BHUBANESWAR: Holi is not just one of the biggest festivals in India, but also the most colorful one and probably the most beloved by foreigners. It’s a celebration of spring, of unity and brotherhood and like many festivals of India of the triumph of good over evil.

Being a joyous festival of colour and bonhomie, there are many women who don't feel safe enough to play Holi. Like the carnival festivals, while Holi allows a temporary inversion of day to day relationships, that very same conditions make Holi exciting in a group setting -anonymity, the freedom to attack strangers, also give an easy cover for harassment and even assault.

A lot of people try to make advantage of the occasion as they think they got the license to transgress boundaries in public space and mute all voices of protest.'Bura Na Mano Holi Hai' is the refrain. You don’t wish to be singled out as a spoilsport, however offensive and galling someone's behavior might be.
As a result, women prefer to quietly recede the security of their familiar territory till the colours have faded away. The manner in which the celebrations seek to exploit their vulnerabilities, the patriarchal order makes them flinch.

Holi and its colour symbolize the exuberance of nature. But with time, it has become a religious affair and has been re-defined with muscularity and aggression.
Women love Holi but they have no trust in men who play with them. Unfortunately, for many men in the city, it’s a day when they have easy access to women's bodies.

Humiliation and misery can't be the defining colours of a vibrant festival. Women should enjoy the freedom of Holi. They can play in smaller, private celebrations in which everyone knows everyone else and be with a group that doesn't take advantage of them. However, its a women prerogative to be where she chooses to be.

It’s the government's job to ensure adequate security for women everywhere during Holi. If we are civil and evolve as a society, respect each other's dignity, space and feelings of others while celebrating the festival of colours, then the day of celebrations won’t turn into an occasion of mourning.
This Holi let's stand up for the women of the city and make a new beginning.

Reported by
Shree Mahapatro



BHUBANESWAR: India is the world's biggest democratic nation. Though India got freedom against British rule on 15th of August 1947, but till 1950 we do not have our own law and order to follow. The 26th of January 1950, was the dawn of world's biggest democracy, when we got our own constitution and India became a republic nation. From then on, this day has been declared as a national festival of India and we celebrate this day as Republic Day.

 The word republic means a country that is ruled by people, elected by the people of that nation. Today we have completed 63 years with our own constitution and proud to be a part of the world's biggest democracy. This is our privilege that we are the citizens of a secular nation. Our constitution provides us freedom to travel anywhere in India, freedom to adopt any religion we like to follow, we can arrange public meeting; we can express and share our thoughts etc. Being a citizen of a democratic nation, we not only have many rights but also many responsibilities to carry out. 

On the eve of Republic day, cultural programmes are arranged in school, colleges and different public places. Political and social meeting also arranged for considering social and national issues. National flag flies not only at government offices but also at public places. National anthem beats inspire the countrymen with feelings of patriotism.  This is the festival of proud for our nation. Everyone should participate in this occasion. We should also remember our freedom fighters on this day. This is an occasion of patriotism, unity; peace, love, proud, happiness and inspiration.

Reported by
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor


Harishankar: Where Hari & Shankar lives together...

BHUBANESWAR: Harishankar, it is one of the beautiful places in Odisha. It is situated under the Gandhamardhan Hill. Both Hari & Shankar lives together in a temple, the two gods Hari means vishnu and Shankar means Lord shiva. That's why it is known as Harishankar Temple.  It’s also famous for its natural beauty.

The Harishankar was created in 14th century by Chauhan dynasty, king of Western Odisha. Mostly the temple constructed by the order of Queen Durlabha Devi of Maharaja Vaijjal Dev Chauhan. It is completely pulled up with natural beauty. So if you are interested to enjoy the natural beauty then must visit Harishankar Temple.

There beautiful zoos near the temple, which is on the way. There are various types of birds & animals lived there. Near that zoo there is also a deer park. Visitors must see that park & also enjoy seeing them.

