26 June 2012

Biography of Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji

Biography of Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji

Maharaja Ganga Singh : Breaking Knowledge

Sri Ganga Singh was born on October 3, 1880, the third and youngest son of Maharaj Sri Lal Singh, and brother to Dungar Singh.
Succeeding his brother in 1887, he was initially educated privately, then at Mayo College, Ajmer from 1889 to 1894. From 1895 to 1898, he was put under the guidance of Thakur Saheb Lall Singh Ji “Churu” for administrative training, learning administrative work from that of Patwari to that of Prime Minister.
Ganga Singhji Imperial War Cabinet : Breaking Knowledge

Ganga Singh with his son in 1914
For military training, he was sent to Deoli in 1898 and attached to the Deoli Regiment, which had the reputation of being one of the finest Regiment in India under the command of Lt. Col. Bell. During the first World War, he commanded the Bikaner Camel Corps which served in France, Egypt and Palestine. [1]
As a ruler, he established a Chief Court in Bikaner, presided over by a Chief Judge who was assisted by two judges. Bikaner was the first State in Rajasthan to take such a step. He announced the establishment of a Representative Assembly in 1913. He later established a High Court with a Chief Justice and two sub-judges by an edict in 1922. Maharaja Ganga Singhji was the first prince in Rajputana to grant full charter of powers to a high court.
A life insurance and Endowment Assurance Scheme was introduced for the benefit of the employees. Also, facilities of a saving bank were made available to the people. He was one of the first rulers to introduce through legislation a Sharda Act by which child marriages were stopped.
He had a personal gun salute of 19-guns granted in 1918 and a permanent local gun salute of 19-guns granted in 1921, was the Hon. ADC to HRH the Prince of Wales in 1902 and to HM George V in 1910. A Member of the Central Recruiting Board-India 1917, he represented India at the Imperial War Conference 1917, the Imperial War Cabinet and the Paris Peace Conference 1919 and was Chancellor of the Indian Chamber of Princes from 1920-26. He also represented India as a delegate at the fifth session of the League of Nations in 1924.[2]
Ganga Sing of Bikaner : Breaking Knowledge
Ganga Singh in the Imperial War Cabinet, 1917.
As well, Singh served as Patron of Benares Hindu University and Sri Bharat Dharam Mahamandal, as Vice President of East India Association and Royal Colonial Institute, a Member of the Indian Gymkhana Club and of the Indian Army Temperance Association, the General Council of Mayo and Daly Colleges the Indian Society of Oriental Art, the Indian Society-London, the Bombay Natural History Society, and was the first Member of the Indian Red Cross Society. Singh a famous Indianfreemasons of his time.
He married 1stly in July 1897 HH Maharani Vallabhkuver Sahiba of Pratapgarh; she died 19 August 1906. He then married 2ndly HH Maharani Sri Bhatiyaniji Sahiba of Bikampur and had issue, four sons and two daughters. He died 2 February 1943 in Bombay after a reign of 56 years, aged 62, and was succeeded by his son Sadul Singh


  • Singh constructed the Ganga Canal. He inspired people to come and settle in this new Command area. A large population settled than there. Among them the Sikh families mostly the land owners, migrated to this region from the Punjab around 1928, when the canal was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh of the former Bikaner state. Hindu families are the original inhabitants of this region; however, there were no permanent settlements in this area (except for a few towns under the old Bikaner state).
  • He successfully dealt with the worst famine of the year 1899-1900 AD in the region. This famine inspired the young Maharaja to establish an irrigation system to get rid of the problem permanently.
  • He developed the city of Sri Ganganagar and its surrounding area as the most fertile grain bowl of Rajasthan
  • He also constructed the Lallgarh Palace at Bikaner (named in memory of his father Lall Singh) between 1902 and 1926.
  • He brought railways and an electricity network to the state.
  • He introduced prison reforms. Bikaner prisoners wove and crafted carpets of India that were sold in the international markets.
  • He established partial internal democracy such as election to the municipalities and appointed a council of ministers to aid and advice.
  • Some land reforms were also introduced.
  • He induced enterprising Industrialist and agriculturists from neighbouring state for starting new ventures in his state.


  • 1880-1887: Maharaj Ganga Singh of Bikaner .
  • 1887-1898: His Highness Maharajadhiraj Raj-Rajeshwar Narendra Shiromani Maharaja Shri Ganga Singh Bahadur, Maharaja of Bikaner
  • 1898-1900: 2nd Lieutenant H.H. Maharajadhiraj Raj-Rajeshwar Narendra Shiromani Maharaja Shri Ganga Singh Bahadur, Maharaja of Bikaner
  • 1900-1901: Major H.H. Maharajadhiraj Raj-Rajeshwar Narendra Shiromani Maharaja Shri Ganga Singh Bahadur, Maharaja of Bikaner, KIH
  • 1901-1904: Maj. H.H. Maharajadhiraj Raj-Rajeshwar Narendra Shiromani Maharaja Sir Ganga Singh Bahadur, Maharaja of Bikaner, KCIE, KIH
  • 1904-1907: Maj. H.H. Maharajadhiraj Raj-Rajeshwar Narendra Shiromani Maharaja Sir Ganga Singh Bahadur, Maharaja of Bikaner, KCSI, KCIE, KIH
  • 1907-1909: Maj. H.H. Maharajadhiraj Raj-Rajeshwar Narendra Shiromani Maharaja Sir Ganga Singh Bahadur, Maharaja of Bikaner, GCIE, KCSI, KIH
  • 1909-1910: Lieutenant-Colonel H.H. Maharajadhiraj Raj-Rajeshwar Narendra Shiromani Maharaja Sir Ganga Singh Bahadur, Maharaja of Bikaner, GCIE , KCSI, KIH
  • 1910-1911: Colonel H.H. Maharajadhiraj Raj-Rajeshwar Narendra Shiromani Maharaja Sir Ganga Singh Bahadur , Maharaja of Bikaner , GCIE , KCSI , KIH .
  • 1911-1917: Col. H.H. Maharajadhiraj Raj-Rajeshwar Narendra Shiromani Maharaja Sir Ganga Singh Bahadur , Maharaja of Bikaner , GCSI, GCIE, KIH .
  • 1917-1919: Major-General H.H. Maharajadhiraj Raj-Rajeshwar Narendra Shiromani Maharaja Sir Ganga Singh Bahadur , Maharaja of Bikaner , GCSI , GCIE, KCB , KIH .
  • 1919-1921: Maj.-Gen. H.H. Maharajadhiraj Raj-Rajeshwar Narendra Shiromani Maharaja Sir Ganga Singh Bahadur , Maharaja of Bikaner , GCSI , GCIE , GCVO , KCB. , KIH .
  • 1921-1930: Maj.-Gen. H.H. Maharajadhiraj Raj-Rajeshwar Narendra Shiromani Maharaja Sir Ganga Singh Bahadur , Maharaja of Bikaner , GCSI. , GCIE , GCVO , GBE , KCB , KIH .
  • 1930-1937: Lieutenant-General H.H. Maharajadhiraj Raj-Rajeshwar Narendra Shiromani Maharaja Sir Ganga Singh Bahadur , Maharaja of Bikaner , GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, GBE, KCB, KIH
  • 1937-1943: General H.H. Maharajadhiraj Raj-Rajeshwar Narendra Shiromani Maharaja Sir Ganga Singh Bahadur , Maharaja of Bikaner , GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, GBE, KCB, KIH


