Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
In his customary address to Orissa Lagislative Assembly on commencement of its Budget Session on Tuesday, the Governor of the State Dr. S.C.Jamir had to chant the name of Biju Patnaik as if no other person matters or as if Orissa would be considered barren if this dead person is not made alive. To make him alive, the governor was forced to state that Biju “is now an idea in the continuity”.
The Governor was forced to state this, because he was to read out his address prepared by the political government run by a party named after him.
The Governor was forced to chant Biju name many as eight times in his speech whereas there was not a single mention of any program for governance of Orissa in Oriya, despite the government having formed a ministerial committee comprising five ministers and seven representatives of the Oriya Bhasa Sangram Samiti to meet the demand of the later for governance of Orissa in Oriya.
The speech is over-saturated with administrative jargon which many of the MLAs also do not understand. The members whom I talked with could not give me any clear idea on what some of the terminology stressed upon in the speech exactly mean.
However, the Governor has lauded the Excise administration for significant contribution to the State Exchequer. “Multi-agency co-ordination in enforcement has visibly plugged the revenue leakages and also greatly reduced illicit trade in this segment”, he said.
The country is “progressively moving ahead to a free market model” the Governor noted. But in view of this, the State is to equip itself with “protective institutions and proactive mechanisms” he cautioned.
The Governor had tremendous praise for success of administration in all the departments some of which have been renamed differently to give them “empowerment”. It was not expected that lacunae in implementation of departmental works or tragedies that keep the people imperiled would also be reflected in the Governor’s speech with details of how official actions are on the anvil to do away with the same. So, there is nothing unusual if legislators, who the speech was addressed to, were kept in dark about the lacunae.
But the speech has helped us know that, the government knows that 79, 59, 000 families in Orissa are under starvation, whom, through subsidized food across all districts, the State has jacked up to a level of slow-starvation. It further helped us know that in Orissa as many as 1,03,825 families are homeless with no roof over their head.
Nothing to worry. From what the Governor has said, it is clear that, under the chief minister’s monumental patronage, TATA STEEL, for whom the State had become the annihilator of tribal people at Kalinganagar, has emerged the harbinger of transformation of Orissa into “manufacturing hub of the east”.
What a great distinction!
The Governor’s speech is full of many such distinction in every sphere of administration. But the one that deserves to be quoted in situ is at Para 116. It reads, “Starting from 2015-16, all the Gram Panchayat of my State will receive Rs.8850.34 crores and Rs.7389.30 crores from 14th FCA and the 4th State Finance Commission respectively for 5 years to spend on providing basic civic services and maintenance of capital assets in the villages. In the process, each Gram Panchayat is likely to receive huge funds ranging from 25 to 50 lakhs of rupees each year on an average to spend on such works and the same is likely to be substantially enhanced each year. My Government has brought out the Gram Panchayat Development Plan “Ama Gao Ama Yojana” to plan and implement the execution of projects under FCA. I am very hopeful that the Gram Panchayats of my State will be financially empowered enough to address the basic needs of the villages in the most effective manner”.
But the Governor does not know that Gram Panchayats are managed by people with Sarapanches and word members who mostly are uneducated and do not know how to locate their respective positions under the canopy of the plans and programs and norms and formulations under the schemes of the “14th FCA and the 4th State Finance Commission”.
The entire money, which, according to the Governor, will be “huge”, would go into the stomachs of the hounds called the mandarins and the English knowing leaders, who usually command obedience of the Panchayat members by virtue of being MLAs and MPs, unless the entire governance of the funds vis-à-vis the plans are carried out in their mother tongue Oriya.
Expenditure on “basic civic services and maintenance of capital assets” cannot be “in the most effective manner” if marginally educated and in specific cases almost illiterate members of the Panchayat words and Sarapanches of the GPs are not ensured with governance of these intricate matters in Oriya.
But the Governor is totally silent on Governance of Orissa in Oriya.
We shall wait and watch how our able MLAs are reacting to the Governor’s customary speech.