Ranjan Kumar Das: Orissa’s 2nd Martyr to the cause of the Mother Tongue

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Ranjan Kumar Das, M.A. (History), also an accredited tourist guide, was murdered in the night of 31 January 2020, because his plan to tour the entire State of Orissa in cycle along with his friends for removal of wrong caused to Oriya language had created panic in the Government.

In fact, when the Government of Orissa had damaged the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 by a wrongful amendment in 2018 and succeeded in weakening the Bhasha Andolan by taming its founder’s close colleagues,it is Sri Das and his colleagues in the Right to Information Campaign, who had rejuvenated the movement by braving highly inclement weather in a very rare feat of walking demonstration from Satyabhamapur, the birthplace of Madhubabu (Madhusudan Das), revered as the real creator of Orissa to the Bhubaneswar podium of Nabababu (Nabakrushna Chowdhury) the creator of Orissa Official Language Act, covering a span of around 60 kms, under the scorching sun. His RTI activism had irritated a gang of local miscreants, the Government had known. When his plan to lead a cycle campaign all over Orissa in support of the Bhasha Andolan created panic in the anti-Oriya Government, the said miscreants were used to kill him.

Son of Laxmikanta Das of Manikapur under Patkura PS, once the political sanctuary of Biju Patnaik,known for his blatant aversion to Oriya Language, Ranjan’s body after the cruel murder was thrown near an abandoned cottage at nearby village of Beruhan in the Marshaghai PS.

Police is not taking any action despite elapse of more than 100 days, as it has no courage to unveil the truth. Thus, he is a martyr to the cause of the Mother tongue Oriya. The first one was Pt. Laaxminarayan Mishra of Sambalpur who was the first to have moved the Assembly to make Oriya the Official Language of Orissa by creation of an Act to that effect. His murders were never prosecuted and punished.

Embedded here below is a video created by Ranjan Kumar Sahoo C.A.

Corona quagmire// The cause we espoused gets support in the Supreme Court

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Immediately after the Orissa High Court inscribed its order in the matter of migrant workmen, ORISSA MATTERS pointed out how harmful that would be to Orissa’s innumerable heroes of labor and called upon the State Government to move the Supreme Court against the illogical order of the High Court on the grounds stated in the articles noted bellow:

1. High Court verdict should be challenged by the State Govt

2. High Court order needs nullification

Sadly, the Govt. of Orissa slept over our demand. But the Supreme Court of India have stayed the order of the High Court on a mentioning made by the Solicitor General Mr. Tushar Mehta on an urgent Special Leave Petition filed by the Ministry of Home affairs, Govt. of India, this afternoon.

Here is the Order of the Virtual Court No.2 comprising Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhusan, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sanjay Kishan Kkaul and Hon’ble Mr. Justice
B.R. Gaval:

Learned Solicitor General submits that while boarding trains all the stranded migrants are screened and only those who found as asymptomatic are allowed to proceed.

We are of the view that the order of the Government of India dated 29.04.2020 provides ample protection. It appears that before the High Court the order of the Government of India dated 29.04.2020 and the guidelines were neither brought into the notice nor were under challenge.

In view of the aforesaid, we stay the interim order dated 07.05.2020. We further clarify that the stranded migrants shall be dealt with as per the order/guidelines of the Government of India dated 29.04.2020 read with the guidelines dated 01.05.2020 issued thereunder by the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs.

This is how we had prodded the Central as well as the State Government and noteworthy law makers to move the Supreme Court with the input we placed in the articles. The Hon’ble Supreme Court was also given the same in tweets,including the audio version of the write-ups.

The cause we espoused has won a great battle.

Corona Quagmire // High Court order needs nullification

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Bellow is the relevant extract of the Order given by the Orissa High Court on 07.05.2020 in the matter of a petition seeking denial of entry to migrant workers, which otherwise may spread COVID-19 in the State of Orissa.

“An extra copy of the writ petition be served on learned Addl. Government Advocate appearing for the State.
“Put this matter on the next sitting of the Bench, on which date necessary interim order shall be passed.
“In the meantime, State Government should ensure that all the migrants who are in queue to come to Odisha should be tested negative of COVID-19 before boarding the conveyance”.

Honorable Justices S.Panda and K.R.Mohapatra were in the Bench.

This Order has pushed about 50 lakhs of Oriyas into critical stage of life and into utter uncertainty, and has seriously affected their inherent fundamental right, not given by the Constitution, but by the Nature. And, this Order is passed without hearing them or the State on their behalf.

From the Order it transpires that the State does not even know of this petition. On the other hand, no hearing date has been fixed to hear the petition even for an “interim order”.

It is shocking that, when lakhs of migrant workmen have already arrived at and in the Orissa border, the Court has wanted them to prove that before boarding their conveyances they were negative COVID-19. As the hearing is stopped sine die and the Court is silent on what shall happen to positive cases, it is certain that indefinite numbers of Oriyas shall be left to die in absence of proper care on the streets being debarred from home quarantine.