  • Kaiser-i-Hind, 1st Class (KIH)-1900
  • Mentioned in Despatches-1901
  • China War Medal (1900)-1901
  • King Edward VII Coronation Medal-1902
  • Delhi Durbar Medal (gold)-1903
  • Grand Cross of the Order of Philip the Magnanimous of Hesse-1903
  • Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (GCIE)-1907 (KCIE-1901)
  • Honorary LL.D (Cantab.)-1911
  • King George V Coronation Medal-1911
  • Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India (GCSI)-1911 (KCSI-1904)
  • 1914 Star-1914
  • Bailiff Grand Cross of the Order of St John (GCStJ)-1914
  • Mentioned in Despatches-1914
  • Honorary LL.D (Edinburgh)-1917
  • Mentioned in Despatches-1918
  • Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB)-1918
  • British War Medal-1918
  • Victory Medal-1918
  • Grand Cordon of the Order of the Nile of Egypt-1918
  • Honorary DCL (Oxon.)-1919
  • Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO)-1919
  • Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) – New Year Honours 1921, for war service[3]
  • Honorary LL.D (Benares Hindu University)-1927
  • Honorary LL.D (Osmania University)-1927
  • King George V Silver Jubilee Medal-1935
  • King George VI Coronation Medal-1937
  • Africa Star-1942
  • War Medal 1939-1945-1945 (posthumous)
  • 1939-1945 Star-1945 (posthumous)
  • India Service Medal-1945 (posthumous)

 More Biographies:

Biography of A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

 Biography of A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam : Breaking Knowledge

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam
Born - 15 October 1931 in Rameshwaram, Madras Presidency, British India (now Tamil Nadu, India)
Profession – Aerospace Engineering
Religion – Islam
Achievements – This eminent scientist and engineer has also served as the 11th President of India from the period 2002 to 2007. APJ Abdul Kalam is a man of vision, who is always full of ideas aimed at the development of the country. He firmly believes that India needs to play a more assertive role in international relations. Apart from being a notable scientist and engineer, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam served as the 11th President of India from the period 2002 to 2007. He is a man of vision, who is always full of ideas aimed at the development of the country and is also often also referred to as the Missile Man of India. People loved and respected Dr APJ Abdul Kalam so much during his tenure as President that was popularly called the People’s President. Read more about the biography of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam here. APJ Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 at the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu and received honorary doctorates from about 30 universities globally. In the year 1981, the Government of India presented him the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Padma Bhushan and then again, the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 and the Bharat Ratna in 1997. Before Kalam, there have been only two presidents – Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Zakir Hussain – to have received the Bharat Ratna before bring appointed to the highest office in India. Read on about the life history of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who’s also the first scientist and bachelor to occupy the seat of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. His perspectives on important topics have been enunciated by him in the book ‘India 2020′. It highlights the action plans that will help develop the country into a knowledge superpower by the time 2020. One thing for which he received ample kudos is his unambiguous statement that India needs to play a more assertive role in international relations. And Dr APJ Abdul Kalam regards his work on India’s nuclear weapons program as a way to assert India’s place as a future superpower. Even during his tenure as President, APJ Kalam took avid interest in the spheres of India’s science and technology. He has even put forward a project plan for establishing bio-implants. He is also an ardent advocate of open source software over proprietary solutions to churn out more profits in the field of information technology in India.

Political views

In his book India 2020 APJ Abdul Kalam strongly advocates an action plan to develop India into a knowledge superpower and into a developed nation by the year 2020. He regards his work on India’s nuclear weapons program as a way to assert India’s place as a future superpower. It has been reported that there is considerable demand in South Korea for translated versions of books authored by him [8]. Kalam continues to take an active interest in other developments in the field of science and technology. He has proposed a research programme for developing bio-implants. He is a supporter of Open source software over proprietary solutions and believes that the use of open source software on a large scale will bring the benefits of information technology to more people.

As an aerospace engineer

After graduating in Physics from St. Joseph’s College in Tiruchirapalli, Abdul Kalam graduated with a diploma in the mid-1950s from Madras Institute of Technology specializing in Aeronautical Engineering [10]. As the Project Director, he was heavily involved in the development of India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III). As Chief Executive of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), he also played a major part in developing many missiles of India including Agni and Prithvi. Although the entire project has been criticised for being overrun and mismanaged[11]. He was the Chief Scientific Adviser to Prime Minister and Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development from July 1992 to December 1999. Pokhran-II nuclear tests were conducted during this period, and have been associated with Kalam although he was not directly involved with the nuclear programme at the time.


