Silver ingots recovered from Puri Emar Mutt have links with Great Orissa Famine of 1866

Bhubaneswar, November 20, 2017: The silver ingots recovered
from the Emar Mutt have links with the Great Orissa Famine of 1866, the Na’Anka
Durbhikshya. According to Anil Dhir, conclusive evidence has been found that
proves that the bullion was part of the payment made by the British authorities
to the various Mutts for rice purchased from them.
Speaking at the release of his Book “Great Orissa Famine of
1866: Na’Anka Durbhikshya”, Dhir said that the Mutts were the biggest
landowners of the period and had overflowing granaries. When the British
administration wanted to buy the stocks, the Mutt heads refused payment in
coinage but instead wanted to be paid in bullion. While researching for his
book, Dhir has found various papers which prove that the mutts sold a major
part of their stocks for the relief kitchens that had been set up by the
authorities. While a few mutts and the Puri Temple had opened free kitchens,
most of their stocks were sold.
Dhir has been writing in vain to the government for
permission to inspect and study the ingots. Each of the ingots has got proof
and assay markings. A proper measurement and weight can reveal their origin and
date.  He is now seeking the court’s
permission to examine the ingots, which are lying in the Police Armory in
Puri.  The silver recovered from the Mutt
should be transformed into the Famine Memorial Commemorative Coins as a fitting
tribute to the one million persons who had died.
The book released by Shri Lalit Mansingh, the former
Ambassador to the United States at the Panthanivas on the 18th. Edited by Anil
Dhir and Ramesh Mohapatro, the book is the outcome of the Seminar held on the
150th Year Commemoration of the Na’Anka in December 2016. Lt. Gen. Narayan
Mohanty (Retd.)  PVSM, AVSM, VSM, the
Chairman of the Committee said that a suitable memorial for the one million
dead should be erected. Ramesh Mohapatro, Secretary of the Pipili Sanskruitka
Parishad  said that the Parishad would
erect a suitable memorial  in the
vicinity of Pipili and many of the remnants 
of the Famine are still there. The Christian villages of Adarshpur,
Kalyanpur, Ashrayapur, Anugrahapur and Bharasapur are all living testimonies of
the difficult times when the missionaries set up orphanages and shelters for
the victims.
According to Dhir, there is no single narrative of the Great
Orissa Famine. To write this book, they had to revisit, revise and include
“much that has been forgotten or perhaps deliberately avoided in a great
silence”. He has written about the Chhatarkhais, the role of Cecil Beadon and
T.E.Ravenshaw and the Lassiez Faire attitude of the British.  The one year research for writing the book
has revealed many new findings.  

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