The India History PodcastJul 31, 2023
Dr Raja Ramanna
One of the great scientific achievements of modern India has been Pokhran I on May 18, 1974, when it carried out it’s first ever peaceful nuclear test. And the man behind this feat, Dr Raja Ramanna was one of the most multifaceted personalities ever, an eminent nuclear physicist, technologist, administrator, a gifted musician, Sanskrit scholar. Handpicked by Homi J Bhabha himself, he would go on to lead the team for Pokhran I.
Bipin Chandra Pal
Bipin Chandra Pal, one of the members of the Lal-Bal-Pal trio in Congress, others being Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai. A nationalist, writer and thinker, and above all, a man who was uncomprosingly independent in his views.
Sam Manekshaw, aka Sam Bahadur, first Indian army officer to become Field Marshal, who led the Army to it’s greatest moment of triumph in 1971 as Chief of Army Staff.
Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi, aka K.M.Munshi, freedom fighter, founder of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, as well as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. A lawyer by profession, he was also one of the foremost writers in Gujarati. And presided over the surrender of the Nizam post Operation Polo.
Birsa Munda in Jharkhand, the only tribal leader whose portrait hangs in Parliament Central Hall and whose Jayanti is celebrated as Jharkhand Day too.
Lachit Borphukan, who would rise to become one of the greatest heroes of Assam, and one of the symbols of resistance to the the Mughal rule. When one writes of the history of resistance to the Mughals, Lachit Borphukan’s name would be there right up with Shivaji and Rana Pratap.
G. N. Ramachandran
One of the biggest advances in the field of molecular biophysics, has been the discovery of the triple hellical structure of collagen, that enabled a better understanding of the peptide structure.The Ramachandran plot has become a standard description of protein structures in the text books. And the man behind this discovery, G.N. Ramachandran or GNR as he was known, one of the great Indian scientists of modern era, who was an equally good Vedic scholar, studied the Upanishads in depth and interpreted their teachings.
Komaram Bheem led an intense uprising against both the British and the Nizam rule, in the forests of North Telangana, and gave the slogan of Jal, Jangal, Zameen.
Land of the Ranas- Amar Singh 1
Typically when we speak of Mewar, it usually ends with Rana Pratap and the Battle of Haldighati. Not much is really known about his succesors, nor his son Amar Singh. While Pratap’s rivalry with Akbar is well known and chronicled, not known is the fact that his son Amar Singh fought an equally long war with Jahangir, before he was forced to surrender.
Tatya Tope one of the greats of the 1857 Revolt, who waged a long guerilla war against the British even after the Revolt was crushed. A man who had no formal military training, but was considered one of the finest rebel generals.
Mahadji Scindia- The Great Maratha
One of the great Maratha rulers, who established the Scindias as a powerful ruling kingdom in Central India, made Gwalior the capital.
Satish Dhawan, the 3rd chairman of ISRO, who shaped it’s organizational structure and put in a fine process in place. The father of experimental fluid dynamics research in India, one of the eminent researchers in the field of turbulence.
Shyamji Krishna Verma
Shyamji Krishna Varma, one of the most brilliant minds of the modern era, a selfless patriot, who gave his everything for the nation’s freedom. He was deeply influenced by the views of Swami Dayanand Saraswati’s teachings, as well as that of Herbert Spencer.
Lal Bahadur Shastri
Jatindranath Mukherjee, also known as Bagha Jatin, after he killed a tiger with his bare hands, one of the greatest revolutionaries ever.
Valiappan Olaganathan Chidambaram Pillai, or more popularly known as V.O.C. He was also called as Kapalottiya Tamizhan( The Tamil Helsman), one of the foremost freedom fighters of Tamil Nadu.
Andhra Kesari-Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu
Madan Lal Dhingra, close associate of Veer Savarkar, assasinated Curzon Wylie in London.
