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Thread: Indian Heroes : Leaders

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    Default Indian Heroes : Leaders

    Indian has produced a plethora of great leaders. Some of them have played a vital part in Indian freedom struggle while other have taken India to great heights post independence. The simplicity, courage, perseverance, and fortitude of these leaders continue to be a source of inspiration for the common masses. Here is a brief profile of famous Indian leaders


    1. Annie Besant
    2. Aruna Asaf Ali
    3. Aurobindo Ghose
    4. Bal Gangadhar Tilak
    5. Shaheed Bhagat Singh
    6. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
    7. Chandrashekhar Azad
    8. Dadabhai Naoroji
    9. Gopal Krishna Gokhale
    10. Jawaharlal Nehru
    11. Lala Lajpat Rai
    12. Lal Bahadur Shastri
    13. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
    14. Motilal Nehru
    15. Dr. Rajendra Prasad
    16. Rajiv Gandhi
    17. Sardar Patel
    18. Sarojini Naidu
    19. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
    20. Subhas Chandra Bose
    21. Veer Savarkar
    Last edited by HelloJi; 29-05-2007 at 02:37 PM.

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    Default Annie Besant Biography

    Annie Besant Biography
    Born: October 1, 1847
    Died: September 20, 1933
    Achievements: President of Theosophical Society of India; founded Home Rule League in 1916 and demand self rule in India; became first woman president of Indian National Congress.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Default Aruna Asaf Ali Biography

    Aruna Asaf Ali Biography

    Born: July 16, 1908
    Died: July 29, 1996
    Achievements: Aruna Asaf Ali played a leading role during Quit India Movement; elected as Delhi’s first Mayor; awarded the Lenin Prize for peace in 1975 and the Jawahar Lal Nehru award for International understanding for 1991; honored with Bharat Ratna in 1998.

    Aruna Asaf Ali was a legendary heroine of India's freedom struggle. Her moment of reckoning came in 1942 during Quit India Movement and she rose to the occasion. She unfurled the national flag at the Gowalia Tank maidan to signify the commencement of the Quit India Movement and became a legend for thousands of youth that rose to emulate her.

    Aruna Asaf Ali was born as Aruna Ganguly on July 16 1908 at Kalka (Haryana) in an orthodox Hindu Bengali family. She was educated at Sacred Heart Convent in Lahore, and then in Nainital. After graduating from school, she taught at the Gokhale Memorial School in Calcutta. In Allahabad, she met her future husband, Asaf Ali,a prominent Congressman who was 23 years older than her. They were married in 1928 against parental opposition on the grounds of both religion and age.

    As Asaf Ali was deeply involved with freedom struggle, after marriage Aruna Asaf Ali too plunged into it. Her first major political action was during the Salt Satyagraha in 1930 when she addressed public meetings and led processions. British Government charged her for being a “vagrant” and sentenced her to one year’s imprisonment. When political prisoners were released in the aftermath of Gandhi-Irwin pact, Aruna was not released. But a public agitation in favour of her release forced British government to release her.

    She was arrested again in 1932 and put in Tihar Jail. In Tihar Jail she went on a hunger strike against the treatment meted out to political prisoners. Her protest caused an improvement in conditions, but she herself was moved to solitary confinement in Ambala. After her release, she dropped out of the national movement for 10 years.

    In 1942 she attended the Bombay Congress Session with her husband, where the historic Quit India resolution was passed on 8th August. When the Congress leaders were arrested on the day after this resolution was passed, Aruna presided over the flag-hoisting ceremony at Gowalia Tank Maidan in Bombay. She provided the spark that ignited the movement. She became a full-time activist in the Quit India movement and went underground to evade arrest. Her property was seized by the Government and sold. The Government also announced Rs. 5000 reward for her capture. Meanwhile, she fell ill and on hearing this Gandhiji advised her to surrender. However, Aruna Asaf Ali surrendered herself only when the warrants against her were cancelled on 26th January 1946.

