Bhubaneswar: The eldest daughter of writer Kalindi Charan Panigrahi and niece of Odisha’s firebrand communist leader Bhagabati Charan Panigrahi, Nandini Satpathy as a woman in politics and literature finds few parallels in contemporary times.
On his 90th Birth Anniversary, Odisha Bytes brings to you some unknown facts about the ‘Iron Lady of Odisha’.
- Nandini Satpathy was born on June 9, 1931, and grew up in Pithapur, Cuttack district.
- She studied and completed her Masters in Odia literature from the erstwhile Ravenshaw College.
- In 1951, she was imprisoned. In jail, she met activist Devendra Satpathy whom she later married.
- Nandini Satpathy entered the Rajya Sabha in 1962 at the age of 31.
- After Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister in 1966, she appointed Nandini Satpathy as the Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting and later as Minister.
- Nandini was known to be Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s right hand.
- Nandini returned to Odisha in 1972, because of vacancies created by Biju Patnaik and others departing from the Congress party. She was then entrusted with the charge of Congress-led government.
- She was the first woman Chief Minister of Odisha and the second woman to become Chief Minister in independent India. She served in the post from June 1972 to December 1976.
- She has translated Taslima Nasreen’s novel Lajja into Odia. It was a major literary work, which earned his critical acclaim.
- She also authored the book ‘Uttara Purusha’. Her literary works have been translated and published into other languages. For her contribution to Odia literature, she had received the Sahitya Bharati Samman Award in 1998.