Sitakanta Mohapatra’s nepotistic mischief may mar Odia Univ

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Poet Sitakanta Mohapatra IAS (Rtd), who, for his literary activities, has got a Jnanpith award, has resorted to stark nepotism by recommending his close relation Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak for the post of Vice-Chancellor of a new University to be established by Government of Orissa in the name of Odia Bisvabidyalay. He has suggested that Dr. Pattanayak’s close associate Subrat Kumar Prusty be appointed as the Registrar of this University for the first term of three years.

If the Government accepts the recommendation, the mana of the University shall be marred from the beginning, as the two fellows recommended by Mohapatra are partners not only in looting the State Exchequre, but also in stealing others’ research results. Stealing intellectual properties is a lucrative business in the underground, the world knows.

Let us, therefore, look at these two fellows.

Bhasha Andolan, Orissa has moved the Government for blacklisting Dr. Pattanayak and his gang for the serious offenses they have committed against the State on the basis of documents attached to its memorandum.

The Culture Department has been asked by the Chief Secretary, Orissa to enquire into the allegations and report.

That, these two fellows have committed the crime is shown and elaborately discussed by this reporter in 24 weekly installments in a mainstream newspaper of Orissa. Equipped with these reports.the Culture department is now conducting an inquiry into how these two fellows stole the documents and compilation thereof collected and created through deep research by Odia Bhasa Pratisthan in support of the State Government’s claim for recognition of Classical Status of Oriya Language.

By stealing the official report with the documents, which is copy-righted by Odia Bhasa Pratisthan – the Language Institute of Government of Orissa – Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak and Subrat K. Prusty have helped a private organization called KIS Foundation create a parallel copyright over the official document and making a bonanza by its sale at Rs.1500/- per copy.

Not only this reporter has exposed the felony, but also a very famous linguist, Prof. P. C. Pattanaik, who was in the Languistic Expert Committee of the Central Academy of Letters that granted Classical Status to Oriya Language, has, on 1st March 2014, informed the Chief Minister, Orissa of this serious offense. The letter has been suppressed in the CMO, as the Chief Minister is using Dr. Pattanayak to demoralize the Bhasha Andolan, the unique movement of BlackFlag, which has been demanding for legal punishment to whosoever obstructs governance of Orissa in Oriya.

But Prof. Dr. P.C. Pattanaik’s letter is so speaking that it would be of utmost relevance to quote it here. Terming the aforesaid offense “a vital issue that could have come as a big hindrance in the process of granting Classical Status to Odia” Prof. Pattanaik has said:

“I, Prakash C. Pattanaik, a Professor at the University of Delhi, was a member of the Linguistic Expert Committee that recommended Classical Status to Odia Language in the meeting held on 23rd July 2013. Though I was given the responsibility of the evaluation of the reports submitted to the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, yet, as an Odia, I strongly argued in favor of granting the status to Odia Language, and being an Odia I feel proud of the role I played there.

But what came to my utter surprise, that day, was the two reports placed before the Committee. I would like to place bellow some information for the kind perusal of our Honorable Chief Minister.

1. Sir, the report that was prepared by Government of Orissa under the title, Classical Status of Odia Language, was placed before the Expert Committee on the day of the meeting; whereas copies of another report, under the title, Classical Status to Odia Language, submitted by some agencies, were sent to the members at least three weeks before.

2. Interestingly, except first few pages, both the reports supported by additional information as annexures, and running nearly five hundred pages, were verbatim, though Page No.2 of the Government of Odisha report under the title Classical Status of Odia Language reads as:
This document is exclusively prepared for the Department of Culture, Government of Odisha and cannot be re-produced, fully or partly, in any form.

3. And to my curiosity, presently, we find in the market another volume of similar nature under the title, Classical Odia, published by one KIS Foundation, and available for the sale for a price of Rs.1500/- per copy.

Considering the above facts I am really surprised that the contents of the report prepared by the Government of Odisha could reach others before it was used for the purpose it was planned for. And the same report, with little modification or in a different title, can be commercially used by others. Thus the facts presented above (are) creating doubt of serious lapses somewhere.

Sir, I take this opportunity to request you to kindly look into the matter personally so that the hidden truth gets revealed. My concern, as an Odia, is the violation of copyright act and the disclosure of Government report, which was later used by others.”

Had the Chief Minister acted upon this letter, Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak and Subrat Kumar Prusty would have been in jail by now.

But, no action has been taken, as these two fellows are being used by the CM and non-Oriya Officers to demoralize the Bhasha Andolan, which has already forced the imprudent Government to bend to its demand for punishment to whosoever obstructs governance of Orissa in Oriya.

In total acceptance of the argument this reporter had advanced while submitting a draft legislation as a member of the Ministerial Committee on 3rd September 2015, the State Cabinet, in its meeting on 14th March,2018 has said,

“Though the Act (Orissa Official Language Act) is very old Act and is in force since 1954, the provisions of the notification issued under Sub Section (2) of Section 2 of the said Act vide Notification No. 7152 -Gen.,dtd 29.03.1985 published in the extraordinary issue of the Odisha Gazette No. 562 dtd 10.04.1985 directing all the employees and Officers of the State Government excepting those specified in the schedule thereto to use Odia Language in all official nothings, the same is not properly implemented as there is no provision for imposing penalty against the Officers and employees who are violating the provisions of the Notifications under the Act.”

It shows that, use of Dr. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak by the Chief Minister to foil the Bhasha Andolan is failing. Yet, anti-Oriya officers who de facto control the state administration have not allowed the CM and his Cabinet to pronounce the quantum of punishment against violation of the Official Language Act, when the same cabinet meeting has spelt out the quantum of punishment for non-use of Oriya in commercial signboards.

Taking advantage of this nexus of non-Oriyas with Dr. Pattanayak and his gang, specifically as no prosecution has started against these two above fellows, Dr. Pattanayak’s close relation Sitakanta Mohapatra, suppressing the fact that he is closely related to Dr. Pattanayak, has advanced his recommendation for placement of the emerging Odia Bisvabidyalaya in the hands of these two alleged culprits. To further advantage of these two fellows, G.V.V.Sharma IAS, the known opponent of governance of Orissa in Oriya, is the Secretary of Higher Education under the control of which the University is to be established.

People of Orissa must rise against this ill design. The Odia Bisvabidyalaya must not be made a sanctuary for thesis thieves. Our Language is to be saved from the gang of language mafia.

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