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January 30, 2012

WORLD BANK HAILS GOVERNMENT OF ODISHA OVER RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

WORLD BANK HAILS GOVERNMENT OF ODISHA OVER RECENT DEVELOPMENTS 31/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:



World Bank delegation hails Odisha Government over progress of projects in State. The eight-member World Bank delegation led by Hubert Nove-Josserand today meets state officials. They also jointly review the externally-aided projects in state at the Secretariat under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Bijay Kumar Panaik.


After the meeting Nove-Josserand said, “We saw the progress in two projects — the Community Tank Management project and the Rural Livelihood project — especially in the area of community mobilising and training.” Hubert said, “The utilisation of funds needs to be speeded up across all projects. Implementation of State Road Project needs substantial improvement.” It should be noted that three of its projects being implemented with an estimated $404.8 million.

Stating that an eight-point action plan has been identified and a World Bank team would be visiting the State in February to further review on the progress of the projects, he said and added that the State Government has assured that the raised by the team would receive special attention and would be addressed on an urgent basis.

Hubert indicated that World Bank was keen on providing assistance for Odisha in the implementation of projects in the sectors like infrastructure, social development and livelihood development sectors.

The Chief Secretary said the utilisation of funds during the last three financial years had been around hundred per cent and the State Government was taking all possible steps to complete the project in the stipulated time frame so as to get more external aid for new projects.

Patnaik said the Government has proposed three new projects Water Management, Urban and Mining Sector Development to the Department of Economic Affairs to consider and pose the World Bank for aid.

The State Government conducted a joint review of all externally aided projects of World Bank, Asian Development Bank and International Fund for Agricultural Department amounting to around `9,500 crore. During the review, the International Finance Corporation representative made a presentation on how the state can improve its business environment and leverage the investments from the private sector and the development potential of its entrepreneurs.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

NATIONAL KHARAVELA MAHOTSAV KICKED OFF IN THE CAPITAL CITY OF ODISHA

NATIONAL KHARAVELA MAHOTSAV KICKED OFF IN THE CAPITAL CITY OF ODISHA 31/01/2012

ODISHA NEWS:


The 10th Annual National Kharavela Mahotsav kicked off at the foot hills of Khandagiri on Monday.
The festival was inaugurated by His Excellency Hon’ble Governor of Odisha, Shri M C Bhandare.

The evening started with Odissi dance performance by the members of city-based Surabhi Dance Group. The next attraction of the evening was Odissi dance performance by Dasabhuja Gotipua Odissi Dance Academy, Raghurajpur. The evening also witnessed Bharatnatyam performance by Rahul.

Next, Pratima Barley Pandavini performed Ghumura Dance. The last performance of the evening was the tribal dance of Gujrat named ‘Dangi’.
The week long cultural festival is being hosted by the Kalu Nanda Memorial Trust and supported by the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, Kolkata, Song and Drama Division of Government of India and Orissa Government.

Apart from this about 50 stalls of handloom and handicrafts items were also displayed.
Among others, Shri Ajit Tripathy, State Election Commissioner, Orissa, Shri B L Bagra, Nalco CMD, Shri Dilip Kumar Nanda, Chairman of Kalu Nanda Memorial Trust were present.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

Writers must serve a social purpose

I was in Jaipur when the Literature Festival was on, and intended to go there, but was dissuaded by some friends who said it would be a waste of time. So what I learnt about it was from newspapers, television and the Internet.

To put it in briefly, I was totally disappointed. Much of the time was wasted on Salman Rushdie, whom I regard as a very mediocre writer who would have been unknown to most people but for The Satanic Verses . Much of the ‘Literature' Festival was really a caricature. There were, of course, serious writers too whose work deals with the problems of the people but they received no attention in comparison.

That set me thinking: Where is serious literature anywhere to be seen? Why blame this festival alone?

There are two theories about art and literature. The first, ‘art for art's sake' and the second, ‘art for social purpose'.

According to the first theory, art and literature are meant only to create beautiful or entertaining works, to please and entertain people and the artists themselves, and not to propagate social ideas.

If art and literature are used to propagate social ideas, they become propaganda. Proponents of this view include Keats, Tennyson, Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot in English literature; Edgar Allan Poe in American literature; Agyeya and the ‘Reetikal' and ‘Chayavadi' poets in Hindi literature; Jigar Moradabadi in Urdu and Tagore in Bengali.

Literature should serve people

The other theory is that art and literature should serve the people, and help them in their struggle for a better life, by arousing emotions against oppression and injustice. Proponents of this school are Dickens and George Bernard Shaw in English literature; Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Upton Sinclair and John Steinbeck in American literature; Balzac, Stendhal, Flaubert and Victor Hugo in French; Goethe, Schiller and Erich Maria Remarque in German; Cervantes in Spanish; Tolstoy, Gogol, Dostoevsky and Maxim Gorky in Russian; Premchand and Kabir in Hindi; Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay and Kazi Nazrul Islam in Bengali, Bharati in Tamil and Nazir, Faiz, Josh and Manto in Urdu.

Which of these should be adopted and followed by artists and writers in India today?

There have been great artists and writers in both schools. Shakespeare and Kalidas can be classified as playwrights of the ‘art for art's sake' school. Their plays serve no social purpose beyond providing entertainment and an understanding of human impulses and motivations. Shakespeare was basically a realist, but had no intention to reform society or combat social evils. Yet, he is an artist of the highest rank.

Poetry at its best

Kalidas' Meghdoot is nature and love poetry at its best. Depictions of the countryside that he gives are astonishing in their beauty. Even Wordsworth can come nowhere near it. Nevertheless, Kalidas has no social purpose.

Shaw wrote with a social purpose — to combat social evils and reform society. His plays represent a powerful denunciation of social injustices and evils. Dickens' novels attack the social evils in England.

Art critics often regard the two basic trends or tendencies as realism and romanticism. The truthful, undistorted, depiction of people and their social conditions is realism. In romanticism, the emphasis is on flights of imagination, passion and emotional intensity.

Passive & active realism

Realism and romanticism can be either passive or active. Passive realism usually aims to depict reality truthfully, without preaching anything. The novels of Jane Austen, George Eliot and the Bronte Sisters are examples. In this sense, they are socially neutral. However, sometimes passive realism preaches fatalism, passivity, non-resistance to evil, suffering and humility.

Dickens, Victor Hugo, Gorky and Sarat Chandra belong to the school of active realists. They oppose fatalism, passivity and non-resistance to evil, and inspire people to fight social evils.

The strength of passive realism lay in its exposure of human motivations and social evils, and its weakness in its lack of positive principles or ideals. With its truthful approach to reality, it concentrated on describing the visible and real, but showed no way out. It criticised everything but asserted nothing. It often viewed man from a fatalistic point of view, as a passive product of his surroundings, helpless and incapable of changing social conditions.

Social purpose

Passive and active realism can both serve a social purpose. But while passive realism often preaches fatalism and pessimism and the futility of trying to improve society, active realism is optimistic, characterised by solicitude and concern for the people. It inspires them to strive against their plight and improve their conditions.

In Shakespeare, Balzac, Tolstoy or Mirza Ghalib, it is difficult to see if they are romantics or realists: both trends merge. In fact, the highest art is often a combination of the two.

Romanticism

Romanticism, like realism, can be passive or active. Passive romanticism attempts to divert people from reality into a world of fantasy or illusions, or to a fruitless preoccupation with one's own inner world, with thoughts about the ‘fatal riddle of life,' or dreams of love and death. Its characters may be knights, princes, demons or fairies who exist in a make-believe world. Passive romanticism hardly serves any social purpose.

Active romanticism, on the other hand, attempts to arouse man against societal evils, for example, Shelley's ‘Prometheus Unbound', Heine's ‘Enfant Perdu', Gorky's ‘Song of the Stormy Petrel,' and the poems of Urdu writer Faiz. It serves a social purpose. This genre rises above reality, not by ignoring it but by seeking to transform it, and regards literature as having a greater purpose than reflecting reality.

‘Art for social purpose' may be expressed not always in a direct way, but also in indirect, roundabout or obscure ways, for example, through satire. Look at Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels or A Tale of a Tub , Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland , Cervantes' Don Quixote , and Voltaire's Candide and Zadig . Much of Urdu poetry which serves a social purpose is expressed not in a direct, but in an indirect way. Mir, Ghalib and Faiz are examples.

Should artists and writers in India follow the school of ‘art for art's sake' or ‘art for social purpose'? What we have to consider is, which would be more beneficial to India's historical situation today. Thus, the question of who is greater as an artist, Shakespeare or Shaw (I personally think Shakespeare is) is not relevant in India today.

In such a poor country, ‘art for social purpose' alone can be acceptable. India faces tremendous challenges; artists and writers must join the ranks of those struggling for a better India. They must inspire through their writings, writing against oppression and injustice.

Lack of good literature

However, there is hardly any good art and literature today before us. Where are the Sarat Chandras and Premchands? Where are the Kabirs, the Dickens? There seems to be a vacuum in artistic and literary terms. Everything seems to have become commercialised. Writers write not to highlight the plight of the masses but to earn money.

Today India thirsts for good literature. If someone writes about the people's real problems it will spread like wildfire. But are our writers doing this? If they are not, why do they complain that nobody wants to read them? Art and literature must serve the people. Writers and artists must have genuine sympathy for the people and depict their sufferings. Like Dickens and Shaw in England, Rousseau and Voltaire in France, Thomas Paine and Walt Whitman in America, Chernyshevsky and Gorky in Russia and Sarat Chandra and Nazrul Islam in Bengal, they must inspire people to struggle for a better life, what can be really called human existence, and to create a better world, free of injustice. Only then will people respect them.