On April 29, 2009, he became the first Asian to be bestowed the Hoover Medal, America’s top engineering prize, for his outstanding contribution to public service. The citation said that he is being recognised for making state-of-the-art healthcare available to the common man at affordable prices, bringing quality medical care to rural areas by establishing a link between doctors and technocrats, using spin-offs of defence technology to create state-of-the-art medical equipment and launching tele-medicine projects connecting remote rural-based hospitals to the super-specialty hospital. A pre-eminent scientist, a gifted engineer, and a true visionary, he is also a humble humanitarian in every sense of the word, it added. On 13 September 2009, he was a recipient of the International von Kármán Wings Award. The Government of India has honoured him with the nation’s highest civilian honours: the Padma Bhushan in 1981; Padma Vibhushan in 1990; and the Bharat Ratna in 1997 for his work with ISRO and DRDO and his role as a scientific advisor to the Indian government.. Kalam is the third President of India to have been honoured with a Bharat Ratna before being elected to the highest office, the other two beingSarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Zakir Hussain. He is also the first scientist and first bachelor to occupy Rashtrapati Bhavan After his tenure as the president he is now a visiting guest professor at JSS university, Mysore. He has agreed to deliver a minimum of four lectures every year.

Books and documentaries

Kalam’s writings
  • Wings of Fire: An Autobiography of APJ Abdul Kalam by A.P.J Abdul Kalam, Arun Tiwari; by K. Bhushan, G. Katyal; A.P.j. Pub. Corp, 2002.
  • Scientist to President by Abdul A.P.J. Kalam; Gyan Publishing House, 2003.
  • Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power Within India by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam; Penguin Books, 2003.
  • India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Y.S. Rajan; Penguin Books India, 2003.
  • India-my-dream by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam; Excel Books, 2004.
  • Envisioning an Empowered Nation: Technology for Societal Transformation by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam; TATA McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Ltd, 2004.
  • Guiding Souls: Dialogues on the Purpose of Life by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Arun K Tiwari; Ocean Books, 2005.
  • Children Ask Kalam by A.P.J Abdul Kalam; Pearson Education, ISBN 81-7758-245-3
  • Indomitable Spirit by A.P.J Abdul Kalam, 2006
  • The Scientific Indian: A Twenty-first Century Guide to the World around Us by APJ Abdul Kalam and YS Rajan
  • Eternal Quest: Life and Times of Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam by S. Chandra; Pentagon Publishers, 2002.
  • President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam by R. K. Pruthi; Anmol Publications, 2002.
  • A. P. J. Abdul Kalam: The Visionary of India’ by K. Bhushan, G. Katyal; A.P.H. Pub. Corp, 2002.
  • A little Dream (documentary film) by P. Dhanapal; Minveli Media Works Private Limited, 2008.
  • The Kalam Effect: My Years with the President by P.M. Nair; Harper Collins, 2008.
  • ‘My Days With Mahatma Abdul Kalam’ by Fr.A.K. George; ISBN No:978-8190452953; Publisher: Novel Corporation, 2009.

More Biographies:

Biography of Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Biography of Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Bal Gangadhar Tilak-Breaking Knowledge

Born: July 23, 1856
Died: August 1, 1920
Achievements: 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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Biography of Sardar Patel

Biography of Sardar Patel

Sardar Patel : Breaking Knowledge

Vallabh Bhai Patel the iron-man of India was born on 13th October, 1875, in a small village Karamsadh of Bombay region. His father Jhaber Bhai Patel was a simple farmer and mother Laad Bai was a simple lady.
From his childhood itself, Patel was a very hard-working individual. He used to help his father in farming and studied in a school at Patelaad. He passed his high-school examination in 1896. Throughout school he was a very wise and intelligent student. Inspite of poor financial conditions his father decided to send him to college but VallabhBhai refused. Around three years he stayed at home, worked hard and prepared for the District Leader’s examinaton, hence passing with very good precentage.
Sardar Patel hated to work for anyone especially the Britishers. He was a person of independent nature. He started his own practice of law in a place called Godhara. Soon the practice flourished. He saved money, made financial arrangement for the entire family. He got married to Jhaberaba. In 1904, he got a baby daughter Maniben, and in 1905 his son Dahya was born. He sent his elder brother to England for higher studies in law. In 1908, Vittha Bhai returned as barrister and started practising in Bombay. In 1909 his wife became seriously ill and was taken to Bombay for treatment VallabhBhai had to go for the hearing of an urgent case and his wife died. He was stunned. He admitted his children in St. Mary’s school Bombay, and he left for England. He became a barrister and retuned to India in 1913.
He started his practice in Ahmedabad and soon he became aware of the local life, activities and people’s problems. He became an extremely popular person and he got elected in the Municipal Corportaion in 1917. Around 1915, he came across Mahatma Gandhi. The Swadeshi Movement was at its peak. Gandhiji gave a lecture at a place in Ahmedabad where Patel heard him and was very impressed and started actively participating in the freedom movement. The British government’s atrocities were increasing. The government declared to confiscate all the lands of farmers. He forced the British government to amend the rules. He brought together the farmers and encouraged them and hence got the title of ‘Sardar’ and thus became famous.
The British government considered him as a threat and his lectures were considered anti-government and he was imprisoned several times. In 1942, he took part in the Quit India Movement under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. He was arrested along with other leaders and was sent to Ahmednagar jail. Inspite of the British Rule, rulers of the small kingdoms were spending a lot of public money, and were having a nice time. Sardar Vallabh Bhai opposed this.
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 intially did not want to join India. There were a lot of problems connected with the reunion of the numerous states into India. Sardar Patel’s untiring efforts towards the unity of the country brought success. Due to the achievement of this massive task, Sardar Patel got the title of ‘Iron Man’. ‘ He is one of the prestigious leaders of the world who became immmortal by uniting a scattered nation without any bloodshed.
His enthusiasm to work for the independent nation got a big jolt when Gandhiji was murdered. Patel was very attached to Gandhiji and considered him, his elder brother and teacher. He was encouraged by Mahatma Gandhi in all his work. Gandhiji’s death left him broken. On 15th December, 1950 he died of a cardiac arrest. The news of his death spread all over the world. The entire nation plunged into deep sorrow, everyday life came to a standstill. A grateful nation paid a tearful homage to it’s beloved leader. In 1991 the grateful nation conferred upon him the honour of Bharat Ratna.

