1887 – Popular Bengali humorist, poet, playwright and story writer Sukumar Ray was born. Ray is a popular not only among children of West Bengal but also Bangladesh. For the Rays, story-writing or story-telling ran in the family as Sukumar was the son of Upendrakishor Ray, the famous children’s story writer and the father of noted filmmaker Satyajit Ray.
Sukumar Ray was born at a time when Bengali Renaissance was at its peak. As his father was friends with pioneers like Rabindranath Tagore, Jagdish Chandra Bose and Prafulla Chandra Roy he grew up around geniuses. He gave Bengali literature some of its greatest treasures in the form of ‘Abol Tabol'(collection of poems), ‘Pagla Dashu’ (collection of short stories), ‘HaJaBaRaLa’ (novel) though the play ‘Chalchittachanchari’ of his is considered a masterpiece and often compared with Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’.
Ray’s works are also available in English that were translated by Satyajit Ray and others.
1909 – Eminent physicist and often regarded as the ‘Father of Indian Nuclear Programme’ Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha was born. It was Dr. Bhabha who had convinced the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru that India needed a nuclear programme. He guided the ambitious programme as Director and also represented India internationally.
He is credited with the founding of two of India’s premier research institutes – the Trombay Atomic Energy Establishment and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR).
In 1955, he presided over the United Nations Conference at Geneva, Switzerland on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy.
He gave the ‘Bhabha Scattering’ to the world by correctly deriving the expression for probability of scattering positrons by electrons. In 1954, in recognition of his services the Government of India bestowed the Padma Bhushan on him.
1928 – Protestors greet the Simon Commission in Lahore, Pakistan with black flags. The Protest was led by ‘Sher-E-Punjab’ Lala Lajpat Rai. In an attempt to make way for the commission, Lalaji and the protestors were subjected to police brutality.
Lalaji received severe injuries and later succumbed to them.
1974 – Well known Ghazal singer Akhtari Bai Faizabadi popularly known as Begum Akhtar passed away. She made her first public performance at the age of 15 and was much appreciated. This encouraged her to continue singing ghazals with more enthusiasm. A number of gramophone records were released carrying her ghazals, dadras, thumris, etc. Throughout her career, she received many awards and recognitions including the Padma Shri (1968), Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1972), and the Padma Bhushan (1975). Her voice matured with time, adding richness and depth. She was also honored with the title of ‘Mallika-E-Ghazal’ (Queen of Ghazals).
2003 – The Samata Party merged with Janata Dal (United). JDU is one of the constituents of the National Democratic Alliance.
2011 – The first ever Indian Grand Prix was held at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. Red Bull’s Sebastien Vettel who started from pole position won the 60-lap race clocking 1:27.249.