Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
It is good that Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched on Thursday a 656 km Expressway, which, he claims, would help economic development in Western Orissa including the KBK districts. But it is bad that he has injected the Biju virus yet again into such a major official project by naming it as ‘Biju Expressway’, though neither he nor any of the family members of Biju Patnaik is to bear the cost thereof.
The entire cost of its construction presently estimated Rs. 3,200 crores is to be shouldered by the public exchequer.
It would be fulfillment of promises made in his party’s election manifesto, the CM has said. But nowhere in BJD manifesto, there was any mention of ‘Biju Expressway’. The expressway is named after Biju, because the CM knows that he is winning elections only by confusing the people with official projects named after Biju when the party – Biju Janata Dal – under the banner of which he is occupying office is also named after Biju.
The gullible people, who are uninformed, less-informed and/or misinformed, but constitute the majority, mistake the welfare programs as programs of Biju Patnaik and/or his son Naveen. Massive propaganda of a highly mischievous contrivance like ‘dreams of Biju’ is overwhelming the gullible voters into this mistake. This is the only reason behind his success in elections, despite his anti-people aptitude and habit of ignoring the interests of the toiling masses.
The Biju virus, like liquor boosts up assertiveness in hooligans, has increased bragging vainglory in the ruling Biju Janata Dal so wildly that, when recent exposure in discretionary quota scandal, mines loot and chit fund felonies pushed many of its top leaders to their naked nastiness, they had the audacity to assert that whatsoever be the exposure, they won’t be affected, because the people have love for Biju’s son as they are benefiting from Biju KBK Jojana, Biju Gramya Bidyut Jojana, Biju Gram Jyoti Programme, Biju Saharanchal Bidyutikaran Yojana, Biju Krusak Kalyan Jojana, Biju Yuba Sashaktikarana Jojana, etcetera.
Naveen has not condemned this audacity of his corrupt colleagues, because he knows that through their swaggering only, he is thriving and can continue in power.
He treats the State as his father’s fee simple that he has inherited and takes the people as a foolish lot whom it is easy to cheat by naming the official projects by Biju. So, instead of giving good governance, he is busy in multiplying Biju-named projects with the funds of the State. This is yet again proved, as the Works Department has been forced to spend around a crore of rupees in full page advertisement in the name of ‘Biju Expressway’ in obliging media. Besides injecting Biju virus into pneuma of the people of KBK region and Western Orissa, it aims at procuring media silence on this political misuse of official resources and official projects/programs.
The Press in prostitution
The Press in Orissa is so shamelessly in prostitution, that, despite knowing how official projects named after Biju are misguiding the voters into the political trap of BJD, destroying thereby the very purpose of democracy, they have been eagerly accommodating the misuse of official funds in advertisements that link Biju to welfare of the people, whom, when alive, in fact, the people of Orissa had thrown into the political dustbin to avenge the treachery he had played against them.
ORISSA MATTERS postings on this treacherous practice are of relevance more even now.
One may peruse my posting – Wake up S.E.C. Orissa! Put Biju statues under cover and obliterate his name overshadowing official projects
One may also peruse the posting – Election Commission now must ban operation of all Orissa projects named after Biju Patnaik
These postings were addressed to the Election Commission. Had the EC acted prudently after these postings and denied operation of projects named after Biju, it would never have been possible for Naveen Patnaik to return to power with the strength he has come.
If the name of Biju is dropped from the officially run welfare projects, and/or the ruling party is divested of the name of Biju, the scenario would be different.
Official programs named after Biju stamp his name so deeply in the minds of the gullible people that they link those programs to Biju and to the party named after him; and go to the polling booths overwhelmed by the name of Biju, which helps Biju Janata Dal in gaining their votes.
If the official programs are freed from the Biju tag, the scenario should so drastically change that the so-called popularity of Naveen that his sycophants day and night boast of, would find its place not in the vote boxes, but in the trash box of Time, never to get revived.
He knows it.
Therefore, yet again, he has named the major expressway of Western Orissa in the name of his father Biju, as if there is no other name that counts in Orissa.
The name needs be changed
Naming the hundred per cent exchequer-funded Expressway after Biju Patnaik is an affront to the mana of Western Orissa that had tremendously contributed to formation of Orissa as well as freedom of India in hope for democracy.
There is no difficulty or problem in naming it as ‘Chandili-Rourkela Expressway’ with due honor to the stretch of the land to be served by it.
Or, if a human name is so essential – which is not at all – a name from amongst the freedom fighters of the area, whose selfless sacrifices have given us independence, may be given to the project.
It may be named ‘Lakshman Naik Expressway’ after the famous martyr, who was hanged to death by the British in the Berhampur jail on 29 March 1943 for his active participation in freedom movement. It may also be named ‘Veer Surendra Sai Expressway‘ whose supreme sacrifice in fight against the British has remained a permanent source of inspiration for people in the whole landmass in the western part of Orissa.
Go to any district to be served by this Expressway, you will find many illustrious children of the soil.
One of the earliest martyrs to have raised the sword against the British was Khara Malaya of Ghasaba of Malkangiri, whose brave wife Khara Parvati had also enriched the martyrdom after fighting against the British.
Parvati had led a very unique battle against the British from 1900 to 1915, after her husband was killed by the foreigners. She had often overwhelmed the British by her Guerilla warfare.
