Orissa is lost in ‘Make in Odisha Conclave’: Naveen’s modus operandi dooms our furure

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa is lost in the ‘Make in Odisha Conclave -2022’ with the State Government’s shameless assertion that it has succeeded in getting investment proposal worth 10.5 lakh crore of Rupees from the mega industries and commercial houses thanks to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The media, which should have discussed whether or not the Chief Minister’s modus operandi would doom the future generations of Oriyas by allowing the investors – all non-Oriyas- to denude their motherland of all the mineral reserves, which Mother Nature has created for them over millions of years. Naveen Panaik has kept the media muzzled with ads, rewards and largesse, like the pet owners muzzle their dogs as and when they find it necessary.

No media house of Orissa has told the people of Orissa as yet, that, all the Indusries to whom Naveen Patnaik is handing over the soil and natural resources of Orissa are non-Oriyas. Their industries and ventures shall give them unfathomable income at the cost of the nation of the Oriyas who shall have to acquiesce simply because the man they have elected to power is using Law to allow the private industries to rule over their fate.

Media has dazzled the people by highlighting that Naveen Patnaik has attracted 18785 delegates from 11 countries, such as China, Japan, Germany, Australia, Indonesia, Israel, Norway, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand and Singapore over and above the Indian tycoons.

People of the State in dire straits, 80% of the population living on heavily subsidized food grains and meals besides grant of funds like kalia are told by the media that the coneclave has fetched investment proposal worth 10.5 lakh crore of Rupees with the potentiality to employ 10,37, 701 persons. How this particular figure of possible employment has been arrived at is a connundrum that needs mathematical clarification. When such an assumption culminates in an exact figure, the matter breaths an offence dictionaries may describe as cheating.

The ‘Industrial Policy Resolution 2022’ that offers Orissa to private profiteers, industry and commerce, is in English and is never understood by 93% of the State population, who neither know nor understand ABC of the English Language.

Keeping the people of Orissa thus in dark, Naveen Patnaik has used his chief-ministerial power to convert Orissa to the citadel of non-Oriya industrialists like the Gautam Adani, Anil Agrawal, Laxmi Niwas Mittal, JSW group Chairman Sajjan Jindal, Ruias of Essar Capital and Tatas etc. As per official version, Orissa is having 96% of the chromite reserves in India. Though reckless mining in the regime of Naveen Patnaik has heavily reduced the natural reserve, Orissa has yet 23% of the coal reserves of India, 35% of the iron ore reserves, 53% of the bauxite reserves, 45% of the manganese reserves and 92% of the nickel reserves. This has attracted the avaricious eyes of industries under non-Oriya ownership, from other parts of India and foreign countries.

These mineral reserves are natural properties of the Oriyas and their future generations.

Naveen Patnaik, given power for five years, is squandering away what should be the propertie of the Oriyas even after million years.

Why is he doing this?

We find a possible answer in what Orissa’s first Chief Minister Nabakrushna Chowdhury had told more than seven decades ago, hinting at Naveen’s father Biju Patnaik.

While addressing the inaugural function of Gandhi Tattva Prachar Kendra at Balasore on 14 July 1963, Chowdhury had told the nation that for amassing personal wealth, fellows in power are giving away mineral reserves of our soil to private profiteers for payola.

“Huge amounts are raised at the time of elections from big mine-owners and other rich businessmen for which no detailed accounts are kept. These persons who raise such contributions on behalf of the party, distribute amounts to different candidates and keep a portion of the funds raised for their own institutions or their own factions and also appropriate a portion for their ownselves. Thus a separate fund is created and except some party leaders no one ever asks for detailed accounts of such funds”. (Annexure 1 to the Report of the Commission of Enquiry headed by Sarjoo Prasad, Archival Ref. No. R3-1/1545 , Orissa State Archives).

BJD’s eletioneering blitzkrieg that dazzled Padmapur in the just concluded by-election is enough to give us an idea about how highly astounding would be the amount of expenditure in the general election-2024 for Naveen Patnaik to retain his position. So, he needs money, and unfathomably stupendous amount of money.

Those non-Oriyas that are eager to acquire Orissa for their empires are capable of paying whatever amount Naveen may require.

Orissa’s future is doomed, unless the people defeat the design of Make in Odisha Conclave-2022.

If this apprehension is incorrect, and Naveen has no motive to fetch payola, he should put the entire proceeding of the conclave in abeyance till a new government takes over, a new plan is drawn to the total satisfaction of the people of Orissa as to what extent minerals and other natural resources of Orissa could be given to Industry & Commerce and how to ensure zero pollution because of the industrial-commercial activities.

I will wait to see how the genuine Oriyas in BJD react to this post.

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