WHEN TWO FORMER MINISTERS AND LEGISLATIVE HEAVYWEIGHTS INDULGE IN FORGERY, THE ISSUE DESERVES SERIOUS ATTENTION. HERE THE FORGERS ARE RADHANATH RATH, THE BASIC OFFENDER AND LINGARAJ MISHRA HIS PARTNER.
BY USING A WILL PURPORTED TO BE OF ORISSA’S IMMORTAL HUMANITARIAN LEADER, UTKALMANI PANDIT GOPABANDHU DAS, BOTH OF THESE FELLOWS HAD GRABBED EXCELLENT MEDIA POWER BY BECOMING EDITORS OF ‘THE SAMAJA’ OF WHICH UTKALMANI WAS A CO-FOUNDER.
RATH EVEN FETCHED A PADMA BIBHSHAN DECORATION AS EDITOR OF THE SAMAJA.
AS THE FORGERY WENT UNNOTICED, USING THE FORGED WILL, SERVANTS OF THE PEOPLE SOCIETY FOUNDED BY LALA LAJPAT RAI, HAS ILLEGALLY OCCUPIED THE PAPER AND HAS BEEN SWINDLING ITS REVENUE, OPPRESSING THE JOURNALISTS AND NON-JOURNALIST EMPLOYEES OF THE SAMAJA BY WAY OF UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES.
Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
PADMA BHUSAN is the third highest civilian award given by Government of India “for distinguished service of high order”. Radhanath Rath, then editor of ‘The Samaja’ was decorated with this award in 1968 for journalism in the category of ‘literature and education’. But as I have already shown, his entry into journalism was based on severe moral turpitude and felonious misconduct. He had grabbed ‘The Samaja’ by creating a forged Will of its founder, the late lamented Utkalmani Pt. Gopabandhu Das and had he not done so, becoming the paper’s editor till breathing his last could not have been possible. Therefore, if dignity of journalism is to be honored, and “distinguished service of high order” is to remain the criteria for Padma Awards, the central government should order for an immediate investigation into Rath’s role in the creation of the forged Will of Pandit Gopabandhu to grab ‘The Samaja’ under cover of Servants of the People Society (SoPS) and take necessary steps to punish him posthumously which should include annulment of the civilian award given to him; because, the national civilian awards are not meant to be belittled by being accommodative to severe moral turpitude and felonious misconduct, after howsoever belatedly they are known.
The President may cancel and annul the award of the decoration to any person under Rule 10 of Notification No. 3-Pres/55, which constitute the disciplining part of the ‘Statutes and Rules relating to the awards of Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri’. So, the President should initiate action in this regard without any delay. We are ready to cooperate with any enquiry, if constituted, to find out the facts.
In these pages, I have several times discussed why Gopabandhu’s Will in use by the occupiers of ‘The Samaja’ looks like a forged one . As time passes and our research proceeds, footprints of forgery becomes more discernible and Radhanath Rath emerges more unambiguously as the basic offender in forgery of Gopabandhu’s Will, calling for annulment of PADMA BHUSHAN awarded to him.
In my earlier article captioned “Prof. Nilakantha Rath sponsors his father’s forgery; claims to have discharged a debt” (orissamatters.com, February 15, 2014), I have quoted the eye-witnessed accounts of Pandit Gopabandhu’s closest friend and patron Pt. Nilakantha Das who in his autobiography has said that in his presence Radhanath Rath was taking the dictation of the Will from pandit Gopabandhu.
But the Will on basis of which SoPS has wrongfully occupied ‘The Samaja’, is written by Lingaraj Mishra.
Obviously the Will is circulation as written by Lingaraj Mishra is not the Will taken dictation of by Radhanath Rath.True, Lingaraj had made the final copy of the Will out of the draft taken dictation of by Radhanath oblivious of the unuthorised insertion, as pointed out earlier, therein. That final copy was probated. But that probated Will is in no use. Rath and Mishra had been and their co-offenders in SoPS are using a document, purported to be the Will of Gopabandhu, generated through a Sheristadar in Cuttack District Court, in matter of the Samaja.
