Biju Patnaik

Biju Patnaik

Biju Patnaik

Date of Birth : March 5, 1916
Date Of Death : April 17, 1997

Mini Biography :

Biju Patnaik (1916–1997) was an Indian politician. Son of Lakshminarayan and Ashalata Patnaik, Bijayananda Patnaik was born in Cuttack, Orissa (India) on March 5, 1916.

He studied Aeronautics at the Aeronautical Training Institute of India. He joined the Indian National Airways, where he was involved with the war effort from 1940 to 1942. He was thereafter imprisoned until 1945 due to his activism efforts with the Quit India Movement. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, Gopabandhu Dash, and Madhusudhan Das, Patnaik dedicated himself to the Indian Freedom Movement.

Patnaik was closely associated with the Nepalese Democratic Movement since 1953 and he was also instrumental in assisting Indonesia with its bout for Independence from the Dutch in 1947. Indonesia conferred the highest civilian award, Bhumi Putra (Son Of Soil) to Patnaik. He was the only Indian for whom another nation’s national flag was flown at half mast when he died. 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.”

Patnaik was also the Chief Minister of Orissa from 1961 to 1963, as well as for a second term starting in 1990 until 1995. He was also a prominent member of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. 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 Oriyan constituents. He was a minister with cabinet rank in the Morarji Desai Ministry.

The projects which he was known to have spearheaded include the Hirakund Dam, Port of Paradip, Orissa aviation centre, Bhubaneswar Airport, the Cuttack-Jagatpur Mahanadi highway bridge, Rourkela Regional Engineering College, Rourkela Steel plant and the Choudwar and Barbil industrial belts.

Biju Patnaik was married to Gyan Patnaik. Biju Patnaik’s son, Navin Patnaik, is the current Chief Minister of Orissa. His daughter, Gita Mehta, is a well known writer.His elder son Prem Patnaik is a Delhi based industrialist.

He died in New Delhi on April 17, 1997 of cardio-respiratory failure.

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