National Special

Odisha opposition shouldn’t reduce CM’s efforts at heritage uplift to a witch-hunt

Being the chief minister doesn’t bring a man under a mandate that his present actions on development need to be measured by the inadequacies of the past.

So, the recent initiatives by the chief minister Naveen Patnaik towards modernisation and beautification of the heritage sites like Puri and Konark not necessarily force him for a political tightrope situation because it is done today.

That is what the opposition parties in the state are up to. When it was not being done, it had tirades fired at the man and now that he has started,  trying a walk down the path of reform, the track is being made a blistering one by selective criticisms.

Puri came under the anvil after the disorder of the holy city came under the lens of the Supreme Court and that served as a catalyst for the government to step up the cleansing measures like demolition and so on.

Then the chief minister was targeted for the alleged lack of diligence which led to a piling up of issues like encroachment and other dereliction affecting the image of the Lord and the city as well. And the works got started once the court directives became binding.

Now, for a while, let politics take a leave in view of the enormity of the task in Puri.

Same is the case in Konark where some steps are viewed imperative for a facelift.

The millennium city Cuttack, often known as the cultural capital of Odisha has always remained a hostage to the geographic constraints and internal filth always attributed as an inseparable characteristic of the city.

If some of the aspects are being brought under the ambit of expansion and rubbing off the old sores, and the chief minister is taking a walk down the river paths, the opposition may reduce its trust for opposing a work even if late in the day.

Keeping aside, if there is any politics, but developmental works should not be allowed to reduce to a gaming hunt that appear caught in between hypocrisy and pragmatism.

State welfare cannot be a private rule and so, the opposition has many handles to enforce a check and balance on the entire exercise.


An aerial route muddied by politics from Bhubaneswar to Surat, spare the air at least!

Samikhsya Bureau

Watching news coverage on television channels and few subsequent debates over ‘ who first’ and thereby waging a war over the credit, the Bharatiya Janata Party & the Biju Janata Dal in Odisha have spun a real jitter and reiterate politics of self-aggrandisement.

On the day of the first take off the BJP MP Aparajita Sarangi was not only at the airport but, she ensured that meadi teams to be there to record her versions on the event. When people were on board from Bhubaneswar to Surat .

She did and rejoiced the pride that the dreams came true via the government at the Centre. Hard to guess that if there was an occasion for saying those things and hold brief for a crtain dispensation and make an airlink established.

Being present at the event was fine but whether making political capital out of it was necessary.

It was equally amazing to hear that the Speaker of the Odisha Assembly Surya Narayan Patra  mouthing the eulogies from Surat to claim the credit for the BJD. Experts are the better persons to suggest if a man, holding a constitutional high post, who ethically remains above party politics, was correct in making  a political insinuation over an air link.

Another party spokesman, from the BJP, took a step forward to pollute the air above the clouds to slam the BJD for its 20 years long failure to connect Surat with Bhubaneswar.

These politicians, who often suffer from a chronic lack of common sense, always choose a the bypass route from the basics.

Constitutionally, it is a compulsive moral for both the Centre and the State to improve such communications and neither of them do a favour by flagging off a flight from here to somewhere. Such occasions are for celebration of sort but are never meant to be a ground for indulging in politicking over an air-link.

Whether giving a grant or creation of facilities are just incumbent upon the Centre to give succor to states with matching investments if need be,  and that is that.


National Special

Vajpayee tried solutions through dialogues over CAA and Shah should now emulate to avoid cold war climate

There is a crossfire of challenges over the gnawing claws of the Citizenship Amendment (Act) and an unnerved nation quietly transits into a phase that may usher in a kind of cold war if the impasse lingers.

Dare not oppose the CAA , that was the clarion call given by the home minister Amit Shah by implication. That was rebutted by the Congress when Kapil Sibal daring the HM for a one-to-one debate at a place and time of Shah’s choice.

It is a conundrum of sort in which the citizen finds itself caught breathless.

Even there are calls of sanity and balance when few plead that, it is time the nation looks for a truce and the government must keep people first.

One cannot brand one who voice dissent to go packing to Pakistan. Whether Jamia or JNU or in Uttar Pradesh or in Meerut, the essence is same and that is,  please listen to the voices in whatever form they want to be heard. Just listen.

When almost the entire country is on the boil, agitated by which ever sentiment, the government must have the option to play a bagpiper role rather than painting all in one brush, and calling them ‘tukde tukde’ gangs and apoloigists for a certain section.

Coming from none other than a man like the home minister, who has the control remote in his hands to switch things back to a table for discussion, was not expected to go so emotional over a thing that is already enacted. The hurry can be condoned but not the loss of cool.

