His-Story of 200 Years…

Nowadays there is a lot of buzz all round the state of Odisha following the results of the Panchayat election where the incumbent BJD of Naveen Pattnaik though has more than 50% of the seats is on a backfoot and the challenging BJP of Narendra Modi with only 35% of the seats is celebrating “Vijaya Utsav” for taking a step forward in ‘Congress Mukt Bharat(Odisha)’.  But there is one man, Buxi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar Mohapatra Bhramarbar Ray infront of whom the leaders of BJD, BJP, INC bow down. If you think he is the Governor of Odisha, you are wrong. He is not even the erstwhile king of Puri or some other princely estate of the state. Then who is he?? What is his-story?? Why it is important to know about him.

In 1803 the English took over the erstwhile Orissa from the Marhattas almost 50years after the British Rule was established in neighbouring Bengal and infact whole of India in 1757. The Marhattas were no less blood-suckers than the British so the change in administration didn’t have any major reaction in the public mind-who were least politically conscious at that point of time. In 1804 the Britishers snatched the management of Jagannath Temple of Puri from the then King Mukunda Deva-II, as they had their eyes on the vast landed property and other incomes of the temple.

From the times the Kings of Orissa were sovereign powers, the custom of “Paikas” was well established as a mechanism of defence-should the occasion arise. The Paikas were farmers during peace and formidable mercenaries during war. They knew fighting well, both in the open field and in the jungles. They had had fought a good many bloody battle with the Mughals and did not prove inferior to any infantry which the Marathas ever brought into the field during their government of the province. Such a body of local landed militia was a tower of  strength to any Government hence the vast agricultural lands and estates given to them in return of their military service was never disturbed by anyone till the Britishers came. The Britishers could have used such militia to their benefit, but by a fatal and shortsighted policy, Major Fletcher had been allowed to resume their service lands shortly after confiscation of Khurda estate. Deprived of the land which they enjoyed from time immemorial, they were subjected to the grossest extortion and oppression at the hands of the Sarbarakars and other Government Revenue officers, the tyrannies of a corrupt and venal police and deprivation of the rights to manufacture salt from sea-water ruined the livelihood, thus a fire of revolt amongst the Paikas was kindled and all they needed was a leader.

In March 1917, about 400 Kandha tribals of Ghumusur area came marching towards Khurda, they first attacked the police station of Banpur and burnt all government buildings, looted 15,000 rupees and marched forward. The tribe was joined by the Paikas of Khurda under the leadership of Buxi Jagabandhu who was the former General of King Mukund Dev. As the Paikas were marching towards Khurda . The rebellion under the leadership of Buxi spread to other areas like Puri,Pipili,Cuttack and remote villages. The british troop unprepared for such an attack suffered heavy losses at the hands of the paikas. On 18th April,1817 Gajapati Mukunda Dev was proclaimed to have regained his reign with formal ceremonies being performed by the Panda of Puri.The entire southern odisha was by then under the control the Paikas and Buxi Jagabandhu issued orders in name of the king. Soon the rebel got support from the Kings of Kujang and Kanika and reached almost a major part of the state.

The paika rebellion was not just an organized military movement but was a mass movement that involved the remotest of the remote villages. The impact was such that the britishers had to initiate development work in the state. This movement inspired nationalist leader even before 1857’s Mutiny and created a national awareness about independence. History may not have credited Buxi and the Paika’s  for lighting the first war of Indian independence but the Odias should take pride in their this glorified past and that will be the real tribute to Buxi Jagabandhu on the occasion of 200 years of India’s First War for Independence.

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Everyday is a Poetry..

The sunrises in the east to set in the west

Oh! what boring ritual it must be for the sun

We are all busy in living a life without rest

And Some alms is all we get for this run…

These alms cant buy me a sound sleep

Niether can they stop the fast ticking clock

Then what for we give the meals a skip

And lock our dreams in a banks cloak.

People say poem is all about imagination

Its the work of those sitting ideal

Just ponder upon this wierd assumption

Isn’t our life a poem in real??

