Western Orissa is Nature’s splendid repository of precious resources. Yet, it is known as the land of poverty!
Western Orissa is Orissa’s fountainhead of culture from where Vajrayana flowed into this soil to save Buddhism in its birthplace and its founder philosopher Indrabhuti, king of Uddiyana – Sambalpur region of present day – enriched this soil so uniquely that it came to be known as Udissa, which eventually has become Orissa. Yet, it is known as a stretch of land far away from the mainstream!
Western Orissa is the original source of Sahajayana, given to mankind by the great radical queen Laxminkara of Suvarnapur, from which Orissa’s unique lifestyle of universality – the Cult of Jagannatha – has evolved. Yet, it is languishing as a stretch of land more known for deprivation than of distinction!
If universal brotherhood is a distinction of Oriyas, it owes its origin to the Mother Cult that flourished in Western Orissa. It not only gave us a great empire of queens of Bhauma dynasty that stressed on the primacy of land as source of livelihood, but also has yet retained the primordial role of Nuakhai in social solidarity. Yet, it is continuing to be a patch of soil where instances of mothers striving on baby selling are being sadly witnessed!
Western Orissa had fought against fragmentation of Orissa by the British and because of its resolute determination, the modern Orissa has got back her present shape. Yet, it is unable to come out of the stigma of starvation deaths!
All these and many more difficulties the inhabitants of Western Orissa are subjected to, are going on unabated, because post-independence political power-holders of Orissa, sitting in their citadel at Bhubaneswar – notoriously one-sided in situation – have neglected this part of the State in every respect.
Therefore, in these pages, I have several times argued that the State Secretariat should be divided and the departments, concerned more with matters relevant to Western Orissa such as Forest, Irrigation, Mines, Tribal Welfare et cetera, should be shifted to Sambalpur with the concerned Secretaries and Ministers, so that administration, instead of being remote-controlled, would come to door-steps of the most neglected people and the region could be saved from the current quagmire of negligence and resultantly resurrected into prosperity. I have also argued that a bench of the Orissa High Court should have its permanent seat at Sambalpur, so that justice-seekers left at the mercy of time at the present, as I have shown therein, could be extricated from the cruel environment of lingering litigations and their life and properties could be better protected and secured.
If the State Government is reluctant to do this, it is not for any other reason than for the high functionaries’ fear of losing the comforts of stay in the Capital at Bhubaneswar.
People of Orissa, therefore, should stand with the people of Western Orissa and ensure that decentralization of administration – both executive and judiciary – should start with the success of the people of the neglected region.