Archive for December, 2011
BARGARH: King Ugrasen, Kansa’s father, offering prayers at the Samaleswari temple and marching with his entourage to the ‘Durbar’ at Hatpada, is worried about marriage of his daughter Devaki. At this point of time Narad makes an entry and suggests marriage of Devaki with Basudev and the wedding is solemnised with grandeur at Ramji Mandir in Nayakpada in Bargarh.
Demon king Kansa is not happy with the marriage, but moves around atop a caparisoned elephant in a procession along with the newly-wed couple.Soon after Devaki and Basudev are lodged in a makeshift prison at Samaleswari Club at Taliapada after a divine voice warns Kansa of his death at the hands of Devaki’s eighth child. An enraged Kansa moves to his durbar. His durbar at Hatapada, where the act of dethroning of King Ugrasen and Kansa’s accession takes place marks the beginning of his tyrannical rule. In the evening, a huge colourful procession accompanied by folk dance and music reached Kansa’s ‘Durbar’ at Hatpada from Samaleswari temple. These acts were staged on the first day of the 63rd Dhanu Yatra on Friday.
Bargarh’s Dhanu Yatra, considered the largest openair theatre in Asia, is a 11-day affair. No form of hierarchy separates the commoner from the elite in this cultural extravaganza that would continue till January 10. The dramas, to be enacted at different platforms, would include ‘Krishna Leela’ and ‘Mathura Bijaya’.
It would conclude with the Kansa ‘badha’ at Mathura (Bargarh). The openair theatre, stretching more than five sq km, boasts of a cast in which every commoner plays a part. During the 11 days the demon king rules the town and even the district collector is not spared for any slip. The scene that attracts maximum crowd is the unique sight of Kansa moving all around Mathura atop a brightly decorated elephant along with his Mahamantri and soldiers. And anyone crossing his path gets the royal rap, no one is spared. What enlivens the whole drama is the demon King’s magisterial power. And all obey his dictates.
This is a good step by the government. However, CM has neglected western Odisha again. Following things should be demanded for the betterment of western Odisha:
- · Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Rourkela should be upgraded to World Class railway station status
- · Completion of Khurdha-Balangir railway line
- · Connect Bhawanipatna-BBSR by rail
- · Bargarh-Nuapada (via Padampur) railway line
- · Connect Harishankar and Narsinghnath via rail line
BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has demanded 12 new trains in the 2012-13 Railway Budget.
The new trains are, Bhubaneswar-Mumbai/Pune, Puri-Jeypore/Jodhpur, Bhubaneswar-Bangalore, Puri/Bhubaneswar-Surat (all Duronto express), Rourkela-New Delhi, Keonjhar-Howrah, Barbil-Visakhapatnam via Keonjhar andBhubaneswar, Titlagarh-Bhubaneswar via Rayagada, Bhubaneswar-Shiridi daily express, passenger train service between Barbil-Puri and passenger service between Bhawanipatna-Bhubaneswar via Sambalpur.
In a letter to Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has also demanded increase of frequency of several trains following persistent demand from the travelling public. The trains are, Bhubaneswar-Kurla-Lokamanya Tilak express, Puri-Ahmedabad express via Sambapur, Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani express, Puri-Patna Baidyanath express and Puri-Guwahati express.
CuttackandBhubaneswarare being developed as twin cities and as per the comprehensive development plan prepared by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, the combined population will be 2.7 million by 2021.
Stating that this will necessitate a mass rapid transit system (MRTS), Naveen said that this was the appropriate time to commence detailed planning for rail based city transport system in greaterBhubaneswarregion.
Stating that the operationalisation of East Coast Railway (ECoR) has brought railway management closer to the people and problems of Odisha, the Chief Minister demanded extension of its jurisdiction to include Banspani-Padapahar section, Bhadrak-Laxmannath section inKhurda Roaddivision and Jharsuguda-Barasuan-Kiriburu, Rourkela-Nuagaon and Jharsuguda-Himagiri sections in Sambalpur division. Besides, appropriate functional reorganisation of ECoR will necessitate the creation of a new railway division atJajpur-Keonjhar Road, he said.
