Is Odisha Fragile?
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been in the news for quite some time, basically for two reasons: One for opposing the proposed NCTC by Central Government and secondly, for giving a free hand to the Maoists who are hardcore criminals and are in jail. The government principally agreed to withdrawal of cases against 13 persons belonging to the Maoists outfit and Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS). The Naveen Patnaik Government is compromising the national interest on the exchange of safe release of abducted BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka and succumbed to the pressure tactics of Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committe (AOBSZC) of the CPI (Maoist) leader Jagabandhu. However, the Maoists are denying the Government’s offer to set 13 activists free. They need all the criminals set free from jail booked for heinous crimes and the state government should arrange bail from court. Naveen Patnaik is fulfilling the desires of the so called Maoists. What a shame! This is not first time that the Naveen Patnaik Government has given meekly into pressure. Last year also, the state government set free a criminal turned Maoist for having a district collector Vinil Krishna released. The Maoists in the state are not at all hesitant about abducting anyone whether he be a collector, police personnel, elected representatives or foreign tourists. It sounds obnoxiously irresponsible on the part of the government to surrender artillery to crime syndicates without a murmur. On the contrary Naveen Patnaik, supreme commander of the state has failed, tough a little to contain Naxalism. How can Naveen, son of Biju Patnaik, a buccaneering cosmopolitan whose single greatest act of derring-do was air-lifting nationalists in Muslim dominated Indonesia out of Dutch captivity, allow the Maoists to wreak havoc? Biju Patnaik never tolerated anyone robbing the state of peace and harmony.
Naveen Babu educated at premium Doon school seems oblivious to politics. A thoroughly well-read, soft-spoken gentle man Naveen Babu is basically a writer who enjoys more indoor politics and has successfully exploited Odiya sentiments to rule the state longer than the late Biju Patnaik. Biju Babu was the real pride of Odisha who never let any Odiya down anywhere. But here is his son Naveen Babu who has been struggling hard for last one decade and a half to learn and speak Odiya, though, almost fifty per cent bureaucrats in the state, from other states, interact in the native language. Biju Babu loved attending all the social gatherings and shares with Odiya people their complacency, but Naveen Babu does not even care to heed the grievance of an Odiya. Few loyal officers of Naveen Babu do help the needy, though.
If one delves deep into the fold and analyses the reign of Naveen Babu, one cannot get any rosy picture of industrial development in Odisha, Where growth of per capita is much lower than that of other states. One would be surprised to gather facts that the funds sanctioned by the Centre remains unused and finally there are it is sent back. But he has many pro-people schemes to serve the poor Odiyas. One among them is rice at the price of rupees for the poor people. But although it is very popular and Naveen Babu was voted back in the last assembly election for this scheme, in the long term the scheme has a negative impact on the state. Now, one fails to get any labour in rural areas for agriculture purposes. One can visit any village of Odisha and learn that agriculture is no more a profitable job, so much so that agricultural fields have gone barren. Ultimately, my point is that instead of following in his father’s footsteps to grade Odisha number one state and keep intact the pride of Odiyas, Naveen babu is becoming a liability for the state as it has a negative growth rate. And in tribal dominated areas there are many more untold sagas. If an MLA is abducted, a collector is abducted, an IPS officer is murdered, then one can imagine the level of competence of the state administration. Leave aside the fate of a poor common man, who while waiting for the state administration in the tribal hinterland, he comes across a fire-spewing gun.
The tragic story of abduction should not be a ritual every now and then. Naveen Babu beckons to the nation and narrates his helplessness and his catastrophic and lamentable failure in maintaining the internal security of the state. Every time he cannot blame the Centre for poor infrastructure that leads to lawlessness in the state. It’s worth mentioning that Naveen Babu should also realise that more than five thousand posts are lying vacant in the state police department, when the state police are having a tough time handling the dreaded criminals. The state should boost the morale of the police instead of pulling them down by letting the Maoists with criminal track record off scot free. Naveen Babu needs introspection. He should draft a tough policy in dealing with criminals on the turf, who mock the Constitution of India by striving to play the role of anti-nationals.