1869 – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (M.K.Gandhi), The Father of Nation, was born. Mahatma Gandhi was the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India. Employing non-violent civil disobedience. Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for non-violence, civil rights and freedom across the world. After returning to India in 1915, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women’s rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability, increasing economic self-reliance, and above all for achieving Swaraj—the independence of India from British domination. He led Indians in protesting the national salt tax with the 400 km Dandi Salt March in 1930, and later in demanding the British to immediately Quit India in 1942, during World War II. He was a dedicated vegetarian, and undertook long fasts as means of both self-purification and political mobilization. In his last year, unhappy at the partition of India, Gandhi worked to stop the carnage between Muslims on the one hand and Hindus and Sikhs that raged in the border area between India and Pakistan, and got assassinated on 30 January 1948 by a Hindu nationalist, Nathuram Godse, who thought Gandhi was too sympathetic to India’s Muslims. 30 January is observed as Martyrs’ Day in India.
1904 – Second Prime Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri was born. In 1920’s Shastri got involved in Indian Independance Movement. Deeply impressed and influenced by Congress leader Mahatma Gandhi, he became a loyal follower, first of Gandhi, and then of Jawaharlal Nehru as well. After independence, he joined the government and got involved actively, first as a Railway Minister and then handled home ministry. Shastri as Prime Minister continued Nehru’s policies of non-alignment and socialism. He became a national hero following the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965. The war was formally ended in the Tashkent Agreement of 10 January 1966; he died, the next day.
1906 – Raja Ravi Varma, an Indian painter from the princely state of Travancore, Died. He achieved recognition for his depiction of scenes from the epics of the Mahabharata and Ramayana. His paintings are considered to be among the best examples of the fusion of Indian traditions with the techniques of European academic art. His exposure in the west came when he won the first prize in the Vienna Art Exhibition in 1873. Varma’s paintings became an important motif in of the time, reproductions being found in almost every middle-class home led everyone to consider among the greatest painters in the History of Indian Art.
1934 – The Royal Indian Navy was formally inaugurated; after changing its name from the Royal Indian Marine in accordance of The Indian Navy act 1934. At the start of Second World War, Woman’s Royal Naval service was established, for the first time giving women a role in the navy, although they did not serve on board its ships.
1942 – Top bollywood actress, director, and a producer, Asha Parekh was born. Asha Parekh started her career as a child artist in the film Aasmaan(1952), and acted in over 90 films. She received many awards and honors which includes 5 filmfare awards, and many other national international awards. She also got honored with a Padmashree Award for her contribution in the field of arts.
1948 – Persis Khambatta, an Indian model, actress and author was born. She was best known for her role as Lieutenant Ilia in the 1979 feature film Star Trek: The Motion Picture. At age 17, as Femina Miss India, Khambatta entered Miss Universe 1965. She became model for companies such as Revlon. She also entered and won the Miss India contest in 1965.
1957 – All India Radio service, Vividh Bharti was launched. And within no time it became very popular in households. Film music, skits, short plays and interactive programmes were played for nearly 15 to 17 hours a day. Some of the old popular programmes of Vividh Bharati are ‘Sangeet Sarita’, ‘Bhule Bisre Geet’, ‘Hawa Mahal’, ‘Jaimala’, ‘Inse Miliye’, ‘Chhaya Geet’ etc., are still distinctly recognized by the listeners. As the time progressed, new programmes were introduced like ‘Biscope Ke Batein’, ‘Sargam Ke Sitare’, ‘Celluloid Ke Sitare’, ‘Sehatnama’, &’ Hello Farmaish’.
1961 – Merging of Eastern Shipping Corporation and Western Shipping Corporation led to the establishment of Shipping Corporation of India. Later, two more shipping companies, Jayanti Shipping Company and Mogul Lines Limited, were also merged with SCI in 1973 and 1986 respectively. Starting out as a marginal Liner shipping Company with just 19 vessels, the SCI has now evolved into the largest Indian shipping Company. Today it has a significant presence on the global maritime map, also achieved a status of “Navratna” by Indian Governement.