The temple situated in Gandhamardan Hill which is just 81km from Bolangir district, Odisha.  A beautiful stream passing on the granite bed, it has given some visitors a feeling of peace. This temple side also best place for natural lovers because the hill is increasing the temple beauty. The temple opposite side another temple is situated named as Nrusinghanath Temple. In Harishankar temple there are many festivals observerd in every occasion. Such as all Ekadashis, Sankranti, Shivaratri, Makar Sankranti, Maagha Mela etc. 


Reported by
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor


Ananta gets second chance to serve as BMC Mayor ...

BHUBANESWAR: Finally, Ananta Narayan Jena got a second chance to serve as Mayor of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC). Ending all speculations about introduction of new faces, Jena was elected uncontested on Friday. It was announced by BMC administrator Sanjib Mishra at the BMC office here.

Earlier on the day, BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced Jena’s name as the party’s candidate for the mayor election. Even a party meeting was held on Thursday evening at Naveen Niwas to finalise the contender’s name for the coveted post. 

According to reports, Jena was the only corporator to file nomination papers for the Mayor post. When nobody filed nomination against Jena, he was elected unopposed, said the official sources. 

During the last eight days, names of five corporators were coming to the discussion for the Mayor’s post. Out of the five, Jena had enough chances to win the election as he was an experienced and popular among his fellow corporators. Jena’s strength was that he won by the highest margin of over 4,300 votes and a former Mayor of the BMC.

Among others, three-time corporator Sk Nizamuddin, two-time corporator Amaresh Jena, Health Minister’s daughter Preetinanda Routray and Mahamaya Swain were in top of the contender’s list.

Notably, BJD has won 49 seats out of 67-member civic body council in the BMC polls which was conducted on January 8 this year.

Reported by
Editorial Group


Cong, BJP fail to restore their waning legacy, BJD, Independent improve their place...

National parties like Congress and BJP again miserably failed to show its strength in the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls held on Wednesday. Congress won only two wards, while BJP got four out of the total 67 wards in the BMC. The parties could not even touch double digit in the recent polls.  

On the other hand, ruling party BJD continued its winning spree from the inception of the BMC. The party candidates won in 49 out of 67 wards in the fresh polls.

In 2009, BJD won 40 out of 60 wards in the BMC polls, while the BJP and Congress bagged only nine and four seats respectively.

Both the BJP and the Congress did not do well as compared to the last BMC elections held in 2003. The BJP had won 13 seats and the Congress had 10 out of the total 47 wards, while BJD had won 18 seats which was not a good show for the party. A post-poll BJD-BJP alliance had formed the council in 2003.

Number of seats won by the Independents doubled in 2014 BMC polls. The Independents had won six seats in 2003 and had retained the same number in 2009.

Another regional outfit Samruddha Odisha didn’t get a single seat which had won a seat in the last BMC polls.

Reported by
Editorial Group


South Indian community celebrates Navratri with customary Toy fest...

While the towering idols would definitely be capturing eyeballs, good things would also come in small packages. The south Indian community especially Tamil and Telugu populace based in the steel city are celebrating Navratri with a customary toy festival.

Called as Kolu in Tamil or Bommala Koluvu in Telugu or simply Kolu, the toy festival celebrated with great fervour requires the south Indians to exhibit miniature idols displayed in odd numbers in their homes. Some mythical lore passed on from one generation to another says that it must be displayed from in odd numbers.

Along with idols of deities, the figures of many mythological characters adorn the shelves. The preliminary Puja takes place on the occasion of Mahalaya. On the first three days, prayers are said to evoke Goddess Durga.

On the next three days it is Goddess Laxmi while last three days of the Navratri are devoted to Goddess Saraswati. Once the idols have been placed, there can be no further addition or deletion. On the occasion of Dussehra, one of the idols is symbolically put to sleep by wrapped it up and then immersing it nearby water body while rest are packed for next year. On Dussehra, the community celebrates the Ayudha Puja, where they worship furniture, various tools and machines.

“During the festival, we invite women and young girls to the houses in the evenings. They apply sandalwood paste on their throat and kumkum on their forehead. They are given Prasad and small gift hampers,” said Ravi Shankar, a 46-year-old IT professional. The household celebrating the festival has to refrain from consuming Onion, Garlic and must maintain peace in the house as the Goddess is believed to be in penance during the nine days. They also decorate their floors with colour and flowers in form intricate designs called Kolam and lit a small lamp called ‘kuthuvilakku’ in the evening.

