Biju Pattnaik-The legendary Man
Born On: 5th March, 1916
Born In: Cuttack, Orissa
Died On: 17th April, 1997
Career: Politician and Social Activist
Bijayananda Patnaik is commonly known as Biju Patnaik. He was a heroic
personality and he achieved his name and fame through hard work alone. Apart
from being a politician, he was an aeronautical engineer, navigator,
industrialist, an ace pilot, popular freedom fighter and above all a renowned
and outstanding personality. His looked up to Napoleon and thus he followed in
his footprints. Biju Patnaik was proficient in inspiring and gaining the
confidence of his people.
He communicated effectively with the public and had the ability to
convey his ideas to them. According to Biju, there are four important things and
these are unity of nation, secularism, democracy and imperialism. He, with a
strong determination and sacrifice became a great politician and a social
activist. He actively participated in the struggle for freedom and thus became
the ideal personality for the people of Orissa to look up to. He uttered these
lines for the public of Orissa, In my dream of the 21st century for the State, I
would have young men and women who put the interest of the State before them.
They will have pride in themselves, confidence in themselves. They will not be
at anybody`s mercy, except their own selves. By their brains, intelligence and
capacity, they will recapture the history of Kalinga.
Biju Patnaik was born on 5th March, 1916 in Cuttack, Orissa. He was the son of
the late Shri Laksminarayan Patnaik and the late Smt. Ashalata Devi. His father
was a notable nationalist and a leading member of the Oriya movement. He had two
brothers and one sister. He completed his early education at the Mission Primary
School and Mission Christ Collegiate of Cuttack. In 1927, he got into to the
Ravenshaw University, where Netaji Subash Chandra Bose once studied. From his
college days, he was a talented sportsman and headed the football, hockey,
athletics and cricket team of the University. He was the sports champion for
continuously three years.
He discontinued his studies to take up
training as a pilot at the Aeronautic Training Institute of India and the Delhi
Flying Club. As a kid, he always was interested in flying. Thus, he became an
eminent pilot and a navigator. Biju Patnaik joined the Indian National Airways
and became a ace pilot. During 1940-42, when the struggle for independence was
going on, he was the chief of the Air Transport Command. Patnaik now has two
sons and a daughter. His elder son Prem is an industrialist and the younger son,
Naveen is a famous politician and is also the Chief Minister of Orissa. His
daughter, Gita Mehta is a well-known novelist and writes on the westernization
of India. Biju Patnaik had an inborn love for his native state Orissa and
inherited the qualities of heroism and bravery from his parents.
Biju Patnaik was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, who fought for freedom. He took
part in the Quit India Movement and was sent to jail in 1943 for two years since
he was found guilty of taking freedom fighters to secret places in his plane.
When the Second World War started he joined the Royal Indian Air Force where he
gelled with the British and became friends with them. In 1941, when Japan
stepped into the war and attacked Myanmar, he rescued the British. He played a
very important role in the freedom movement of Indonesia. He, under the guidance
of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, rescued the Indonesian people from the clutches of
the Dutch rulers.
On 23rd March, 1947 Pandit Nehru invited 22 Asian
countries for the First Inter-Asia Conference and for this, Sultan Sjahrir, the
Prime Minister of Inodnesia, was cordially invited too. Pandit Nehru trusted
Biju Patnaik asked him to ensure the safe arrival of Prime Minister Sultan
Sjahrir, which is exactly what Biju did. After this, he became a heroic
personality amongst the Indonesians who actively participated in the gaining of
the independence of their own country. In 1946, Biju was elected to the Orissa
Assembly from the North Cuttack Constituency. From 1961 to 1963, he worked as
the Chief Minister of Orissa.
He was also the member of the Lok
Sabha as well as a member of the Rajya Sabha. In 1975, when there was an
Emergency in the country, he was the first to be prisoned with other political
leaders of the opposition. In 1977, he was released and elected to the Lok Sabha
from Kendra Para and till 1979 under the government of Morarji Desai and
Choudhary Charan Singh he was the Union Minister for Steel and Mines. In 1980,
Biju was elected to the Lok Sabha and then again in 1996 he was re-elected to
the Lok Sabha. In 1989, after the defeat of the Congress Party, he came into the
limelight as a political leader but when V.P Singh became the Prime Minister he
went back to Orissa and contested in the assembly election. In the 1990 state
assembly election, Janta Dal won and Biju Patnaik again served as the Chief
Minister of Orissa till 1995.
He always tried to make Odisha a special position among the all state.His
succesful project-Paradeep Port, HAL (Sunabeda), NTPC Talcher, Sukinda Paradeep
Express Highway, Balimela Hydro Power Corporation,Hirakud Dam, NIT
Rourkela(Previously Regional Engineering College), Sainik School, OUAT and many
more..He also tried to develop small scale industries in odisha. So he
established Kalinga Tubes, Kalinga airlines, Kalinga Iron Works, Kalinga News
Awards and Accolades
He was honored by the Indonesian government with the highest civilian honor
‘Bhumi Putra’. This recognition came to him owing to his bravery and heroic
feats. In 1996, when Indonesia was celebrating its 50th Independence Day, Biju
Patnaik was awarded the highest national award, the ‘Bintang Jasu Utama’.
In 1952, he established the Kalinga Foundation Trust to encourage scientists
from all around the world. He initiated the Kalinga Prize, which the UNESCO has
been awarding for excellence in the field of science. Beside this, he also spent
a huge amount to build the Paradeep Port.
Biju Patnaik died on 17th April 1997, due to a cardio-respiratory malfunction.
In Odisha, there are various institutions named after Biju. One of these
institutes includes the Biju Patnaik University of Technology. The airport of
Bhubaneswar is also named as Biju Patnaik Airport. Biju’s son Naveen Patnaik
declared 5th March, his father’s birthday, as Panchayati Raj Divas. This day is
an acknowledged holiday in Orissa.
1916: Born in Cuttack 1927: Studied at RavenshawUniversity
1940-42: Serves as Chief of the Air Transport Command
1941: Rescued British people when Japan occupied Myanmar
1943: Sent to the jail during Quit India Movement
1946: Elected to the Orissa Assembly
1952: Established the Kalinga Foundation Trust
1961-63: Became the Chief Minister of Orissa
1975: Is imprisoned
1977: Released from jail and elected as the member of the Lok Sabha
1977-79: Is made the Union Minister for Steel and Mines
1980: Became a member of the Lok Sabha
1990-95: Becomes the Chief Minister of Orissa
1996: Re-elected to the Lok Sabha
1997: Died of cardio-respiratory failure