Everyday is poem and every man living is a poet….

The life we live today is that of a robot

Degrees are bought with few notes

A child has no right to chose his own boat

False familial legacy is damp and rot.

We have no time for imagination

Forget about keeping relation

Yet we boast of this illiteracy

And call our lives a matter of supremacy

In this world of machines requiring repair

Poems and poets bring some air fresh

So that live sound better, above all despair

Everyday is poetry and every man living is a poet…

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Evolution is that intimate nature of life which makes the living beings different as well as unique from each other. With every passing time our culture, our customs, believes change in the same way as any other kind of genetic or agenetic mutation. Change is inevitable but the basic ethos on which the society has been built over centuries cannot be forgotten due to negligence or nepotism. Keeping in pace with this theory of evolution the customs and traditions of odia literature and culture have made way for upgradation. The uniqueness of Odia language in being only the 7th ancient classical language of the country out of hundreds of other languages lies in its basic literature and not merely the populist modern English influenced odia. In this quest to maintain this special status of language the one person whose contribution has been immense and impactful is Kavi Samrat Upendra Bhanja. It is a matter of surprise how only one person single handedly added 32,500 new indigenous words to the odia dictionary, yet there was a time when Bhanja was almost forgotten by the people of this state. Today as Kalinga Bharati will be celebrating its 75th Bhanja Jayanti Week they must be proud of the fact that their movement has been able to rekindle the hunger of this state to know Kavisamrat. The time when they were fighting against the nepotism of the then modern odia literary giants who wanted to erase Bhanja from people’s memory and a time now when various organizations all over the state and outside are very sportively organizing Bhanja Jayantis to get some fame for themselves in the name of Bhanja are itself a testimony to the fact of Bhanja Literature being indestructible,immortal and incessant.

Upendra Bhanja was born with royal blood in the late 17th century roughly around the date of May 16( that’s the day Kalinga Bharati celebrates its week long Bhanja Jayanti since 1944) and lived upto the early or mid of the 18th century. Within this very short life span of may be just a little above half a century Upendra Bhanja created literary marvels which are mysteriously exciting for any lover of literature. Four centuries down the lane when we talk about relevance of Upendra Bhanja in this 21st century we are yet to find an alternative for Bhanja. It was Bhanja’s determination to write only in odia that made him create such marvels but at the same time it was Bhanja’s misfortune that he wrote only in Odia for which he couldn’t be popularized outside the odia speaking boundaries. Bhanja is that genius who not only took odia language to a level as high as the then dominating Sanskrit culture enriched with the works of Kalidasa and Harshvardhan or Hindi enriched with the works of Tulsidas and Kabir. The writing of Bhanja when translated into English will give a good competition to even Shakespeare. Today had Bhanja been a Bengali then we would be hearing about Bhanja Sangeet and not Ravindra Sangeet. Odisha and its people at a time did grave injustice to the person who promoted, protected and potrayed Odia language at par with any other language or culture of the world. The very fact that even today there are some who discuss Bhanja in great depth gives a ray of hope that Bhanja is still significant. Upendra Bhanja himself in his poems many times has prayed the lords to bless his works with immortality as –

O lord! May my work stay in this world in all times

 published in every country and language and bring smile

Upendra Bhanja is that visionary thinker who could bravely yet very humbly declare to the world that his works are here to stay for generations to come. It was not Bhanja’s pride or prejudice when he said “I have sailed the ocean of words” but it was his confidence and conscience that made him believe what he has achieved. Yet he surrendered all those fame in the name of his chief deity and showed the world how to be humble even when you are at the top-

My name is Upendra and my Lord is Shri Ram

  Is the same Vishnu residing in Vaikunta

 He is the one who churned the Amrit from the oceans

And so also the songs recited from his throat.”

