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A philanthropic letter to the editor of an online Odiya news paper.

November 16, 2001

Mohan, mdashf


Subject: In reference to”From South Korea, November-16″
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 08:23:26 -0500
From: Manmohan Dash <mdash@vt.edu>
Organization: Institute for Particle Physics & Astrophysics, Dept of Physics,Virginia Tech
To: tatzaudi@yahoo.com

Dear Editor,

I’m composing this letter in response to the above mentioned letter from South Korea and I’d like to exercise my right in the capacity of a general citizen of the state of Orissa with a dream to see its fame being elevated in all dimensions, political, scientific and as one of the most resourceful states of India.

It’s heartening to know that so many Oriyas are staying outside Orissa. At the same time it’s more disheartening to digest the fact that Orissa, so boastful of it’s past heritage has failed to carve a map of it’s own in India, forget about the world. Fellow countrymen from other parts of the country don’t know where Bhubaneswar is, or for that matter if it’s the Capital of Orissa.

Believe me, frequently in conversations with friend groups I have found myself in disheartening situations when they ask me where am I from and quickly wondering to the answer ’Bhubaneswar’, which state its in, let alone recognize it as the Capital of a state.

It has got nothing to do with their being poor in Geography. They only know Orissa is just a state of India. It won’t take time of astronomical scale when we’ll be facing questions like “I’m running low in memory, Could you please help me figure out where exactly Orissa is?”.

Thousand years for the decline of status of a race boastful of its glories in the past, isn’t for that matter long enough to tell you back at this point of time that we are not in an agonising state of affairs.

A young girl, Pratikhsya could think about Orissa, our self centered political system could not.

(I’m still hopeful of a good number of good guys around in this system negligible in the race with the overwhelming number of power hankering people with no foresight)

The wayward student community can motivate itself to destroy public properties in the name of one agenda agitation”Break it”. The handful in the scientific community at decission making levels engaged in a war of self propaganda out of ego complex virtually yielding no productive result, could not.

(This is not to invite increase in the negligence of the potential scientific community by the foresight less elements in the decision making process of our political system)

The so called educated mass is failing in its duty to create the awareness. Talent is there in all dimensions. We are all having a typical ’pakhala khia nida’. I wonder if this isn’t long enough an email to be discarded on the basis of creating space problems.

Before quitting let me quote the statement in the above mentioned email that stirred my emotions to write something.

“people of Orissa will be happy to read/know the news that so many Utkalvasi are staying & doing great things Outside Orissa..”

It would be yet another forum of keeping aware the general mass of Orissa what their capable sons are doing outside the state country. Orissa is certainly an accessible state from both ways as far as exchanging information is concerned in this so called high tech era.

(Have you ever pondered, how that comes? Through the ingenuity of a handful of visionary scientists, engineers and a little more in number of hard working guys in all communities, be it through decission making, media coverage or the administration, indirectly)

Don’t choose to let others know what great things you are doing. Great things will find their way to the people of Orissa. Instead if we can, (then) let us start a forum where in we’ll try to elevate the fame of our motherland not through sear propaganda but through substance in our deeds.

Reverse the process and let the world know what we Oriyas are capable of doing.

Manmohan Dash
mdash@vt.edu

Doctoral Student
Institute of Particle Physics & Astrophysics
Physics Department, Virginia Tech

312 hunt Club Road apt # 4000k
Blacksburg
Virginia
24060
USA

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