Brahminism, Patriarchy, Supreme Court And The Justice

By Saswat Pattanayak (Published in CounterCurrents) It is the patriarchal fixation with fathers and husbands as feudal heads of indian households where sanctities are attached to family units, that leads to normalization of corruption in a judicial system that is unsurprisingly spearheaded by the brahminical chiefs. No matter what the chief of the family does, it has to be a hush-hush affair and not be made public. Family becomes sacrosanct and the head of family remains above reproach. Brahminism which governs Indian society is founded upon the philosophy of unquestioned belief in the supreme authority, the highest caste, the sacred…

Orissa Killer Cyclone 1999: Recollections & Some Lessons for Phailin

 

Cyclone Phailin is not over yet, and Orissa is not all about Bhubaneswar. If lessons be learnt from 1999, there’s an enormous amount of work to be done, beginning with the administration ending its premature jubilation. Even as this cyclone did not prove to be as catastrophic as the ’99 one, we must not undermine the challenges that are ahead of us. Evacuation is not enough, rehabilitation is the key. Farmers, fishers and the poor in the vulnerable coastal belts devoid of ecological balances, wrought upon them through corporate greed – are the sections of population that will be the worst sufferers. 500,000 hectares of crops have been damaged and the already impoverished state of Orissa has been relegated further down. 

I am sharing with you all my journey as a reporter during the 1999 “super cyclone” when the team of Asian Age covered it extensively. Some of it are pure nostalgia, but many are pointers to what may lie ahead.

Freedom Tree!

Tireless in pursuit of democratic rights  Relentlessly challenging plutocratic might Braving atrocities, police state’s plights Awaiting the passage of this barbaric night   Freedom Tree! Free Press shall set us Free!   In actions and spirits, journalists united Radical is our zeal, refusing to be placated No longer shall we let scribes be oppressed Duties shall manifest, and our rights protected   Freedom Tree! Free Press shall set us Free!   Unjust regimes can imprison us; not our thoughts They can chain us down, charge us with treasons Truths we shall expose, fearless in our purpose With conscience intact, misdeeds…

India vs Indians: Peoples’ History of Orissa’s Dispossessed

Tribal uprisings in Orissa were the first of organized assaults on the British, against the Hindu Kings, as well as on the Brahmin supremacists. The indigenous were united against oppression way before the Sepoy Mutiny took shape. They had no loyalty towards the kings and unlike the Paikas and Sepoys, they had no interest in releasing the royal families from British domains. In fact, the tribals shone in their capacity to challenge the Rajas as much as they expressed disdain towards British agents. Therefore, when the native Kings of Khurda, Kanika and Kujang made a confederation to oppose the British…

India vs Indians: Revolution Never Ends in Orissa

Freedom will not come Today, this year Nor ever Through compromise and fear…. I do not need freedom when I’m dead I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread – Langston Hughes Using brute police force to silence indigenous peoples’ mass uprising in Orissa is not just an act of sheer cowardice and criminality; it is a decision founded upon gross ignorance of the unique stream of struggles which characterize the class war in the land that has witnessed more organized revolutions than enforced reforms. Orissan tribal uprising has a definitive historical pattern. It is not exclusive to the current state of…

India vs Indians :: Orissa’s Freedom Struggle

By Saswat Pattanayak Originally Written for Radical Notes If laws are meant to protect the people, then the only thing illegal in India must be the Government. Only a morally bankrupt, democratically inept and humanistically regressive group of parasites can sustain corruptible power through twisted legal clauses organically designed to crush collective aspirations. It is only logical that a group of vandals in active collaborations with their masters stationed abroad get united to use the name of a country to misappropriate authorities, subjugate millions of informed as well as ignorant people, and repress dissent as though indifferent silence on part…

POSCO in Orissa – A Case of Global Masters against Local Preys

By Saswat Pattanayak Pohang Steel Company (POSCO) operates two of the world’s leading steel projects–the Pohang and Gwangyang works, and conducts business in over 60 countries around the globe. Since last couple of years, POSCO has been setting goals for the economically backward and minerals-rich Orissa. If Vedanta promises the biggest university in the world, POSCO promises the largest steel plant, and the biggest foreign direct investment in history (Rs 51,000 crore). After signing a Memorandum of Understanding with POSCO, Orissa-a largely obscured cultural site for Hindu pilgrims, has now found the biggest reserved location on World Exploitation Map. According…

Orissa: Throttled Dissent, Overstepped Laws, Displaced Peoples

Here is a classic case of manufactured consent. News is agog that India will have its Harvard University in next two years. Even Forbes Magazine testifies to that. The corporate media hails a proposed university in India to be the greatest hope of reified vision where huge mass of people will be educated for betterment of India’s economy; and, its poor state Orissa’s. It is being hailed as the institute that’s receiving the single largest donation ever worldwide: $1 billion, and yes its going to be the university with largest real estate holdings ever. So welcome to capitalism that apparently…

Madhusudan Das, Mahatma Gandhi and Manual Working Class

Gandhism and Leninism surely intersect at interesting crossroads. And they could be more pivotal than merely interesting. At the macro level they intersect at their common abhorrence towards militarism. At the micro level, they are one with the advocacy for community cooperatives. At both stages though, interests are similar: promote peace, for it is at this situation alone that cooperatives can exist. In every conceivable way, Gandhism and Leninism stressed on peace and cooperation because of their stress on workers’ welfare. The question which naturally arises then is, if Gandhi believed in social emancipation of working class who worked in…