New Delhi, Jan 11: The Indonesia Embassy at New Delhi Monday dedicated a room to former Odisha Chief Minister Biju Patnaik to commemorate his contributions to the freedom struggle of Indonesia.
Prem Patnaik, son of Biju Patnaik and brother of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, and Arun Patnaik, the nephew of the Chief Minister, took part in the opening ceremony along with Resident Commissioner Ravi Kant.
Prem Patnaik said that Indonesia was the second home of Biju Patnaik. “We are very very honoured that this room has been named after him,” said Prem Patnaik. According to the embassy offi-cials, the Biju Patnaik room will serve as a meeting room and lounge for the embassy’s staff. The room exhibits several pictures of Biju Patnaik from the time of his con-tribution to Indonesia’s freedom struggle.
“It’s going to be a meeting room. We will receive here guests. We will exhibit here pictures and other things related to Biju Patnaik. This room has many meanings. We will not turn this room into museum. This will be an active partof the em-bassy,” said SidhartoR Suryodipuro, the Ambassador of Indonesia.
While speaking about any fu-ture investment by Indonesia in Odisha, the Ambassador said, “Once the pandemic is over, we hope that we can participate in many other ways like in Bali Yatra. We hope that can serve as a bridge betweenOdisha and Indonesia”. It is to be mentioned here that when the Dutch attempted to quell Indonesian Independence July 21, 1947, President Sukarno ordered Sjahrir, the former prime minis-ter of Indonesia, to leave the coun-try to attend the first Inter-Asia Conference,
organised by Jawaharlal 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.
Then, Jawaharlal Nehru asked Biju babu, who was an expert pilot, to rescue Sjahrir. Biju Patnaik and his wife Gyan Patnaik flew to Java and brought Sultan Sjahrir on a Douglas C-47 (Dakota) military aircraft reaching India via Singapore July 24, 1947. Biju Patnaik was felicitated with BhcomiPutra award, the Indonesian award for his act of bravery In 1995, he was awarded with Bintang Jasa Utama, the highest nation award on the occasion of 50th Independence Day celebration of Indonesia.