Biju Patnaik is one of the greatest illustrious Odias of our time whose heroism, farsighted vision, straight forwardness and ceaseless endeavour to take Odisha higher amazes the Odias today.
It is really unbelievable that such an epoch-making personality was living with us a few years ago. Biju Patnaik was born in Cuttack on 5th March 1916.
His father was Laxmi Narayan Patnaik and mother was Ashadevi. While reading in Ravenshaw Collegiate School, he went to Peshwar in Pakistan on bicycle which shows his indomitable will and determined resolution.
While reading B.Sc., he joined in RAF (Royal Air Force) to become a Pilot. His adventurous spirit wanted more challenges.
During Mahatma Gandhi’s call to Boycott the foreign services, he left RAF came to Bhubaneswar, formed the Bhubaneswar Flying Club to make Odia sons Pilots. Later he joined in Freedom struggle, went to jail. Then Biju joined in politics.
He was repeatedly elected from Cuttack, Choudwar, Rajnagar, Aska, Kendrapada, Bhubaneswar, Sorada. He became the Chief Minister of Odisha, and brought industrialisation.
Pandit Nehru was his friend, and by convincing him, he set up the Paradip Port, Rourkela Steel Plant like big projects. He was the Central Minister too.
During emergency he went to jail. In 1990 he was again elected as the Chief Minister of Odisha.
Biju was a daring hero. He participated in Indonesian Freedom Struggle and got the Bhumiputra Award. During Indo-Pak war, Indo-Chinese War, he worked as Nehru’s adviser.
He loved Odias very much. He was the crisis manager in Janata Dal Govt. He dies on 17th April 1997. “Biju Patnaik Amar Rahe.”