1915 – Controversial Painter Maqbool Fida Hussain was born. Hussain, an autodidactic artist, first started painting cinema hoardings and later worked at a toy factory. He rose to fame in the late 1940s and joined the Progressive Artists’ Group in 1947. In 1954 he held his first solo exhibition in Zurich after which he had regular exhibitions in Europe and the US.
His paintings fetched as much as $2 million at a Christie’s Auction making Hussain the highest paid painter in India. However some of his paintings caused controversy which led to issuing a non-bailable warrant against him. He also received death threats. He left India in 2006 and moved to Qatar. Hussain also directed a few feature films his first film being ‘Through the Eyes of a Painter'(1967) which won a Golden Bear for Best Short Film. In 2000 he directed and produced ‘Gaja Gamini’ starring Madhuri Dixit who was also his muse and Shah Rukh Khan. In 1955 he was given the Padma Shri while in 1973 he received the Padma Bhushan. In 1991, the Government of India bestowed upon him the Padma Vibhushan. He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1986.
1929 – Father of the legendary ‘Amar Chitra Katha’ Anant Pai better known as Uncle Pai was born. Uncle Pai first started a magazine for children called ‘Manav'(1954). However the venture failed and Uncle Pai joined the Times Group. The idea of starting a comicbook struck Uncle Pai in 1967 while he was watching a quiz contest on Doordarshan in which the contestants could answer questions based on Greek mythology but failed to reply when asked who Lord Rama’s mother was.
It was this incident that inspired Uncle Pai who then left his job and began what went on to become India’s favourite comicbook series ‘Amar Chitra Katha’. In 1969 he founded the Rang Rekha Features and started the ‘Tinkle Digest’. Uncle Pai gave some of the most celebrated characters like ‘Ramu and Shamu’, ‘Kapish’, ‘Rekha’ and ‘Little Raji’. In February 2011, Uncle Pai was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the First Indian Comic Convention in New Delhi.
1930 – One of the most prolific composers of the 20th century, eminent Carnatic vocalist and violinist Sri Lalgudi Jayarama Iyer was born. He started as an accompanying violinist at the young age of 12 and had the opportunity to perform with maestros of Carnatic music. He designed a whole new style of violin playing that suited the needs of Indian Classical Music which is now known as ‘Lalgudi Bani’. He also has several ‘kritis’, ’tillanas’ and ‘varnams’ to his credit that are a perfect mix of raga, bhava and rhythm. He is also credited with bringing Carnatic style of violin playing into international limelight. His originality combined with grace and imagination has earned him a huge fan following. He has accompanied great artists like Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Madurai Mani Iyer, D.K. Jayaraman, T.N. Seshagopalan etc. In 1972, the Government of India bestowed upon him the Padma Shri while he received the Padma Bhushan in 2001. In 2010 he was awarded fellowship of the ‘Sangeet Natak Akademi’.
1948 – The State of Hyderabad was annexed into the Union of India as the Nizam of Hyderabad surrendered to the Indian Army.
1999 – Renowned Poet and Lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri passed away. In 1940 he moved to Mumbai and worked as a bus conductor. He first penned for Raj Kapoor’s ‘Barsaat'(1949) ‘Jiya Beqaraar Hain’ being his first song. Jaipuri gave hits like ‘Tere Khayalon Mein Hum'(Geet Gaya Pattharon Ne), ‘Ehsaan Tera Hoga Mujh Par'(Junglee), ‘Sayonara Sayonara'(Love in Tokyo), ‘Aao Twist Karen'(Bhoot Bangla), ‘Badan Pe Sitaare Lapete Huye'(Prince) etc. He won the Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist in 1966 for ‘Baharon Phool Barsao'(Suraj) and in 1972 for ‘Zindagi Ek Safar Hain Suhana'(Andaz).