The Chief Minister’s Daring Act Of Rescuing Indonesia’s Prime Minister

Al Arafat Sherfuddeen

April 21st, 2016 / 5:09 PM

Image Courtesy: udayindia | ytimg

Biju Patnaik was a two time Chief Minister of Odisha, he was much known for his fearlessness. He was part of the Royal Indian Air Force, he also owned an airlines named Kalinga Airlines. However, history remembers him for his daring act of saving Indonesian Prime Minister Sjahrir who was under house arrest by the Dutch occupation in 1947. His political career was a stellar one with remarkable leadership and humility showcased by him.


Early Life

Biju Patnaik was born on 5 March 1916 to Lakshminarayan and Ashalata Patnaik. His interest in aviation forced him to get dropped out of college and he got trained as a pilot. Patnaik joined the Royal Indian Air Force and became the head of air transport command.  Shortly after independence Pakistani tribesmen invaded Kashmir and at Nehru’s request he helped airlift the first Indian soldiers into Srinagar. But that was not the only rescue act Mr Patnaik did.

The rescue of Indonesian Prime Minister

Nehru asked Biju Patnaik, who was adventurous and an expert pilot, to rescue Sjahrir from Indonesia, Sjahrir was the then the Indonesian PM who was put in house arrest by the Dutch. The Dutch went back on their word of granting Independence to Indonesia. Nehru considered Indonesia’s freedom struggle similar to that of India and hence he asked Biju Patnaik to rescue Sjahrir. President Sukarno ordered Sjahrir, the former prime minister of Indonesia, to leave the country to attend the first Inter-Asia Conference, organised by Nehru, in July 1947 and to foment international public opinion against the Dutch. Sjahrir was unable to leave as the Dutch controlled the Indonesian sea and air routes. Biju Patnaik and his wife flew to Java and brought Sultan Sjahrir out on Dakota and reached India via Singapore on 24 July 1947. For this act of bravery, Patnaik was given honorary citizenship in Indonesia and awarded the ‘Bhoomi Putra’, the highest Indonesian award,  an honor rarely granted to a foreigner. In 1996, when Indonesia was celebrating its 50th Independence Day, Biju Patnaik was awarded the highest national award, the ‘Bintang Jasa Utama’
Biju Patnaik was a two-time Chief Minister and he was one of the Chief Ministers who resigned in response to the ‘Kamaraj Plan’ (where Kamraj had advised all top level leaders to resign and reach out to people to re-vitalize the congress). The then Indian Prime Minister would often seek Mr Patnaik’s advise during war like situation (1962 Indo-Sino war).
 

Kalinga Airlines

Kalinga Airlines was a private airline founded in 1947 by Biju Patnaik who was also the airline’s chief pilot. The airline was nationalized and merged into Indian Airlines in 1953. It restarted operations as a non-scheduled charter operator in 1957 and flew passengers and cargo until 1972. Notably, On September 15, 1952, a Kalinga Airlines Douglas Dakota cargo flight crashed in Wadi HalfaSudan killing three crew members aboard.

Contributors

Edited by :

Share your thoughts..

Related Stories

Power loom workers

Jobless Due To GST, 40,000 Odia Workers In Surat Write To Odisha CM Asking For Help

Kamala Pujari

For The First Time, Tribal Woman Becomes Member Of Odisha State Planning Board

BJP Kerala President Shares Video Of CPI(M) Allegedly Celebrating RSS Worker’s Death, Faces Police Action

22 Dead And Hundreds Injured In Bhubaneswar Hospital Fire

At Least 22 Dead And Hundreds Injured After Massive Fire Broke Out In Bhubaneswar Hospital

Past Story: How Sikkim Ended Monarchy & Became Part Of India

Gurdip Singh

Sushma Swaraj In Action: Indonesia Cancels Gurdip Singh’s Execution

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

Maharashtra: Farmers Receive Recovery Notices For Rs 40-50 Lakh Loan Each Which They Never Took

News

With The Killing Of Two Sadhus, Violence Erupted In UP’s Auraiya; Two Policemen Suspended

Environment

This Top Level Drug Scientist Left His High Profile Job In US To Promote Organic Farming In His Village

News

Gauri Lankesh Murder Suspect Confesses To Involvement In Kalburgi Murder Plot

My Story

My Story: “I Was In Deep Sleep When I Felt Weird Sensation,”This Brave Girl Has Message For Those Who Have Suffered Abuse

News

Two Kids Break Piggy Banks To Donate Entire Money For Kerala Relief Fund

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.