(The author is the Chairman of the Press Council of India, and a former Judge of the Supreme Court)


A look at the role of literature,

in the context of the recent

Jaipur Literature Festival.

AIIMS BHUBANESWAR WILL BE OPERATIONAL IN AUGUST 2012 ALONG WITH 50 MBBS SEATS FOR ODISHA

AIIMS BHUBANESWAR WILL BE OPERATIONAL IN AUGUST 2012 ALONG WITH 50 MBBS SEATS FOR ODISHA 30/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:


The admission to the first batch of AIIMS, Bhubaneswar is set to begin from August 2012. This is announced by Union health secretary P K Pradhan. He said 500-bed hospital to be operational by December, 2012.

He reviewed the progress of AIIMS-Bhubaneswar work at a meeting with top Odisha government officials besides visiting the institute site at Sijua here.The progress is good and we expect admission of 50 students to begin by August this year making the institute functional said Pradhan. The number of seats for the MBBS course is proposed to be 100 next year with gradual completion of other works of the upcoming institute.

The AIIMS-Bhubaneswar project consists of three components- hospital, medical college and housing. While the hospital would be taken up at a cost of Rs 264 crore, around Rs 100 crore would be spent on the medical college and Rs 50 crore on housing. The AIIMS-Bhubaneswar is coming up on 100 acres of land at Sijua .

The construction work for the hospital has been awarded to L&T, the medical college construction work is being done by Chennai-based Consolidated Construction Consortium Ltd. It may be noted the erstwhile NDA government at the Centre had proposed to set up six branches of AIIMS at Patna, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Raipur and Rishikesh in 2003. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had given its nod to the projects in March, 2006.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

THE RULING BJD URGES THE ELECTION COMMISSION TO BAN CONGRESS MANIFESTO

THE RULING BJD URGES THE ELECTION COMMISSION TO BAN CONGRESS MANIFESTO 30/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:


The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD)on Sunday has urged the State Election Commission (SEC) to ban the manifesto published by the Congress for the coming Panchayat polls.

The manifesto contained serious charges of corruptions levelled against 14 Ministers of BJD, including Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, in various cases like the “man-made floods” during September and October last year, “multi-crore mining scam”, “dal scam under mid-day meal scheme”, “violation of forest and environment laws and irregularities in the works department” and “shielding the accused in rape and murder cases”.

BJD General Secretary Narendra Kumar Swain, in a letter to the SEC said, “The preparation and release of the manifesto by the Congress was a gross violation of the Model Code of Conduct and the document should be banned and seized immediately to ensure fair poll practices.”

Adding more he demanded that strong action should be taken against the Congress for releasing the manifesto with false and baseless allegations against the BJD ministers.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

January 27, 2012

A GANDHIAN ANNA SAYS " IF NOTHING WORKS SLAP"

Gandhian Anna says if nothing works, slap, whereas Gandhi proposed to offer his other cheek when confronted with violence. The statement came after he watched a Bollywood movie, and has justified people accusing the overt-Gandhian of being an extremist.


People who had always maintained that Bollywood Masala movies have been radicalising the minds, here is something that will justify them. After watching the screening of a Bollywood movie on corruption, ‘Gali gali choir hai’, pseudo-Gandhian and anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare expressed his heart out. According to newspaper reports, Hazare told the reporters that slapping a person when your power of tolerance of corruption runs out is justified. "When a man's power of tolerance runs out, then whoever is in front of you, if a slap is given, then the brain is put back in place. That is the only road open now,” reported The Times of India.



This is for the second time that Hazare has revealed his faith in physical rather than Gandhian ways of dealing with issues. Earlier he had approved of the slapping of Union Minister Sharad Pawar by a Delhi man though he had later condemned the attack but not before asking ‘only one-slap’. The former army driver psyche has always been doubted and it is generally believed that inside him is an extremist who dons the Gandhian cap to pull crowds. A special screening of the move was held in Hazare’s hometown Ralegan Siddhi in the presence of the whole film crew.


The anti-corruption movement that started with an 11-day fast by little known activist Anna Hazare in August last year, drew thousands of people with Hazare becoming a household name across the country. But five months down the line, people have started to get annoyed at even the mention of the Hazare movement and his team. Middle-class people had recognised with the movement the most, as they are worst hit by graft issues but have now lost hope that corruption would be tackled in the country.


Posing as a Gandhian but doing or proposing contrary to the actions of Gandhi seems to have been a major cause why people have started to distance themselves from his agenda, well-intioned as it may be. While Gandhi had proposed to offer another cheek, if somebody slapped you once on the cheek, Hazare goes miles ahead and proposes to slap if your tolerance runs out. In a perfect case of getting fed up with his utterances, black-mailing and the programmes, only a few thousand people turned up at his protest demonstration in Mumbai last year in the last week of December. He was even forced to call off the protest before schedule. The Jan Lokpal Bill that he along with his team has demanded all through is still to be passed by the Parliament.
All the brouhaha created for months in the public platforms, TV channels and newspapers about the bill and the anti-corruption movement seems to have washed down the drain. This has only been reduced to a part of the memory now.

THE PROJECT ACTIVITY OF MIND TREE COMMENCED BY ODISHA CM

THE PROJECT ACTIVITY OF MIND TREE COMMENCED BY ODISHA CM 27/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:


MindTree Limited, a global IT and Product Engineering Services Company, started work on its 20-acre campus, to be named MindTree Kalinga, as a part of the Chandaka Special Economic Zone in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

At an impressive ceremony today, students from various local educational institutions poured earth specially brought in from many different places in the world at the base of a Krishna Ficus tree at the proposed site. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik consecrated the event by pouring earth from the State. Welcoming MindTree to Odisha, the Chief Minister said “When high quality organizations come to the state, apart from helping the economy, there is a cascading effect on the intellectual eco-system. We welcome MindTree as our newest corporate citizen”.

Subroto Bagchi, vice chairman of MindTree commended several government agencies like the Industrial Development Corporation of Odisha and the Odisha Computer Application Centre for getting MindTree Kalinga off the ground. “MindTree believes Odisha is the emerging hub of the east. We are looking forward to building a world-class centre here that will train and deploy some of the best minds of the eastern region. We will engage with the academic community here to create a vibrant eco-system.”

Bangalore’s reputed architects, Chandavarkar & Associates have designed the 20-acre campus taking a cue from the ancient architectural principles behind local temples and applied them to a modern design. The campus is being built in a phase-wise manner and the first phase of 200,000 square feet will be completed in 2013.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

PRESIDENT’S AWARD GOES TO 14 POLICEMEN OF ODISHA

PRESIDENT’S AWARD GOES TO 14 POLICEMEN OF ODISHA 27/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:


14 policemen from Odisha get President’s medal for excellence in different categories for 2011 and 2012. For 2011, two senior police officers have been selected for the President’s police medal for distinguished service and 14 policemen have been chosen for police medal for meritorious service. For 2012, three police officers have been selected for President’s police medal for distinguished service and 11 personnel for police medal for meritorious service.

The President’s award winners for the year 2011 include Sanjeev Marik, additional director general of police, headquarters, and Surendra Panwar, inspector-general of police, vigilance directorate. The President’s award for 2012 would be conferred to Satyajit Mohanty, director, Biju Patnaik State Police Academy and inspector-general of police, training, M. Akhaya, inspector-general of police (personnel), state police headquarters, and Bijay Kumar Dash, additional superintendent of police, vigilance and in-charge superintendent of police, coordination, vigilance directorate.

817 personnel have been awarded police medals on the occasion of the Republic Day this year. President’s Police Medals for Gallantry to 07, Police Medals for Gallantry to 87 personnel, President’s Police Medals for Distinguished Service have been awarded to 93 and Police Medals for Meritorious Service have been awarded to 630 personnel. 38 personnel have been awarded correctional Service Medals. President’s Correctional Service Medals for Distinguished Service to 01 personnel and Correctional Service Medals for Meritorious Service have been awarded to 37 personnel.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

THE WORLD’S LARGEST KORAN

THE WORLD’S LARGEST KORAN

HARD WORK really pays off well and the same can be said for the Afghan calligrapher who worked for five long years and made the world’s biggest Koran. The pages of the gigantic book are 2.28 meters (90 inches) long and 1.55 meters (61 inches) wide and the book weighs a mammoth 500 kg. The 218 pages of cloth and paper have an embossed cover made up of skin collected from 21 goats, which costs around half a million dollars. The book, which is creating quite an interest in the religious world, has been named the world’s largest by the Afghan Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs, according to the Kabul cultural centre that houses it.


The man behind the momentous task, Mohammad Sabir Khedri, not only put his hours and days into the project but took the help of nine students to design the book that combines gold script with millions of tiny colourful dots that form the words of the religious scripture. Apparently, as reported in hindustantimes.com, the book was finished in 2009 but the binding or the room where it would be kept was not ready. So they kept the precious book as a secret till it was revealed at the start of the year 2012.

The book broke the record that was held previously by a 2 meter by 1.5 meter copy unveiled last year in Russia’s Tatarstan region. However, the maker, Sabir Khedri says that he would be more than happy if someone else came up with a bigger Koran. His main reason for creating such an intricate work of art was to show the world that Afghanistan’s rich cultural heritage and traditions have been damaged but not destroyed by 30 years of war. The religious book has been kept in the Cultural Centre, originally founded in the 1980s, and once home to 50,000 books, a medical centre, and schools for Afghan crafts such as carpet weaving.