Natural Justice denied

Without hearing them or the State on their behalf, it is an order that blatantly violates the inviolable provisions of Natural Justice and sadly, innumerable migrant workers, mostly illiterate, are ignorant of this case, which is set to play havoc on their lives.

If the Order is not quashed judicially, the non-negative workmen shall stay abandoned to perish, as their work-place provinces have not been ordered to keep them under proper medical care till they are found negative.

Their employment obliterated under the pressure of lockdown and their hired residences gone out of their possession, where shall they stay if they are debarred from returning to their home? It means, the positive cases will be left to the elements under the High Court Order!

The issue is national

COVID-19 is not an issue only of Orissa. In the context of its worldwide spread, in India, it is a national issue. There is no national policy on migrant workmen vis-à-vis this virus. The Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) Act, 1979 is absolutely deficient to meet the situation. The Govt. of India should have amended it by way of Ordinance to create residential as well as job stability for the victims during the pandemic period of Corona and the likes.

The Court has not taken this vital aspect into consideration before writing this order, which put to an indefinite date is a definite final order in disguise for indefinite numbers of migrant workmen, who may die in abandoned condition before the next order of the Court.

National Policy

But the problem is not limited to migrant workers only. Non-workers like students,tourists etc were also to be kept in mind. Hence there was a necessity to build up a national policy to tackle the situation.

In such circumstances, the national Governments’s order No.40-3/2020-DM-I (A) Dated 29th April, 2020 is most relevant. It reads:

In continuation of Ministry of Home Affairs’s Orders No.40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 15th April, 2020, 16th April, 2020, 19th April 2020, 21st April 2020 and 24th April 2020 and in exercise of the powers, conferred under Section 10(2)(1) of the Disaster Management Act, the undersigned, in his capacity as Chairperson, National Executive Committee, hereby orders to include the following in the consolidated revised guidelines for strict implementation by Ministries /Departments of Government of India, State/Union Territory Governments and State /Union Territory Authorities: Sub-clause (iv) under Clause 17 on Movement of persons:

Due to lockdown, migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons are stranded at different places. They would be allowed to move as under:

a. All States/ UTs should designate nodal authorities and develop standard protocols for receiving and sending such stranded persons. The nodal authorities shall also register the stranded persons within their States/ UTs.
b. In case a group of stranded persons wish to move between one State/ UT and another State/ UT, the sending and receiving States may consult each other and mutually agree to the movement by road.
c. The moving person (s) would be screened and those found asymptomatic would be allowed to proceed.
d. Buses shall be used for transport of groups of persons. The buses will be sanitized and shall follow safe social distancing norms in seating.
e. The States/ UTs falling on the transit route will allow the passage of such persons to the receiving State/ UT.
f. On arrival at their destination, such person(s) would be assessed by the local health authorities, and kept in home quarantine, unless the assessment requires keeping the person(s) in institutional quarantine. They would be kept under watch with periodic health check-ups. For this purpose, such persons may be encouraged to use Aarogya Setu app through which their health status can be monitored and tracked.

The guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Home Quarantine, dated 11.03.2020 may be referred to in this regard, which are available at
https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/Guidelinesforhomequarantine.pdf.

In absence of specific provisions in the Act of 1979 referred to supra, this is the national policy to be adhered to by all concerned in this pandemic period and no Court should undo it without hearing the Govt. of India. In this case, the Govt. of India has not been heard.

Under condition ‘c’ all the homebound migrant workers were found “asymptomatic” before boarding their conveyances; as otherwise, they would not have been allowed to move. Condition a, b, d and e having been fulfilled, they reached and are expected to reach their home State Orissa. Then the only condition, i.e. condition ‘f ’is to apply. This condition gives them the right to stay in HOME QUARANTINE unless the assessment by local health authorities requires keeping “the person(s) in institutional quarantine”.

Right to stay in home

So, under this national policy, every Oriya migrant worker has the right to stay in his/her home under quarantine unless institutional quarantine is not warranted by the “local health authorities” of Orissa.

It is blatantly beyond comprehension to see the Orissa High Court dismantling this national policy in absence of any challenge to this.

Court didn’t consider

On the other hand, this national policy has given the home quarantine right not only to the migrant workers, but also to the pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons that are stranded at different places due to lockdown. But the High Court has ordered on the migrant workers only, as if all others except them are not supposed to carry the virus! Is it a colorable exercise of judicial power against the migrant workers?

Remedy in the Supreme Court

The only remedy may manifest in the Supreme Court if the challenge to this order of the High Court is seriously pursued.

Corona Quagmire// High Court verdict should be challenged by the State Govt.

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

A little ago the Orissa High Court has given a verdict that no migrant worker of the State can enter into its area unless medical test certify that COVID-19 is not found in his/her body. According to the judgment given in a PIL, the homebound migrants must be subjected to medical test and found virus-negative before entering into the State.

