Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Orissa Legislative Assembly has decided on 23rd November to constitute a house committee comprising members from all legislative parties to take up the issue of National Institute of Science (NIS) that was offered to Orissa in 2003 and shanghaied into West Bengal under the guise of Indian Institute of Science for Education and Research (IISER) in 2005.
Netizens of Orissa have been agitating against the mischief played by the Central Government against Orissa, dislodged as it has the national cause of higher technical education to accommodate regional ambition of Bengali politicians who are to face the electorate in 2006. Never before India had experienced such a nasty power play.
The Oriya netizens have flooded the Prime Ministers Office with e-mails protesting against the illogical and unstatesmanly role he has played in obliterating the just and minimum due of Orissa.
Electronic media like orissamatters.com, which is the only recognized online journal of the State has highlighted the issue in right earnest and as emphatically as possible within its command. Netizens from all over the world who are distressed at seeing the States cause violated by the Union Government have expressed their disapproval of Man Mohan Singhs action through their comments on the pages of this online journal. Its comments and reports have been adopted by a section of the print media of Orissa leading to invocation of judicial intervention. Senior citizens of excellent career records have submitted signed memorandums to the Prime Minister demanding execution of the 2003 decision. Blog sites like http://iiser.blogspot.com/ have provided alternative media to everybody to express solidarity with the people of Orissa in their just cause. The erstwhile NDA government abandoning its decision to establish the NIS at Bhubaneswar, the present UPA government obliterating whatever was left in the files in relation to Bhubaneswar and the State government at Bhubaneswar sitting nonchalant throughout over the issue reviewed meticulously by Orissan netizens has concussed the conscience of right thinking Indians so much that people beyond Orissa, who do not belong to Orissa by birth, have also expressed their displeasure over the Prime ministers decision, opining that the Union should not have done any such thing that precipitates regional imbalance.
Even as the State Government is gropping about in dark as to how to defend its position in the ongoing PIL before the Orissa High Court, the Legislative Assemblys unanimous support to the demand of the netizens, in their peculiar style, has strengthened the campaign for NIS/IISER in Orissa.
The Deputy Speaker in chair, the House has decided to form the committee under chairmanship of the Speaker to negotiate with the Union Government and to take all such steps as would be deemed proper for establishment of the National Institute notwithstanding in whatever form it is established anywhere.
This is just a beginning. Netizens, apolitical as mostly they are, and online media unreachable as it is by the pernicious politicians, have proved in this particular event that representatives of the people in Assembly or in Parliament can be prodded to desist from playing the shark and to side with the people notwithstanding their party stands.