Everyone is really happy with the hard efforts put in by everyone to bring such a beautiful piece of art and preserve the culture of Afghanistan.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

January 25, 2012

ODISHI DANCER DR. MINATI MISHRA HEADING FOR PADMA SHRI AWARD


ODISHI DANCER DR. MINATI MISHRA HEADING FOR PADMA SHRI AWARD 25/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:


Legendary Odissi dancer Dr. Minati Mishra gets Padma Shri Award this year. She will get this award on Art - Indian Classical Dance-Odissi section. This was announced today. The President of India has approved the conferment of Padma Awards-2012. This year the President has approved 109 awards including one duo case (counted as one) and 14 in the category of Foreigners/ NRIs/ PIOs/ Posthumous. These comprise 5 Padma Vibhushan, 27 Padma Bhushan and 77 Padma Shri Awards. There are 19 ladies among the awardees.

Padma Awards, the country’s highest civilian awards, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Awards are given in all disciplines/ fields of activities, viz. art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc. ‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order and ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field. The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year.

The awards are conferred by the President of India at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhawan sometime around March/ April.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

NATIONAL COMMUNAL HARMONY AWARD GOES TO MD. ABDUL BARI OF ODISHA

NATIONAL COMMUNAL HARMONY AWARD GOES TO MD. ABDUL BARI OF ODISHA 25/01/2012

ODISHA NEWS:


Odisha's Md. Abdul Bari wins National Communal Harmony Award along with Khamliana from Mizoram for the year 2011 in the individual category. This was announced today at New Delhi. The Jury headed by the Hon’ble Vice-President of India made the selection. The Jury did not find any organisation suitable for this award for the year 2011.


Md. Abdul Bari, aged 72 from district Bhadrak of Odisha, is a well-respected people’s leader and social activist. He is associated with at least eight social organisations and has selflessly helped the police and local administration from time to time to maintain peace and communal harmony. Shri Bari reportedly played significant role in restoring peace and communal harmony at Bhadrak after the communal riots at Bhadrak (1991) and at the times of Babri Masjid demolition (1992), serial blasts at Mumbai (1993), burning of Sabarmati Express at Godhra (2002) and after the inhuman killing of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati at Kandhamal district (2008). Recently in 2011, he helped in nipping in bud the communally violent situations at Bhadrak town on the occasions of Id-Miladun-Nabi and Ram Navami festivals. He received Utkal Diwas Award (2002) by Bhadrak Rotary Club, Muralidhar Shruti Sanshada, Bhadrak Award (2005) and many other commendation certificates. For more than two decades, Shri Abdul Bari has significantly contributed to maintain peace and communal harmony in district Bhadrak and its nearby places in Odisha.


Shri Khamliana, aged 56, is the Founder President of Mizoram Youth Club which was established in 1990. The Club is a well known voluntary organization rendering social service and strengthening national integration in Mizoram. Shri Khamliana is fully committed and dedicated to promote peace, communal harmony and national integration in the state. He organized musical concerts, essay competition and cultural exchange programmes, most of these under the banner of his organisation Mizoram Youth Club to promote unity and peaceful co-existence among diverse ethnic groups. He played an active part in organising a social function in 2000 in Army campus to build up a civilian-military relation in the state and received appreciation. He actively participated and organized national integration camps by affiliating with the Nehru Yuva Kendra. It is because of the efficient leadership, keen interest and efforts of Shri Khamliana that the Mizoram Youth Club has significantly contributed to promote peace and national integration.


The National Communal Harmony Awards were instituted in 1996 by the National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH), an autonomous organisation set up by the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, for promoting communal harmony and national integration. The award has been instituted with a view to demonstrating due appreciation and recognition of the efforts of individuals and organisations for promotion of communal harmony and national integration in a sustained manner over a sufficiently long period of time. In addition to a citation in each category, the award carries a cash award of Rupees Two Lakh for the individual and Rupees Five Lakh for the organization category.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

HIGH LEVEL OFFICIAL PROBE INTO BONDA TRIBE ROW: ODISHA CM ORDERS



HIGH LEVEL OFFICIAL PROBE INTO BONDA TRIBE ROW: ODISHA CM ORDERS 25/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:



Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik orders high-level official probe into Bonda tribe row. Chie Minister said after getting the inquiry report the state government will take action against the culprits. It should be noted that media reports alleges tour operators in Odisha have been offering titillating “human safaris” that provide a close look at the Bonda tribe. Travel agents who organize a dekko at Odisha's Bonda tribes are now under the international scanner. The ancient tribe numbering close to approximately 5,000, live in the isolated hill regions of the Malkangiri district of Odisha.


The Bondas who have lived in near isolation among the higher hills are fiercely independent, stubborn and aggressive tribe. The Bondas known themselves as Remo(men) are a small tribe of the type now often called Austro-Asiatic country is the wild and mountainnous region north-west of Machakunda river, and here they have preserved themselves comparatively unaffected by the march of civilisation. Indeed, by plainsmen and officials, the Bondas are regarded as entirely savage, almost as the classic savage type. The strange dress and appearance of their unfamilier tounge they speak a different Astro-Asiatic language.


The inaccessibility of their abode seperate them from other tribes of the district The origin and affiliations of the Bondas are obscure, but one may accept the possiblility that they are members of a group of Austro-Asiatic tribes which at some remote date took shelter in the wild Jeypore hills. There is every reason to suppose that the Bondas have changed very little during their long history and in them one can have a change of studying a type of character and it's material expression that may be millennia old. The bondas have been enlisted as a Scheduled Tribes. Bondas are the oldest tribal people of Malkangiri District.They live on the mountains at the height of 3000 feet. In 1971 census their number was 5,245 and in 1981 census they were 5,895 in numbers but in 1991 census they were decreased to a number of 5,129 in which male number was 2,414 and female number was 2,715.


These people live in Bonda Hill under Khairput Block.They are mainly two types like Ontal and Kilo. Bondas are found of Podu Cultivation and Bonda ladies help them in this job. In Bonda community the bride is older than the groom Ladies of the Bonda community are half nacked. In the month of Magha "Patkhanda Yatra" at Mudulipada is the main festivals of Bondas.By nature Bondas are short temper and they get angry at the simplest thing and forget the relationship and commit murder. Murder is a simple thing for Bondas, because of this a lot of person has been life impressioned at the Koraput Jail due to this Bonda population has been reduced a lot during the last decade. Here it is important that this community should be taken care from its extinct.

They still practice the barter systems, exchanging the produce of their fileds for articles of daily use. An intresting feature of the Bonda marriage is that Bonda girls prefer to marry younger boys, so they may have someone to earn for them in their old age.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA, BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS, ODISHA

January 24, 2012

TOP MAOIST LEADER GIRISH ARRESTED BY ODISHA POLICE


TOP MAOIST LEADER GIRISH ARRESTED BY ODISHA POLICE 24/01/2012

ODISHA NEWS:




Maoist leader Girish, who was involved in several crimes including murder, was arrested by the Odisha police on Tuesday from Bargarh district.

Dhiren Mahanto alias Girish, second in command in CPI (Maoist) Odisha state Committee, had escaped from Chaibasa Jail in Jharkhand last year, was nabbed by a special district police team at Kharamunda, said Superintendent of Police, Bargarh Kabita Jena.

As per sources, a loaded revolver, 12 live cartridges, cash, one compass and map of Odisha and Bargarh were seized by the Police.


SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

ROBBERS ON PROWL : A MAN SWINDLED 1 LAKH , VICTIM THREATENS TO COMMIT SUICIDE

ROBBERS ON PROWL : A MAN SWINDLED 1 LAKH , VICTIM THREATENS TO COMMIT SUICIDE 24/01/2012
ODISHA NEW:


Complaints of fraudulent withdrawal of money from ATMs continue to pour in at Malkangiri.The police on Monday received a fresh complaint from one State Bank of India customers here.

Nabina Chandra Suna, a retired employee of Malkangiri Town, lost Rs 1, 00000 in a three phase fraudulent transaction. Suna said the money was withdrawn on January 10 and 11 from an ATM counter in Delhi. He was shocked to find a balance of Rs 42,000 in his account on Monday when he checked the balance with the SBI ATM Counter here.


While, Rs.80, 000 was withdrawn fraudulently in two phases on January 10, Rs.20, 000 has been withdrawn from his SBI account on the next day , Suna told. Most surprisingly, how Rs.80,000 was withdrawn in a day against the maximum withdrawal limits of Rs.40,000. All the benefits were deposited with Suna’s SBI account here after his retirement way back in 2006, sources said.


Though earlier 20 SBI customers have been the victims of ATM fraud here, Suna is said to be first ever customer who has lost such a huge amount in a fraudulent transaction. Mean while, the victim has threatened to commit suicide if he doesn’t get back his money. How I can manage the family now, Suna told in a choked voice to the media persons here.


Till date, 20 account holders of the State Bank of Malkangiri have reported loss of money without their knowledge. With fraudulent transactions are on rise, it seems that a racket outside the state is doing all illegal transactions with feed backs from some local mischief mongers having a share in the transaction, sources said. As ATM fraud has become a routine affair, the SBI customers here do not feel safe to deposit their money with the bank apprehending fraudulent transaction.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

A MACHINERY FACTORY RUN BY VISUALLY CHALLANGED PEOPLE : IF THERE IS A WILL THERE IS A WAY

A MACHINERY FACTORY RUN BY VISUALLY CHALLANGED PEOPLE : IF THERE IS A WILL THERE IS A WAY 24/01/2012

ODISHA NEWS:




Just imagine, all employees including the executive body and the owner being visually challenged running a machinery factory which is manufacturing ‘Pins’ and ‘Clamps’ of the boilers for the Power plant. It is not only a wonderful experience but also difficult to believe. But this is a real story of a Tiruchirapalli factory, ORBIT, which was experienced by Chief Project Manager Arvind Kumar of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL), Paradip, in his recent visit.

