By Biswaraj Patnaik in Puri, December 6, 2018: When a highly skilled team of Odisha administrators was stunning the entire world with mind blowing hockey spectacle, the saffron brigade had chosen to look away and revel over the sudden discovery of a new find to be portrayed as the chief minister material for the 2019 polls.

The BJP masterminds in Odisha went into frenzied euphoria believing the former lady bureaucrat is invincible as her name suggests. CM material Aparajita Sarangi has temporarily brought to end the never ending quest for a credible figure to lead the depressed and badly distressed BJP community in Odisha.

Dharmendra Pradhan was fleetingly projected as the chief minister stuff until the madam invincible materialised. The vague projection was inevitable as Dharmendra is an Odisha-born Bihari MP. Eversince the crushing defeat in 2009, the Bihar-based MP has not been able to garner enough strength or courage to step onto the battle ground ever again. Fortunately for him, some friend at the top facilitated his entry into the Rajya Sabha and made him a cabinet minister, though without much say in critical matters. The power strings are held by some others, as the rumour goes.

The ‘Ram Mandir-crazy’ outfit has scant regards for the secular fabric of the Constitution. BJP, under the Modi-Shah stewardship, is more engaged in cow vigilantism activities than improving the quality of life of the poor. Lately they have embarked upon the craziest projects of splurging precious public money on putting up record size statues all over the BJP regions.

The mammoth, sky scraping ‘Patel statue’ does not inspire Sardar’s principles in the hearts or the visitors; it only attracts the tourists to look around the artificial lake and expensively maintained gardens and greenery. One has to take a chopper ride to see the beauty of the immeasurable work of art. They are now working on a record size ‘Ram statue’ to keep Hindu rightists as they extract votes by using force and fear. Similarly, there are the cow vigilante thugs who keep killing innocent cow traders and beef eaters. They have shot dead a police inspector two days ago and are on the prowl to make more kills. Not once have they thought of the Hindu religion which is absolutely established on tolerance and universal brotherhood. Hence the name ‘Sanatana Dharma’.

The Sabarimala tale is equally horrific. The saffron gangsters have made life of people miserable by even defying a telling Supreme Court order making entry of young women free for all times. The Modi-Shah duos have not once condemned the fundamentalist approach of mindless Hindu militants that are causing horrific havoc at the hill temple in Kerala. The illiterate priests called ‘Tanthris’ are encouraged by the saffron brigade to throw the Apex court order to garbage yard and go scot-free.

Only recently there have been several exposures by eminent Kerali and south Indian women of respectable stature in their articles and social media postings wherein they have categorically made clear the fact that their mothers and aunts have taken kid siblings for some first-rice intake rituals at the temple without any hindrance, nay with warmest of welcome acts by the priests until the late sixties of the last century, which is not even fifty years ago.

The strange phenomenon of fertile women being a barred from entry came only with some high court order pronounced by lopsided, law-ignorant and religiously prejudiced judges who never looked up history but chose to float with the populist belief system. The temple has undergone significant ritual changes after the 1950 incident. One such significant change is the restriction on entry of women. The ban was enforced under Rule 3(b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965.

The notion that this is a recent restriction finds resonance in the Kerala high court’s judgment. “Women used to visit the temple earlier. The Maharaja of Travancore accompanied by the Maharani (queen) and the Diwan had visited the temple in the Malayalam year of 1115 (1940). There was thus no strict prohibition for women to enter the Sabarimala temple in olden days,” the judgment read. “Both women below the age of menstruation and above the age of menstruation belong to the Sabarimala pilgrims. Nowadays women belonging to menstruating age are also pilgrim to Sabarimala,” says Kurumalur Narayana Pillai about 1940s in the book ‘Sreebhoothanadha Sarvaswam’.

Another important change that took place was the incorporation of ‘Harivarasanam’ (Sanskrit official lullaby of Ayyappa) as the official song of Ayyappa and Sabarimala. This song was incorporated as the official song after the firing of the temple in 1950.