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Biography of Subhash Chandra Bose

Biography of Subhash Chandra Bose

Subhash Chandra Bose : Breaking Knowledge

Subhash Chandra Bose (January 23, 1897-August 18, 1945) also known as Netaji, was a prominent leader of the Indian independence movement against British colonial rule. Bose helped to organize and later led the Indian National Army, put together with Indian prisoners-of-war and plantation workers from Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia.
“Give me blood and I shall give you freedom” was one of the most popular statements made by him, whereby he urges the people of India to join him in his freedom movement.
Early life
Subhash Chandra Bose was born to an affluent Bengali family in Cuttack, Orissa. His father, Janakinath Bose, was a public prosecutor who believed in orthodox nationalism and later became a member of the Bengal Legislative Council. With eight brothers and six sisters, Bose’s family was large, but disciplined. He loved to read and was fascinated with religion, discipline, and self-control. As a youth, he did social service and after reading Vivekananda’s writings, “selfless service” became the motto guiding his life.
Recognizing his son’s intellect, Bose’s father was determined that Bose should become a high-ranking civil servant. He attended the Protestant European School and the Ravenshaw Collegiate School in Cuttack and later graduated with honours from the Scottish Church College, Calcutta. He was placed second in his university examinations and participated as a member of the India Defence Corps, then a newly-formed military training unit at the University of Calcutta. Afterwards he travelled to England and attended Fitzwilliam Hall at the University of Cambridge.
In 1920, Bose took the Indian Civil Service entrance examination and was ranked second. However, he resigned from the prestigious Indian Civil Service in April 1921 despite his high ranking in the merit list, and went ahead to join the freedom movement. After returning to India, he joined the Congress party and was particularly active in its youth wing. Bose’s ideas did not match with that of Gandhi’s belief in non-violence. So he returned to Kolkata to work under Chittaranjan Das, the Bengali freedom fighter and co-founder (with Motilal Nehru) of the Swarajya (Self Rule) Party. In 1921, Bose organised a boycott of the celebrations to mark the Prince of Wales’ visit to India. This led to his being imprisoned. In April 1924, Bose was elected the Chief Executive Officer of the newly constituted Calcutta Corporation. Later, in October that year, Bose was arrested as a suspected terrorist. First, he was in Alipore jail and later he was exiled to Mandalay in Burma.
In June 1925, Bose was deeply struck by the sudden loss of his mentor Chittaranjan Das. At the end of 1926 he was nominated in absentia, as a candidate for the Bengal Legislative Assembly. On May 16, 1927 he was released from jail due to ill-health. The two years in Mandalayincreased his confidence and strength. By December 1927, Bose with Jawaharlal Nehru became the the General Secretary of the Congress. On January 23, 1930, Bose was once again arrested for leading an “Independence” procession. After being released from jail on September 25, he was elected as the Mayor of the City of Calcutta. He was incarcerated eleven times by the British over a span of twenty years, either in India or in Rangoon. He spent many years in various capacities as the Chief Executive Officer of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (where Chittaranjan Das had previously been Mayor), and later as Mayor himself. With Jawaharlal Nehru he was one of the radical Left wing leaders of the Congress Party. He was exiled from India, during the mid 1930s to Europe, where he stated India’s cause for self-rule before gatherings and conferences (like the Second Communist International). After his father’s death the British authorities allowed him to land at Calcutta’s airport only for the religious rites, which would be followed by his swift departure. During this time he traveled extensively in India and in Europe before stating his political opposition to Gandhi. He became the president of the Haripura Indian National Congress in 1938, against Gandhi’s wishes. He was elected for a second term in 1939 in Tripura Congress Session; Gandhi had supported Pattabhi Sitaramayya and commented “Pattavi’s defeat is my defeat” after learning the election results. Although Bose won the election, Gandhi’s continued opposition led to the resignation of the Working Committee. In the face of this gesture of no-confidence Bose himself resigned. Bose then formed an independent party, the All India Forward Bloc.
Actions during the Second World War
Bose advocated the approach that the political instability at war-time Britain should be taken advantage of-rather than simply wait for the British to grant political “Home Rule” after the end of the war (which was the view of Gandhi, Nehru and a section of the Congress leadership) at the time. In this he was influenced by the examples of Italian statesmen Giuseppe Garibaldi and Giuseppe Mazzini. During his stay in Europe from 1933 to 1936, he met several European leaders and thinkers, including Benito Mussolini, Eduard Benes, Karl Seitz, Eamon De Valera, Romain Rolland, and Alfred Rosenberg. He came to believe that India could achieve political freedom only if it had political, military and diplomatic support from outside and that an independent nation necessitated the creation of a national army. His correspondence reveals that despite his sheer dislike for British subjugation, he was deeply impressed by their methodical and systematic approach and their steadfastedly disciplinarian outlook towards life. In England, he exchanged ideas with British Labour Party leaders and political thinkers on the future of India. He came to accept the view that a free India needed Socialist authoritarianism, on the lines of Turkey’s Kemal Ataturk for at least two decades.
In Germany
At the start of World War II, Bose escaped his incarceration at home by taking the guise of a Pathan insurance agent (“Ziaudddin”) to Afghanistan and from there to Moscow with the passport of an Italian nobleman “Count Orlando Mazzotta”. From Moscow he reached Rome and from there he traveled to Germany where he instituted the Special Bureau for India under Adam von Trott zu Solz, broadcasting on the German-sponsored Azad Hind Radio. He founded the Free India Centre in Berlin and created the Indian Legion (consisting of some 4500 soldiers) out of Indian prisoners of war who had previously fought forthe British in North Africa, but had capitulated to Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps. The Azad Hind legion was attached to the Waffen SS, and they swore their allegiance to Hitler and Bose for the independence of India.
Bose was deeply dissapointed with Hitler when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union and decided to leave Nazi Germany. Besides, Hitler had shown little interest for the cause of Indian independence. He travelled by submarine around the Cape of Good Hope to Imperial Japan, which helped him to raise his army in Singapore. This was the only civilian-transfer across two different submarines of two different navies in World War II.