Talk to people, not to Rahul or Akhilesh 

He must give a  call for a talk with the people (and not Rahul Gandhi or Akhilesh Yadav) or any other being he deems fit to be talked.

Undisputedly, many protests have remained peaceful and free of political footsie being brought to practice.

What bugs is the dividing line and that is disguised by a thing called ego, may be. But that line can be thinned or erased by a single stroke of reconciliation which lies at the doors of the government .

One doesn’t have to go back far. It was under Atal Behari Vajpayee, in 2003, the CAA was brought under few changes in that of 1955 Act, and certain terms were removed and some introduced. And, interestingly, known for his calm, Vajpayee threw open the bill for discussion and suggestions and, notably, a parliamentary committee on this was headed by none other than Pranab Mukherjee.

Vajpayee found a conciliator in Mukherjee and so was Dr.Manmohan Singh and it was all about a dialogue.

But, in today’s politics, cutting across parties, dialogue or discussion is viewed as a sign of surrender or defeat. That has become the biggest impediment.

There should be a dialogue and minus that, politicians may find it convenient to fuel the fires further where a situation might  lead to a nightmare of cold-war climate in India.


Soni Razdan’s Devil’s Advocacy is ill-timed although, she has a space for it

Samikhsya Bureau

Politics has today come to a strange state when peculiar twists are being given to even things of past. Issues those well could be forgotten, but people, strangely, enjoy making barbs those contribute to nothing but a communal unease and a sense of self-doubt.

Almost 7 years after Afzal Guru got hanged, senior Bollywood actress Soni Razdan, aims to create a ripple in national politics with a fresh reminisce over Guru.

It is not to say that, Afzal’s conviction is above any measure of discussion or dissection but, the question is, if, such reminisces should  give way to widen a trust deficit as regards our judicial system.

Razdan seeks to find, if there was any flaw in hanging Guru and she suspects that, if he was made a ‘scapegoat’ only.

What is clear that, some Bollywood actors are today on a vigorous pursuit of grounds to express their mind  and thus, turn some antes upon them even at the cost of an  unrest of communal nature.

In recent times similar such voices were heard, whether emanating from the institutions of learning or a celeb from the Bollywood, carving a space for self-promotion, surely some interests are being served either way.

By calling Guru’s hanging as a “travesty of justice”, the cine actor tries to scratch an old wound and nobody has any disagreement with her also that, utmost care must be taken before giving death penalty to anybody.

But, what raise eyebrows is the timing of the statements made, whether against or in favour of a situation.

Moral dissent is what always deserves a space but, it should not be given the scope for yet another disorder to reinvigorate itself.

National Special

When media opted for a black-out for many good hours on Monday !

The media world in the country almost came funneling down to one drop, when J P Nadda was made the new national president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, And that was the only happening that the country of 130 crore was made to accept.

Right from the shots of the stage onwards, and till the time Nadda was garlanded, rest happenings across the country came to a grinding halt! Or kept blacked-out.

An unprecedented convergence of the cameras made it appear, as if, Nadda’s appointment as the president  of the BJP, was the beginning of an epoch making era for the country and for the BJP in particular .

The genre and the tenor those got reflected through the fiery speeches made it look like, not a customary event, but a national celebration for some extraordinary achievement.

The news channels, in their pursuit to pander to a dispensation, went overboard to keep themselves disconnected from anything else around.

It was hard to guess what made the media to keep the conscious multitude of viewers to derive  any  sense of reprieve from a party’s event ?

Subsequent proceedings were also nothing more than some rabble rousing exercise in which the party pledged hard to quickly ingress into many non-BJP ruled states and restore them back into the saffron ambit.

It was a just a change of guard and Nadda’s new role was surely a foregone conclusion . It is different that, what are the challenges before the new man who has already started his efforts to fill the bigger shoes.

There was nothing so revealing or worth of a revel that the media had to catapult the event to a national taste.





When the ‘Guruma’ sang her last to merge with the cosmic: Sunanda Patnaik still lives!

Samikhsya Bureau

The ‘Guruma’ has sung her way into the cosmos of time, leaving  unending tracks of footprints in the world of classical music of India.

A Gwalior gharana exponent of classical music Sunanda Patnaik will keep crystallizing in the memory lanes of music  that she had wedded to from her early years.

Although music came to her from a legacy but, she grew under a spell of evolution from the pre-independence era and was fortunate that she belonged to a generation which had and continued growing in an excitement of classical music.

