1705 – The Famous Battle of Chamkaur Sahib was fought between the Khalsa and the Mughal Empire. Guru Gobind Singh led the Khalsa while the Mughal Army was commanded by Wazir Khan.
In the ‘Zafarnama’ (Declaration of Victory) penned by Guru Gobind Singh to Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, he described and held the Emperor responsible for the blitzkreig.
1945 – Noted film director, producer, writer and actor Shekhar Kapur was born. Kapur first stepped into the filmdom as an actor with ‘Jaan Hazir Hain’ (1975) and also featured in several TV dramas. He ventured into direction with highly acclaimed movie ‘Masoom’ (1983) featuring Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Saeed Jaffrey and Jugal Hansraj in key roles. The film won five Filmfare Awards including ‘Best Film Critics’. In 1987, Kapur churned out the classic sci-fi cult titled ‘Mr.India’ starring Anil Kapoor (as Mr.India) and Sridevi. In 1994, he directed National Award winning film ‘Bandit Queen’ based on the life of former dacoit turned politician Phoolan Devi.
In 1998, Kapur directed the Academy Award winning biopic ‘Elizabeth’, loosely based on the life of Queen Elizabeth I of England. It featured Cate Blanchett portraying the Queen. In 2000, Kapur was honoured with the fourth highest civilian award of India, the Padma Shri.
1950 – Only second woman to head the Indian Foreign Service, eminent diplomat Nirupama Rao was born. In 1973, she topped the merit list of the All India Civil Services Examination and joined the prestigious Indian Foreign Service. Rao, who currently serves as the Ambassador of India to the US, was first appointed as an Ambassador to Peru in 1995. In 2001, she became the first female spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs while in 2006 she became the first woman Ambassador of India to China.
She has also penned an anthology of poems titled ‘Rain Rising.’
1956 – Leader, philosopher, economist, anthropologist, lawyer, teacher and the Chairman of the Committee that drafted the Constitution of India, Bharat Ratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar passed away.
1985 – Left-arm India Speedster Rudra Pratap Singh was born. Singh was selected to represent the Under-19 national team at the World Cup in Bangladesh where he made a mark with his fine bowling skills. His impressive performance in the domestic circuit for Uttar Pradesh earned him a call from the national selectors. He made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in 2005. In 2006, he made his test debut versus Pakistan.
R P Singh played a crucial role in helping India lift the Inaugural ICC World T20 Championship in South Africa in 2007. Singh dismissed twelve batsmen in the seven matches in the tournament and was the second highest wicket-taker.
So far Singh has represented three franchises in the Indian Premier League. He started with the Deccan Chargers and then transferred to Kochi Tuskers in 2011. Singh, who is currently the leading all time wicket-taker in IPL, now plays for the Mumbai Indians.
1992 – The Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh was demolished. The destruction of this Mosque triggered riots in many parts of the country.