When a person with the help of his gifted knowledge and devotion can write a full Ramayana with using any vowel he ought to someone extraordinary. Many a times the commentators of Kalinga Bharati have challenged the world to discover or invent one such poet or writer who could have or can write an entire Ramayana without calling any of its main characters by their original name. In India there are over 100 Ramayanas but Kavi Samrat Upendra Bhanja’s  “Abanarasataranga” is the only Ramayana where a single ‘vowel’ or ‘mantra’ is not used. Such was the expertise of Upendra Bhanja in Odia that he could write an entire epic-poem in palindrome form i.e. irrespective of the side you start reading from the words and meaning will be same in either of sequence.

In this highly scientific and proof oriented society of 21st century it is important that we support each of our claims with some facts and figures. Just think for a while, all that Upendra Bhanja wrote was between the 17th and 18th century, starting from then Bhanja literature was synonymous with the colloquial culture and works of life. In the 19th century Bhanja was a household name of every Odia pretty much like Tagore is in any Bengali family, Bhanja was made the uncrowned emperor of odia literature where his influence over writers of that period was pretty evident. Utkal mani Gopabandhu Das had rightly said-

O Upendra! Every knowledgeable person speaks of you in different forums

Again a roadside labourer also finds solace in singing your song

Be it in the countryside or in the royal courtyard the dancers dance to your tune

Time is mighty that brings new change and new knowledge

But your ‘Baidehisha Bilasa’ will the best in every time and every generation

Then in the beginning of the 20th century with increasing influence of the western culture when there was threat to Bhanja Literature, it still survived by ignited the fire within some other warriors. Bhanja and his works has gone through many ups and downs yet it has survived so long till the 21st century, this itself is the example that Bhanja literature is everlasting.

Upendra Bhanja was very scientific in his approach. When it comes to preservation of his work he prays to lord-

O lord Ram! Bless my work

May no mouse or mite or fire destroy it

May it reach the every person without any hurdle

Save it from polluted interpretations of thugs and touts

Bless it to be published worldwide

In those days there was no paper, people used to write on palm leaves and only things that could destroy them were the mouse/mites or the fire. Bhanja was aware that when in public domain the interpretations of his works is at constant threat of nepotism and jealousy, thus he prays to lord to make his work available to world , saved from the unsocial elements.

Mahatma Gandhi had once said-

“I love to keep the windows of my house open, but when the wind outside is very polluting, I prefer closing the window.”

Even before Gandhi, Bhanja knew what kind of a society we were heading towards. In today’s society when there is no “time to stand and stare” we have all become mechanical, running after money we have forgotten the real essence of calling someone a ‘honey. To his readers Upendra Bhanja has very prophetically said- “As a living being, I cannot deny the society, but I can definitely create a space of my own”. When it comes to the relevance of Upendra Bhanja in today’s society I believe the best example will be the portrayal of married life as is described by Bhanja. In today’s world where divorce is more of a common ritual a happy and successful married life is a need of the hour. The prescription that Upendra Bhanja gave through is writing is both divine and supreme which if followed by any married couple will give then great peace of mind. In the poems of Upendra Bhanja the newly wedded couples when live at far distance from each other due to work express their love for each other as-

Days pass by, I think of thee when a storm of feeling arouse within

 Until I life you will stay within me as a my lifeline

  Else I shall roam around this world like a sage!”

Again in another place the lover writes to his love-

Diamond, Emerald and all other valuable stones have some value

But the love of thou! My Lady, is invaluable.”

For those who called Bhanja a racist or tried to malign the beauty of Bhanja literature by giving it an erotic explanation, failed to understand the high thinking and high regard Bhanja had for woman in particular and women empowerment in general. At a time when males were dominating the society Bhanja had the courage to title three of his greatest works in the name of his heroines and not the hero:

1. Baidehisha Bilasha : the story of the Lord of Sita i.e. Ram

2. Lavanyabati: the love story of Lavanyabati and Chandrabhanu

3. Kotibrahmanda Sundari; the beautiful maiden of the millions of universe

The discussion about the relevance of Upendra Bhanja will continue but for now I would like to conclude by saying, Upendra Bhanja’s intention to write only Odia was not for any personal gain but for national interest. He loved his mother tongue and thus used his god-gifted intelligence in making Odia enriched, for he believed that an enriched literature will empower the society through education. George Eliot had once said-

Till the future dares

Forget the past, his fate and fame shall be

An echo and light unto eternity.”

