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Nandini Satpathy

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Title: Nandini Satpathy  
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Subject: Congress for Democracy, National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research, Premiership of Morarji Desai, Indian general election, 1977, Janaki Ballabh Patnaik
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Nandini Satpathy

Nandini Satpathy
ନନ୍ଦିନୀ ଶତପଥି
Chief Minister of Odisha
In office
6 March 1973 – 16 December 1976
Preceded by President's rule
Succeeded by President's rule
In office
14 June 1972 – 3 March 1973 [1]
Preceded by Biswanath Das
Succeeded by President's rule
Personal details
Born (1931-06-09)9 June 1931
Cuttack, Odisha
Died 4 August 2006(2006-08-04) (aged 75)
Political party Indian National Congress
Spouse(s) Debendra Satpathy
Children (Suparno Satpathy)(Tathagata Satapathy)
Religion Hindu

Nandini Satpathy (Oriya: ନନ୍ଦିନୀ ଶତପଥି; 9 June 1931 – 4 August 2006) was an Indian politician and author. She was the Chief Minister of Odisha from June 1972 to December 1976.

Early life

Satpathy was born on 9 June 1931 and grew up in Pithapur, Cuttack, India. She was the eldest daughter of Kalindi Charan Panigrahi; Satpathy's uncle Bhagavati Charan Panigrahi founded the Odisha branch of the Communist Party of India.

Political career

While at Ravenshaw College pursuing her Master of Arts in Oriya, she became involved with the Communist Party's student wing, the Student Federation. In 1951, a student protest movement began in Odisha; it demonstrated against rising college education costs, which later became a national youth movement. Satpathy was a leader in this movement, and a police lathi charge was used against one protest she was in. She was jailed, like many others; while there, she met Devendra Satpathy, another Student Federation member and the man whom she later married. (He was later elected for two terms as the lower house member of parliament from Dhenkanal.

In 1962, the Congress party was dominant in Odisha; the Odisha State Legislative Assembly of 140 members had over 80 from the Congress party. At a national level, there was a movement to have more women representatives in the Indian Parliament. The Assembly elected Satpathy (then president of the Women's Forum) to the upper house of India's Parliament, where she served two terms. After Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister of India in 1966, Satpathy became a Minister attached to the Prime Minister, with her specific portfolio being the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Satpathy returned to Odisha in 1972, due to vacancies caused by Biju Patnaik and others departing from the Congress party, and became the Chief Minister of Odisha.[2] During the Emergency of 25 June 1975 – 21 March 1977, she imprisoned a number of notable individuals, including Nabakrusna Choudhuri and Rama Devi; however, Odisha had the least number of prominent individuals jailed during the Emergency, and Satpathy otherwise attempted to resist Indira Gandhi's policies during the Emergency.[3] Satpathy left office in December 1976.[2] During the general election in 1977, she was part of a group of protesters led by Jagjivan Ram, which became the Congress for Democracy party.

Satpathy returned to the Congress party in 1989, at the request of Rajiv Gandhi. The Congress party was unpopular in Odisha as a whole, due to its prior 15-year rule there (primarily under Janaki Ballabh Patnaik as Chief Minister). She was elected as a member of the State Legislative Assembly from Gondia and remained in the Assembly until 2000, when she decided to retire from politics; she did not contest the 2000 elections. She was not influential in and was critical of the Odisha branch of the Congress party.

Court Case

In 1977, Satpathy was accused of corruption and a police investigation started into possible violations of the Prevention of Corruption Act in force at that time. During the investigation, she was interrogated on a number of questions in written form. She refused to answer any questions; her attorney argued that Article 20 (3) of the Indian Constitution protected her against forced self-incrimination. The court agreed, strengthening the rights of the accused with a recognition of the right to a lawyer and the right against self-incrimination; it moreover held that women have the right to be questioned at their homes in the presence of male relatives, have the right to be brought to the police station only after a formal arrest, and have the right to be searched only by other women.[4] Over the next 15 years, Satpathy won all of the cases against her.

Literary career

Satpathy was a writer in the Oriya language; her work has been translated and published into a number of other languages. She received the 1998 Sahitya Bharati Samman Award for her contributions to Oriya literature.[5][6] Her last major literary work was translating Taslima Nasreen's Lajja into Oriya.[7]


She died on 4 August 2006 at her home in Bhubaneswar.[8]

Smt. Nandini Satpathy Memorial Trust (SNSMT)

In 2006 a social cause organisation, the Smt. Nandini Satpathy Memorial Trust (SNSMT), was established in her memory. It is one of the leading organisation of Odisha albeit India.


