The never ending atrocities in Orissa

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It is a clear sign- there will not be any end to the atrocities to the people of Orissa of this great Nation.  There are three reasons for the atrocities, one the conversion episode, Naxal Movement and Mineral rich land was occupied by the Mine Merchants.
"" Severe hunger, poverty, communal riots, the murder of Swami Laxmananda, firing on the tribals, frequent floods, hurricane are the events of Orissa and we have never heard good news from Orissa since Independence.


None of us see the smiling faces of the Tribals of Orissa in any newspapers or Electronic media for more than 5 decades now, rather we see only the faces of the helpless people of the state.  If we turn the pages of history, Samrat Ashoka himself was weeping over the thousands of dead bodies of Adivasis of Orissa during his conquest and the Great Kalinga War.  Mineral rich Orissa is the poorest state of India and has passed through a series of agonies and sufferings for centuries.  If we compare the economic conditions of Orissa, they are no better than Bihar.  People of this country are very much interested in giving allegiance to the former CM of Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav and one never hears the same about CM Naveen Patnaik, who is known for his poor performance in Orissa.  In fact, he is best known for his recent administrative and law & order failures in Orissa.


Till to date, the present CM Naveen Patnaik cannot speak Oriya language and what this highly educated, clever and tactical politician is doing in Orissa is the big question.


Coming to Gujarat, the merchant of death Mr. Narendra Modi has 100% succeeded in implementing his communal agenda and justifies it in his public speeches.  In return he has received lots of criticism from the media, courts and his US visa was also denied.  Here in Orissa, the communalists have made another laboratory test very successfully, by keeping Naveen Patnaik as CM.  The Oriyans and Christians of Orissa are living in fear of their survival.  The poverty line is increasing day by day.  The national consensus on poverty, in other states are averaged at 26.10% whereas in Orissa it is 17.15%, more or less double than the other states.  The kings of Orissa and higher cast people have already taken over the forest lands from the tribals and turned these poor tribals into slaves.  They did not even spare their God Jagannath.  The tribals of Orissa revolted against the Thakoor?s of Orissa and tried to bring back their God but failed and as a result thousands of the Tribals died confronting the Thakoors.


All these events have made these tribals very poor and their identity in India will be diminishing in the coming days.  As I said above, there are three reasons for the current situation in Orissa.  We cannot deny there was no conversion in Orissa.  The state Christian population is 2.44%, however, in communal hit Khandamal the population is 25% or more.  There is no evidence that the conversion is done in accordance with the Law of the land.  In my belief, before 300 years, Christian missionaries entered Orissa, elected the poorest places, and mainly Tribals for their missionary work.  Definitely, because of poverty, atrocities from the upper cast and severe and poor health conditions, the tribals were converted by the missionaries.  A deadly malaria epidemic was very common in Orissa, that was timely treated by these missionaries and they were converted to Christianity for whatever reasons.


There was periodic uproar about the conversion, as such, Government of Orissa, then the congress government, passed the anti conversion bill in 1967.  There was legislation to the new converts, affidavit before the collector, that procedure was not followed in recent years.   The reason behind this was, there were some unidentified staff reporting to the Saffrons about the conversion, as a result the procedure was left behind.  As the saffrons got the news of the conversion, they rushed to the converted places of Orissa for re-conversion of these tribals and all types of methods were used by the saffron brigade.  Even at that time, the converted Christians retained their identity as Hindus, keeping bindis, and pictures of Hindu deities at home even though they followed the Christian faith.  However, the legislation on conversion was never an obstacle for the re-conversion to Hinduism.


There was a strange law existing in Orissa – the Tribals were not deprived of reservation whereas the Dalits were loosing their reservation facility.  This system always created problems within the Tribals and the Dalits.  However, there was every possibility to correct this law that was leading to too many rifts.  But CM Naveen Patnaik is in no mood to change or make corrections to the law as he is surrounded by the Saffron brigade and as such he has to remain in power as CM of Orissa.


The Naxals who have infiltrated Orissa through the borders of Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh are a challenge to the Saffron Brigade these days.  The naxals have dominated almost 15 Districts of Orissa, that is a major headache to the Saffrons as well as to the Government of Orissa.  The Saffrons have totally failed to control the Naxals, as a result the Tribal and Dalits have become the victims of these two warring identities.  I remember Swami Laxamananda openly gave a statement to the media that he was sent by Lord Shiva in Himalayas to protect Hinduism from Christian Missionaries and he pledged to drive them out of Orissa.  His murder by the Naxals is leading to a long term rift between Naxals and Saffrons.


The mineral rich state of Orissa has 40% iron ore reserves and is the biggest after Karnataka.  The bauxite reserves are 57%, Manganese is 67% as per the study in Orissa State, a rich state for Mines.  But the people of Orissa are the poorest in India, that is the sad part of Indian History.  CM Naveen Patnaik has signed so many memorandums of understanding with the multinational companies for industrialization, but has ignored the welfare of his own people leaving them as the poorest.  His industrialization problem may affect the Tribals and Dalits to a large extent, as they will loose their lands and their daily bread.  There was no formal preparation for rehabilitation of these Tribals and Dalits as yet.  Readers may remember, two years back, there was a mass protest on land acquirement, Police opened fire on the poor Tribals and Dalits that resulted in the loss of many lives.  Taking advantage of this, the Naxals are with the Tribals and Dalits against land acquisition, that is the biggest change to the Saffrons and Government of Orissa.


However, Saffrons are on anti conversion, violence, rampage, killings and on the other hand Naxals have stood behind the Tribals and Dalits.  These two outfits have put the Tribals and Dalits in a critical situation. 


Now only the Center can interfere in Orissa to find a peaceful solution by dissolving the assembly and impose the President rule.  First law and order should be brought under control, the rehabilitation process should be carried out on a priority basis and then a fresh mandate should be sought.  This will be a tough job for the center to encounter in the coming days.


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Author: Ibrahim Hussain- Udupi


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