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.