Biju Patnaik
Biju Patnaik (5 March 1916–17 April 1997) was an Indian politician. Also known as Biju Babu.
Son of Lakshminarayan and Ashalata Patnaik, Bijayananda Patnaik was born in Cuttack
Cuttack is the former capital of the state of Orissa, India. It is the headquarters of Cuttack district and is located about 20 km to the north east of Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa. The name of the city is an anglicised form of Kataka that literally means The Fort, a reference to the...

, Orissa
Orissa , officially Odisha since Nov 2011, is a state of India, located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. It is the modern name of the ancient nation of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April...

India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

) on March 5, 1916.(He Originally belongs to Ganjam District, Village- Nuagam, near Bhanjanagar, around 80 km from Berhampur City).

Role in Indonesian freedom struggle

Biju Patnaik came in contact with Nehru during his participation in Indian freedom struggle. He became one of his trusted friends. Nehru was sympathetic to the freedom struggle of the Indonesian people who had traditional links with Indian sub-continent from the ancient days. Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 was under Dutch rule
Dutch East Indies
The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Netherlands government in 1800....

 from 1816 to 1941 when it was occupied by the Japanese. The Indonesian freedom fighters declared the independence of Indonesia on August 17, 1945 two days after the Japanese collapse in the Second World War. The Dutch tried to regain control over these territories and started fomenting trouble for the new Government. The new Government under Dr. Sukarno
Sukarno, born Kusno Sosrodihardjo was the first President of Indonesia.Sukarno was the leader of his country's struggle for independence from the Netherlands and was Indonesia's first President from 1945 to 1967...

 as President, launched a vigorous propaganda activity to gain support for their cause. Dr. Sjahrir who became Prime Minister of Indonesia on 14 November 1945 was a trusted lieutenant of Dr. Sukarno. He also became friendly with Nehru who was at that time the Foreign Minister and the leader of the Interim Government of India. In July 1946, Government of Indonesia concluded an agreement with India Government to supply 40,00,000 tonnes of rice in exchange of textile, agricultural implements, tyres and other goods which India would send to Indonesia for her economic rehabilitation.

On March 23, 1947 Nehru called 22 Asian countries for First Inter-Asia Conference to which Sjahrir was specially invited. He addressed the conference after concluding the agreement with Dutch on March 25. The Dutch continued to foment trouble on one pretext or the other. Finally they launched a large scale attack on Indonesia on 21 July 1947. Immediately President Sukarno consulted Sjahrir and ordered him to leave the country to create international public opinion against the Dutch and also persuade the friendly countries to raise the issue before the UNO. He tried to come out but could not succeed as the Dutch had absolute control over Indonesian sea and air routes. He was also under surveillance.

Nehru came to his help at this critical juncture. He entrusted this task to Biju Patnaik, who was an expert Pilot and was famous for his passion for adventurous achievements. Biju Patnaik sprang up to instant action. As an avid reader of the history of Kalinga, Biju knew how Kalinga
Kalinga is a landlocked province of the Philippines in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. Its capital is Tabuk and borders Mountain Province to the south, Abra to the west, Isabela to the east, Cagayan to the northeast, and Apayao to the north...

 and Indonesia had a long-standing cultural link in the past and the opportunity now at hand to render some service to the people of Indonesia at their crucial hour of need should never be lost sight of. He braved all hazards. He flew to Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

 and brought Sultan Sjahrir aboard from Java islands on 22 July 1947 by his own Dacota and reached India via Singapore on 24 July. Sjahrir was successful in his mission at last. The noble and heroic deed of Biju Patnaik was duly recognised by the Indonesian Government. For his act of bravery at this critical juncture, he was awarded 'Bhoomi Putra', the highest Indonesian award and a rare distinction ever granted to a foreigner.Lesser known is his daredevil flights to land Indian troops during 1947 kashmir operations.(At that time, no operation medal was given to Biju which remains an omission on army's part till this day )

Politics in independent India

Patnaik's political ideals were centred in socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 and federalism
Federalism is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant with a governing representative head. The term "federalism" is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and...

