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Great Indian Personalities - 14th April 2009, 10:45 AM




famous personalities of india,
biography of great personalities
of india,
indian Heroes
·



buraa jo dekhan mai.n Chalaa, buraa naa milyaa koye
jo mann Khojaa apnaa to mujh se buraa naa koye



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Mahatma Gandhi
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Mahatma Gandhi - 14th April 2009, 10:53 AM





October 2, 1869 to January 30, 1948.
Place of Birth: Porbandar, Gujarat
Father: Karamchand Gandhi
Mother: Putlibai
Wife: Kasturbai

Known as Father of Nation; played a key role in winning freedom from India; introduced the concept of Ahimsa and Satyagraha.

Mahatma Gandhi popularly known as Father of Nation played a stellar role in India's freedom struggle. Born in a Bania family in Kathiawar, Gujarat, his real name was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (M.K. Gandhi). The title Mahatma came to be associated with his name much later. Before Gandhiji's arrival on the Indian political scene, freedom struggle was limited only to the intelligentsia. Mahatma Gandhi's main contribution lay in the fact that he bridged the gulf between the intelligentsia and the masses and widened the concept of Swaraj to include almost every aspect of social and moral regeneration. Paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his death, famous scientist Albert Einstein said, "Generations to come will scarce believe that such a man as this walked the earth in flesh and blood".

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, at Porbandar, a small town on the western coast of India, which was then one of the many tiny states in Kathiawar. Gandhiji was born in middle class family of Vaishya caste. His father, Karamchand Gandhi, was a Dewan or Prime Minister of Porbandar. His mother, Putlibai, was a very religious lady and left a deep impression on Gandhiji's mind. Gandhiji was a mediocre student and was excessively shy and timid.

Gandhiji was truthful in his conduct right from the childhood. There is a very famous incident in this regard. A British school inspector once came to Gandhiji's school and set a spelling test. Gandhiji spelled all the words correctly except kettle. The class teacher noticed the mistake and gestured Gandhiji to copy the correct spelling from the boy sitting next to him. Gandhiji refused to take the hint and was later scolded for his "stupidity".

Gandhiji was married at the age of thirteen to Kasturbai. He was in high school at that time. Later on in his life, Gandhiji denounced the custom of child marriage and termed it as cruel. After matriculating from the high school, Gandhiji joined the Samaldas College in Bhavnagar. After the death of Gandhiji's father in 1885, a family suggested that if Gandhiji hoped to take his father's place in the state service he had better become a barrister which he could do in England in three years. Gandhi welcomed the idea but his mother was objected to the idea of going abroad. To win his mother's approval Gandhiji took a solemn vow not to touch wine, women and meat and remained true to it throughout his stay in England.

Gandhiji sailed for England on September 4, 1888. Initially he had difficulty in adjusting to English customs and weather but soon he overcame it. Gandhiji completed his Law degree in 1891 and returned to India. He decided to set up legal practice in Bombay but couldn't establish himself. Gandhiji returned to Rajkot but here also he could not make much headway. At this time Gandhiji received an offer from Dada Abdulla & Co. to proceed to South Africa on their behalf to instruct their counsel in a lawsuit. Gandhiji jumped at the idea and sailed for South Africa in April 1893.

It was in South Africa that Gandhiji's transformation from Mohandas to Mahatma took place. Gandhiji landed at Durban and soon he realized the oppressive atmosphere of racial snobbishness against Indians who were settled in South Africa in large numbers. After about a week's stay in Durban Gandhiji left for Pretoria, the capital of the Transvaal, in connection with a lawsuit. When the train reached Pietermaritzburg, the capital of Natal, at about 9 p.m. a white passenger who boarded the train objected to the presence of a "coloured" man in the compartment and Gandhji was ordered by a railway official to shift to a third class. When he refused to do so, a constable pushed him out and his luggage was taken away by the railway authorities. It was winter and bitterly cold. This incident changed Gandhiji's life forever. He decided to fight for the rights of Indians. Gandhiji organised the Indian community in South Africa and asked them to forget all distinctions of religion and caste. He suggested the formation of an association to look after the Indian settlers and offered his free time and services.

During his stay in South Africa, Gandhiji's life underwent a change and he developed most of his political ideas. Gandhiji decided to dedicate himself completely to the service of humanity. He realized that absolute continence or brahmacharya was indispensable for the purpose as one could not live both after the flesh and the spirit. In 1906, Gandhiji took a vow of absolute continence. In the course of his struggle in South Africa, Gandhiji, developed the concepts of Ahimsa (non-violence) and Satyagraha (holding fast to truth or firmness in a righteous cause). Gandhiji's struggle bore fruit and in 1914 in an agreement between Gandhiji and South African Government, the main Indian demands were conceded.

Gandhiji returned to India in 1915 and on the advice of his political guru Gopal Krishna Gokhale, spent the first year touring throughout the country to know the real India. After an year of wandering, Gandhiji settled down on the bank of the river Sabarmati, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, where he founded an ashram called Satyagraha Ashram. Gandhiji's first satyagraha in India was in Champaran, in Bihar, where he went in 1917 at the request of a poor peasants to inquire into the grievances of the much exploited peasants of that district, who were compelled by British indigo planters to grow indigo on 15 percent of their land and part with the whole crop for rent. Gandhiji's Satyagraha forced British government to set up a inquiry into the condition of tenant farmers. The report of the committee of which Gandhi was a member went in favour of the tenant farmers. The success of his first experiment in satyagraha in India greatly enhanced Gandhiji's reputation in the country.

In 1921, Gandhji gave the call for Non-cooperation movement against the ills of British rule. Gandhiji's call roused the sleeping nation. Many Indians renounced their titles and honours, lawyers gave up their practice, and students left colleges and schools. Non-cooperation movement also brought women into the domain of freedom struggle for the first time. Non-cooperation movement severely jolted the British government. But the movement ended in an anti-climax in February 1922. An outbreak of mob violence in Chauri Chaura so shocked and pained Gandhi that he refused to continue the campaign and undertook a fast for five days to atone for a crime committed by others in a state of mob hysteria.

Gandhiji was sentenced to six years imprisonment but was released in 1924 on medical grounds. For the next five years Gandhi seemingly retired from active agitational politics and devoted himself to the propagation of what he regarded as the basic national needs, namely, Hindu-Muslim unity, removal of untouchability, equality of women, popularization of hand-spinning and the reconstruction of village economy.

On March 12, 1930 Gandhiji started the historic Dandi March to break the law which had deprived the poor man of his right to make his own salt. On April 6, 1930 Gandhiji broke the Salt law at the sea beach at Dandi. This simple act was immediately followed by a nation-wide defiance of the law. This movement galvanized the whole nation and came to be known as "Civil Disobedience Movement". Within a few weeks about a hundred thousand men and women were in jail, throwing mighty machinery of the British Government out of gear. This forced the then Viceroy Lord Irwin to call Gandhiji for talks. On March 5, 1931 Gandhi Irwin Pact was signed. Soon after signing the pact Gandhiji went to England to attend the First Round Table Conference. Soon after his return from England Gandhiji was arrested without trial.

After the outbreak of Second World War in 1939, Gandhiji again became active in the political arena. British Government wanted India's help in the war and Congress in return wanted a clear-cut promise of independence from British government. But British government dithered in its response and on August 8, 1942 Gandhiji gave the call for Quit India Movement. Soon the British Government arrested Gandhiji and other top leaders of Congress. Disorders broke out immediately all over India and many violent demonstrations took place. While Gandhiji was in jail his wife Kasturbai passed away. Gandhiji too had a severe attack of Malaria. In view of his deteriorating health he was released from the jail in May 1944.

Second World War ended in 1945 and Britain emerged victorious. In the general elections held in Britain in 1945, Labour Party came to power, and Atlee became the Prime Minister. He promised an early realization of self Government in India. A Cabinet Mission arrived from England to discuss with Indian leaders the future shape of a free and united India, but failed to bring the Congress and Muslims together. India attained independence but Jinnah's intransigence resulted in the partition of the country. Communal riots between Hindus and Muslims broke out in the country in the aftermath of partition. Tales of atrocities on Hindus in Pakistan provoked Hindus in India and they targeted Muslims. Gandhiji worked ceaselessly to promote unity between Hindus and Muslims. This angered some Hindu fundamentalists and on January 30, 1948 Gandhiji was shot dead by one such fundamentalist Nathu Ram Godse while he was going for his evening prayers. The last words on the lips of Gandhiji were Hey Ram.

Facts:
1888-1891: Studied law in London

1893: Sailed for South Africa

1906: Began Satyagraha campaign in South Africa to protest the requirement that Indians be fingerprinted and carry identification cards

1915: Returned to India from South Africa

1917: Initiated Champaran Satyagraha to alleviate the condition of indigo planters

1919: Instituted Satyagraha campaign in India to protest the Rowlatt Acts, which deprived all Indians of important civil liberties.

1922: Ended Non-Cooperation movement against British Raj after his followers were involved in a series of riots and disturbances that violated his policy of nonviolence

1930: Led Dandi March to collect salt in protest of the British salt tax.

1931: Signed a pact with Lord Irwin to suspend the Civil Disobedience Movement and went to London to attend Round Table Conference.

1932: Fasted to protest the treatment of people who belonged to no Hindu caste, the Harijans or Untouchables

1942: Launched Quit India Movement against British Raj.

January 30, 1948: Assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist.

Quotes:
  • I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man [woman] whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him [her]. Will he [she] gain anything by it? Will it restore him [her] to a control over his [her] own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to swaraj [freedom] for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and your self melt away.
  • Abstinence is forgiveness only when there is power to punish; it is meaningless when it pretends to proceed from a helpless creature.
  • Action for one's own self binds, action for the sake of others delivers from bondage.
  • What is faith worth if it is not translated into action?
  • You assist an administration most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil administration never deserves such allegiance.
  • Ahimsa is the highest ideal. It is meant for the brave, never for the cowardly.
  • Ahimsa is the eradication of the desire to injure or to kill.
  • Ahimsa is an attribute of the brave. Cowardice and ahimsa don't go together any more that water and fire.
  • True ahimsa should mean a complete freedom from ill-will and anger and hate and an overflowing love for all.
  • The removal of untouchability is one of the highest expressions of ahimsa.
  • The strength to kill is not essential for self-defence; one ought to have the strength to die.
  • Khadi has been conceived as the foundation and the image of ahimsa. A real khadi-wearer will not utter an untruth. A real khadi-wearer will harbour no violence, no deceit, no impurity.
  • No power on earth can subjugate you when you are armed with the sword of ahimsa. It ennobles both the victor and the vanquished.
  • The votary of ahimsa has only one fear, that is, of God.
  • The hardest heart and the grossest ignorance must disappear before the rising sun of suffering without anger and without malice.
  • The power of unarmed nonviolence is any day far superior to that of armed force.
  • I know nothing of the science of astrology and I consider it to be a science, if it is a science, of doubtful value, to be severely left alone by those who have any faith in Providence.
  • God is conscience. He is even the atheism of the atheist.



buraa jo dekhan mai.n Chalaa, buraa naa milyaa koye
jo mann Khojaa apnaa to mujh se buraa naa koye



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Mother Teresa - 14th April 2009, 11:05 AM


Born: August 27, 1910
Died: September 5, 1997
Achievements: Started Missionaries of Charity in 1950; received Nobel Prize for Peace in 1979; received Bharat Ratna in 1980.

Mother Teresa was one of the great servants of humanity. She was an Albanian Catholic nun who came to India and founded the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata. Her selfless work among the poverty-stricken people of Kolkata (Calcutta) is an inspiration for people all over the world and she was honored with Nobel Prize for her work.

Mother Teresa's original name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. She was born on August 27, 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia. Her father was a successful merchant and she was youngest of the three siblings. At the age of 12, she decided that she wanted to be a missionary and spread the love of Christ. At the age of 18 she left her parental home in Skopje and joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with missions in India.

After a few months of training at the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dublin Mother Teresa came to India. On May 24, 1931, she took her initial vows as a nun. From 1931 to 1948, Mother Teresa taught geography and catechism at St. Mary's High School in Calcutta. However, the prevailing poverty in Calcutta had a deep impact on Mother Teresa's mind and in 1948, she received permission from her superiors to leave the convent school and devote herself to working among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta.

After a short course with the Medical Mission Sisters in Patna, she returned to Calcutta and found temporary lodging with the Little Sisters of the Poor. She started an open-air school for homeless children. Soon she was joined by voluntary helpers, and she received financial support from church organizations and the municipal authorities. On October 7, 1950, Mother Teresa received permission from the Vatican to start her own order. Vatican originally labeled the order as the Diocesan Congregation of the Calcutta Diocese, and it later came to known as the "Missionaries of Charity". The primary task of the Missionaries of Charity was to take care of those persons who nobody was prepared to look after.

The Missionaries of Charity, which began as a small Order with 12 members in Calcutta, today has more than 4,000 nuns running orphanages, AIDS hospices, charity centres worldwide, and caring for refugees, the blind, disabled, aged, alcoholics, the poor and homeless and victims of floods, epidemics and famine in Asia, Africa, Latin America, North America, Poland, and Australia. In 1965, by granting a Decree of Praise, Pope Paul VI granted Mother Teresa permission to expand her order to other countries. The order's first house outside India was in Venezuela. Presently, the "Missionaries of Charity" has presence in more than 100 countries.

Mother Teresa's work has been recognised and acclaimed throughout the world and she has received a number of awards and distinctions. These include the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize (1971), Nehru Prize for Promotion of International Peace & Understanding (1972), Balzan Prize (1978), Nobel Peace Prize (1979) and Bharat Ratna (1980).

