Nandini Satpathy

Nandini Satpathy

Nandini Satpathy

Date of Birth : 9 June 1931
Date Of Death : 4 August 2006

Mini Biography :
Nandini Satpathy (9 June 1931 in Cuttack – 4 August 2006 in Bhubaneswar), Indian politician and author. She is the former Chief Minister of Orissa.

andini Satpathy came from a highly respected and literary family.She was the eldest daughter of Padmabhushan Kalindi Charan Panigrahi, author of MATIRA MANISA (legendary Oriya book). Her uncle Bhagabati Charan Panigrahi established the Communist Party in Orissa . Her grandfather Swapneswar Panigrahi was a socialist and freedom fighter.

She was married to Devendra Satpathy who was twice the Member of Parliament from Dhenkanal. First from the Congress party and later from the Bharatiya Lok Dal. Her son Tathagata Satpathy is a sitting Biju Janata Dal MP from Dhenkanal.Her grandson Suparno Satpathy is an awarded social activist.
Political career

From an early age, young Nandini was familiar with all the big names in politics and literature of Orissa & India. Born on June 9, 1931, she grew up in Pithapur, Cuttack . Smt.Nandini Satpathy the then Nandini Panigrahi while pursuing her Masters of Arts (Oriya) at Ravenshaw College, became a luminary of the ‘Students Federation’, the student wing of the Communist Party. In 1951, there was a student movement in Orissa against the rising cost of College education. Young Nandini was a student leader pea excellence and while protesting, she was lathi charged by the police. The issue later developed into a national youth movement. She, along with many others, was jailed. In jail she met another member of the Student Federation named Sh.Devendra Satpathy who later became her life partner. Sh.Devendra Satpathy much later got elected as the member of Parliament of India ( Lok Sabha) for two terms from Dhenkanal.

Smt. Nandini Satpathy joined the Congress Party and she got elected as the President of the sleepy women’s congress outfit ‘Women’s Forum’. The Women’s Forum of the AICC held its annual meeting in Chennai. Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the then AICC president, was there to address the members. It is there that Mrs. Gandhi noticed the fire brand leadership of Smt. Nandini Satpathy. It is a much known fact that both Nandini Satpathy & Indira Gandhi were very close to each other. Thou they had some differences on how the Congress party should function but on a personal front, the fondness for each other remained.

In 1962 the Opposition had been decimated and it was the glorious time of the Congress rule in Orissa. The Assembly boasted more than 80 Congress members out of 140. At the national level the talk was to bringing more women into the Parliament of India. The Fire brand Smt. Nandini Satpathy the then president of the Women’s Forum was the first choice to be elected by the Orissa State Legislative Assembly. Thus Smt. Nandini Satpathy entered Rajya Sabha in 1962. She served two terms at the Rajya Sabha.

When Mrs. Indira Gandhi became the Prime Minister Smt.Nandini Satpathy became Minister attached to Prime Minister. Smt. Satpathy also handled the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting ( most of the progress we see today in regard to I&B has been her contribution to the nation). A few years later, in order to fill the void created by the departures of the likes of Sh. Mahatab, Sh.Chaudhury, and Sh. Biju Patnaik from the Congress party, Smt Nandini Satpathy came back to the state of Orissa to save the disintegrating Party and also to save the congress Government. In order to become the Chief Minister of Orissa Smt. Satpathy had to defeat the then political heavy weights of Orissa. In later elections, especially of Cuttack, she had to single-handedly fight four former Chief Ministers of Orissa combinedly. She revived the congress party with thumping majority and got the state of Orissa back for Mrs. Indira Gandhi.

After Mrs. Gandhi imposed a state of emergency to cling to power in 1975, Mrs. Satpathy as the chief minister of Orissa did her part in carrying out Mrs. Gandhi’s draconian politics.Later she fell out with Mrs. Gandhi and after the latter called for General Elections in 1977, which the Congress lost, she was a part of a group of defectors led by Jagjivan Ram that formed the Congress for Democracy.

Later she returned to the Congress fold.Thus in 1989, at the behest of Rajiv Gandhi she rejoined the Indian National Congress. It was immposible for any one to revive the Congress in Orissa as there was a strong anti incumbency of 15 years of Congress rule in Orissa. In perticular the miss rule and highly currupt rule of J.B patnaik. She was elected as M.L.A from Gondia and remainded till year 2004. Its she who choose to quite politics and did not contest the year 2004 State assembly election Her long absence marginalized her within the state party. She was always very critical of how the party was run in Orissa.

She died of an illness at her residence in Bhubaneswar on the 4th day of August ,2006.

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