term in the Rajya Sabha is at the verge of completion and unless Naveen babu is pleased, he cannot have a ruling party representation in a legislative body. If the government had “situationally’ (Sehi Ghadisandhi Muhurttare) made a drama of negotiation with the Samiti with false assurance of Joint Action Committee and if, after passing away of that “Ghadisandhi Muhurtta” (moment of predicament) the government is conspiring to back out, then it might be using Baishna Charan Parida to render the assurance inconsequential. And, in order to please the power that be, he had tried to disturb the scheduled discussion. This is just a situational fear.

We shall have to wait and watch.

New Congress Team for Orissa is a confusing incongruity: Orissa waiting for end of BJD misrule is betrayed again

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In Oriya, a saw says, “Bahu Lokare Musa Mareni” which means many people together cannot kill a mouse. Reason is: many people become confused in their collective action. The new team of Congress “appointed” for Orissa gives this impression and there is no reason to accept that it will not be more contributive to the continuing confusion in the Pradesh Congress.

We have repeatedly shown in these pages that Congress high command being a lobby body of industrialists including foreigners has been keeping the Orissa State Unit of Congress organizationally weak to help the “supremo” of BJD Naveen Patnaik, known for his eagerness to serve the avaricious big industries, even foreign based industries, continue in power sans any opposition. By “appointing” the new leadership of OPCC, the Congress high command betrayed the people of Orissa again, who are eagerly waiting for end of the present misrule. We apprehend this; because, the new team of PCC President Prasad Harichandan “appointed” by the Congress high command (CHC) is seemingly a conglomerate of confusing incongruity.

Besides ten Vice-Presidents, the CHC has “appointed” 55 Secretaries. One cannot imagine what these 55 Secretaries would do. It should have taken the opportunity of “appointing” new Secretaries to cover all the administrative departments of Orissa with one capable Secretary in charge of one department, so that people of Orissa could have got the picture of misrule in each of the administrative departments from the main Opposition Party. This is not going to happen.

If fifty five secretaries were needed for the Congress, the party should have a single General Secretary to whom these massive numbers of secretaries should have been asked to report. The party could have been led thus in a responsible manner. But, instead of one, 25 numbers of General Secretaries have been “appointed”. As if this is not enough, it has “appointed” 37 numbers of organizing secretaries over and above the 25 general secretaries and 55 secretaries.

But this is not the end. It has “appointed” five political secretaries, as if all the above 117 secretaries are non-political! Confusion! Thy name is Congress!

The CHC has “appointed” a mega committee in the guise of coordination with the PCC president as its convener. When the general secretary of AICC in charge of Orissa is its ex officio chairman, the AICC secretary in charge of Orissa is an ex officio member in this committee. The rest 20 members in this 23 strong committee are senior Stale level leaders with witnessed history of rivalry with each other. They are collectively a total anathema to the term ‘coordination’. If a coordination committee was needed, the two AICC secretaries in charge of Orissa should have been given the charge. But what gain the Congress shall bag by “appointing” such a pack of habitual practitioners of internecine rivalry as coordinators of the Pradesh Congress is a conundrum, we suspect, the Congress is unable to understand.

Even the illiterate farmers of Orissa know that over-saturation of paddy plants are counterproductive. Hence they destroy excessive paddy plants from their respective fields by way of puddling, as a practice. In over-saturating the Pradesh Congress with such massive numbers of leaders, the Congress High Command has clearly shown that it is lacking in this minimum wisdom.

If not, how shall such subjugation of the State Unit of Congress to over-saturation of “appointed” leaders be read?

Rasagola has at least a 500 years old history in Orissa

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

I thank my dear friend Asit Mohanty for his focus on Rasagola. He has very convincingly shown that if it was innovated anywhere in the world, then it was only in Orissa.

I would like to supplement him only in matter of its age. In trying to do so, I am bound to recall my childhood days.

My Piusi (sister of my father) was married to Radhasyam Pattanayak of Gopalpur, Banki. My uncle (father’s younger brother) was also married in Banki Garh. Come a vacation, either my cousins from these two places in Banki come to my house in Tigiria or I go there. It was great fun.

