A compilation of Subhas Chandra Pattanayak’s works of animadversion published originally in Orissa’s highest circulated daily major Sambad was formally launched in the auditorium of the Red Cross Bhawan at Bhubaneswar in the evening of June 13, retaining the column title Singhabalokan.
Editor of Sambad, Sri Soumya Ranjan Pattanaik offered the mega work as a token of launching to the former Director of Orissa Treasuries and Member of Orissa Public Service Commission Sri Hemant Kumar Das, who is also well known for his uncategorized comments on current events. In response, Sri Das recalled how effective were the articles delivered in the column Singhabalokan and welcomed the compilation thereof that, to him, would enrich Orissa with a matchless storehouse of reference on subjects from administration to information.
Addressing the event as the Chief Guest, Sri Pattanaik described Sri Subhas Chandra Pattanayak as the lighthouse in journalism whose analysis of current events presented with uncommon courage of conviction on the basis of documentary details that he digs out, interprets and relies upon in editorializing his reports, is unique.
“It is not that I always agreed to his analysis, but depiction of the other side of the discernible being his forte, I used to publish them as a challenge to whosoever could come out with a different view with similar strength of argument for proper appreciation of the public”, he said.
Describing the author as a single-minded journalist who dwells in his topic sans fear and compromise, he recalled that as a newspaper operator with economic and politico-social obligations, it was not always easy to publish his merciless exposures on luminaries in power, who were, bruised by his pen, crying out allegations of one-sidedness; but, he said, “I used to publish them as to me Sri Subhas Chandra Pattanayak was not saying anything beyond boundaries of research that he was meticulously making before reaching at a conclusion; and once in a conclusion, he was presenting his findings oblivious of who gets affected”. He said, he rather liked to side with Sri Pattanayak’s one-sidedness, as to him “the lighthouse is always one-sided for which navigators get saved from wandering into the wrong side. The author of Singhabalokan is such a lighthouse”, he said.
Recalling the specialties, as the editor he had marked in Subhas babu’s writing, he informed that the same may be seen as classic instances of how best the vast Oriya vocabulary could be journalistically used in depicting tricky and sensitive issues. “In Sri Pattanayak’s writings one finds not only new approach to the subject in hand, but also finds new formation of words in Oriya that makes one understand the technically difficult and tricky topic with ease and clarity” he said, citing a few of his contributions to Oriya vocabulary such as “Dhanatantra” meaning the politico-economic mischief of wealth and “Kabaratantra” connoting to overall mischief of an atrocious press. He strongly recommended Singhabalokan to serious researchers on socio-cultural and politico-economic life of Orissa, if the missing links in her past history and between the lines of contemporary times forms the crux of the research.
In Subhas babu’s columns, he said, he often marked that he was taking a side sans qualms, if that side is the side of the people. That should be imbibed by the journalists, he said. It it wrong on part of the Press to stay impartial in a people’s Republic. The Republic would prosper if the Press takes the side of the people as against the syndrome that Subhas Babu has defined as Khabaratantra (mediacracy), he said.
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Speaking as the Guest of Honor, eminent journalist Sri Prasant Patnaik discussed on the courage of conviction sic passim in journalistic deliveries of Subhas Chandra Pattanayak while simultaneously showing how Sambad has become the top most circulated daily because of its courage displayed in carrying columns like that of Subhas babu and pioneering column publication as a regular feature amongst Orissa’s newspapers matching its pioneer role in adopting high-tech components in newspaper industry. He harped on reader contribution to newspaper economy by supporting rise in price per copy of the editions, as to him reader-publisher collaboration in newspaper publication is a must for evolution of independent press by reduction of massive dependence of newspapers on advertisers.
Prof. Biswaranjan, eminent author and Editor of Orissa’s latest daily major, Khabar, was in the the Chair.
Discussing on the ever-lasting relevance of subjects dealt in-depth in Singhabalokan, he said that the author has not only made his contributions exemplary in journalism by basically making them research-based, but also has made them so strong in language and so poetic in expression that they emerge as a distinguished entity of penmanship that elevates journalism from a profession to a culture.
Major Prof. Kumudini Barai proposed the vote of thanks. On behalf of publisher Bharat Bharati, Sri Umesh Prasad Sahoo presented the book for launching.
The mega collection is priced at 500 INR per copy.