Born in Cuttack in Odisha, Sunanda began her singing from an early age of 14 in All India Radio but her voice quickly bandied out of the regional contours to create the resonance, holding an audience at the national level, spell-bound by her recitals.

It was no mere melody of Sunanda’s voice but, she took exponents like herself to myriad music lovers who remained mesmerised by her music which was soulful and attractive.

Known to have a range and voice that connoted the full-throat ed ease and vibrato, Sunanda’s exponential climb always kept the awards and recognitions drawfed.

Amid the blaze of her fame and revered place in music, Sunanda, who was in Kolkata till her last breath, had one bit regret that , she could not see the time  smiling on her in her native state, Odisha.

But, in her death also she left the Odias a proud lot.


National Special

PM Modi’s ‘Man Ki Baat’ requires a shift in focus, from education to social engineering

Yet again the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi always trudges  into a territory of his choice in his ‘Man Ki Baat’ . It is good when a prime minister comes out to play the motivator role for the youngsters in their pursuit to good education.

The entire interaction was all about a positivism each student requires before examinations. Which they, perhaps, get imparted by the teachers and parents as well.

A normal procedure that is already embedded in the system.

Rather the prime minister would have done better to open the same platform for the people who stray from the paths of sanity and indulge in acts of atrocities.

Be it the rape or crimes of other nature, including acts of divisive politics, the prime minister’s indulgence would really prove more fruitful and instill sanity among such perpetrators, including people from the field of politics, who require more motivation towards positivism .

That would be a great if it comes from the PM and leave the things like education etc to people in the respective fields.

The prime minister’s call for a shift in the psyche from the tracks of incriminating a social fabric can be really productive rather than, an exercise on the educational psychology, a field that appear alien for a man of politics.

A general appeal from a man of prime minister’s stature over the grinding problem of incidents of rape taking place every two minutes in the country would really bring about a robust impact. That could be a real attempt to inject a social change and behavior of a society.

National Special

Who Anupam Kher is, the new pathfinder for NDA in the making,  amazing !

There may be nothing wrong in choosing a narrative to support a certain political pattern, that is wadding through a turbulent phase. But, certain news channels are demonstrating desperations to somehow generate a climate of defense for some political party, is bit amusing.

For a news channel it may be tempting to think that even a man from the Bollywood can even come in handy to speak about anything that stands to defend a regime now being immensely  debated, every day.

It was actor, Anupam Kher, a compulsive  supporter of the Bharatiya Janata Party, was there in an English news channel, injecting wisdom to the nation.

Sky is the limit and Kher had his finger on each pie. He had a say on all that the anchor raised.

Right from the street security to JNU and CAA, Pakistan to West Asia and US, the range had no limit and Kher had a solution in hand.

He had logics to contest why CAA is a balm for the country and why NPR is a precursor to real identity of a national and why NRC is not a subject that can be shelved anymore.

Such personalities from the celluloid are on a rise. Kher went straight against Deepika Padikone calling her visit to the JNU as a misplaced option to either promote her film or take a stand with the agitating students.

His argument appeared like, in 2020 it is the NDA dispensation led by Modi can only deliver the flawless direction towards prosperity.

Kher, ostensibly, in his quest to play as an apologist for the BJP, thought, that it is not the people first but the ideologies of the people in power at the Centre are the guiding poll-stars who cannot be faulted.

Was that channel running so short of crutches to push a pro-NDA agenda that it had to resort to a monologue from an artist who has suddenly donned the garb of a political monitor !

He had even a thing or two to preach how our security system must work and the fairness with which our policing maintains its impartial profile.

It is the people like Kher who refuse to see that, the cumbersome process of the NRC might help a few rich and affluent but the larger mass can only scramble and suffer from a dystopia of helplessness to gather the proofs to remain as an Indian.

Can he imagine, even if a five percent of the entire population fails to meet the NRC yardsticks, may be over 6 to 7 crore people come out as non-Indians! Where do they go !

Kher has no imagination that high voltage bulldozing of the legislative process without a consensus can only usher in a constitutional crisis.


Srikant Jena looks for a limelight on CAA without an argument, while Kapil Sibal sees the Act that no state can avoid implementing, is not mandatory! 

Samikhsya Bureau

Sometimes some politicians look for the odd reasons to hog the limelight only without any reason or rhyme.

Let’s take a look at the intent of the senior Congress leader Srikant  Jena, a former union minister. He has shot a letter to the chief minister of Odisha urging the latter to withdraw support to the CAA and NPR.

It is a different matter that some of the non-BJP ruled states have passed resolutions against the CAA, an Act already passed by the parliament that remains binding for all the states to implement.

