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.
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 Sukarnoordered 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 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 Halfa, Sudan killing three crew members aboard.
“Researchers Find 12,000 Pieces Of Microplastic Per Litre Of Arctic Ice”
“80-Kg Polythene Waste Removed From Cow’s Stomach After A Three-Hour Surgery”
“Pacific Garbage Patch Is Now Three Times The Size Of France”
These are a few news headlines from the past couple of months. No matter how much we try to deny it, over the course of time, plastic has become a part and parcel of our lives and it is destroying the environment and also endangering lives of animals.
While we have been made to believe that plastic is an indispensable part of our lives, it is destroying everything around us. According to UN Environment, about one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute around the world. Also, up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year. This means that almost half of the plastic created in the world is thrown away after a single-use.
All this plastic now ends up either in landfills or in the ocean. The marine life is heavily endangered because of plastic. Reports of aquatic animals dying of plastic pollution are increasing every day. A study from 2015 found around 44,000 incidences of animals getting entangled in plastic debris since 1960s. Plastic, that disintegrates into smaller pieces, are often eaten by smaller fish, which the ultimately ends up in our stomach. That is carcinogenic for human beings.
It is in this context that Indiabulls Home Loans has decided to do its bit and contribute to a plastic free environment. Setting the tone in its own offices, the company has decided to do away with single-use plastic bags and bottles at work.
As a special Independence Day initiatives, they have come up with a beautiful video #PlasticSeAzaadi. In the video, set against the backdrop of an Independence Day celebration at school children discuss the demerits of plastic use and how it is detrimental to the environment.
As with many important matters in life, it is children who recognize the right path and set the example. If they can, then why it is that adult can’t?
The Logical Indian appreciates Indiabulls Home Loansfor such a noble and necessary initiative to make our world a better place. We might not realize now, but the effects of excessive plastic could lead to ultimate destruction of Earth. We are ready to give up plastic, are you?