Makaravilakku (ritual festival of Sabarimala) is one of the most important attractions in Sabarimala. It is during this period that the most number of pilgrims reach Sabarimala. This is because of the ‘magical’ and ‘divine’ happening Makarajyothi called (celestial star appear in the month of Makaram). Facts categorically establish that the divine Jyothi that gives Sabarimala pilgrimage a magnetic attraction among the millions of Hindus is man-made. Even the newspapers like the Malayala Rajyam and The Hindu, which reported the Sabarimala temple arson in detail in the months of June and July of 1950, didn’t carry any specific report on Makaravilakku phenomenon.

Former president of Tranvancore Devaswom Board Raman Nair has admitted that “the Makaravilakku is also done with the help of the police and other people”. In a letter the ombudsman for the Travancore and Cochin Devaswom Boards, Nalinakshan Nair said that Makarajyothi has a history of 45 years only.

The Supreme Court restored the human order of equality of all in every public domain irrespective of caste, colour or sex. Discriminatory practice of any kind was rightly scrapped as unlawful.

After all this human-friendly rulings too, the BJP think tank keeps toying with plans of causing cracks and fissures across an otherwise homogeneous Indian society. The British colonialists were never as nonsecular or discriminatory on any of their reforms attempts. The practice of ‘Sati’ was both inhuman and discriminatory. They abolished that instantly the moment it caught their attention. In a democratic, secular India, the Sabarimala ban on women cannot happen at all. The BJP government is doing precious little to uphold the Constitution by implementing the Apex court order by any means. The Kerala government is saner than the union government as has already been proved.

Odisha fortunately has a far more secular and democratic society than all the saffron states who are certain to bite dust in the coming years. BJD was likely to encounter the BJP as a tiny force in 2019. But after what the fundamentalist gangsters have begun committing, the rulers are sure of a massive victory yet again. The perfectly secular BJD roped in a few former civil servants only because the guys saw promise and a future in the party.


The Odisha BJP had no face until late. Dharmendra Pradhan was never really accepted as one. Jual Oram too has no great fan following in his own constituency for displaying wealth and posing to be larger than life and above all talking crap. He has long ceased to be a simple tribal leader with a nature-friendly lifestyle.

So Aparajita madam was enticed into the fold by some guile used by the trades folk leaders by dangling the chief minister chair before her. She too has fallen easy prey imagining that she would queen of Odisha because people admired her when she was a bureaucrat performing fairly well in some of her postings. But as is usual in the BJP’s netting techniques, the gullible lady may have been promised the skies without being told the truth about the BJP’s slimmest prospects of winning the magic number to coronate Aparajita as chief minister.

After being trapped tightly and inescapably, she was horrifically tutored to tell lies quite at the outset. She declared publicly that she was giving up the lucrative and glamorously prestigious IAS job to join a UN-linked Non-governmental Organisation. Everybody believed her because Aparajita could be telling a lie. The state government which had facilitated all her achievement sprees by giving her real free hand, permitted her to leave so as to serve the poor anywhere in the world on a bigger scale. But she emerged from behind the curtains as a saffron leader. Aparajita is married to an Odia fellow bureaucrat. Her father in law a former engineer is excited beyond limits and takes great deal of pride that the Bihari hirl speaks immaculate Odia and knows the local culture much more than many Odia women that are seen around.

All the same, the BjP may be in fir greater trouble as Dharmendra Pradhan may have not taken the entry of the glamorous former bureaucrat well as his chances of being projected as the face of BJP in Odisha have simply gone with the northerly wind. Further, the formidable Dilip-Bijay duo that has just abandoned the fold may cause irreparable damage to the party no matter where they find a new home.

Insiders keep murmuring that Aparajita would make a great Mayor or the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation specifically because she had first become a celebrity administrator of the local urban body while having a stint as the commissioner. It will not be surprising to witness such attempts by her senior party mates who have been overshadowed completely by her despite having screamed and screeched hoarse to make BJP popular. Aparajita may repent later for never having considered BJD as the right platform.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of