I believe Upendra Bhanja is that undisputed leader of odia literature whose work was, is and will remain indestructible, immortal and incessant.

Jay Maa Kalinga Bharati!!

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में हिंदू हूँ …

जब कोई पूछे मुझे कौन हूँ मैं,

जानना चाहता है वो कि क्या मजहब है मेरा,

लेकिन क्या आज इंसान का इंसान होना काफी नहीं?

कहने को तो पंथ अनेक हमारे,

लेकिन फिर अंतिम रहा तो एक ही है वही…

तो सुनो तुम पूछो यदि कौन हूँ मैं?

मैने गीता को है जीवन का सार माना,

वेदों को ईश्वर का वर्दान माना,

मैने तो कुरान से है प्रेम का पाठ सीखा,

बाईबल से भाई चारे की ली है दीक्षा,

ग्रंथ सहिब में ही है जीने का आधार,

आगम शास्त्र है दिव्य शांति का आधार…

शायद इसलिये मैने अपने आप को है हिन्दू माना…

फिर भी अगर तुम पूछो हिंदू कौन है?

तो सुनो…

माता-पिता है जहाँ पर भगवान,

गुरू को मिला है सम्मान महान,

मित्रों के साथ जहाँ होती है होली,

ईद हो या हो गुरू पर्व सजती हो जहाँ रंगोली,

सुख में और दु:ख में जहाँ सब साथ हैं,

वहीं सर्व धर्म का तीर्थ है,

मैं उसी ग्रह का निवासी हूँ

हाँ मैं हिंदू हूँ…।

अब बोलोगे की तुम हमारे हैं पंथ अनेक,

तो सुनो…

इस अनेकता में भी एकता बसती है,

बुद्ध और महावीर की वाणी यहीं शोभा पाती है,

क्या अल्लाह, क्या इशू सबसे प्यारे है गनपति,

गुरू में ब्रम्हा हैं, ब्रम्हा में नानक हैं,

यहीं तो शिव का तांडव है, कृष्ण की माया हैं,

हैं हमारे अनेक संत,

मोक्ष ही तो है हमारा एकलौता अंत।

समझा हूँ मैं इस ज्ञान को,

इसलिये तो गर्व से कहता हूँ,

हाँ में हिंदू हूँ …

मैं हिंदू हूँ…

अंशुमान कर

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ये होसला कैसे झूके…..

ये होसला कैसे झूके…..

हमारे टुकड़ों में पलने वाला आज हस रहा है
उससे लग रहा हमारे शेरों को छल से मार कर वो जग जीता है
पर बेचारे को ये नही पता…शामत आने वाली है
तुम क्या जानो बाप का होसला क्या होता है
अपने बचों के हस्सी के लिए वो कुछ भी कर सकता है
अहसान फरामोश की तो फितरत येही है
पीछे से वार करना ही उनकी नियत है
जो खुद के खून के ना हुए वो औरों का कैसे होंगे
लेकिन अब इंसानियत के धुस्मानो का घमंड टूटेगा
क्यूंकि ये होसले कभी नहीं झुकेगा
भीष्म को तो इच्छा मृत्यु मिली थी वरदान में
मृत्यु से पहले ही कौरवों और पांडवों की लड़ाई में मर चुके थे वो
परिवार में जब फूट आता है तो सबसे पहले बड़े हारते है
भरोसा खोता है और होसले झुकते है और आरजू मरता है
ये वक़्त है आपस का बैर मिटाने का
भीष्म के भारत को शसक्त करने का
तभी जाके शत्रु का अंत संभव है
क्यूंकि यहाँ होसले का ही ज़रुरत है

आज वक़्त है मिलकर खड़ा होने का
उन नमक हलालों को सबक सिखाने का
यज्ञं अधुरा है , आहुति अभी बाकि है
ये होसला कैसे झुके , युद्ध में विजय तो अभी आधी है

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Dawn to Dusk….


