As the world has been grappling with the unprecedented economic upheavals alongwith intense uncertainties; the alternative forms of ideology has emerged as a beacon of hope.
Kishan Patnaik’s clarion call ‘ Vikalpahin nahin hai duniya’ [The world is not without alternatives] has caught the imagination of the world.
Patnaik, a staunch Gandhian, brought out a book entitled ‘ Vikalphin nahi hai duniya’ which remains one of the powerful critique of unmindful globalization.
It has also been a scathing rebuttal of the book named ‘The end of History’ by Francis Fukuyama.
Fukuyama’s argument that the world has become uni-dimensional in terms of ideology after the collapse of Soviet Union.
Fukuyama was underlying the ultimate victory of capitalism.
Patnaik’s arguments stress on the fact that there many alternatives having potential to emerge as viable alternative to the greedy capitalism and mindless globalization.
Kishan Patnaik was born in Kalahandi,Odisha.
He has experienced the plight of farmers, the exploitation by the landlords and absentee landlords, the existence an continuance of chronic poverty in Odisha, especially Kalahandi, Balangir, Koraput and undivided Sambalpur.
Patnaik was elected as Member of Parliament to Lok Sabha in 1962 at the age of 27 from Sambalpur constituency .
It was era with unchallenged supremacy of the Congress party all over the country.
It was not easy to take on the political supremacy of Congress party at that point of time.
But, Patnaik got elected to the Parliament with a good margin.
His clear thoughts on agrarian crisis, development and adherence to the Gandhian ideology endeared him to the people.
In addition, Patnaik’s simple lifestyle was reflection of tremendous impact of Gandhian values and ideologies on his thought process.
As a young parliamentarian, Patnaik raised the stark reality of starvation deaths in Kalahandi in Parliament by explaining the political-economy dynamics of starvation deaths.
His articulate arguments, crystal clear analysis and command over Odia, Hindi and English made him a parliamentarian with a rare eminence.
Patnaik was deeply influenced by the philosophy and ideology of Gandhi.
He found out that Gandhism is the true basis of sustainable development.
Patnaik remained passionate about Gandhism through out his life.
Infact, Patnaik as a staunch advocate of Gandhian philosophy enlarged the contours of Gandhism in a globalized world.
Patnaik’s position in political history of India is characterized by the successful implementation of Gandhian ideology to the contemporary realities of politics.
Patnaik’s ability in championing the cause of the downtrodden in the context of negative impact of globalization.
Patnaik belongs to a generation of political leaders who resorted to writing during their political career.
Patnaik’s writings reflect the realities at the grassroot, the struggle of the common-man and the larger trajectories of ideologies in contemporary times. Patnaik set the tone for bringing in a humanistic approach to the New Economic Policies.
For Patnaik, India must resort to the ‘welfare’ orientation in the socio-economic policies.
Kishan Patnaik also worked as a mentor to one of the most revered Odia magazine ‘ Viaklapa Vichara’.
He believed in pursuing economic policies which would protect the interest of all.
He adhered to revival of village economy. Patnaik’s book in Odia ‘ Vichar ra Tipa khata’ [ Note book of thoughts] and his editorials in’ Samayik Varta’ certainly offer many insightful and in-depth analysis of the upheavals in the broad contours of ideologies shaping the contemporary world.
Patnaik is hailed as one among the intellectual giants having the ability to capture both the micro and macro dynamics of various ideologies all over the world.
His unique aspect of his writings offered sustainable solutions to many problems like negative impact of globalization, agrarian distress etc.
Patnaik’s grasp over political philosophy, political ideology, economics enabled him to cast light on many complex social, political and economic issues.
His editorials in ‘ Samayik Varta’ the Hindi magazine he founded and edited are enriched with insightful perspectives on many crucial political, economic and social initiatives undertaken by the Indian State after independence.
Patnaik’s writings are still relevant and their appeal remains more relevant in recent times.
The author is a policy analyst and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org