If the one, Radhanath Rath had taken dictation of, the fair copy of which made in the hands of Lingaraj Mishra was probated was the real Will, the one in circulation as written by Lingaraj Mishra is undoubtedly the forged Will. Over this forgery, Pt. Nilakantha had many altercations with Radhanath and the later’s loyal protege Udaynath Sarangi, despite having suppressed the facts about why Pt. Nilakantha was in contretemps with Rath, has noted that the two co-founders of the Samaja Pt. Nilakantha and Pt. Godavarish were rejecting Rath’s claim that the Samaja was given away to SoPS by Gopabandhu in his Will (Gandhimaharajanka Shishya, p. 195).
I am reproducing here below the photo copy of Pandit Nilakantha’s eye-witness accounts from his autobiography (Atmajivanee) published in the compilation of his works (Granthavali) for proper appreciation of this position:
When here Pandit Nilakantha has clearly mentioned that it is Radhanath Rath, who was taking dictation of the Will from Gopabandhu, the same having been published in 1963, the said Radhanath Rath had never objected to this eye-witnessed accounts anywhere at any point of time, had he not really taken the dictation of the same.
It is not that the Atmajivanee of Pt. Nilakantha was not in the knowledge of Rath. This particular work had bagged the Sahitya Academy Award for Nilakantha and got profuse publicity in the Samaja of which Rath was the Editor at that time.
Rath, in the capacity of President of SoPS and Editor of ‘The Samaja’, had patronized publication of above pictorial life-sketch of Pandit Nilakantha titled ‘Mahamanish Nilakantha’ on occasion of his death anniversary on 6th Nov.1985, wherein the publication of his Atmajivanee in 1963 is displayed.
So, Rath had certainly known that Nilakantha has written that in his presence “Radhanath Rath had taken the dictation of the Will of Gopabandhu. In that Will Gopabandhu had gifted away the Press (Satyabadi Press) to Bharat Sevak Samaja (read SoPS). Radhanath was free to challenge this eye-witness accounts and countered it by saying that it was Lingaraj, not he, who had taken the dictation, when Nilakantha was alive. But he did it never. Because he knew that Nilakantha’s accounts on writing of the Will to Gopabandhu’s dictation was correct and it was impossible on his part to deny that during the life time of Pandit Nilakantha.
He was a mere low-paid employee of Gopabandhu. In the death bed also, Gopabandhu had used him as his paid employee by giving the dictation of his Will to him only. Nilakantha had seen it in his eyes. In Nilakantha’s views or in eyes of any of his close friends, who, with Gopabandhu were known as Panchasakha (five friends), had ever acknowledged Rath as one of them or an associate. But by patronizing the publication of ‘Mahamanish Nilakantha’, he ensured his projection as “old associate of Gopabandhu and Nilakantha”.
And, only after death of Nilakantha, he could dare to publish what he called “exact photocopy” of the “last Will dictated by Pandit Gopabandhu Das” in ‘The Samaja’ of 7.7.1986, showing Lingaraj Mishra as writer of the Will, which is a fake Will, manufactured to grab ‘The Samaja’ having facilitated Rath’s entry into SoPS. Here is that published “exact photocopy” of the so-called Will.
We shall deal with this matter later again.
But instantly let us see further evidence of how this published Will was fake and recreated by Radhanath in nexus with Lingaraj Mishra, on a specific ground.
I am going to give photocopy of the depiction of Gopabandhu’s last moment from a book written and published by Radhanath Rath himself on 1st January 1964.
Rath had written and published it in the capacity of Editor, “The Samaja” and Member Servants of the People Society, Orissa Branch, Cuttack. Here is the photocopy of the extract:
In this he has suppressed who took the dictation. But has clearly said that Gopabandhu “constituted the ‘The Samaja’ and the ‘Satyabadi Press’ into a Trust and appointed the Servants of the People Society” as the trustee”.
In the Will published by Radhanath Rath in the Samaja on 7.7.1986 and used by SoPS in legal forums dose not contain these words. If really had Gopabandhu constituted ‘The Samaja’ and the ‘Satyabadi Press’ into a “trust” and “appointed” SoPS as the “Trustee” thereof, in the Will dictated “in the presence of his colleagues and friends”, the same is totally absent in the content of the Will in use. So, the Will in use is a forged Will, which Radhanath Rath and Lingaraj Mishra have created by gaining over a Sheristadar of the court of the District Judge, Cuttack.
But in creation of the forged Will by Lingaraj Mishra, Radhanath Rath was the basic offender. If he knew that Gopabandhu had constituted a “Trust” comprising ‘The Samaja’ and the ‘Satyabadi Press’ and “appointed” the SoPS as its “Trustee”, how could he publish and project the SoPS as “owner” of ‘The Samaja’, unless he had deleted the “Trust” and the “Trustee” matter from the Will before handing over the same to Lingaraj Mishra for production of the fair copy?