The Chief Minister has demanded that the doubling work of Rayagada-Koraput and Kottavalsa-Kirandul broad gauge rail link should be sanctioned. He also said that the doubling work of Khurda Road-Puri link (phase-II), Raj Athgarh-Barang andBarang-Khurda Roadthird line should be expedited. These projects should be commissioned in 2012-13 with provision of enhanced budget, he said.
He demanded the electrification of Talcher-Sambalpur-Jharsuguda, Sambalpur-Titlagarh and Koraput-Rayagada railway lines should be sanctioned. He requested that execution of world class station atBhubaneswarand Puri should be expedited. Railway stations at important district centres and major tourist destinations need special attention to provide multi-functional complexes and upgraded passenger amenities, he said.
The Chief Minister also sought introduction of DMU services in Sambalpur-Jharsuguda-Rourkela and Berhampur-Balasore corridors. He said that a new train service from Puri to Pune and Mumbai via Sambalpur and Titlagarh has become essential.
Advocating for a self-sustainable and workable PPP initiatives in the coal and iron ore sectors, the Chief Minister has requested formulation of a suitable policy for attracting private investment in the development of dedicated rail corridors.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for provision of Rs 2,345-crore package in the 2012-13 Railway Budget for the development of railways in the State.
Patnaik, in a letter to the Prime Minister, has given a long list of proposals on development of railways in the State which had been neglected by successive Union Governments. He urged the Prime Minister to ask the Railways Minster to take necessary steps for allocating required funds for new as well as ongoing projects. Besides, he urged the Prime Minister to advise Ministry of Railways for strengthening of railway infrastructure in Odisha.
In his proposal, Patnaik has indicated some new lines, doubling of tracks, electrification, gauge conversion and passenger amenities.
Patnaik in his proposal has urged the Prime Minister to provide railway connectivity to all the ports within definite timeframe, besides declaring at least three railway projects with the status of National Projects and to convert theBhubaneswarand Puri railway station to world class stations.
Stating that Odisha continues to be one of the most preferred destinations for investment, especially in metal, mining and power sectors, he said the State Government was leveraging this opportunity to plan orderly, systematic and comprehensive economic growth by focusing upon infrastructure development and creating dedicated industrial corridors. The nature of industrial activities in the State requires a robust and well-planned railway infrastructure for its sustainability, Patnaik pointed out.
He said the Central Government had initiated many ambitious projects like dedicated freight corridor aligned with mega industrial hubs, national road express ways and high- speed train projects. But those projects appear to have completely bypassed Odisha although some of the country’s largest investments in the steel, aluminium and power sectors are coming up here.
Referring to the railway lines, he said the railway route length and rail density in Odisha was well below national average as also substantially lower than that in neighboring States. In his proposal, Patnaik requested the Ministry of Railways to put in place a time-bund infrastructure upgradation arrangement for the ports coming up on the Odisha coast. “A synchronised development plan between that of the ports and related rail connectivity is necessary for maximizing economic gains, he said. In this context, Patnaik said the eastern dedicated freight corridor fromLudhianato Dankuni should be extended to Brahmapur so as to ensure seamless movement of freight between the ports and the northern and central hinterlands of the country.
He proposed for construction of Bharachaam Road-Talcher rail link via Malkangiri, Jeypur, Lanjigarh, Sambalpur-Brahmapur new rail link via Phulbani and Rayagada-Gopalpur rail link via Bhismagiri.
Pointing out that survey for these lines have been sanctioned, he urged the Prime Minister to advise the Ministry of Railways to execute the projects on priority basis, treating these projects as “National Projects”.
He also urged Singh to expedite execution of a World Class Station atBhubaneswarand holy pilgrimage town ofPuri. Similarly, the railway stations at important district centres and major tourist destinations need special attention to provide “multi-functional complexes” and upgraded passenger amenities. Besides, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack region which is planned as a mega urban complex also needs to have a rail-based urban transport system, he said.