Also, the female visitors deck themselves up with ornaments and cosmetics as to please the deity and together they sing devotional songs and hymns.

“We thank the almighty for a successful completion of that year's Kolu and pray for a successful one the next year,” said Geeta, a school teacher.
 There are about 60-odd families in Rourkela celebrating the festival.

Reported by
Editorial Group


About Different Dance Form...

It proved to be a meeting point of devotion and dance. The dance recitals of Mahari, the ritualistic dance form of the state that is in its revival stage regaled one and all at Mahari Nrutya Samaroha held at Rabindra Mandap on Wednesday evening. The artistes of city based cultural organisation Samprada performed on the occasion. In collaboration with Guru Pankaj Charan Das Odissi Research Foundation and State Department of Culture and Tourism the event was organised as part of Indian Council of Cultural Relations’ (ICCR) horizon series.

The first performance of the evening was a solo recital by dancer Suhag Nalini Das. She paid obeisance to the almighty through the performance replete with both pure dance and dance drama. She chose the song ‘Mita chanha-e-tara’ to express the assortment of services of a Mahari dancer towards Lord Jagannath when the temple dance form used to be hosted in the sanctum in front of the deity. Donning garlands from head to toe, she depicted the ‘seva’ or service by the dancers towards their lord in her performance.

This was followed by an array of group performances. A group recital ‘Natapasara’ saw the dancers displaying brilliant synchronization while presenting a pure dance recital. A number of celebrations like Jhulan and Chandan jatra that are held in devotion of Lord Krishna were recounted in the dance items. Reprising one such anecdote was the group presentation on ‘Shri Radha sange re Shri Hari’. It showcased the relationship of Radha Krishna that included both petty fights and romantic moments. Another dance recital on the composition of Banamali Das was appreciated by one and all.
The curtains came down with ‘Aha mo nanda’ where the celebrations of Janmashtami in the Puri Jagannath temple were expressed with exemplary gestures and postures. “Odissi Guru Pankaj Charan Das was adopted by Mahari dancers and trained by them. Today the original dance form of the state is gradually fading. Our festival is an effort to remind the world about the dance form and also a tribute to the Guru’s contribution to the preservation of the dance form,” said Sarat Das, secretary of the foundation and son of the Guru.

Lined up after the Mahari concert are two more back to back festivals at the same venue showcasing the dance styles of various gurus. While the Abhilasha dance choreography festival by Mokshya on Saturday will see choreographies in the Guru Debaprasad Das style, the eight edition of the three day long Devdasi dance festival that begins on September 24 will include dancers following the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, Gangadhar Pradhan and many others’ styles.

Reported by
Pratush Patra


State Slums lacks in basic amenities, children are mostly neglected.

According to the Census of 2011, 1.37 crore households or 17.4% of urban India’s population live in a slum. In  five states like Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal, more than one in five urban households live in a slum. In Odisha percentage of slum population is 23.1.

Out of the total slum population in the state 32.7% live in semi-permanent or temporary houses where they face evacuation on regular basis. About 49.8% of the slum households use grass wood, thatch, metal, asbestos sheets as material for roof and 28% have mud walls. These materials are temporary and do not guard against extremities of weather. Only 38% of the houses are in ‘good’ condition according to Census figures for Odisha. It gives a picture where children are mostly neglected and in the state 10-15pecent children are living in slums, a Press Release issued by Humara Bachpan stated.

Over the period 1991-2001, urban population has grown nearly twice than the state population. However, starting from a low base of urbanisation, while these rates appear high; the challenges posed by absolute numbers do seem manageable. The urban sanitation scenario is a cause for concern - 40% of urban households in the state do not have access to a latrine, another 11% of households have to share latrines with others (NFHS 2006). The recent 2011 census has stated that 39% of the households living in slums have a one-room dwelling and 34% have two rooms. Lack of access to basic services is obvious through the following data. An overwhelming 49.6% of the households do not have any kind bathing facility and about 1.7 lakh households (48.33%) or 8.5 lakh people of the slum defecate in the open. 53.9% of the households do not have any drainage connectivity for waste water, the release added.