In Japan
The Indian National Army (INA) consisted of some 85,000 regular troops, a separate women’s army unit named after Rani Lakshmi Bai (in a regular army, the women’s army unit was the first of its kind in Asia), who gave her life in the First War of Independence in 1857. These were under the aegis of a provisional government, with its own currency, court and civil code, named the “Provisional Government of Free India” (or the Arzi Hukumate Azad Hind) and recognised by nine Axis states: Germany, Japan, Italy, Croatia, Nationalist China, Siam, Burma, Manchukuo and the Philippines. This government had participated as a delegate or observer in the so-called Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
En route to India, some of Bose’s troops assisted in the Japanese victory over the British in the battles of Arakan and Meiktila, along with the Burmese National Army led by Ba Maw and Aung San. The Provisional Government and the INA were established in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal, part of the British Indian Empire. On Indian mainland, the Indian Tricolor was raised for the first time in the town in Moirang, in Manipur, in northeastern India. The other towns of Kohima and Imphal, were placed under siege by divisions of the Japanese, the Burmese and the Gandhi and Nehru Brigades of I.N.A.. At the time of the Great Bengal Famine of 1943, during which millions died of starvation, Bose had offered (through radio) Burmese rice to the victims of the famine. The British authorities in India (and in the UK) refused the offer.
When the Japanese were defeated at the battles of Kohima and Imphal, the Provisional Government’s aim of establishing a base in mainland India was lost forever and the INA was forced to pull-back along with the defeated Japanese Imperial Army. Japan’s surrender after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki also led to the eventual surrender of the Indian National Army.
Political views
Even though Bose and Gandhi had differing ideologies, the latter called Bose the “Patriot of Patriots” (Bose had called Gandhi “Father of the Nation”). He has been given belated recognition in India, and especially in West Bengal; Calcutta’s civil airport and a university have been named after him. Many of the symbols of the Bose’s provisional government, which were also associated with the Congress, have been adopted in independent India: Rabindranath Tagore’s “Jana Gana Mana”, which was the national song of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind is independent India’s National Anthem, and the tricolour as India’s national flag.
His alliance with the Axis continues to be controversial; many in India consider him a hero for his forceful stance against oppressive British imperialism. In working with the Japanese he was however fighting his own countrymen, who defended India within the unpoliticised volunteer British Indian Army against the Japanese invasion.
At the time of the start of the Second World War, great divisions existed in the Indian independence movement about whether to exploit the weakness of the British to achieve independence. Some felt that any distinctions between the political allegiances and ideologies of the warring factions of Europe were inconsequential in the face of the possibility of Indian independence, and that it was hypocritical of the British to condemn pro-democracy Indians for allying themselves with anti-democratic Axis forces when the British themselves showed so little respect for democracy or democratic reforms in India. Others felt that it was inappropriate to seek concessions when Britain itself was in peril, and found their distaste for Nazi Germany outweighed their concerns about Independence.
Bose, in particular, was accused of ‘collaborating’ with the Axis; he counter-attacked the allegation criticising the British campaign during World War-II, saying that while Britain was fighting for the freedom of the European nations under Nazi control, it did not grant its own colonies, including India their rightful independence. It may be observed that along with Nehru, Bose had organized and led protest marches against the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, and of China itself in 1938, when he was Congress president. During that period, Chinese leader Chiang Kai Shek was feted in India and medical aid and food supplies were sent to Chinese areas which suffered the worst brunt of Japanese imperialism. That he eventually abandoned his political stance (which initially was that of Gandhi and Nehru) reflects his deep discontent with the nature of the British rule, and a growing belief that the formation of an Indian free state was nowhere on the British political roadmap. At the Tripura Congress session, he made his views quite explicit: Britain had forced a war on India, without bothering to consult Indians.
It is interesting to note that Bose’s earlier correspondences (prior to 1939) reflect his deep disapproval of the racist practices of and annulment of democratic institutions in Nazi Germany. Though Bose did ally himself with the Axis powers, there is little to suggest he shared any of their doctrines of racial superiority; instead it appears he was motivated to join them largely out of political pragmatism.
Re-evaluation of Netaji
The INA is fondly remembered by some Japanese and Indian historians who see Japanese efforts to support Bose as supporting the view that it was fighting a war on behalf of the oppressed peoples of Asia, in addition, the INA is seen by some as an organisation devoid of the divisive energies of parochialism that have since plagued India.
Gandhi called Bose the “Patriot of Patriots” (Bose had called Gandhi “Father of the Nation”). Bose’s portrait is also hung in the Indian Parliament and a statue has been erected in front of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly.
Bose was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award in 1992, but it was later withdrawn in response to a Supreme Court of India directive following a Public Interest Litigation filed in the Court against the “posthumous” nature of the award. The Award Committee could not give conclusive evidence of Bose’s death and thus it invalidated the “posthumous” award.
Bose is supposed to have died in a plane crash over Taiwan while flying to Tokyo. However, his body was never recovered, and conspiracy theories concerning his possible survival abound. One such claims that Bose actually died in Siberia, while in Soviet captivity. Mr. Harin Shah, an Indian journalist, visited Taipei and was shown a plane crash site (supposedly of Bose’s plane).
However, the Taiwan Government told an Indian journalist investigating into Bose’s death that Bose could not have died in a plane crash in the country, stating that there “were no plane crashes at Taipei between 14 August and 20 September 1945.”
Despite this testimony three separate Indian government investigations have concluded that Bose died in the plane crash, although a fourth one-man board convened in 1999, the Mukherjee Commission, will not issue its conclusions until 14 May 2005.
In media
In May 2005, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero, was released. It was directed by Shyam Benegal.

