On this Day in History


Rashbehari Bose, a revolutionary Indian leader who sought Japanese help in fighting against the British and was instrumental in establishing the Indian National Army, was born on May 25, 1886. He died on January 21, 1945.

Bose, known as a “master of disguises”, was born in Subaldaha, a village in Burdwan, Bengal. He studied in Chandannagar.

He participated in revolutionary… Read More →

Parveen Babi, a glamorous and popular Indian actress of the 1970s and early 1980s — a time when the media and society were much more judgemental of women in the film industry who came across as ‘westernized’ in the public eye — was born on April 4, 1949. She died on January 20, 2005 after recurrent battles with mental illness that… Read More →

An Indian spiritual teacher who had followers from around the world, Acharya Rajneesh was born Chandra Mohan Jain on December 11, 1931 in a village in Madhya Pradesh’s Raisen district. Variously known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Osho and Bhagwan, he died on January 19, 1990 in Pune.

The eldest of 11 children of Babulal and Saraswati Jain, Rajneesh was raised… Read More →

Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, a superstar of Telugu cinema who entered politics to become one of the most popular chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, was born on May 28, 1923. Better known as N.T. Rama Rao or simply NTR, he died on January 18, 1996.

Born in a farming family in Nimmakuru, a village in Krishna District, then part of… Read More →

Jyoti Basu, India’s longest-serving chief minister who memorably described his decision not to accept the post of prime minister in 1996 as a “historic blunder”, was born on 8 July 1914 in Calcutta in a middle class Bengali family. His death on 17 January 2010 marked the end of an era. Basu, who remained chief minister of West Bengal from… Read More →

Often labelled as “individualistic”, “aloof”, and a “maverick”, Omkar Prakash Nayyar may have been all that, but few would deny that he was among the leading musical talents in the Hindi film industry of the 1950s and 1960s.

Born in Lahore on January 16, 1926, O.P. Nayyar, who gave us such classic hits as “Jhumka Gira Re” and “Pukarta Chala… Read More →

Mayawati, the head of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and four-time chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, was born on 15 January 1956 in Delhi in a Dalit family. Besides being among the most important political leaders of Uttar Pradesh, she is a Dalit icon and her clout extends far beyond the boundaries of India’s most populous state.

Mayawati… Read More →

The Third Battle of Panipat fought on January 14, 1761 between the Marathas and forces of the Afghan ruler Ahmad Shah Abdali and his allies was one of the biggest and most significant battles of the 18th century in India.

After Aurangzeb’s death in 1707 the great Mughal empire had entered a phase of terminal decline and the Maratha power… Read More →

An Indian film director who made such memorable films as ‘Aradhana’, ‘Amar Prem’, ‘Kati Patang’, and ‘Howrah Bridge’ in a career spanning five decades, Shakti Samanta was born on January 13, 1926 in Burdwan,West Bengal.

After completing his education in Dehradun and Calcutta he took up a teacher’s job near Bombay so that he could be close to the film… Read More →

Vivekananda, the great Indian spiritual leader and monk, was born Narendranath Datta (Narendra) in Calcutta on January 12, 1863 to a Bengali Kayastha family. His father Vishwanath Datta was attached to the Calcutta High Court.

Narendra was attracted to spirituality and monks from an early age. In his biography of Swami Vivekananda, Swami Nikhilananda writes: The youngster developed a special… Read More →

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