Remembering Biju Babu: His Legacy Endures

His birthday is observed as ‘Panchayati Raj Diwas’ in the state. 

Odisha is celebrating the 108th birth anniversary of the legendary leader Biju Patnaik or Bijayananda Patnaik today. His birthday is observed as ‘Panchayati Raj Diwas’ in the state.

Throughout his life, Biju Patnaik was a guy who wore many hats. He was an aviator, a hero, and a nation-savior, having been instrumental in both Indonesia’s fight for freedom and India’s fights for independence. In addition, he held the position of Chief Minister, having led Odisha twice, from 1990 to 1995 and from 1961 to 1963. It’s almost as if there aren’t enough tags to give this maverick. Biju Babu was the dynamic hero of our country.

Biju Patnaik was an aviator who was passionate about flying. At the tender age of 18, he obtained his pilot’s licence and developed into a proficient pilot, performing several audacious rescue operations throughout World War II. Later, he was instrumental in the battle for Indonesian independence, assisting in the safe passage of leaders as Sukarno and Hatta as they fought against Dutch colonial control.

He was a hero of India’s fight for freedom. He was an outspoken critic of British colonial rule and actively supported the Quit India Movement, which sought to remove British rule from India. Despite many arrests stemming from his involvement in the campaign, he remained steadfast in his support of Indian independence.

The social services made by Biju Patnaik persisted long after India attained independence. He was Odisha’s chief minister twice, from 1990 to 1995 and from 1961 to 1963. Biju Patnaik concentrated on establishing programmes to aid the impoverished and enhancing the state’s infrastructure while serving as Chief Minister.

As Chief Minister, Biju Patnaik made significant accomplishments, one of which was his emphasis on enhancing connectivity throughout the state. Millions of people in the area are served by the Hirakud Dam, one of the longest dams in the world, which he oversaw the building of numerous significant infrastructure projects, including irrigation and power. Along with linking rural settlements to the rest of the state, he constructed a network of roads and bridges that gave formerly isolated people access to the economy.

Apart from his infrastructural initiatives, Biju Patnaik advocated for healthcare and education. He started a number of projects to raise the state’s educational standards.

Patnaik also revived the old Kalinga Bali Yatra in 1992, to find out the old trade route between Indonesia and Odisha. The sailboat INSV-SAMUDRA began its journey from  Paradeep in 1992 and reached Bali in 1993.

The legacy of Biju Patnaik endures throughout Odisha and beyond. He was a visionary leader who recognised that long-term progress and prosperity could only be achieved via investments in social welfare and infrastructure. Generations of people are still motivated to fight towards a brighter future for everyone by his contributions to society.


Biju BabuBiju JayantiBiju PatnaikOdisha