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Biography of Bhagath Singh

Biography of Bhagath Singh

Bhagath Singh : Breaking Knowledge

Bhagat Singh was born in September 27, 1907 in the village Banga of Layalpur to Mata Vidyavati and Sardar Kishan Singh. Bhagat Singh grew up in a patriotic atmosphere as his father and uncle, were greatfreedom fighters and were put in jail many times by the British.
Bhagat Singh grew up at a time when the Freedom struggle was all around him. Since his young age he wondered why so many Indians could not get freedom from a few British invaders, he dreamed of a free India. The massacre at Jallianwala Bagh on April 13, 1919 drove him to go to Amritsar, where he kissed the earth and brought back home a little of the blood soaked soil, he was just 12 years old then. Kartar Sing Sarabha, hanged at the age of 19 by the British was Bhagat Singh’s hero.
Bhagat Singh, along with the help of Chandrashekhar Azad, formed the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army (HSRA). The aim of this Indian revolutionary movement was defined as not only to make India independent, but also to create “a socialist India.”
In February 1928, a committee from England visited India. It came to be known as the Simon Commission. The purpose of its visit was to decide how much freedom and responsibility could be given to the people of India. Indian freedom fighters started an agitation called “Simon go back”. It was in this agitation that during a police lathicharge, Lala Lajpat Rai was hurt and died. To avenge the death of Lala Lajpat rai, Bhagat Singh and Rajguru shot and killed the British Officer who had hit Lala Lajpat Rai.
In April 1929, the Central Legislative Assembly met in Delhi. The BritishGovernment wanted to place before the Assembly two bills which were likely to harm the country’s interests. Even if the Assembly rejected them, the Viceroy could use his special powers and approve them, and they would become laws. Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt planned to throw a bomb in the Legislative Assembly and, get arrested. On 8th of April 1929 this is what they exactly did. The idea of the attack was not to kill anyone but to create awareness about India’s freedom struggle. They were arrested after this attack.
In their trial Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt stated, “If the deaf are to hear, the sound has to be very loud. When we dropped the bomb, it was not our intention to kill anybody. We have bombed the BritishGovernment. The British must quit India and make her free.”
In the trial it was decided that Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were to be hanged for all their anti British activities. On 24th of March 1931 Bhagat Singh walked upto the hanging rope kissed it and put it around his neck to be hanged.
Bhagat Singh became “Shaheed Bhagat Singh” or Martyr at the age of 24. The stories of his courage and patriotism became an inspiration for many youth at that time who wanted to see India independent. Even today Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s memory continues to inspire the youth and many poems and songs have been written about his courage and undying patriotism.

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Biography of Lal Bahadur Shastri

Biography of Lal Bahadur Shastri

Lal Bahadur Shastri : Breaking Knowledge

Born: October 2, 1904
Died: January 10, 1966
Achievements: 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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Biography of Lala Lajpat Rai

Biography of Lala Lajpat Rai

Lala Lajpat Rai : Breaking Knowledge

Born: January 28, 1865
Martyrdom: November17, 1928
Achievements: 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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Biography of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

Biography of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

Bhim Rao Ambedkar : Breaking Knowledge

Born: April 14, 1891
Died: December 6, 1956
Achievements: 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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Indira Gandhi – First Woman Prime Minister of India

Biography of Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi was India’s first female prime minister and part of a family political dynasty that included her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, her son, Rajiv Gandhi and her daugher-in-law, Sonia Gandhi. She served four terms before being assassinated.
Indira Gandhi : Breaking Knowledge

A quick look at India’s Gandhi’s life

1917 – born to Jawaharlal and Kamala Nehru
1938 – joined the National Congress party
1942 – married Feroze Gandhi
1947 – India gains independence and Jawaharlal Nehru becomes prime minister
1959 – became president of the Congress party
1964 – became Minister of Information and Broadcasting
1966 – elected Prime Minister
1975 – convicted of election illegal campaign practices; declared a state of emergency
1977 – voted out of office
1980 – re-elected Prime Minister
1984 – ordered the Army to storm the Golden Temple, Sikhism’s holiest temple, to get separatist militants
1984 – assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards

Indira Gandhi Biography

Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi ( 19 November 1917 – 31 October 1984) was the Prime Minister of the Republic of India for three consecutive terms from 1966 to 1977 and for a fourth term from 1980 until her assassination in 1984, a total of fifteen years. She was India’s first and to date, the only female prime minister. She is the world’s all time longest serving female Prime Minister.

Life and career

Indira Gandhi was born into the politically influential Nehru Family. Her father’s name was Jawaharlal Nehru and her mother’s name was Kamala Nehru.It’s a common myth to relate the name Gandhi with Mahatma Gandhi, but her surname is from her marriage to Feroze Gandhi. Her grandfather, Motilal Nehru, was a prominent Indian nationalist leader. Her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, was a pivotal figure in the Indian independence movement and the first Prime Minister of Independent India.
In 1934–35, after finishing school, Indira joined Shantiniketan, a school set up by Rabindranath Tagore, who gave her the name Priyadarshini (priya=pleasing, darshini=to look at). Subsequently, she went to England and sat for the University of Oxford entrance examination, but she failed, and spent a few months at Badminton School in Bristol, before clearing the exam in 1937 and joining Somerville College, Oxford. During this period, she was frequently meeting Feroze Gandhi, whom she knew from Allahabad, and who was studying at the London School of Economics. She would marry Feroze in 1942.
Returning to India in 1941, she became involved in the Indian Independence movement. In the 1950s, she served her father unofficially as a personal assistant during his tenure as the first Prime Minister of India. After her father’s death in 1964 she was appointed as a member of the Rajya Sabha (upper house) and became a member of Lal Bahadur Shastri’s cabinet as Minister of Information and Broadcasting.
The then Congress Party President K. Kamaraj was instrumental in making Indira Gandhi the Prime Minister after the sudden demise of Shastri. Gandhi soon showed an ability to win elections and outmaneuver opponents. She introduced more left-wing economic policies and promoted agricultural productivity. She led the nation as Prime Minister during the decisive victory in the 1971 war with Pakistan and creation of an independent Bangladesh. A period of instability led her to impose a state of emergency in 1975. Due to the alleged authoritarian excesses during the period of emergency, the Congress Party and Indira Gandhi herself lost the next general election for the first time in 1977. Indira Gandhi led the Congress back to victory in 1980 elections and Gandhi resumed the office of the Prime Minister. In June 1984, under Gandhi’s order, the Indian army forcefully entered the Golden Temple, the most sacred Sikh Gurdwara, to remove armed insurgents present inside the temple. She was assassinated on 31 October 1984 in retaliation to this operation.

