(Pictorial input from Harekrushna Pattanayak, Tigiria)
Tigiria Samskuti Parisad, hereinafter called the Parisad, founded by former Member of Parliament representing Orissa in the Rajyasbha, Subas Mohanty and young intellectuals of Tigiria, honored three of the illustrious sons of the soil on 28 December 2011 with Pranab Kishore Pattanayak in the chair.
Eminent persons from all parts of the Ex-State witnessed Tigiria Sammana presented to Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak for being an author and linguist of international repute, to Sri Amulya Ratna Nanda IAS (Rtd) for being a distinguished head of administration in various departments and ministries in State as well as Central level and to Sri Lalit Mohan Pattanayak for being a guiding light in sports didactics, honored by the President of India for best of contributions to the Scouts movement in Orissa.
Eminent Dramatist, Advocate Suryanarayan Mohanty read out the citations to each of them as chief of orissamatters.com Sri Subhas Chandra Pattanayak presented the awards.
TIGIRIA DESERVES RECOGNITION AS BIRTHPLACE OF ODISSI
In presenting the Samman, Sri Pattanayak, by birth a Tigirian, recalled the glorious past of this ex-State and its matchless contributions to culture of Orissa. One of its contributions was the dance form that has developed into Odissi, he said.
Dwelling on the darkest phase of Orissa’a history when Sri Mandira of Puri had to suffer absence of the deities for 12 years, which, according to Pt. Kedar Nath Mohapatra in Khurudha Itihas, had begun on May 16, 1692, as on that day, the Gajapati (King Emperor of Orissa) had to concede defeat and allow the invading Muslims to take away the Jagannatha Trinity by desecrating the Ratna Vedi (The Lord’s podium) under orders of Aurangzeb, Sri Pattanayak said that in reality the Mogul General had taken away only duplicate images of the deities, willfully kept to deceive the invaders. The real images were kept hidden in Bimala’s backyard from where, according to Madala Panji, they were taken away into an unknown place. Madala Panji says, nobody knew whereto they went; but because of that, all rituals in Sri Mandira had stopped.
Recalling the scenario, Sri Pattanayak claimed that Shankarshan Tunga Mandhata, then the King of Tigiria, had, under a plan finalized with the Gajapati, secretly carried the images by trained elephants from the compound of Bimala up to Mahanadi and then in boats into his State, in recognition whereof the Gajapati had conferred on him the rank of Bada Pariccha, the second highest rank – below the Gajapati and above the Rajguru – in the deity’s protocol, with hereditary right, a position no other king of Orissa is ever bestowed upon with.
After twelve years, suffering heavy loss in pilgrimage tax as pilgrims had stopped visiting Puri due to non-existence of the deities in Sri Mandira, the Mogul Emperor commissioned new images of Jagannath Trinity in the Ratna Vedi and thus the original Trinity could not go back to Puri from Tigiria, he said.
This unexpected stay of Sri Jagannatha – called Prasanna Mani and Prasanna Purusottama Dev because of He having been pleased to stay in this small principality – not only made Tigiria the most densely peopled amongst all the princely States, but also gave rise to unprecedented cultural activities in Tigiria.
During the resultant renaissance, Prince Jadunath @ Jadumani Tung Rai Singh amalgamated Alasa Nrutya of coastal Orissa with Tunga Nrutya, the martial folk dance promoted by his family and known by his family name, as to him this must have seemed a must for maintaining agility and complete physical fitness of his subjects as they were to have been kept ready to protect the Trinity from enemy attacks at anytime, when the techniques of war including training of war animals as well as development and use of advanced weaponry was provided with in his father Gopinath Tunga’s unique work on warfare, ‘Veera Sarvaswa’, he said.
This new form of dance, that Jadunath created by amalgamating Alasa and Tunga Nrutyas, was having no name, but was in practice in Tigiria.
Jadunath had codified the process of the dance in a scripture he had authored under the caption ‘Abhinaya Darpana Prakasha’, which according to Pandit Kedar Nath Mohapatra in Descriptive Catalogue of Sanskrit Manuscripts of Orissa, was in vogue in Orissa as the grammar of the dance form now known as Odissi. But despite presence of this scripture, Odissi exponents are in dark about scriptural base of the dance, the classical status whereof they use to their benefit.
Kavichandra Kalicharan Pattanayak, whose singleminded endeavor finally fetched the national recognition of Odissi as a classical dance, had translated Abhinaya Darpana Prakasha into English with illuminating footnotes. Orissa Directorate of Culture had taken away all his manuscripts after his death for proper maintenance to facilitate their referral use. But sadly the same is no more available to scholars. This wrong must be corrected and Abhinaya Darpana Prakash be recognized as the scripture of Odissi and Tigiria its birthplace, said Sri Pattanayak, over and above many other aspects of Tigiria’s contribution to Orissan culture he dwelt upon.
The Best of Awards Ever Received
In response to the felicitation, Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak said that he has been bestowed upon with various awards in the national and international level. But Tigiria Samman given to him by the soil of his birth, is certainly the best of awards ever received. He fondly recalled his childhood days and narrated how this land was a land of universal brotherhood. Those days are always desired, he said.
Sri Amulya Ratna Nanda recalled the romance of learning that teachers and classmates had generated, as he remembered Tigiria of his student days. Working life might have made him stay away, but the birthplace has remained always attractive. Therefore, Tigiria Samman would remain for him most cherished for ever, he said.
Sri Lalit Mohan Pattanayak recalled how unreserved cooperation of the people of Tigiria had helped him make his contributions to the world of sports in the region and inspired him to expand his interest into the scouts movement. The President Award that he got for the outstanding marks he made in Scouts was like a dream come true, but if, he said, there was anything to feel proud in that, he shared that pride with his villagers, because here in Tigiria, his priorities were shaped. He said that the youngsters must chase dreams of their own choice with social relevance so that a better world to live in would emerge. To him, no award was greater than the honor his birthplace gave him.
Amongst the eminent persons from different parts of Tigiria, present in the auditorium were: Bikram Pratap Singhdeo (2nd son of the King of Tigiria), Gopinath Dash (Retired Chief Engineer), Gobind Chandra Sahu (Retired Head Master), Naba Kishore Mishra, Gagan Bihari Pattanayak, Bijay Mohanty, Ramakant Panda, Durga Charan Das and Sushil Kumar Nanda. Advocate Pranakrushna Dash and Advocate Fani Bhusan Rath from Athgarh were also present.
Eligible for High School graduation, but financially disadvantaged eight students were given gift packets containing money towards their examination fees by Sri Pranakrishna Choudhury, Secretary of John Augustus Prison and Social Services, Athgarh, in course of the meeting. Sri Choudhury in a short speech apprised the audience of humane manners of Augustus.
The Parisad is a brainchild of former Rajyasabha member Subas Mohanty who witnessed the entire proceeding from the dais.