Archive for April, 2011

Jogabyasa Bhoi: A mountaineer from western Orissa

Following is a report from the Pioneer:


April 13, 2011 at 5:14 am Leave a comment

Kosli language play “Mau” aims to create record

Following report is from The Telegraph:

Sambalpur, April 10: A Sambalpuri play engrossed thousands of people gathered in Sundergarh. The playMaau was staged on Friday and Saturday evening by Navjeevan, a cultural organisation of Sundergarh.

The play depicted how tribal people became victims of the war between Maoists and the state. It illustrated how a tribal village, where people fulfilled their demands from the nature, had lost its identity due to the crisis.

In a false exchange of fire, a handicapped man loses his life and his sister has to fight to exonerate her brother from the charges labelled against him.

To absolve her brother, she agrees to surrender before the inquiry commissioner appointed by the government to investigate into the encounter. But she kills the commissioner instead, who invites her to a bungalow with lecherous intentions.

The atrocity inflicted on her turns her a Maoist but the innocent eyes of her niece Maau brings her to the mainstream.

Drama aficionados had an opportunity to watch this extraordinary play with a fascinating stage arrangement.

“I had heard about the play where 100 artistes were to act together on an 11,000-square feet stage,” said Parimal Panda, who was present in the audience.

“The story touched me. It was beyond my imagination that a play on such a big stage equipped with advanced technology is possible,” said Panda.

“Earlier, I had the opportunity to enjoy the play in a drama competition in Sambalpur. But, then the play was of one hour with just 15 artistes. But now I saw the play in its bigger form,” said Pradeep Behara, a resident of Sambalpur who had been to Sundergarh to watch the play.

“The performance by the actors was stupendous and the direction was awesome,” he added.

“The thrust of the play comes out in the scene when the protagonist realises that violence is not the solution to any problem,” said Narendra Pradhan, an artiste.

“Twenty female artists, seven child artists and 73 male artists performed on stage. There was a 30-member music team for this play which included seven songs,” said Pradeep Bhol, writer and director of the play.

The organisers of the play have applied for an entry into the Limca Book of Records.

Maroof Raza, a representative from the Limca Book of Records, said he was impressed with the act.

“With the special stage and huge number of artistes, the play has every chance to get an entry into the Limca Book of Records,” he said.

Following is another report from TOI:

BHUBANESWAR/SAMBALPUR: A play with tribal rights and naxalism as its theme is likely to enter the record books by becoming the biggest ever stage show of its kind in the world.

The play, organized by the cultural organization, Nabajiban’, is scheduled to be staged in Sundargarh, 300 km from here, on April 8. An 11,000 square foot stage, modelled on a tribal village, has been created at the Sundargarh civic centre for the play Mau’ in which 100 artistes, including 20 women and seven children will perform for two hours. There will be 50 other artistes who will provide back-stage support.

“Preparations are on for the show for the past six months. It will be the biggest event in the history of drama in the state and it aspires to create a world record,” said Pradip Bhol, president of Nabajiban. A repeat performance will be held at the same venue on April 9.

Nabjiban has been orginizing plays since 1976 as part of the Basant Mahotsav. “We have written to the Limca Book of Records to come and list it. They are coming,” said Bhol, who is also a producer of Oriya movies.

Mau, the central character of the play is a girlchild who has been betrayed and befooled both by the state and the extremists. A seven-year-old girl, Prachestita, plays the character. The language of the play will be Sambalpuri, the most popular dialect in this part of Orissa.

Bhol, who is also the writer-director of the play, said the massive scale was chosen to get maximum attention for the theme, which has affected Orissa and other Indian states badly. It carries the message that violence is no answer to any social problem. Sundargarh district, with a population of over 18 lakh, and bordering Jharkhand, is one of the largest Naxal-dominated districts in the state.

Narendra Pradhan, a lecturer in Sundargarh College, who plays the character of a schoolteacher in the play, said the broader message of the play is how innocent tribals are caught between government’s development plank and the extremists’ violent path. They, otherwise, are peace-loving and content with life.

While LED lights and Dolby digital sound will be used in the play, there will be 12 LCD screens to facilitate viewing for the expected 20,000-strong audience, Bhol said.

April 11, 2011 at 5:52 pm 1 comment

Agitation intensifies demanding rail wagon factory in Kalahandi

Following are some recent reports on this issue:

April 7, 2011 at 6:06 pm Leave a comment

Kosal Horizon: A weekly news paper published from Rourkela

Download the Kosal Horizon here.

April 5, 2011 at 8:11 pm Leave a comment

Why Kosal should be separated from Odisha?

Following is Dr. Arjun Purohit’s take on this issue (this message was sent to various e-groups):

Dear all,

Koshal state is inevitable because of variety of reasons but primarily because it is in accord with emerging trends. It is begining to be evident bigger states do not necessarily better management of resources, especially human resource. Fear that Koshal and Orissa will be further disadvantaged once separated simply do not hold water. Both MP and Chhattisgarh are better off after separation. Bihar is on mend under Nitish Kumar after separating from Jharkhand; it is concentrating on overall development of the state, particularly on human resource now that it can not depend on easy money obtained from mining operations in Jharkhand. Even Uttaranchal is beginning to show progress concentrating on its own resources which remained untapped when it remained with UP. Sure they are going through teething problems, but on the whole all these new entities are on the mend.

In the case of Orissa and Koshal, several studies done since its inception suggest that inter regional variance is increasing, and the gaps are getting bigger with no sign of abetting. There is no sense of urgency or inclination to reverse this trend.More recently, the state sponsored  a study to examine this self evident problem; It took four and half year and cost thirty five lakhs; and was produced two years ago. Mr.A.U.Singhdeo, the minister in charge said in Orissa assembly that the government is still studying it !! In the mean time, there has been utter failure of governance. Much of Koshal area is coming under the sway of Naxalites. Koshal is emerging as the most polluted part of Orissa. KBK area is languishing for decades even after alarm bell had been sounded decades ago.

