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.
Women empowerment is one of the most important words of the present times. It is not a mere phrase but it rather represents a movement, which has been pending for the longest time. However, many have a misconception that educating women, “letting” them work, etc. is all that women empowerment is all about. However, the concept of women empowerment is more of an umbrella term. It intends to involve society as a whole, including men.
We always encourage and applaud a woman who successfully balances both work life and her household. But won’t it be easy for that woman if the load of the work is shared? We see that in our society a woman’s primary role is seen as that of a homemaker. At the same time, her personal likes, aspirations, and dreams are forced to be put on the backburner because of the undue expectation that she has to single handedly manage the household while balancing her career. To give credit where it is due, the times are changing. Men and women of the house are increasingly sharing the workload. However, one can also not turn a blind to the fact that a lot more still needs to be done.
Driving home the same concept, popular brand Ariel has come up with brilliant communication.
The video shows a mother speaking to her married daughter over the phone, all whilst cleaning the mess her son has created. She is absolutely heartbroken when her daughter says that she plans to quit her job since juggling both a demanding job and her household has become too overwhelming. It is during this time that she realises that while she and her husband as parents left no stone unturned to give an all-round upbringing to their daughter, they somewhere forgot to teach their son some basic life skills like cooking and doing laundry so that they grow out to be equally responsible in doing household chores. This is not a story of just one family, but of families across the country. These are some things which everyone must know, not for any other reason, but simply because these are basic tasks which are absolutely essential to survive. And, they make you capable to be equal partners tomorrow!
As Ariel raises an important question-is household work only a woman’s job? We need to ask ourselves the same question. A recent study revealed that the unpaid work done by women around the world amounted to 43 times the annual turnover of Apple Inc. It is high time we share the load and change the narrative that household work is the “duty” of a woman. As the video shows, contributing to the household work is not only a daughter’s work, but the son must contribute his bit too. It is also important for the parents to instil a sense of responsibility in their children, irrespective of their gender so that at any juncture of their lives, they are not completely dependent on another person for basic tasks like these. Ariel has been consistently driving this message and addressing the inequality within households since 2015. The Logical Indian applauds Ariel for coming up with such a brilliant video for depicting such an important concept.