Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Chit Fund scandal has brought ignominy to the scribes in Orissa as Pradeep Sethi, the exposed offender, has reportedly revealed the names of some of the media persons as beneficiaries of his economic offenses wherein some former as well as present ministers, and MLAs, and MPs and functionaries of the ruling BJD are allegedly involved.
Not only chit funds, but also acquiring residential plots under discretionary quota, availing largesse and junkets from industries looting the State, acting conduits between corporate houses and power corridors, connection with land-grabbers and compradors as well as Mafiosi operating educational institutes are some of the allegations being generally raised against ‘some’ of the journalists.
Though their names are not yet disclosed, it goes on the rounds in the grapevines that, the notorious operator of chit fund ‘Artha Tattwa’ has told about them to the investigating sleuths. Names undisclosed, fame tarnished, journalists as a whole feel embarrassed like never before.
More embarrassing is the fact that, when any journalist truthfully exposes any economic offender, he or she is soon shown by another section of the scribes as a stooge of a rival mafia.
Most embarrassing for the ones to whom journalism is a mission, is a protection layer provided by avaricious media owners to one Achyut Samant, a land-grabbing mafia running a commercial hub behind mask of education at Bhubaneswar, whose hired goons had made recently a murderous attack on journalists as they were covering a land scam, which he was accused of.
Like prostitutes serve the patrons according to their desire, the media owners, for money, ensured brainwashing of the people in favor of Samant through calculatedly coined advertisements. These media owners have not condemned, as yet, the assault on journalists on duty.
On the other hand, silent vibrations of the chit fund swindler’s confessions before investigating sleuths that he was, as and when necessary, greasing the palms of various media persons to keep his car of corruption run without any hazard, has been rocking the State and image of media has gone so low in public esteem that the people seem to be far from standing in solidarity with the attacked journalists. In their perception, attack on the said media persons was also a part of the gang war, not attack on Press per se.
This indicates that the Press in Orissa has fallen into a state of putrefaction. Journalists are to save it from becoming more putrid.
So, instead of passively tolerating the ignominy, scribes of the State must raise a demand for immediate disclosure of the names of media persons about whom the chit fund offender has told the investigating sleuths, so that, the entire community of scribes does not further fall down in public esteem.