And such a situation can only be reversed through a legal interference that now looks even remote. So, on that account the Naveen Patnaik-led government played it safe by supporting the CAA but not the NRC which is believed to be in the pipeline in the days to come.

Whether the CAA or NPR is violating the spirit of the Constitution that doesn’t allow implementation of any law on the basis of caste or religion, but arguments have been made that, CAA doesn’t invite any such deviation.

But, there are precedents suggesting that, in a federal structure the states cannot be forced to toe the line drawn by the Centre. In that case only the apex court of India can only set aside the Act by a ruling, feel some experts on constitutional matters. Instances can be seen in US where the states have refused such implementation of CAA.

On CAA Cong may stand divided!

What seems clear that, CAA has been made a tool for politics both by the NDA and the opposition as well. Which, in particular the ruling dispensation at the Centre uses like a cover-fire from more important issues like economic slowdown, unemployment and rising inflation.

Speaking to the media on Sunday, none other than the senior Congress leader,Kapil Sibal, a legal luminary, has gone on record stating that, once the CAA has been enacted as a law by the parliament, that becomes binding for the States to implement  the Act.

That leaves the main opposition party in a dilemma and what complicates the situation is the continuing anti-CAA protests all over which ultimately boil down to a kind of confrontation between the Centre and the states unwilling to implement CAA.






‘Hum nahin soodhrenge’ Odisha Congress is back on the beaten track!

At a time when the country is bereft of a strong and united opposition, and the Congress, in particular, lacking that touch to regain its real form, in  Odisha it appears persistently engaged in a suicidal syndrome.

It is in a kind of situation that can be best described, as if, someone eating it’s own flesh. A year after the general elections the residual hope of the party toeing back to its track. In addition, the dismal performance of the PCC chief, Niranjan Patnaik in the last polls heaped more trust deficit on his political relevance.

Reasons were many, as it comes out to the fore, but one moot point that, according to party insiders, was his working pattern suffering from a gross lack of consensus and rather driven by politics of preference or nepotism.

Few things combined to dig a pit in which Patnaik’s USP remained burried. His choice of selection of candidates in 2019 polls, in total disregard to the factors of winnability also made things worse for the party.

In fact, the root lies deeper in and those factors quickly decelerated the pace of his journey ahead to regain the minimum respectability, let alone, trust within and outside.

What adds to the plight of the state unit is the complete lack of a serious attention from the party high command thus setting an irreversible course towards peril.

Team-Odisha Congress caucus ready to fly!

So, at last, the same old game has resurfaced yet again. The ‘dissenters’ brigade is back in motion and voices for a change is heard again pitch-forking a new face like Mohammed Moquim, a Cuttack based legislator now playing  the bag-piper role.

The other day there were few slogan cheerings in the Congress Bhavan which resonated across obviously with a note of dissent against  the incumbent PCC chief by implication.

May be few days to go when a ‘team-Odisha’ of the Congress would be on board a flight to reach Delhi to crib before an already hallucinated high command to remove Niranjan Patnaik.

What is amusing that, the face of the rebellion is Moquim, a little known man having little outreach in coastal Odisha even, let alone the other parts of the state.

When there are few faces like Sarat Patnaik, a former MP and a known youth leader of the hey-day Congress era, or Prasad Harichandan or some fresh faces from the bench, the Moquim conglomerate, which does not even have the reputation of ease of wadding through the mess, require a second thought from the high command.


A mild rebellion in Odisha BJP stoked! Samir has a hard task ahead

Samikhsya Bureau

It was not the usual air of euphoria there at the Bharatiya Janata Party office in Odisha, when Samir Mohanty took over as the new president of the state unit.

Some known faces could be seen from the rear rows, while a few had on their faces a faint shades of dismay and quit a few, had writ on them a smog intensified by askance.

Did anything go wrong or it was merely a moment of an enduring silence that any cadre has to get along with.

If face is index

Even, known for his jovial exuberance at such occasions, the BJP national vice president, Baijayant Panda, despite being cushioned on a front row seat, was unusually serene, resting his face on his palms and looking at the blankness.

One of the tallest man of the BJP in Odisha, K V Singh Deo, (a former state president of the BJP) who was accosted by someone from the rear benches to the front, was, as if, betraying some emotions deep within. Obviously a deserving leader of the party who stood out through many tests in last two decades .

The entirety revealed a sort of atmosphere as if many or quite a few of them were submitting themselves before the new reality reluctantly, sporting tolerant smiles at the preening cameras.

