1920 – Bharat Ratna, the legendary Sitarist and composer, world renowned, Pandit Ravi Shankar was born. Learning to play Sitar from his guru, Baba Allauddin Khan, the founder of the Maihar Gharana, he started his study in the Indian Classical Music with Allauddin Khan’s son (Ustad) Ali Akbar Khan and daughter Annapurna Devi. He gave his debut public performance on Sitar in 1939 with Ali Akbar Khan on Sarod as a Jugalbandi (Duet). He then worked as a music director for All India Radio (AIR) (1949 – 1956) where he founded the Indian National Orchestra, combining Western and Indian Classical Instrumentations.
Ravi Shankar is well known for his compositions in films like Apu Trilogy (1955 – 1959), Charly (1968) and Gandhi (1982). He also served as a member of the Rajya Sabha (1986 – 1992). Pandit Ravi Shankar has received many awards from all over the world. The Government of India has honoured him with Padma Bhushan(1967), Padma Vibhushan (1981) and Bharat Ratna (1999). He Passed away on 11 December 2012 facing some heart issues. In 2013, he was posthumously awarded two Grammy awards one for lifetime achievement, another for ‘The Living Room Sessions Part 1’ in the world music category.
1942 – India’s ‘Jumping Jack’, Ravi Kapoor, popularly known as Jeetendra, was born. He has starred in over 200 movies like Geet Gaya Patharon Ne (1964), Dharam Veer (1977), Himmatwala (1983) and Tohfa (1984). Jeetendra with his wife Shobha Kapoor run a production company by the name of Balaji TeleFilms. Jeetendra has won numerous Lifetime achievement awards.
1962 – ‘Ramu‘ or Ram Gopal Varma, popularly known as RGV, was born. Starting from a video store owner he went on to become India’s one of leading film directors. Ramu started his film career by narrating a scene to Telugu actor Nagarjuna, impressing him and went on to give his debut Telugu blockbuster hit as ‘Siva'(1989). He remade the film in Hindi as ‘Shiva'(1990). He then gave one more of his blockbuster hits Rangeela(1995). In 1999, he won National Award for Shool. Some of his best hits include: Kshana Kshanam (1991)(Telugu), Gaayam (1993) (Telugu), Jungle (2000) and Bhoot (2003).
2004 – Indian classical dancer, Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, passed away. A proponent of Odissi dance, he was the first person to be awarded Padma Vibhushan from Odisha. For his contribution in the field of Indian classical dance, he was awarded Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1966),Padma Shri (1972), Padma Bhushan (1989), Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (1991), Padma Vibhushan (2000) and also Kalidas Samman.