Annie Besant, Mrs (1847-1933): President of the Theosophical Society, founder of the Home Rule League(1915-1916) in India, was elected President of Indian National Congress.
Aryabhatta (476-520 A.D.): Mathematician and astronomer; was born in Patliputra; explained the causes of solar and lunar eclipses; discovered the rule for the solution of simple intermediate equations. India's first artificial satellite was named after him.
Asoka, The Great (273-232 B.C.): Emperor of India; one of the best and noblest rulers in the world history; embraced Buddhism after the bloody war of Kalinga; propagated Buddhism far and wide; his inscription on rocks and piliers are of great historical interest.
Aurobindo Ghosh(1872-1950): Politician, philosopher, poet and yogi; educated at Cambridge; passed I.C.S., 1890; first editir of Bande Matram , actively participated in revoluntionary movement; retired to Pondicherry; established in Ashram; wrote Synthesis of Yoga, The Life Divine, Essays on Gita, More light on Yoga etc.
Bankim Chandra Chatterji: Bengali novelist; wrote Anand Math and composed Bande Matram, Durgesh Nandini and Kapal Kundala.
Bhabha, Dr Homi Jehangir (1909-1966): Famous physicist; President, Indian Science Congress 1951; Director, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research; presided over the Atoms for Peace Conference at Geneva, August 1955; Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission of India; died in an air crash near Mt Blanc in January 1966.
Chaitanya(1445-1533): Born at Nadia in Bengal, he was a pioneer of Bhakti Movement. He preached the doctrine of love.
Chanakya (Kautilya) (4th century B.C.): He was the famous Minister of Chandra Gupta Maurya, whom he helped to acquire his kingdom. He was an authority on political economy and his book Arthashastra remains unsurpassed till this day. It throws light on the then system of government, the revenue system, the art of administration, and also the duties of the king.
Das, C R (1870-1925): He was a lawyer, poet, journalist and politician. He supported the programme of Gandiji, but joined hands with Motilal Nehru and Lajpat Rai in forming the Swarajya Party.
Dadabhai, Naoroji (1825-1911): A great nationalist of India; became President of Indian National Congress; was a member of House of Commons, first Indian to be so elected; known as the 'Grand Old Man' of India.
Dayanand, Swami : Founder of Arya Samaj; a great social and religious reformer; fought against untouchability, preached widow re-marriage, supported women's education.
Gandhi, M K (Mahatma)(1869-1948): Born Porbander(Kathiawar) on October 2, 1869; went to England to study law and became a Barister; led Satyagraha movement in South Africa; returned to India in 1915; started Non co-operation movement and Civil Disobedience movement; was shot dead by Nathuram Godse on January 30, 1948.
Harsha Vardhana(606-647 A.D.): He was the last great Hindu King of India. The account of his reign is available from two sources: Hiuen Tsang, a Chinese traveller, and Bana Bhatt, the famous Sanskrit poet; Nalanda University flourished during his time.
Jayaprakash Narayan(1901-1979): Socialist leader and a clear thinker; General Secretary, Congress 1930-32.
Kabir Das: Indian saint and poet of Nirguna Bhakti movement. He believed in the unity of god and equality of all religions. Kabir Vachanamrit, Kabir Beejak and Sakhi are among his works.
Kalidas (A.D.400): Great Sanskrit poet and dramatist; rightly called Indian Shakespeare; known for his works Shakuntala, Raghuvansha, Meghduta, Kumar Sambhava, Ritu Samhar, Vikramorvasi and Malvikagnimitra . He flourished in the time of Vikramaditya.
Keshab Chandra Sen(1838-84): Religious and social reformer of the Brahmo Samaj.
Lajpat Rai (1865-1928): Great patriot; gave up legal practice to serve his country; exiled by the British Government for political activities; stayed in America for political reasons; actively participated in the Non Co-operation movement; popularly known as "Sher-e-Punjab "; started Bande Mantram, a journal. Founded the Servants of People Society in 1924.
Lakshmibai, Rani of Jhansi: The Queen of jhansi, was a brave warrior who took active part in the First War of Independence of India in 1857.
Lal Bahadur Shastri (1904-1966): Took over as Prime Minister of India after the death of Mr. Nehru; a prominent Congress worker, had his early education at Kashi Vidyapith; man of the highest integrity - President of the Servants of the People Society; rose to be the Prime Minister from humble start; a man of peace, determined nationalist, awarded Bharat Ratna posthumously.
Mahavira (599-527 B.C.): Born at Kundagrama(Vaishali, near Muzaffarpur, Bihar). Apostle of non-violence; prescribed code of penance for his followers; got enlightenment under a sala tree; founded monastic orders. Jainism was started by him. The religion continues to flourish, but its growth is limited.
Malaviya, Pandit Mandan Mohan (1861-1946): Twice President of Indian National Congress; founded Banaras Hindu University and was its Vice-Chancellor for many years; Indian delegate to Round Table Conference (R.T.C.); a great patriot and orator.
Mihir Sen : Calcutta Barrister; famous swimmer; he swam across the British Channel ; in 1966, he first crossed the Palk Straits( India and Sri Lanka ), later the Gibralter Strait ( Spain to Morocco ) and Dardanelles Strait and the Bosphorus, awarded Padma Bhushan.
Mira Behn : The well known disciple of Mahatma Gandhi and a recipient of Padma Vibhuhan award in 1962. She was born as Madeline Slade in England in 1892.