Name of Samir Mohanty was in circulation as a candidate for  who can volunteer for more space for a certain yet vital component of the party.

‘He is a fresher of sort for such a job and has nothing to claim a state-level acceptance’ rued one BJP leader straight, although confidentially. He had his doubts over the consensus part, ‘consensus doesn’t mean thrust someone’ .

Mild trembles within

Odisha BJP suffers from a schismatic trend for last few months mainly. The clash of interests have become chronic post the 2019 polls when new aspirants from within have thrown the hats into the ring to make themselves noticed by the national leadership.

Not to lag behind in the race is the member of parliament from Bhubaneswar, Aparajita Sarangi, who leaves no efforts to integrate herself with none locally. The objective is clear and that is a parallel combine made out of the people and her motley followers.

The battle-lines between her and union minister Dharmendra Pradhan are already drawn. But, the latter has traveled miles and his contributions to lend the BJP the relevance in Odisha may tether Sarangi tight in the days to come.

That obviously leaves an invisible section in the party who try hard to wean away the feelings of similar souls who build the middle strata that neither identifies itself overtly nor happy with their anonymity for long.

It is kind of politically mystifying air looms over the state unit and for Samir Mohanty, the road at reasserting the equivalence may be fraught with undulations.


A Legislator’s ill-timed night-out concern, needs a dressing down by the leadership

Samikhsya Bureau

The incident of a murderous assault on a man in Bhubaneswar over a trivial cause was shocking, raising questions about social safety. But what  followed was no less baffling.

That was the mysterious visit of the BJD MLA Ananta Narayan Jena to the victim’s house inside an apartment in Bhubaneswar!

Was he driven by his empathy for the victim or it had something else? Obviously, there seems to be something more than the eyes meet.

A visit by a legislator, along with some others, and at 1 am, a time when devils dare not tread out, must raise eyebrows and it did.

The area falls within the limits of his Assembly segment and so, Jena was, perhaps, overwhelmed by an emotional attainment to empathize with the victim and his family, is something hard to buy.

When a man (victim) had a brush with near death attack after the merciless bashing, leaving him with a sunken eye, Jena’s ill-timed outburst of concern for the victim has remained in a mist of animated suspense.

Perplexed by the incident, a family that naturally remained in a kind of phobia of a backlash, the MLA’s concern could not have been more nightmarish and bit uncivil as well.

Jena need not explain that further but, rather, the party leadership should admonish him to refrain from such misadventure in future.


Please do not trivialise Bharat Ratna and demean the Father of the Nation

Samikhsya Bureau

In a first of its kind move, the initiative by the Centre to confer Bharat Ratna award on the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, must have raised eyebrows beyond the esteem of any count.

Reportedly, the Centre had filed a Public Interest Petition(PIL) in the Sureme Court seeking its nod on the conferring of the Bharat Ratna. And, rightly so, the apex court has indirectly hit back at the centre by saying that, to raise an issue like the award for a man of the Mahatma’s stature for such a recognition is not a matter that should be brought under the purview of choice.

The advice of the apex court must educate the people in politics that, everything is not politics and everybody cannot be seen through the prism of political preference to suit a particular agenda, may be.

The court’s observation is a lesson and the dispensation must learn a lesson not to keep the Mahatma bracketed with others in India.

It also raises questions at the sudden sense of the government at the centre to discover so much virtue in a few erstwhile personalities of the freedom struggle era, be it Sardar Patel or the Mahatma.

It may be recalled that, before the polls in Maharastra, a similar objective was purported by the BJP to confer Bharat Ratna to Veer Savarkar through its manifesto.

Bharat Ratna is obviously not a recognition that can be measured by political yardsticks but by the contributions of people which transcends any integral political calculus .

Such cries over the greatest recognition of the land, more muddied by clumsy debates in the media channels etc, we fail to give the man the reverence he or she deserves.

And why this sudden awakening of the Centre’s conscience to recognise the fathomless spirit and contribution of the Mahatma, is not known. It is the people from the same milieu, though not all, who even eulogise the killer of Mahatma as a ‘patriot’.

National Special

A Congress youth leader Pradip Maajhi trying to enamor Netaji with liters of petrol or diesel! Where is the PCC leader?

A senior leader of the Congress party made it an amazing stuff during an interview given to a local television channel. Answering to a question as how could he incite violence by telling some of his party men to keep some diesel and petrol ready for an eventuality!

The issue, when the same video had gone viral few days back , had, in fact, created a huge flutter in the political circle leading to a police case and getting the party image painted in red.

