Narasinghpur Pays Homage to Rabi Pattanayak

On the funeral day about 8000 people had gathered to pay homage to revered teacher Rabindranath Pattanayak at Narasinghpur offering floral tributes on his way to the graveyard.

On the eleventh day there was a memorial meeting organized by the instantly created ‘Rabindranath Pattanayak Smruti Parisad’ where, as many as 40 well known men of letters of the two twin ex-States Narasinghpur and Baramba, recalled how a referral point was he in the unique RITI SAHITYA of Orissa.

The meeting was presided over by Sri Duryodhan Baral, President of Bikacha Sahitya Parisad, Baramba. Prof. Kulamani Barik was the Chief Speaker when Prof. Prafulla Kumar Sahoo coordinated the obituary speeches.

Engineer Dr. Swapneswar Dash, President of Narasinghpur Sahitya Samaj, Sri Debarchan Panda, President of Narasinghpur Sahitya Sansad, its Vice-President Dr. Gokulananda Pattanayak spoke about Rabi babu’s in-depth knowledge and pride in ancient Oriya literature, particularly of the Bhanja era.

Advocate Trilochan Mohapatra, President of Narasinghpur Bikash Parishad recalled how he was a friend in need to many in the locality and highlighted on his highlander character of being honest, proud and outspoken and of his tenacious adherence to his inherited tradition.

He was recalled as a dedicated dramatist, actor and director.

Some of his colleagues and students including Sachidananda Dash, Managovinda Das, Jagannath Swain and Niranjan Dash fondly recalled how monumental was his contributions to primary and upper primary education in Narasinghpur, which he had set on simultaneous man making in a peculiar pattern he had personalized.

Though the fittest for the President’s Award, he, for his sense of self-respect and aversion to political lobbying, could not get it, they said.

Er. Dhirendranath Mohanty spoke of his magnanimity as a friend.

Convener Dr. Dillip Kumar Pattanayak proposed vote of thanks to the Speakers and the participants.

A 48 pages booklet, captioned ‘Smruti Shraddhanjali’ was released on the occasion depicting the loss over his sad demise.

Rabi Pattanayak: Unsung Hero Passes Away

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

At 10 in the first part of this day, the burning Sun at Bhubaneswar added utmost warmth to its rays to welcome an unsung hero into the folds of elements, though thereby a dark void is created, which can never be filled up.

Rabindranath Pattanayak, beloved Rabibabu of the people of Narasinghpur in the district of Cuttack in Orissa, object of love, affection and confidence of members of a very large extended family and relations and friends, whom thousands and thousands revere as the primary shaper of their lives, passed away in a private hospital at Bhubaneswar, fighting bravely against a lung disorder.

Bereft of his father in early childhood, Rabibabu was very ably guided by his mother to face the challenges and to become a man of distinction in society.

A brilliant student, he had to stay content with High School graduation, as Narasinghpur, a Princely State till 1948, had no College at that time and his widow mother had no strength to part with her only child, as College education at Cuttack or elsewhere was calling for.

He, in that situation, after matriculation, picked up a career as a primary school teacher and remained so till superannuation heading upgraded units for decades.

Career as a primary school teacher ensured his continuance in service at and within the area of Narsinghpur, that helped him with enough time to look after his landed properties and he emerged as a remarkable user of land in cultivation, even when all the schools he was working in were emerging as model schools because of his devotion to the institutions and dedication to the students. He had taught thousands of students in his long career, but had never stopped at any point in injecting into them the self confidence to proceed in any direction as they prefer in pursuit of knowledge. This made him unique.

Apart from being a teacher par excellence and a farmer of highest repute in the locality, he was the matchless man of culture in the area with dedicated devotion to drama and social events.

More than everything, he was a man, whom smile had never left for a single moment, even in moments of turmoil. In fact, if smile had any epitome, he was that epitome in life.

Very seldom such a man takes birth who becomes the beacon of inspiration and encouragement for one and all in his area.

I, along with my family, deeply mourn his demise and stand in silent respect in remembering him, even though I know, in my heart and ours, like of all the others who know him, he shall live till breathes continue.


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

A sovereign country stands on fundamental rights of the citizens. We have our set of fundamental rights enshrined in our constitution. They are: right to equality (art 14-18), right to freedom (arts 19-22), right against exploitation (art 23-24), right to freedom of religion (art 25-28), cultural and educational rights (art 29-30) and right to constitutional remedies (art 32)

But there is no Right to Education in this list. The educational right is not right to education. It is limited to the right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions “of their choice” (Article 30). So, this Article does not grant the general citizenry the fundamental right to education.

The eighty sixth amendment that brings in education to the list of Fundamental Rights, is nothing but a trick played by politicians on our peoples. The very language used, “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine” needs no elaboration on its frustrating design.

Government of Orissa has admittedly not posted Principals in 5491 Upper Primary Schools. Over and above this, there are 43,198 teaching posts vacant in Lower Primary Schools by the end of 2008. A posting in these pages on February 13 carry the official version placed before the Orissa Legislative Assembly that shows that the number of vacancies has increased from 27,840 vacancies noted in 2004. There are three thousand plus single teacher schools which means only one teacher is taking up classes from one to five in those schools in rural Orissa. When teachers are not there to teach, how is primary education being imparted to all the children of the age of six to fourteen? Is the Government taking education as a fundamental right of the children of this age group?

It is clear from the above sample instance that even the Government does not consider education a fundamental right.

The 93rd Amendment effected on Article 15 has given power to ruling politicians to reserve seats in government and/or private educational institutions for “any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes” and obviously, as witnessed, with a design for the vote box.

It is interesting to note that Right to Equality, which is the first Fundamental Right, under Article16, has guaranteed equality of opportunity to all in the matters of public employment. The purpose of this Article is being defeated. For all sorts of public employment the authorities have prescribed a corresponding minimum education. For example to become a teacher in a government college, the minimum education required is a doctoral degree. How can an uneducated person take advantage of equality in opportunity for the post of a college teacher? So, this fundamental right to equality in opportunity for public employment is defeated unless education is included in the list of fundamental rights sans any restriction such as age.

It is to be noted that education is placed under the Directive Principles of State Policy, which is not enforceable under the laws.

So the problem of lack of education in case of most of the Indians will continue to defeat the fundamental right to opportunity till education is not declared a fundamental right.

Let the lawmakers think of this afresh.


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Had MLA Shambunath Nayak not put the question, Orissa’s School and mass education Minister Sanjiv Sahu would never have voluntarily informed the Assembly this session that more than one third of the Primary Schools in Orissa are running without Principals. Out of 15,741 Government Upper Primary Schools, there are no Head Masters in 5491 Schools, he has said.

To another question from MLAs Chiranjibi Biswal and Ramesh Chandra Majhi, his answer has revealed how shamelessly the Government has strangulated Primary Education.

By end of 2008, there were 43,198 vacancies against sanctioned posts of Primary teachers, he has confessed.

He has admitted that the vacancies have increased thus massive from 27,840 of 2004.

In 2004 Navin Patnaik was the Chief Minister. In 2008 the Chief Minister was he only. And, he is the Chief Minister as on today.

Why fellows of such incorrigible nonchalance are getting support in politics when they play havoc like this on education of our future generation?


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