1922 – Considered as one of the best actors in history of Indian Cinema, ‘Tragedy King’ Dilip Kumar was born. Born as Muhammad Yousuf Khan, he made his debut with Bombay Talkies’ ‘Jwar Bhata’ (1944). It was eminent author Bhagwati Charan Varma who christened him as ‘Dilip Kumar’. In 1947, his ‘Jugnu’ became a major success. He went on to churn out hits like ‘Mela’ (1948) , ‘Andaz’ (1949), ‘Deedar’ (1951), ‘Daag’ (1952), ‘Devdas’ (1955), ‘Naya Daur'(1957) and ‘Madhumati’ (1958) etc. He shared the screen with top actresses like Kamini Kaushal, Meena Kumari, Nargis, Madhubala and Vyjayanthimala. He is also remembered for his portrayal of Prince Salim in K.Asif’s ‘Mughal-E-Azam’, the film that went on to become the highest-grossing Bollywood film in history. Dilip Kumar took a break from films and returned in 1981 to feature in ‘Kranti’ which was successful.
In a career spanning over six decades, Dilip Kumar created numerous records. He was the first actor to receive the Filmfare Award for Best Actor and is the only actor to have consecutively swept them thrice. Along with Shahrukh Khan, Dilip Kumar holds the record for winning the maximum number of Filmfare Awards for Best Actor. He also holds the record for the most number of awards by an Indian actor. In 1994, he received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India’s highest award for excellence in cinema. The Government of Pakistan bestowed on him their highest civilian honour, the ‘Nishan-e-Imtiaz’ in 1997. In 1991, he was awarded the civilian honour of ‘Padma Bhushan’.
1935 – The Current and 13th President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee was born. In a career spanning over six decades, Mukherjee served at important positions at the Centre. In 1984, he was chosen to serve as the Finance Minister of India in the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s cabinet and was adjudged as the ‘Best Finance Minister in the World’ according to a survey by the magazine ‘Euromoney’. In 1991, he was appointed as the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission while in 1995 he was the Minister of External Affairs in Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao’s cabinet. In 2004, when UPA came to power at the Centre he was the Minister of Defence and was later made the Minister of External Affairs following a reshuffle. He again served as the Finance Minister of India from 2009 to 2012 before he defeated P.A. Sangma in the presidential elections to become the 13th President of India. In 2008, he was honored with the second-highest civilian award, the ‘Padma Vibhushan’.
1969 – The Undisputed Chess Champion of the World, ‘Tiger of Madras’ Viswanathan Anand was born. Anand, who was taught Chess by his mother, took the Indian Chess Scene by storm when he scored an astounding 9/9 and lifted the National Sub-Junior Chess Championship in 1983. In 1984, he became the youngest Indian to win the International Master title. By the age of sixteen Anand was the National Chess Champion. In 1987, he became the first Indian to lift the World Junior Chess Championship while in 1988, Anand became India’s first grandmaster. Currently the World Champion, Anand won the title in 2007 and has successfully defended the title against giants like Vladimir Kramnik (2008), Veselin Topalov (2010) and Boris Gelfand (2012). Anand also held the FIDE World Chess Championship before the title was split in 2002. In 1985, he was awarded the ‘Arjuna Award’. He was the first to receive the coveted ‘Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award’ (1991-92). Anand is the only Indian to have won the prestigious ‘Chess Oscar’ and that too six times. In 1987, at the age of 18, Anand received the civilian honour of ‘Padma Shri’. The same year he was also awarded the National Citizens Award and the Soviet Land Nehru Award. In 2000, Anand was given the ‘Padma Bhushan’ while in 2007 he became the first sportsperson to receive the ‘Padma Vibhushan’.
2011 – One of the most popular cartoonists of all-time, Mario Miranda passed away. His works published in ‘The Illustrated Weekly of India’ catapulted him to national spotlight. He worked at an Advertising Studio before turning a full-time cartoonist. He then shifted to ‘The Illustrated Weekly of India’ and also drew for ‘Times of India’ and ‘Femina’. His cartoons also graced popular magazines like ‘Mad’, ‘Lilliput’ and ‘Punch’. He held exhibitions in over twenty-two countries. In 1988, he received the Padma Shri while in 2002 he was awarded the Padma Bhushan. In 2009, Juan Carlos, the King of Spain, bestowed on him the ‘La Cruz de Isabel la Catolica’. In the same year, Miranda was also made the ‘Comendador da Ordem de Infante D.Henrique’ by the President of Portugal Aníbal António Cavaco Silva. In 2012, he was posthumously honoured with the ‘Padma Vibhushan’.