Tathagata Satpathy’s Best Moments In Parliament

In a shock announcement that took place a couple of days back, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Member of Parliament (MP) Tathagata Satpathy confirmed his retirement from active politics. Satpathy, who is the owner and editor of the English daily Orissa Post, and Odia daily Dharitri, went on to add that his focus would be on journalism from now on, taking political circles and social media by surprise.

Satpathy has a reputation of being progressive in his thoughts and has never been scared to speak his heart out in the Lok Sabha. He was one of the most vocal politicians that you will ever see and expressed strong views against the ban of cannabis, on section 377, triple talaq and many more laws.

To pay tribute to the charismatic character that he is, and to summarize his career’s best moments, here are excerpts from Satpathy’s most impactful statements:

  • “I have smoked (and unlike Bill Clinton have inhaled) cannabis many a times. Cannabis is a drug that has been given a bad name, the alcohol lobby, peddling something far more dangerous, has managed to club cannabis with more dangerous narcotics.”
  • “I would give an example of something like Section 377, the law relating to a small section of society. But it has a relevance to a particular kind of people who are human beings, who have feelings like us, but their sexual needs are different from a lot of people we know.”
  • “I am heartbroken to say that the youth of the country does not deserve us. We are the most undeserving set of people to be in this House today.”
  • “Decision to remove Red Beacon is a joke. If serious let’s see Govt remove all A to Z Category security. This will save taxpayers’ millions. Couldn’t care less if all cars carry beacons.”
  • “When traffic blocking stops, Pilot & Follow cars discontinued real VIP culture will start crumbling. Till then this a cosmetic show. Let us stop fooling people. India has had enough. What about education, health, Swachh Bharat cess money? Where is all that going?”
  • “Let us not treat every Kashmiri terrorist as a separatist/terrorist. The mindset that creates a feeling of separatism, which in turn creates militancy, stems from deep-rooted frustration with a non-responsive system. The Central Government’s agenda should be to create jobs, create industries, to create more opportunities and to find a way to bring true democracy and long-lasting peace to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. I would urge the government to give priority to economic empowerment and not military entrenchment.”

While Satpathy’s antics and the mannerisms of his speeches will be sorely missed at the Lok Sabha, Odisha will hope that he brings his fearless brand of parliamentarianism to journalism.

Satpathy, who is the son of former Odisha Chief Minister Nandini Satpathy, made his entry into politics during the 1980s and tasted his first electoral success as a legislator in 1990. He had at the time contested on Janata Dal ticket, led by Biju Patnaik.