Hobson’s Choice

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In absence of any real alternative, in the just concluded urban election, the voters were bound to have Hobson’s choice.

Yet, it has a trend.

Elections were held in 65 urban bodies in Orissa out of which in about 41 towns the electors have apparently preferred the ruling BJD.

When towns are habitats of richer fellows, commission agents, traders and economic offenders, swindlers of public money, tender fixers, contractors, contract killers, local mafiosi and self-centric elites to whom the misrule of Naveen Patnaik and his acolytes in BJD suits the most, no wonder, 41 of them have stood with the principal source of their benefits.

That, the Congress party has also fetched impressive support in 10 urban bodies, is indicative of the fact that, the town dwellers have become so intoxicated with opportunism and avariciousness that they feel no qualms even in supporting the party of the American agents.

Constriction of BJP within a single urban area confirms that the urban inhabitants are so wedded to ready gain that possibility of this party being used to serve their avarice not discernible in Orissan context, its candidates have not merited consideration.

This being the reality, it is astonishing that the media houses of Orissa are wrongfully brandishing the urban polls as semi-final to 2014.

In 2014, more than 90% of the people of Orissa will take the revenge. They have been intermittently showing what they will do. When tribals of Niyamgiri system have disdainfully rejected the administration’s traps, they have rejected the fellows that have grabbed our republic. When the poor children of this soil have refused to yield to power of the State in the area pledged to POSCO, they de facto have vanquished Naveen Patnaik in the State and Manmohan Singh in the centre. When rural women are razing down liquor shops despite the administration standing with the operators, they have been defeating Naveen Patnaik. When a farmer has committed suicide, he has silently shown how resolute may be the people in terminating this phase of tyranny. When a mother is distress-selling her baby, she is showing to what extent she can go in the time of election to quash the grabbers of power. When the Western Orissa has refused elections to their urban bodies in protest against cold-shouldering the demand for a bench of the high court, it has shown how people will deal with the apathetic fellows in power.

So, unlike urban Orissa, the entire rural and highland Orissa is waiting to take revenge on Naveen Patnaik and his protecter – the so-called high command of the National Congress, that has always helped him by demoralizing the provincial leadership before every election in order to frustrate the masses.

In the realm of free choice, there shall be no BJD, no Congress.

If progressive leaders do not shun their reluctance to unite, they will fail in their duty to the people, because in absence of a reliable Left, Modi shall fill up the vacuum, howsoever weak be BJP in Orissa. That, again would be a Hobson’s choice.

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