There was no direct road connection between Tigiria and Banki. We were using road to Cuttack, then a boat to cross the river Mahanadi and from the Ghat at the other side, again a bus to Charchika, the nerve center of Banki between both the above villages. It was a long root.

The other road connection was to Sunthipal fron Tigiria Nizgarh via Bindhanima on bullock cart, from where to Banki in a boat over Mahanadi.

But for my family it was more convenient to go walking from my house on ridges of agricultural plots. The distance this way from my ancestral home to Mahanadi river bed was maximum four kilometers via Sunthipal.

Once my father’s Khamari (regular paid worker in charge of cultivation and storage of crops) Subala Majhi of old Tigiria accompanied me under orders of my father. He was just like a family member and we the children were respecting him as an elder brother. I was calling him ‘Subala nana’. He was an excellent story teller and it was always a pleasure if his company was available.

On the ridges, only one person behind another could move. Naturally, I was following him. But he missed the proper ridge and walked on another ridge that took us to Bandala of Banki on our home side bank of Mahanadi, instead of Sunthipal. Banki is situated on both the sides of Mahanadi; the side adjacent to Tigiria is spread from Bandala to Ansupa spangled with a few villages of Tigiria and Athgarh.

Reaching Bandala on the ridge was a bit longer than the root to Sunthipal. The sand bed of the river was also wider than the bed at Sunthipal. We were feeling hungry. Subal nana found a thatched ‘Gudia Dokan’ (snack stall) on the Mahanadi embankment where we were to enter the sand bed to walk up to the river stream. The stall owner said that all the snacks he had prepared were finished except a few Rasagolas. I found them of pretty big size in a big Glass Jar.

Smaller size Rasagola was priced Rs.2/- per piece in my village. I imagined that such big size Rasagola must be of Rs.5/- per piece. My father had given me only Rs.10/- for “Bhoga” at Charchika. We were not to pay any money to the ferrymen, as they were my family’s ‘Berttan Bhogi’ persons, to whom a plot of our ancestral land near the river had been given for free ferrying of our family members as and when we were to go to and fro Banki.

But, despite being hungry, I could not dare to take even one of the sweet balls, lest the money would be more than that I can afford. I was sure, howsoever big the cost, at least two Rasagolas could be paid for with the money I was possessing. So, I asked the snack shop owner to give Subala nana two pieces of Rasagola. Subala nana querried, should I not take any! I refused, pretending that I do not like the Rasagolas.

The Rasagolas were really of such big size that Subala Nana could not take more than the two pieces given to him.
As I gave the shop owner the ten-rupees note, he said, “Ede notute! Reja Kai’n? (A note of such big amount! Wherefrom shall I get the changes?)

And, thus saying, he went running to his village to procure the changes. He returned me a sum of Rs. 8/- and when in blatant surprise, I wanted to know the price he was charging per piece, he said, it was only Re.1/- per piece.

It would have been embarrassing for me to ask for Rasogola, as I had already said that I do not like them. I repented for my foolishness.

However, I asked him, when Rasagola of very small size was charged Rs.2/- in Tigiria Nizgarh, how was it that he was selling bigger size Rasgolas at Re.1/- only?

He replied, “babu, adhika kahinki nebi? Jhiati ta baha hoi shahughare bhalare achhi. Pua chakiri kari bohu saha bahare. Ame Budha Budhi Dijana; Gaee jeuin kshira deuchhanti, sethiru khai pi balakaku chhena chhidei sata purusara beparati chaleichhun. Mo pare beparati budi jiba” (My daughter has married and is staying happily with her in-laws. Son is in an outside employment and my daughter-in-law and grandchildren are staying with him. My wife is making the cheese from the milk the family cows give and thus I am maintaining the seven generation old family trade. After me, the tradition would end).

I was curious to know how it could be a trade of seven generations old. He said, “Thare Saa’nte e pariki bije hoithilabele Rasagola khai khusi hoi Mo jejebapanka budhajepanku sata mana jami deithile O niskara bhogibaku kahithile. Sei dinathu eha chalichhi”. (Once while inspecting this side of his State – the King of Banki had entertained himself with Rasagola prepared by the great-grandfather of my grandfather and being happy over the treat, had gifted him seven Mana of land free of tax. Since then we are using the land.) It may be mentioned that in our area, a Mana is around one and half acres of land.

