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|3rd Chief Minister of Orissa|
5 March 1990 – 15 March 1995
|Preceded by||Hemananda Biswal|
|Succeeded by||Janaki Ballabh Pattanaik|
23 June 1961 – 2 October 1963
|Preceded by||Harekrushna Mahatab|
|Succeeded by||Biren Mitra|
|Union Minister, Steel, Mines and Coal|
March 1977 – Jan 1980
|Prime Minister||Morarji Desai|
|Constituency||Kendrapara (Lok Sabha constituency)|
5 March 1916
Cuttack, Orissa, British India
|Died||17 April 1997
|Political party||Janata Dal|
|Indian National Congress, Utkal Congress|
|Alma mater||Ravenshaw College|
Biju Patnaik was born on 5 March 1916 to Lakshminarayan and Ashalata Patnaik. His parents belong to G.Nuagan, Bhanjanagar, Ganjam district, around 80 km from Bramhapur. He was educated at Ravenshaw College in Odisha but due to his interest in aviation he dropped out and trained as a pilot. Patnaik flew with private airlines but at the start of the Second World War he joined the Royal Indian Air Force eventually becoming head of air transport command. While in service he began an interest in nationalist politics and used air force transports to deliver what was seen as subversive literature to Indian troops. But Patnaik remained committed to fighting the Axis Powers and when he was jailed for his illegal activities he only served two years in prison. Shortly after independence Pakistani tribesman invaded Kashmir and at Nehru's request he helped airlift the first Indian soldiers into Srinagar.
Role in Indonesian freedom struggle
Biju Patnaik came in contact with Jawaharlal 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 was under Dutch rule from 1816 to 1941 when it was occupied by the Japanese. The Indonesian freedom fighters declared the independence of Indonesia on 17 August 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. President Sukarno's government launched a vigorous propaganda activity to gain support for their cause. Sjahrir who became Prime Minister of Indonesia on 14 November 1945 was a trusted lieutenant of 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, the government of Indonesia concluded an agreement with India government to supply 4,000,000 tonnes of rice in exchange of textile, agricultural implements, tyres and other goods which India would send to Indonesia for her economic rehabilitation.
On 23 March 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 25 March. 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 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 and brought Sultan Sjahrir aboard from Java islands on 22 July 1947 using a Dakota and reached India via Singapore on 24 July. Sjahrir was successful in his mission at last. For his act of bravery Patnaik was given honorary citizenship of Indonesia and awarded 'Bhoomi Putra', the highest Indonesian award and a rare distinction ever granted to a foreigner. In 1996, when Indonesia was celebrating its 50th Independence Day, Biju Patnaik was awarded the highest national award, the 'Bintang Jasa Utama'.(Source: http://www.iloveindia.com/indian-heroes/biju-patnaik.html)
Role in saving Kashmir
Biju Patnaik piloted the first plane that left Palam Airport at Delhi on 27 October 1947 at dawn and landed at Srinagar Airport in the early morning. He brought 17 soldiers of 1-Sikh regiment commanded by Lt.Col. Dewan Ranjit Rai. "...The pilot flew low on the airstrip twice to ensure that no raiders were around... Instructions from Prime Minister Nehru’s office were clear: If the airport was taken over by the enemy, you are not to land. Taking a full circle the DC-3 flew ground level. Anxious eye-balls peered from inside the aircraft – only to find the airstrip empty. Nary a soul was in sight. The raiders were busy distributing the war booty amongst them in Baramulla."
Politics in independent India
Patnaik's political ideals were centred in socialism and federalism. His strong advocacy for equal resources to all Indian states who needed such, made him a champion of his Oriya constituents.
In 1946 Patnaik was elected uncontested to the Odisha Legislative Assembly from North Cuttack constituency. In 1952 and 1957 he won from Jagannath Prasad and Surada, respectively. In 1961 he assumed the presidency of the state Congress. Under his leadership, the Congress Party won 82 of 140 seats and Patnaik (representing Chowdwar constituency) became the chief minister of Odisha on 23 June 1961 and remained in the position until 2 October 1963 when he resigned from the post under the Kamaraj Plan to revitalise the Congress party. He was the Chief Minister of Odisha at the age of 45.
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. 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 for the first time from Kendrapara 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 Odisha, 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 Odisha for the second time until 1995.
He was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in 1996 from Cuttack and Aska constituencies as a Janata Dal candidate. He retained the latter until his death on 17 April 1997 of cardio-respiratory failure.
In 1992, Bijayananda Patnaik left this quote for the people of Odisha;
"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."
Achievements as a public representative
Biju Patnaik set up Kalinga tubes, Kalinga Airlines, Kalinga Iron work, Kalinga Refractories and the Kalinga, a daily Oriya newspaper. In 1951 he established the international Kalinga Prize 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 includes the 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-Bhubaneswar, NALCO (National Aluminum Company) and the Choudwar & Barbil industrial belts.
Biju Patnaik was married to Gyan Patnaik. Biju Patnaik's son, Naveen Patnaik, is the current Chief Minister of Odisha. His daughter, Gita Mehta, is an English writer. His elder son Prem Patnaik is a Delhi based industrialist.
Popular incidents and quotes
Paradeep Port: 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 Odisha'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 Odisha. Nehru replied, '"Biju Patnaik has the courage, dynamism and zeal to work. So there is no blunder in giving more aid to Odisha." During the Sino-Indian War in 1962, 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 in him on his 79th birthday how he would like to die, he had quipped, 'I would like to die in an air crash rather than from prolonged illness. I would like to die instantly, just fall down and die'. This was later narrated by one of Biju Patnaik's close associates Mr.Manas Ranjan,Advocate.
On Odisha 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'. 'Odisha is a rich state where poor people live'. 'Be a pride to your State and not a shame'.
The Government of Odisha has named several institutions after the name of Biju Patanaik. They include the Biju Patnaik Airport at Bhubaneswar, the Biju Patnaik University of Technology, etc. Also his son Naveen Patnaik made his birthday 5 March as the Panchayat Raj Divas, a holiday in Odisha in his memory.
|11th Lok Sabha||Aska||1996||17 April 1997*||Janata Dal||*Expired|
|10th Vidhan Sabha||Bhubaneswar||1990||1995||Janata Dal|
|9th Vidhan Sabha||Bhubaneswar||1985||1990||Janata|
|8th Lok Sabha||Kendrapara||1984||25 March 1985*||*Resigned|
|7th Lok Sabha||Kendrapara||1980|
|8th Vidhan Sabha||Patkura||1980||11 June 1980*||Janata (S)||*Resigned|
|6th Lok Sabha||Kendrapara||1977|
|6th Vidhan Sabha||Rajnagar||1974||1977||Utkal Congress|
|Rajya Sabha||Odisha||13 May 1971||6 October 1971||Janata Dal|
|3rd Vidhan Sabha||Choudwar||1961||1967||Congress|
|2nd Vidhan Sabha||Surada||1957||1961||Congress|
|1st Vidhan Sabha||Jagannath Prasad||1951||1957||Congress|
- List of Members of Odisha Legislative Assembly (1951–2004)
- Shri Biju Patnaik, J.D. - Aska (Odisha)
- S. Gajrani (2004). History, Religion and Culture of India. Gyan Publishing House. pp. 167–. ISBN 978-81-8205-063-1.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Biju Patnaik.|
Harekrushna Mahatab(1st term)
Hemananda Biswal(2nd term)
|Chief Minister of Odisha
28 June 1961 to 2 October 1963 (1st term)
5 March 1990 to 15 March 1995 (2nd term)
Biren Mitra(1st term)
Janaki Ballabh Pattanaik(2nd term)