The Mirror Reflection of Sambalpur State through the Courtly Chronicle called Kosalananda Kavyam, The Journal of Orissan History, Vol. XXII, December, 2009, Bhubaneswar. pp. 237-252. Click here to download and read the full article. Thanks to the author for sending me the article.
BHUBANESWAR: Patient care going for a toss due to prolonged strike of junior doctors across all government medical colleges sums up the situation of healthcare in the state this year even as the government announced a number of new initiatives.
Around 800 house surgeons and PG students, the backbone of healthcare services for both indoor and outdoor patients in the three medical colleges, went for tool down, demanding “proper security to them during duty”. Several surgeries had to be postponed and emergency care was affected in the three apex institutions.
Junior doctors in Burla stopped work on September 5 following alleged attacks on them a day earlier on September 4. After the state announced a sine die closure of the college on September 7, the medics reassembled for an indefinite stir in the state capital on September 9. Their counterparts in Cuttack and Berhampur joined them on September 15 and 16 respectively, expressing solidarity with their demands of security, arrest of alleged main culprit Sisir Dandia and withdrawal of “false” charges against the demonstrators. Several rounds of talks with the government failed to bring back the medicos to their work and classes. Despite hectic parleys with the government, the strike went on till September 24. The Orissa high court had to intervene to end the stalemate ultimately. The HC asked the government to improve security on the campus and remove encroachments inside the Burla hospital campus.
Meanwhile, despite tall posturing by the government to have taken initiatives for several new medical college proposals, nothing concrete materialized during the year, either in private or in the government sector.
While the year saw no progress in the 2004 proposal of Western Orissa Development Council to set up a medical college in Balangir, Sahyog Healthcare and Research Foundation (SHRF) of India is yet to acquire land for its proposed college in Keonjhar. The SHRF a few days ago got some New York-based venture capitalists to invest $100 million in the project for a period of five years though.
Besides, the fate of Employees’ State Insurance Corporation’s proposed medical college at Bhubaneswar still hangs in balance with nothing more than a boundary coming up at the proposed site, government sources said. ESIC had proposed in 2008 to set up a medical college in Odisha. The state government had allotted 25 acres of land in the city for the Rs 800-crore project in 2009.
The planning and coordination department of the state government had sanctioned Rs 10 crore each for medical colleges in Rourkela, Jaring (Kalahandi district) and Balangir in public-private partnership. The government provided 25 acres of land each to these proposed colleges, being facilitated by WODC. Though the colleges in Rourkela and Jaring are in advanced stages of completion, uncertainty still prevails about their likely date of commissioning.
Similarly, the government also failed to initiate a kidney transplant facility at SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack, this year. It has now set a target of early 2012 to launch the programme.
The state government can, however, boast of at least four major initiatives such as launching the Centre-funded Janani O Sishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK), Mamata scheme for pregnant women and commissioning of the e-blood bank service this year. “It has been one of those happening years in health. Initiatives such as JSSK and Mamata were launched for pregnancy and neonatal care. We also started Dots Plus for TB patients,” said Dr Upendra Kumar Sahoo, director of health services.
Under the JSSK, the government promises to bear all expenditure related to delivery and newborn care. The free entitlements under the programme of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) include free and cashless delivery, free Caesarean Section, free treatment of sick newborns up to 30 days, exemption from user charges, free drugs and consumables, free diagnostics, free diet during stay in the health institutions (three days in case of normal delivery and seven days in case of C-section), free provision of blood, free transport from home to health institutions, free transport between facilities in case of referral as also drop back from institutions to home after 48 hours stay. “It would go a long way to reduce neonatal and maternity deaths,” the DHS said.
