Eminent journalist Subhas Chandra Pattanayak repeated his old demand for creation of Law to put a ceiling on private wealth to save India from breaking down in inevitable war against socio-economic inequality.
He was speaking as the chief speaker on the occasion of the annual function of Radhanath Rath Vigyan Mahavidyalaya and observation of 116th birthday of the late lamented leader and journalist, at Khuntuni of Athgarh, his birthplace, on 6 December 2012.
Recalling Dr. Rath’s role in freedom movement, he said that the freedom fighters had only one dream. That dream was emancipation of people from the labyrinth of political, social and economic subjugation. That dream can be realized to a greater extent if ceiling on private wealth is promulgated, he said.
The Khuntuni College having been named after Dr. Rath, Sri Pattanayak recalled him in context of education.
Quoting from Rath’s address, as education minister of Orissa, to the 1952National Conference of Educationist, Pattanayak showed how he had stressed upon “radical treatment” of the education system to make it relevant to the people in the grassroots.
In those formative days of Indian democracy, as the Education Minister of Orissa, Dr. Rath had rightly cautioned the country that, “There is something inherently defective with the system and it needs an immediate and radical treatment”. His warnings gone unheeded to, the present system of Indian education is preparing students to serve the multinational corporations and foreigners, not the people in the national grassroots. As a result of this, the real India is left in the lurch with the poor parents, who mortgage themselves or even sell away whatever little property they possess to impart modern education to their children, finding their educated children distanced from them in most of the cases, Pattanayak said.
This is killing India. Indian education has no national approach, no national agenda, no national commitment, no national standard and no national oneness. The seed of this syndrome was sown in the Constitution by the rich class comprising the majority in the Constituent Assembly, Pattanayak pointed out.
Dwelling on the debates of the Constituent Assembly, Pattanayak recalled how Laxminarayan Sahu of Orissa had described the Draft Constitution as “altogether useless and worthless”, as the ideals on which it was framed had “no manifest relation to the fundamental spirit of India”. This had prodded Dr. Ambedkar to confess in the Constituent Assembly that unless the socio-economic inequality inherent in the Constitution is removed by the very first Parliament to be created on adoption of the Draft, “those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously build up”.
It is sad and alarming that, instead of removing the inequality, post-independence governments, specifically the governments that have stood on Manmohan Singh’s economic policy, have helped the avaricious community to grab India’s maximum wealth leaving the grassroots perish under slow starvation, thriving on distress sale of their labor and whatever they possess including , sadly often, their offspring. Citing UNESCO reports that 46% of Indian children below 3 are too small for their age, 47% underweight and 16% wasted, Pattanayak juxtaposed this wretchedness of majority of Indians with concentration of around 70% of India’s wealth in the hands of only 7,730 Indians located by the global leaders in providing intelligence on ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals such as Wealth-X. Concentration of immense portion of this pocketed wealth in the hands of only 109 families shows how the freedom dreams are shattered by the wrong economic policies of the governments run by the compradors. Indian democracy has been converted into plutocracy, he said.
The most aggressive architect of this conversion, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has not only reduced India to a threatened land of nuclear hazards in order to provide a bonanza to American nuke traders, but also has subjected the country to pernicious SEZ designs and FDI in multi-brand retails. When the country is thus perishing, new attempts to divert public attention from the wrong economic policy are being made through campaigners against corruption and through use of mass media against active left that wants to save India from economy of inequality, Pattanayak said.
Mass media under corporate control is hiding the reality that the country is drowned under corruption, because corruption is the method that the rich has invented to use to stay safe and to become richer. Hence, he said, corruption cannot end unless the country is saved from the accumulators of wealth.
Therefore, it is essential that wealth accumulation be subjected to ceiling, so that the the mad motivation for accumulation of unlimited wealth would dwindle and the excess wealth above the ceiling could be retrieved from the black coffers for realization of the dreams that had drafted people like Dr. Rath into fight for freedom, he pointed out.
Chief Guest Prof. Pradipta Mohapatra of Ravenshaw University eulogized Dr. Rath by recalling his compassionate conduct in relief operations. Relinquishing political life to devote full time to the newspaper Samaja founded by his mentor Pt. Gopabandhu Das was a rare quality that others should imbibe, he said.
Guest of Honor Ms. Nebedita Das, S.F.O. of Athgarh Sub-Division held that education in any stream of knowledge in any environment may be achieved if aptitude for learning is cultivated amongst the students.