Naidu, Mrs Sarojini (1870 - 1948) : First Indian woman President of Indian National Congress; a gifted poetess; She was popularly called the " Nightingale of India 12:57 PM 12/4/00". She wrote a number of books such as Bird of Time, Golden Threshold. She was also the Governor of U.P. in 1947 - 1948.
Nanak Dev, Guru (1469 - 1539) : Founder of the Sikh religion, great saint-poet ; preached Hindu-Muslim unity, fought against ritualism, caste system, formalism; a great saint. His 500th birth centerary was celebrated in India in 1969.
Nehru, Jawaharlal (1889 - 1964) : World famous politician and statesman, a fluent speaker, a staunch believer in secularism, an apostle of peace; took active part in the political movement of India; President of Congress in 1929, 1930, 1952-53; President of the All-India States People Conference 1939; imprisoned several times. Prime Minister of India (1947-1964); a great writer; toured Russia, Poland, Yugoslavia in 1955. Author of the doctrine of Panch Sheel, his sudden death on 27th May 1964 orphaned the Indian Nation. Auther of international fame - The Discovery of India, Glimpses of World History, A Bunch of Old Letters.
Nehru, Pandit Motilal (1861 - 1931) : Father of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, lawyer of great renown; President, Indian National Congress 1919; led the Swarajist Party in Central Assembly ; great political worker of his time, his centenary celebrations were held in 1961.
Paramhansa Yogananda, Swami (1893 - 1952) : Founder of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India / Self-Realization Fellowship; writer of spiritual classic "Autobiography of a Yogi", adjudged the second best book of the 20th Century in USA in spiritual books category. With the blessings of his guru Swami Sri Yukteswar, he has spread the ancient spiritual science of Kriya Yoga worldwide.
Patel, Sardar Vallabhbhai (1875 - 1950) : 'Iron Man' of India; started political life in 1916; imprisoned a number of times; led several Satyagraha movements; President, Indian National Congress 1931; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs, States and Broadcasting from August 15, 1947 to December 14, 1950; his greatest achievement is the integration of the Indian States, rightly called Indian Bismarck. The first centenary of his birth was celebrated in 1975.
Pratap, Maharana : Rajput chief who refused to acknowledge Akbar's overlordship; defeated at Haldighat in 1576; took refuge in a remote fortess; soon reconquered the greater part of his possessions and founded his new capital at Udaipur; died in 1597.
Premchand, Munshi (1880 -1936) : Giant among Urdu and Hindi literaturers; his real name was Dhanpatrai; his birth centenary was celebrated in 1980. Sevasadan, Premasharam, Rangabhoomi, Karamboomi and Godan are among his important works. Godan was his last published novel. he was writing Mangalsutra when he died.
Radhakrishnan, Dr S.(1888-1975): Second President of the Indian Repunblic; was Vice-Chancelor, Banaras Hindu University(1939-48); Indian Ambassador to U.S.S.R.; Awarded Templeton Prize and Bharat Ratna.
Raman Dr C V: Famous physicist who was awarded Noblel Prize for Physics(Raman Effect) in 1930. He founded the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore; awarded Lenin peace Prize in 1958; he was designated a National Scholar in August, 1959; died in November 1970.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy: Social reformer; helped William Bentick, Governor-General of India(1828-35), in the abolition of Sati and other social evils; great scholar of Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit; founder of Brahmo Samaj.
Ray Satyajit: Famous indian film producer, he has directed Pather Panchali, Apur Sansar, Aparajito, Abhijan and Pratidwanti. He was honoured with the Magsaysay Award in 1967, he has won President's Film Award twice. His film Asani Sanket won him Berlin Award. Awarded Ph.D. for his contribution to the films by Oxford University.
Subhas Chandra Bose, Netaji(1897-1945): Prominent Congress leader, started Forward Block within the Congres on account of political differences with Mahatma Gandhdi; disappered from Calcutta in1941, organised I.N.A. at singapore; killed in an aeroplane accident in 1945.
Tagore, Dr. Rabindernath(1861-1941): One of the greatest lyric poets of the world; writer of short stories, novels, dramas; the greatest philosopher, thinker, educationist and huminist; won Noble Prize for Literature in 1913; first Asian recipient of the Noble Prize; founded ihe International University at Shantiniketan(Bolepur) in Bengal; Gitanjali, Gora, Wreck, Post Office,
Sadhana, Home and World are among his famous works.
Tata, Jamshed : Parsi philanthropist and industrialist; founder of Tata Iron and Steel Works; one of the biggest iron and steel factories in Asia at Jamshedpur in the singhbhum District(Bihar).
Tilak, Bal Gangadhar(1856-1920): Great nationalist; imprisoned a number of times , profound scholar of Sanskrit; author of several books; wrote a commentary on Gita( Gita Rahasya) while in jail.
Vidya Sagar, Ishwar Chandra(1820-1898): A social reformer and educationist of Bengal, who is remembered for his pioneering work in the field of primary education and widow remarriage.
V.V.Giri(1894-1980): Labour leader of international fame, twice President of A.I.T.U.C. Formerly Governer of U.P., Vice-President of India(1967-1969). He was elected President of India in 1969 after the death of Dr Zakir Husain.
Vivekananda, Swami: Great propagator of the vedantic philosophy; visited many foreign countries and preached vedantism; staunch follower of Rama Krishna Paramhansa; founded Rama Krishna Mission at Belur(West Bengal).
Zakir Husain, Dr(1897-1969): Proposed Wardha Scheme of education, formerly Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia,1926-53, and later Vice-Chancellor, Muslim University, Aligarh; Governor of Bihar 1957-62; Vice-President of India(1962-67). He was elected as President of India in 1967.
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