The state launched Mamata scheme in July, under which the government promises to give Rs 5,000 to pregnant women in villages. An estimated seven lakh pregnant women and newborn babies in rural areas would benefit from the scheme every year. As per the scheme, aid would be given to each pregnant woman in four installments. First Rs 1,500 would be paid after six months of pregnancy with registration and vaccination in an anganwadi centre. The second Rs 1,500 would be given when the newborn is three months old. The third and fourth installments of Rs 1,000 each would be paid when the newborn is six and nine months old respectively.
Critics dismiss both Mamata and JSSK, however, as pre-poll sops ahead of panchayat elections in the state in February.
Among the most commendable initiatives in the year passing by was the e-blood bank initiative. Earlier this month, the government started bar-coding of blood bags to ensure blood collected first is used first in 100% cases. The web-enabled system facilitates electronic monitoring of blood collection, testing, storage and final use or disposal. Timings of all these steps can now be known from anywhere in the blood bank network.
The electronic screening can detect professional donors as all blood banks are interlinked to eliminate professional donation, which is still around three to four per cent. “It is for the first time in the country that such an initiative was launched in blood safety,” said Mangala Prasad Mohanty, honorary secretary of Odisha branch of the Indian Red Cross Society.
Dr. Sanjib Kumar Karmee, PhD
Department of Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology
Julianalaan 136, 2628 BL Delft,
Kosli language has a very rich history. The first Kosli language poem was published by “Madhusudan” in 1891 (Sambalpur Haitesini, 3rd Issue, 15 number, 1891). Earlier, a team lead by Dr. Nilamadhab Panigrahi, Mr. P. R. Dubey and Pandit Prayag Datta Joshi organized the “Kosal Sammellan”. This group jointly started and spearheaded the “Kosli language” movement in western Odisha. As an addition to this movement, late Satya Narayan Bohidar of Sonepur contributed immensely in the 1970s by writing the first dictionary and grammar books for Kosli language. Later a notable contribution came from scholar late Sri Hemachandra Acharya, who wrote “The Kosli Ramayana-Ram Raha”. This book was published by Sambalpur University and available online. This book helped a lot to popularize the Kosli language in its written form. Late Shri Acharya is popularly known as “Kosli Balmiki” in the western Odisha. Dr. Nilamadhab Panigrahi is another notable personality of Kosli literature. He is known for writing the “Kosli Mahabharat”.  He has also authored a Kosli grammar book along with Dr. Prafulla Tripathy. It is said that he did not accept the “Sarala Samman” because of his affection towards Kosli language.
Currently, poet Haldhar Nag, Poet Bipin Acharya, Dr. Dologobind Bishi, Dr. Harekrushna Meher, Nimai Charan Panigrahi, novelist Dhanpati Mahapatra, and dramatist Kesha Ranjan Pradhan, are leading the Kosli language movement. In 2011 a “Kosal Sahitya Academy” was constituted and the academy felicitated several literary personalities of Kosli language and literature.  A movement is continuing in the western Odisha or Kosal region for the recognition and development of “Kosli language”. Various linguists, writer, and intellectuals of this region are leading this movement. A large numbers magazines, newspapers, novels, and books are available in this language. “Beni”- a leading Kosli language magazine is published regularly from Bargarh by Mr. Saket Sahu. Also, Kosli grammar books are already adopted by writers.
There is a sense among the people of western Odisha that writings in Kosli language are not respected among Odia pundits. It is reported that some member of the “Odisha Sahtya Academy” does not recognize Kosli as an independent language. They think that Kosli language is a dialect of Odia language.
It is believed that that the difference between a dialect and a language depends upon attitude of the person who claims that there is a difference between the two. There is no strict scientific and linguistic norm to distinguish a language and a dialect. A well known linguist “Edward Fenigan””, states in his book “Language: Its Structure and Use”,” that some people seems to believe and claim that only other people speak a dialect, but they themselves don’t. Instead they think of themselves as a speaker of a particular language. In reality everyone speaks a “dialect”, he says: the characteristic linguistic practices of ethnic groups, socioeconomic groups, gender groups and age groups also constitute of different dialects. You speak a dialect that is typical of your nationality, your region, your sex, your socioeconomic status, your community and other characteristics. And so does everyone else.
