Bhubaneswar,April 9, 2018 proved to be a Black Wednesday for Odia Journalism as two media persons worth their names left for their heavenly abode creating vacuums in the field of investigative journalism and film journalism. Two major pillars in their respective fields Chnadrabhanu Patnaik and Radhanath Mohapatra left for their heavenly abode. Both were young, energetic, and creative.
With a small life span of only 60 years Chandrabhanu could rise to a level which very few Odia newspersons could reach.
My special love for him was for so many reasons. His father Ramanath Patnaik was very close to my father. Though he was born and brought-up in Bpuji Nagar one of the oldest habitations of the capital city his native village was Chhanagiri located at a distance of hardly 100 meters from my village Olasingh. His only uncle Taraprasad was my class mate in the Dasarathi Highh School . His father whom I used to call “Rama Dada “ was also a student of the same institution which was the third oldest High School in undivided Puri district which was established in 1925 by my grand father Dasarathi Patnaik . Chandrabhanu’s mother was closely related to my wife for which he had deep link with her till her death on 17th February 2016. As he was a close friend of Devi Patnaik of U.N.I. who lives near my house in Unit-2, he was dropping in at my place to talk to my wife and children.
On many occasions I was expressing my displeasure over him for his consuming a number of pans which was making his lips red and was emitting attractive smell. He used to give a smile like an innocent boy.
Chandrabhanu was a student of English literature and taught in Ekamara College of the capital city for few years. Since journalism was his first love he had to quit the teaching job for joining the Sambad under leadership of Soumya Ranjan Patnaik .He proved his ability as the bureau chief and earned name as an investigative journalist till 1999 to bring out “ Satabdi” a colour Odia fortnightly which soon became popular.
Subsequently he joined as the News Editor of State’s oldest Odia daily The Samaj founded by Urkalmani Gopabandhu Dash. Soon he took over as the editor of the Samaj.
Though Chandrabhanu was rarely visiting his native village Chhanagiri, the people of the village loved him too much and had organized a feast in the village temple to celebrate his achievement in the fiekd of journalism. All of them as wee as people of adjacent villages were proud of him.
In political analysis Chnadrabhanu was superb. Though he had a brief stint in TV journalism as head of STV Samachar he could prove his unique ability . With his sad demise I feel too much pain in my heart and pray for his noble soul to rest in peace and God give enough strength to his bereaved family to bear this great loss.