The Centre has recently taken a decision to confer National Cultural Icon status on 11 eminent personalities of India, including late Biju Patnaik, former CM of Odisha. Names of seven icons have already been announced, while four others will be announced shortly.
Apart from Biju Patnaik, Jana Sangh leader Deendayal Upadhyay, Hindi writer Bhisham Sahni, freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai, Maharana Pratap, 1857 rebellion hero Tantya Tope and Naga spiritual leader Rani Gaidinliu have been featured in the prestigious list.
The Centre has decided to commemorate the birthdays of these icons at the national level in 2015 and 2016. Since Bjiu Patnaik’s birthday was recently celebrated on March 5, he would get the honour from next year (2016).