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Biju Pattnaik-The legendary Man called Odisha Bara Putra – 97th birth day on 5th March , Odisha

Biju-PattnaikBorn On: 5th March, 1916
Born In: Cuttack, Orissa
Died On: 17th April, 1997
Career: Politician and Social Activist

Bijayananda Patnaik is commonly known as Biju Patnaik. He was a heroic personality and he achieved his name and fame through hard work alone. Apart from being a politician, he was an aeronautical engineer, navigator, industrialist, an ace pilot, popular freedom fighter and above all a renowned and outstanding personality. His looked up to Napoleon and thus he followed in his footprints. Biju Patnaik was proficient in inspiring and gaining the confidence of his people. He communicated effectively with the public and had the ability to convey his ideas to them. According to Biju, there are four important things and these are unity of nation, secularism, democracy and imperialism. He, with a strong determination and sacrifice became a great politician and a social activist. He actively participated in the struggle for freedom and thus became the ideal personality for the people of Orissa to look up to. He uttered these lines for the public 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.”

Early Life

Biju Patnaik was born on 5th March, 1916 in Cuttack, Orissa. He was the son of the late Shri Laksminarayan Patnaik and the late Smt. Ashalata Devi. His father was a notable nationalist and a leading member of the Oriya movement. He had two brothers and one sister. He completed his early education at the Mission Primary School and Mission Christ Collegiate of Cuttack. In 1927, he got into to the Ravenshaw University, where Netaji Subash Chandra Bose once studied. From his college days, he was a talented sportsman and headed the football, hockey, athletics and cricket team of the University. He was the sports champion for continuously three years. He discontinued his studies to take up training as a pilot at the Aeronautic Training Institute of India and the Delhi Flying Club. As a kid, he always was interested in flying. Thus, he became an eminent pilot and a navigator. Biju Patnaik joined the Indian National Airways and became a ace pilot. During 1940-42, when the struggle for independence was going on, he was the chief of the Air Transport Command. Patnaik now has two sons and a daughter. His elder son Prem is an industrialist and the younger son, Naveen is a famous politician and is also the Chief Minister of Orissa. His daughter, Gita Mehta is a well-known novelist and writes on the westernization of India. Biju Patnaik had an inborn love for his native state Orissa and inherited the qualities of heroism and bravery from his parents.

Succesful Project

He always tried to make Odisha a special position among the all state.His succesful project-Paradeep Port, HAL (Sunabeda), NTPC Talcher, Sukinda Paradeep Express Highway, Balimela Hydro Power Corporation,Hirakud Dam, NIT Rourkela(Previously Regional Engineering College), Sainik School, OUAT and many more..He also tried to develop small scale industries in odisha. So he established Kalinga Tubes, Kalinga airlines, Kalinga Iron Works, Kalinga News Paper.

Awards and Accolades

He was honored by the Indonesian government with the highest civilian honor ‘Bhumi Putra’. This recognition came to him owing to his bravery and heroic feats. In 1996, when Indonesia was celebrating its 50th Independence Day, Biju Patnaik was awarded the highest national award, the ‘Bintang Jasu Utama’.


Biju Patnaik died on 17th April 1997, due to a cardio-respiratory malfunction.


In Orissa, there are various institutions named after Biju. One of these institutes includes the Biju Patnaik University of Technology. The airport of Bhubaneswar is also named as Biju Patnaik Airport. Biju’s son Naveen Patnaik declared 5th March, his father’s birthday, as Panchayati Raj Divas. This day is an acknowledged holiday in Odisha.

1916: Born in Cuttack
1927: Studied at RavenshawUniversity
1940-42: Serves as Chief of the Air Transport Command
1941: Rescued British people when Japan occupied Myanmar
1943: Sent to the jail during Quit India Movement
1946: Elected to the Orissa Assembly
1952: Established the Kalinga Foundation Trust
1961-63: Became the Chief Minister of Orissa
1975: Is imprisoned
1977: Released from jail and elected as the member of the Lok Sabha
1977-79: Is made the Union Minister for Steel and Mines
1980: Became a member of the Lok Sabha
1990-95: Becomes the Chief Minister of Orissa
1996: Re-elected to the Lok Sabha
1997: Died of cardio-respiratory failure