Remembering The 'Maverick ' Statesman, Biju Patnaik, On His 105th Birth Anniversary

  • | Saturday | 6th March, 2021


On Friday Odisha remembers the 150th birth anniversary of the legendary leader  Biju Patnaik who always lived his life in the most unconventional manner leaving a trail of daredevilry. Be in politics or outside it`s ambit he was a cut above the rest.

Fondly addressed as a `maverick` politician by his critics, Biju babu was much taller than a mere politician who always considered a risk as an unavoidable professional hazard yet he raced on his career graph as a daredevil.

Sitting on an armchair in the patio of his modest residence, overlooking the airport, Biju Patnaik had an obsession to focus his attention on Kendrapara which he had made his `Karma Bhoomi that gave him glorious victories and shocking failures sometimes. 

Nevertheless, he had knitted dreams of taking Kendrapara high and higher as a  sound hub of economy and politics as well. But many of his dreams remained unfulfilled such as jacking up the area as an industrial base for the people he was in love with. 

A Great Dreamer 

As his son and as the chief minister, Naveen Patnaik has gifted his legendary father best by signing an MOU with the Steel major Arcelor Mittal Nippon Steel for setting up a 12 MTPA integrated steel plant in Kendrapara. 

Biju babu can be remembered as the Godfather of Industrial promotions in Odisha right from Paradeep Port to 
transforming the parched bosom of Kalinga Nagar in the Jajpur district, into an industrial destination. 

Cut Above The Rest 

Biju babu was known for his unconventional way of doing things and this pursuit of decades had, perhaps,  taught him that, there is no greater victory than being with the masses. Which ultimately made him a mass leader than being a mere politician. His visions, besides the state subjects, were far more visionary in essence. He was the man who tried to make economic criteria as the touchstone of preference for backwardness, not mere cast.

He was way ahead in his thoughts to speak for the creation of India as loose federalism and it was he, who weaved the concept for fiscal autonomy for the states in the country. 

Surprisingly Outspoken

He was astonishingly outspoken as a person who never chose hypocrisy as a tool in life to manipulate and also, he always believed that, power by force was never worthy of his personality. Neither he ever ran agog in victory nor he shown the impulses of defeat. When he lost elections, he was only stoic in all his traits. 

From several interactions with the legendary man, this author could realise that Biju Patnaik had a great irritation towards any subtlety of mean maneuvers to be in power. 

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