However, in the interview, a clip of which is being aired as a promo, it was shocking that the said Congress leader, Pradip Majhi, far from being apologetic, had his say something like this.

To the question that whether that was akin to inciting violence and is contrary to the Gandhian principle of non-violence, Majhi was prompt in advocating that, while talking of Gandhi, is all right but he will employ the philosophy of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose.

That was his defense. Leaders like Majhi, who expose their lack of erudition on the Netaji must invest some intellect to know that, what the Netaji was fighting for and against whom.

And what can be a worse irony if a second rung leader like Majhi of a beleaguered Congress party in Odisha can be audacious to claim a position at par with the Netaji, and dare to indulge in naked violence and glorify violence as his key theme of protest then, he can be pitied only.

It is the leaders like Majhi who in their pursuit to regain some relevance force in such criminal sounding fundamental structuring into a party which already has earned the bad reputation of getting criminalized down last some years in Odisha.

What is also puzzling that, in such interviews the questioners even fail to play the Devil’s Advocate and appear themselves coiled by a compulsions.

Risk in politics can be best played with a cushion of mandate and popularity and, Majhi now runs short of both. So, such leaders must learn to be defensive and not with a ferocity that has no sanity.


Odisha BJP prez poll : Dharmendra Pradhan must assert his role and allow reason to prevail over  preference

Samikhsya Bureau

An air of confusion, and an air of discontent  over the election of a state president for the Odisha unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has something to hint at a piling discontent on the existing climate of unease.

To start with, rather in a dismal note, certain trends at creation of power blocks and followings, minus the consensus that the BJP is known to have toed always as a cadre-based party, signals at some unhappiness within over the choice of a new state president which plays out.

What can be underlined here that, the Odisha unit of the BJP, is that, since last over six years, union minister Dharmendra Pradhan has not only enjoyed a center-stage but he has painstakingly worked, notwithstanding some bickering within, and he succeeded to give the BJP a saving grace in the state to  stand up to the Biju Janata Dal but emerging as a force to reckon with in state politics, reducing the Congress to become a lamp-post.

Recalling  what happened under the prezship of the outgoing Basanta Panda, as the state chief, the entire gamut  of his performance has undeniably remained a lackluster one, and rather heavily depending on the political firepower of others to play the harbinger roles.

Now, it is a moment when the state leadership of BJP has an onus at its door and which must be dealt with the required political dexterity to have someone to helm the party as president.

Even the national leadership of the BJP, given its role of Ombudsman- ship it is understood to play here, they have to play a balancing and pertinent role not falling into what the contrarian lobbies aim to project.

As rumoured, two names appear in the media tickers. One is the name of Samir Mohanty and the other is Prithivraj Harichandan.

Party insiders, and quite a few of them rather, view the two names with a sense of ennui, Not because, they are not people with the required political experience but they have, as leaders, leave no such bold footprints to assert themselves as leaders of any consequence barring the television appearances as spokesmen for the party.

As regards their electoral track-records, it had remained, to say straight , rather pathetic.

Not because they don’t speak well but for the reason, may be that, both have been seen on the lookout of pin-cushions to nurture the political survival rather than creating a space for themselves among the people of their respective areas.

‘ It would be like taking the party to somewhere it was post the 2009 break up with the BJD if the party pitches for either of the two’ said a BJP insider seeking anonymity.

Moreover, he also pointed his fingers at the emergence of two power-blocks and the recent being by the MP from Bhubaneswar, who straight aims at a level-playing stature to match up to the aura of Pradhan.

So the new president is required to be one who is known to be good at deft handling of heart-burns within and steer the party to a state where is can aim at a further revival in 2024.

It is high time, the national leadership of the BJP looks beyond its nose and allow the old horses in Odisha to quickly make a choice and in that, Dharmendra Pradhan should be morally responsible to project someone of experience and maturity rather than send some who have neither the base nor acceptance to get into the shoes of a state president.

Surely, there is something wrong in the state BJP if the choices, as rumoured around, are any indication. Why this enduring silence among many?



Manmohan Mohapatra, who had unlocked myth of realism in cinema, is no more

Samikhsya Bureau

Filmmaker Manmohan Mohapatra is no more. With the demise of both Manmohan Mohapatra and Nirad Mohapatra, indisputably  Odia cinema has found itself caught in a confluence of lack of creative potential and, more often than not, in a kind of irrational juxtaposition of characterisation in cinema in Odisha, far detached from its moorings.

Manmohan Mohapatra during his decades long filmmaking has travelled through the most contesting winds and yet he was miles away from accepting that , realism in cinema can be construed as a productive illusion.

