1905 – Indian Independence activist and former Chief Minister of Saurashtra Uchharangrai Navalshankar Dhebar was born. He started as a lawyer and gained reputation but later drifted into the freedom struggle under Mahatma Gandhi’s influence. Mahatma Gandhi chose him to offer an Individual Satyagraha in 1941 at Viramgam. He also registered his participation in the Quit India movement for which he courted arrest. He played a crucial role in the merger of Kathiawad states into the Union of India. He became the Chief Minister of Saurashtra in 1948.  He introduced many reforms to uplift villages in Saurashtra. In 1955 he was elected as President of the Indian National Congress and in 1962 he became a member of the Lok Sabha. In 1973 the Government of India bestowed the Padma Vibhushan on him.

Sarojini Varadappan

Sarojini Varadappan (Right)

1921 – Eminent social worker and Indian Independence activist, Sarojini Varadappan was born. She was involved in social activities from an early age. She joined the Women’s India Association (WIA) and went on to become its President. It was under her leadership that the WIA flourished as it grew from a mere four branches to 76. She was also associated with the Indian Red Cross Society for more than 35 years and also served as its President. She was honoured for her social service with the Padma Shri in 1973 and the Padma Bhushan in 2009.

Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki

Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki

1929 – Noted Hindustani vocalist, composer and scholar, Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki was born. He is often credited for reviving Marathi musical theatre. After receiving basic lessons in Hindustani Classical at home he went to Mumbai and joined the All India Radio. He received a scholarship from Government of India for advanced lessons in Hindustani Classical under Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan of the Agra Gharana. He invented a distinct style of performing ‘Khayal’ and delivered beautiful compositions through Marathi Natyasangeet. He composed for 25 Marathi plays. In 1989 he received the prestigious ‘Sangeet Natak Akademi Award’ while the Government of India honoured him the ‘Padma Shri’ in 1988.

1970 – Member of the Gold Medal winning Hockey team at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Bakshish Singh passed away.