. His strong advocacy for equal resources to all Indian states who needed such, made him a champion of his Oriya constituents.

In 1946 Mr. Patnaik was elected uncontested to the Orissa Legislative Assembly from North Cuttack constituency. In 1952 and 1957 he won from Jagannath Prasad and Soroda, respectively. In 1961 he assumed the presidency of the state Congress. Under his leadership, the Congress Party won 82 of 140 seats and Mr. Patnaik (representing Chowdwar constituency) became the chief minister of Orissa on 23 June 1961 and remained in the position until 2 October 1963 when he resigned from the post under the Kamraj plan to revitalize the Congress party. He was the chief minister of Orissa at the age of 45.

Mr. Patnaik was close to Indira Gandhi who took over the Congress Party in 1967. However, they clashed in 1969 over the Presidential election. He left the Congress and formed a regional party—the Utkal Congress. In the 1971 assembly poll, his party did reasonably well. Mr. Patnaik then re-established contact with his old friend Jayaprakash Narayan and plunged into the JP movement as it picked up momentum in 1974. When the Emergency was declared in 1975, Biju Patnaik was one of the first to be arrested along with other opposition leaders.

He was released in 1977. Later, in the same year, he was elected to the Lok Sabha
Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha or House of the People is the lower house of the Parliament of India. Members of the Lok Sabha are elected by direct election under universal adult suffrage. As of 2009, there have been fifteen Lok Sabhas elected by the people of India...

 for the first time from Kendrapara
Kendrapara (Lok Sabha constituency)
Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency is one of the 21 Lok Sabha constituencies in Orissa state in eastern India.-Assembly segments:...

 and became Union minister for steel and mines in both the Morarji Desai and the Charan Singh governments until 1979. He was re-elected to the Lok Sabha again in 1980 and 1984 from Kendrapara as Janata Party candidate despite the Congress wave in 1984 following Indira Gandhi's death. With the Congress defeat in 1989, he bounced back into the political limelight. However, after playing a key behind-the-scenes role in manoeuvring V P Singh to the prime minister's post, he again chose to go back to Orissa, and prepared for the assembly election. In 1990 state assembly election, the Janata Dal received a thumping majority (two third assembly seats) which saw Biju Patnaik being the chief minister of Orissa for the second time until 1995.

He was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in 1996 from Cuttack and Aska
Aska (Lok Sabha constituency)
Aska Lok Sabha constituency is one of the 21 Lok Sabha constituencies in Orissa state in eastern India.-Assembly segments:The Legislative Assembly segments, which constituted this parliamentary constituency before delimitation were as follows:...

 constituencies as a Janata Dal candidate. He retained the latter until his death on the April 17, 1997 of cardio-respiratory failure.

In 1992, Bijayananda Patnaik left this quote for the people 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
Kalinga (India)
Kalinga was an early state in central-eastern India, which comprised most of the modern state of Orissa/Utkal , as well as the Andhra region of the bordering state of Andhra Pradesh. It was a rich and fertile land that extended from the river Damodar/Ganges to Godavari and from Bay of Bengal to...


Achievements as a public representative

Mr. Patnaik, was a doer. Be it freedom movement or politics or removing poverty and creating jobs. He was the leader who led by examples. The name of Kalinga was so dear to the heart of Biju Babu that he set up Kalinga tubes, Kalinga Airways, Kalinga Iron work, Kalinga Refractories and the Kalinga, a daily Oriya Newspaper. In 1951 he established the international Kalinga Prize
Kalinga Prize
The Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science is an award given by UNESCO for exceptional skill in presenting scientific ideas to lay people...

 for popularisation of Science and Technology among the people and entrusted the responsibility to the UNESCO. The projects which he was known to have spearheaded include the Hirakud Dam
Hirakud Dam
Hirakud Dam is built across the Mahanadi River, about 15 km from Sambalpur in the state of Orissa in India. Built in 1957, the dam is one of the world's longest earthen dam....

