On this Day in History


An Indian nationalist, spiritual leader and philosopher, Sri Aurobindo Ghosh was born in Calcutta on August 15, 1872, to Krishna Dhan, a senior medical officer, and Swarnalata Devi, who came from a Brahmo family. When he was around five years old, Sri Aurobindo along with his two brothers was sent to Darjeeling’s Loreto Convent School.

In 1879, the three brothers… Read More →

Ramaswamy Venkataraman, the eight President of India, was born on December 4, 1910, in Rajamadam village in present-day Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu.

He secured a degree in economics from Loyola College, Madras, and later studied law. He practised law and got involved with the Indian National Congress and the freedom movement. He participated in the Quit India Movement in… Read More →

The 1971 India-Pakistan War, which ended in the formation of a new country, Bangladesh, began on December 3. The war followed months of fighting between the West Pakistan army and Bangladesh liberation forces.

In 1967, Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, who had announced a six-point programme for provincial autonomy for East Pakistan, and other Bengali leaders were accused of fomenting a secessionist… Read More →

“Around midnight on December 2, 1984 . . . I went to bed. Before I fell asleep, I felt a sharp pricking sensation in my throat. I thought I was going to catch a cold. But a few minutes later, I was coughing and had difficulty breathing. I then heard loud sounds from outside. Looking out of the window, I… Read More →

The beautiful north-eastern mountainous state of Nagaland came into being on December 1, 1963. A complicated (and at times contested) series of events over 150 years culminated in Nagaland becoming the 16th state of the Indian union.

Much of the area that is currently Nagaland and Assam came under Burmese rule in 1816. Ten years later the British East India… Read More →

Inder Kumar Gujral, who left a mark on India’s foreign policy and served as the country’s 12th prime minister, was born on December 4, 1919, in Jhelum (in present-day Pakistan). He died on November 30, 2012.

Gujral’s parents Avtar Narain and Pushpa Gujral took an active part in the Indian freedom struggle. The young Gujral took an early liking to… Read More →

An industrialist, an aviator, a philanthropist and a legend, Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy (JRD) Tata headed the Tata Group, India’s largest business empire, for half a century at a time when India was mostly under what is known as the licence permit quota raj. When he died on November 29, 1993, in an India that had just opened up its economy… Read More →

Social activist, writer, educationist and radical intellectual, Jyotirao Phule was born on April 11, 1827, in Maharashtra’s Satara district. A stanch critic of the Brahmin domination of Hindu society, he robustly analysed the caste system and its appalling effects on the lower castes. He died on November 28, 1890.

Phule’s father,… Read More →

India’s seventh prime minister, Vishwanath Pratap Singh, who championed the cause of backward castes, was born in a landlord’s family on June 25, 1931, in Allahabad (now in Uttar Pradesh). He died on November 27, 2008, after suffering from multiple ailments for several years.

In 1936, he was adopted by Raja Bahadur Ram Gopal Singh of Manda; after Ram Gopal’s… Read More →

The Constitution of India, which made India a sovereign, democratic republic, was adopted on November 26, 1949, and it came into effect on January 26, 1950, which is celebrated as Republic Day. From that day, India was no longer a dominion of the British crown.  

Laws meant to govern India were… Read More →

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