Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

We have heard the Prime Minister from the rampart of Lalkilla on the Independence Day. We have heard his predecessors and any body who we are made to accept as Very Important Persons. Let us hear a fellow citizen who is neither declared nor decorated as a VIP. Let us hear what he says on independence. He is Pradyot Sahu. Address:

He is a person. A reality. But in my view, he is a symbol. A symbol of all the Indians who have something to say on the state of affairs their motherland has been subjected to.

In initiating a debate in ‘myodisa’ yahoo group of Oriya netizenry, he has attracted attention to an expression, which, he claims, is circumstanced by “social movement, which involves real people movement”.

According to it, independence means, “independence from India” and Quit India movement means “quit India to A to Z, Africa to Zealand including Us in between”. He has called for reaction.

We common Indians have a common character. We share our sorrows. We open up our heart to whosoever we love. Prodyot has placed before all of us his fellow citizens what hits him hard in respect to our beloved county. It pains one to agree with what he has conveyed. But I have tried, for last four days, to say that I disagree. I have failed.

Our people love their motherland. They have always stood with her. They are known by her name. They insist to be known by her name. Whosoever stays at whatsoever distance prefers to visit her as often as possible. To spend with her as much time as available. No Indian is more patriotic or less than any of his fellow citizens. I know it. But why have I not been able to disagree with Pradyot, even if it pains, till this moment?

The self-propelled question hunts me. What do I mean by ‘our people’? Can they, who evade tax, be our people? Can they, who loot our exchequer, be our people? Can they, who side with Industry and slough over the sufferings of the displaced, be our people? Can they, who eagerly welcome POSCO and other firms of foreign soil and go on leasing out our mines to private profiteers oblivious of the interest of our future generation, be our people? Can they, who serve the weapon-merchants in our defense deals, be our people? Can they, who could whip up a fake war to fetch personal benefits, be our people? Can they, who have sucked away our Public Sector Undertakings to the extent of bankruptcy and instead of rectifying mismanagement, have sold them away and plan to sale away the rest to private profiteers, be our people? Can they, who take advantage of their All India Service status to perpetuate misadministration so that the crabs would most benefit, be our people? Can they, who thrive in politics by cultivating communal divide, be our people? Can they, who boast of GDP growth on the basis of growth of private capital and revel in such a growth, be our people? Can they, who have transformed our democracy to plutocracy, be our people?

No, they are not our people. But in our country it is they who wield power. It is only they who matter.

If India is synonymous with the power they wield, our independence will mean independence from that India. If I have perceived what Pradyot has said in this light how can I disagree?

The Quit India conception being contingent to this phenomenon needs no separate treat.

Only this much can be said, in this circumstance, that if we love India, we must stop plutocracy consolidating its position. We must find out where we failed. We must, therefore, to begin with, proceed to save our States from the grip of All India Services to save our majority people from the schemers who taking advantage of their control over provincial bureaucracy sans any answerability to state Governments, have ruined our peoples’ faith in administration and blocked the real picture of our economy reach our people. We must extricate ourselves from the grip of religion to stop the deepening of divide. We must work out action against All India Officers who have headed Ministries or Departments or Public Sector Undertakings and mismanaged them to such extent that peoples’ faith in these set-ups has declined, notwithstanding their past or present status; and with retrospective effect. We must refused to vote if contesting candidates are not clear as to which political economy-communism or capitalism- they want the nation to be addressed. This is essential to get rid of the political confusion that has pained a fellow patriot to pen the felt definition of our independence.

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