TATHAGAT IS RIGHT May 13th, 2007 Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
In these pages I have earlier shown how a specific group of Oriyas, staying mostly in UK, USA and Japan have been supporting the illegal acquisition of our peoples' lands by the Naveen Patnaik government acting as it is as the launching pad of industrial empires of POSCO and the likes. These people are vociferous against road blockade resorted to by the displaced as their last resort in expressing their active protests against state terrorism to which they have been subjected to. These people have been openly advocating for land-grabbers and mines-mongers, as according to them, Orissa's acceptance of their spread would be her emancipation!
There are persons amongst these people who are in their ingratiating best to eke out berths for themselves in POSCO and/or Vedant with full protection of their current income in foreign coin expanded by incentives for their contributions to the ongoing public-relation-campaigns of those industries. As I am informed by dependable sources, a number of NROs have already applied for prime plots and prospects of easy acquisition of such government lands at Bhubaneswar in important locations if the chief minister is pleased is another cause of their open support to POSCO and Vedant.
One of these ingratiating methods is the endeavor to safeguard the political interests of Naveen by attacking the central government for non-grant of IIT to Orissa and instigating the people to believe that the IIT has been theft away from their soil and unless the same is restored, paths of prosperity would not open for them. These NROs have been trying to show that if anything deserves priority attention that is the establishment of IIT. This is no small a tool contrived to divert public attention from ongoing misrule in the State. But the most catastrophic aspect of this campaign is relegating agriculture to an inferior position in public perception while elevating imperialism to the position from where alone people can expect benefit. It is a shame that political leaders and media, supposed to be watchdogs of interest of the commons, are conspicuous by their silence!
In such a situation, Tathagat Satpathy, though a BJD member in Parliament, has, through his welcome editorial in Dharitri, assured the people that every conscience is not yet killed. A two-in-one, politician and pressman, he is right and absolutely so in his reading of the real requirement of Orissa. He is the first amongst politicians of our state to have refused to be swayed away by the neo elite howling for the IIT. And he is the first amongst the print media editors of our State to have shown how irrigation to agricultural lands deserves more attention than running after an IIT. I thank him from the core of my heart and wish others to follow him. I have no hesitation to say that he has emerged as the most speaking conscience-keeper of Orissa.