BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to add colour to Biju Patnaik's birth centenary celebration, the legendary leader's son and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today requested the Centre to organise air shows by the Indian Air Force personnel in the state.
"This will not only provide a rare opportunity to the people of Odisha to witness the grand spectacle, but will also inspire the youths of the state to join the Indian Air Force," Patnaik wrote to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
The Odisha government is undertaking an year-long celebration starting from March 5, to make the birth centenary year of the ex-chief minister Late Biju Patnaik.
"As you may be aware, late Biju Patnaik was an aviator par excellence, known for his daring display of courage in evacuating stranded Britishers in Burma to safety during the second World War," Patnaik mentioned in the letter.
Biju Patnaik also made a daring flight to Indonesia in 1948 for rescuing two key Indonesian Independence leaders from a remote hideout and flew them to India, eluding the Dutch colonial rulers, he said.
These daring missions which Biju Patnaik undertook, first with the RIAF and later with Indian National Airways, earned him the sobriquet of "Daredevil", Patnaik said.
"The stories of his (Biju) adventurous life still continue to inspire the youth of Odisha," Patnaik said.
In context of the birth centenary of Late Biju Patnaik, the Indian Air Force is requested to display Surya Kiran AT, Sarang and Akash Ganga performance in December 2016 over the vast stretch of Kathjodi river bed at Cuttack, the birth place of the legendary leader, Patnaik said.
"Surya Kiran AT and Akash Ganga performance had been conducted by the Indian Air Force in January 2010 at the same spot during National Youth Festival which was witnessed by about three lakh people of the twin city of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. All logistic support for these air shows will be provided by the state government," the chief minister said.