Pradeep Pattanayak

Dhamnagar MLA Bishnu Sethi, who breathed his last at AIIMS in Bhubaneswar while undergoing treatment on Monday, was a political leader, journalist, and a litterateur, into the bargain. 

Sethi, who is known for his impeccable leadership, was born in Tihidi of Bhadrak district on June 5 1961. He lost his mother in his childhood days and was brought up by his father Gayadhara Sethi. After completing his matriculation from Tihidi High School, he did his graduation from Utkal University before moving to Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi for higher education. Though he had qualified for the Odisha Public Service Commission, he chose politics to serve the people.    

Before his tryst with politics, he had been an active member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Later he joined the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha. Subsequently, he went up to discharge his duties sincerely as a member of the BJP’s national council, president of Bhadrak district, vice president of the BJP Scheduled Caste Morcha and finally deputy leader of the Opposition.

For the first time, he was elected to the Odisha Legislative Assembly from Chandbali constituency in 2000. In 2006, he was made the chairman of Odisha State Cashew Development Corporation. In 2019, he was again elected to the Assembly from Dhamnagar seat. 

Besides politics, the multifaceted leader has also left his indelible footprints in the field of journalism and literature. He worked as the editor of several magazines including ‘Bishes Khabar’, ‘Ghasaphula’ and ‘Sironama Sirodharya’. He also penned two collections of poems‘NIramaya Akasha Tale’ and ‘NIswa Matira Swara’. 

Worth mentioning, Sethi had encompassed the journey of President Draupadui Murmu from Rairangpur to Raisina Hill in his poem, got it framed and presented it to President Murmu on the occasion of her swearing-in ceremony.