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  India   All India  06 Mar 2020  PM Modi cites IB letter, pays tribute to Biju Patnaik

PM Modi cites IB letter, pays tribute to Biju Patnaik

THE ASIAN AGE. | AKSHAYA KUMAR SAHOO
Published : Mar 6, 2020, 3:31 am IST
Updated : Mar 6, 2020, 3:31 am IST

The letter showed a glimpse of Biju Babu’s courage when he surreptitiously flew Ram Manohar Lohia (who was then underground) from Delhi to Calcutta.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: PTI)
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: PTI)

Bhubaneswar: As Odisha on Thursday observed the 104th birth anniversary of former chief minister late Biju Patnaik in a grand way, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to social media to remember the legendary statesman with a ‘classified’ document which showed a glimpse of his courage and excellence.

Prime Minister Modi tweeted a letter of the Intelligence Bureau dated September 27, 1945 noting that Biju Babu (Biju Patnaik) worked tirelessly for India’s progress and pioneered the development of Odisha.

 

The document of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) stated how its deputy director (A), G. Ahmed vouched to bring back Biju Patnaik into Indian National Airways because of his magnificent flying skills.

The letter showed a glimpse of Biju Babu’s courage when he surreptitiously flew Ram Manohar Lohia (who was then underground) from Delhi to Calcutta.

The IB letter mentioned: “It can be argued that Patnaik may still be a danger so long as conditions on our eastern border do not return to normal — but that would be to state a hypothetical risk. In the circumstances we do not feel that we can urge, on strong security grounds, that Patnaik should be prevented from flying."

 

“Flying is Patnaik’s normal way of making a living and we should prefer to see him employed rather than idle,” IB deputy director G. Ahmed wrote in the letter.

He added that “The Indian National Airways (INA) can be persuaded through Mr Cambridge, the Managing Director not to take Patnaik back. But if the INA do not re-employ him, Tatas probably will, because he is an excellent pilot.”

Born on March 5, 1916 at Odisha’s Cuttack city, Biju Patnaik was a top pilot. He played crucial role in the country’s freedom struggle. During the war with China, he flew cargo planes to some high-sensitive border areas which other piolots feared to venture. Besides, he also played an active role in Indonesia’s freedom struggle.

 

Patnaik also served as defence adviser to former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The towering leader, who was also an established industrialist, also served as chief minister of Odisha twice - first from June 23, 1961 to October 2, 1963 and second from March 5, 1990 to March 15, 1995.

The great leader was known for establishing village industries, bringing sweeping reforms in the three-tier panchayati raj system. He amended gram panchayat law to give 33 per cent reservation to women.

Tags: narendra modi, biju patnaik