I will come to the dubious and treacherous character of both Radhanath and Lingaraj in course of discussion. But let me go to some other speaking evidences of falsehood of the Will in use.
The Will in use shows that Gopabandhu had made over the charges of both the ‘Satyabadi Press’ and ‘The Samaja’ to SoPS. It is wrong. Gopabandhu had never made over the charge of ‘The Samaja’ to SoPS, because he knew that The Samaja was a collective venture of the Panchasakha – he and his four friends – Pandit Nilakantha, Pandit Godavarish, Pandit Krupasindhu and Acharya Harihar, who were, as and when necessary, editing and bringing out ‘The Samaja’ and to keep the paper afloat as a medium of socio-political awareness in Orissa, had willfully separated the accounts of the Satyabadi Press, transfering the same to Gopabandhu’s ownership. So, it was within the legitimacy of Gopabandhu to made over the charge of the Satyabadi Press only to SoPS, under the stipulated condition that income of the Press must be spent for betterment of the Vana Vidyalaya (Satyabadi School); not the charge of The Samaja. By virtue of being the eye witness thereof, Pandit Nilakantha had rightly written in the Atmajivanee (quoted supra) that Gopabandhu gave the Press only to SoPS (inadvertently mentioned as Bharata Sevak Samaja). That, Nilakantha’s version is correct, is established by the relevant records of SoPS that I am going to give below –
This is the resolution dated 8.6.1931 of SoPS, officially translated from Hindi on 22.1.1996, for use if possible in law suits. In the last para of this resolution, Sri Lingaraj Mishra “was authorized that on behalf of the Society he should accept the press according to the will of late Pt. Gopabandhu Das from the executors of the will”. There is no mention of ‘The Samaja’ in this resolution. This makes it clear that the Will in use is never the Will Pandit Gopabandhu Das had dictated.
After forging the Will, the forgers duo – Radhanath and Lingaraj – de facto occupied “The Samaja’ and hoodwinked the remaining founders of the paper – Pandit Nilakanth, Pandit Godavarish and Acharya Harihar – in the matter of the paper’s ownership. When Radahanath Rath continued as Manager, in some of the copies – never made public so as to avoid attention of the remaining founders of The Samaja’, a false ownership was being clandestinely inserted in the printers line to make out a case for future projection of SoPS as the owner. The then leadership of SoPS was perhaps hand-in-glove with the forger duo in this mischief.
I am giving below photocopy of the last page of The Samaja dated 2.1.1936 that shows Lingaraj Mishra as the Editor, Radhanath Rath as the Manager and a ghost like Peoples Ltd, Lahore as the owner.
If at all Pandit Gopabandhu Das had made over the charge of ‘The Samaja’ to the Servants of the People Society, how could it be that the duo gave “The Peoples Ltd, Lahore” the ownership status in the printers line?
They have never explained this and none of the founders of ‘The Samaja’, who were alive by that time – Pandit Nilakanth, Pandit Godavarish and Acharya Harihar – have ever mentioned anywhere in their writings about “The Peoples Ltd, Lahore” owning the paper that they had unitedly founded, suffered for and possessed.
Looking from any angle into the matter, one gets convinced that Radhanath Rath, the greatest beneficiary of ‘The Samaja’ was a fraudster, who, in nexus with Lingaraj Mishra, had created a forged version of the Will of Gopabandhu with the sole purpose of hijacking the Samaja.
As I have already shown earlier in the article captioned “Even the District Judge Office made a breeding bed of forgery”, this forged Will having no legal entity, as it was not probated but merely authenticated by a Shreistadar, attempt were made obtain a Certified Stamped Copy by changing the text of the probated Will at copy-typing stage to suit the nefarious purpose of Rath. When the attempt failed, a backdated one showing transfer of both the Samaja and the Satyavadi Press to SoPS by way of that Will, was manufactured on the desk of a Sheristadar behind back of the District Judge and used by Radhanath Rath to his personal benefit under the cover of SoPS.
As this exposure is well documented, I hope the authorities will wake up to calling issue and institute an investigation into the felonious conduct of Radhanath Rath and make the President annul the third highest Civilian Award given to him in a misguided state, even though that would be posthumous.