This Day In History- October 8

1926 – Kulbhushan Pandit known by the name Raaj Kumar was born. Raaj Kumar was an Indian film actor who started his acting career with the 1952 film Rangoli. In his career spanning four decades, he acted in nearly 70 films, also, he was a part of Oscar nominated 1957 film, Mother India. Raaj Kumar also won the Filmfare Award in Best supporting actor category for movies Dil Ek Mandir and Waqt. He suffered throat cancer and died on 3 July 1996.

Raaj Kumar

1932 – Indian Air Force was officially Established. Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict. After independence, the IAF has been involved in four wars with neighbouring Pakistan and one with the People’s Republic of China. Other major operations undertaken by the IAF include Operation Vijay – the invasion of Goa, Operation Meghdoot, Operation Cactus and Operation Poomalai. Apart from conflicts, the IAF has been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions. The President of India Pranab Mukherjee serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the IAF.

Indian Air Force

1935 – Indian athlete Milkha Singh was born. Milkha singh popularly known as Flying Sikh,  represented India in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome and the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He also represented India in  1956 Melbourne Olympics but was eliminated in early rounds. Thereafter he won gold medals in both the 200m and 400m events at the 1958 Asian Games, also, a gold medal in the 400m competition at the 1958 Cardiff Commonwealth Games. Later he  became the first gold medalist at the Commonwealth Games after independence. After retirement, Milkha Singh is appointed as the  Director of Sports in Punjab.


1936 – Renowned Indian writer Munshi Premchand died. Premchand was one of the most celebrated writers of the Indian subcontinent, and is regarded as one of the first Hindi-Urdu writers of the early twentieth century. A novel writer, story writer and dramatist, he has been referred to as the “Upanyas Samrat”  by some Hindi writers. He was born as Dhanpat Rai and first began writing under the pen name “Nawab Rai”, but switched his name to “Premchand” after his short story collection Soz-e-Watan was banned by the British Raj. His works include more than a dozen novels, around 250 short stories, several essays and translations of a number of foreign literary works into Hindi.

2005 – Land of Kashmir got struck with an earthquake 7.6 magnitude. The earthquake centered in the Pakistan-administered Kashmir near the city of Muzaffarabad, Sehnsa-Kotli Gilgit-Baltistanalso affecting and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The official death toll was 75,000 and 106000 injuries. The earthquake also affected countries in the surrounding region where tremors were felt in Tajikistan and western China, while officials say nearly 1,400 people also died in Indian-administered Kashmir and four people in Afghanistan.

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