Skip to main content

Sambalpur violence: Did authorities survey sensitive areas before Hanuman Jayanti?

By Sudhansu R Das 

Tension between two communities has gripped the culturally rich Sambalpur town of Odisha. Recently, some miscreants from a community threw stones at the Hanuman Jayanti procession which injured dozens of people including many police personnel. The injuries on the face and heads of the victims show that the stones were thrown from a higher elevation.
The size of the stones used was big and heavy enough to cause serious injury. The incident triggered violence and arson; the authorities declared curfew in the town. Such kind of inter-community tension dismantles the social, cultural and economic fabric of a society; the education of children and the economic activities in the unorganized sector are worst affected. It breeds poverty, hunger and unemployment to an unprecedented level.
Had the authorities surveyed the sensitive areas in Sambalpur before the Hanuman Jayanti, such kind of incidents would not have happened. The incident has eroded much trust between the residents; trust is the major asset for inclusive growth and development. In order to repair the trust the authorities should nab the people who contaminate the young minds with vicious thoughts.
In fact, the safety of the republic is above any religion; no community in India can prosper with hatred for fellow human beings just because of his birth; and just because his way of worship is slightly different. The state should educate people how to understand various religious concepts from the school level. There is a need for steely political resolve to end the crisis of trust erosion and resolute action to nab the root cause of provocation.
In the age of digital technology it is not difficult to catch the culprits. The authorities in Sambalpur should track the people involved in stone pelting from different video sources and bring them to the book. No miscreant should escape punishment; this will repair the trust between the two communities; in future nobody will dare to play with social harmony and peace.
In order to prevent any communal situation in future, the authorities should collect ground level information on a regular basis and keep the ideologues under scanner. People need jobs, peaceful family life, a safe society to work and earn for health, education and happiness. They also need religions and culture which should be reformed and modified from time to time in order to generate love for all human beings irrespective of their birth.
There is one God though the roads to reach God are different. The preachers from all communities should be given proper spiritual training to understand this simple truth, “One God and different paths” -- the only way to peace and prosperity.
In the age of advanced digital technology and artificial intelligence, it is not much difficult to reach the seeds of hatred
Sambalpur has a vibrant economy which is woven around the world famous handloom traditions, tourism, agriculture, forestry, handicrafts and trade. Here the weavers from both the Hindu and the Muslim community make world famous handloom sarees which are the most sought after objects in the world market. In the 90s, the prominent political leader of Maharashtra, Sharad Pawar bought sarees from Sonepur for his daughter, Supriya Sule’s wedding.
That time, the handmade silk saree with intricate gold work was costing little above one lakh rupees. The weavers of Sambalpur and the adjacent Sonepur add inestimable high value to their products which no industry can do. The weaver community with members belonging to all other communities will once again weave magic with their skill and imagination.
Only love and fellow feelings among the communities will let Sambalpur regain its past glory. It was once famous for diamond and precious stones which were available on the sands of the Mahanadi river at Hirakud; the name Hirakud is derived from the Hira or diamond. Educated and conscious leaders from all the communities should work to erase the seeds of communal hatred for peace and prosperity.
Odisha is not a communally sensitive state; if the causes of such small incidents are not nipped in the bud it will start an undercurrent of violent thought formation in the state and push the emerging Odisha economy into the rock bottom.
In the age of advanced digital technology and artificial intelligence, it is not much difficult to reach the seeds of hatred. India boasts of its grand success in the space sector. What are our satellites doing in space? Are they decorative dummies occupying a higher place? The satellites placed by advanced nations can trace a gold ring in the vault; it will give detailed picture of the natural resources underground.
The satellite can tell any suspicious activity inside a small hut in a remote area. Today, nothing can hide from the eyes of the satellites. India needs to ensure a tight surveillance mechanism which will keep the miscreants away and bring the people together. The leaders from all communities should realize that a strong and united India can survive amid dog eat dog type of global competition. There is no mercy for a weak and vulnerable country.



Bill Gates as funder, author, editor, adviser? Data imperialism: manipulating the metrics

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD*  When Mahatma Gandhi on invitation from Buckingham Palace was invited to have tea with King George V, he was asked, “Mr Gandhi, do you think you are properly dressed to meet the King?” Gandhi retorted, “Do not worry about my clothes. The King has enough clothes on for both of us.”

Displaced from Bangladesh, Buddhist, Hindu groups without citizenship in Arunachal

By Sharma Lohit  Buddhist Chakma and Hindu Hajongs were settled in the 1960s in parts of Changlang and Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh after they had fled Chittagong Hill Tracts of present Bangladesh following an ethnic clash and a dam disaster. Their original population was around 5,000, but at present, it is said to be close to one lakh.

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Youth as game changers in Lok Sabha polls? Young voter registration 'is so very low'

By Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava*  Young voters will be the game changers in 2024. Do they realise this? Does it matter to them? If it does, what they should/must vote for? India’s population of nearly 1.3 billion has about one-fifth 19.1% as youth. With 66% of its population (808 million) below the age of 35, India has the world's largest youth population. Among them, less than 40% of those who turned 18 or 19 have registered themselves for 2024 election. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), just above 1.8 crore new voters (18-and 19-year-olds) are on the electoral rolls/registration out of the total projected 4.9 crore new voters in this age group.

Stagnating wages since 2014-15: Economists explain Modi legacy for informal workers

By Our Representative  Real wages have barely risen in India since 2014-15, despite rapid GDP growth. The country’s social security system has also stagnated in this period. The lives of informal workers remain extremely precarious, especially in states like Jharkhand where casual employment is the main source of livelihood for millions. These are some of the findings presented by economists Jean Drèze and Reetika Khera at a press conference convened by the Loktantra Bachao 2024 campaign. 

Mark Lee: A spiritual leader who thought conventional religions are barrier to liberation

  By Harsh Thakor*  The Krishnamurti Foundation of America (KFA) lost Roger Edwin Mark Lee, who was a devoted disciple of Jiddu Krishnamurti, one of the greatest and most self realised spiritual philosophers of our time. Mark passed away due to pneumonia complications on April 6, 2024, at he Ventura Community Memorial Hospital in California. His exit was an irreparable loss to the spiritual world.

Fossil fuel projects: NGOs ask investors to cut TotalEnergies’ main sources of finance

By Antoine Bouhey, Lara Cuvelier, Helen Burley*  Reclaim Finance has joined 58 NGOs from around the world, including Banktrack, in signing an open letter calling on banks and investors to stop participating in bonds (loans granted by investors and facilitated by banks) issued by TotalEnergies. The 58 NGO signatories include , Amazon Watch, BankTrack, Centre for Environmental Law and Community Rights (CELCOR, Papua New Guinea), Justiça Ambiental (Mozambique) and Friday for Future (Uganda), Oil Change International and Urgewald (Germany).