Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
A former minister, who heads the BJD in Kalahandi has moved his party boss -cum- chief minister Naveen Patnaik to help his district headquarters in having the High Court Bench in demand for Western Orissa. Bolangir has a similar claim. Rourkela is not far behind. This fissure amongst people of Western Orissa over where the bench should be established, as and when it becomes possible, suits the most to elements that are not in favor of creation of a bench for western Orissa.
The Western Orissa Development Council is, because of feuds and fissures amongst the inhabitants of that part of the State, having its headquarters at Bhubaneswar, to the detriment of interest of the affected people.
The feud has a historical background, in as much as the entire western Orissa was under feudal kings and landlords and separated with rival territorial nationalism for ages.
This rivalry is inherent and continues till date, as post-independence governments of Orissa have never wanted emotional integration of the people of that region.
Unless the people of Western Orissa overcome their age-old territorial psycho-differences, their dreams for affordable justice with a High Court bench in their midst, would not come true. Like the WODC continuing at Bhubaneswar, Western Orissa’s entitlement to affordable justice will continue getting smashed at the alter of the High Court at Cuttack.
So, friends in Western Orissa, if you sincerely want a bench of the High Court, do not dilute the justified demand with unjustified psycho-territorial nationalism and stick to Sambalpur, the headquarters of the Revenue Division, for the purpose of the bench.
When the British had arbitrarily annexed Orissa’s western region to the Central Province as it then was, Sambalpur was the headquarters of the Oriya tracts, which now is being identified as Western Orissa.
It is from Sambalpur, Orissa’s world outlook was redefined by the founder of Vajrayana, personifying the Uddiyana concept, Indrabhuti.
It is again Sambalpur, where resurrection of modern Orissa had commenced by retrieval of the Oriya specking tracks from the Hindi speaking Central Province.
Therefore, friends, concentrate on having the High Court bench at Sambalpur and discard district-based-differences.