Indian Politician Biju Pattnaik Biography

The true son of the soil was a man with many facts and abilities, intensely in love with Orissa & its people.

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.” Biju Patnaik a legend in Indian politics has also the significant role player in the struggle for freedom.

Biju Pattnaik was lovingly called the “Hero of Kalinga” by the people. He attains immortality by dint of his brave and heroic action. A man who created history, changed history and shaped history, respected as a messiah for his charishma.

Biju Pattnaik  mission was the emancipation of Orissa from poverty and negligence. Modern Orissa can not be thought of without Biju Patnaik.

This politician Bijayananda Patnaik was born on 5th March 1916 in Cuttack Orissa, India to Lakshminarayan and Ashalata Patnaik. His father belonged to a village called Nuagan situated near Bhanjanagar and was Munsif in Cuttack.
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From the very beginning of his childhood he was in the attempt to safe guard the prestige of Utkal Pradesh in all respects. Biju Pattnaik had completed his education from Cuttack Mission School, Revenshaw Collegiate School and Revenshaw College.
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Biju Pattnaik went for pilot training while he was studying his B.Sc. He was employed as an airplane pilot in the Indian National Air Force after completion of his pilot training. He was involved with the war effort from 1940 to 1942. Besides being a good student he was also interested in sports and games.

Biju Pattnaik went on a tour from Cuttack to Peshawar on his bicycle. He used to help in distribution of relief during the floods. He was associated with Pundit Gopabandhu Das.

Biju Patnaik was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi`s struggle for freedom moment. The police offended him when he had been to see Gandhi during his visit to Cuttack. He used to take Jayaprakash and many more such freedom fighters to secret places in his plane.

Biju Pattnaik was thereafter imprisoned by the British government until 1945 due to his activism efforts with the Quit India Movement. He was freed in 1945. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, Gopabandhu Das, and Madhusudhan Das, Patnaik dedicated himself to the Indian Freedom Movement.

Biju Patnaik`s son, Navin Patnaik, is the current Chief Minister of Orissa. His daughter, Gita Mehta, is a well known writer. He died in New Dehli on April 17, 1997 of cardio-respiratory failure.

In 1946 he began his political career and contested in the election for the first time and later he contested from various constituencies for 12 times in the Vidhan Sabha elections. Biju Patnaik contested for Vidhan Sabha on behalf of congress party for the first time and was elected for the Vidhan Sabha in1946 from Cuttack.

Biju Pattnaik got international fame as a pilot for his work full of courage and danger. Getting the orders from Jawaharlal Nehru during the independence struggle of Indonesia he brought back the leaders associated with the independence from the jail from the hands of Dutch rulers.

Biju Pattnaik has played a instrumental role in assisting Indonesia with its bout for Independence from the Dutch in 1947. And as a gratitute the indebted Indonesia conferred the highest civilian award, `Bhumi Putra`, the son of soil to this valiant personality and even it is heard that the Indonesia government offered a huge land to him which he returned back politely.
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During the 1947 Pakistan attack on Kashmir he was the first to land by plane in Kashmir, which had overwhelmed the Pakistani soldiers. Since 1953 Patnaik was closely associated with the Nepalese Democratic Movement. Nehru affectionately called Patnaik “India`s buccaneer”.

During his time in the Parliament of India, Nehru said of him, “Biju Patnaik has the courage, dynamism, and zeal to work. So there is no blunder in giving more aid to Orissa.”

Biju Pattnaik became the President of Utkal Congress Committee in 1961. Third general election for the Orissa Vidhan Sabha took place only because of his efforts and under his leadership. Congress won 87 seats out of 140 seats. He was elected as the Chief Minister from 1961 to1963. As per the Kamaraj Yojna he resigned from the post of Chief Minister.

Biren Mitra succeeded him. He was the President of Rajya Yojana Board from 1963 to 1965. In 1970 he resigned from congress party and formed a new party called Utkal Congress. In 1971 elections his Utkal Congress party could manage to win only 33 seats. He joined Utkal Congress party hands with Bharatiya Lok Dal in 1974 and became the president of the local branch.

Biju Pattnaik was in jail for 18 months during in 1975 national emergency. He played a major role in formation of the Janta Dal in 1976. He was elected for the Lok Sabha in 1977 from the Janta Party and became the Cabinet Minister for Steel & Mines in the center.

Biju Pattnaik had a major hand in making V.P.Singh the Prime Minister of India. In 1978 he became a member in Charan Singh`s Janta (S) party and remained as the minister in the center till 1980. He was the leader of opposition of Vidhan Sabha in 1985.