, Port of Paradip, Orissa aviation centre, Bhubaneswar Airport, the Cuttack-Jagatpur Mahanadi highway bridge, Regional Engineering College, Rourkela, Sainik School Bhubaneswar, Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology
Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology
Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology was established in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India in 1962. It is the second oldest agricultural university in the country. It is dedicated to agriculture related research, extension and education.At present, the University has 8 constituent colleges...

Bhubaneswar is the capital of the Indian state of Orissa, officially Odisha. The city has a long history of over 2000 years starting with Chedi dynasty who had Sisupalgarh near present-day Bhubaneswar as their capital...

, Rourkela Steel Plant
Rourkela Steel Plant
Rourkela Steel Plant ,set up in 1958, is an integrated steel plant of Steel Authority of India Limited located in Rourkela, Orissa. It is the first Public Sector Integrated Steel Plant to be set up in India. The blast furnace was inaugurated by the President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad. The...

 and the Choudwar
Choudwar is a city and a municipality in Cuttack district in the state of Orissa, India.-Geography:Choudwar is located on the banks of the river Mahanadi, on National Highway 42. Choudwar has the unique distinction of being an industrialzone in Orissa state. The principal language spoken here is...

 and Barbil industrial belts.
He also established the Kalinga Cup in foot ball.

Popular incidents and quotes

Paradeep Port Mr. Patnaik was keen to build the port at Paradeep. When the Central government refused to give funds to build the Paradeep port, he said: To hell with the Government of India. I will build the port with state government and my own money. And he spent Rs 1.60 billion on it. Later, of course, Nehru sanctioned funds for the project. Today that is Orissa's most prominent port.

Nehru and Patnaik Nehru Patnaik "India's buccaneer". When Nehru was criticised in the Parliament for his decision to provide more aid to Orissa Nehru replied, '"Biju Patnaik has the courage, dynamism and zeal to work. So there is no blunder in giving more aid to Orissa." During the Chinese aggression of 1962 and the subsequent crisis, Nehru consulted the Oriya leader repeatedly for advice. For sometime he was Nehru's defence advisor, unofficially of course. 'The prime minister was dazzled by Mr Patnaik's familiarity with military subjects,' wrote a political commentator of the time.

Anti Corruption stand To fight against corruption he once proclaimed 'beat up all corrupt officials'. Although his government failed to control and defeat corruption.

On death When a journalist asked him on his 79th birthday how he would like to die, he had quipped, 'certainly not in an air crash or from prolonged illness. I would like to die instantly, just fall down and die'.

On Orissa and for Oriyas 'To be born poor is not a crime but to remain so is indeed a crime'.
'Be loyal not to me but to the destiny of the State'. 'Orissa is a rich state where poor people live'. 'Be a pride to your State and not a shame'.

In the memory of Biju Patnaik

The government of Orissa has named several institutions after the name of Mr. Biju Patnaik. They include the Biju Patnaik airport at Bhubaneswar, the Biju Patnaik University of Technology, etc.Also his son Navin Patanaik made his birthday march 5 as the Panchayat Raj Divas, a holiday in Orissa in his memory.


Biju Patnaik was married to Gyan Patnaik. Biju Patnaik's son, Naveen Patnaik
Naveen Patnaik
Naveen Patnaik is an Indian politician and the current Chief Minister of Orissa, India and the chief of Biju Janata Dal, a regional political party in Orissa.-Personal life:...

, is the current Chief Minister of Orissa. His daughter, Gita Mehta
Gita Mehta
Gita Mehta is an Indian writer and was born in Delhi in a renowned Oriya family of freedom fighters. She is the daughter of Biju Patnaik, an Indian independence activist and a Chief Minister in post-independence Orissa. Her younger brother Naveen Patnaik is presently the Chief Minister of Orissa...

, is a well-known writer. His elder son Prem Patnaik is a Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

 based industrialist.

External links

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