On March 13, 1997, Mother Teresa stepped down from the head of Missionaries of Charity and died on September 5, 1997, just 9 days after her 87th birthday. Following Mother Teresa's death, the Holy See began the process of beatification, the second step towards possible canonization, or sainthood. This process requires the documentation of a miracle performed from the intercession of Mother Teresa. In 2002, the Vatican recognized as a miracle the healing of a tumor in the abdomen of an Indian woman, Monica Besra, following the application of a locket containing Teresa's picture. Monica Besra said that a beam of light emanated from the picture, curing the cancerous tumor. Mother Teresa was formally beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 19, 2003 with the title Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. A second miracle is required for her to proceed to canonization.



buraa jo dekhan mai.n Chalaa, buraa naa milyaa koye
jo mann Khojaa apnaa to mujh se buraa naa koye


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Annie Besant - 14th April 2009, 11:11 AM




Annie Besant

October 1, 1847 to September 20, 1933


President of Theosophical Society of India; founded Home Rule League in 1916 and demand self rule in India; became first woman president of Indian National Congress.

Annie Besant was a prominent Theosophist, social reformer, political leader, women's rights activist, writer and orator. She was of Irish origin and made India her second home. She fought for the rights of Indian and was the first woman president of Indian National Congress.

Annie Besant was born as Annie Wood on October 1, 1847 in a middle-class family in London. She was of Irish origin. Her father died when she was only five. Annie’s mother supported the family by running a boarding house for boys at Harrow. As a young woman she traveled widely in Europe and this widened her outlook.

Annie Besant was married in 1867 to a clergyman called Frank Besant. But the marriage did not last long. They legally separated in 1873. Annie Besant had two children from the marriage. After her separation Annie began to question not only her long-held religious beliefs but the whole of conventional thinking. She began to write attacks on the Churches and the way they controlled people’s lives. In particular she attacked the status of the Church of England as a state-sponsored faith.

Annie Besant fought for the causes she thought were right, such as, women's rights, secularism, birth control, Fabian socialism and workers' rights. She became interested in Theosophy as a way of knowing God. Theosophical Society was against discrimination of race, color, gender and preached Universal brotherhood. To serve humanity at large was its supreme goal. It was as a member of Theosophical Society of India that she arrived in India in 1893.

She toured the entire country of India. It gave her first hand information about India and middle-class Indians who were affected more by British rule and its system of education. Her long-time interest in education resulted in the founding of the Central Hindu College at Benares (1898).

She also became involved in Indian freedom movement. In 1916, she founded Home Rule League which advocated self rule by Indians. She became the President of Indian National Congress in 1917. She was the first woman to hold that post. She started a newspaper, "New India", criticized British rule and was jailed for sedition. After the arrival of Gandhiji on Indian national scene, differences arose between Mahatma Gandhi and Annie Besant. Gradually, she withdrew from active politics.

Annie Besant died on September 20, 1933 at Adyar (Madras). As per her wish her ashes were immersed in Ganga in Benares.



buraa jo dekhan mai.n Chalaa, buraa naa milyaa koye
jo mann Khojaa apnaa to mujh se buraa naa koye


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Aurobndo Ghose - 14th April 2009, 11:30 AM


Born: August 15, 1872
Died: December 5, 1950


Achievements: He was a freedom fighter, poet, scholar, yogi and philosopher. Worked towards the cause of India’s freedom, and for further evolution of life on earth.

Aurobindo Ghose was a multifaceted person. He was a freedom fighter, poet, scholar, yogi and philosopher. He spent his life working towards the cause of India’s freedom, and for further evolution of life on earth.


Sri Aurobindo Ghosh was born on August 15, 1872 at Calcutta. His father was Krishnadhan and his mother was Swamalata. Aurobindo Ghose had an impressive lineage. Raj Narayan Bose, an acknowledged leader in Bengali literature, and the grandfather of Indian nationalism was Sri Aurobindo’s maternal grandfather. Aurobindo Ghosh owes not only his rich spiritual nature, but even his very superior literary capacity, to his mother’s line. His father was an M.D. from England.

When Sri Aurobindo was five years old,Aurobindo Ghose he was sent to Loretto Convent School at Darjeeling. Two years later in 1879, Aurobindo Ghose, was sent to England along with his brothers for higher studies. Aurobindo completed his schooling from St. Paul's in London. In 1890, at the age of eighteen, Sri Aurobindo got admission into Cambridge. Here, he distinguished himself as a student of European classics. To comply with the wish of his father, Sri Aurobindo Ghose also applied for the ICS while at Cambridge. He passed the Indian Civil Service Examination with great credit in 1890. He, however, failed to stand the required test in horsemanship and hence was not allowed to enter the Covenantal Service of the Indian Government.




In 1893, Aurobindo Ghose, returned to India, and became the Vice-principal of the State college in Baroda. He drew a salary of Rs.750/-. He was held in great respect by the Maharaja of Baroda. Aurobindo was an accomplished scholar in Greek and Latin. From 1893 to 1906 he extensively studied Sanskrit, Bengali literature, Philosophy and Political Science.

In 1906, in the wake of partition of Bengal, resigned his job and joined the Bengal National College on a salary of Rs.150/-. He plunged headlong into the revolutionary movement. Aurobindo Ghose played a leading role in India’s freedom struggle from 1908. Sri Aurobindo Ghosh was one of the pioneers of political awakening in India. He edited the English daily Bande Mataram and wrote fearless and pointed editorials. He openly advocated the boycott of British goods, British courts and everything British. He asked the people to prepare themselves for passive resistance.

The famous Alipore Bomb Case proved to be a turning point in Sri Aurobindo Ghosh’s life. For a year Aurobindo was an undertrial prisoner in solitary confinement in the Alipore Central Jail. It was in a dingy cell of the Alipore Jail that he dreamt the dream of his future life, the divine mission ordained for him by God. He utilized this period of incarceration for an intense study and practice of the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. Chittaranjan Das defended Sri Aurobindo, who was acquitted after a memorable trial.

During his time in prison, Aurobindo Ghosh, had developed interest in yoga and meditation. After his release he started practicing pranayama and meditation. Sri Aurobindo Ghose migrated from Calcutta to Pondicherry in 1910. At Pondicherry, he stayed at a friend’s place. At first, he lived there with four or five companions. Gradually the number of members increased and an Ashram was founded.

In 1914 after four years ofAurobindo Ghose concentrated yoga at Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo launched Arya, a 64 page monthly review. For the next six and a half years this became the vehicle for most of his most important writings, which appeared in serialised form. These included Essays on The Gita, The Secret of The Veda, Hymns to the Mystic Fire, The Upanishads, The Foundations of Indian Culture, War and Self-determination, The Human Cycle, The Ideal of Human Unity, and The Future Poetry. In 1926, Sri Aurobindo Ghose retired from public life.

Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy is based on facts, experience and personal realisations and on having the vision of a seer or Rishi. Aurobindo’s spirituality was inseparably united with reason. The goal of Sri Aurobindo was not merely the liberation of the individual from the chain that fetters him and realization of the self, but to work out the will of the Divine in the world, to effect a spiritual transformation and to bring down the divine nature and a divine life into the mental, vital and physical nature and life of humanity.

Sri Aurobindo passed away on December 5, 1950 at Pondicherry at the age of 78.



buraa jo dekhan mai.n Chalaa, buraa naa milyaa koye
jo mann Khojaa apnaa to mujh se buraa naa koye



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Bal Gangadhar Tilak - 14th April 2009, 03:49 PM



Bal Gangadhar Tilak

July 23, 1856 to August 1, 1920

Considered as Father of Indian National Movement; Founded “Deccan Education Society” to impart quality education to India's youth; was a member of the Municipal Council of Pune, Bombay Legislature, and an elected 'Fellow' of the Bombay University; formed Home Rule League in 1916 to attain the goal of Swaraj.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak is considered as Father of Indian National Movement. Bal Gangadhar Tilak was a multifaceted personality. He was a social reformer, freedom fighter, national leader, and a scholar of Indian history, sanskrit, hinduism, mathematics and astronomy. Bal Gangadhar Tilak was popularly called as Lokmanya (Beloved of the people). During freedom struggle, his slogan “Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it” inspired millions of Indians.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak was born on July 23, 1856 in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra. He was a Chitpavan Brahmin by caste. His father Gangadhar Ramachandra Tilak was a Sanskrit scholar and a famous teacher. Tilak was a brilliant student and he was very good in mathematics. Since childhood Tilak had an intolerant attitude towards injustice and he was truthful and straightforward in nature. He was among India's first generation of youth to receive a modern, college education.

When Tilak was ten his father was transferred to Pune from Ratnagiri. This brought sea change in Tilak’s life. He joined the Anglo-Vernacular School in Pune and got education from some of the well known teachers. Soon after coming to Pune Tilak lost his mother and by the time he was sixteen he lost his father too. While Tilak was studying in Matriculation he was married to a 10-year-old girl called Satyabhama. After passing the Matriculation Examination Tilak joined the Deccan College. In 1877, Bal Gangadhar Tilak got his B.A. degree with a first class in mathematics. He continued his studies and got the LL.B. degree too.

After graduation, Tilak began teaching mathematics in a private school in Pune and later became a journalist. He became a strong critic of the Western education system, feeling it demeaning to Indian students and disrespectful to India's heritage. He came to the conclusion that good citizens can be moulded only through good education. He believed that every Indian had to be taught about Indian culture and national ideals. Along with his classmate Agarkar and great social reformer Vishnushastry Chiplunkar, Bal Gangadhar Tilak founded “Deccan Education Society” to impart quality education to India's youth.

The very next year after the Deccan Education Society was founded, Tilak started two weeklies, 'Kesari' and 'Mahratta'. 'Kesari' was Marathi weekly while 'Mahratta' was English weekly. Soon both the newspapers became very popular. In his newspapers, Tilak highlighted the plight of Indians. He gave a vivid picture of the people's sufferings and of actual happenings. Tilak called upon every Indian to fight for his right. Bal Gangadhar Tilak used fiery language to arouse the sleeping Indians.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak joined the Indian National Congress in 1890. He was a member of the Municipal Council of Pune, Bombay Legislature, and an elected 'Fellow' of the Bombay University. Tilak was a great social reformer. He issued a call for the banning of child marriage and welcomed widow remarriage. Through the celebrations of Ganapati Festival and the birthday of the Shivaji he organized people.

In 1897, Bal Gangadhar Tilak was charged with writing articles instigating people to rise against the government and to break the laws and disturb the peace. He was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for one and a half year. Tilak was released in 1898. After his release, Tilak launched Swadeshi Movement. Through newspapers and lectures, Tilak spread the message to each and every village in Maharashtra. A big 'Swadeshi Market' was opened in front of Tilak's house. Meanwhile, Congress was split into two camps-Moderates and Extremists. Extremists led by Bal Gangadhar Tilak opposed the moderate faction led by Gopal Krishna. Extremists were in the favour of self rule while the moderates thought that time is not yet ripe for such an eventuality. This rift finally led to a split in the Congress.

Tilak was arrested on the charges of sedition in 1906. After the trial, Tilak was sentenced to six years of imprisonment in Mandalay (Burma). Tilak spent his time in prison by reading and writing. He wrote the book 'Gita-Rahasya' while he was in prison. Tilak was released on June 8, 1914. After his release, Bal Gangadhar Tilak tried to bring the two factions of Congress together. But his efforts did not bear much fruit. In 1916, Tilak decided to build a separate organization called the 'Home Rule League'. Its goal was swaraj. Tilak went from village to village, and explained the aim of his league to the farmers and won their hearts. He traveled constantly in order to organize the people. While fighting for people’s cause Bal Gangadhar Tilak died on August 1, 1920.



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Bhagat Singh - 14th April 2009, 04:00 PM



Bhagat Singh


September 27, 1907 to March 23, 1931

Gave a new direction to revolutionary movement in India, formed 'Naujavan Bharat Sabha' to spread the message of revolution in Punjab, formed 'Hindustan Samajvadi Prajatantra Sangha' along with Chandrasekhar Azad to establish a republic in India, assassinated police official Saunders to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, dropped bomb in Central Legislative Assembly along with Batukeshwar Dutt.

Bhagat Singh was one of the most prominent faces of Indian freedom struggle. He was a revolutionary ahead of his times. By Revolution he meant that the present order of things, which is based on manifest injustice must change. Bhagat Singh studied the European revolutionary movement and was greatly attracted towards socialism. He realised that the overthrow of British rule should be accompanied by the socialist reconstruction of Indian society and for this political power must be seized by the workers.

Though portrayed as a terrorist by the British, Sardar Bhagat Singh was critical of the individual terrorism which was prevalent among the revolutionary youth of his time and called for mass mobilization. Bhagat Singh gave a new direction to the revolutionary movement in India. He differed from his predecessors on two counts. Firstly, he accepted the logic of atheism and publicly proclaimed it. Secondly, until then revolutionaries had no conception of post-independence society. Their immediate goal was destruction of the British Empire and they had no inclination to work out a political alternative. Bhagat Singh, because of his interest in studying and his keen sense of history gave revolutionary movement a goal beyond the elimination of the British. A clarity of vision and determination of purpose distinguished Bhagat Singh from other leaders of the National Movement. He emerged as the only alternative to Gandhi and the Indian National Congress, especially for the youth.

Bhagat Singh was born in a Sikh family in village Banga in Layalpur district of Punjab (now in Pakistan). He was the third son of Sardar Kishan Singh and Vidyavati. Bhagat Singh's family was actively involved in freedom struggle. His father Kishan Singh and uncle Ajit Singh were members of Ghadr Party founded in the U.S to oust British rule from India. Family atmosphere had a great effect on the mind of young Bhagat Singh and patriotism flowed in his veins from childhood.

