Biju Patnaik: A Perspective in Nation-Building

AuthorManaswini Pradhan,Satya Prakash Dash
Date01 December 2021
Published date01 December 2021
Subject MatterNote
Biju Patnaik:
A Perspective in
Satya Prakash Dash1 and Manaswini Pradhan2
The Background
Biju Patnaik, an indomitable personality in Indian politics, shaped the political
course from the days of freedom struggle. He was a close associate of Nehru, who
called him the ‘Indian buccaneer’. He shaped the opposition politics with the
formation of the Janata Party in 1977 and steered the non-Congress political
movement since then. The Note delineates some of the achievements and contri-
butions of Biju Patnaik during the contemporary period.
Rarely a leader emerges among the masses, who on account of their incom-
parable contribution leaves an indelible mark on the local, state, national and
international level. A leader who had hardly remained in power for a decade, as
the Chief Minister of Odisha state (1961–1963 & 1990–1995) and as a Union
Minister (1977–1980) but had a tremendous influence and aura in national politi-
cal dynamics, simply because of his daredevil, and more importantly a do-or-die,
attitude. Biju Patnaik was associated with the freedom struggle of not only India
but also Indonesia. He was closely associated with all the political luminaries of
India until his death on 17 April 1997. It is a strange coincidence that both Netaji
Subash Chandra Bose and Biju Patnaik were born in Cuttack City, and both had
very similar natural traits and sense of immense patriotism and love for the nation.
His personality was such that no one ever dared to speak up in front of him. ‘He
is addicted to authoritarian methods and will stop at nothing in his pursuit of
power. He won repute in Congress, by retrieving the party’s fortunes in the 1961
mid-term elections in Orissa’ (Hangen, 1963, p. 100). He instituted the interna-
tional UNESCO Kalinga Award for the Popularization of Science in 1951, which
is being awarded since then for exceptional skill in presenting scientific ideas to
lay people.
Indian Journal of Public
67(4) 652–665, 2021
© 2021 IIPA
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/00195561211056423
1 Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Sambalpur University, Odisha, India.
2 Assistant Professor, Department of ICT, Fakir Mohan University, Balasore, Odisha, India.
Corresponding author:
Satya Prakash Dash, Head, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Sambalpur
University, Jyoti Vihar, Burla 768019, Odisha, India.

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