On December 21, 2011, Arvind Kumar had visited Tiruchirapalli on a mission to expedite supplies of Boilers at Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited’s (BHEL) works for Power plant of IOCL’s ongoing Paradip Refinery Project. BHEL has outsourced non-pressure parts of these boilers to certain vendors nearby Tiruchirapalli. ‘ORBIT’ is among such outsourced vendors, who is making Pins and Clamps of these boilers for their project. When Arvind and his team reached ORBIT works, they were greeted by their President P R Pandi, who himself is a visually challenged person. “To my utter surprise, the whole ORBIT workshop is run by visually challenged persons. Though I was aware of certain special schools and institutions for these persons but never heard about any manufacturing industry run completely by such persons. What I saw next inside the workshop is quite difficult to believe. I had never witnessed such well coordinated and coherent working by these persons,” said Arvind.

He further said that people were segregating the raw material, feeding the raw material on cutting, shearing and punching machines with the help of their fellow visually challenged friends, collecting the final products and bagging them after quality checks. The whole manufacturing process was efficiently done and finished product was meeting the quality standards, he added.

“I was lost in deep admiration seeing their untiring efforts for making vital parts for our project and emotionally touched. Their interpersonal understanding and collective effort was exemplary and far better as compared to normal workers engaged in other industrial units. The photos depict it completely but silently…,” he continued.

Arvind found that people were working with no ego and communication was being made not with vital sensory organs like eyes, but with their hearts. “I was thrilled and compelled to think that dedicated and sincere working by these special people is a great example towards values of humanity which defies all laws of Project Management. Calm and peace prevail here in their coordinated rhythm of working against any feeling of industrial acrimony,” he shared.

What came next was even more surprising. A physically handicapped welder was doing welding on the job and was assisted by a physically handicapped helper. They saw his helper almost running and going to store room next door to fetch the electrodes quickly. When inquired how he could do such job with much ease, his fellow companion from BHEL Jai Ram told him that every worker working here is fully conversant with the layout of workshop and does the job with calculated steps-concepts of time and motion study, well grasped by them by heart. Adding that he said, “I was overwhelmed by their indomitable spirit, everlasting zeal and working in perfect harmony.” At the end, ORBIT president Pandi requested him, “Sir, if you come across any visually challenged person, please direct him to me, we will make him our team member here.”

“I controlled my emotions, advised them to maintain time-lines and quickly moved out with mixed feelings, thinking and admiring effort and passion of ORBIT in this endeavor and with firm conviction that Paradip Refinery Project will soon be a realized dream,” ended Arvind.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

January 23, 2012

THE SAND ARTIST OF ODISHA SELECTED FOR THE SNOW SCULPTURE CONTEST AT JAPAN


THE SAND ARTIST OF ODISHA SELECTED FOR THE SNOW SCULPTURE CONTEST AT JAPAN 23/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:


The 39th International Snow Sculpture Contest will start from 5th Feb-9th Feb at Sopporo. Japan 15 countries like India, Indonesia, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, Taiwan, Daejeon (Korea), New Zealand, Novosibirsk (Russia), Hawaii, Portland (USA), Malaysia, Finland, Hong Kong, Lithuania will be represented in this contest. International sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik from Odisha will represent India in this contest.


Pattnaik said I have planned to create a sculpture on climate change. We will show that how the people are suffering from climate change as well as the earth through this snow sculpture. The height of sculpture will be 3 meters and it will take four days to complete this sculpture. Two of my students Jitendra Kishore Jagadev and Bulu Mohanty will assist me to crate this sculpture. Pattnaik has already participated twice in the year 2002 & 2007 at sopporo snow festival.


He has represented India in 47 international sand sculpture championship and festivals around the world and won many prizes including World championship title at Berlin. He is running a sand art institute in Golden beach of Puri, Odisha.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

THE GUINESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORD CONFIRMED THE WORLD RECORD OFFICIALLY: THE MEGA ODISHI DANCE SHOW BY 555 ARTISTS

THE GUINESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORD CONFIRMED THE WORLD RECORD OFFICIALLY: THE MEGA ODISHI DANCE SHOW BY 555 ARTISTS 23/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:


The Guinness Book of World Records has confirmed the spectacular show by 555 Odissi dancers on December 23 last year at Kalinga Stadium here as a world record. “This is just to confirm that I have approved your attempt as a current world record,” Fast Track Guinness World Records Limited records manager Kristian Teufel said in a letter to IPAP-USA CEO Pratap Das.


Das was the organiser of the event with the active support of the Department of Tourism and Culture of the Government of Odisha, where 555 Odissi dancers performed to set a world record. Das in return congratulated Tourism and Culture Principal Secretary Ashok Kumar Tripathy for his all out support to make the event successful.


Tripathy was instrumental in organising the show supported by his team of officers from the department. The IPAP-USA also urged Tripathy to organise a meeting (after the panchayat elections) with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for officially handing over the Guinness Book of World Records Certificate.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

January 20, 2012

ARE PUBS AGAINST OUR CULTURE?

If political parties in different states, both ruling and opposition, are so dead against alcohol, why don't they just pass a law, banning alcohol from their states? Then the whole country will be liquor-free.


IN A country which is divided in opinion on almost every issue imaginable, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the statements made by certain political parties and ministers that the pub culture prevalent in India these days must be eradicated has triggered off a nation-wide debate. People are speculating as to what exactly is meant by ‘pub culture’; does it depend upon the social fabric of a country, varying from one country to another? Is it just another American concept making its way into our lives through constant and unmonitored exposure to American television?

Without understanding what is the ‘pub culture’ and how they, if at all, threaten to corrupt our morals and the image of India the political parties want to present to the whole world, we can never do something about it.

If political parties in different states, both ruling and opposition, are so dead against alcohol, why don’t they just pass a law banning consumption of alcohol from their states? Then the whole country will be liquor-free. They don’t, because alcohol brings in a lot of revenue.

Sometimes, they themselves consume alcohol and use it as a means to lure mostly the poor and uneducated to vote for them. Liquor companies also provide funding for election campaigns. This explains why politicians don’t ban alcohol in their states although nothing stops them from cracking down on young people drinking alcohol in pubs.

India being a secular country, one must look at the picture from different religious angles. While Islam imposes a strict religious ban on the consumption of alcohol, that is not the case in Hinduism. Historical evidence indicates that in the Vedic Age consumption of ‘Som rasa’, an alcoholic drink in religious as well as social gatherings offered to deities was common.

Even the Ayurveda mentions the usage of alcohol in making medicines, treating wounds, and herbal wines with numerous health benefits.

But the Hindu concept of dharma criticises the consumption of anything that causes harm to the body and the mind, and we are all aware of the adverse effects alcohol abuse has on our health and mental stability in the long run.

Thus, one can say that alcohol consumption is frowned upon by Hinduism but not strictly banned. So people, who are upholders of India’s glorious past can’t really justify their claims that alcoholism is alien to the Indian culture.

Gender-bias and alcohol consumtion is another important facet within the larger problem of alcohol consumption. To be fair, steps are being taken to realise the dream of complete emancipation of women in India. But the problem is we may not be a Taliban regime forcing our women to wear burqas, keeping them from talking to unknown men, but even today male hegemony exists, both in the minds of the people and in practice.

Men want to marry virgins, who don’t drink or smoke and in short are good wife material. They may not always be upfront about it but that’s how it is usually. If a man sees a beautiful woman at a bar, he might want to chat her up, ask her out, and spend months with her doing everything that mothers teach their daughters not to do before marriage. But he will not always want to take her home to his mother. To him, she is the epitome of everything ‘good girls’ shouldn’t ever be.

This is why the sight of women drinking at a pub still raises eyebrows in this country even if women continue to make their way to the parliament or to the moon. Drinking is still chiefly considered to be a male bastion.

To give a recent example, in 2009, some unruly mobs had entered a pub physically assaulting women sitting and drinking inside with their friends. They defended their move as a means to protect these women and their moral character from the evils of alcohol as well as from drunken men, who were supposedly bothering them.

But, if these men were so concerned about protecting the moral rights of the women, why do they lech at the same women on the streets, and clap and dance to item numbers with the raunchily-dressed girls? They might argue that the youth of today have taken to drinking excessively thereby ruining their health and their peace of mind. But why do these mobs drink alcohol themselves? Also, there were many men sitting inside that pub; why not attack them as well instead of targetting only the women?

Question is who gave these fringe political outfits the right to act as the moral police, that too by exercising such brutality? If rescuing women from the evils of alcoholism was the only motive, why were they molested in public? Modern women are quite capable of taking care of themselves.

In whatever way they try to justify their actions, one can safely say that the Indian society, the fundamentalists mostly, hasn’t yet been able to accept the idea of free-thinking women, who indulge in smoking, consuming alcohol and living life the way they want without following the diktats imposed on them by the males in their lives. The moment these men fear that their identity and their powers are being threatened, they unleash the most unimaginable forms of brutality on women to check their progress and activities.

These questions must be answered and addresses before taking drastic steps to curb the nuisance of alcoholism from the society. We must find out why such incidents occur before introducing the art of responsible social drinking is a must. A pub is a place where people go to have a drink to relax and meet friends. If alcohol is not anti-Indian, then how can pubs be so? In fact, one can say that they are doing their bit of good work by letting people drink indoors so that they don’t do that outdoors or at home, and create a mess in all their drunken glory.

RAT RACE - WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?

Our children are easily stressed out these days owing to the stiff competition that they have to face in every sphere of life. Studies, peer pressure, etc., are robbing them of the simple pleasures of childhood. Are parents to be blamed?


