Remembering an ace pilot, activist, an aeronautical engineer and a distinguished personality, Biju Patnaik on his 104th birth anniversary!

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Biju Patnaik Biography

A daring aviator, patriot and politician, Biju Patnaik served as the 3rd Chief Minister of Odisha state two times. He was a gallant personality who acquired name and fame with his hardships. 

Biju Patnaik’s natal day falls on 5th March 1916. He was born in the house of father Lakshminarayan Patnaik and mother Ashalata Patnaik in Cuttack, Odisha.      

As an aviator, his exploitations continued for long in the independence struggle against British colonialism. 

Biju Patnaik earned numerous plaudits for his incalculable contributions in India’s freedom. Several institutions in Odisha has been named after Biju Patnaik by the Government of Odisha encompassing the Biju Patnaik Airport at Bhubaneshwar, the Biju Patnaik University of Technology, Biju Patnaik Stadium at Nalco Nagar, Angul, etc. His son Naveen Patnaik announced his father’s birthday as the Panchayat Raj Diwas, one day off in Odisha in his remembrance. Indian postal department has issued his stamp as a symbol of salute in his honour. Later in 2016, the Indian government also issued the Biju Patnaik 5 Rupee commemorative coin.      

In 1996, he also garnered a laurel of the highest civilian honour ‘Bhumi Putra’ by the Indonesian government following his gallantry and gutsy deeds.  

Biju Patnaik’s 18 feet tall Bronze statue has been set up at the Bhubaneshwar Airport.  

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Biju Patnaik Political Career

Biju supported the renowned freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi and participated in Quit India Movement for India’s independence because of which he was confined for two years in 1943. He was accused of taking freedom fighters to secret places in planes. He came together with the Britishers after joining the Royal Indian Air Force during the Second World War and became friendly with them. When Japan bombarded Myanmar in 1941, he protected the British. Under the directions of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, he rescued the Indonesian people from the claws of the Dutch rulers. India’s first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru requested the presence of 22 Asian countries for the First Inter-Asia Conference along with Sultan Sjahrir, Indonesia’s Prime Minister. With utmost faith, he handed over the guardianship of Prime Minister Sultan Sjahrir to Biju Patnaik and Biju performed his duty responsibly.

He became a stalwart among the Indonesians after this who actively engaged himself in attaining the freedom of their own country. In 1946, he triumphed the Orissa Assembly from the North Cuttack Constituency. Being the representative of the Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha, he served as the Orissa Chief Minister from 1961 to 1963. During the Emergency in 1975, he was detained with the other political leaders of the opposition and was discharged later in 1977. He triumphed the Lok Sabha from Kendra Para and served as the Union Minister for Steel and Mines till 1979 under the government of Morarji Desai and Choudhary Charan Singh. He was reinstated to the Lok Sabha in 1980 and then in 1996. When the Congress Party lost in 1989, he came in the limelight as a political leader and fielded from Orissa in the assembly election. Janta Dal triumphed in the 1990 state assembly election and Biju again served as the Chief Minister of Orissa till 1995. 

Biju Patnaik set up a Kalinga Foundation Trust in 1952 to bolster the researchers from all across the world. He established Kalinga Tubes, Kalinga Airlines, Kalinga Ironwork, Kalinga Refractories and the Kalinga, a daily Oriya newspaper. In 1951, he initiated the international Kalinga Prize to boost the area of science and technology and consigned this responsibility to UNESCO. He also set up Kalinga Cup in football and constructed the Paradeep Fort.

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Biju Patnaik Personal Life

Biju Patnaik exchanged his nuptial vows with Gyan Patnaik and the couple was blessed with three children – two sons and one daughter. His first-born son Prem Patnaik is a Delhi-based businessperson and younger one named Naveen Patnaik, who followed his father’s footsteps, is serving as the ongoing Chief Minister of Odisha. His daughter Geeta Mehta was an eminent English novelist who wrote on India’s westernisation. 

Biju completed his primary education from the Mission Primary School and Mission Christ Collegiate School, Cuttack, Odisha. In 1932, he enrolled himself in the intermediate science class of Ravenshaw College. He was an avid sportsperson who directed the football, hockey, athletics and cricket team of the university consecutively for three years. Later, he joined Aeronautical Training Institute of India and was trained as an aviator there. 

Biju Patnaik Death Reason

Biju took his last breath on 17th April 1997 due to cardio-respiratory malfunction. 

Biju Patnaik Images on India Content

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