Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Clarification” of Hindustan Times on the obnoxious “opinion piece” it had published on 24th July under the caption “Oof! Rashtropoti Bhobon!”, makes one suspect that it has become a sanctuary of scoundrels.

If not, it would have apologized directly to the people of Orissa against whom it had published that piece of dirty diatribe; it would have removed the filthy piece from the web by inserting there the reason thereof; it would have removed Hazra from its employment and handed him over to the police for the offensive use of its space in anti-national propaganda hyped with words like “Bengalis can finally forgive Indians”, because Pranab has become the President.

The Hindustan Times has not taken any such step. Rather by way of clarification, it has confirmed that it supports whatever Hazra has vomited.

The paper’s support to Hazra prompts me to ask: What is there in Pranab’s election as President which makes the howling Hazra feel that “Bengalis can finally forgive the Indians”? Is there anything noteworthy in his election, when in the political chaos that the country has been pushed into, any dog planted by the widow of Rajiv Gandhi could have become the President?

Criminal vitriol against the Oriyas, sic passim in Hazra’s article, has been authenticated by Hindustan Times, not only by its publication, but also by projection of the author under its own e-address given at the end of the nasty piece. Therefore, we reject its explanation that the article is a piece of “individual opinion of the author”.

Sham has so engulfed the HT that it has not felt ashamed of describing Hazra’s vomit as “an attempt to contribute to the debate regarding the recent Presidential election in India”. Is there a single line in the article of Hazra that raises a debate on Presidential election? Is there any ingredient of debate on Presidential election in what he has said? Which portion of the article of Hazra is a contribution to the debate on presidential election that the HT speaks of? Will the clarifier show us the same?

In its clarification, HT has asserted that, “Neither the publication nor the author had any intention to violate or hurt the feelings of, or to express any disrespect towards, any section of society”. Were these words juxtaposed with what Hazra has written to arrive at this conclusion? Let us see what Hazra has written in the nonsensical piece. It begins with these words:

“No one’s really noticed, but the Oriyas are really upset. Again. There was a chance that one of their own would finally become the president of India this time round. But no one from Orissa even made the grade as any political party’s presidential candidate. To add insult to injury, the 13th President is a Bengali and the outbreak of celebrations in the state next door has been keeping neighbours in Orissa awake at night”.

Are not these words willfully coined with the “intention to violate or hurt the feelings of, or to express disrespect towards” the Oriyas?

How could the HT claim that there was no “intention to violate or hurt the feelings of, or to express any disrespect towards, any section of society”? Is it now infested with fellows, who failed to understand the words they use?

And, how does the HT interpret the streamer: “With Pranab becoming president tomorrow, Bengalis can finally forgive Indians”?

Whose language is this? Hazra’s? Or of the editor-in-chief? Who has created this streamer?

Bengalis are who to forgive the Indians?

The old paper has certainly metamorphosed to a sanctuary of scoundrels, as otherwise its editorial page could not have thus become a junkyard of a particular Bengali’s braggadocios. I repeat, a particular Bengali, because most of the critics of Hazra’s article are Bengalis, who have castigated him for what he has written.

This is Just for Hazra and his likes
who need to know the Oriyas

It seems, the howling Hazra and his likes in Hindustan Times and elsewhere, if any, are in dire deficiency in knowledge on Orissa and her people.

Because Hazra has ventured his vitriol against Oriyas in the context of his imagined victory of Bengalis in presidential election, I would like to cite only a few pages from recorded history to help them know what the Oriyas are vis-a-vis the Bengalis, without any prejudice against the Bengalis as such, amongst whom I have many close relations and dearest of dear friends and of whom I am personally an admirer and to me, who are persons of magnificent culture, brotherhood, magnanimity and humanitarianism.

So, for only the Hazras and HTs, let us now enter into a few pages of history.

The first independence struggle against the British

When Bengalis were priding in becoming the servants of the British, it is the Oriyas that had raised the first battle in whole of India in 1817 to expel the British from their soil. In the book – A SKETCH OF THE HISTORY OF ORISSA , the British historian G. Toynbee has narrated,

“It was not long, however, before we had to encounter a storm which burst with so sudden fury as to threaten our expulsion, if not from the whole of Orissa, at least from the territory of Khurda”.

Mother of non-co-operation movement

Begun with the 1804 war against the British, the battle of 1817 was a unique movement inasmuch as it not only had forced the British to bend its head, but also had given birth to the first non-co-operation movement in India at Khurda, which, after a hundred years, Gandhiji had adopted and used in our struggle for freedom.

