ORIYAS OR POSCO: WHOM ORISSA BELONGS TO?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Away from Orissa at the moment, it hurts me noting news that Navin Patnaik has decided to use force to cleanse the path for POSCO to thwart our people out of the lap of their Motherland, their soil, in Jagatsinghpur district if they do not agree to withdraw their protests against displacement.

Whom Orissa belongs to: the Oriyas or the POSCO?

Before using force against the people, let Navin answer this question.

It is a shame that a man elected by the people to hold office for a limited period is in connivance with foreigners to ruin our rights over our land granted to us for endless future by Mother Nature and the founding fathers of our Constitution.

The Land Acquisition Act, 1894 that Navin and his likes and their acolytes are citing in support of their clumsy conspiracy to dispossess our people from their soil has no legal relevance to the instant case. This Act was framed during Britishraj when India was being ruled over by the East India Company in order to facilitate acquisition of land for use by the government that stood for the company. This means the Act was framed for acquiring land for official use. By retaining the Act, independent India had made it clear that the land obtained through acquisition would be used for the sole purpose of community benefit like construction of roads, irrigation dams, canals, community halls, administrative building and / or public sector companies etc. The 1984 amendment inserting a definition of company is nothing but a legislative aberration that had occurred when imperialists had succeeded in poisoning Indian patriotism and secessionists like the Khalistanis had plunged the country into chaos and the legislators were not in a position to apply their minds to the issue. It is a shame that Navin Patnaik is now misusing his position as chief minister to misuse this aberration to dispossess our people from their land to hand over the same to a private, that too a foreign private company!

This is absolutely illegal and the people have every right to protest against this.

The administration will commit total illegality if force is used to silence the protest.

He has given enough evidence of his anti-Oriya stances. The massacre of tribal people at Kalinga Nagar by his government after the conspiracy cooked up in his official chamber in presence of the TATA agents is fresh in every mind. But sloughing over the FIR lodged by the irrigation authorities against the Vissa Steel Company on March 23, 2007 must be considered as the latest instance of his anti-people activities. Let us see the scenario. There is a blatant ban on industrial use of underground water. The V.S.Plant needs 60 qsec lakh water that it harvests through 10 deep tube wells in total disregard to the ban. This has dried away dug wells as well as tube wells in the locality affecting lakhs of people. The Collector of Jajpur, on being informed of this, in letter No. 699 dated March 21, 2007 asked the Executive Engineer, Irrigation, to enforce the ban on the industry, who in turn authorized his assistant engineer by instruction No. 1507 the same day to proceed against the industry. The A.E. in letter No.227 dated March 23, 07 filed FIR with Kalinga Nagar Police. As reports show, the Polie refused to entertain the FIR. Chief Minister Navin Patnaik is the Minister in charge of Police. Now who to blame?

Orissa is, under such circumstances, in a quagmire. It has a government that does not bother to look after the people. On the other hand, it is most interested in serving the purpose of the private industries, even foreign industries like the POSCO.

We shall have to determine as to whom now Orissa belongs.

Let Navin give the answer and then we may proceed accordingly.

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  1. Respected Subhas Babu,
    Your view point on POSCO issue is deinitely should be considered by Orissa Govt. However you also need to mention how these Industries can happen. It is dificult to leave land (VITA MATTI)which was owned for years by the people. At the same time to allow development somebody need to sacrifice emotion. As this kind of big projects has multiple positive effects.

    1. Orissa Govt will get tax from produce of POSCO
    2. Employees of POSCO going to spend approximate 60 to 70% of their earning in Orissa, where Orissa will get the tax.
    3. There will be direct employment from land loser families and many oriya people will get jobs.
    4. The economy of the area will improve and lot many people will indirect employment.

    Orissa Govt should try to curb touts and communicate properly to people the benefits and compensation. Govermenet officials need to connect and sensitize people rather than using force.

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