When I was a student of nine at that time, the shop owner was, I believe, in his 70s. He was in possession of the land gifted by the king of Banki for Rasagola for six generations by then. If one generation is of minimum sixty years, then that history covers at least 360 years and as the man whom the King of Banki had gifted the land, was in inherited trade of the family, Rasagola was surely a 400 years old family trade of the Bandala family.

Keeping this story here, I would like to recall my accidental visit to the family of K.C.Das of Kolkata. My esteemed friend Barendra Krushna Dhal has profound friendship with this family. On reaching Utkal Bhavan, Kolkata on a day, I found Barendra babu was lodged there for two days. A few hours later, journalist Pradyot Bhatt arrived and announced that he had come to invite us to a dinner in the residence of Mr. Das. I was reluctant to accept the invitation, because I did not know that family. But finally I had to agree, as, after Pradyot babu left, I got the request from the son of Mr. Das through my room telephone. Obviously, Barendra babu must have asked the host to invite me and in order not to embarass Barendra babu, I went there with him. The evening was tremendous. I had gathered from there that by then their family trade of Rasagola had reached the third generation.

The Bandala experience continued to strike me. If the Bandala family was producing Rasagola for seven generations, how then the Das family of Kolkata could be the inventor of Rasagola, being in the trade for three generations?

Once while talking about this, I attracted attention of my revered teacher Pt. Narayan Dash. He instantly recited a Sankrit Shloka that depicted how  Rasagola was being offered by Laxmi to SriJagannatha on his final entry to SriMandira after the car festival.

The tradition is in vogue before arrival of Sri Chaitanya at Puri, he had said.

I believe that he was not wrong.

It is Gajapati Purusottama Dev during whose time most aggressive steps were taken to change Jagannatha from Buddha to Vishnu and all sorts of legends were created to bring in the Laxmi concept.

In original Srikshetra tradition Bimala, the Shakti of Bauddha Tantra was the Kshetradhiswari of the citadel of Jagannatha (Bimala Sa MahaDevi, Jagannathastu Bhairabah), Laxmi was never.

In order to replace Bimala with Laxmi, so that people may take Jagannatha as Vishnu – he being Laxmi’s consort – this legend of Laxmi trying to please Jagannatha with Rasagola was contrived. And, Purusottama Dev must have encouraged that.

Chaitanya had come to Orissa after the end of the reign of Purusottama Dev, particularly after Prataparudra Dev was well settled. He had spent the last 18 years of his life from 1515 to 1533 A.D. in Puri. This shows that, Rasagola is in use in Puri before 1515 A.D.  and thus, for at least 500 years.

Thus, Orissa’s claim as the place of origin of Rasagola is certainly justified.

Saswat Pattanayak on Killing by the State

Saswat Pattanayak is a known voice of humanitarianism. He is known as a campaigner against capital punishment, against State becoming a killer. His views on final punishment given to Yakub Memon this morning in social media call for serious cogitation. I have picked up his words for esteemed visitors to these pages.

(Subhas Chandra Pattanayak)

There is no need for blame games, now that Yakub Memon has been killed by the Indian State. And there is no irony in Kalam’s funeral being held on the same day either. Nations that worship missile men don’t get to preach nonviolence and forgiveness at the same time. Just like Mukherjee, Kalam too had rejected mercy pleas. Just like Kalam, K. R. Narayanan also had rejected mercy pleas. And before him, S.D. Sharma. In fact, the only one in recent times who did not supervise execution was the only woman president: Pratibha Patil, although that could have been purely incidental. All presidents across religions and political affiliations have bossed over death penalty executions in India.

Institutional killing of people by India is so random and considered so casually, that the country does not even have any official figures available towards that to critique. However, from limited available data, it appears that well over 2,100 prisoners have been executed in India since its independence. And of course, countless more are “encountered” for being “Maoists”, “terrorists” and being just whatever the heck. “Encounter cops” are rejoiced protagonists of Bollywood movies. Private militia continuing caste-based murders are paramilitary heroes. Death penalty is in vogue – inside courtrooms, on the streets and in newsroom debates.