REMEMBER THE celluloid magic where a certain bucktoothed scrawny eight-year- old who, like all normal eight-year-olds, loved painting and spending hours in his own world of make believe where he is a flying superhero out to save the world, stole our hearts?


The child had to constantly endure barbs about his steadily falling grades in school along with constant comparisons with his overachieving brother? Remember the scene where his angry father complains to his teacher that the underperforming boy has no hope, no futurre - 'What’d he do when he grows up? Do you expect me to feed him forever?'. To this the teacher with whom the kid bonded like no other replies - Every kid has his/her own abilities and different capacities for handling stress'.

Of course, in an Aamir Khan film, like any other Bollywood mainstream film, you can expect to see the protagonists emerging victorious from the battle. Ishaan Avasti’s parents gradually woke up to the realization that their child is gifted in his own way and deserves to be treated with the same respect and love that they shower on their talented firstborn.

When my aunt had first watched the film, she, like other mothers, was moved to tears. Little Ishaan’s sufferings, the inability of his parents to understand his problems and their somewhat deliberate indifference towards it struck a chord with parents across the nation as they discovered their own lost childhood and developed some genuine empathy for their overworked children’s sufferings.

But sadly enough, this empathy was proved to be short-lived. Very soon my aunt went right back to shouting at her son for playing cricket or painting fishes and stars instead of solving mundane time and distance problems.

A sense of déjà vu had zoomed into overdrive as I watched the film and reflected on my own childhood. I started questioning-why do parents keep piling pressure on their already overworked children when they can clearly see that it’s not working; the kids are not acing any test in school; they are not anything like the high IQ students of health drink ads-every Indian parent’s fantasy child.

According to my mother, the pressure to raise perfect children is too high for parents to ignore, and thus they have no other option but to start pushing their kids to achieve more and more. There is a social status to maintain, a prestige in boasting about your child’s achievements in social gatherings, a certain sense of victorious satisfaction in watching a shade of jealousy reflected on Mrs. X’s face who’s son couldn’t make it to a prestigious institute or has got poor grades in school.

Is it that every parent secretly believes that his/her child is or can be better than his/her peers? Is that why they constantly compare them to other children till the latter out of constant guilt trips work so hard that they slowly start teetering on the edge of nervous breakdown, or worse? Why is there a silent battle of constant comparison and strive to attain perfection which clearly takes a toll on the children’s health and peace of mind?

Our system of education and culture is obsessed with achievement. If you make it to a prestigious engineering college or a medical college, you are treated as an equal amongst successful people; you’d be looked upon with respect for making a substantial contribution towards the progress and welfare of this country. Now the philosophy that defines this progress is somewhat questionable.

If you are a burnt-out engineer with no real passion for the subject and are just working as a corporate slave for the money and the prestige that it offers, then what good are you doing for the society? If you’re a doctor who refuses to treat people who can’t cough up a hefty fee, then are you at all doing your bid for your country? But if individual prosperity is a yardstick for measuring the progress of the country, then the philosophy stands correct.

If you have watched 3 Idiots, then I am not going to discuss much about the negative effects of ill-advised career decisions on students’ lives. Children are suffering from stress-induced diseases, depression, eating disorders, perennial exhaustion which the teachers and the parents tend to overlook or underestimate.

Sometimes out of sheer frustration, they indulge in binge drinking, sexual promiscuity, do drugs; as a result their performances at schools continue to dip. But the parents remain oblivious or dismissive about this rampant problem. Fear of falling behind and overt parental criticism drive the children to overtax their brains. They lack in creativity, positive thinking and thinking out of the box.

The parents are not to be blamed entirely for this epidemic. It is the society which has stated a very narrow definition for success that includes bank balance and other such measurables. I am not against working hard to achieve something; but that achievement must not come at the cost of your health or happiness. Our children deserve to retain their innocence and enjoy their childhood without us constantly irritating them or making unfair demands from them. They deserve a right to happiness, to pursue their passion, to make their dreams come true. As

Aamir Khan puts it aptly: If Lata Mangeshkar’s father had told her to become a fast bowler..” Imagine the travesty!

IS POLITICS A MOCKERY OR OF A SERIOUS CONCERN?

ALMOST EVERY young Indian has heard his/her parents at least once ruing that young people are a bunch of confused, misdirected, shallow and selfish people only caring for their jobs, a fat pay packet at the end of the month, a life of hedonistic pleasures and nothing else worth mentioning.


Grandparents have also complained about the attitude of today’s youth. They have even compared that when they were young, they were faced with two options - either to survive on the freebies that the then British government was handing out to them in the name of jobs or actively participate in the nation’s policies to free the country from the shackles of foreign rule. And they chose the second.

Even parents have complained that the political scenario in India in the 70’s demanded that the youth join politics and protest against the government dictatorship unjustly imposed on the country and gross violation of fundamental human rights. In short, their point is that the youth of yesteryears were a lot more responsible and socially conscious than the youth of today or the ‘Facebook’ generation as they’d like to call themselves.


Politics not for us, say youth


I asked many people of my age that when given a chance to contest elections would they join Indian politics. Only a handful of them said that they would give it some thought. Most of them laughed at my question.

To them involvement in the political affairs of the country is something criminal or a complete waste of time. “There are other people, politicians to run the country’s government. It is their job. Why would we bother?” was what most of them had to say. Some of them have no clue about the country’s political situation.

A 21-year-old-girl was heard saying “I don’t know about government policies and all that stuff. It doesn’t affect my life directly, does it?” The last statement is, of course, far from the truth because every government policy, bill passed - everything has a direct or indirect impact on our lives - whether we acknowledge it or not.

Politics, in today’s India is the least popular career choice for Indian youth. The most important reason behind this trend is that politics has acquired a very wrong connotation. Corruption, scams, communalism, terrorism, and draconian laws implemented by wizened politicians are some of the major factors responsible for the absence of considerable youth power in the political spectrum of the country.

There are no charismatic leaders who will inspire and lead them in a bid to change the country. The youth claim that the politicians’ greed and lust for money and power, the false promises that they make prior to elections to woo the voters and their selfish and corrupt nature - disgusts them.

Indian youth is not following in the right footsteps
But the irony lies in the fact that the youth in this nation is not 100 per cent free from corruption, dishonesty and depravity. We have them cheating in examinations, buying pirated CDs and DVDs, stealing, robbing and vandalizing properties in drunken rage, indulging in substance abuse and going to any extent to fulfill their aims and desires - without once stopping to question the moral implications of their actions.

The youth themselves don’t have a clean slate to begin with so this denies them the right to criticize the corrupt nature of politicians. Yes, politicians are corrupt,. but what stops us young people to practice honesty and integrity?

We think that the youth are indifferent towards the political situation of the country. The case, however, is very different. The youth today are apathetic towards all the problems that the common Indian public is grappling with. As long as they have their high-speed internet connections, unlimited download schemes, expensive high-end smart phones, alcohol, cars, and friends - till then the whole world ceases to exist for them, and they are happy.

The death of protesters in Ratnagiri has nothing to do with the performance of their snazzy new cellphone. A Wikileaks exposure of government scams is the last thing on their mind at the moment. “All politicians are corrupt; so it is not very surprising, is it? Now let me check my Facebook photo comments please,” – seems to be the attitude. It is not that they are content with the way the government runs our country; it’s just that they couldn’t care any less.

Having said that, it is the Indian youth who protested against the Jessica Lal murder verdict, the unfair reservation issue, and other public matters of concern. So maybe, deep down, there exists a semblance of conscience, a sense of political awareness and of belonging to this country and doing something to bring about change.

Parents’ attitude

The attitude of the parents on the whole is very contradictory. They will criticize their children for being ‘confused’ and ‘selfish’ but they will never think of urging them to make a career out of politics. They will insist that their kids take up jobs that ensure a steady salary even if that’s not what the children want to do. They sometimes even make peace with any out-of-the-box- career choices their kids make.

But all hell breaks loose if the kids want to join politics. To discourage them the parents cite examples of how they were exploited during the Emergency, how their education suffered and their job prospects took a hit, how many of them got sucked into the corrupt system and could never come out of it alive.

It is also the attitude of the parents that politics is for ‘bad’ people, and for losers with zero prospects. Students are discouraged from participating in campus politics, from attending rallies and meetings and voicing their opinions. The general attitude is ‘Indian politics is dirty. It will never change. So why should we sacrifice the lives of our children?’

The unbridled energy, enthusiasm, creativity, fresh ideas and ideology of the youth will go to waste if they don’t come forward to make India a better place to live in. We are all equally accountable for India’s problems. It is not the politicians’ India’ it is ‘our India’. And thus the onus is also on us to ensure that the country realizes her full potential.

ODISHA AGRICULTURE MINISTER RESIGNS OVER THE RAPE ROW: CM KEEPS THE AGRICULTURE PORTFOLIO

ODISHA AGRICULTURE MINISTER RESIGNS OVER THE RAPE ROW: CM KEEPS THE AGRICULTURE PORTFOLIO 20/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:


A day after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that he will decide the fate of Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy, who is accused of harbouring the culprits behind the alleged Pipli gang rape in Puri district, in a day or so, Maharathy today submitted his resignation letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at Naveen Niwas owing to widespread protest and pressure from the Opposition.

When asked about the reason for his resignation by media persons, Maharathy said, “I have given the resignation on ‘moral ground’ and in the ‘interest’ of ruling BJD. I have taken this decision to safeguard BJD’s image in view of the coming panchayat elections. I am ready to face any inquiry. I have full faith on judiciary and truth would come out despite a campaign by opposition political parties to tarnish my image.”

Denying the allegations against him, he said, “I am not a coward, I am a stalwart, Maharathy added.

