A Decade of Missed Opportunities: SAMBAD Missed What Its Editor Had Said

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Sambad editor Soumya Ranjan Patnaik had focused on a serious phenomenon during inauguration of a book published by Ama Odisha, the organization he has founded and heads; but the paper missed the point.

The book, Odisha: A Decade of Missed Opportunities, a compilation of selected articles of Ranjit Guru, senior journalist of Sambad, published under his column Aprasanga and translated into English, is published by Ama Odisha. It was formally inaugurated in the evening of January 15 at IDCOL auditorium, Bhubaneswar with Patnaik in the chair.

Patnaik’s speech was thought provoking. He raised a very pertinent issue. Praising Sri Guru profusely for his upright analysis of how Orissa has missed a decade of opportunities due to misrule, Patnaik linked the administrative anarchy to absence of sense of insecurity amongst political power-holders.

Dwelling on Orissa’s post-independence decadence, he said that her acquired backwardness during the first three decades was being attributed to political instability as none of the political parties/allies were being given comfortable majority by the people. But since start of the forth decade of independence, governments have been formed with massive mandate. Treasury benches have been enjoying absolute majority in the legislature, term after term. But Orissa has not developed. Instead, it has been going down.


He raised the question and pointed out that the massive mandate gives massive power and massive power corrupts massively as the absence of sense of insecurity in the floor emboldens the Government to ignore the Opposition.

Total absence of sense of political insecurity generated by massive mandate stimulates irresponsibility and resultantly the rulers indulge in rash-driving the State and it leads to crash in every area of administration. He asked the public to cogitate upon this phenomenon intently and urgently.

Sambad, while reporting the event, has inadvertently missed this pertinent issue that its editor had raised.

However, former Chief Secretary Tarun Kanti Mishra, who presently heads the State Information Commission, formally inaugurating the book, exhibited rare magnanimity in begging apology to the people of Orissa for the continuous misrule in which, as a top executive he was associated, for the wrong done to the State. He divulged that Orissa’s per capita income was 93 per cent compared with totality of India in 1951 whereas it has been constantly in the down-falling trend as in the last official records its per capita income is recognized as only 62 percent on the national matrix. Mishra’s speech completely corroborated the claim of the book that the last decade was a decade of missed opportunities for Orissa.

Columnist Dr. Bhagavan Prakash made a brief analysis of the book when to Dr. Rajendra Prasad Das, it was a faithful depiction of Orissa’s decadence in the decade under review.

Eminent man of letters Asit Mohanty, coordinator of Ama Odisha had introduced the purpose behind bringing out an English translation of published columns in Oriya and the author had elaborated on significance of the caption given to the compilation.

The event was well attended to.

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