Governor’s speech exposes how parochial is the State Government

Subhas Chandra pattanayak

Governor Dr. S.C. Jamir read out today his customary speech to the Legislative Assembly of Orissa on the commencement of its Budget session. This including obituary mentions was the only legitimate business transacted before the House was adjourned.

I am not inclined to discuss the speech. Better be it left to the wisdom of the Assembly members.

The only point that hits me as an embarrassment to Orissa is his mention of “commemorative postage stamp” released on the occasion of Biju Patnaik’s 102nd birthday, while keeping completely mum over the most prestigious Palanquin Carried Cover released by the Department of Posts on Rasagola, the symbol of Oriya Mana in the current context of Geographical Indication.

There is no cause for Oriyas, who know the reality of Biju Patnaik, to celebrate the postage stamp on him. Had his treachery against India in Chinese aggression not been suppressed despite findings arrived at through enquiry, Biju would certainly have ended in the Jails or in the gallows. He being a part of the Ruling Party at that time, both the successive Prime Ministers – Nehru and Sastry – had helped him escape prosecution and punishment. It is a matter of shame that the same Biju Patnaik, whom people of Orissa had punished through rejection for his corrupt practices, is being posthumously deified by fellows to whom probity in public life carries no importance. So, to us Oriyas, who had wisely rejected him in the last election of his life, a commemorative postage stamp on him is a matter to be laughed at.

But, to us Oriyas, the Palanquin Carried Cover recognizing the Rasagola as our indigenous sweetmeat, more ancient in age than all its namesakes in any part of India irrespective of differences in spelling, is recognition of our Mana by the Government of India, particularly in the Department of Posts.

It is a shame that the Governor has not put this splendid recognition on records in his speech to the Assembly.

Mr. Jamir, as the Governor, is, of course, a prisoner of statue that makes him read a written address to the Assembly prepared by the State Government.

Hence absence of the mention of the Palanquin Carried cover on Rasagola – Orissa’s national sweetmeat of Nilardri Bije significance, inherently enriched with the concept of Orissa’s indigenous Buddhist Sahajayan called ‘Cult of Jagannath’ – while mentioning of postage stamp on Biju, shows how parochial is Government of Orissa.

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