His films were many and so were the recognitions through awards as Mohapatra strove to his school of thought with poise and any external impact of the contemporary cinema of that time, and not even in recent times of his twilights.

He unlocked myth of realism

He was rigid and he never took to any recourse to and remained as one of the most uncompromising filmmakers in the country.

‘Seeta Rati, ‘Neeraba Jhada’ ‘Klanta Aparahana’ and it goes on, his sense of cinematic realism never got into any genre nor he, in his approach, ever tried to make his cinema a movement.

Rather, most of his creations were conceptually raising questions that were related to human conditions, problems and some traits of verisimilitude.

In many of his films, Mohapatra was while struggling with exactitude , he used to take care of his characters’ believeability, which had some amount of similarity with that of Nirad Mohapatra when one deals with surrealism.

One would be wrong to say that he had pioneered neo-realism and going by his own words way back in 90s, he was trying to shape neo-realism in the Odian society.

He had his owes, stock of criticism like branding him to a filmmaker for few and the financial hurdles, but he strove to continue unperturbed.

Today, we miss a doyen.


Aparajita Sarangi builds a league in herself, ignores Dharmendra Pradhan in her new pursuit to helm Odisha!

Samikhsya Bureau

One doesn’t  have to travel long to see the new fissures within the Odisha unit of Bharatiya Janata Party. It is almost a next door manifestation of intents over who must be the preferred lieutenant to marshal the party in the state.

Bhubaneswar MP, Aparajita Sarangi, aims to kill two birds in one shot. It was a near gala event the other day when Sarangi launched a front named ‘ Ajita’, a body that would play an unifying and empowering role for the women of Odisha.

New fissures !

Viewed as a counter to Biju Janata Dal initiated Mission Shakti, ‘Ajita’ would purportedly strive hard to garner women support in BJP’s favour. And the parlance that the word ‘Ajita’ connotes, is seen by many as a close allusion with her  own identity, although much explicit cannot be expected.

She also launched the ‘Youth For Action’ as a match to BJD’s Biju Yuva Bahini.

Interestingly, Sarangi happens to be the architect and head of both the fronts.

It goes without saying that, Sarangi’s objectives, as political observers would have one believe, that, it is an effort at trying to achieve an edge and larger acceptance, almost risking events close to a conflict with someone in Odisha BJP as strong as Dharmendra  Pradhan, who has sweated for years to become the steward of the ship.

According to analysts, the launching of the two outfits is purely political, by implication, and Sarangi is trying to fit into the  role of a BJP- face in the State, is, on the face of it,  seemingly close to a truth.

Launching of the above two and the events were organised where the  absence of Pradhan was conspicuous and it was regarded as a conspicuous political bravery by Sarangi to assert herself to be a leader wallowing in no league but, a guild in herself.

Not without blessings from Delhi

Inviting Baijayant Panda as a guest for the launching and side lining Pradhan, is viewed as an ostensible escalation of a kind of bitterness and it could not have been possible to get into such an dare act without getting into the verge of a blessing from Delhi.

Aparajita’s aims are obviously high and the pace at which she tours to many parts in Odisha and get down to the bottom strata, make her aims clear and those may slide out of Pradhan’s control, at least, perceptually.

Thus, she builds up a match to the BJD and, simultaneously, she doggedly pursues an ambition to outflank a leader who, although, is ideologically not opposed to her but, both might disagree to allow a sense of agreement over, who has to lead in Odisha.



Biggest divide between CAA & its acceptance is the arrogance and nothing else

Samikhsya Bureau

It is much more than what is seen as defensive ferocity in politics. The issue in question is the CAA now that seems to have taken out a lot of steam of the political dispensation at the Centre.

A time has come, regardless of the fact the CAA has been already into force, the prime minister and the home minister, both are seen playing the CAA card at every election meeting, making it look like not an act, but, as if, a commodity that requires an aggressive marketing by  the two top leaders.

Not once but, many a times, the duo has screamed hard to say, that the CAA hides no ambiguity and it has nothing to do with the people living in India, and the same gets echoed through several mediums that the Act is nowhere near any alleged hypocrisy or taken as a disguise to usher in NRC.

So, then what makes it so compelling for the Bharatiya Janata Party to push for a repeat of it time and gain.

If not hypocrisy, then has it anything to do with the atmosphere of protest coming from the students from several educational institutions that has got mired in a confusion of a lack of political & media logic?

Arrogance should be shunned

There is scope for skepticism when media and the political fraternity play different roles. But, on the current issue, that has agitated the youth psyche across, except few, rest of the mainstream media sounds unequivocally leaned in favour of the government.

