Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
I have published this write-up in www.scribd.com. Yet I am putting it here for my esteemed readers, in context of the silent black-flag rally going on for last 34 days at Bhubaneswar demanding stoppage of official contravention of Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 and for necessary amendments to the Act to remove all obstacles for implementation thereof in keeping with the dreams of founding fathers of the State.
Long back in early 1980s, when J.B.Patnaik was Chief Minister, my own place Tigiria and Athgarh, from where he had come to Assembly by way of bi-election to retain his Chair, had plunged into rampart corruption and political favoritism in every sphere of administration. In his presence, at the time of filing the nomination papers, his protege Basanta Biswal had declared that the moment the election result is declared and JB gets confirmed in his position, the Gopabandhu Science College established by the local people as a private College shall be taken over by the Government. Present on the spot I had objected to this uncalled for false promise, citing many senior private colleges, which, unless taken over, it would never be possible for the State to take it over. JB had intervened and declared that he would use the CM’s prerogative to do this. He did not. So, to make our people woke up to reality, I had to spend many days in deep cogitation.
Being a peace loving person by birth, I had studied Gandhiji’s method meticulously. Despite Communism being my creed, the Gandhian non-violence was the method of my preference for mass awakening. I mixed a tint of Malcolm X with the Mahatma and refurbished the same with the age-old wisdom of ancient Oriyas, learned from my father, which says, “DHIRA PANI PATHARA KATE” (a slow but regular flow of water can lacerate a strong stone). And, it had helped me invent a new method of public awakening by giving the people a shock treatment with a silent march from a specific point to a specific point at a particular time everyday with a placard carrying the message of the movement and a flag of unusual color to attract people’s attention. The silent march would be entirely nonviolent while the placard would be silently inducing the onlookers into the message of the mission, which would acquire more and more credibility day by day with the daily regular repetition. I had chosen the black color deliberately, as it is the color of the supreme lord of Orissa SriJagannath. It had worked perfectly and the all powerful political set-up of those days had to bend to discernible extent.
After extinguishing people’s fear for power, I had left Athgarh in pursuit of my profession, as Orissa High Court directed me to join my job as a journalist which I had lost under the Emergency, being a sharp reporter against blatant misrule.
This method is now guiding the unique black flag campaign, we, in Bhasha Andolan, are leading for our mother tongue. Esteemed visitors, below is the gateway into the real freedom movement of Orissa: