Is continuous misrule changing the character of young men in Orissa?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

I was returning from my native place Tigiria to my workplace Bhubaneswar on January 25. It was around midnight. I was enjoying the loneliness with a speed of 60km, which I usually do. After Kuspangi, around 15 motorcycle riders overtook me and to my bewilderment covered the entire road from one side to the other.

Shockingly, mine was the only car on the road from Kuspangi side.

When a vehicle was approaching from the front side, the fellows were siding to left and instantly thereafter were blocking my passage.

I cannot say that, alone in the car I had not panicked. There is a police station at Chowdwar and its number is in my mobile phone. I tried to call the police station, but failed. There was no signal. Every BSNL user suffers from lack of connectivity so often that to me it was not unusual. In that situation, I had to keep my composure. I stopped blowing horn seeking passage and reduced my speed gradually to 40km. The fellows also reduced their speed. I maintained the same speed. I expected two things to happen thereby. Firstly, on noticing that I was driving unperturbed, the fellows – if they were criminals – would be perturbed themselves and flee; because every criminal suffers from fear within. Secondly, if they were not criminals but behaving like that as a matter of fun, they will not like to miss the thrill of motorcycling in speed on a trafficless highway for a longer period and would eventually speed away. But to my horror, they came to a halt to force me to halt.

I apprehended that some mischief was brewing in their mind.  I decided to defend myself in whatsoever manner my mind would then dictate, without bothering for the police.

while returning from Tigiria in the night

Therefore, I took a picture of the roadblocking gang and prepared myself for the worst eventuality. A truck was parking in the left side of the road. Two uniformed men arrived in a motor cycle.

The gang dispersed.

During last 40 years, I have enjoyed the lonely roads in the night in a two-wheeler or in a car often alone and sometimes with my wife. But never have I had the experience of a gang on two-wheelers obstructing my movement in such a mischievous manner.

Is the prevalent phase of misrule changing the character of young men in Orissa?

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