However not satisfied with Maharathy’s resignation, opposition Congress and BJP said it was a drama. “Maharathy’s resignation is not enough. It is a drama. We want the chief minister to resign. Our battle will continue,” Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee President Niranjan Patnaik said.


Making the same demand, state BJP President Jual Oram said, Patnaik must resign on moral ground and agitation would continue to ensure justice to the rape victim.
The opposition political parties and civil societies, which had undertaken state-wide agitations in the wake of the dalit gangrape case, also demanded a CBI probe into the matter.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had forwarded Maharathy’s resignation letter to Raj Bhawan for the approval of Governor Shri M C Bhandare. Meanwhile the Governor has accepted the resignation. CM Naveen Patnaik will hold the responsbility of the department for the time being.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

US AMBASSADOR VISITS USAIDS PROJECT IN ODISHA

US AMBASSADOR VISITS USAIDS PROJECT IN ODISHA 20/01/2012
ORISSA NEWS:


U.S. Chargé d’Affaires A. Peter Burleigh visited a project supported by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on health of the urban poor (HUP) in the Hare Krushna Nagar, Bhubaneswar.

USAID’s Health of the Urban Poor Program (HUP) is working to improve health, water, and sanitation services for poor urban communities in India by organizing women’s health groups and strengthening the ability of public health workers and community volunteers to serve their communities.

“I am pleased to be able to observe this impressive program. Its success is a testament to your hard work and commitment, which is making a positive difference in people’s lives,” said Ambassador Burleigh.

“You have spoken about the unique challenges you face as women residents here. I am impressed with your courage and hope to bring about positive change. I believe that when women organize and act, they can achieve the impossible,” he added.

The USAID HUP program works with eight Indian states (Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, Bihar, Uttarakhand, and Chhattisgarh) on state urban health programs and has demonstration sites in five cities (Pune, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Agra and Delhi).

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

January 17, 2012

MAGNIFICENT SHOW OF ODISHI CONCLUDED AT MUKTESWAR DANCE FESTIVAL



MAGNIFICENT SHOW OF ODISHI CONCLUDED AT MUKTESWAR DANCE FESTIVAL 17/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:



The three day Odissi fest at the magnificent Mukteswar temple ended with spell-binding performance of Odissi by renowned Odissi dancers of national and international repute showcasing the varied items of Odissi repertory. It was as if the dancing damsels came alive out of the 10th century AD monument, indisputably one of the most refined and beautiful temples of Odisha. At the outset the eminent musician and singer Suramani Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi with his disciples Dr. Adyasha Das, Dr. Mitali Chinara, Parthasarathi Panigrahi, Dr. Sangeeta Goswami and Rajendra Kumar Patra presented Siva Bandana “Pasunam Patim Papa Nasam Paresam” which permeated a spiritual fervour in the audience.

The evening’s programme started with lighting the lamp by Dr. Priyambada Mohanty Hejmadi, Former Vice Chancellor, Sambalpur University & Odissi Dance exponent, Shri Pranab Pattnaik, eminent Singer, Shri Ashok Gupta, Chief General Manager, State Bank of India, Shri Ashok Kumar Tripathy, IAS, Principal Secretary, Tourism & Culture Department, Shri H. S. Upadhyay, IFS, Director, Tourism and Shri S. K. Das, Director, Culture.

Renowned Odissi dancer Madhusmita Mohanty presented “Haragouryastaka” in Mangalacharan and invoked the blessing of Lord Siva & Parvati while eulogizing the glory and the beauty of Siva and Parvati culminating with the synergy of Prakruti and Purusa as Ardhanariswara. It was based on the music composition by Guru Ramahari Das, rhythm composition by Guru Dhaneswar Swain and Guru R. K. Patra and dance choreography by Guru Aruna Mohanty. In her Abhinaya she presented “Bhumisuta” an episode on Sita from the great epic Ramayana in which she elegantly exhibited the sequences depicting how the mother earth was very caring in giving birth to her as Janaka Nandini and also took to her lap after Sita was rejected by Lord Shree Ram. The theme was conceived and choreographed by Guru Aruna Mohanty and music was composed by Guru Gopal Chandra Panda.

In duet the very talented brother and sister duo Shri Devraj Patnaik and Miss Elora Patnaik from Canada presented Kedara Pallavi set to Tala Ektali followed by Abhinaya “Harihara” depicting glory and prowess of Lord Bishnu and Siva. Music was composed by Devraj Patnaik and the dance was choreoghraphed by both Devraj and Ellora.

In the group category renowned dancer Jyoti Srivastava with her students of Vaishali Kala Kendra, Noida, UP started her programme with an invocatory piece on Lord Siva followed by Pallavi set to Rag Kedarkamodi and Tala Ekatali and in Abhinaya an episode depicting the glory of Goddess of Ganga. The music of both the items was composed by eminent Odissi Guru Ramahari Das and choreographed by Smt. Jyoti Sivastava.

The Odissi lovers in large numbers were delighted by the superb performance of Odissi repertory. Another interesting item which added the beauty of the Mukteswar ambience was on-the-spot-painting synchronising the themes presented on the stage by the great artiste Shri Baladev Maharatha. The programme was conducted by Dr. Mrutunjaya Rath and Sanghati Pani.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS

OPSC PETITIONED GOVENOR TO INTERVENE IN THE SENSATIONAL PIPLI RAPE CASE

OPSC PETITIONED GOVENOR TO INTERVENE IN THE SENSATIONAL PIPLI RAPE CASE 17/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:


The Odisha Pradesh Student Congress (OPSC) has petitioned the Governor Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare to intervene on the issues such as Bhadrak, Pipili and Cuttack rape cases involving murder, molestation and harassment.

They demanded that the State Government should take appropriate steps immediately and provide protection to women and girl students. The cases should undergo CBI inquiry.
OPSC President Chinmoy Kumar Sahoo, in a statement on Tuesday said that, gang-rape cases are increasing at an alarming mode as recently four rape cases came to light after media intervention.

Sahoo demanded that State Government should take immediate action to give justice to the victims. The organisation also demanded rejection of bail petitions of rape case criminals and imposition of rigorous punishment for the culprits, registering a case against the MLA of Pipili, Pradeep Maharathi who has been accused for supporting the illegitimate during this process, institution of criminal proceedings against the Pipili IIC for not accepting FIR and not taking further action to nab the culprits and protection for the victims and her family.

OPSC demanded harsh actions against the Superintendent of Police, Puri. Moreover pointing at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, they demanded his resignation, claiming that he is not able to assess the situation in the right direction.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS

January 16, 2012

>ODISHA STATE VIGILANCE CREATES RECORD IN THE COUNTRY

ODISHA STATE VIGILANCE CREATES RECORD IN THE COUNTRY 16/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:


With the registering of an all-time high number of cases of 440, out of which 91 cases relating to disproportionate asset cases, the State Vigilance has created a record of sorts in year 2011.

The anti-corruption wing has topped the list in the country on this count. Director, State Vigilance Anup Patnaik while recently addressing his officers at a review meeting, hailed the efforts of all field staff, investigating officers, Special Public Prosecutors, and technical, statistical wing, taxation and forest wing staff for the achievement.

Among others, IGs Santosh Upadhyay, Surendra Panwar and Amrit Mohan Prasad were present.The Sambalpur Vigilance Division contributed the maximum number of cases (90) followed by Cuttack (78), Jeypore (58), Bhubaneswar (56), Berhampur (55), Balasore (53) and Vigilance Cell (50).

Out of the cases tried by various Vigilance courts in 2011, roughly 37 per cent of them got convictions as per the preliminary calculations. The total number of cases where trials were completed was 249.The total number of cases registered against Class I officers was 79 while a record number of 91 disproportionate assets cases were booked.

The forest cases detected in a year totaled at 135. The total number of cases detected by the commercial tax unit was 363, and an amount of Rs 11.59 crore was collected as revenue against the 2010 figure of Rs 10.99 crore.


The State Vigilance achieved its self-prescribed targets for 2011 under all heads, notably in registration of cases, disposal of years-old cases pending investigation, disposal of cases pending trial, disposal of file inquiries as well as secret inquiries.

Another notable achievement in the year was attachment of disproportionate assets of three All-India Service officers.

The Odisha Vigilance was the fourth in the All-India reporting in 2010.
Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan were the states which registered more cases in 2010. The State Vigilance now has a unique distinction of having its own setups in all the 30 revenue districts of the state.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

UFO MOVIEZ PLANNING TO ADD MORE CINEMA HALLS IN ODISHA

UFO MOVIEZ PLANNING TO ADD MORE CINEMA HALLS IN ODISHA 16/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:


UFO Moviez, the world's largest networked digital cinema chain in the process to add more cinema halls of the state in its kitty. Company also willing to releases more Odia films through its platform.

Presently 19 cinema halls of the state including Cine Complex, Maharaja, Keshari and Samrat Cinema, etc have the UFO Technology facilities. Company already releases more than 68 Odia films. The recent Odia blockbuster 'Balunga Toka' fetch 2.5 crore in box office which is also released through UFO Movies platform.


To set up technology in cinema halls, company has invest up to Rs 10,00,000 per cinema halls. To recover this capex it charged Rs 3000 to Rs 17,5000 from cinema halls every month as monthly rental. Company also collect revenue through advertisement also, said the Chief Operating Oficer of UFO Moviez, Pankaj Jaysinh.
UFO Moviez had already telecast live matches of IPL in 21 halls of the state.

This year also company plans to provide 3D IPL live matches flavor to the people of Odisha. It also provide opportunity for the Odia cinema producers and distributors to release Odia films in Surat, Kerala, Hyderabad and Chhattisgarh.