Scene : at Dawn

Those little birds singing in the sky
Moving away from the horizon to fly
Wakes me up to bid my friend good-bye
As its my time to see the beautiful earth shy
The skies are looking red in her blush
The clouds are moving swiftly in a rush
the grasses are moving like a brush
Ah!! that beautiful smile of my darling crush
The cycle of time starts henceforth
people start moving back and forth
some fighting for food and cloth
and some for the respect they worth
I see my darling crying at every corpse
be a man or animal all are her resource
she was smiling a while back like a rose
and now she is pale due the infectious source
Unable to see her in pain I show my rage
But when her son’s brains are in cage
I sent my message through a learned sage
Alas!! those fools thought it was my revenge
The skies were heated and yellow in my bark
Helpless in bringing a change i called the clouds dark
For I knew my mistress was going to love their spark
But it was her tears that overflowed in the lark.
The earth was now blooming in aroma
The animals were still in a mood of coma
Humans recovering from the rainy trauma
And Up here i saw her smiling at this drama

Scene 2: Dusk

Just as the things were returning to normal
I saw the birds returning to their nests in rural
singing the songs of love joy lessons of good moral
my dear blushed at me and the skies turned rubral
The handsome friend of mine came from his night duty
He smiled at me and said look at our that lady beauty
cometh what she never lost her this elegant bounty
Still those morons plunder her as if she their booty
People say I bring with me calmness
The cool breezes relives their tiredness
But the truth is its my helplessness
For she weeps the most in this darkness
I eagerly wait for the birds to ring the alarm
So that you can come and make her warm
Humans become demons and destroy her charm
And animals sleep like morons with their swarm
Dear Sun and moon up their in the sky
My emotions are blown up in the sky
What you see from dawn to dusk is my cry
And from dusk to dawn is one last try
For someday there will be a hope to fly..
                                           So said the Earth from her bay……


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उठाया हूँ आज कलम….



कुछ लिखने के लिए जब उठाता हूँ कलम

आँखों के सामने आती है हर वो ज़ुल्म

जिसको लोग कहते है उनका धरम

वेदों का तो उड़ रहा यहाँ धुआं और चिलम

कहते है प्रेम का नहीं होता कोई मज़हब

फिर भी प्रेम का गला घोट कर भरते है अधब

उन को मानते है हम गुरु ये बात है बड़ी अजब

जब जब किया किसी ने विरोध, मौत मिला उनको तब तब

कुछ लिखने के लिए जब उठाता हूँ कलम

याद आता है इन नेताओं की कसम

न होगी हिंसा न होगा अन्याय हमारा है ये धरम

७० साल के बाद भी हटा नही ये भरम

गीता की शपथ ले कर लोग अदालत में झूठ बोलते है

और फिर भी हम कहते है सत्य मेव जयते है

बचपन में जिन माँ-बाप का हाथ धरे चलते है

उन्ही को हम बुढ़ापे में छोड़ते , घर से निकालते है

कुछ लिखने के लिए जब उठाता हूँ कलम

बूढी कांपती हाथें पूछती है “क्या फूटे थे मेरे करम”

दंगा में हुई अनाथ पूछती है क्या मिलेगा मुझे मरहम

मज़हब के बुरखे से बाहर भी क्या होगा कोई धरम…

कलम के दम पर बनाई और बिगाड़ी जाती है इतिहास

बस कलम चलाने वालों को होनी चाहिए इस शक्ति का एहसास

कलम से ही लाना होगा लोगों है खोया हुआ सहास

ये वो अस्त्र है जो करती सृष्टि में अन्नत विश्वास

हो रहा भावनाओं का आज मन्नन

कुछ लिखने के लिए आज उठाया हूँ कलम...



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