The Samaja in Death Bed: Succumbing to Foul Play of Servants of the People Society

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa’s once most popular daily, the Samaja, founded by Utkalmani Pandit Gopabandhu Das is now in death bed and if its present condition continues, it may not survive for long. The crisis is so deep that editors are being hired and fired under whims and caprices of functionaries of Servants of the People Society (SoPS), which, I have reason to suspect, has taken away the paper by forging a Will of Pandit Das.

Orissa believes that Das had willed away the Satyavadi Press and The Samaj to the SoPS. But reality is different as prima-facie evidences suggest. I may come to this matter later.

But the present situation deserves immediate attention.

The paper is in problem as a self-appointed body of office bearers of the SoPS has appointed a team of 11 persons to intervene in the paper’s affairs, monitor its activities and take action and apprise the SoPS of their resolution, if any, for further action at the apex level. Journalism being the main activity of The Samaja, this poses a direct threat to its editorial and journalistic independence. The highhanded intervention of SoPS functionaries in editorial independence has forced editors quit their assignments and has made the post of editor farcical with forcing some to work in subordinate ranks of acting/executive editor: as for example, Ganeswar Mishra, Pramod Mohapatra and some to run away after a few months of joining, such as Chandrabhanu Patnaik. The incumbent editor – a highly professional Gopal Mohapatra, who in a short span of time has transformed the paper into people’s voice again, is now counting his days as buzzing in the grapevine transmits the name of a new man, Bimalendu Mohanty. This spells disaster for editorial dignity in a paper once considered as the best sentinel of the State. It is difficult to think of anything else when an editor is to be supervised and monitored and instructed by a gang of eleven non-journalists.

Its employees – both journalists and non-journalists – have since long been trying to save it from manipulators. But the killing viruses are so shrewdly active that instead of improving, it is taking a turn from bad to worse. (To be continued)

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  1. On 21 July 2012, Congress leader Aryakumar Gyanendra on behalf of Manubhai Patel, convened meeting of intellectuals of Odisha, mostly retired IAS/IPS/IFS officers- Sudhansu Mishra, Gopal Nanda, Abasara Beuria Bimalendu Mohanty & so on … to protect/safeguard Manubhai Patel’s interest in Samaj. Manubhai has illegally grabbed the post of President of SoPS on June 28 meeting, which lacked quorum. It may be mentioned here that, It was the same Gyanendra, who had arranged to felicitate Manubhai in Congress Bhavan, on March 2, 2012, after he got honorary D.Litt degree from Utkal University, which was foiled. Manubhai has offered him a berth in SoPS, for which, Gyanendra is trying to safeguard the interest of Manubhai. Some other prominent persons, who were also invited and participated in the meeting held in Swosti Hotel are: Bhavani Patnaik, Dolagovinda Pradhan freedom fighters and Pradosh Patnaik, a former News Editor of Samaj. But Manubhai did not think them worthy intellectuals to be appointed as Advisory Committee members.

    Manubhai only wants to use the retd.IAS/IPS officers’ influence to evade arrest in Odisha, for his misdeeds and to legalise his illegalities done by him in Samaja.

  2. Pingback: The Samaja in Death bed: Mass Protest Against Villainy of Servants of the People Society « Orissa Matters

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  4. I’m sorry to put a non-subject matter reply here. But after seeing the editor’s column besides this article, I was astonished to see his prospective about Odisha. Can you please explain why it should remain Oriya in stead of Odia ?

    • Dear Sri Das,
      It is good that you are anxious to know why we write Oriya, instead of Odia in English letters. Odia is Odia in our letters. But, while pronouncing it as Odia, the English alphabets used to bring out the correct pronunciation, with due regard to classicism of our language, when Purnachandra Bhashakosha had tried to coin its English spelling as Ordia, our founding fathers, whose relentless struggle for creation of our State has given birth to modern Orissa, had consciously replaced Ordia by Oriya, keeping the ‘R’ intact to ensure proper pronunciation of the name of our motherland and language. So, any change in the English spelling of the name is an affront to sacred memories of our founding fathers. Besides that, our language is so very archaically rich and uniquely so, that the change of the English spelling from Orissa and Oriya to Odisha and Odia is severe transgression of its classical beauty. Therefore, the English spelling of the name of our motherland and language will not change. We cannot honor a bad law to kill the archaic beauty of our mother-tongue.The column you have referred to also explain this. These pages carry several articles on this particular issue that you may peruse to know further as to why Oriya in English spelling is right and why Odia is wrong. I am giving you a few links. Please go through them and also find many more articles on the subject in these pages. Instantly you may click at:

      and/or at:

      and if you need, you may browse through these pages for several more articles.
      Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

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