The Khurda non-co-operation movement was of such impact that in his report to Commissioner Robert Ker dated the 9th September 1818, Joint Magistrate of Khurda W. Forrester had informed that, it had “completely put a stop to the collection of revenue” and “the nature of the country and disposition of its inhabitants will always present formidable obstacle to the suppression of these disturbances either by military or police”. That had forced the British to come to a compromise with the General of Orissa, Buxi Jagabandhu, who had led the non-co-operation movement.
But before the compromise was arrived at, many a Muslim leaders of the movement had sacrificed their lives and properties in that movement against the British.

As for example, from Robert Ker’s report to W.B.Bayley (Secretary to Government) dated 14 december 1818, it transpires that Mir Hyder Ali whom the British was unable to apprehend, had to breath his last in a condition of pauperization, the entire of his properties confiscated.

It was so much essential for the British administration to intimidate the people, that its chief executive in India had to put pressure on the Court to execute the punishment announced against the movement’s Muslim leaders like Sardar Khan and Nasrulla etc. (Letter of W.B.Bayley to the Registrar of Nizamut Adalat, W. Dorin, dated the 1st January 1819).

Aware of this unique non-co-operation movement conceived and successfully experimented in Orissa wherein many eminent Muslims had made their supreme sacrifices, and which had forced the British to compromise with the Orissa leader Buxi Jagabandhu as “the suppression (thereof) either by military or police” was found impossible, the Muslim leaders of India comprising the Khilafat Committee, had, on 23 November 1919, a hundred years after the Orissa experimentation, stressed on the necessity of a non-co-operation movement if the fight for freedom was to succeed.

Gandhiji was initially unable to grasp the significance of such a movement. His best biographer D.G.Tendulkar has written, “Gandhi was handicapped for want of suitable Hindi or Urdu words for the new idea. At last, he described it by the word ’non-cooperation’, an expression that he used for the first time on this occasion” (Mahatma Vol I, p.274).

Not in any part of Hindustan

Earlier when Bengalis were the docile subjects of the Muslims, and with them in its army, the Muslim ruler had dared to invade Orissa, the Oriyas had smashed that invasion completely and the enemy was, as admitted by the Muslim historian Minhaj-i-Siraj, who himself had joined that war, out-generaled. In THE HISTORY OF BENGAL (MUSLIM PERIOD), eminent historian Dr. R. N. Quanungo, has quoted Minhaj-i-Siraj who said,

“A greater disaster had not till then befallen the Muslims in any part of Hindustan”.

In the world of language

Language is the gateway to people’s dignity and civilization. India is a country of many languages.

In LINGUISTIC SURVEY OF INDIA, the famous linguist and researcher, G.A.Grierson has clearly said, “The Oriya language can boast of a rich vocabulary in which respect neither Bengali nor Hindi nor Telugu can vie with it”.

And, the great Bengali linguist Suniti Kumar Chatterjee says that “it may be said without travesty of linguistic truth” that Oriya language is much senior to Bengali and has shown the honesty in pointing out that Oriya is Bengali’s elder sister (I.H.Q.Vol.XXIII,1947,P.337).

It is better for the Hazras and the HTs to study a State first, before indulging in luxuries of nefariousness against its position and people.

11 comments » Write a comment

    • Dear Amitav babu,
      Thanks for the nice comment. And, thanks for thinking about what should be the English spelling of the name of our motherland, people and language.

      Orissa and Oriya were the well settled English spellings of our land and language, which were evolved and accepted and used by our founders, because of whom our motherland, fractured and fragmented by the British, could be resurrected.

      There was no necessity of tampering with that.

      A chief minister, who does not know Oriya and who has so much contempt for our mother tongue that despite twelve years in power, has not learned the language, when non-Oriya officers posted in our State are learning it easily within a short span of time, has played this mischief in order only to divert public attention from his massive misrule.

      If anything, change of the English spelling of the name of our motherland, language and people from Orissa and Oriya to Odisha and Odia is a political offense against our cultural uniqueness.

      We ought to know why the English spelling of Odisha and Odia was Orissa and Oriya.