Name the expressway by this unique heroin Parvati or by the name of her martyr husband Malaya and make it ‘Khara Malaya Expressway‘ or ‘Khara Parvati Expressway‘, if a human name carrying the mana of the concerned area is required.
Yet, much ahead of these freedom fighters, a Bonda woman, regarded as Bonda Mahadei, had raised an army of Bonda people to gain back independence. Bonda people worship her as their Goddess. Christen the Expressway as ‘Bonda Mahadei Expressway‘ if you want to prefix a human name to the project.
Bolangir born Bharat Chandra Nayak, who had adopted Sambalpur as his home, was subjected to unfathomable sufferings by the conservatives as he insisted on women emancipation through modern education. He is the yet unrecognized father of women education in Orissa, specifically Western Orissa. Name the Expressway after him by christening it ‘Bharat Nayak Expressway‘ if you need a name.
Orissa’s delivery of Buddhism apart, if applied Buddhism got the boost and scriptures from any, she was a woman namely Laxminkara, who ruled over Sonepur. She founded Sahajayan, when her brother, philosophic leader of Sambalaka (Sambalpur) Indrabhuti had given birth to Vajrayan and to the Jagannatha cult that has given Orissa world recognition. Take any of them – Indrabhuti or Laxminkara – to name the Expressway if you honor intellectual and cultural heritage of Orissa.
Make it ‘Gangadhar Meher Expressway‘ or ‘Sir Basudev Sudhala Dev Expressway‘ if there is an unavoidable need of a human name to be prefixed to the project
The entire landmass spanning from Chandili to Rourkela, as the Expressway proposes to serve, is full of illustrious personalities. If a human name is required, name the Expressway after any one of them.
Why the name of Biju who betrayed India in China aggression and corrupted administration through self-aggrandizing corruption?
When alive, Biju was rejected
Biju was a man who had betrayed the state for his personal benefits, for which, time and again, the people of Orissa had been ejecting him out of power and, in fact, when he had died, he was in the political trash, as the disgusted people of Orissa, betrayed by him to the core, had refused him a fresh mandate.
This writer, in his column ‘Singhavalokana’ in Orissa’s acclaimed daily ‘Sambad’, had exposed his offenses, even when he was alive and in power. Those well-researched articles are published in two Oriya books – ‘Singhavalokanare Biju’ and ‘Singhavalokana’ – both published by Bharata Bharati, Cuttack. After his demise, as his posthumous political use necessitated journalistic juxtaposing of reality with cooked up legends, this writer had deemed it a duty to recall him again, in respecting the right of the people to be informed, in these pages. Some relevant ones from those postings are published in his book ‘Animadversion’, published by Santosh Publications, Cuttack, for anybody to go through and counter if the documentary evidences used therein are not found correct. So far there is no counter.
Conspiracy to make Biju a cult figure
If one rightly remembers how Naveen came to power, as also founders of BJD recall, the people of Orissa being, by nature, magnanimous, had instantly forgiven Biju, the moment he died a pathetic death, as by then such a situation had developed where the people had already inferred that for all his misdeeds, he had been sufficiently punished, being pushed into an abandoned condition in the last phase of life, which could have ended earlier if Dillip Ray, who was not his family member, not taken him to his personal care out of pity.
Despite public dislike exhibited in refusal of a fresh mandate to him, the then Chief Minister J.B.Patnaik in his superlative condolences created a sympathy wave that his protégés later used to create a political party after his name with his son Naveen as its President.
And, thus, eventually, when Naveen occupied the CM chair riding the sympathy wave, and the state administration run rudderless because of his lack of experience, creating a feeling amongst the general public that it was a wrong to have rejected the JB led Congress, astute bureaucrat-turned politician in BJD Mr. Pyari Mohan Mohapatra advised him to jettison some of his cabinet colleagues from whom there was a treat to his leadership, on grounds of corruption, so that the people should have an occasion to compare between him and JB in the matter of patronage to corrupt colleagues, consequent upon which Naveen would appear more acceptable, to the total detriment of JB’s dreams to recapture power.
This of course saved Naveen at that critical juncture. But the rest of the leaders in BJD knew that Naveen’s habitual nonchalance would ultimately harm their party.
So, they shifted their emphasis from Naveen to Biju before the sympathy wave over his demise was totally waned.
They started a new experimentation.
Attempts to build up Biju image
They used a secret agent to behead a statue of Biju Patnaik in a village and immediately thereafter, on August 1, 2006, they stonewalled the Assembly proceedings in protest against the so-called desecration of the statue of Biju, which continued for two days with similar protests enacted in the Parliament as well as streets of Orissa. This they used to elevate the rejected Biju Patnaik to a cult figure.
As the pampered and tamed media kept quiet, I had to inform my readers on this intricate issue on 9.8.2006 under the caption:
Thereafter they have adopted the technique of naming state funded welfare programs after Biju Patnaik starting with Biju KBK Yojana.
The virus has penetrated into all official welfare programs and government offices as well as places of public interest. It would be gainful to peruse the above article along with the two articles mentioned supra for proper diagnosis of the disease that has afflicted Orissa through this virus.
The disease is too serious to be ignored, if we love our motherland and democracy that our martyrs in the struggle for freedom had suffered for.