While studying at the local D.A.V. School in Lahore, in 1916, young Bhagat Singh came into contact with some well-known political leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai and Ras Bihari Bose. Punjab was politically very charged in those days. In 1919, when Jalianwala Bagh massacre took place, Bhagat Singh was only 12 years old. The massacre deeply disturbed him. On the next day of massacre Bhagat Singh went to Jalianwala Bagh and collected soil from the spot and kept it as a memento for the rest of his life. The massacre strengthened his resolve to drive British out from India.

In response to Mahatma Gandhi's call for non-cooperation against British rule in 1921, Bhagat Singh left his school and actively participated in the movement. In 1922, when Mahatma Gandhi suspended Non-cooperation movement against violence at Chauri-chaura in Gorakhpur, Bhagat was greatly disappointed. His faith in non violence weakened and he came to the conclusion that armed revolution was the only practical way of winning freedom. To continue his studies, Bhagat Singh joined the National College in Lahore, founded by Lala Lajpat Rai. At this college, which was a centre of revolutionary activities, he came into contact with revolutionaries such as Bhagwati Charan, Sukhdev and others.

To avoid early marriage, Bhagat Singh ran away from home and went to Kanpur. Here, he came into contact with a revolutionary named Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, and learnt his first lessons as revolutionary. On hearing that his grandmother was ill, Bhagat Singh returned home. He continued his revolutionary activities from his village. He went to Lahore and formed a union of revolutionaries by name 'Naujavan Bharat Sabha'. He started spreading the message of revolution in Punjab. In 1928 he attended a meeting of revolutionaries in Delhi and came into contact with Chandrasekhar Azad. The two formed 'Hindustan Samajvadi Prajatantra Sangha'. Its aim was to establish a republic in India by means of an armed revolution.

In February 1928, a committee from England, called Simon Commission visited India. The purpose of its visit was to decide how much freedom and responsibility could be given to the people of India. But there was no Indian on the committee. This angered Indians and they decided to boycott Simon Commission. While protesting against Simon Commission in Lahore, Lala Lajpat Rai was brutally Lathicharged and later on succumbed to injuries. Bhagat Singh was determined to avenge Lajpat Rai's death by shooting the British official responsible for the killing, Deputy Inspector General Scott. He shot down Assistant Superintendent Saunders instead, mistaking him for Scott. Bhagat Singh had to flee from Lahore to escape death punishment.

Instead of finding the root cause of discontent of Indians, the British government took to more repressive measures. Under the Defense of India Act, it gave more power to the police to arrest persons to stop processions with suspicious movements and actions. The Act brought in the Central Legislative Assembly was defeated by one vote. Even then it was to be passed in the form of an ordinance in the "interest of the public." Bhagat Singh who was in hiding all this while, volunteered to throw a bomb in the Central Legislative Assembly where the meeting to pass the ordinance was being held. It was a carefully laid out plot, not to cause death or injury but to draw the attention of the government, that the modes of its suppression could no more be tolerated. It was decided that Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt would court arrest after throwing the bomb.

On April 8, 1929 Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw bombs in the Central Assembly Hall while the Assembly was in session. The bombs did not hurt anyone. After throwing the bombs, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt, deliberately courted arrest by refusing to run away from the scene. During his trial, Bhagat Singh refused to employ any defence counsel. In jail, he went on hunger strike to protest the inhuman treatment of fellow-political prisoners by jail authorities. On October 7, 1930 Bhagat Singh, Sukh Dev and Raj Guru were awarded death sentence by a special tribunal. Despite great popular pressure and numerous appeals by political leaders of India, Bhagat Singh and his associates were hanged in the early hours of March 23, 1931.



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14th April 2009, 04:04 PM



Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

April 14, 1891 to December 6, 1956


Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was elected as the chairman of the drafting committee that was constituted by the Constituent Assembly to draft a constitution for the independent India; he was the first Law Minister of India; conferred Bharat Ratna in 1990.

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar is viewed as messiah of dalits and downtrodden in India. He was the chairman of the drafting committee that was constituted by the Constituent Assembly in 1947 to draft a constitution for the independent India. He played a seminal role in the framing of the constitution. Bhimrao Ambedkar was also the first Law Minister of India. For his yeoman service to the nation, B.R. Ambedkar was bestowed with Bharat Ratna in 1990.

Dr.Bhimrao Ambedkar was born on April 14, 1891 in Mhow (presently in Madhya Pradesh). He was the fourteenth child of Ramji and Bhimabai Sakpal Ambavedkar. B.R. Ambedkar belonged to the "untouchable" Mahar Caste. His father and grandfather served in the British Army. In those days, the government ensured that all the army personnel and their children were educated and ran special schools for this purpose. This ensured good education for Bhimrao Ambedkar, which would have otherwise been denied to him by the virtue of his caste.

Bhimrao Ambedkar experienced caste discrimination right from the childhood. After his retirement, Bhimrao's father settled in Satara Maharashtra. Bhimrao was enrolled in the local school. Here, he had to sit on the floor in one corner in the classroom and teachers would not touch his notebooks. In spite of these hardships, Bhimrao continued his studies and passed his Matriculation examination from Bombay University with flying colours in 1908. Bhim Rao Ambedkar joined the Elphinstone College for further education. In 1912, he graduated in Political Science and Economics from Bombay University and got a job in Baroda.

In 1913, Bhimrao Ambedkar lost his father. In the same year Maharaja of Baroda awarded scholarship to Bhim Rao Ambedkar and sent him to America for further studies. Bhimrao reached New York in July 1913. For the first time in his life, Bhim Rao was not demeaned for being a Mahar. He immersed himself in the studies and attained a degree in Master of Arts and a Doctorate in Philosophy from Columbia University in 1916 for his thesis "National Dividend for India: A Historical and Analytical Study." From America, Dr.Ambedkar proceeded to London to study economics and political science. But the Baroda government terminated his scholarship and recalled him back.

The Maharaja of Baroda appointed Dr. Ambedkar as his political secretary. But no one would take orders from him because he was a Mahar. Bhimrao Ambedkar returned to Bombay in November 1917. With the help of Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur, a sympathizer of the cause for the upliftment of the depressed classes, he started a fortnightly newspaper, the "Mooknayak" (Dumb Hero) on January 31, 1920. The Maharaja also convened many meetings and conferences of the "untouchables" which Bhimrao addressed. In September 1920, after accumulating sufficient funds, Ambedkar went back to London to complete his studies. He became a barrister and got a Doctorate in science.

After completing his studies in London, Ambedkar returned to India. In July 1924, he founded the Bahishkrit Hitkaraini Sabha (Outcastes Welfare Association). The aim of the Sabha was to uplift the downtrodden socially and politically and bring them to the level of the others in the Indian society. In 1927, he led the Mahad March at the Chowdar Tank at Colaba, near Bombay, to give the untouchables the right to draw water from the public tank where he burnt copies of the 'Manusmriti' publicly.

In 1929, Ambedkar made the controversial decision to co-operate with the all-British Simon Commission which was to look into setting up a responsible Indian Government in India. The Congress decided to boycott the Commission and drafted its own version of a constitution for free India. The Congress version had no provisions for the depressed classes. Ambedkar became more skeptical of the Congress's commitment to safeguard the rights of the depressed classes.

When a separate electorate was announced for the depressed classes under Ramsay McDonald 'Communal Award', Gandhiji went on a fast unto death against this decision. Leaders rushed to Dr. Ambedkar to drop his demand. On September 24, 1932, Dr. Ambedkar and Gandhiji reached an understanding, which became the famous Poona Pact. According to the pact the separate electorate demand was replaced with special concessions like reserved seats in the regional legislative assemblies and Central Council of States.

Dr. Ambedkar attended all the three Round Table Conferences in London and forcefully argued for the welfare of the "untouchables". Meanwhile, British Government decided to hold provincial elections in 1937. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar set up the "Independent Labor Party" in August 1936 to contest the elections in the Bombay province. He and many candidates of his party were elected to the Bombay Legislative Assembly.

In 1937, Dr. Ambedkar introduced a Bill to abolish the "khoti" system of land tenure in the Konkan region, the serfdom of agricultural tenants and the Mahar "watan" system of working for the Government as slaves. A clause of an agrarian bill referred to the depressed classes as "Harijans," or people of God. Bhimrao was strongly opposed to this title for the untouchables. He argued that if the "untouchables" were people of God then all others would be people of monsters. He was against any such reference. But the Indian National Congress succeeded in introducing the term Harijan. Ambedkar felt bitter that they could not have any say in what they were called.

In 1947, when India became independent, the first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, invited Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, who had been elected as a Member of the Constituent Assembly from Bengal, to join his Cabinet as a Law Minister. The Constituent Assembly entrusted the job of drafting the Constitution to a committee and Dr. Ambedkar was elected as Chairman of this Drafting Committee. In February 1948, Dr. Ambedkar presented the Draft Constitution before the people of India; it was adopted on November 26, 1949.

In October 1948, Dr. Ambedkar submitted the Hindu Code Bill to the Constituent Assembly in an attempt to codify the Hindu law. The Bill caused great divisions even in the Congress party. Consideration for the bill was postponed to September 1951. When the Bill was taken up it was truncated. A dejected Ambedkar relinquished his position as Law Minister.

On May 24, 1956, on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti, he declared in Bombay, that he would adopt Buddhism in October. On 0ctober 14, 1956 he embraced Buddhism along with many of his followers. On December 6, 1956, Baba Saheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar died peacefully in his sleep.



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Chandra Sekhar Azad - 15th April 2009, 09:08 AM




Chandra Sekhar Azad

July 23,1906 to February 27, 1931


Involved in Kakori Train Robbery (1926), the attempt to blow up the Viceroy's train (1926), and the shooting of Saunders at Lahore (1928) to avenge the killing of Lala Lajpatrai; formed Hindustan Socialist Republican Association with fellow compatriots Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru.

Chandrashekhar Azad was a great Indian freedom fighter. His fierce patriotism and courage inspired others of his generation to enter freedom struggle. Chandrasekhar Azad was the mentor Bhagat Singh, another great freedom fighter, and along with Bhagat Singh he is considered as one of the greatest revolutionaries that India has produced.

Chandra Shekhar Azad was born on July 23,1906 in village Bhavra in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh. His parents were Pandit Sitaram Tiwari and Jagarani Devi. He received his early schooling in Bhavra. For higher studies he went to the Sanskrit Pathashala at Varanasi. He was an ardent follower of Hanuman and once disguised himself as a priest in a hanuman temple to escape the dragnet of British police.

Chandrashekhar Azad was deeply troubled by the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in Amritsar in 1919. In 1921, when Mahatma Gandhi launched Non-Cooperation movement, Chandrasekhar Azad actively participated in revolutionary activities. He received his first punishment at the age of fifteen. Chandra Shekhar was caught while indulging in revolutionary activities. When the magistrate asked him his name, he said "Azad" (meaning free). Chandrashekhar Azad was sentenced to fifteen lashes. With each stroke of the whip the young Chandrasekhar shouted "Bart Mata Kid Jai". From then on Chandrashekhar assumed the title of Azad and came to known as Chandrashekhar Azad. Chandrashekhar Azad vowed that he would never be arrested by the British police and would die as free man.

After the suspension of non-cooperation movement Chandrashekhar Azad was attracted towards more aggressive and revolutionary ideals. He committed himself to complete independence by any means. Chandrashekhar Azad and his compatriots would target British officials known for their oppressive actions against ordinary people and freedom fighters. Chandrashekhar Azad was involved in Kakori Train Robbery (1926), the attempt to blow up the Viceroy's train (1926), and the shooting of Saunders at Lahore (1928) to avenge the killing of Lala Lajpatrai.

Along with Bhagat Singh and other compatriots like Sukhdev and Rajguru, Chandrashekhar Azad formed the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HRSA). HRSA was committed to complete Indian independence and socialist principles for India's future progress.

Chandrashekhar Azad was a terror for British police. He was on their hit list and the British police badly wanted to capture him dead or alive. On February 27, 1931 Chandrashekhar Azad met two of his comrades at the Alfred Park Allah bad. He was betrayed by an informer who had informed the British police. The police surrounded the park and ordered Chandrashekhar Azad to surrender. Chandrashekhar Azad fought alone valiantly and killed three policemen. But finding himself surrounded and seeing no route for escape, Chandrashekhar Azad shot himself. Thus he kept his pledge of not being caught alive.



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Dadabhai Naroji - 15th April 2009, 09:12 AM



September 4, 1825 to June 30, 1917

First Indian to become a professor of the college; instrumental in the establishment of the Indian National Congress; was President of the Indian National Congress thrice; the Congress' demand for swaraj (self-rule) was first expressed publicly by him in his presidential address in 1906

Dadabhai Naoroji is fondly called as the "Grand Old Man of India". He is viewed as the architect who laid the foundation of the Indian freedom struggle.

Dadabhai Naoroji was born in a poor Parsi family in Bombay on September 4, 1825. His father, Naoroji Palanji Dordi, died when Dadabhai Naoroji was only four years old. He was raised by her mother Maneckbai who despite being illiterate herself ensured that Dadabhai Naoroji got best English education possible. As a student Dada Bhai Naoroji was very good in Mathematics and English. He studied at Elphinstone Institution, Bombay and on completion of his education he was appointed the Head Native Assistant Master at the Elphinstone Institution. Dadabhai Naoroji became a professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at Elphinstone Institution at the age of 27. He was the first Indian to become a professor of the college.

Dadabhai Nauroji entered the political fray in 1852. He strongly opposed the renewal of lease to the East India Company in 1853. He sent petitions to the English government in this regard. But the British government ignored his pleas and renewed the lease. Dadabhai Naoroji felt that the British misrule of India was because of ignorance of the Indian people. He set up the Gyan Prasarak Mandali (Society for Promotion of Knowledge) for the education of adult menfolk. He wrote several petitions to Governors and Viceroys regarding India's problems. Ultimately, he felt that the British people and the British Parliament must be made aware of India's plight. In 1855, at the age of 30 he sailed for England.