One of the founders of the College, eminent political figure of the locality, Sri Bipin Bihari Pradhan strongly disapproved the mad rush for technical education even though in absence of universal standard in curriculum thereof, the certificate holders in majority are not meriting the job they aspire for. The education system needs drastic correction, he said, while advising the students to adhere to discipline and sense of responsibility, as was personified by Dr. Radhanath Rath.
Sarapanch of Khuntuni Gram Panchayat Sri Kailash Chandra Das recalled Dr. Rath’s contributions to freedom movement and post-independence development of Athgarh. He was just like a guardian of the people, he recalled.
Felicitations to victorious students
There were cultural and athletic competition amongst the students in both the senior (+3) and Junior (+2) wings of the College to mark its annual day. The winners were felicitated with prizes.
Culture Prizes bagged by +3 students
Kabita Swain, Subhashree Beura and Manaswini Sahoo got the first, second and third prize respectively in Oriya essay competition. Similarly in Song competition the three top prizes went to Chinmayee Pradhan, Birendra Mohanty and Banita Mallik. In one-act-play, Sumitra Nayak bagged the first prize whereas the second and third prizes went to Birendra Kumar Mohanty and Saraswati Jena. When in debate competition, Sumitra Nayak and Birendra Mohanty bagged the first prize jointly, Manaswini Sahoo got the 2nd prize and Dipak Kumar Jena as well as Bishnupriya Behera jointly obtained the third prize.
Culture Prizes bagged by +2 students
Madhusmita Jena, Mamata Jena and Sunyabasi Behera bagged the first, second and third prizes respectively in song; in the same order, Paresh Kumar Raut, Madhusmita Jena and Sunyabasi Behera bagged prizes in Oriya debate; Prasanta Lenka, Priyanka Priyadarshini and Priyanka Das got first, second and third prizes in Oriya essay whereas Subrat Kumar Swain and Nihar Ranjan Mohapatra got the first and second prizes in quiz competition, with the third prize jointly offered to Manoj Kumar Jena and Prasanjit Lenka.
The students of the +2 wing participated in in athletic competitions exclusively.
The girls who won in order of first/ second/ third, were: Sonali Senapati, Shanti Hesa and Alladi Murmu (100 Mtr Race); Sonali Senapati, Santi Hesa and Alladi Murmu (200 Mtr Race); Sonali senapati, Monalisa Das and Swapnarani Rana (400 Mtr Race); Alladi Murmu, Shanti Hesa and Tanushree Mohanty (Long Jump); Sonali Senapati, Tulasi Laguri and Geetanjali Behera (Javelin Throw); Gitanjali Behera, Alladi Murmu and Priyanka Das (Putting the Shot) and, Geetanjali Behera, Priyanka Das and Santi Hesa (Discus Throw).
Sonali Senapati was felicitated as the Champion amongst the girls.
The boys who won in the same order were: Debashish Jena, Shashikant Pradhan and Sangram Keshari Rana (100 Mtr Race); Shashikant Pradhan, Sangram Keshari Rana and Jitendra Behera (200 Mtr Race); Jagabandhu Swain, Sangram Keshari Rana and Rakesh Kumar Lenka (400 Mtr Race); Jagabandhu Swain, Abhaya Sethy and Debashish Jena (Long Jump); Manoj Kumar Kandi, Subrat Swain and Abhay sethy (High Jump); Abhay Sethy, Banesh Naik and Alok Mohan Swain (Javelin Throw); Jagabandhu Swain, Sumanta Sethy and Prasanjit Lenka (Putting the Shot); Jagabandhu Swain, Swapnesh Parida and Abhay Sethy (Discus Throw).
Jagabandhu Swain was felicitated as the champion amongst the boys.
Athgarh MLA Ranendra Pratap Swain was praised in the function by local participants, specifically the Sarpanch, for his contributions to foundation and functioning of the College. But, sadly it was marked that, though the College is named after Dr. Radhanath Rath, neither the family members of Rath nor The Samaja he served and developed till his death, have made any contribution to the College. Even Gopabandhu Sahitya Mandira, which has published various compilations of literary and journalistic works of Dr. Rath, has not yet come forward to help the college Library with any of its books.
For the people of Khuntuni and the adjoining areas, as Sri Bipin Bihari Pradhan precisely put it, the College is the epitome of their aspirations, the object of their pride and prestige. They are determined to build it up as major College by their own strength.
It was deeply felt that the State Government should extend all possible and permissible assistance to this College, keeping in view the special provisions of the terms and condition of the State-Merger, specifically as, belonging to an Ex-State, the area is inherently backward.