Moreover, from last Friday, the functional structure of the Act has come into force with some non-Muslim citizens getting citizenship after the gazette notification by the centre on CAA.

And that should bring a stop to the campaign over CAA in political campaigns in either Delhi or West Bengal.

In fact, what is apparent that the difference of understanding, as it appears now, has become more than the conflict itself.

What was the need of the mention of the NRC at several occasions and the tenor with which it was spoken. Even on the CAA, that being an Act passed by the parliament, not necessarily mean that the men out there in the country would not speak if there is anything he or she feels unhappy with.

The biggest divide between acceptance and dissent is the arrogance by the people in power who think that, just a brute majority empowers them with an epistemological privilege to silence dissent.


National Special

It is an issue of power everywhere, power from polls to, power from poles as well!

CESU’s recent war cry to punish the defaulters of electricity tariff is more or less akin to waking up from a slumber of eminence.

Secondly, the undertone of favour for the privileged also smacks of an intent that, as if, all that exercise at relieving the electricity department off pending tariff, has two different yardsticks.

For the general consumer the CESU gave the deadline for Jan 16 and for the rest …it is till March. Clear the dues or remain in dark.

To put it in a lighter note, without malice towards any, it can go on like this from the Chief’s office.

‘ I will set it alright for those guys not paying for months and years’ the man next nods in agreement  . ‘ And what do you think of the way I have taken the habitual defaulters by surprise’? That didn’t elicit any duck.

‘It could have been more balanced and not that weird one in taste, granting till March to some and a snap for the majority in days’  was like a googly from the man next.

‘It is good that, even in your confusion, a confusion that looms over millions, you could sense reason and hint at me to roll back’ . ‘But a roll back at this juncture make the department look naive ‘.

‘Then what you have in minds, already voices of protests are on the rise, as we can’t do a damn bit to guys sitting over crores of rupees as arrears , including the Lok Seva wing’ queries man next.

‘What a pluck’! Chief gets baffled by his guts  . ‘For some days the traffic rules had all these agitators crawl for cover, you know’. ‘Try to read in between buddy’.

‘Do you mean the power issue will have talks about that only, and not of that crime graph and so on?

‘Right’ after a pause the Chief said, ‘ it should not throw public sentiment into disorder, that worries me’.

‘That should not worry us, sir, there are plenty of issues such as onion, potato, CAA to now, the JNU repeat acts in the state capital to divert attention ‘.

‘But, what bothers me is a warpath like situation here over such a genuine issue like power . There is need for self-containment you know and carry on, look how the CAA, amid all hulla-goolla, crept through’ , the Chief  laid down a logic.

‘But, the debates in televisions etc make it murkier a bit , pushing us up the wall’ wondered the man next.

‘All said and done, we cannot drop the cudgel at this juncture and allow these darn defaulters do away with the revenue’ the Chief looked at man next.

Bleary-eyed, the man next, perhaps, had it enough before bidding an adieu, ‘Tata’ sir !

Entertainment Movie Reviews Special

From ‘Chhapak’ down to ‘Tanhaji..’ , new lows of politics

Samikhsya Bureau

It is not difficult to make out how low can politics go down to. From CAA to Jamia Milia or JNU and now down to the visit of a cine star to JNU to stand in silence, supporting one or not supporting the other.

Debates, calling names and harangues laced the television programmes, it all turned out to be one of the most unintelligible moments in prime times.

Then the things lowered further and governments in states had their share of farce. Some state made the Deepika starrer film Chhapak,  tax-free even before the film was on screen.

On the day of release, a group opposed to Deepika’s standing at the JNU, indulged in a kind of picketing to dissuade cine goers from the Chhapak as a gesture of boycott to the film and demonise the actress in question.

Nobody has the business to decide which cine-goer goes where or sermonise the other, what’s wrong in watching a movie.

Descending traits

Then it descends down to a situation, when a political party’s people offer cinema tickets free to the audience to go to watch ‘Tanhaji: the Unsung Warrior’, instead of Chhapak. Thus adding a novel yet pedestrian mode of protest.

One hears about that government department has a power of censorship on a film but never heard of a political cadre dictating a choice to opt.

Similarly peculiar was the way to make a film tax-free without either seeing it or that being on the screens. Which is also a danger to the freedom of thought. No political party has the mandate to exert itself to influence public choice for entertainment to settle political scores.

Now, in India, what is worrisome is the threat of intellectual cowardice. People from such spectrum also prepare themselves on the line of political leanings.

There should not be a situation when any serious criticism of a system, gets next door to  unprintable.