In England, Dadabhai Naoroji joined several learned societies, delivered many speeches and wrote articles on the plight of India. He founded the East Indian Association on December 1st, 1866. The association was comprised of high-ranking officers from India and people who had access to Members of the British Parliament. Dadabhai Naoroji was elected to the British Parliament in 1892 from Central Finsbury as the Liberal party candidate. He got a resolution passed in British Parliament for holding preliminary examinations for the I.C.S. in India and England simultaneously. He also got the Wiley Commission, the royal commission on India expenditure, to acknowledge the need for even distribution of administrative and military expenditure between India and England.

Dadabhai Naoroji was instrumental in the establishment of the Indian National Congress founded by A.O. Hume in 1885. Thrice he was elected to the post of the President of the Indian National Congress, in 1886, 1893 and in 1906. During his third term, he prevented a split between moderates and extremists in the party. The Congress' demand for swaraj (self-rule) was first expressed publicly by him in his presidential address in 1906. Dadabhai Naoroji believed in non-violent and constitutional methods of protest. He died at the age of 92 on June 30, 1917.



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5th August 2009, 04:48 PM



May 9, 1866 to February 19, 1915

Political guru of Mahatma Gandhi; one of the pioneers of the Indian national movement; founder of the Servants of India Society.

Gopal Krishna Gokhale was one of the pioneers of the Indian national movement. He was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress. Gokhale gave voice to the aspirations of millions of Indians who were looking for freedom from the British rule. Gandhiji considered him as his political guru. Apart from being a political leader, Gopalkrishna Gokhale, was also a social reformer. He founded the "Servants of India Society"-an organization dedicated to the cause of common people. Gopal Krishna Gokhale's contribution to the making of Indian nation is invaluable.

Gopal Krishna Gokhale was born on May 9, 1866 in Kothapur, Maharashtra. His father Krishna Rao was a farmer who was forced to work as clerk, as the soil of the region was not conducive for agriculture. His mother Valubai was a simple woman. Gokhale received his early education at the Rajaram High School in Kothapur with the help of financial assistance from his elder brother. Later on he moved on to Bombay and graduated from Elphinstone College, Bombay in 1884 at the age of 18.

Gopal Krishna Gokhale was one of the first generations of Indians to receive college education. He was respected widely in the nascent Indian intellectual community and across India. Education influenced Gokhale greatly. His understanding of the English language allowed him to express himself without hesitation and with utmost clarity. His appreciation and knowledge of history instilled in him a respect for liberty, democracy, and the parliamentary system. After graduation, he moved on to teaching, and took a position as an Assistant Master in the New English School in Pune. In 1885, Gokhale moved on to Pune and became one of the founding members of Fergusson College, along with his colleagues in Deccan Education Society. Gopal Krishna Gokhale gave nearly two decades of his life to Fergusson College and rose to become principal of the college. During this time, Gokhale came in contact with Mahadev Govind Ranade. Ranade was a judge, scholar, and social reformer, whom Gokhale called his guru. Gokhale worked with Ranade in Poona Sarvajanik Sabha of which Gokhale became the Secretary.

Gopal Krishna Gokhale entered public life in 1886 at the age of 20. He delivered a public address on "India under the British Rule", which was highly appreciated. Gokhale regularly contributed articles to Bal Gangadhar Tilak's weekly "Mahratta". Through his articles he tried to awaken the latent patriotism of Indian people. Soon, Gokhale was promoted as Secretary of the Deccan Education Society. When the Indian National Congress held its session in Poona in 1895, he was the secretary of the Reception Committee. From this session, Gokhale became a prominent member of the Indian National Congress. Gokhale was twice elected as president of Pune Municipality. For a while Gokhale was also a member of the Bombay Legislative Council where he spoke strongly against the then Government.

In 1902, Gokhale left the Fergusson College. He became a Member of the Imperial Legislative Council in Delhi. There he spoke for the people of the country in an able manner. Gokhale had an excellent grasp of the economic problems of our country which he ably presented during the debates. In 1905, Gokhale started a new society called "Servants of India Society". This society trained workers for the service of the country. In the same year, Gokhale went to England to voice his concerns relating to the unfair treatment of the Indian people by the British government. In a span of 49 days, he spoke in front of 47 different audiences, captivating every one of them. Gokhale pleaded for gradual reforms to ultimately attain Swaraj, or self-government, in India. He was instrumental in the introduction of the Morley- Minto Reforms of 1909, which eventually became law. Though the reforms sowed the seeds of communal division in India, nevertheless, they gave Indian access to the seats of the highest authority within the government, and their voices were more audible in matters of public interest.

Gopal Krishna Gokhale was a diabetic and asthmatic. Excessive assertion took its toll on Gokhale's health and ultimately he died on February 19, 1915.



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5th August 2009, 04:52 PM




Jawaharlal Nehru


November 14, 1889 to May 27, 1964


Took active part in Non-Cooperation Movement; elected President of the Allahabad Municipal Corporation in 1924, and served for two years as the city's chief executive; Presided over Congress' annual session in Lahore in 1929 and passed a resolution demanding India's independence; elected as Congress President in 1936, 1937, and 1946; became first Prime Minister of independent India; was one of the main architects of Non Aligned Movement.

Jawaharlal Nehru, also known as Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, was one of the foremost leaders of Indian freedom struggle. He was the favourite disciple of Mahatma Gandhi and later on went on to become the first Prime Minister of India. Jawahar Lal Nehru is widely regarded as the architect of modern India. He was very fond of children and children used to affectionately call him Chacha Nehru.

Jawahar Lal Nehru was born on November 14, 1889. His father Motilal Nehru was a famous Allahabad based barrister. Jawaharlal Nehru's mother's name was Swaroop Rani. Jawaharlal Nehru was the only son of Motilal Nehru. Motilal Nehru has three daughters apart from Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehrus were Saraswat Brahmin of Kashmiri lineage.

Jawaharlal Nehru received education in some of the finest schools and universities of the world. He did his schooling from Harrow and completed his Law degree from Trinity College, Cambridge. The seven years he spent in England widened his horizons and he acquired a rational and skeptical outlook and sampled Fabian socialism and Irish nationalism, which added to his own patriotic dedication.

Jawaharlal Nehru returned to India in 1912 and started legal practice. He married Kamala Nehru in 1916. Jawahar Lal Nehru joined Home Rule League in 1917. His real initiation into politics came two years later when he came in contact with Mahatma Gandhi in 1919. At that time Mahatma Gandhi had launched a campaign against Rowlatt Act. Nehru was instantly attracted to Gandhi's commitment for active but peaceful, civil disobedience. Gandhi himself saw promise and India's future in the young Jawaharlal Nehru.

Nehru family changed its family according to Mahatma Gandhi's teachings. Jawaharlal and Motilal Nehru abandoned western clothes and tastes for expensive possessions and pastimes. They now wore a Khadi Kurta and Gandhi cap. Jawaharlal Nehru took active part in the Non- Cooperation Movement 1920-1922) and was arrested for the first time during the movement. He was released after few months.

Jawaharlal Nehru was elected President of the Allahabad Municipal Corporation in 1924, and served for two years as the city's chief executive. This proved to be a valuable administrative experience for stood him in good stead later on when he became the prime minister of the country. He used his tenure to expand public education, health care and sanitation. He resigned in 1926 citing lack of cooperation from civil servants and obstruction from British authorities.

From 1926 to 1928, Jawaharlal served as the General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee. In 1928-29, the Congress's annual session under President Motilal Nehru was held. During that session Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose backed a call for full political independence, while Motilal Nehru and others wanted dominion status within the British Empire. To resolve the point, Gandhi said that the British would be given two years to grant India dominion status. If they did not, the Congress would launch a national struggle for full, political independence. Nehru and Bose reduced the time of opportunity to one year. The British did not respond.

In December 1929, Congress's annual session was held in Lahore and Jawaharlal Nehru was elected as the President of the Congress Party. During that sessions a resolution demanding India's independence was passed and on January 26, 1930 in Lahore, Jawaharlal Nehru unfurled free India's flag. Gandhiji gave a call for Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930. The movement was a great success and forced British Government to acknowledge the need for major political reforms.

When the British promulgated the Government of India Act 1935, the Congress Party decided to contest elections. Nehru stayed out of the elections, but campaigned vigorously nationwide for the party. The Congress formed governments in almost every province, and won the largest number of seats in the Central Assembly. Nehru was elected to the Congress presidency in 1936, 1937, and 1946, and came to occupy a position in the nationalist movement second only to that of Gandhi. Jawaharlal Nehru was arrested in 1942 during Quit India Movement. Released in 1945, he took a leading part in the negotiations that culminated in the emergence of the dominions of India and Pakistan in August 1947.

In 1947, he became the first Prime Minister of independent India. He effectively coped with the formidable challenges of those times: the disorders and mass exodus of minorities across the new border with Pakistan, the integration of 500-odd princely states into the Indian Union, the framing of a new constitution, and the establishment of the political and administrative infrastructure for a parliamentary democracy.

Jawaharlal Nehru played a key role in building modern India. He set up a Planning Commission, encouraged development of science and technology, and launched three successive five-year plans. His policies led to a sizable growth in agricultural and industrial production. Nehru also played a major role in developing independent India's foreign policy. He called for liquidation of colonialism in Asia and Africa and along with Tito and Nasser, was one of the chief architects of the nonaligned movement. He played a constructive, mediatory role in bringing the Korean War to an end and in resolving other international crises, such as those over the Suez Canal and the Congo, offering India's services for conciliation and international policing. He contributed behind the scenes toward the solution of several other explosive issues, such as those of West Berlin, Austria, and Laos.

But Jawahar Lal Nehru couldn't improve India's relations with Pakistan and China. The Kashmir issue proved a stumbling block in reaching an accord with Pakistan, and the border dispute prevented a resolution with China. The Chinese invasion in 1962, which Nehru failed to anticipate, came as a great blow to him and probably hastened his death. Jawaharlal Nehru died of a heart attack on May 27, 1964.



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5th August 2009, 04:55 PM



lala lajpat ray

January 28, 1865 to November17, 1928

Popularly known as Lala Lajpat Rai; Founded the Indian Home League Society of America; became Congress President in 1920.

Lala Lajpat Rai was one of the foremost leaders who fought against British rule in India. He was popularly known as Punjab Kesari (Lion of the Punjab).

Lala Lajpat Rai was born on January 28, 1865 in village Dhudike, in present day Moga district of Punjab. He was the eldest son of Munshi Radha Kishan Azad and Gulab Devi. His father was an Aggarwal Bania by caste. His mother inculcated strong moral values in him.

Lala Lajpat Rai joined the Government College at Lahore in 1880 to study Law. While in college he came in contact with patriots and future freedom fighters like Lala Hans Raj and Pandit Guru Dutt. The three became fast friends and joined the Arya Samaj founded by Swami Daya Nand Saraswati. He passed his Vakilship Examination in Second Division from Government College in 1885 and started his legal practice in Hissar. Besides practicing, Lalaji collected funds for the Daya Nand College, attended Arya Samaj functions and participated in Congress activities. He was elected to the Hissar municipality as a member and later as secretary. He shifted to Lahore in 1892.

Lala Lajpat Rai was one of the three most prominent Hindu Nationalist members of the Indian National Congress. He was part of the Lal-Bal-Pal trio. The other two members of the trio were Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal. They formed the extremist faction of the Indian National Congress, as opposed to the moderate one led first by Gopal Krishna Gokhale. Lalaji actively participated in the struggle against partition of Bengal. Along with Surendra Nath Banerjee, Bipin Chandra Pal and Aurorbindo Ghosh, he galvanized Bengal and the nation in a vigorous campaign of Swadeshi. Lalaji was arrested on May 3, 1907 for creating "turmoil" in Rawalpindi. He was put in Mandalay jail for six months and was released on November 11, 1907.

Lalaji believed that it was important for the national cause to organize propaganda in foreign countries to explain India's position because the freedom struggle had taken a militant turn. He left for Britain in April 1914 for this purpose. At this time First World War broke out and he was unable to return to India. He went to USA to galvanize support for India. He founded the Indian Home League Society of America and wrote a book called "Young India". The book severely indicted British rule in India and was banned in Britain and India even before it was published. He was able to return to India in 1920 after the end of World War.

After his return, Lala Lajpat Rai, led the Punjab protests against the Jalianwala Bagh Massacre and the Non-Cooperation Movement. He was arrested several times. He disagreed with Gandhiji's suspension of Non-Cooperation movement due to the Chauri-Chaura incident, and formed the Congress Independence Party, which had a pro-Hindu slant.

In 1928, British Government decided to send Simon Commission to India to discuss constitutional reforms. The Commission had no Indian member. This greatly angered Indians. In 1929, when the Commisssion came to India there were protests all over India. Lala Lajpat Rai himself led one such procession against Simon Commission. While the procession was peaceful, British Government brutally lathicharged the procession. Lala Lajpat Rai received severe head injuries and died on November17, 1928.



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5th August 2009, 04:56 PM




Lal bahadur shastri

October 2, 1904 to January 10, 1966

Played a leading role in Indian freedom struggle; became Parliamentary Secretary of Pandit Govind Vallabh Pant, the then chief minister of Uttar Pradesh; became the Minister of Police and Transport in Pant's Cabinet; appointed as the Railways and Transport Minister in the Central Cabinet; also held the portfolios of Transport & Communications, Commerce and Industry, and Home Ministry in the Central cabinet; became Prime Minister of India in 1964; led India to victory over Pakistan in 1965 war.

Lal Bahadur Shastri was the second Prime Minister of independent India. Though diminutive in physical stature he was a man of great courage and will. He successfully led country during the 1965 war with Pakistan. To mobilize the support of country during the war he coined the slogan of "Jai Jawan Jai Kisan". Lal Bahadur Sastri also played a key role in India's freedom struggle. He led his life with great simplicity and honesty and was a great source of inspiration for all the countrymen.

