(Image credit :istamp gallery)
The legendary personality Bijayananda Pattnaik (popularly known as Biju Babu ) was a popular freedom fighter , an adventurous aviator , a charismatic leader and an industrialist who is deprived of the honor and respect he truly deserves .
Biju Babu was born on 5th March ,1916 as the son of Mr Lakshminarayn Pattnaik and Mrs Ashalata Devi . After his early education he joined the Revenshaw University and was an excellent student and a sports champion . Later he discontinued the study and joined the Aeronautic Training Institute of India and The Delhi Flying Club where he trained himself to become a pilot . Later he joined the Indian National Airway and became an adventurous pilot .
His Role in Struggle for Independence of India
He first met Gandhijee during the ‘Khadi Tour’s in 1927 and was inspired to join the struggle for Independence . In 1942 he joined the Quit India movement under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi and became a prominent leader along with JayaPrakash Narayanan and Dr Ram Manhattan Lohiya . He was imprisoned for 2 years in 1943 . During the world war 2 he joined Royal India Air Force and rescued the British army from Myanmar during the attack from Japan .
Role in the freedom movement of Indonesia
Indonesia is culturally related to Kalinga (ancient Odisha ) , so its close to the heart of Biju Babu . Nehru had also good relations with the leaders of Indonesia . Nehru chose Biju Babu for one of the most adventurous task of the world to help Indonesia .
Indonesia was ruled by Dutch from 1816 to 1941 . Then it was occupied by Japan untill the twin atom bombs exploded and devastated Japan surrendered . Later on 17th Aug 1947 Indonesia declared Independence . Dr Sukarno was declared as the President and Dr Sjahrir as the Prime Minister .
But it was continuously attacked by Netherlands and the sea and air route was under the control of the Dutch again . As per the advice of Dr Sukarno Dr Sjahrir was hiding in Java and Indonesia was in need of highlighting the issue globally to seek the support of other countries including the United Nations Organization .
Biju Pattnaik flied to the Java island along with his wife and rescued Dr Sjahrir via Singapore scripting a most adventurous escape aviation .He reached India on 24th July 1947 .
For this achievement and courage Indonesia is indebted to Biju Babu and conferred their highest civilian award ‘Bhoomi Putra’ and also the ‘Bintang Jasa Utama ‘ award during 50th Independence day celebration .
Role in saving Kashmir
“If the airport was taken over by the enemy ,you are not to land .’ Thus was the clear instructions from Nehru . Biju Babu flew the aircraft low twice at the air strip before he confirmed that he was out of danger . He brought 17 soldiers of a regiment .
Role in Modern India
He was the chief minister of Odisha twice from 1961-1963 and 1990-1995 . He was also an union minister of steel and mines ,a member in both the houses of Parliament .He has so many contribution namely founding in the Orissa Aviation Centre , the Paradeep Port , the MIG factory at Sunabeda , the Thermal aplant at Talcher , the airport at Bhubaneswar ,the Choudwar -Barbil industrial corridor , numerous hydro electric project including the one at Balimela , numerous educational institutions including OUAT and engineering and medical college at Burla . He reorganized the districts for better administration and faster development .
He has founded the famous Kalinga Foundation Trust which awards the best scientific ideas across the world and given by UNESCO since 1952 .
What can we do for him ?
The ‘Kharvela’ of the modern Kalinga has earned respect and glory not only in Odisha but in the whole country and beyond it . His global stature and monumental achievement shows that the word ‘Impossible’ was really absent from his dictionary just like his ideal Napoleon .
It’s up to the people of this country to confer the highest civilian award ‘Bharat Ratna’ on him what could be the best tribute to the legend.