    At the time of independence Aruna Asaf Ali was a member of the Congress Socialist Party, which until then had been part of the Congress framework. In 1948, however, the socialists, including Aruna, formed a socialist party of their own. In 1955 this group merged with Communist Party of India and she became a member of its Central committee and a Vice President of the All India Trade Union Congress. In 1958 she left the Communist Party of India and was elected Delhi's first Mayor. she rejoined the Congress party in 1964 but ceased to play any active part in politics. She was awarded the Lenin Prize for peace in 1975 and the Jawahar Lal Nehru award for International understanding for 1991. Aruna Asaf Ali died on died July 29 1996. She was awarded India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, and was honoured with a stamp issued by the Indian Postal Service in 1998.


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    Default Aurobindo Ghose Biography

    Aurobindo Ghose Biography

    Born: August 15, 1872
    Died: December 5, 1950
    Achievements: He was a freedom fighter, poet, scholar, yogi and philosopher. Worked towards the cause of India’s freedom, and for further evolution of life on earth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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    Default Bal Gangadhar Tilak Biography

    Bal Gangadhar Tilak Biography

    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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    Default Shaheed Bhagat Singh Biography

    Shaheed Bhagat Singh Biography

    Born: September 27, 1907
    Died: March 23, 1931
    Achievements: Gave a new direction to revolutionary terrorist movement in India, formed 'Naujavan Bharat Sabha' to spread the message of revolution in Punjab, formed 'Hindustan Samajvadi Prajatantra Sangha' along with Chandrasekhar Azad to establish a republic in India, Killed police official Sanders to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, dropped bomb in Central Legislative Assembly along with Batukeshwar Dutt.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Default Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Biography

    Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Biography

    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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    Default Chandrashekhar Azad Biography

    Chandrashekhar Azad Biography

    Born: July 23,1906
    Died: February 27, 1931
    Achievements: Involved in Kakori Train Robbery (1926), the attempt to blow up the Viceroy's train (1926), and the shooting of Saunders at Lahore (1928) to avenge the killing of Lala Lajpatrai; formed Hindustan Socialist Republican Association with fellow compatriots Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Default Dadabhai Naoroji Biography

    Dadabhai Naoroji Biography

    Born: September 4, 1825
    Died: June 30, 1917
    Achievements: First Indian to become a professor of the college; instrumental in the establishment of the Indian National Congress; was President of the Indian National Congress thrice; the Congress' demand for swaraj (self-rule) was first expressed publicly by him in his presidential address in 1906

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

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

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

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

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

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    Default Gopal Krishna Gokhale Biography

    Gopal Krishna Gokhale Biography

    Born: May 9, 1866
    Died: February 19, 1915
    Achievements: Political guru of Mahatma Gandhi; one of the pioneers of the Indian national movement; founder of the Servants of India Society.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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    Default Jawaharlal Nehru Biography

    Jawaharlal Nehru Biography

    Born: November 14, 1889
    Died: May 27, 1964
    Achievements: Took active part in Non-Cooperation Movement; elected President of the Allahabad Municipal Corporation in 1924, and served for two years as the city's chief executive; Presided over Congress' annual session in Lahore in 1929 and passed a resolution demanding India's independence; elected as Congress President in 1936, 1937, and 1946; became first Prime Minister of independent India; was one of the main architects of Non Aligned Movement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Thumbs up hey burry excellent

    hey burry excellent



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    Default Lala Lajpat Rai Biography

    Lala Lajpat Rai Biography

    Born: January 28, 1865
    Died: 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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    Default Lal Bahadur Shastri Biography

    Lal Bahadur Shastri Biography

    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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    Default Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Biography

    Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Biography


    Born: November 11, 1888
    Died: February 22, 1958
    Achievements: Started a weekly journal Al Hilal to increase the revolutionary recruits amongst the Muslims; elected as Congress President in 1923 and 1940; became independent India's first education minister.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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