Society Magazine

Hail Odisha Model !! – Politics is Not All About Hate !

Posted on the 14 June 2024 by Sampathkumar Sampath

Elections give people chance to change their rulers –

Hail Odisha Model !!  – they show that politics is not all about hate !

The ancient kingdom of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka in 261 BCE resulting in the Kalinga War, coincides with the borders of modern-day Odisha.  The modern boundaries of Odisha were demarcated   when Orissa Province was established on 1 April 1936 (formerly Orissa) , the eighth-largest state by area.

The Odisha Legislative Assembly is the unicameral state legislature with its capital at  Bhubaneswar. The Legislative Assembly comprises 147 Members of Legislative Assembly.  The first Govt was formed prior to Independence in Feb 1937 headed by  Krushna Chandra Gajapati KCIE, also known as Captain Maharaja Sri Sri Sri Krushna Chandra Gajapati Narayana Deva KCIE, regarded as the architect, founding father of an Independent Odia Language speaking state Odisha. He was a scion of Paralakhemundi Estate (then Ganjam district of Odisha and Srikakulam taluk of Andhrapradesh) and the owner of Delanga estate of Puri district of Odisha. His family belonged to the great Eastern Ganga Dynasty. He was the first Prime Minister of Odisha. The present-day Gajapati District of Odisha was named after him.

The first elections after Independence to Odisha legislature was in 1952. 6 National parties along with All India Ganatantra Parishad and 3 registered unrecognized parties took part in the assembly election. Indian National Congress emerged as the single largest party while All India Gantantra Parishad emerged as the main opponent to the Congress party.

Orissa Politics has all along been about ‘Patnaiks – Biju and then Navin’.  Bijayananda Patnaik served as the 3rd Chief Minister of the State of Odisha from 1961 to 1963 and from 1990 to 1995. He was also the 14th Steel and mines and 1st Coal Union Minister of India from 1979 to 1980 and from 1977 to 1979 and a member of Lok Sabha from Kendrapara from 1977 to 1985.

He was multi-faceted and a freedom fighter for Indonesia !  When the Dutch attempted to quell Indonesian independence on 21 July 1947, President Sukarno ordered Sjahrir, the former prime minister of Indonesia, to leave the country to attend the first Inter-Asia Conference, organised by Nehru, in July 1947 and to foment international public opinion against the Dutch. Sjahrir was unable to leave as the Dutch controlled the Indonesian sea and air routes. Nehru asked Patnaik, who was adventurous and an expert pilot, to rescue Sjahrir and other Indonesian resistance fighters who were fighting their Dutch colonisers. Patnaik and his wife Gyanwati, flew to Java, dodging the Dutch guns,  entered Indonesian airspace and landed on an improvised airstrip near Jakarta. 

Patnaik was close to Indira Gandhi who took over the Congress Party in 1967. However, they clashed in 1969 over the presidential election. He left the Congress and formed a regional party—the Utkal Congress. In the 1971 assembly poll, his party did reasonably well. Patnaik then re-established contact with his old friend Jayaprakash Narayan and plunged into the JP movement as it picked up momentum in 1974. When the Emergency was declared in 1975, Biju Patnaik was one of the first to be arrested along with other opposition leaders.

The later period belonged to Navin Patnaik.  Naveen served as its 14th CM  from 5th March 2000 to 12 June 2024. His 24-year reign is the second longest for a chief minister of any Indian state, after Pawan Kumar Chamling of Sikkim. He is the first president of the Biju Janata Dal since 1997. He served as the Union Minister of Steel and Mines from 1998 to 2000 and a member of the Lok Sabha from Aska from 1997 to 2000.

Hail Odisha Model !!  –  politics is not all about hate !

2024 has seen him being removed amidst news of his failing health.  Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Mohan Charan Majhi was appointed as the new chief minister of Odisha.  Mohan Majhi is a four-time tribal MLA from Keonjhar assembly in Odisha. In the 2024 Odisha assembly elections, Mohan Charan Majhi secured 47.05 per cent of the votes, winning the Keonjhar assembly constituency and defeating Minu Majhi of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), who received 40.84 per cent of the votes.

BJP has captured the State dislodging the CM in office for 24 years ! – it is heart-warming scenes as the old and new CMs were seen together in the Swearing-in ceremony that showcased the bonhomie and class of Odisha culture.

Naveen Patnaik’s class act was on display as he attended his successor’s oath-taking ceremony today. The BJP leaders, led by PM Modi, returned the favour, with the top leadership showing a warm welcome to the BJD stalwart. After 24 years, Naveen Patnaik will no longer be at the helm of affairs in Odisha. Instead, for the first time, a BJP Chief Minister will lead the state government. The former Chief Minister was all gracious in the defeat as he attended his successor’s swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday.

In a very good gesture, Naveen  was welcomed by the BJP top leaders on the stage set up for Odisha’s next Chief Minister. Prime Minister Narendra Modiji also had a long chat with Patnaik on the stage.

Hail Odisha Model !!  –  politics is not all about hate !

During the poll campaign, there were exchanges between the rival parties, the  poll banter continued and as the election ended, the BJP emerged victorious in Odisha, wresting power from the Biju Janata Dal (BJD). The jibes and barbs stopped there. For the oath-taking ceremony of the new Chief Minister, the BJP decided to invite Naveen Patnaik. New Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi went a step ahead and personally handed over the invite to Naveen Patnaik.

Patnaik was welcomed on stage with no less a fanfare than is deserving of Odisha’s stalwart. Union Home Minister Amit Shah walked ahead to warmly welcome him, while Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and JP Nadda greeted him with folded hands. After the swearing-in ceremony, the PM Modi-Naveen Patnaik bonhomie was for all to see. PM Modi was seen holding a conversation with Naveen Patnaik, who he had once called his "friend".  Naveen too graciously  wished his successor well.

“I hope and believe that his leadership, strength and ability will work in the service of the people of Odisha,” Naveen Patnaik said on the day Manjhi took oath as Odisha Chief Minister.

Great people, class acts, and for long we kept reading in all media  that  Orissa was a backward State and its people were not so well educated, while the truth is far different.  

Hail Odisha Model !

With regards – S Sampathkumar
13.6.2024 

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