Early life

Growing up in India

Indira Nehru Gandhi was born on 19 November 1917 to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Kamala Nehru and was their only child. The Nehrus were a distinguished Kashmiri Pandit family. At the time of her birth, her grandfather Motilal Nehru and father Jawaharlal were influential political leaders. Gandhi was brought up in an intense political atmosphere at the Nehru family residence, Anand Bhawan, where she spent her childhood years.
Growing up in the sole care of her mother, who was sick and alienated from the Nehru household, Indira developed strong protective instincts and a loner personality. The flurry of political activity in the Nehru household made mixing with her peers difficult. She had personal conflicts with her father’s sisters, including Vijayalakshmi Pandit, and these extended into her relationship with them in the political world.
In her father’s autobiography, Toward Freedom, he writes that the police frequently came to the family home while he was in prison and took away pieces of furniture as payment toward the fines the Government imposed on him. He says, “Indira, my four-year-old daughter, was greatly annoyed at this continuous process of despoliation and protested to the police and expressed her strong displeasure. I am afraid those early impressions are likely to colour her future views about the police force generally.”
Indira created the Vanara Sena movement for young girls and boys which played a small but notable role in the Indian Independence Movement, conducting protests and flag marches, as well as helping members of the Indian National Congress circulate sensitive publications and banned materials. In an often-told story, she smuggled out in her schoolbag an important document from her father’s house under police observation, that outlined plans for a major revolutionary initiative in the early 1930s.

Studying in Europe

In 1936, her mother, Kamala Nehru, finally succumbed to tuberculosis after a long struggle. Indira was 18 at the time and had never experienced a stable family life during her childhood. While studying at Somerville College, University of Oxford, England, during the late 1930s, she became a member of the radical pro-independence London based India League.
In early 1940, Indira spent time in a rest home in Switzerland to recover from chronic lung disease. She maintained her long-distance relationship with her father in the form of long letters as she was used to doing through her childhood. They argued about politics.
In her years in continental Europe and the UK, she met a young Parsi man active in politics, Feroze Gandhi. After returning to India, Feroze Gandhi grew close to the Nehru family, especially to Indira’s mother Kamala Nehru and Indira herself.

Marriage to Feroze Gandhi

When Indira and Feroze Gandhi returned to India, they were in love and had decided to get married. Indira liked Feroze’s openness, sense of humor and self-confidence. Nehru did not like the idea of the marriage, but Indira was adamant and the marriage took place in March 1942 according to Hindu rituals.
Feroze and Indira were both members of the Indian National Congress, and when they took part in the Quit India Movement in 1942, they were both arrested. After independence, Feroze went on to run for election and became a member of parliament from Raebareli Uttar Pradesh in 1952. After the birth of their two sons, Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi, their relationship was strained leading to a separation. Shortly after his re-election, Feroze suffered a heart attack, which led to a reconciliation. Their relationship endured for the few years prior to the death of Feroze Gandhi in September 1960.
Neheru Family with Indira Gandhi : Breaking Knowledge

The Nehru family – Motilal Nehru is seated in the center, and standing (L to R) are Jawaharlal Nehru, Vijayalakshmi Pandit, Krishna Hutheesing, Indira, and Ranjit Pandit; Seated: Swaroop Rani, Motilal Nehru and Kamala Nehru (circa 1927).

Early leadership

President of the Indian National Congress

During 1959 and 1960, Gandhi ran for and was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress. Her term of office was uneventful. She also acted as her father’s chief of staff. Nehru was known as a vocal opponent of nepotism, and she did not contest a seat in the 1962 elections.

Prime minister

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the second President of India, administering the oath of office to Indira Gandhi on 24 January 1966.

Domestic policy

When Gandhi became Prime Minister in 1966, the Congress was split in two factions, the socialists led by Gandhi, and the conservatives led by Morarji Desai. Rammanohar Lohia called her Gungi Gudiya which means ‘Dumb Doll’. The internal problems showed in the 1967 election where the Congress lost nearly 60 seats winning 297 seats in the 545 seat Lok Sabha. She had to accommodate Desai as Deputy Prime Minister of India and Finance Minister of India. In 1969 after many disagreements with Desai, the Indian National Congress split. She ruled with support from Socialist and Communist Parties for the next two years. In the same year, in July 1969 she nationalized banks.

Operation Blue Star and assassination

Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum in New Delhi : Breaking Knowledge

Indira Gandhi’s blood-stained saree and her belongings at the time of her assassination, preserved at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum in New Delhi.
Main articles: Operation Blue Star, 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots, and Indira Gandhi assassination
In June 1984, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale’s Sikh group occupied the Golden Temple. In response, on 6 June 1984, during one of the holiest Sikh holidays, enacting Operation Blue Star, the Indian army opened fire killing a disputed number of Sikh militants along with supporters of Bhindranwale. The State of Punjab was closed to International media, Sikh devotees, human rights organizations and other groups during the period. On 31 October 1984, two of Gandhi’s bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, assassinated her with their service weapons in the garden of the Prime Minister’s residence at 1, Safdarjung Road, New Delhi as she was walking past a wicket gate guarded by Satwant and Beant, to be interviewed by the British actor Peter Ustinov, who was filming a documentary for Irish television. According to information immediately following the incident, Beant Singh shot her three times using his side-arm and Satwant Singh fired 30 rounds, using a Sten submachine gun. Beant Singh and Satwant Singh dropped their weapons and surrendered, afterwards they were taken away by other guards into a closed room where Beant Singh was shot dead and Satwant Singh was shot and arrested by her other bodyguards, on the charges of trying to escape.
Gandhi died on her way to the hospital, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, where doctors operated on her. Official accounts at the time stated as many as 29 entry and exit wounds and some reports stated 31 bullets were extracted from her body. She was cremated on 3 November near Raj Ghat. Her funeral was televised live on domestic and international stations including the BBC.