During the 9th election for the Vidhan Sabha that was held in 1990 Janata Party had won 123 seats out of 140. Congress could manage to win only 10 seats. Biju Pattnaik became the Chief Minister for the second time after a gap of 27 years in 1990.

Congress got the majority in 1995 and Janaki Ballav Pattanaik became the Chief Minister. As a result Biju Pattnaik had to resign on 14-03-1995.

An attempt to summarize his political career is as follows :

•  1952 – M.L.A. Bhanjanagar
•  1957 – M.L.A.,Jagannath Prasad
•  1961 – Chief Minister,Orissa
•  1968 – M.P.Rajya Sabha
•  1974 – Opposion leader
•  1977 – Minister,Steel & Mines, Govt.of India
•  1980 – M.P.
•  1985 – Opposition Leader,State
•  1990 to 1995 – Chief Minister, Orissa

Biju Patnaik was also a prominent member of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. In 1971 he created a record contesting from 4 different constituencies for the Vidhan Sabha. He won from one Lok Sabha constituency and was defeated from all the other constituencies.

He won continuously for 4 times from Bhubaneswar constituency since 1980. Patnaik`s political ideals were centred in socialism and federalism. He strongly advocated for equal resources to all Indian states who needed such, made him a champion of his Oriyan constituents.

Although he was an industrialist he still took part in politics. He himself had established the Choudwar cloth mill, tube factory, refrigerator, and Barbil iron factory.

During his ministry he had taken major steps for the growth and development of Daitari steel plant, Rorkela steel plant, Sunabeda MIG fighter plane factory, Burla Engineering College, Roukela Engineering College, Paradip port, Express Highway, increase of power production etc.

The projects for which he was known as a driving force include the Port of Paradip, Orissa aviation centre, Bhubaneswar Airport, the Cuttack-Jagatpur Mahanadi highway bridge, and the Choudwar and Barbil industrial belts. A second steel plant in the state remained one of his unfulfilled dreams.

In 1961 Orissa Jilla Parishad rule was bought into effect as a result of which there was formed 13 Jilla Parishads in 13 districts and 34 Panchayat Samitis. Biju Pattnaik had increased the number of districts from 13 to 30. He also played an important role in fixing minimum labor charges that should be Rs. 25/-.

Biju Patnaik, a champion of science and technology, believed in the modernization of society on a scientific basis. In 1952 he founded the Kalinga Foundation Trust in the international level on behalf of UNESCO to inspire and give scope to the scientists of all over the world.

The idea to establish this foundation was that every one should have at least a basic understanding of science. Every year this trust gives the award “Kalinga Puraskar” which is considered a prestigious award by the international scientific community.

Biju Patnaik had dreamt many dreams. His first and foremost wish was that the people of Orissa and all the Oriyas should give up a cowardice life and putting oneself down and should try to be forward and establish themselves. The fond dream was the rise of the dashing Oriya youths to dominate every sphere of life.

Biju Pattnaik was more than a politician, a natural charismatic leader of people. Being a man of industry in the past, he had tried his best bring about an industrial revolution in Orissa. As a great statesman and a visionary, he always struggled hard for uplifting of the economic condition of the people of Orissa.

With some of his often quoted sayings his love for Orissa can be expressed. To him “To be born poor is not a crime but to remain so is indeed a crime”, “If a thing can be done now, do it at once and do not defer it to the next day”, “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”.

Biju Pattnaik wanted the Oriyans to achieve excellence in every field. But many of his dreams remained unfulfilled. His death was an irreparable loss to the nation. Biju Patnaik was a man who never let Orissa down.

Bhima Bhoi, a nineteenth century poet, wrote, “Boundless is the anguish and misery of the living who can see it and tolerate? Let my soul be sent to hell but let the universe be redeemed”. These are the lines that this great leader often followed.

One thought on “Biography of Biju Pattnaik

  1. Dear Sir,
    Thanks a lot for having a write up of Shri Biju Patnaik, who was a National Hero in all aspect. I wish and still hope Govt of India honour him with BHATATA RATNA an also award PARAM VIR CHAKRA for his valiant role as Pilot who dared to Land in Srinagar Airport against all odds with First Indian Army Troops. If Jammu and Kashmir is part of India , major credit goes to Shri Biju Patnaik.As a Indian and being from Odisha I am very very proud of him and all Youths of our Country who knows about him and his Brevary and other very good qualities are very proud of him. Its my good Luck that I was closely associated with him. Thanks a lot once again.
    Col SK Padhi (Retd), Odisha

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