This judgment should immediately be challenged in the Supreme Court, as it is bound to affect the life of several lakhs of Oriyas.

Despite some minor lacunae in management, I am sure the steps Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has taken in Corona context IS THE BEST under the prevalent circumstances.

Every Panchayat has been equipped with quarantine facilities for the home-coming Oriyas, with provision of all essentials that they would be needing. Officers and staffs are kept in charge to assist the Panchayat leaders in taking care of the in-camp migrants.

The judgment would force the State to dismantle all these excellent camps in order to build up fresh camps in the borders to quarantine the homebound workers that are lakhs in numbers. There is no time for this, as every moments the workers would be reaching Orissa borders in lakhs. Paucity of funds for this rearrangement would put the State in total disarray.

On the other hand, if Orissa shall not allow its own nationals their legitimate space, why should the neighboring States allow?

Suppose a lakh of workers reach Orissa border at Chhattisgarh side. Under the High Court orders, Orissa asks them to stay outside till medical test shows them negative. Is there a ‘NO-STATE-ZONE’ between Orissa and Chattisgarh, where the workers shall stay for that entire period? Will the high Court verdict compel the Chhattisgarh Govt. to allow Orissa Govt to build up Corona Camps in its area?

COVID-19 is not a regional disaster. It is national in context of India. Similarly, the issue of migrant workers is not regional. It is national. There is no national policy on migrant workers put to enforced idleness in their working States due to lockdown.

The de facto terminated workers are ejected out of their hired houses also.

They are bound to return to their respective homes in this extraordinary emergency situation and they have the fundamental right to reach their home, whereby they may live their lives.

How can a State High Court deny them this fundamental right at the worst time of disaster and dismantle a State’s preparedness to receive these totally disadvantaged poor workers when they have no other way for survival than returning to their home state and to their permanent hearths?

The High Court judgment would endanger the life of several lakhs of Oriyas, when the Orissa Government has made all arrangements in all the Panchayats to take appropriate care of the returning workers.

No time should be lost in challenging this judgment in the Supreme Court.

Oriya Language created Orissa and therefore Orissa must be ruled by Oriya Language

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik seems to have developed a wrong notion that governance of Orissa in Oriya depends upon his mercy. His press-note of December 17 and full page display advertisement in major broadsheets of today force us to arrive at this apprehension.

In his December 17 press note it was declared that he had held a meeting with the five members of the ministerial committee on that day for the purpose of “strictly implementing the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 in official and non-official level” to facilitate which a website has been floated by the government. In the full page multi-color advertisement in broadsheet dailies today, this is intriguingly missing.

The advertisement is designed to tell the people that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has taken historical steps to save and develop Oriya language, and has enumerated the steps he has taken. This is blatant lie. Neither he nor his government has executed any single item claimed to be “historical” in the official advertisement. The entire advertisement is nothing but false propaganda. What a shame it is, that, the people of Orissa are taken for granted by their Chief Minister! Read more →

Navakalevara: Legends and reality

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Legends are the most misguiding mischief aimed at superimposing lies on reality so that indigenous people of an occupied land are kept too dazzled to see the dark face of the rulers and the class of exploiters can keep its victims subjugated to its authority, while forcing them to forget the heroic history of evolution of their own philosophy of life, their own splendid spiritual realizations, their own socio-economic uniqueness, their own ancient culture, their own valorous past, their own way of social integration and their own civilization.

We see this mischief galore in the context of Navakalevara of SriJagannatha.

So, here, we are to rip apart the legends and bring the reality of the Navakalevara to light, as thereby alone we can reach the lost uniqueness of the people of Orissa.

We will use Puri Sankaracharya’s self-proclaimed authority over Navakalevara to proceed with our purpose.

  Read more →

Samaja in Maze of Forgery: Two former Ministers of Orissa – Lingaraj Mishra & Radhanath Rath forged the WILL of Gopabandhu; Both benefitted till their death; SoPS continues to Loot

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Oriya daily SAMAJA founded by late Utkalmani Pandit Gopabandhu Das, to which, out of their love and reverence for the great humanitarian leader, the people of Orissa had and have been giving their financial and moral support, is in a menacing maze of forgery and loot.

Sadly, two of Gopabandhu’s trusted men – Lingaraj Mishra and Radhanath Rath – who, because of being known so, had the opportunity of becoming cabinet ministers in Orissa, were the masterminds and/or makers of the forgery from which the paper is yet to be salvaged.

Both of them – Lingaraj and Radhanath – had partnered with each other in forging the last WILL of Gopabandhu to grab the Samaja, which being Gopabandhu’s paper was of superb credibility and the greatest political instrument of the day. They had performed this crime behind the screen of and in nexus with Servants of the People Society (SoPS), of which, while breathing his last, Gopabandhu was the Vice-President. Read more →