Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Mr. Atal Behari Vajapayee knows who had advised him to use the post of Prime Minister that he was then holding to play a joke with the people of Orissa in the guise of founding a branch of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bhubaneswar. He and his cronies belong to a store house of ideas to hoodwink the common man for catching votes. And, this was the reason of why we had uttered doubts on the implementation of the project by Vajpayee. We had unambiguously identified it as a pre-poll stunt played with the sole intension to cheat the voters. That happened.
There was no earlier proposal to branch out AIIMS in keeping Orissa in mind. No application of mind at all in the matter at the level either of central bureaucracy or of the central cabinet or in the parliamentary forum. There was no budgetary provision; no contemplation in plan papers. The idea had come from no responsible administrative channel of the central government. It had neither emanated from any in the AIIMS management. It was an impromptu decision taken at Vajpayee�s private chamber and pronounced by his official avatar.
People of Orissa were to a larger extent swayed away by this mischief. It was not unusual. Vajpayee, while laying the foundation stone of AIIMS at Bhubaneswar had used the best of his oral acrobatics to convince people that the institute is a reality that he was gifting to Orissa in way of fulfilling his government�s commitment to physical wellbeing of the common man. His party, which otherwise would have continued to experience the aversion of the traditionally secular Oriyas, had improved in the proximate election. Vajpayee�s fraud was clear as the post-election central budget did not pay attention to working of the AIIMS branch at Bhubaneswar. And the scenario has not changed.
But a change is being marked in the circle of Vajpayee�s sycophants. They have started aggressively beating at the bushes. They have started pointing out accusing fingers at the central government for not having made any budgetary provision for the AIIMS at Bhubaneswar. It is really amusing. The villain is trying to divert public attention from the fraud it had played on the people of Orissa.
In the matter of National Institute of Science the same trend is also marked. An international seminar on science education held in 1996 under auspices of UNESCO had stressed on building up of institutes of sciences of international standard with emphasis on their balance distribution within respective geographical limits of the participating countries. India being a signatory to this resolution, in normal course of administration, decided to establish four National Institutes of Sciences in four parts of the country including one at Bhubaneswar in Orissa. Records show that there was stiff objection to put one of the said NIScs at Bhubaneswar. The Bengali lobby, as is its wont, had whipped up this controversy. But the UGC had rejected the Bengali pressure and declared that when expansion of such institutes would be taken up in course of time, the demand for one at Kolkata might be considered. Thereafter, Vajpayee�s government slept over the proposal. Who does not know that Vajpayee�s inner court yard was murmuring under foot-steps of a Bengali known as his son-in-law? Who does not know how Mamata Banerjee, who leads a regional party of Bengal, was close to Vajpayee? Should one do a mistake by drawing an inference that the NISc proposed by the UGC for Bhubaneswar was willfully sloughed over by Vajpayee government as the UGC rejected the Bengali lobby for change of location of the eastern institute from Bhubaneswar to Kolkata?
This website has actively and elaborately dealt with the subject besides having pioneered protests of the Oriya nation against the subterfuge engineered by the regional chauvinist section of the Bengalis under obliging collaboration from Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh. It has also given a link to http://iiser.blogspot.com/ for wider appreciation of the issue.
But as is being increasingly marked, the sycophants of Vajpayee have started concentrating on use of internet as well as the print media to transmit a message that Vajpayee had given a great gift to Orissa in the form of NISc at Bhubaneswar but his successor has shanghaied it away to Kolkata.
So the comfortably placed people have started playing their class cards in the guise of NISc in a style that would please Vajpayee and suit the very same persons who, after the UGC rejected the Bengali claim and stood with its decision to set up NISc at Bhubaneswar, had made both the Vajpayee led Central government as well as his party run Orissa administration sleep over the project, till finally, by misuse of Prime-Ministerial position, Man Mohan Singh derailed the UGC decision.
Association of a section of superannuated bureaucrats with soiled past but shrewd eyes on future political horizon as well as some hobnobbers in academic compounds with RSS background with the comparison-campaign on who gave the gift and who played the thief amongst the two � the past and the present PM � is a clear indication to how the Vajpayee factor is initiating a new game of fraud against people of Orissa under the guise of NISc/IISER.
Premium put on Arun Jetley to take up Orissa case in the Supreme Court after it vacated the injunction imposed by Orissa High Court on establishment of IISER elsewhere before Orissa�s claim is settled cannot be seen as an innocent act propelled only by love for Orissa. Who is Arun Jetley? Was he not in the cabinet of Vajpayee which had deliberately slept over the UGC decision to set up NISc in Orissa, after the Bengali claim was turned down? Is he not the leader of BJP to which belong the two Ministers of Orissa, Higher Education Minister Samir De and Law Minister Biswa Bhusan Harichandan who did not prefer a caveat before the Supreme Court paving thereby the way to success of unilateral pleadings of the Central Government for vacation of the stay imposed by Orissa High Court?
What is then the game plan?
I am afraid, in both the matters of AIIMS and NISc/IISER, Oriya sentiment is being shrewdly used to resurrect the forfeited credibility of Vajpayee by a section of highly educated persons of Orissa, scattered all over the world.
They are playing this game taking advantage of Man Mohan Singh�s image emerging as that of a man who can go to any low, even to the extent of allowing American President�s canine squad commanding respect from our commanders!
When in public perception we have a Prime Minister who could brake protocols to welcome an American President whose sense of proportion was so pathetically overshadowed by blind pride that he could not thought of how his hosts would be embarrassed by desecration of the best of the Tirthas of modern India, the revered Rajghat, tomb of the beloved Father of Indian Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, by his dogs, at who the people of Orissa should look for remedy if frauds of the past PM hunts the State?