Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Aug 3:
Opposition is building against the attempt to name the Odisha University of Agriculture University (OUAT) after Biju Patnaik. After former Union minister Kanhu Charan Lenka decried the move on Saturday, former member of OUAT and Utkal University Syndicate Alok Jena today urged the Governor and Chief Minister to name it after Utkal Keshari Dr Harekrushna Mahatab, who was responsible for the setting up of the University.
“The decision by the Academic Council to name the university after Biju Patnaik is a reflection of their mental bankruptcy and sycophancy. Since it was established with the effort of the then chief minister Mahatab in 1960, I, therefore, request the Academic Council, Governor and Chief Minister of Odisha to consider the name of Utkal Keshari while renaming the OUAT. I think it is my moral duty to keep the record straight and make it clear that undermining Dr Mahtab is nothing but insulting the great history of Odisha and history will never forgive these sycophants,” said Jena in a press release.
Informing that it was the Radhakrishnan University Education Commission of 1949, which emphasized the need for establishing agriculture universities in India, he said the University came into existence in 1960 when Dr Mahatab was the chief minister and Dr Radhanath Rath was minister for Agriculture.
“The intelligentsia of the state has been demanding that the OUAT be named after Harekrushna Mahtab. However, the proposal mooted by the Academic Council to name the University after Biju Patnaik has hugely surprised the whole state,” said Jena.
He also said, had Biju Babu been alive, he would have supported the idea of naming the University after Dr Mahtab.