Famous Odia Personalities

Famous Odia Personalities

Biju Patnaik

Bijayananda Patnaik was an illustrious personality and was recognised for his heroic contributions, not only to India but also to Indonesia, Britain and Russia. He earned his fame as an Indian Politician, aviator, an aeronautical engineer, navigator, industrialist, an ace pilot, an anti-Britain freedom fighter and above all possessed a determined personality. In addition to this, he was elected as the Chief Minister of Odisha twice.

Patnaik was born on the 5th of March 1916 in Cuttack, Odisha, to Lakshmi Narayana Patnaik and Asha Lata Patnaik. He was educated at Ravenshaw College in Odisha, but due to his interest in aviation and aeronautics he decided to drop out and train as a pilot. At the beginning of WW2, Patnaik joined the RAF and then was entrusted with the role of the head of transport command.  While in service he developed an interest in politics and therefore used air force transports to deliver freedom struggle related literature to Indian troops. But he still fought the Axis Power.

He was soon unfortunately jailed by the British for delivering political leaflets to the Indian troops who were fighting under the command of the British command in Burma and flying on clandestine missions, that carried congress party leaders to secret meetings. He played an important role in India’s freedom. He is seen as ‘India’s Buccaneer’

Patnaik unfortunately died on the 17th of April 1997 in New Delhi, and to commemorate his death the prime minister of Odisha has decided to make his birthday(5th of March) Panchayat Raj Divas ( a holiday in the state of Odisha ). In addition to this, several institutes have also been named after him, to demonstrate what an important place he had maintained within society.

Patnaik has been awarded the highest civilian award of Indonesia, Bhumiputra and demands continue for him to be honoured with Bharat Ratna (India’s highest civilian award).

Gopabandhu Das

Gopabandhu Das Utkalamani (The jewel of Odisha), which he proved to be, was a social worker, reformer, political activist, poet and essayist.

Das was born on the 9th of October 1877in Suando Village and was welcomed into a wealthy family.  Das married Apti at the age of 12 as it was seen normal for marriages to begin early, but his marriage didn’t become a hinderance to his education. He had been provided with a decent amount of education before he moved on into Middle School. He then joined Puri Zilla School in 1893, but during this period he had been confronted with another hinderance, which was sadly his mother’s passing.

Das’s first job was a teacher in Balasore, which is a district in Odisha. His interest in politics took him onto being a politician. He was then appointed the role of State leader of Odisha. When he was appointed State leader a lot changed- he restored the regions right to manufacture salt without incurring excise duty, he also supported people during the famine and floods in Odisha, just to name a few.

He was one of the most illustrious and selfless leaders of his time, that continue to set example for generations. He unfortunately became ill while attending a meeting in Lahore and sadly passed away on the 17th of June 1928. But because of an important role that he played in Odisha, his death is commemorated annually.

Madhusudan Das

Madhusan Das was the first graduate and advocate of Odisha. Madhusan was born in the oriental village of Satyabhampur, which is fairly close to Cuttack in Odisha, on the 28th of April 1884. He is an amalgamation of many heroic acts. He is often known as Kulabruddah meaning Grand Old Man, which he truly is, as demonstrated in his contributions. He is also referred to Utkala Gaurav- meaning Pride of Utkala (meaning Odisha). He was also a poet and an anti-Britain freedom fighter. He worked for the social, political and economical upliftment for the people of Odisha. He also was a man of many talents: lawyer, journalist, entrepreneur, politician and social reformer.

His contributions to literature was due to his fluency in Odia, English and Bengali. He wrote many poems and would translate them from Odia to English and vice versa. As an entrepreneur, he established Utkal tannery, with which he set new standards in quality production. But he unfortunately passed away on the 4th of February 1934.


Miss Anusreya Kar

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  • Ambika Prasada Kanungo Reply

    The articles are very nice. Thanks to Odia society in the UK. Requesting the members of the society to write about the opportunities in the field of higher education and employment for youths of Odisha.

    July 23, 2021 at 6:02 am

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