Personal life

Initially Sanjay had been her chosen heir; but after his death in a flying accident, his mother persuaded a reluctant Rajiv Gandhi to quit his job as a pilot and enter politics in February 1981.
After Indira Gandhi’s death, Rajiv Gandhi became Prime Minister. In May 1991, he too was assassinated, this time at the hands of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Rajiv’s widow, Sonia Gandhi, led the United Progressive Alliance to a surprise electoral victory in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections.
Sonia Gandhi declined the opportunity to assume the office of Prime Minister but remains in control of the Congress’ political apparatus; Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, formerly finance minister, now heads the nation. Rajiv’s children, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, have also entered politics. Sanjay Gandhi’s widow, Maneka Gandhi – who fell out with Indira after Sanjay’s death and was famously thrown out of the Prime Minister’s house[28] – as well as Sanjay’s son, Varun Gandhi, are active in politics as members of the main opposition BJP party.

“You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist. – Indira Gandhi”

Indira Gandhi Quotes

Quotations from India’s first female prime minister.

- My grandfather once told me that there are two kinds of people: those who work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was less competition there.-You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.- I don’t mind if my life goes in the service of the nation. If I die today every drop of my blood will invigorate the nation.- Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.

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Biography of Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

Biography of Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit the first female President of United Nations General Assembly : Breaking Knowledge

Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit was the first female President of United Nations General Assembly. She was an Indian diplomat and politician. Moreover to her credit, she was the sister of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. She was India`s first woman Cabinet Minister and the first woman to lead a delegation to U.N. She was the world`s first woman ambassador who served three prized ambassadorial posts at Moscow, Washington and London. She considered Indian National Congress as her own family as she was born into it. According to her, politics is a means of social and economic reform, which strengthens human rights and empowers women. She was against monopoly of power by one family.
Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit was born on 18 August 1900 at Allahabad. She was the daughter of Motilal Nehru and Swarup Rani Nehru. Her father had great admiration for the west and took the best he knew from it. According to him, “Western” meant discipline, rationality, a sense of adventure and a practical approach to problems. He was a rebel who was against caste barriers and outdated customs. He was not at all worried to throw away anything that he did not consider wise. He did not fear criticisms. He even sent his son, Jawaharlal Nehru to Cambridge to study. Her mother`s life revolved around her family and her religious observances. She did not speak English but she fulfilled her duties and accompanied her husband to English homes. Her own home was the centre of the contrasts present in the country. In her home, tradition and modernity co-existed harmoniously.
In her autobiography, The Scope of Happiness, Vijayalakshmi describes her childhood as a period of contradictions and contrasts and as a period of transition from age-old traditions and prejudices to new ways of living and thinking. Motilal`s powerful molding influence was greatest on Vijayalakshmi Pandit, who, of his three children, resembled him in her temperament, her zest for life and her involvement with other human beings. At a very early age Vijayalakshmi was very much interested in politics. At sixteen she attended her first political meeting, organized by her cousin Rameshwari Nehru at Manyo Hall of Allahabad University to assemble women in a protest against the treatment of Indian labourers in South Africa. At sixteen, she wished to join Annie Besant`s Home Rule League but being too young, she was allowed to enroll only as a volunteer. She was married to Ranjit Pandit, who was a cultured litterateur, aristocrat, and barrister from Kathiawar. They married on May 10, 1921, when she was about 21 years old. Three children were born to her- Chandra Lekha, Nayantara and Rita Vitasta
In her mid thirties she was elected to the Allahabad Municipal Board. She was arrested and sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment for presiding over a crowded public meeting where the Independence pledge was taken. This was the first of her three imprisonments. When the Indian National Congress took part in provincial elections she and her husband, Ranjit S. Pandit, were elected to the U.P. Assembly. Vijayalakshmi was appointed as the Minister for Health and Local Self-Government.
For two continuous years she was the President of the All-India Women`s Conference. Tragedy struck her with the death of her husband after his last imprisonment in 1944. As he had left no will, she was left virtually penniless, as Hindu widows had no inheritance rights. His brother claimed all his investments and earning and made everything in his custody. Shaken by her grief and without knowledge of future and with no source of support from her brother, as he was imprisoned she left for Bengal to work, where cholera had spread in the wake of famine, and to set up a Save the Children Fund. During this time, Gandhiji was released from jail and he asked her to go to America to speak about actual conditions in India. This became possible when Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru(President of the Indian Council for World Affairs) included her in an Indian delegation to the Pacific Relations Conference to be held in Virginia.
She became the member of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the Constitution. After Independence she was twice elected to Parliament and she led India`s first Goodwill Mission to China and served as Governor of Maharashtra. She resigned her post to stand for election to Parliament from the constituency of Phulpur that was vacated as a result of Jawaharlal Nehru`s death. Four years later, she resigned from the Lok Sabha as it was difficult for her to serve her party under Indira Gandhi. During the Emergency, she stepped out of retirement to speak out against dictatorship and dynasty. She could not find a place in the power structure under Indira Gandhi.
She collected more than eight honorary degrees from the world universities besides those offered to her in India. She celebrated her ninetieth birthday by inviting her family members, (who were at the time both in government and in the opposition) to lunch in Dehra Dun. All members came regardless of political difference. It was a grand function and it happened to be her farewell as she died two months later. It was Rajiv Gandhi, who personally supervised her last rites. Vijayalakshmi used to say that none should mourn her death as she had lived long. Her family members took her word to heart and at Sangam instead of mourning her death they celebrated her life. Her life was actually an example, which all humanity could follow. She had great will power; she was courageous in her agonizing situations and led her life triumphantly. Till the end she was fully involved in her life. This great personality breathed her last on 1 December 1990 at Dehradun.

More Biographies:

Biography of Famous People 
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