      Ours is a wonderful language that has been commanding the respects of eminent linguists because of her archaic richness which is absolutely unique. One of this archaic uniqueness is the sets of twin letters like the two ‘DA’s distinguishable on the basis of phonetic differences only. Therefore, while writing them, the desired distinction is drawn by providing a dot underneath one of the two ‘DA’s. The codifiers of our language have ordained that when words begin with the letter ‘DA’, the ‘DA’ without the dot underneath will be there; but when ‘DA’ is placed after the first letter in a word, it will be the ‘DA’ with the dot underneath. Therefore, when this distinction was required to be retained while writing the name of our motherland, mother-tongue and people in English, the ‘DA’ with the dot underneath was written as ‘RD’ as ORDIA in Purnachandra Ordia Bhashakosha. The founders of resurrected Orissa eventually, on phonetic necessity, substituted ‘RD’ with ‘R’. Thus Orissa and Oriya were evolved as English spellings of the names of our motherland and mother-tongue and people and accepted by all. And, justifiably so.

      In this English spelling – ‘Orissa’ and ‘Oriya’ – lies the crux of our linguistic uniqueness.

      Those who have attempted to change it by framing a law, have done so, because, they have no concern for the classicality of our language.

      orissamatters.com is against every mischief that it feels to be an assault on uniqueness of our mother-tongue.

      Therefore, we will never spell the name of our motherland and language as Odisha and Odia.

      We will always write Orissa and Oriya while writing the name of our motherland and language in English. There are several discussions on this subject in these pages and our home page contains our declaration in this respect. As long as our love for the motherland and her unique language is in tact, this shall be our position.

      The sooner the maladministers’ mischief against our mother-tongue is understood, the better.
      Thanks again for requiring me to write this rejoinder,
      Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

      • Dear Subhas babu:
        One interesting discussion came to my notice as I read your 2nd article is the discussion about spelling of Oriya vs. Odia, in your response to Amitava babu. I was not aware of the Purna Chandra Bhasakosa context and two Ds. Da and RDa pronounciations particularly about it being pronounced as d like dog when first letter of a word but as rd when 2nd letter or farther(Chakarda Dan). This rule of grammer was completely unknown to me. Of course we Engineers, are kind of “Dara pathua”, as far as literature is concerned, though logical in mind. But this was so solid a ground you put it. This intersts me very much to know where else have your referenced this.

        • Dear Sandip babu,
          Many thanks for the nice remarks on my response to Amitav babu. in these pages, I have raised the issue of English spelling of Orissa and Oriya several times.

          Such as, when the official proposal was on the anvil to change the English spelling of Orissa, I had written to the CM and members of his cabinet requesting them not to proceed with the proposal as that would affect the classicality of Oriya. This is the link to it:


          I elaborated my argument after 3 days in a hope that the political leadership will understand the issue and desist from proceeding with the mischief. here is the link:


          When despite all this, Orissa Assembly adopted a resolution to change the spelling, I urged upon the Parliament not to act according to the Assembly resolution, elaborating therein as to why the retention of the English spelling as Orissa is essential for preservation of classic character of Oriya language. Here below is the link to it which I had sent to as many MPs as was possible on my part. But, Orissa MPs succeeded in their lobby and the Assembly resolution was approved without any discussion as to why the original spelling was Orissa and what benefit the State shall have by change of the spelling. I urged upon the Parliament to recall its approval. This is the link:


          When the President finally signed the bill, I had to cry over the stupidity. Here is the link:


          In all these articles, why the English spelling should not be spoiled has been discussed.

          I am thankful to you for having evinced interest in the matter.


  1. excellent reply to HT. a news paper should be free from any kind of bias!!!

  2. Subhas babu,
    Your Article is, of course, the most befitting.

    BUT to my mind, Hazra and HT are of so very poor taste as their clarification indicates, that they do not deserves such an effort of a scholarly analysis.

    On the other hand, their audacity in saying ” ………Bengalis…..can…….forgive Indians ” is so savage by itself that one wonders if they have any sense of proportion. By saying this they have said, as if Bengalis are from Kazakistan/Honduras OR are Martians

    Your words, “…….any DOG planted …………..could have become the PRESIDENT”
    is truly an indicator of the present scenario of internal POLITICAL DEMOCRACY in the country. When reports indicate that at least 40% of the MPs have History sheets, what else better can the People of India expect ?

    This DANGEROUS TREND needs immediate attention of all the political parties who should sit down and set rules to follow and create an atmosphere for complete internal democracy by utilizing secret voting system for every major decision that are of NATIONAL INTEREST if not all the policy decisions. By doing so they can assure the future generation to have a healthy DEMOCRACY.

  3. I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The problem is an issue that too few people are speaking intelligently about.
    I am very happy that I stumbled across this during my search for something regarding this.

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