In practical terms, when linguistic characteristics of communication are sufficiently unique, then language/dialect can be distinguished from another language/dialect. Odia is sufficiently different from Bengali, and Kosli language is sufficiently different from Odia, Bengali, Hindi and other Indian languages. In fact the difference between Bengali and Odia is less pronounced than the difference between Oriya and Kosli. A book “Kosli Bhasa Ra Sankhipta Parichay” (A brief introduction to Kosli language) by Kosal Ratna Pandit Prayaga Dutta Joshi (edited by Dr. Dologobind Bishi) gives a snap shot on the importance and distinction of Kosli language.[6,7] Researchers argue that Kosli language is directly evolved from Sanskrit like various Indian languages. The trend of evolution of Kosli language is: Sanskrit > Prakrit > Hindi > Kosli. Consider some of the following Kosli words that are originated from the ancient Prakrit language:
|lALan||lAd (pyar)||lAda (gela)|
Some argue that Kosli is not a distinct language as it is using Odia script. If we will go by this logic, it is worth noting that the script of Marathi and Hindi, Bengali and Assamese languages are same. All these languages are flourishing and maintaining their identities. In addition, there are many languages in the world with similar script. Most of the European languages use Roman script. They are still different. Each language is successful. Along this line, it may be noted that Germans thinks that Dutch is a mixture of English and German language. So what? Dutch language is still progressing and it has its own literature, heritage and culture. However, if one will read and learn, then Dutch is distinct from German and it has its own grammar. In this context, Kosli and Odia language are different although they use same script.
The strength of a language depends mainly on its literary personalities, their creations and its readers. A team led by Dr AK Das of Sambalpur University has established that Kosli is a distinct language. 
On regular basis essay competition, debate competition, seminar, group discussion, and poetry recitation are organized in this language in western Odisha. Intellectuals are also demanding that Kosli language should be the medium of instruction at the primary school level in western Odisha. It is argued that such a move will reduce the school drop out rates in western Odisha as the kids of this region do not understand Odia. There is also a continuous demand for the inclusion of Kosli language in the 8th schedule of the Indian constitution. [9,10]
- Kosli Bhasa Ra Sankhipta Parichay, Kosal Ratna Prayagdutta Joshi, pg 6, 7, 16, 17, Ed. Dr. Dolagobinda Bishi, 1991.
There is a deliberate attempt by the Government of Odisha to suppress the Kosli language and culture, alleged Kosal Kranti Dal (KKD) working president Baidyanath Mishra at a Press conference here on Wednesday.
He said teachers and para-teachers are being recruited to appease the minor ethic groups, including Bengali and Telugu, in the State whereas Kosli spoken by almost one and a half crore people is neither given official status nor is any step being taken for its growth due to a high degree of inferiority complex on the Government’s part.
Mishra said thousand of books in Kosli using Odia script have been published in different branches of Kosli literature, but the Government does not have any affirmative stance for promoting the rich literature. This “step-motherly attitude” towards Kosli, coupled with acute regional imbalance and other parochial considerations, has led to discontentment among the people concerned and a strong opinion to split the State.
“The recent activities of the Government and some NGOs have posed a threat to Kosli language and culture,” he alleged and called upon the people of ‘Kosalanchal’ to remain alert. The strategy of “Utkalisation of the Kosal areas” is a calculated one, but the Government has not been successful in the past nor would it be successful in future because of its ill motive as negative action would only bring negative result, he remarked.
Mishra was launching Kosli No-1, a music album brought out by Karan Raj and his young team. Congratulating all those involved in the project, he advised them to adopt the twin strategy of promotion and safeguard for their language and culture.
Editor of Paschimanchala Surama Mishra was the guest of honour on the occasion. Sagar Singh Manki, Ram Chandra Amat, Jai Singh Singh and Hrudanand Behera were among others present.