Lal Bahadur Shastri was born on October 2, 1904 at Mughalsarai, Uttar Pradesh. His parents were Sharada Prasad and Ramdulari Devi. Lal Bahadur's surname was Srivastava but he dropped it as he did not want to indicate his caste. Lal Bahadur's father was a school teacher and later on he became a clerk in the Revenue Office at Allahabad. Though Sharada Prasad was poor, he lived a life of honesty and integrity. Lal Bahadur lost his father when he was only one. Ramdulari Devi raised Lal Bahadur and her two daughters at her father's house.

There is a very famous incident regarding Lal Bahadur Shastri's childhood which took place when he was six years old. One day, while returning from school, Lal Bahadur and his friends went to an orchard that was on the way to home. Lal Bahadur Shastri was standing below while his friends climbed the trees to pluck mangoes. Meanwhile, the gardener came and caught hold of Lalbahadur Shastri. He scolded Lal Bahadur Shastri and started beating him. Lal Bahadur Shastri pleaded to gardener to leave him as he was orphan. Taking pity on Lal Bahadur, the gardener said, "Because you are an orphan, it is all the more important that you must learn better behavior." These words left a deep imprint on Lal Bahadur Shastri and he swore to behave better in the future.

Lal Bahadur stayed at his grandfather's house till he was ten. By that time he had passed the sixth standard examination. He went to Varanasi for higher education. In 1921 when Mahatma Gandhi launched the non-cooperation movement against British Government, Lal Bahadur Shastri, was only seventeen years old. When Mahatma Gandhi gave a call to the youth to come out of Government schools and colleges, offices and courts and to sacrifice everything for the sake of freedom, Lal Bahadur came out of his school. Though his mother and relatives advised him not to do so, he was firm in his decision. Lal Bahadur was arrested during the Non-cooperation movement but as he was too young he was let off.

After his release Lal Bahadur joined Kashi Vidya Peeth and for four years he studied philosophy. In 1926, Lal Bahadur earned the degree of "Shastri" After leaving Kashi Vidya Peeth, Lal Bahadur Shastri joined "The Servants of the People Society", which Lala Lajpat Rai had started in 1921. The aim of the Society was to train youths that were prepared to dedicate their lives in the service of the country. In 1927, Lal Bahadur Shastri married Lalitha Devi. The marriage ceremony was very simple and Shastriji took only a charkha (spinning wheel) and few yards of Khadi in dowry.

In 1930, Gandhiji gave the call for Civil Disobedience Movement. Lal Bahadur Shastri joined the movement and encouraged people not to pay land revenue and taxes to the government. He was arrested and put in jail for two and a half years. In jail Shastriji became familiar with the works of western philosophers, revolutionaries and social reformers. Lal Bahadur Shastri had great self respect. Once when he was in prison, one of his daughters fell seriously ill. The officers agreed to release him out for a short time but on condition that he should agree in writing not to take part in the freedom 'movement during this period. Lal Bahadur did not wish to participate in the freedom movement during his temporary release from prison; but he said that he would not give it in writing. He thought that it was against his self-respect to give it in writing.

After Second World War started in 1939, Congress launched "Individual Satyagraha" in 1940 to demand freedom. Lal Bahadur Shastri was arrested during Individual Satyagraha and released after one year. On August 8, 1942, Gandhiji gave the call for Quit India Movement. Lal Bahadur actively participated in the movement. He went underground but was later arrested. Lal Bahadur Shastri was released in 1945 along with other major leaders. He earned the praise of Pandit Govind Vallabh Pant by his hard work during the 1946 provincial elections. Lal Bahadur's administrative ability and organization skills came to the fore during this time. When Govind Vallabh Pant became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, he appointed Lal Bahadur Shastri as his Parliamentary Secretary. In 1947, Lal Bahadur Shastri became the Minister of Police and Transport in Pant's Cabinet.

Lal Bahadur Sastri was the General Secretary of the Congress Party when the first general elections were held after India became Republic. Congress Party returned to power with a huge majority. In 1952, Jawahar Lal Nehru appointed Lal Bahadur Shastri as the Railways and Transport Minister in the Central Cabinet. Lal Bahadur Shastri's contribution in providing more facilities to travelers in third class compartments cannot be forgotten. He reduced the vast disparity between the first class and third class in the Railways. Lal Bahadur Shastri resigned from Railways in 1956, owning moral responsibility for a railway accident. Jawaharlal Nehru tried to persuade Shastriji but Lal Bahadur Shastri refused to budge from his stand. By his action Lal Bahadur Shastri set new standards of morality in public life.

In the next general elections when Congress returned to power, Lal Bahadur Shastri became the Minister for Transport and Communications and later the Minister for Commerce and Industry. He became the Home Minister in 1961, after the death of Govind Vallabh Pant. In the 1962 India-China war Shastriji played a key role in maintaining internal security of the country.

After the death of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964, Lal Bahadur Shastri was unanimously elected as the Prime Minister of India. It was a difficult time and the country was facing huge challenges. There was food shortage in the country and on the security front Pakistan was creating problems. In 1965, Pakistan tried to take advantage of India's vulnerability and attacked India. Mild-mannered Lal Bahadur Shastri rose to the occasion and led the country ably. To enthuse soldiers and farmers he coined the slogan of "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan". Pakistan lost the war and Shastriji's leadership was praised all over the world.

In January 1966, to broker peace between India and Pakistan, Russia mediated a meeting between Lal Bahadur Shastri and Ayub Khan in Tashkent, Russia. India and Pakistan signed the joint declaration under Russian mediation. Under the treaty India agreed to return to Pakistan all the territories occupied by it during the war. The joint declaration was signed on January 10, 1966 and Lal Bahadur Shastri died of heart attack on the same night.



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9th August 2009, 07:25 PM



MAULANA ABDUL KALAM AZAD

Born: November 11, 1888
Died: February 22, 1958

Achievements: Started a weekly journal Al Hilal to increase the revolutionary recruits amongst the Muslims; elected as Congress President in 1923 and 1940; became independent India's first education minister.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad's real name was Abul Kalam Ghulam Muhiyuddin. He was popularly known as Maulana Azad. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was one of the foremost leaders of Indian freedom struggle. He was also a renowned scholar, and poet. Maulana Azad was well versed in many languages viz. Arabic, English, Urdu, Hindi, Persian and Bengali. Maulana Azad was a brilliant debater, as indicated by his name, Abul Kalam, which literally means "lord of dialogue". He adopted the pen name 'Azad' as a mark of his mental emancipation from a narrow view of religion and life. Maulana Azad became independent India's first education minister. For his invaluable contribution to the nation, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was posthumously awarded India's highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna in 1992.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was born on November 11, 1888 in Mecca. His forefather's came from Herat (a city in Afghanistan) in Babar's days. Azad was a descendent of a lineage of learned Muslim scholars, or maulanas. His mother was an Arab and the daughter of Sheikh Mohammad Zaher Watri and his father, Maulana Khairuddin, was a Bengali Muslim of Afghan origins. Khairuddin left India during the Sepoy Mutiny and proceeded to Mecca and settled there. He came back to Calcutta with his family in 1890.

Because of his orthodox family background Azad had to pursue traditional Islamic education. He was taught at home, first by his father and later by appointed teachers who were eminent in their respective fields. Azad learned Arabic and Persian first and then philosophy, geometry, mathematics and algebra. He also learnt English, world history, and politics through self study.

Azad was trained and educated to become a clergyman. He wrote many works, reinterpreting the Holy Quran. His erudition led him to repudiate Taqliq or the tradition of conformity and accept the principle of Tajdid or innovation. He developed interest in the pan-Islamic doctrines of Jamaluddin Afghani and the Aligarh thought of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. Imbued with the pan-Islamic spirit, he visited Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Turkey. In Iraq he met the exiled revolutionaries who were fighting to establish a constitutional government in Iran. In Egypt he met Shaikh Muhammad Abduh and Saeed Pasha and other revolutionary activists of the Arab world. He had a first hand knowledge of the ideals and spirit of the Young Turks in Constantinople. All these contacts metamorphosed him into a nationalist revolutionary.

On his return from abroad, Azad met two leading revolutionaries of Bengal- Aurobindo Ghosh and Sri Shyam Shundar Chakravarty,-and joined the revolutionary movement against British rule. Azad found that the revolutionary activities were restricted to Bengal and Bihar. Within two years, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, helped setup secret revolutionary centers all over north India and Bombay. During that time most of his revolutionaries were anti-Muslim because they felt that the British Government was using the Muslim community against India's freedom struggle. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad tried to convince his colleagues to shed their hostility towards Muslims.

In 1912, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad started a weekly journal in Urdu called Al Hilal to increase the revolutionary recruits amongst the Muslims. Al-Hilal played an important role in forging Hindu-Muslim unity after the bad blood created between the two communities in the aftermath of Morley-Minto reforms. Al Hilal became a revolutionary mouthpiece ventilating extremist views. The government regarded Al Hilal as propogator of secessionist views and banned it in 1914. Maulana Azad then started another weekly called Al-Balagh with the same mission of propagating Indian nationalism and revolutionary ideas based on Hindu-Muslim unity. In 1916, the government banned this paper too and expelled Maulana Abul Kalam Azad from Calcutta and interned him at Ranchi from where he was released after the First World War in 1920.

After his release, Azad roused the Muslim community through the Khilafat Movement. The aim of the movement was to re-instate the Khalifa as the head of British captured Turkey. Maulana Azad supported Non-Cooperation Movement started by Gandhiji and entered Indian National Congress in 1920. He was elected as the president of the special session of the Congress in Delhi (1923). Maulana Azad was again arrested in 1930 for violation of the salt laws as part of Gandhiji's Salt Satyagraha. He was put in Meerut jail for a year and a half. Maulana Azad became the president of Congress in 1940 (Ramgarh) and remained in the post till 1946. He was a staunch opponent of partition and supported a confederation of autonomous provinces with their own constitutions but common defence and economy. Partition hurt him greatly and shattered his dream of an unified nation where Hindus and Muslims can co-exist and prosper together.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad served as the Minister of Education in Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's cabinet from 1947 to 1958. He died of a stroke on February 22, 1958.



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Motilal Nehru - 9th August 2009, 07:28 PM


Motilal Nehru


Born: May 6, 1861
Died: February 6, 1931
Achievements: Elected as Congress President twice; formed Swaraj Party and was Leader of the Opposition in the Central Legislative Assembly; prepared a draft Constitution for India.

Motilal Nehru was a doyen of Indian freedom struggle. He was the patriarch of what later became modern India's most powerful political dynasty. He was one of the most brilliant lawyers of the pre-independence India. He was elected as Congress President twice and is famous as the father of India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. He was affectionately called as Pandit Motilal Nehru.

Motilal Nehru was born on May 6, 1861 in Delhi in a Kashmiri brahmin family. His father was Gangadhar and his mother was Jeevarani. Motilal Nehru's father died before Motilal was born. Moti Lal Nehru was brought up by his elder brother Nandalal who was a junior lawyer in Allahabad.

Motilal Nehru became one of the first generation of young Indians to receive 'Western-style' college education. He attended Muir College at Agra, but failed to appear for the final year B.A examinations. He then decided to join legal profession and appeared for law examination. Motilal Nehru secured first place in law examination and started his practice as lawyer in Kanpur in 1883.

Later Motilal Nehru settled in Allahabad and earned a mark for himself as one of the best lawyers of the country. He used to earns in lakhs every month and lived with great splendor and pomp. He bought a large family home in the Civil Lines of Allahabad and christened it as Anand Bhavan. He frequently visited Europe and adopted Western lifestyle. In 1909 he reached the pinnacle of his legal career by gaining the approval to appear in the Privy Council of Great Britain. In 1910, Motilal contested the election to the Legislative Assembly of the United Provinces and won.

The arrival of Mahatma Gandhi on Indian political scene transformed Motilal Nehru. Jalianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar in 1919 shattered his faith in British rule and he decided to enter freedom struggle. The British government appointed a Commission to inquire into the Jalianwala Bagh incident. The Congress boycotted this commission. It appointed its own Inquiry Committee. Mahatma Gandhi, Motilal Nehru, Chittranjan Das were among its members. Following Mahatma Gandhi's call for Non Cooperation movement, he gave up his legal practice. He also shunned his luxurious lifestyle, gave away his Western clothes and articles and started wearing khadi.

Motilal Nehru was elected as Congress President in 1919 and 1920. In 1923, he founded the Swaraj party along with Deshbandhu Chittranjan Das. The object of the Swaraj Part was to enter the Legislative Assembly as elected members to oppose the government. Motilal Nehru first became the Secretary and later the President of Swaraj party. He became the Leader of the Opposition in the Central Legislative Assembly and vociferously opposed and exposed the decisions of the government.

When the Simon Commission was appointed in 1927, Motilal Nehru was asked to draw up a draft constitution for free India. The constitution, drawn up by him, proposed Dominion status for India. The radical wing of the Congress led by Jawaharlal Nehru, and Subash Chandra Bose opposed Dominion status and favoured full freedom.

Motilal Nehru was arrested in 1930, in the wake of Civil Disobedience Movement. He was released in 1931, in view of his deteriorating health. Motilal Nehru passed away on February 6, 1931 in Lucknow.



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Dr. Rajendra Prasad - 9th August 2009, 07:31 PM



DR. RAJENDRA PRASAD

Born: December 3, 1884
Died: February 28, 1963
Achievements: First President of independent India; President of the Constituent Assembly; President of Congress in 1943 and 1939.

Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the first President of independent India. He was the President of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the Constitution. He had also served as a Cabinet Minister briefly in the first Government of independent India. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was one of the foremost disciples of Gandhiji and he played a crucial role in Indian freedom struggle.

Dr. Rajendra Prasad was born on December 3, 1884 in Ziradei village in Siwan district of Bihar. His father's name was Mahadev Sahay and his mother's name was Kamleshwari Devi. Rajendra Prasad was youngest among his siblings. Mahadev Sahay was a Persian and Sanskrit language scholar. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was greatly attached to his mother and elder brother Mahendra.

At the age of five Rajendra Prasad was, according to the practice in the community to which he belonged, put under a Maulavi who taught him Persian. Later, he was taught Hindi and arithmetic. At the age of 12, Rajendra Prasad was married to Rajvanshi Devi.

Dr. Rajendra Prasad was a brilliant student. He stood first in the entrance examination to the University of Calcutta, and was awarded a monthly scholarship of Rs.30. He joined the famous Calcutta Presidency College in 1902. Here his teachers included the great scientist Jagdish Chandra Ray and the highly respected Prafulla Chandra Roy. Later on he switched from Science to Arts and completed his M.A. and Masters in Law. Meanwhile, in 1905, Doctor, Rajendra Prasad was initiated into the Swadeshi Movement by his elder brother Mahendra. He also joined the Dawn Society run by Satish Chandra Mukherjee, and Sister Nivedita.

The arrival of Mahatma Gandhi on the Indian national scene greatly influenced Dr. Rajendra Prasad. While Gandhiji was on a fact-finding mission in Champaran district of Bihar, he called on Rajendra Prasad to come to Champaran with volunteers. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was greatly impressed by the dedication, conviction and courage that Gandhiji displayed. Gandhiji's influence greatly altered Dr. Rajendra Prasad's outlook. He sought ways to simplify his life and reduced the number of servants he had to one. He started doing his daily chores such as sweeping the floor, washing the utensils-the tasks he had all along assumed others would do for him.

After coming into contact with Gandhiji, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, immersed himself fully into the freedom struggle. He played a active role during Non-Cooperation Movement. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was arrested in 1930 while participating in Salt Satyagraha. He was in jail when on 15 January 1934 a devastating earthquake struck Bihar. Rajendra Prasad was released from the jail two days later and he immediately set himself for the task of raising funds and organizing relief. The Viceroy also raised a fund for the purpose. However, while Rajendra Prasad's fund collected over Rs.3.8million, the Viceroy could only manage one-third of that amount. The way the relief was organized, it amply demonstrated the administrative acumen of Dr. Rajendra Prasad. Soon after this Dr Rajendra Prasad was elected as the President of the Bombay session of the Indian National Congress. He was elected as Congress President again in 1939 in the following the resignation of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose.

In July 1946, when the Constituent Assembly was established to frame the Constitution of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected its President. Two and a half years after independence, on January 26, 1950, the Constitution of independent India was ratified and Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as India's first President. As a President, he used his moderating influence silently and unobtrusively and set a healthy precedent for others to follow. During his tenure as President he visited many countries on missions of goodwill and sought to establish and nourish new relationships.

In 1962, after 12 years as President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad retired, and was subsequently awarded the Bharat Ratna, the nation's highest civilian award. He spent the last few months of his life in retirement at the Sadaqat Ashram in Patna. Dr. Rajendra Prasad died on February 28, 1963.



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9th August 2009, 07:33 PM


RAJIV GANDHI

Born: August 20, 1944
Died: May 21, 1991

Achievements: Became Prime Minister of India at the age of 40. Led Congress to its greatest victory in the Lok Sabha elections, winning about 80 per cent of seats. Played a key role in the introduction of computers in India.

Rajiv Gandhi was the youngest Prime Minister of India. He became Prime Minister at the age of 40. Rajiv Gandhi came from a family that had great political lineage. He was the eldest son of Indira and Feroze Gandhi. Her mother Indira Gandhi and grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru were Prime Ministers of India. As a Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi made a valuable contribution in modernizing Indian administration. He had the vision and foresight to see that information technology will play a key role in the 21 century and worked actively to develop India's capacity in this realm.

Rajiv Gandhi was born on August 20, 1944 in Bombay (Mumbai) in India's most famous political family. His grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru played a stellar role in India's freedom struggle and became independent India's first Prime Minister. His parents lived separately and Rajiv Gandhi was raised at his grandfather's home where her mother lived. Rajeev Gandhi did his schooling from the elite Doon school and then studied at the University of London and at Trinity College, Cambridge in Britain. At Cambridge, Rajiv Ghandi met and fell in love with an Italian student Sonia Maino and they got married in 1969.

Returning to India, Rajeev Ghandi became a commercial airline pilot. His younger brother Sanjay Gandhi entered politics and became a trusted lieutenant of her mother Indira Gandhi. After Sanjay's death in a plane crash in 1980, Rajiv reluctantly entered politics at the instance of his mother. He won his first Lok Sabha election in 1981 from Amethi-the erstwhile constituency of his brother. Soon he became the General Secretary of the Congress Party. After the assassination of Indira Gandhi in October 1984 he became the Prime Minister of India at the age of 40. He called for general elections in 1984 and riding on a massive sympathy wave led Congress to a thumping victory. Congress garnered 80 percent of the seats in the lower house and achieved its greatest victory since independence.

In his initial days as Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi was immensely popular. During his tenure as Prime Minister of India, he brought a certain dynamism to the premiership, which had always been occupied by older people. He is credited with promoting the introduction of computers in India. Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi began leading in a direction significantly different from Indira Gandhi's socialism. He improved bilateral relations with the United States and expanded economic and scientific cooperation. He increased government support for science and technology and associated industries, and reduced import quotas, taxes and tariffs on technology-based industries, especially computers, airlines, defence and telecommunications. He worked towards reducing the red tape in the governance and freeing administration from bureaucratic tangles. In 1986, Rajiv Gandhi announced a national education policy to modernize and expand higher education programs across India.

Rajiv Gandhi authorised an extensive police and army campaign against the militants in Punjab. Rajiv's government suffered a major setback when its efforts to broker peace between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE rebels backfired. As per the peace accords signed in 1987, the LTTE would disarm to the Indian Peace Keeping Force which was sent to Sri Lanka. But distrust and a few incidents of conflict broke out into open fighting between the LTTE militants and Indian soldiers. Over a thousand Indian soldiers were killed, and at last Rajiv Gandhi had to pull out Indian forces from Sri Lanka. It was a failure of Rajiv's diplomacy.

Although Rajeev Gandhi promised to end corruption, he and his party were themselves implicated in corruption scandals. The major scandal being Bofors Gun scandal involving alleged payoffs by the Swedish Bofors arms company. The scandal rapidly eroded his popularity and he lost the next general elections held in 1989. A coalition comprising government came to the power but it could not last its full term and general elections were called in 1991. While campaigning for elections in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991 by a suicide bomber belonging to LTTE.



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11th August 2009, 06:33 PM

SARDAR PATEL





Born: October 31, 1875

Died: December 15, 1950

Achievements: Successfully led Kheda Satyagraha and Bardoli revolt against British government; elected Ahmedabad's municipal president in 1922, 1924 and 1927; elected Congress President in 1931; was independent India's first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister; played a key role in political integration of India; conferred Bharat Ratna in 1991.

Sardar Patel was popularly known as Iron Man of India. His full name was Vallabhbhai Patel. He played a leading role in the Indian freedom struggle and became the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of India. He is credited with achieving political integration of India.

Vallabhbhai Patel was born on October 31, 1875 in Nadiad, a small village in Gujarat. His father Jhaverbhai was a farmer and mother Laad Bai was a simple lady. Sardar Vallabhai's early education took place in Karamsad. Then he joined a school in Petlad. After two years he joined a high school in a town called Nadiad. He passed his high school examination in 1896. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was a brilliant student throughout his schooling.

Vallabhbhai wanted to become a barrister. To realize this ambition he had to go to England. But he did not have the financial means to even join a college India. In those days a candidate could study in private and sit for an examination in Law. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel borrowed books from a lawyer of his acquaintance and studied at home. Occasionally he attended courts of law and listened attentively to the arguments of lawyer. Vallabhbhai passed the Law examination with flying colours.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel started his Law practice in Godhra. Soon his practice flourished. He got married to Jhaberaba. In 1904, he got a baby daughter Maniben, and in 1905 his son Dahyabhai was born. Vallabhbhai sent his elder brother Vitthalbhai, who himself was a lawyer, to England for higher studies in Law. Patel was only thirty-three years old when his wife died. He did not wish to marry again. After his brother's return, Vallabhbhai went to England. He studied with single-minded devotion and stood first in the Barrister-at-Law Examination.

Sardar Patel returned to India in 1913 and started his practice in Ahmedabad. Soon he became popular. At the urging of his friends, Patel contested and won elections to become the sanitation commissioner of Ahmedabad in 1917. Sardar Patel was deeply impressed by Gandhiji's success in Champaran Satyagraha. In 1918, there was a drought in the Kheda division of Gujarat. Peasants asked for relief from the high rate of taxes but the British government refused. Gandhiji took up peasants cause but could not devote his full time in Kheda. He was looking for someone who could lead the struggle in his absence. At this point Sardar Patel volunteered to come forward and lead the struggle. He gave up his lucrative legal practice and entered public life.

Vallabhbhai successfully led peasants revolt in Kheda and the revolt ended in 1919 when the British government agreed to suspend collection of revenue and roll back the rates. Kheda Satyagraha turned Vallabhbhai Patel into a national hero. Vallabhbhai supported Gandhi's Non-Cooperation Movement, and as president of the Gujarat Congress, helped in organizing bonfires of British goods in Ahmedabad. He gave up his English clothes and started wearing Khadi. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel was elected Ahmedabad's municipal president in 1922, 1924 and 1927. During his terms, Ahmedabad was extended a major supply of electricity and underwent major education reforms. Drainage and sanitation systems were extended over all the city.

In 1928, Bardoli Taluka in Gujarat suffered from floods and famine. In this hour of distress the British government raised the revenue taxes by thirty percent. Sardar Patel took up cudgels on behalf of the farmers and appealed to the Governor to reduce the taxes. The Governor refused and the government even announced the date of the collection of the taxes. Sardar Patel organized the farmers and told them not to pay even a single pie of tax. The government tried to repress the revolt but ultimately bowed before Vallabhbhai Patel. It was during the struggle and after the victory in Bardoli that caused intense excitement across India, that Patel was increasingly addressed by his colleagues and followers as Sardar.

Disobedience Movement in 1930. After the signing of Gandhi-Irwin pact in 1931, Sardar Patel was released and he was elected Congress president for its 1931 session in Karachi. Upon the failure of the Round Table Conference in London, Gandhiji and Sardar Patel were arrested in January 1932 and imprisoned in the Yeravada Central Jail. During this term of imprisonment, Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi grew close to one another, and the two developed a close bond of affection, trust, and frankness without reserve. Sardar Patel was finally released in July 1934.

In August 1942, the Congress launched the Quit India Movement. The government jailed all the important leaders of the Congress, including Vallabhai Patel. All the leaders were released after three years. After achieving independence on 15th of August 1947, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of independent India and Sardar Patel became the Deputy Prime Minister. He was in charge of Home Affairs, Information and Broadcasting and the Ministry of States.

There were 565 princely states in India at that time. Some of the Maharajas and Nawabs who ruled over these were sensible and patriotic. But most of them were drunk with wealth and power. They were dreaming of becoming independent rulers once the British quit India. They argued that the government of free India should treat them as equals. Some of them went to the extent of planning to send their representatives to the United Nations Organization. Patel invoked the patriotism of India's monarchs, asking them to join in the freedom of their nation and act as responsible rulers who cared about the future of their people. He persuaded the princes of 565 states of the impossibility of independence from the Indian republic, especially in the presence of growing opposition from their subjects. With great wisdom and political foresight, he consolidated the small kingdoms. The public was with him. He tackled the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Nawab of Junagarh who initially did not want to join India. Sardar Patel's untiring efforts towards the unity of the country brought success. He united a scattered nation without much bloodshed. Due to the achievement of this massive task, Sardar Patel got the title of 'Iron Man'. Sardar Patel died of cardiac arrest on December 15, 1950. For his services to the nation Sardar Patel was conferred with Bharat Ratna in 1991.




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Sarojini Naidu - 11th August 2009, 06:35 PM



SAROJINI NAIDU

Born: February 13, 1879
Died: March 2, 1949
Achievements: She was the first Indian woman to become the President of the Indian National Congress and the first woman to become the governor of a state in India.

Sarojini Naidu was a distinguished poet, renowned freedom fighter and one of the great orators of her time. She was famously known as Bharatiya Kokila (The Nightingale of India). Sarojini Naidu was the first Indian woman to become the President of the Indian National Congress and the first woman to become the governor of a state in India.

Sarojini Naidu was born on February 13, 1879. Her father Aghoranath Chattopadhyaya was a scientist and philosopher. He was the founder of the Nizam College, Hyderabad. Sarojini Naidu's mother Barada Sundari Devi was a poetess and used to write poetry in Bengali. Sarojini Naidu was the eldest among the eight siblings. One of her brothers Birendranath was a revolutionary and her other brother Harindranath was a poet, dramatist, and actor.

Sarojini Naidu was a brilliant student. She was proficient in Urdu, Telugu, English, Bengali, and Persian. At the age of twelve, Sarojini Naidu attained national fame when she topped the matriculation examination at Madras University. Her father wanted her to become a mathematician or scientist but Sarojini Naidu was interested in poetry. She started writing poems in English. Impressed by her poetry, Nizam of Hyderabad, gave her scholarship to study abroad. At the age of 16, she traveled to England to study first at King's College London and later at Girton College, Cambridge. There she met famous laureates of her time such as Arthur Simon and Edmond Gausse. It was Gausse who convinced Sarojini to stick to Indian themes-India's great mountains, rivers, temples, social milieu, to express her poetry. She depicted contemporary Indian life and events. Her collections "The golden threshold (1905)", "The bird of time (1912)", and "The broken wing (1912)" attracted huge Indian and English readership.