UFO Movies present in 26 district of the state. Due to Naxalite menace company not willing to cover Malkanagiri district which also do not have cinema hall also. Other uncovered districts are Sonepur, Nabarangpur, Nuapada and Deogarh. All these district do not have cinema halls.

Presently the value of UFO Moviez stands at Rs 600-700 crore.Today with close to 2800 digital cinema installations spread in around 1300 cities across the length and breadth of India, UFO has taken over the Indian film industry by storm. Out of these 2800 screens, around 350 screens are in multiplexes (which constitutes over 30% of the multiplex population in the country) the balance are in single screen theaters, with 154 3D screens. UFO has so far released over 4085 films in 30 languages and has conducted more than 9.2 million shows.

UFO has significantly contributed to the expansion of the Indian film industry through wide spread day one releases of films across geographies. UFO's present base with satellite based delivery allows Industry to have a much wider spread release than has been possible through the print medium.


UFO uses 192 bit frame by frame encryption in addition to invisible watermarking and other measures to ensure security of the content. Coupled with a much wider release, UFO technology has substantially reduced piracy for any new release.

India has a very strong local content (90% of around 1200 films released annually in India are produced locally) and ticket prices vary between USD 0.50 to USD 6.00 across cities depending upon various factors such as the location of the theatre and facilities provided by the exhibitors. The digital cinema solutions provided by UFO are very cost effective and cater to varied requirements of the exhibitors without any compromise in quality, reliability and security.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

January 15, 2012

BONE CHILLING COLD WAVE SWEEPS ACROSS ODISHA

BONE CHILLING COLD WAVE SWEEPS ACROSS ODISHA 15/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:


Severe cold wave have been sweeping the State for the last five days during the current season after a one week’s pause, thereby affecting normal life.


As per sources, the mercury level dipped to minus 2.5 degree Celsius recorded at Daringbadi in Kandhamal district.

According to the local Meteorological Department, severe cold wave conditions are likely to prevail over interior Odisha and over the coastal regions of the State during the next 48 hours.

Phulbani recorded the lowest temperature of 2.8 degree Celsius, Titilagarh recorded 4.5, Keonjhar 5, Baripada 5.2, Sambalpur 5.6, Jharsuguda 6.3, Hirakud 7.2 and Balasore 8.6 degree Celsius. While the minimum temperature recorded in Bhubaneswar at 10.2 degree Celsius, Cuttack 10.3, Puri 11.6 degree Celsius on Sunday.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

PRONOGRAPHIC VIDEO SCREENED PUBLICLY AT BHUBANESWAR RAILWAY STATION: A SHAMEFUL EVENT

PRONOGRAPHIC VIDEO SCREENED PUBLICLY AT BHUBANESWAR RAILWAY STATION: A SHAMEFUL EVENT 15/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:


It was really pity for the Railway authority and the people of Capital as well on saturdy afternoon when people around the world who were present at different platforms and viewing porn videos shown publicly. In a shameful situation yesterday a video clip of around 10 minutes was shown publicly in the TV screens of the platform at Bhubaneswar station. With immediate action of RPF the screened was stopped but by that time there have been 10 minute screening of the video having porn content.


Later RPF arrested the miscreant Asutosh (20 Yrs) and his mobile phone having porn videos. Asutosh was just appointed for a contractual job 4 months back. He was working with the private organisation who is managing the CC Tv footage and other video documentation in and around the railway station.


The authority in one hand pretending as it is an unintentional mistake but the image and ethical values of the state is at the back door with this shocking incident. This incident happened at around 3pm in the afternoon which is supposed to the pick hour as most passengers do have their trains around that hour. Soumendra Ghosh, a tourist from Bengal was very upset who alleged that it was completely intentional and station authority is completely responsible for this. Mr. Ghosh was with his kids and felt much uncomfortable before the kids.


This type of incident has happened earlier some of the coolies and local vendors complained. Miscreants do so in the late hour and even in the day time they used to play some provocative videos. Its time for the railway authority of Bhubaneswar station to wake up as it is quite an offending situation for the state if something like this happens before the tourists who contribute much to our revenue.

Peoples at the station also stated that the Television Screens at the Railway station is indeed a good step. But most of time it shows Hindi cinema songs. Instead the authority can use this in creating social awareness, awareness about railway and best it can be used to promote the art and culture of the state. It can be used as a passenger & tourist helpline showing important contact details, train timings and other necessary information.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

January 13, 2012

JINDAL STEEL TO SIGN MOU FOR CTL PROJECT WITH THE ODISHA GOVERNMENT: NAVEEN JINDAL

JINDAL STEEL TO SIGN MOU FOR CTL PROJECT WITH THE ODISHA GOVERNMENT: NAVEEN JINDAL 13/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:


Naveen Jindal informed media persons that JSPL is ready to sign an MoU with the State Government for setting up a coal-to-liquid (CTL) plant by end of this year.
He informed the same after a meeting with Chief Secretary Mr. B. K Patnaik at the State Secretariat.

“After signing the MoU, the company is prepared to start work on the CTL project next year,” JSPL Executive Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Naveen Jindal told reporters.

Stating that JSPL was getting enough cooperation from the local people, Jindal said it had identified a barren land to house the company’s proposed CTL plant. He said that the company would acquire the land with help of the local people.

Stating that environment safety measures would be adopted for the project, he said the company will get the environment clearance to the project by end of this year. “We will produce 80,000 barrel of liquid petroleum products from the proposed CTL project,” he said.

Besides diesel, petrol and kerosene oil, the project was aiming to produce aviation fuel also from its proposed CTL plant at Angul, he said.

He informed that the company had already been allocated a coal block for the purpose of raw material to be used in the proposed CTL plant.

He said JSPL’s Angul plant had been manufacturing 5 meter sheet, first of its kind in the country. This is the second such proposal for setting up a CTL plant in Odisha.

Earlier, the Tata Group, in collaboration with Sasol of South Africa, had expressed its interest to set up a similar coal-to-liquid plant in Odisha.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

MAOISTS TERROR CREATES PANIC AMONG PEOPLE IN MALKANGIRI

MAOISTS TERROR CREATES PANIC AMONG PEOPLE IN MALKANGIRI 13/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:


Shadow of terror looms large over the three-tier panchayat elections with Maoist posters and banners creating panic in Nakamamudi area under Kudmulgumma block limits on Thursday, the last day for closing of nominations. Red posters have been reportedly found near Nakamamudi GP office on Thursday.

The Maoists have made their intentions to disrupt polls clear by threatening people with dire consequences if they go against their diktats. In a veiled threat, the poster said those ignoring the warning should not hold the outfit responsible.

While the warning has spread panic in the region, an aspiring Samiti member said those engaged in corrupt practices, particularly the Government officials need to fear.

It is learnt that, the outlawed rebels have warned the candidates of different political parties not to enter into poll fray without their prior permission. Many candidates selected by the ultras have already filed nominations for the post of Sarpanch and ward members and samiti members in their strongholds to ensure that they retain their sway over their safe heavens, sources said.

More than 50 Maoist backed candidates have already filed their nomination in Kalimela, Podia, Khairput, Kudmulgumma and Mathili panchyat samiti limits till today, unconfirmed sources said.

It is believed that the rebels are creating terror in the areas where there is a possibility of filing of nomination by the candidates other than their choice.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

MUPF UPSET WITH THE MINISTER’S OBNOXIOUS AND DISPARAGING REMARKS AGAINST MEDIA

MUPF UPSET WITH THE MINISTER’S OBNOXIOUS AND DISPARAGING REMARKS AGAINST MEDIA 13/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:


The Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) strongly condemns some recent public statements by Pradip Maharathi, Minister, Agriculture in which he has targeted the media and media persons and also cast aspersions on them.

In a press statement MUFP warn the minister against making any sweeping, generalized and disparaging remarks against the media in future. While he has the right to defend himself against any false or defamatory news items that may have appeared in the media but he surely does not have the right to denigrate the media and media persons as a whole. Media persons are duty bound to report facts and reflect the public opinion and not to please the high and mighty. MUFP hopes Maharathi will restrain himself and desist from making sweeping and irresponsible statements designed to show the media and media persons in poor light in future.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

January 12, 2012

BIRD FLU IS AFFECTING ODISHA: PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES ADOPTED BY THE GOVERNMENT

BIRD FLU IS AFFECTING ODISHA: PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES ADOPTED BY THE GOVERNMENT 12/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:



The State Government ordered culling of around 35,000 poultry birds in a radius of 3 kilometers from Keranga village in Khurda district following confirmation of existence of bird flu virus in the area.


On the direction of the Union Animal Husbandry Ministry, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik gave his nod in favour of culling of birds in around 19 villages of Keranga from Thursday. District Collector of Khurda and Director of Veterinary Services have already been put on the job.


Team comprising of veterinary doctors, live stock inspectors, police and forest officials today started culling of the bird population in the bird flu affected areas of Khurda district, including the only poultry farm having over 22,000 birds. The teams would move from door to door and slaughter birds with all precautionary measures.


According to nodal officer at the state-level control room at the State Secretariat Dr Gopal Tripathy, the decision to carry out the precautionary culling of birds in around 19 villages from Thursday morning was taken by chief minister Naveen Patnaik at a high-level meeting here.


The Fisheries and Animal Husbandry Department said, the culling will start with immediate effect. Compensation for the poultry farmers and owners of birds has also been announced by the Government.

Stating that an estimated 35,000 poultry birds and other domesticated birds would be culled, Dr Tripathy said that as per the compensation package Rs 50 would be given to each culled 5-month-old hen laying eggs, Rs 70 for each full grown poultry bird, Rs 30 for each chick, and Rs 35 would be given as compensation per duck.


Similarly, eggs would be destroyed as part of the preventive measures and the state government would give Rs 2 per egg and Rs 6 per kg in respect of poultry feed.