The impact of unsafe sanitation conditions and behaviour are immense that adversely affect the urban poor, women and children. Besides poverty, lack of tenure, housing and environmental conditions in slum etc., constrains the urban poor households from gaining access to safe sanitation.

The allocation of funds in state budget though plays a major role but it also lacks in proper financial management and allocation of resources. 84 percent of department budget in average during last five years goes for establishment, maintenance and housekeeping related expenditure, while only 16 percent have been allocated for creation of new assets against rapid urbanisation in the state.

Again odisha has developed a sanitation strategy. All the goals of this strategy are to be achieved over a period of six years (2012-18). Looking at the budget allocation under this head in the department gives a gloomy picture. The allocation made for this purpose was Rs. 18.77 Cr (1.33 percent) during 2012-13 which reduced to only Rs. 50 lakh for the year 2013-14 (0.02 percent). Adding to this, it is a fact that Children of around 20 per cent households in the city are still deprived of toilet facility for which they resort to open defecation.

These statistics are a sign of the intensity of urban poverty in India and in some cases exceed rural poverty. Children though have a major share in population are still neglected to the core, says Mr. Jyoti Prakash Brahma from Humara Bachpan Campaign, which advocates for a safe and healthy neighbourhood in Indian Slums with child friendly basic infrastructure. Taking a plea of slum life the government cannot ignore the dignity of life from a slum dweller and especially a child who is yet to know the difference, Mr. Brahma added.

Reported by
Abhishek Mohanty
Special Correspondent


Cuisine of Odisha :

The large part of foods of Odisha tastes sharp and mild. The rice forms the staple food and Dalma is the specialty of the State cuisine. Its main ingredients are arhar dal mixed with vegetables like potato, brinjal, pumpkin, papaya, raw banana, saru, khamba alu and tomato. Besara forms another typical culinary taste, also popularly known as ghanta or mahura-curry of colocasia, peas, potato, cauliflower and brinjal spiced with gram and coconut, cooked with mustard seed paste. The daily fare also consists of dahi baigana (brinjal cooked with yoghurt), bhaji (fried vegetables), aloo bharta and the finger licking achar (pickle).

The spices added to are generally peeper corn, paanch phutan (a mixture of five spices), mustard paste and coconut.Pakhal; cooked rice soaked in water overnight is a widely prevalent common person meal. Chapatti (unleavened wheat bread) is taken by few in dinner only. Cakes are prepared especially at the festive occasions from rice powder and dal, named as kanika or khechudi, payas, podapitha, arisa, chitau, manda and kakara. The food cooked in the temples popular as ‘mahaprasad’ is prepared without onion and garlic by a unique steaming process. Food items are prepared in a mass scale in the kitchens of temples like Lingaraj and Ananta Vasudeva in Bhubaneswar and Shri Mandir in Puri, familiar to the plate of Odia people.

As the majority population is non-vegetarian, the meat and fish meals are preferred. Fish fry or spicy hot kasha mangash cater to the tastes of non vegetarians. The sea food consists of fresh prawns, crabs and the pamphlet fish abundant in the coastal areas.

Apart from these, the delectable sweetmeats of Odisha are made from milk-rasogulla (balls of cured cheese in clear syrup), chhenapoda (baked cheese cake), chhenajhili (sweet prepared from wholesome cheese), rasabali, pitha, khiri (dish similar to rice pudding) and other local delicacies also include dhan muan, khai (puffed paddy sweetened by jaggery) and the kora.

Among the beverages, tea is more common. Fresh fruit juices, coconut milk and lassi (yogurt churned with ice water, sweet or salty) are also popular.

Reported by
Abhishek Mohanty
Special Correspondent


CM Naveen pattnaik following footsteps of Jayalalitha Govt..

