1659 – Commander of the Adilshahi Court of Bijapur, Afzal Khan was killed in the famous encounter with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Here’s a short animated film recreating the event:
1848 – One of the earliest politicians belonging to the pre-independence era, ‘Rashtraguru’ Surendranath Banerjee was born. He was one of the founders of the Indian National Association, a political organization which later merged with the Indian National Congress. He cleared the Indian Civil Services examination at quite a young age but was later dismissed from service due to racial discrimination. He travelled to England to lodge a protest against this injustice but to no avail. However, during his stay there he acquainted himself with the works of philosophers like Edmund Burke. He founded the INA in 1876. The INA tackled age-limit issue for Indian students who aspired to join the ICS. He used the platform to condemn discrimination on grounds of race by delivering speeches throughout India. He was a leading figure in the protest against the partition of Bengal in 1905. He was also a proponent of Swadeshi. He penned an autobiography titled ‘A Nation in making: Being the reminiscences of fifty years of public life’. The British, out of respect, referred to him as ‘Surrender Not’ Bannerjee.
1986 – Renowned artist Sukumar Bose passed away. He was a disciple of eminent painter of Bengal School Asit Kumar Haldar. Bose credited with the introduction of the Bengal School art to North India. His works reflected a typical Indo-Persian style and were a blend of both old and new techniques. He believed in learning and implementing different techniques and experimenting. Most of his paintings grace the walls of the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Sukumar Bose dedicated his life to promoting Indian art and culture. He served as an honorary art advisor to President V.V. Giri from 1972-74. In 1970, for his contribution to field of art he was awarded the Padma Shri.
1990 – Janata Dal’s Chandra Shekhar Singh was sworn in as the Eighth Prime Minister of India.
1996 – Champion of Hindustani Classical music Manik Varma passed away. A disciple of Hirabai Barodekar and Sureshbhau Mane of the Kirana Gharana, she had also mastered semi-classical music like Bhavgeet, Bhakti geet, Marathi Natya Sangeet and Thumri. Along with eminent artists like Lata Mangeshkar, Sudhir Phadke and others she sang for ‘Geet Ramayan’ on All India Radio. In 1974 she received the Padma Shri while in 1986 she was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.