At the age of 15, she met Dr. Govindarajulu Naidu and fell in love with him. a non-brahmin, and a doctor by profession. After finishing her studies at the age of 19, she married him during the time when inter-caste marriages were not allowed. It was a revolutionary step but Sarojini's father fully supported her in her endeavour. Sarojini Naidu had a happy married life and had four children: Jayasurya, Padmaj, Randheer, and Leilamani.

Sarojini Naidu joined the Indian national movement in the wake of partition of Bengal in 1905. She came into contact with Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Rabindranath Tagore, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Annie Besant, C.P.Rama Swami Iyer, Gandhiji and Jawaharlal Nehru. She awakened the women of India. She brought them out of the kitchen. She traveled from state to state, city after city and asked for the rights of the women. She re-established self-esteem within the women of India.

In 1925, Sarojini Naidu presided over the annual session of Indian National Congress at Kanpur. Sarojini Naidu played a leading role during the Civil Disobedience Movement and was jailed along with Gandhiji and other leaders. In 1942, Sarojini Naidu was arrested during the "Quit India" movement and was jailed for 21 months with Gandhiji. She shared a very warm relationship with Gandhiji and used to call him "Mickey Mouse".

After Independence, Sarojini Naidu became the Governor of Uttar Pradesh. She was India's first woman governor. Sarojini Naidu died in office on March 2 ,1949.



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Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan - 11th August 2009, 06:36 PM


Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan



born: September 5, 1888
Died: April 17, 1975
Achievements: First Vice President and second President of India. Placed Indian philosophy on world map.

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was first Vice President of India and second President of India. He was also a philosopher and introduced the thinking of western idealist philosophers into Indian thought. He was a famous teacher and his birthday is celebrated as Teacher's Day in India.

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was born on September 5, 1888 at Tirutani, Madras in a poor Brahmin family. As his father was poor Radhakrishnan supported most of his education through scholarships. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan had his early education at Gowdie School, Tiruvallur and then went to the Lutheran Mission School in Tirupati for his high school. He joined the Voorhee's College in Vellore and later switched to the Madras Christian College. He chose Philosophy as his major subject and did his B.A. and M.A. in it.

After completing his M.A., Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, accepted an Assistant Lectureship at the Madras Presidency College in 1909. In college, he mastered the classics of Hindu philosophy, namely the Upanishads, Bhagvad Gita, Brahmasutra, and commentaries of Sankara, Ramunuja and Madhava. He also acquainted himself with Buddhist and Jain philosophy and philosophies of Western thinkers such as Plato, Plotinus, Kant, Bradley, and Bergson.

In 1918, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was selected as Professor of Philosophy by the University of Mysore. In 1921, Radhakrishnan was nominated as Professor of Philosophy at the Calcutta University, 1921. In 1923, Dr. Radhakrishnan's book "Indian Philosophy" was published. The book was hailed as a "philosophical classic and a literary masterpiece."

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was called to Oxford University, to deliver lectures on Hindu philosophy. He used his lectures as a platform to further India's cause for freedom. He also argued that Western philosophers, despite all claims to objectivity, were biased by theological influences from their wider culture. He showed that Indian philosophy, once translated into standard academic jargon, is worthy of being called philosophy by Western standards. He thus placed Indian Philosophy on world map.

In 1931, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was elected Vice Chancellor of the Andhra University. In 1939, Radhakrishnan became the Vice Chancellor of the Benaras Hindu University. In 1946, he was appointed as Ambassador to UNESCO. After Independence Dr. Radhakrishnan was requested to Chair the University Education Commission in 1948. The Radhakrishnan Committee's suggestions helped mould the education system for India's needs.

In 1949, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was appointed ambassador to the Soviet Union. He helped laid the foundation for a strong relationship with Soviet Union. Radhakrishnan was elected first Vice-President of India in 1952. He was honored with the Bharat Ratna in 1954. After serving two terms as Vice-President, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was elected President of India in 1962. During his tenure as President India fought wars with China and Pakistan. As President he helped see India through those trying years safely. He retired as President in 1967 and settled in Madras.

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan died on April 17, 1975.



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11th August 2009, 06:38 PM




Subhas Chandra Bose

Born: January 23, 1897
Died: August 18, 1945

Achievements: Passed Indian Civil Services Exam; elected Congress President in 1938 and 1939; formed a new party All India Forward block; organized Azad Hind Fauj to overthrow British Empire from India.

Subhas Chandra Bose, affectionately called as Netaji, was one of the most prominent leaders of Indian freedom struggle. Though Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru have garnered much of the credit for successful culmination of Indian freedom struggle, the contribution of Subash Chandra Bose is no less. He has been denied his rightful place in the annals of Indian history. He founded Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj) to overthrow British Empire from India and came to acquire legendary status among Indian masses.

Subhas Chandra Bose was born on January 23, 1897 in Cuttack, Orissa. His father Janaki Nath Bose was a famous lawyer and his mother Prabhavati Devi was a pious and religious lady. Subhas Chandra Bose was the ninth child among fourteen siblings. Subhas Chandra Bose was a brilliant student right from the childhood. He topped the matriculation examination of Calcutta province and graduated with a First Class in Philosophy from the Scottish Churches College in Calcutta. He was strongly influenced by Swami Vivekananda's teachings and was known for his patriotic zeal as a student. To fulfill his parents wishes he went to England in 1919 to compete for Indian Civil Services. In England he appeared for the Indian Civil Service competitive examination in 1920, and came out fourth in order of merit. However, Subhas Chandra Bose was deeply disturbed by the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre, and left his Civil Services apprenticeship midway to return to India in 1921

After returning to India Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose came under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi and joined the Indian National Congress. On Gandhiji's instructions, he started working under Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, whom he later acknowledged his political guru. Soon he showed his leadership mettle and gained his way up in the Congress' hierarchy. In 1928 the Motilal Nehru Committee appointed by the Congress declared in favour of Domination Status, but Subhas Chandra Bose along with Jawaharlal Nehru opposed it, and both asserted that they would be satisfied with nothing short of complete independence for India. Subhas also announced the formation of the Independence League. Subhas Chandra Bose was jailed during Civil Disobedience movement in 1930. He was released in 1931 after Gandhi-Irwin pact was signed. He protested against the Gandhi-Irwin pact and opposed the suspension of Civil Disobedience movement specially when Bhagat Singh and his associates were hanged.

Subash Chandra Bose was soon arrested again under the infamous Bengal Regulation. After an year he was released on medical grounds and was banished from India to Europe. He took steps to establish centres in different European capitals with a view to promoting politico-cultural contacts between India and Europe. Defying the ban on his entry to India, Subash Chandra Bose returned to India and was again arrested and jailed for a year. After the General Elections of 1937, Congress came to power in seven states and Subash Chandra Bose was released. Shortly afterwards he was elected President of the Haripura Congress Session in 1938. During his term as Congress President, he talked of planning in concrete terms, and set up a National planning Committee in October that year. At the end of his first term, the presidential election to the Tripuri Congress session took place early 1939. Subhas Chandra Bose was re-elected, defeating Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya who had been backed by Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress Working Committee. Clouds of World War II were on the horizon and he brought a resolution to give the British six months to hand India over to the Indians, failing which there would be a revolt. There was much opposition to his rigid stand, and he resigned from the post of president and formed a progressive group known as the Forward Block.

Subhas Chandra Bose now started a mass movement against utilizing Indian resources and men for the great war. There was a tremendous response to his call and he was put under house arrest in Calcutta. In January 1941, Subhas Chandra Bose disappeared from his home in Calcutta and reached Germany via Afghanistan. Working on the maxim that "an enemy's enemy is a friend", he sought cooperation of Germany and Japan against British Empire. In January 1942, he began his regular broadcasts from Radio Berlin, which aroused tremendous enthusiasm in India. In July 1943, he arrived in Singapore from Germany. In Singapore he took over the reins of the Indian Independence Movement in East Asia from Rash Behari Bose and organised the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army) comprising mainly of Indian prisoners of war. He was hailed as Netaji by the Army as well as by the Indian civilian population in East Asia. Azad Hind Fauj proceeded towards India to liberate it from British rule. Enroute it lliberated Andeman and Nicobar Islands. The I.N.A. Head quarters was shifted to Rangoon in January 1944. Azad Hind Fauj crossed the Burma Border, and stood on Indian soil on March 18 ,1944.

However, defeat of Japan and Germany in the Second World War forced INA to retreat and it could not achieve its objective. Subhas Chandra Bose was reportedly killed in an air crash over Taipeh, Taiwan (Formosa) on August 18, 1945. Though it is widely believed that he was still alive after the air crash not much information could be found about him.



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Veer savarkar - 11th September 2009, 08:16 PM



May 28, 1883 to February 26, 1966

Founded the Abhinav Bharat Society and Free India Society; brought out an authentic informative researched work on The Great Indian Revolt of 1857 called "The Indian War of Independence 1857"; founded Hindu Mahasabha.

Veer Savarkar occupies a unique place in the history of Indian freedom struggle. His name evokes controversy. While some consider him as one of the greatest revolutionaries in the Indian freedom struggle, others consider him a communalist and Machiavellian manipulator. Vir Savarkar was also a great orator, prolific writer, historian, poet, philosopher and social worker. He was an extraordinary Hindu scholar. He coined Indian words for telephone, photography, the parliament, among others.

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, lovingly known as `Veer Savarkar`, matriculated in 1901. He received further education in Fergusson College, Pune and graduated from Bombay University. As early as 1899, V.D. Savarkar and his brother Ganesh Savarkar established a revolutionary society `Mitra Mela` for teaching of drill and physical exercises to its members. Savarkar was greatly influenced by Mahatama Sri Agamay Guru Paramhansa who was preaching revolution by force. On 9th June 1906, Savarkar left for London where he reached in July 1906. In January 1910 he had gone to Paris and returned to London on 13th March 1910 when he was arrested on the Victoria Railway Station in pursuance of the arrest warrants issued by the Bow Street Court London on 22nd February 1910 for the offence of "waging war against the King Emperor". The court orders for Savarkar`s return to India were issued on 12th May 1910 and he was finally put in the ship S.S. Morea on 1st July 1910 for journey to India. Each day, rather each minute spent by V.D. Savarkar in London was devoted by him for revolutionising the minds of Indian youth, as has justly been described by Harindra Srivastava in his appreciable book Five Stormy Years, Savarkar in London (1983).

In 1907, Savarkar celebrated the golden jubilee of the Indian War of Independence (1857) with the aim to honour the martyrs. Savarkar gathered a multitude of Indian youth and injected in them the intensity to fight for freedom. He also commemorated the Indian national uprising of 1857 in India House in London on 10th May 1908 and released a two-leaf pamphlet titled, "O` Martyrs!" which was considered as "a blast in London that set the Thames on fire"."

The birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru, a great poet and a great warrior was also celebrated on 29th December 1908 in Caxton Hall, Westminster. Savarkar himself invited all Indians to attend the celebrations. Gifted with the ability to make a moving speech, immaculate sincerity and blazing heart, Savarkar thrilled his audience. `Vande Mataram` (Hail Motherland) was popularised by him as a national hymn.

After one year of exhausting research in the India Office Library, Savarkar wrote The Indian War of Independence of 1857. The book was proscribed even before publication. It was originally written in 1908 in Marathi. The manuscript was smuggled into India by the revolutionaries. The British authorities failed to lay its hands on it even in India and the manuscript reached Paris. It was translated into English under the supervision of V.V.S. Aiyar and the English manuscript was also sent to Paris. It was printed in Holland and the books were smuggled into India under fake fine-looking title covers. This book not only corrected the British version of the national uprising of 1857, but also became a bible for the revolutionaries.

While in Europe, V.D. Sarvarkar maintained his relations with a revolutionary society known as `Abhinav Bharat Samaj` in Maharashtra. Twenty Browning automatic pistols with ammunition were sent by him through one Chaturbhuj Amin, a cook in India House in London who reached Bombay on 6th March 1909, about a week after the arrest of Ganesh Savarkar. One of these pistols was used on 21st December 1909 by A.L. Kanhare for shooting down Jackson, district magistrate of Nasik. During the investigation a conspiracy was came to light. Savarkar`s residence was searched and some incriminatory books and documents were seized. It led to the framing of the Nasik Conspiracy Case. An arrest warrant for V.D. Savarkar was also issued in this case. He was arrested on 13th March 1910 and lodged in Brixton prison. He was put on board the liner Morea on 1st July 1910. The vessel touched at Marseilles on 6th July 1910. Savarkar went to the water closet of the ship on 8th July. Stripping himself practically of all his clothes, he escaped through the port-hole into the sea, swam ashore and ran three meters into the French territory. The English guards ran after him, shouting, "Thief, Thief". Then two French marine gendarmes (French for policeman) ran after him and caught hold of him. They handed him over to the British guards. Savarkar could not speak French and so could not reveal his identity as a political refugee. His recapture created a sort of celebrated question in international law. Savarkar was brought to Bombay on 22nd July 1910.

A special tribunal was set up for his trial under the Special Tribunal Act which had no jury and which had no provision for appeal. It consisted of the chief justice of Bombay high court, Sir Basil Scoth, Sir N.G. Chandravarkar and justice Heaton. VD. Savarkar was defended by Govindrao Gadgil and Rangneker. The case involved thirty-eight persons including VD. Savarkar. The trial opened on 15th September 1910.

