Nandini Satpathy
ନନ୍ଦିନୀ ଶତପଥୀ
Nanini Satpathy
8th Chief Minister of Odisha
In office
6 March 1973 – 16 December 1976
Preceded byPresident's rule
Succeeded byPresident's rule
In office
14 June 1972 – 3 March 1973 [1]
Preceded byBishwanath Das
Succeeded byPresident's rule
Personal details
Born(1931-06-09)9 June 1931
Cuttack, Orissa, British India
Died4 August 2006(2006-08-04) (aged 75)
Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
Political partyIndian National Congress
SpouseDevendra Satpathy
ChildrenNachiketa Satpathy
Tathagata Satpathy
Suparno Satpathy

Nandini Satpathy (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

Nandini Satpathy nee Panigrahi was born on 9 June 1931 to Kalindi Charan Panigrahi and Ratnamani Panigrahi in a Brahmin Family of Coastal Puri but grew up in Pithapur, Cuttack, India.[2] Satpathy's uncle Bhagavati Charan Panigrahi founded the Odisha branch of the Communist Party of India. He was a close associate of Netaji SC Bose.

Political career

In 1939, at the age of eight, she was mercilessly beaten up by British Police for pulling down the Union Jack and for pasting hand written anti-British Raj posters on the walls of Cuttack. The same was widely discussed at that time and it had worked as pouring fuel on fire for the struggle of Freedom of India from British Raj.

While at Ravenshaw College pursuing her Master of Arts in Odia, she got involved with the Communist Party's student wing, the Student Federation. In 1951, a student protest movement began in Odisha against rising college education costs, it later turned into a national youth movement. Nandini was a leader of this movement. The police force attacked the protestors and Nandini Satpathy was severely injured in the same. She was jailed, along with many others. In the jail she met Devendra Satpathy, another Student Federation member and the man who she later married.

In 1962, the Congress party was dominant in Orissa; the Orissa 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 Nandini 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,[clarification needed] 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.[3] 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 fewest prominent individuals jailed during the Emergency, and Satpathy otherwise attempted to resist Indira Gandhi's policies during the Emergency.[4] Satpathy left office in December 1976.[3] During the general election in 1977, she was part of a group of protesters led by Jagjivan Ram, which became the Congress for Democracy (CFD) party. CFD merged with Janata Party in May 1977. Nandini Satpathy was elected to Orissa Vidhan Sabha from Dhenkanal in June 1977.[5] In 1980, she won that seat as Congress (Urs) candidate, and in 1985 as an independent. In 1990, her son Tathagata Satpathy won Dhenkanal assembly seat as Janata Dal candidate.

Nandini Satpathy returned to the Congress party in 1989, on the request of Rajiv Gandhi. The Congress party was unpopular in Odisha as a whole, due to its two term miss rule (primarily under Janaki Ballabh Patnaik as Chief Minister). She was elected as a member of the State Legislative Assembly from Gondia, Dhenkanal[6] 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.[7] Over the next 18 years, Satpathy won all of the cases against her.

Literary career

Satpathy was a writer in the Odia 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 Odia literature.[8][9] Her last major literary work was translating Taslima Nasreen's Lajja into Odia.[10]


She died on 4 August 2006 at her home in Bhubaneswar.[11]

Srimati Nandini Satpathy Memorial Trust (SNSMT)

In 2006 a social cause organisation, the Srimati Nandini Satpathy Memorial Trust (SNSMT), was established in her memory. It is one of the leading social cause organisations of Odisha albeit India. Shri. Suparno Satpathy heads SNSMT as Chairman.


Her younger out of the two sons Tathagata Satpathy was a 4 time Member of Parliament from Biju Janata Dal and the editor of daily newspapers — Dharitri and OrissaPOST.[12][13][14]

Her eldest grandson Suparno Satpathy is a noted socio-political leader, Chairman SNSMT and Cidevant Convenor PMSA-Odisha, Govt. of India.


9 June, the birthday of late Smt. Nandini Satpathy, has been declared as National Daughters' Day – Nandini Diwas. Nandini and Diwas are two Sanskrit words which means daughter and day, respectively.[15]

1st National Daughters day (Nandini Diwas) was celebrated in 2007 and Governor of Odisha was the chief guest in the event.

7th National Daughters day (Nandini Diwas) was celebrated in 2013 and Governor of Rajasthan was the Chief guest in the event.[16]


  1. ^ "Brief History of Odisha Legislative Assembly Since 1937". 2011. Archived from the original on 9 January 2007. Retrieved 2 July 2012. NAME OF THE CHIEF MINISTERS OF Odisha
  2. ^ Cultural Heritage of [Orissa]: Dhenkanal. State Level Vyasakabi Fakir Mohan Smruti Samsad. 2002. ISBN 978-81-902761-5-3.
  3. ^ a b "Number 13 is lucky for Mamata Banerjee". NDTV. 14 May 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  4. ^ "The 'Iron lady' of Odisha politics |". 2012. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2012. Satpathy's differences with the party high command widened as she criticised the Emergency
  5. ^ "Orissa Assembly Election Results in 1977".
  6. ^ "Public Representatives | Dhenkanal District : Odisha | India".
  7. ^ Nandini Satpathy v. PL Dani, (1978) 2 SCC 424
  8. ^ "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 Odia literature
  9. ^ "StreeShakti – The Parallel Force". 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012. she was awarded the Sahitya Bharati Samman for her contributions to Oriya literature
  10. ^ Sahu, Nandini (14 October 2007). "The Position of Women in Oriya Literature". Archived from the original on 11 May 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012. Her last major work was the translation of Taslima Nasreen's 'Lajja' into Oriya
  11. ^ "Nandini Satpathy". 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012. Smt. Nandini Satpathy died of an illness on 4th August 2006 at her residence in Bhubaneswar.
  12. ^ "Biographical Sketch of Member of 12th Lok Sabha". 2001. Retrieved 10 May 2012. Election Result of Dhenkanal Lok Sabha Constituency
  13. ^ "Tathagata Satpathy(BJD):Constituency- Dhenkanal(ORISSA) – Affidavit Information of Candidate". 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012. Tathagata Satpathy – BJD – Dhenkanal (ORISSA)
  14. ^ "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
  15. ^ "Fair day declared". Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  16. ^ Pioneer, The. "National Daughters' Day on June 8". The Pioneer. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
Political offices Preceded byBishwanath 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 byBinayak Acharya (2nd term)