Seems, Abhijit Ayer – Mitra, the loud mouth journalist and friend of fallen BJD angel Jay Panda, is having a taste of his own medicine. At least that is what appears from his earlier tweets.
Abhijit Mitra’s consistent derogatory remarks about Odisha either comes from his shallow understanding of India’s cultural roots and pluralism or from an inflated sense of group pride that has chosen the negative path of feeling superior by somehow denying the legitimate subtle differences and specialities of other’s culture and achievements.
If it comes from shallow understanding, his credibility of being a research scholar is seriously at stake. If it comes from an inflated sense of group pride that feels its superiority by downplaying the achievements of other groups he is unnecessarily fueling minor conflicts to make them into bigger conflict of two neighbouring states who have existed in harmony despite having issues with the origin of Rasagolla, the legacy of Subhash Chandra Bose and the 12th Century poet Jayadeva.
Adornment of outer walls of temples with sculptures of explicit sexual acts is not unique to Kornark Temple. It was a feature of almost all temples built during that period in Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and elsewhere. While it needs a separate article to explore why such sculptures were put on the outer walls of the temples, let us not forget that such sculptures were only one of the elements of the grand structures which stood for not only elaborate puja rituals but also as cultural centres of the era. Konark temple features most of the dance poses that has inspired the classical dance Odishi where bhakti rasa is dominant.
But Mr. Abhjit Mitra highlights only one aspect of the Konark temple and ridicules it by calling it a place of humple not temple. A mature journalist would also know where to draw the line between good humour and ridicule.
It is a matter of shame that while western scholars who want to study Indian culture have better understanding of Sanskrit than shallow scholars like Abhijit whose twitter bio has a sanskrit sloka from Bhagavat gita which reads as follows:
𝙎𝙬𝙖𝙙𝙝𝙖𝙧𝙢𝙚 𝙉𝙞𝙙𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙖𝙢 𝙎𝙝𝙧𝙚𝙮𝙖𝙝𝙖, 𝙋𝙖𝙧𝙖𝙙𝙝𝙖𝙧𝙢𝙤 𝘽𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙮𝙖𝙝𝙖
The last word should be ‘bhayavaha’ not ‘bhavyaha’. Since it is on on his twitter bio, I don’t think it is an inadvertent spelling error. It just shows his shallow knowledge of Sanskrit. Ironically, he is regarded as a staucnh right wing supporter. In a way, such right wing supporters do more damage to the right wing cause by their unbridled enthusiasm sans depth of understanding of Indian culture and heritage.
On the other hand, the punishment meted out to him is not commensurate with the crime he has committed. Intimidation and coercive measures have unnecessarily prolonged the spotlight on him. Such measures may temporarily silence a person and do nothing to reform him.
One way to deal with such a situation is that Odiya Scholars should come up with facts and figures to prove him wrong and more awareness campaigns should be launched to educate people about Odisha’s cultural heritage and history.
Coming to Abhijit Mitra, I would request Odisha Assembly to order a ten day workshop for Abhjit Mitra to educate him in depth about Odisha Culture and History and then let him go.
The prospect of attending lectures for ten days from stern looking professors of history would be the best deterrent punishment and prevent revellers who come to Odisha from making offhand remarks.
Hope, someone from Odisha Government is listening.
😀 😀 😀