It is sick, it is tragic, it is macho, it is justice, it is time for ladoo. Call it what we may, India is the citadel of death penalty. The discourse needs to go beyond blaming the president alone. Presidents are merely symbolic representatives of our collective thirst for blood. Expecting them to get merciful or failing which, be termed monstrous is an exercise in moral high ground marathon. Well before mercy petitions arrive, it is our holy cow enlightened judiciary that already seals the deal by not resisting the urge to issue death sentences, dozens after dozens. It is our wise judges who have taken it upto themselves to decide that death penalties are necessary. It is our Constitution that provides for such an unchallenged option. It is our cops and military who receive medals for being killers. It is our children who aspire to join these violent clubs of future in name of showing off patriotism.

As of now, 140 countries in the world have outlawed death penalty. India the land of nonviolence and peace howsoever fabled, continues to adamantly oppose every UN resolution that seeks to ban death penalty. And it is therefore all of us who still take pride in such a heartless immoral construct of a country. It is not Mukherjee alone. And it is our humanity that is hanged in installments. It is not an Afzal Guru, or a Yakub Memon alone.

Implementation of Orissa Official Language Act 1954: Is Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Backing Out?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Had the Chief Minister of Orissa Naveen Patnaik been sincere, the promised first meeting of the modality committee on implementation of Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 should have been held today.

On July 08, poet Gajanan Mishra was on the eighth day of his fast onto death for immediate implementation of Orissa Official Language Act 1954. It was his second fast on the same demand. And the entire State was waking up in his support.

Government was in panic, specifically as SriJagannatha’s Car Festival arrangements were in disarray. The situation was so alarming that four Ministers of State with independent charges – Law Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo, Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Food Minister Sanjaya Kumar Das Burma and Energy Minister Pranab Prakash Das – were put at Puri to supervise the works to ensure timely completion. Sri Mishra’s fast was making the situation more upsetting.

Under such circumstances, a government emissary arrived on the place where Sri Mishra was continuing his fast onto death and invited the Oriya Bhasa Sangram Samiti that was supporting Sri Mishra to a conference with a group of ministers awaiting in the Secretariat to explore what best the government can do to implement the Act of 1954 so that the hunger strike could come to a conclusion. The emissary had come with the official invitation under signature of Law Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo.

As the Samiti’s representatives arrived in the Secretariat the team of the four above named Ministers claiming to have been recalled from Puri by the Chief Minister for the purpose, assured the Samiti that the Government is fully prepared to implement the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 with immediate effect. But modalities of implementation such as in law courts need a little more time to be fine-tuned and finalized. The Government wanted time till completion of the Car Festival. Therefore, it was decided that, subject to acceptance by Sri Mishra, the next meeting of cabinet representatives with Samiti representatives would be held on the day following Bahuda to finalize how in every office including the courts and hospitals Oriya shall be the language sans any deviation.

The joint decision of July 08 was placed by the team of ministers before the Chief Minister and after he put his stamp of approval on it, Law Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo came to Sri Mishra’s camp of fasting and requested him on behalf of the CM to brake his fast to help the government have a congenial climate for smooth management of the car festival, specifically as the CM has promised to enforce implementation of the Act of 1954 by August 15, the modalities for which will be formulated in the joint meeting on the day after Bahuda, Sri Mishra agreed.

But it is shocking that the joint meeting is not yet convened. Sri Misra, resident of Titilagarh, Bolangir had arrived at Bhubaneswar yesterday. As the government has failed to convene the modality committee, he has gone back.

Is the Chief Minister backing out?

NO OBITUARY

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
I will not write any obituary on former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who passed away this evening at around 6.30 at Shillong.

He had made India’s first citizenship the most perfect by becoming the 11th President of this Republic from 2002 to 2007.

Bharat Ratna given wrongfully to some under political manipulation, was most rightly conferred on him.

Known as India’s missile man, in his own words, he was  a “learner”.

He, according to his last tweet, had gone to “take course on Livable Planet Earth at Indian Institute of Management”.

Kalam's last tweet
I will not write any obituary on him; because, HE IS THE ONLY MAN OF OUR TIME WHOM DEATH CANNOT MAKE DIE.

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