1875 – The ‘Iron Man of India’, India’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabh bhai Patel was born. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, Vallabh bhai joined the freedom struggle by participating and organising various political events. Sardar Patel is remembered for his efforts in laying the foundation for Republic of India. He was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1991.
1876 – The Great Backerganj Cyclone hits shores of Bengal. Approximately 2,00,000 people lost their lives in this catastrophe.
1904 – The City Union Bank (formerly the Kumbakonam Bank) was incorporated as a limited company.
1975 – One of the most famous music composers of Hindi movies, Bengali singer and composer, S.D. Burman passed away. His music career spanned over four decades as he worked melodious voices like Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammad Rafi, Geeta Dutt, Manna Dey, Kishore Kumar, Hemant Kumar, Asha Bhonsle, Shamshad Begum, Mukesh and Talat Mahmood. S.D. Burman received many awards and recognition for his contribution to the field of music. In 1969, he was honoured with the Padma Shri.
1984 – Country’s first woman Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her bodyguards for ordering Operation Blue Star. The event resulted into riots and chaos mostly in northern India.
2005 – Popular poetess, novelist, essayist and a prominent figure in Punjabi literature Amrita Pritam passed away. She penned over 100 books of essays, poems, fiction and autobiography.
Her first collection of poems ‘Amrit Lehren’ was published in 1936 when she was 16. She was pained to see the communal violence that claimed a million lives during the partition in 1947 and expressed her anguish through the poem ‘Ajj Akhaan Waris Shah Nu’ (Today I ask Waris Shah). Her novel ‘Pinjar’ is one of her most popular works and is regarded as the epitome of humanism and was also made into an award winning movie of the same name by Chandra Prakash Dwiwedi in 2003. Two of her autobiographies ‘Rasidi Ticket’ and ‘Shadows of Words’ were published in 1976 and 2004 respectively. In 1956, she was awarded the ‘Sahitya Akademi Award’ for her anthology of poems called ‘Sunehey’ as became the first woman to receive the honour. In 1982 she received the ‘Jnanpith Award’ for another poetry anthology ‘Kaagaz Te Canvas’. She was also honoured internationally. In 1979 the Republic of Bulgaria bestowed on her the ‘Vaptsarov Award’ while the government of France conferred on her ‘Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ in 1987. She was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1986. The Government of India honoured her with the Padma Shri in 1969 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2004.