Since V.D. Savarkar had challenged his extradition to British India in the international forum, he declined to surrender to the jurisdiction of Indian courts and refused to make any statement or bring any evidence in defence. The tribunal, however, proceeded with the trial regardless of his plea and without waiting for the verdict of the international forum. The trial lasted for sixty-eight days. The judgement was announced on 23rd December 1910. Apart from Keshab Chandra, twenty-eight others were also convicted and eight were acquitted. Savarkar was convicted and sentenced to transportation for life and his property was confiscated.

In the second Nasik Conspiracy Case, Savarkar was charged with abetment in the murder of Jackson, collector of Nasik. He was convicted and sentenced to another deportation for life on 30th January 1911. The Hague Tribunal announced the judgement in the extradition case on 24th February 1911. He was sent to the Andamans in July 1911. The first poem Savarkar composed was on Guru Gobind Singh, the sire of martyrdom.

In 1920, many prominent freedom fighters including Vithalbhai Patel, Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak demanded the release of Savarkar. On May 2, 1921, Savarkar was moved to Ratnagiri jail, and from there to the Yeravada jail. In Ratnagiri jail Savarkar wrote the book 'Hindutva'. On January 6, 1924 he was h freed under the condition that he would not leave Ratnagiri district and abstain from political activity for the next five years. On his release, Veer Savarkar founded the Ratnagiri Hindu Sabha on January 23, 1924 that aimed to preserve India's ancient culture and work for social welfare.

Later Savarkar joined Tilak's Swaraj Party and founded the Hindu Mahasabha as a separate political party. He was elected President of the Mahasabha and toiled for building Hindu Nationalism and later joined the Quit India movement.

The Hindu Mahasabha opposed creation of Pakistan, and took exception to Gandhi's continued Muslim appeasement stances. Nathuram Godse, a volunteer of the Hindu Mahasabha, assassinated Gandhi in 1948 and upheld his actions till his hanging. Veer Savarkar was arrested and indicted by the Government of India in the Mahatma Gandhi assassination case. But he was acquitted by the Supreme Court of India, for reasons of lack of evidence.

Veer Savarkar died on February 26, 1966 at the age of 83.



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jo mann Khojaa apnaa to mujh se buraa naa koye


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Kasturba Gandhi - 18th September 2009, 03:41 PM




Kasturba Gandhi was born to a prosperous businessman Gokuladas Makharji of Porbandar on April 11, 1869. She got married to Mohandas Gandhi, when she was just thirteen years old. At the time of her marriage, Kasturba was an absolute illiterate. Gandhi taught her how to read and write. When her husband left for London for pursuing further studies, she remained in India for upbringing their newly born son Harilal. The couple had three more sons. Well, in this article, we will present you with the biography of Kasturba Gandhi.

In the year 1906, Mohandas Gandhi made up his mind to practice Brahmacharya. Like a good wife, Kasturba always stood by the side of her husband, even if she didn't approve of some of his ideas. Kasturba was very religious minded. She broke the barriers that created caste distinction and lived in ashrams. She always supported her husband in the political protests. She went along with her husband to South Africa in the year 1897. To know the complete life history of Kasturba Gandhi, read on.

From the period between 1904 and 1914, she was actively involved in the Phoenix Settlement near Durban. In the year 1913, she raised her voice against the inhuman working conditions of Indians in South Africa. Infact, she was imprisoned for three months and that too in the jail, where the prisoners were made to do hard labor. In 1915, she accompanied her husband and supported the Indigo planters. There, she taught women and children about basic concepts like personal hygiene, discipline etc.

Kasturba Gandhi suffered from the problem of chronic Bronchitis. To top it, the stress level caused during the Quit India Movement's arrests aggravated her illness. Her health began to decline. The situation got worse, when she got victimized by pneumonia. Her husband disagreed with her idea to go in for penicillin. On February 22, 1944, she had a major heart attack and she died.



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Madame Cama - 18th September 2009, 03:44 PM



Madame Cama


Madame Camawas the fiery patriot who first unfurled India’s flag at an international assembly. She turned away from a life of luxury and lived an exile – to serve her country. And the mighty British Government grew afraid of her.

Madame Cama, Veer Savarkar and some other patriots met and designed that tricolor flag in 1905. It was flown first in 1905 in Berlin and next in 1907 in Bengal.

The tricolor flag contained green, saffron and red stripes. In the green stripe at the top there were eight blooming lotuses. India was then divided into eight provinces and the flowers represented these provinces. The words ‘Vande Mataram’ in Devanagari script across the central saffron strip of the flag were a salutation to Mother India. In the red stripe at thebottom there was a half-moon on the right and the rising sun on the left. Red represents strength, saffron represents victory; and boldness and enthusiasm are represented by green. “This flag was designed by a distinguished selfless young Indian patriot” said Madame Cama. She was referring to Veer Savarkar.

In August 1907, she learnt that the International Socialist Conference would be held in Stuttgart ‘in Germany. Madame Cama got a golden opportunity to expose to worldview the conditions in enslaved India. A thousand representatives from several countries of the world attended the Conference. When India’s turn came, Madame Cama ascended the rostrum. She was wearing a colorful saree. She had an attractive personality. Dignity shone in the face. The representative’s thought: ‘She is an Indian princess.’

Madame Cama spoke about the sorrows and the poverty of lakes of Indians who were suffering silently. ‘One-fifth of mankind lives in India. All lovers of freedom should cooperate to free these people from subjection.’ This was the gist of the resolution, she boldly placed before the conference. She condemned the British Government which was looting from India thirty-five million pounds every year. She explained how the Indian economy was growing weaker day by day because of the lawless imperialists sucking the blood of India. At the end of her speech she unfurled the Indian flag and said:. “This flag is of Indian Independence. Behold it is born! It has been made sacred by the blood of young Indians who sacrificed their lives.I call upon you, gentle men, to rise and salute this flag of Indian Independence. In the name of this flag I appeal to lovers of freedom all over the world to cooperate with this flag.”

As if held by magic, the whole assembly stood up and honored the flag. Madame Cama was the lady who first unfurled the Indian flag, in a foreign land, in the presence of representatives of many countries! “It is my practice to speak under the flag of my country” – she would say and unfurl the flag before she spoke at any function.

After the conference in Germany concluded she came to America. To gain the support of the people there for the sacred cause in which she was engaged she had to start a campaign. In New York she explained her objects to press reporters who met her and they were full of praise for her. She told the reporters that lakes and lakes of people in India,although illiterate and suffering from hunger, loved their country. There was confidence and hope in the voice of Madame Cama when she said that Indians would attain independence within a few years and live in liberty, equality and brotherhood.

It was 28th October 1907. The Minerva Club had organized a meeting at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The speaker was Madame Cama. In her speech she said that Indians should be given the political right to vote.

“People here may know of Russia. But they may not know much about conditions in India. The British Government is adopting the practice of destroying people who are educated and can think, or of sending them to jail. They are torturing the people and driving them to hospitals in jails. We desire a peaceful atmosphere and not bloody revolution. By proceeding in a non-violent manner as far as possible we have to overthrow despotic rule” said Madame Cama. Also Madame Cama spoke at several places. She may be called Mother India’s representative to the United States of America.

In 1914, when the First World War began, Madame Cama’s activities to gain the country’s freedom became intense. The leading articles in the press condemning the autocratic rule of the British grew sharper.

To the Indian soldiers fighting for the British, she gave a warning in the following words: “Children of Mother India, you are being deceived. Do not take part in this war. You are going to fight and die, not for India, but for the British.The British have put shackles on Mother India’s hands; think how they can be removed. If you help the British, you will tighten the shackles.”

She herself would visit army camps in Marseilles. There she would meet Indian soldiers and ask them to keep away from the war. Questioned she: “Are you going to fight for those who have imprisoned your mother?” Return the arms, she would preach.

The French were allies of the British. Therefore the French Government must have been dissatisfied with the propa- ganda carried on by Madame Cama. The French Government warned Madame Cama that she was carrying on false propaganda against the British.

Madame Cama passed away on 13th August 1936. She had fought for India’s freedom. That freedom dawned eleven years after her death.

In a sense Madame Cama’s life abroad where she fought for India’s freedom was like living in obscurity. She sacrificed her life for the motherland. Even during the last moments of her life she urged repeatedly: “To gain freedom from subjection stand up against all difficulties.” “He who loses freedom will lose virtue. Opposition of tyranny is obedience to God’s command” said Madame Cama; she practiced what she preached.



buraa jo dekhan mai.n Chalaa, buraa naa milyaa koye
jo mann Khojaa apnaa to mujh se buraa naa koye



Last edited by Mayank; 19th September 2009 at 09:54 AM..
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biography of swami vivekanand - 27th September 2009, 04:33 PM




Born: January 12, 1863
Died: July 4, 1902

Achievements: Played a major role in spiritual enlightenment of Indian masses; Spread Vedanta philosophy in the West; established Ramakrishna Mission for the service of the poor.

Swami Vivekananda was one of the most influential spiritual leaders of Vedanta philosophy. He was the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahansa and was the founder of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. Swami Vivekananda was the living embodiment of sacrifice and dedicated his life to the country and yearned for the progress of the poor, the helpless and the downtrodden. He showed a beacon of light to a nation that had lost faith in its ability under British rule and inspired self-confidence among Indians that they are second to none. His ringing words and masterful oratory galvanized the slumbering nation.

Swami Vivekananda real name was Narendranath Dutta. He was born on January12, 1863 in Calcutta. His father's name was Vishwanath Dutta and his mother's name Bhuvaneswari Devi. Narendranath acquired the name of Swami Vivekananda when he became a monk.

As a child Narendra was very lively and naughty. He was good in studies as well as in games. He studied instrumental and vocal music and also practiced meditation from a very early age. Even when Narendra was young he questioned the validity of superstitious customs and discrimination based on caste and religion. As a child Narendra had great respect for sanyasis (ascetics). He would give away anything to anybody if asked for. Whenever a beggar asked for alms, he would give him anything he had. Thus from childhood Narendra had the spirit of sacrifice and renunciation.

In 1879, Narendra passed matriculation and entered Presidency College, Calcutta. After one year, he joined the Scottish Church College, Calcutta and studied philosophy. He studied western logic, western philosophy and history of European nations. As he advanced in his studies, his thinking faculty developed. Doubts regarding existence of God started to arise in Narendra's mind. This made him associate with the Brahmo Samaj, an important religious movement of the time, led by Keshab Chandra Sen. But the Samaj's congregational prayers and devotional songs could not satisfy Narendra's zeal to realise God.

During this time Narendra came to know of Sri Ramakrishna Pramahans of Dakshineswar. Sri Ramakrishna was a priest in the temple of Goddess Kali. He was not a scholar. But he was a great devotee. It was being said of him that he had realized God. Once, Narendra went to Dakshineswar to with his friends see him. He asked Ramakrishna, whether he had seen God. The instantaneous answer from Ramakrishna was, "Yes, I have seen God, just as I see you here, only in a more clear sense." Narendra was astounded and puzzled. He could feel the man's words were honest and uttered from depths of experience. He started visiting Ramakrishna frequently.

It was in Narendra's nature to test something thoroughly before he could accept it. He would not accept Ramakrishna as his guru without a test. Ramakrishna used to say that, in order to realize God, one should give up the desire for money and women. One day Narendra hid a rupee under his pillow. Sri Ramakrishna, who had gone out, came into the room and stretched himself on the cot. At once he jumped up as if bitten by a scorpion. When he shook the mattress, the rupee coin fell down. Later he came to know that it was the doing of Narendra. Narendra accepted Sri Ramakrishna as his guru and took training under him for five years in the Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy of non-dualism. Sri Ramakrishna passed away in 1886 and nominated Narendra as his successor. After his death Narendra and a core group of Ramakrishna's disciples took vows to become monks and renounce everything, and started living in a supposedly haunted house in Baranagore.

In 1890, Narendra set out on a long journey. He covered the length and breadth of the country. He visited Varanasi, Ayodhya, Agra, Vrindavan, Alwar etc. Narendra acquired the name of Swami Vivekananda during the journey. It is said that he was given the name Vivekananda by Maharaja of Khetri for his discrimination of things, good and bad. During his journey, Vivekananda stayed at king's palaces, as well as at the huts of the poor. He came in close contact with the cultures of different regions of India and various classes of people in India. Vivekananda observed the imbalance in society and tyranny in the name of caste. He realised the need for a national rejuvenation if India was to survive at all.

Swami Vivekananda reached Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent on December24, 1892. He swam across the sea and started meditating on a lone rock. He meditated for three days and said later that he meditated about the past, present and future of India. The rock is presently popular as Vivekananda memorial and is a major tourist destination.

In 1893, Swami Vivekananda went to America to attend the Conference of World Religions in Chicago. He earned wild applause for beginning his address with the famous words, "Sisters and brothers of America." Swamiji mesmerized everyone in America with his masterful oratory. Wherever he went, he dwelt at length on the greatness of Indian Culture. He spoke with spontaneous ease on every topic, be it History, Sociology, Philosophy or Literature. He deplored the malicious propaganda that had been unleashed by the Christian missionaries in India. Swami Vivekananda also went to England. Many people became his disciples. Most famous among them was Margaret Nivedita'. She came to India and settled here.

Swami Vivekananda returned to India in 1897 after four years of touring in the West. He started disseminating the message of spiritual development among Indians. He realized that social service was possible only through the concerted efforts on an organized mission. To achieve this objective, Swami Vivekananda started Sri Ramakrishna Mission in 1897 and formulated its ideology and goal. During the next two years he bought a site at Belur on the banks of the Ganga, constructed the buildings and established the Ramakrishna Mutt. He once again toured the West from January 1899 to December 1900.

Swami Vivekananda died on July4, 1902 at Belur Mutt near Calcutta.



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jo mann Khojaa apnaa to mujh se buraa naa koye


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6th March 2011, 12:25 AM

nice work........................thanks for sharing
   
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