Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
A few days ago, two young girls, while taking an opinion poll as they said, wanted to know from me whether or not I support the steps Orissa State Unit of Congress has initiated against Sri Soumya Ranjan Patnaik (SRP) for having started a mass awareness campaign in favor of the party. I asked them to go to any member of that party, as I am not a Congress member to support or oppose any of its organizational behavior.
As I know SRP, he is a very sound campaigner for any cause of public importance. Though I never accept the wrong transformation of the English spelling of Orissa to Odisha, it is only he, who had pioneered the campaign for this transformation that shepherded shortsighted politicians of all the parties into his idea, which ultimately led to amendment of the constitution of India in this respect. But, this transformation, how much we may condemn it, is the most glaring instance of his ability to initiate and lead a campaign successfully. He has made blood donation a mass movement in Orissa. His social outfit Ama Odisha is another instance of his organizational excellence. In Orissa’s social and literary life, Ama Odisha has already occupied a monumental position that no other organization in similar category has so far achieved. No other newspaper has reached the circulation and stature in Orissa than what the daily Sambada has achieved under his stewardship in less than three decades. He is the only one amongst Orissa’s politicians whose presence in every type of mass media is as conspicuous as fabulous is the volume of his intellectual activities. He is the only one amongst Orissa’s politicians after Dr. Harekrushna Mahtab, who attracts to his orbit eminent men of letters of Orissa for interactional purpose. He is the only politicians of Orissa, whose fans in every nook and corner of the State are visible; and, everybody knows, had he not joined politics, he would have emerged as the most commanding personification of vox populi, no politician could have dared to vie with. The most remarkable feature of SRP is that all the marks he has made as enumerated above are because of his personal devotion to the cause he takes up, and not because of any patronage of any political party, he, in course of his activism, has ever joined.
Such a man, who could have been a tremendous asset to the Congress party against the misruling, yet incumbent, Naveen Patnaik, has been subjected to disciplinary proceedings by the very same Congress party when the time of general elections is only a few months away.
And, for what this disciplinary action? For his use of his personal channels to cultivate support for the Congress! What next!
Personally, I am not surprised.
Ever since the great server of POSCO interest has grabbed the chiefministry of Orissa, the Congress high command has always planted persons to sabotage electoral prospects of the Congress in Orissa, so that Naveen continues to rule to help the juggernaut of American interest run sans any obstacle.