Bhubaneswar: When the ruling BJD Govt keenly watching the development’s in Tamil Nadu & following footsteps of Jayalalitha Govt. With an eye on the Assembly Elections Odisha Chief Minister Sri. Naveen Patnaik  has already announced more than a dozen sops recently i.e. Re 1 per kg of rice, laptops, mobiles, shoes, umbrellas, blankets, cycles, Mission yuva Shakti, Biju Yuva sha-shaktikarana yojona  & many other schemes as done by AIDMK Govt of Tamil Nadu.

When another pro-people welfare measure  Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa launch schemes “Maa Canteen” to provide food for the poor @ Rs.10/- and “Maa Mineral Water” to provide mineral water for Rs 10 a litre.. Let’s appreciate when our Chief minister will introduce these schemes ???

Just recalling May 2011 when referring to Naveen Pattnaik as her "brother", Jayalalithaa said several welfare schemes implemented in both states showed that "our two governments think alike and we think alike"..


Reported by
Basant Rath
Nabarangpur Reporter

About Independence


Bhubaneswar, Aug 15: Negating the notion that Independence Day is just another holiday; music lovers left their comfy couches and stood at Rabindra Mandap that was packed like sardines and listened the patriotic songs. Upcoming and noted singers paid rich tributes to the freedom fighters last evening at the musical event titled ‘Bharatiyam’. The event was organised by Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi on behalf of the state culture department.  

The event began with renowned singer Sangeeta Gosain crooning ‘Mo desaro mati, mati nohe’ and ‘Jo samar mein ho gaye amar’. T Sourie lent his sonorous voice to ‘Odisha Mo Odisha’ followed the slow and sweet number with a peppy one singing ‘Suno guar se duniya walon.’ Adyasha Das sang ‘ye deso amari janmabhoomi’ and ‘saare jahan se achcha.’ Her second song was much appreciated by the audience. 

Sustima Das kept the tempo up with ‘Chodho kal ki baatein’ and ‘ye amari gaan’. Sricharana Mohanty sang a couple of Hindi songs- ‘Mere desh ki dharti’ and ‘Ye watan janeman’ that regaled one and all. The ‘dil diya hai jaan bhi denge’ recital of Sailabhama Mahapatra contented the heart of every music aficionados. As the evening progressed, singers Bibhu Kishore, Aseema Panda and Abhijeet Mishra took turns to belt out one patriotic number after the other. The show ended with young performer Rakesh Biswal’s violin recital. Noted composer Manmath Mishra who moderated the show too sand a couple of songs.       

The audience members kept humming the songs along with the singers creating an ambience of gaiety and brotherhood. 


The Changing Role of the News Media in Contemporary India


The news media are in crisis across the developed world. Journalism as we know it is being described, obviously with some exaggeration, as ‘collapsing’, ‘disintegrating’, in ‘meltdown’. In this digital age, there is gloom in most developed country, or ‘mature’, media markets over the future of newspapers and also broadcast television. Two decades after a call issued from a conference in Windhoek, Namibia for the establishment of World Press Freedom Day, ‘the arrival of the digital revolution – the evolution of the Internet, the emergence of new forms of media, and the rise of online social networks – has reshaped the media landscape and made “the press” of 2011 something that those gathered in Windhoek in 1991 could not have imagined’ (UNESCO 2011). There is a strong sense that ‘the news industry is no longer in control of its own future’ (Rosenstiel & Mitchell 2011) and that it is technology companies like Google and the social media that lead the way and look set to hegemonize the public space that once belonged to the news media.

The global financial crisis and economic slowdown of 2008-2009 sent several western media organizations into a tailspin. Advertising revenues, the lifeline of the newspaper industry, took a body blow during this period. Many big newspapers, whose strengths had been sapped and whose situational advantages had been undermined over the years, went into bankruptcy or protection against bankruptcy. The New York Times was bailed out by an emergency loan of US $250 million from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim: ‘to help the newspaper company finance its businesses’ (NYT 2009). Tens of thousands of journalists lost their jobs in the United States, where newsrooms are 30 per cent smaller than in 2000 (Rosenstiel and Mitchell 2011), and across Europe.