Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
It was a shock to hear the President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind delivering nauseating lies at Cuttack on March 17 while delivering his address on the occasion of official preservation of a private house built by the grandfather of Orissa’s incumbent Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik , which has been renovated to a dazzling mansion from a run-down structure with crores of rupees spent from the State Exchequer that thrives on multiple taxes the people are being forced to pay and loans.
Kovid said, this building, named Ananda Bhavan, the only other building of India in this name after the Allahabad one, was the core center of freedom movement where all top leaders of the movement were gathering and finalizing the plans of the struggle. What a taradiddle!
No conclave of freedom fighters had ever taken place in this house of Laxminarayan Patnaik, father of Biju Patnaik and grandfather of Naveen Patnaik, who was in run for employment from zamidari to zamidari, lastly working under the zamidar of Paralakhemindi. No freedom fighter of Orissa – dead and alive – has ever referred to this house as a center of their meetings. Wherefrom Kovind got this blatantly wrong and concocted information?
The noble history of our freedom movement must not be vitiated with such false propaganda. President Kovind must come out with the truth on verification.
He misled the people by citing his experience in Morarjee raj. If he really had watched Biju at that time, he must have known how Morarjee Government collapsed after Justice Gattani was appointed by the PM to inquire into serious allegation of corruption raised by Murli Manohar Joshi and Rudra Prasanna Sarangi against Biju in the Janata Parliamentary Party meeting.
In order to escape the probe, Biju had joined Charan Singh. Is Kovind ignorant of this or he suppressed this truth while speaking about the Morarjee days?
Biju and probity were two poles apart.
He was kicked out of power by the people of Orissa for his self-centric activities and incorrigible corrupt practices.
But the pack of politicians that had taken over from him was no less corrupt. When Biju died, abandoned by his family, under care of an outsider (Dillip Ray), the magnanimous people of Orissa considered his pathetic death as sufficient punishment given even by God. As is their wont, they become sympathetic. The super wordy-acrobat J.B. Patnaik, who had used super-sycophantic terms like “Ruturaj Basanta” for Sanjay Gandhi, coined similar epithets for Biju as “Jhadar Eagle” that helped Biju sycophants to spread the “sympathy wave” by weaving concocted legends around their dead master.
By that time, an over-ambitious gang of Congress had drowned the JB regime in corruption, nepotism and sexual controversies. People had made up their mind against the Congress. But, there was no ready alternative available. Thus, at the end of the term of that government, when election was held, people determined to teach the Congress a lesson, accepted Naveen, as their Hobson’s choice. But they were so reluctant, that, he had to coalesce with BJP.
Naveen, by his own merit, was not acceptable to the people. Hence the sycophants concentrated in building posthumous image of Biju, cooking up conundrums like “Biju’s dream”.
Some of the journalists that were being sumptuously supplied with choicest wine by Biju acted his posthumous image-builders.
There cannot be any mafia who must not be charismatic. Hence he had his charisma. People, particularly adolescents who had no knowledge on Biju’s misdeeds and treachery against the country, believed the published legends. And, Naveen named every official project after Biju, making the gullible look at his fabricated image as real.
The President ought to educate himself on this reality and if possible on his part, use his prerogative to appoint a commission to inquire into how he was misled into accepting the so-called Andand Bavan as the second best central point of our freedom movement.
The people would not like their President to be a lier.
If the President knows, and people do not know, the namesake of Anand Bhavan in Cuttack was the core center of our freedom movement where plans of the movement were being drawn up, he should now divulge the details.