Newspapers should stand in solidarity with the Sambad and refuse official ads

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

To your site, arbitrary denial of official ads to Sambad was not acceptable, as it very menacingly affects freedom of Press. I was the first to have condemned the State Government’s imprudent action in the social media. Many in facebook have echoed my concern.

I am consious that, the paper’s owner-cum-editor Sri Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, in order to ingratiate himself with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, had ordered his newsdesk to blackout Bhasha Andolan in Sambad, when I had refused his personal pressure to stop the Black Flag Campaign, that is espousing the right of our people to be governed/served in our official language – Oriya. This misconduct of Sri Patnaik is precisely depicted under a caption MEDIA MUHANRE TUNDI (muzzle on the media) in my documented book ORIYA BHASHAKU NAVEENANKA MARANAAGHATA (Naveen’s deathblow to Oriya Language) at p.178-79 .

Yet, I must admit, when there is no political opposition in the State, almost all the opposition members are discernibly docile to the Chief Minister in the Assembly, except a few Oriyas in social movements, it is only the Sambad that has ignored its owner’s political link and acted as the speaking opposition to the anarchical administration that has already crippled Orissa in many spheres.

Orissa’s media, as a whole, has been dragged by the Chief Minister into a state of ignominy by forcing it to accept whatever the Government wants them to carry. Their reporters/representatives are dinied assess to sources of information. Never before in Orissa the Press was in such predicament.

Despite having politically gained after putting Bhasha Andolan in blackout, Sri Soumya Ranjan Patnaik has corrected himself by encouraging reporters and editors of his organisation to expose the misdeeds of the Government.

Orissa is in deep quagmire.

A man of severe legislative misconduct, who has subjected his Cabinet to a scam the like of which is never seen anywhere in the world,and who has secretly changed the Bill created on the basis of the official memorandum adopted in the State Cabinet on 14 March 2018 and has used a blatantly unauthorised forged Bill to ruin the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 in order to destroy the people’s right to be governed in their State language, is, to the shame of Orissa, her Chief Minister!

Oriya Newspapers had taken the pivotal role in creation of Orissa on the basis of the people’s language. Hence, the newspapers of Orissa must come together to save their own creation – Orissa – from Naveen Patnaik’s pernicious grip. If they like, they should free themselves from Naveen’s yoke.

I urge upon them all to please decide to be in the side of the people. If they decide to stand with the people of the State, their readers, they should follow the path the Sambad has shown. People want to know the misdeeds of this Government in details in the pages of the newspapers they read.

As an instance of commitment to Freedom of Press, they should refuse to publish official ads till at least issuance of advertisements to Sambad resumes.

Orissa is to win, none else.

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  1. Pingback: Orissa’s Press in pusillanimity | Orissa Matters

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