Sufficient numbers of protective masks and kits have already been placed for the teams which will carry out the culling. Over 50 teams have been set for this purpose.


As part of precautionary measures as per the advice of visiting Central experts’, team member Tarashankar Pan of the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biology, Kolkata, the State Government also banned supply of eggs under the midday meal scheme in the schools in a 10 km radius of Keranga village.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS, ODISHA

PATIENT CONDITION CRITICAL DUE TO WRONG BLOOD TRANSFUSION

PATIENT CONDITION CRITICAL DUE TO WRONG BLOOD TRANSFUSION 12/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:


A woman is undergoing treatment in a serious condition in the district government hospital after she was allegedly given transfusion of a wrong blood group by the technician of the blood bank of the hospital on Monday. Her condition is stated to be critical.

Women ‘s husband is trying to get authorities to investigate the alleged medical negligence that he says caused his wife's condition serious.

Minati Jena of Patapur village of Jajpur district was admitted in the government hospital on Saturday for treatment of anemia. On Monday, she was transfused with O+ blood after the technician of the blood bank tested her blood and reported that her blood group was O+. After taking two bottles of blood of O+ on Sunday and Tuesday her condition started deteriorating for which as per the advice of the doctor her blood was tested outside the hospital and she came to know that her blood group is B positive.

Her condition started deteriorating and it transpired that due to transfusion of mismatched blood she is now battling with life in the bed no- 85 in the hospital, alleged her brother. Bipin Jena the brother of Minati has alleged before the Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) that due to gross negligence of the technician of the hospital her sister was transfused with wrong blood .

When contacted Dr Deepak Kumar Prusti the Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) of Jajpur said “ The condition of the patient was serious as she was suffering from anemia for which she was transfused with O + blood as it is a universal blood group. Later , we came to know that she has B+ blood group. If necessary we will provide her B+ blood group. Now the condition of the patient is good. Being a gullible person , the brother of Minati alleged that doctor transfused wrong blood to his sister”.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

BJD IS BLAMING CONGRESS FOR POLITICAL CRIMINALISATION

BJD IS BLAMING CONGRESS FOR POLITICAL CRIMINALISATION 12/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:


Jharsuguda district Biju Janta Dal has demanded State Election commissioner & District Administration to take drastic measures against the congress MLA Naba kisore Das& his supporters in upcoming panchayat elections. A BJD spokes person said that in upcoming panchayat elections local Congress MLA & his people will definitely use felony and muscle power as they did in the last assembly election.


Just like Congress openly used muscle power & wealth power in the last election was influenced the result we think that in upcoming election by using the same they will again influence the result said by district BJD. Keeping it Biju Janta Dal demanded strict legal action against the individuals with criminal backgrounds of the Congress.

Voters to vote fearlessly, for this will need to stop wealth power & gundaraj of Congress again told by district BJD. BJD leader Tapas Ray Chaudhry and district Biju Janta dal president Trinath Guwal said that the supporter of local Congress MLA not only doing felony but also doing land brokerage & cheating the poorer.

They are buying land of Poor tribal’s, Harijan’s, at a low prices & are selling at higher prices to industrial houses. BJD leaders are demanding a high-level investigation of this illegal acts going on by the supporter of the Congress MLA. In the last meeting of RPDCA the Rajyasabha Member Kishore Mohanty raised the same issue for investigation .Similarly, the Congress people at Kumhadapali village for the construction of high capacity tower for power generation, scaring people by threatening to buy in less and selling in high price their land, on which High Court given stay order.

While, District BJD demanded the screening of Congress MLA’s property process completed soon in ongoing Kanta Das Murder case. Against local Congress MLA, Kantadas murder case & incident of threatened to the contractor is ongoing in Crime Branch. This proves that the criminal activity and terror reign is going on of Congress MLA and his supporters by overwhelmed the administration of industrial institutions in Jharsuguda region.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

January 11, 2012

LAND LOOT ACROSS THE CAPITAL CITY OF ODISHA: UNSCRUPLOUS OFFICIALS

LAND LOOT ACROSS THE CAPITAL CITY OF ODISHA: UNSCRUPLOUS OFFICIALS 11/01/2012
ODISHA NEWS:

(An Officer enjoys office even after being suspended what an irony in state revenue department.)


The administration at Revenue Department, Govt. of Odisha, has really gone to a sorry state. This is evident from the case of Athagarh Tehsildar, Mr. Biswajit Mohapatra, who continued to serve the office even after being suspended on a land scam.
The higher authorities at the department took at least 5 days to realize that the suspension order could not reach Mr. Mohapatra’s office at appropriate time. Further, the administration at the Dept. has gone to such a bad state that the team carrying the suspension letter could not hand it over to the Tehsildar as he suddenly gone untraced. Ultimately, the team had to affix the order as ‘latka’ (an order or summon affixed on the front door of a person when he absconds or his family refuses to receive the same) at the Tehsil office.


Department of Revenue and Disaster Mitigation, Govt. of Odisha, released an official order, number 12/R (CS), dated 4 January 2012, pronouncing the suspension of Athagarh Tehsildar Mr. Biswajit Mohapatra for allegedly allowing 5 acres of Government land to an individual in Bhubaneswar periphery when he was the Tehsildar at Jatni. As per sources, the order was faxed to the Collector’s office, Cuttack, on the same day, and it was supposed to be served to the erring officer immediately. But no such action was initiated by the Collector’s office at Cuttack. As a result, Mr. Mohapatra continued to serve office as the Tehsildar Athagarh even after 4th January.



It is further understood that, finally after 5 days of signing of the order the top officials at Revenue Dept. became aware of the humanly delay in the execution of the same and they did not appreciate the action in the part of Cuttack Collector. So on 9 th of January, again the order was faxed to the Collector of Cuttack and it was advised to the senior officers to serve the same without further delay. Upon such instructions from the top, the suspension order was forwarded to Sub-Collector Athagarh on the same date but the Dept. could not succeed to serve the letter to the officer, i.e. Tehsildar of Athagarh.


It was a shame for the Dept. that the suspension order was affixed to the office of the Tehsildar Athagarh as ‘latka’ since the said office was not traceable by the Dept. officials. In this game of hide and seek the erring officer continued to enjoy office for at least 5 days. Not only that, Mr. Mohapatra also got the opportunity to file a case at State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) to put a stay on the suspension order.


The whole story looks like a riddle though it is very interesting. Mr. Biswajit Mohapatra, was punished by the Dept. for allegedly allowing a lease to one late Mr. Abhay Patnaik when he (Mr. Mohapatra) was the Tehsildar of Jatni. This particular case was brought to light, last year, when the Dept. was inquiring into a land scam in the periphery of Bhubaneswar.


The genesis of the case takes one to the year 1980. That Mr. Abhay Patnaik had applied for a lease of 5 acres of land at Ogalapada village area, in the periphery of Bhubaneswar, vide WLL (waste land lease) case number 170 in the year 1980. He was allowed the lease by an order dated 15 September 1982. However, later while reviewing the Dept. came to a conclusion that the lease was not allowed as per official guidelines. The then Commissioner of Consolidation, Mr. Ramesh Chandra Mishra Committee, gave the report to Govt. clearly saying that Mr. Abhay Patnaik was not eligible to get the said lease.


Basing on the report of Ramesh Chandra Mishra Committee, the then Addl. Tehsildar of Jatni cancelled the lease in the name of Mr. Abhay Patnaik, vide order dated 10 March 2000, and transferred the land to Govt. records. But the case did not stop here. Mr. Abhay Patnaik filed a case in Odisha High Court and in 2001 praying to get back the same. Upon hearing the case the Court directed the petitioner to appear before Addl. Tehsildar Jatni in a stipulated time period.


But the petitioner, for whatsoever reason, did not appear before the Addl. Tehsildar, Jatni in the date instructed by the High Court. Later, in 2004, almost after 3 years of court direction, the petitioner appeared before the Mr. Biswajit Mohapatra, the then Tehsildar Jatni and upon hearing the case Mr. Mohapatra allowed the 5 acres of land in the name of the petitioner Mr. Abhay Patnaik. And now, in 2011, the Govt. found that it was not done as per law and thus suspended Mr. Mohapatra.


The crux of the story demonstrates that when a senior official of the Dept. like a Commissioner, describes an act as ‘illegal’ and says ‘No’ the case, a Tehsildar of the same Dept. can legalize the matter and happily say ‘Yes’. Again after some years, the Dept. realizes that the officer on chair was wrong. So the game of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ or ‘yes’ and ‘no’ continues in the floor of the Dept. for year after year. And that is how the Revenue Dept. of Govt. of Odisha running and protecting the public property.


It has been further traced that Mr. Abhay Patnaik had signed a registered power of attorney vide number 1513, dated 05 August 1998, in the name of Eden Construction and Builders Orissa Pvt. Ltd. represented by Mr. Purnachandra Nayak for the whole 5 acres of land. Again Mr. Patnaik has sold one acre of land in the name of Dillip Kumar Sangram Singh, vide sale deed number 86 dated 16 August 2005. He had also sold two areas of land in the name of Mr. Basant Kumar Mohapatra vide sale deed number 3554 dated 04 April 2006 and another two acres to Mrs. Sujata Satpathy vide sale deed number 2087 dated 16 August 2005.


Thus now it is a million dollar question that how the Dept. shall practically realize the 5 acres of land to the Govt. records. On the other hand, land scam has become a common issue in the state capital and it is again and again discussed that Govt. officials are in hand in gloves with land grabbers. This is the high time for the Dept. to realize the same and initiate appropriate and timely action against the erring officers and protect the public property.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS, ODISHA