Orissa government has no mining policy yet mining is going on in full spate for much of the last century. Even if humongous amount of mineral resources is known to be stolen away, and is being stolen away, Orissa government steadfastly opposing any  CBI enquiry even though its own government apparatus is incapable in stopping the loot. The irony is that proceeds from these operations did not improve the lots of Orissa and it is locked in the bottom of literacy and wealth ladder.We have been in the resource trap all these decades, and unfortunately lives of people who are effected by these mining operations is degrading in all measures. Not that all areas of Orissa are languishing. It is as if the sixty mile zone surrounding Bhubaneswar is where all the proceeds of Orissa is being dumped with Koshal and South Orissa remaining in the rain shadow area. Worst part of it all is that a nexus has developed in that sixty mile zone which thinks that that area alone needs to be developed. Ironically, that nexus consisting primarily of senior bureaucrats(working and retired) and academics of coastal area, is unofficially determining the shape of destiny of Orissa, and is immune from political engagement.

Orissa government has lost touch with people beyond this sixty mile zone. Our Adivashi population, who constitute nearly a fourth of population, have been singularly impacted from such deliberate neglect. More recently, the government has turned hostile towards this population. Unfortunately, both Koshal and South Orissa contain the bulk of this population. Protests from this group have not been heard, they have been replied with lathi charge, and even gun shots. And thus it is creating a fertile ground for Naxalites. We are watching in living colour the upheavals in Arab countries graphically demonstrating what happens when the governments are disconnected with people. We too in Orissa witnessing something similar albeit in a minor scale.

But Koshal should not be a separate state because of a protest movement. The daunting task of  Koshal state will be how to prepare the state for twenty first century, and align itself to overall growth and main stream of India. Key to this  is single minded focus on human resource development and create an ambiance of trust between between people and the government.We have to learn from the blunders of Orissa, which made it dysfunctional. All state resources must be equitably distributed across the regions. Overcentrilisation of state institutions and deployment of resources in a small part have been the main fault lines of Orissa; these must be avoided. Policies and procedures must be established to institute decentrilisation based upon proximity,accessibility and pragmatics. We simply can not afford to marginalise a huge chunk of population and expect progress. The Adivashi population is integral part of the state, and is a source of our strength. All social scientists will tell you that geniuses are produced in all clusters of population; therefore as it stands, by ignoring this population we are depriving ourselves a major source potential enhancers of the society. We must also develop better methods of conflict resolutions. In Orissa, we are locked into unnecessary battles between mining industries and Adivashis, farmers and industries, mineral exploitation and environmental concerns,etc.. We all have a stake in the upliftment of the state. Many of these conflicts are soluble, but we do not have in Orissa proper mechanisms to  defuse these issues. Therefore I fully endorse the stand of Sai Prasan and Parvin Patel. Koshal can be a model state if we play our cards right from the beginning. All these can be achieved without violence. And I believe Orissa will too will be better off without Koshal.


Arjun Purohit

April 3, 2011 at 1:50 pm 3 comments

New weekly ”Kosala Horizon” launched in Rourkela

Following is a PTI report:

Rourkela, March 28 (PTI) A new English weekly ‘Kosala Horizon’ has hit the stands here to focus on news related to western Orissa.The first issue was inaugurated by Dayanidhi Kisan, former MLA and chairman of the Rourkela Development Authority (RDA) here yesterday.Swaroop Mishra is the editor of the weekly.

This will be the second publication of ‘Paschimanchal’, which publishes the weekly ‘Paschimanchala’ under the editorship of Surama Mishra.Baidyanath Mishra, executive editor of ‘Paschimanchal’ said the new weekly would highlight the poverty, sufferings and miseries of the people of “neglected” western Orissa. PTI SCP

April 2, 2011 at 7:12 am Leave a comment

Kosal outfit tears Odisha map, demands separate Kosal state

Following report is from The Pioneer:

Protesting against the “continuous neglect and exploitation” of this region by successive Governments at Bhubneswar and demanding formation of a separate Kosal State, members of the Kosal Kranti Dal (KKD), led by its Balangir district president Bharat Prusti and general secretary of the All Kosal Students’ Union Dolamani Pradhan, on Friday staged a sit-in demonstration before the district Collectorate here.

The demonstrators tore the map of Odisha State and burned a CD containing the Bande Utkal Janani song and effigy of symbolic Government of Odisha as a mark of their protest.

Pradhan said, “The State of Odisha was formed comprising three former States, namely Utkal, Kalinga and Kosal. We are not Odia and we have a separate Kosali language and culture and have our own identity. The continuous backwardness of the region and concentration of important institutions starting form medical, engineering and law to all other institutions in Bhubneshwar and in its periphery amply reflect the Government’s penchant for that region and neglect of this region. In such a situation, why should we observe the Utkal Divas here?”

Even after more than 60 years since Independence, this region is groaning under backwardness and poverty, he said further.

At Sonepur, the headquarters town of Subarnapur district, KKD activists, led by Priyabata Sahu, and at Manmunda of Boudh district KKD members, led by Lalit Sahu, erased the name of the Utkal Gramya Bank from the signboard and, instead, wrote the name as Kosal Gramya Bank.

At Sambalpur too, KKD activists staged a similar protest while in Kalahandi the activists moved to villages and adopted a resolution in favour of a separate Kosal State. KKD members also staged such protests in Nuapada, Pradhan informed.

April 1, 2011 at 6:45 pm 2 comments



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