Her younger out of the two sons Tathagata Satpathy is a Biju Janata Dal politician and the editor of a daily newspaper - Dharitri.[9][10][11] Her eldest of the four grandsons Suparno Satpathy is a noted socio-political leader and the chairman of SNSMT. He held the office of Convenor PMYSA-Orissa, MoPR, Govt. of India from year 2007 till year 2012.He was also the member of the Indian National Congress party's flagship committee in Orissa. In March 2014 he resigned from the Congress party and joined the regional political outfit Aama Odisha Party (AOP). He unsuccessfully contested the 2014 general election for the MP of Dhenkanal in the 16th Lok Sabha on an AOP ticket against his own uncle Tathagata Satpathy.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21]


9 June, the birthday of late Smt. Nandini Satpathy, has been installed as National Daughters' Day- Nandini Diwas. Nandini and Diwas are two Sanskrit words which mean daughter and day, respectively.


  1. ^ "Brief History of Odisha Legislative Assembly Since 1937". 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2012. NAME OF THE CHIEF MINISTERS OF Odisha 
  2. ^ a b "Number 13 is lucky for Mamata Banerjee".  
  3. ^ "The 'Iron lady' of Odisha politics |". 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2012. Satpathy's differences with the party high command widened as she criticised the Emergency 
  4. ^ Nandini Satpathy v. PL Dani, (1978) 2 SCC 424
  5. ^ "Spotlight". Tribune India. 9 February 1999. Retrieved 10 May 2012. Eminent writer and former Chief Minister Nandini Satpathy has won the prestigious Sahitya Bharati Samman Award, 1998, for her outstanding contribution to Oriya literature 
  6. ^ "StreeShakti – The Parallel Force". 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012. she was awarded the Sahitya Bharati Samman for her contributions to Oriya literature 
  7. ^ Sahu, Nandini (14 October 2007). "The Position of Women in Oriya Literature". Retrieved 10 May 2012. Her last major work was the translation of Taslima Nasreen's 'Lajja' into Oriya 
  8. ^ "Nandini Satpathy". 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012. Smt. Nandini Satpathy died of an illness on 4th August 2006 at her residence in Bhubaneswar. 
  9. ^ "Biographical Sketch of Member of 12th Lok Sabha". 2001. Retrieved 10 May 2012. Election Result of Dhenkanal Lok Sabha Constituency 
  10. ^ "Tathagata Satpathy(BJD):Constituency- Dhenkanal(ORISSA) – Affidavit Information of Candidate". 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012. Tathagata Satpathy – BJD – Dhenkanal (ORISSA) 
  11. ^ "Oriya News Paper Dharitri | Dharitri Newspaper | Dharitri ePaper | Chhutidina". 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012. This oriya paper first started by late Nandini Satpathy and now running by her son Sri Tathagata Satapathy 
  12. ^ "Smt. Nandini Satpathy Memorial Trust (SNSMT)". Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "Shri. Suparno Satpathy and Dr. Manmohan Singh". 
  14. ^ "Shri. Suparno Satpathy at Raijharana, Angul". 
  15. ^ "CTL Plant news". Times of India. 2011-06-06. 
  16. ^ "Coal To Liquid (CTL) plant News". Times of India. 2011-05-28. 
  17. ^ "Pollution News of Dhenkanal & Angul". Times of India. 2010-07-25. 
  18. ^ "2011 Durban Climate meet". Orissa Barta. 2011. 
  19. ^ "Global Youth Leadership Award −2009". 2009. 
  20. ^ "National Commission for Women(NCW)". 2012-02-03. 
  21. ^ "Suparno on LARR Bill 2011 in Parliament of India". Pioneer News paper. 
  • "Smt. Nandini Satpathy Memorial Trust (SNSMT)". Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  • "Nandini Diwas'12". Orissa Diary. 

External links

  • Smt. Nandini Satpathy Memorial Trust (SNSMT)
  • Notable personalities of Odisha as per the Govt. of Odisha official web site
Political offices
Preceded by
Biswanath Das (1st term)
Chief Minister of Odisha
14 June 1972 to 3 March 1973 (1st term)
6 March 1973 to 16 December 1976 (2nd term)
Succeeded by
Binayak Acharya (2nd term)
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