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Reported by Ashok Nayak:- Odisha Police on Wednesday detained Artist Sudarshan Biswal over his criticism to the state government’s popular Rs.1 per kg rice scheme through his art performance. Artist Sudarshan Biswal staged his art performance in Bhubaneswar against the govt’s scheme of providing rice at Rs.1 per kg, evil day of farmer and agriculture etc.

Sudarshan Biswal, 35, who hails from Kakatpur in Puri and is based in Delhi, was demonstrating with a traditional plough and a set of farming equipment when he was taken into police custody at Sachibalay Marg  Bhubaneswar from Jayadev Bhawan to P.M.G. square (Ag Sqr,)at 12 noon on 20th Feb 2013. After spending almost an hour in Capital police station, he was released after his friends submitted a written statement that he would not repeat such an act.

“I was walking down Sachivalay Marg with my body painted and tied to a plough. Some media persons gathered to ask about my motive. Within minutes, some cops came and dragged me into their jeep. Had the media persons not intervened, the police would have detained me for longer,” said the artist, who has a masters’ degree in visual arts from the Faculty of Fine Arts under the Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda.

He criticised the government’s cheap rice scheme, stating that “political gimmicks” such as this had made the people of Odisha lazy. The state government had launched the Re 1 per kg rice scheme on February 2, before which it was Rs 2 per kg rice.

“I visited my village recently and found agricultural land lying unused. Upon enquiring, I found the state government’s cheap rice scheme was responsible for it. My family’s main source of income was agriculture but they gradually gave it up as there is a dearth of people to work in the fields,” said the artist, adding that this change forced him to stage the “unconventional” protest and raise awareness among people.

He said his only goal was to warn the people of Odisha against “nasty political games”