Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Veteran journalist Pafulla Jha who headed the Chhattisgarh State Bureau of Dainik Bhaskar, was arrested on January 22, 2008 under charges of ‘sedition’, which in police parlance stands for sympathy for the Naxals.
He was sentenced to 7 years that he spent in the jail with his head high, though that imperiled the economy of his family. His son was also jailed as his collaborator in the crime of ‘waging war against the nation’ and his daughter had to give up her Ph.D. midway in dire straits.
Yet, journalistic mana that manifests only in being the voice of the voiceless stayed his forte as he suffered helplessly behind the bars, with fellow journalists too pusillanimous to raise a collective voice against tha police, that had confessed that Jha was no danger as a Maoists, but claimed that he was booked as such to “teach others a lesson”.
His only noted offense was his alleged contributions to Maoist literature, when admittedly; he had done some translations from a special edition of the Economic and Political Weekly on Nepal Maoists.
In the annals of suffering of scribes for betterment of the society, Jha shall remain an epitome of working class consciousness, which, for all time to come, shall continue to inspire every journalist who shall have the affinity to journalistic concern for the working class.
Welcome Mr. Jha to your own world of freedom that a tyrant State can never keep suppressed for all time to come.