Madame Bhikaji Cama
Madame Bhikaji Cama, revolutionary leader, close associate of Veer Savarkar, designed of the early versions of the Indian flag.
Battle of Colachel
August 10, 1741- Battle of Kolachel, when the Dutch were defeated by Marthanda Varma, ruler of Travancore,
Khudiram Bose, one of the youngest martyrs in the struggle for freedom, who sacrified his life for the country at the age of 18 years.
August 9, 1925, the Kakori Conspiracy or the Kakori Train Robbery an important chapter in the revolutionary struggle.
If one were to compile a history of medicine, in the world, the name of Dr.Subbarow, would be standing right up there along with other greats like Alexander Fleming, Ronald Ross.
Kalvi Thanthi K.Kamaraj
Kamaraj also called as Kalvi Thanthi( Father of Education), 3 time CM of Tamil Nadu, played a crucial role in the establishment of two Prime Ministers- Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi earning him the ephithet of “King Maker”.
Land of the Ranas- Veer Hammir
Veer Hammir founded the Sisodia dynasty of Mewar and began the reign of the Ranas.
Battle of Asal Uttar-1965 War
Havaldar Abdul Hamid and the epic battle of Asal Uttar during the 1965 War. One of the largest tank battles fought post World War II, after the Battle of Kursk, it was a turning point in the 1965 War, gave a huge blow to Pakistani ambitions.
Banda Singh Bahadur
. A man who was a terror to Mughals, a hero they called Banda Singh Bahadur.
Rani of Jhansi
Khub lade mardani, woh hai Jhansi wali Rani
A woman whose name has come to symbolize courage, independence and honor. A legend in her lifetime, Manikarnika, better known as the Rani of Jhansi, Lakshmibai.
One of the most famous schools of mathematics and astronomy in India was the Kerala school of maths and astronomy, founded by Madhava of Sangamagrama during the 14th century. One of the foremost mathematicians and astronomers of this school was Nilakantha Somajayi, known for his astronomical treatise Tantrasamgraha and a commentary on Aryabhatta.
Andhra Ratna Duggirala Gopalakrishnayya
Andhra Ratna Duggirala Gopalakrishnayya, the first ever Telugu person to become the secretary of All India Congress Committee, who did his post graduation in economics from the University of Edinburgh. A polyglot fluent in English, Telugu, Hindi, Sanskrit, a brilliant writer known for his extempore verse composition,who set up the Andhra Vidya Peetha Gosthi, a literary society.
Veer Kunwar Singh
Veer Kunwar Singh. A man who at 80 years of age, was the oldest warrior of the 1857 revolt, in a league that included such greats like Rani of Jhansi, Rao Tula Ram, Nana Saheb and Tantiya Tope.
Dhondo Keshav Karve, also known affectionately as Annasaheb. For the 100 odd years of his life on earth, he lit the lamps in the lives of many a child widow, and women, fought for their emancipation.
Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu
Kandukuri Veeresalingam, often regarded as the father of Modern Andhra Pradesh, social reformer, activist, writer, the quintessential Renaissance man.
Darkness at Baisakhi-Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
Jallianwala Bagh,a name that evokes painful memories in our history, a reminder of the brutality of the British rule. 1500 massacred here on April 13,1919 on the orders Gen Reginald Dyer, on a Baisakhi Day.
Rani Tarabai Bhonsle
Rani Tarabai Bhonsle the daughter in law of Chattrapathi Shivaji Maharaj, who took over the Maratha Empire at a critical juncture, fought back Aurangzeb, and saved the Empire from destruction. T
Lala Har Dayal
Lala Hardayal, the man who co founded the Ghadar Party in US, along with Sohan Singh Bhakna. A legend among revolutionaries, one of the key members of India House in London along with Shyamji Krishna Varma, Veer Savarkar and Madame Bhikaji Cama.
Mewar- Land of the Ranas
The first in a series on Mewar, where I look at the region's history, it's backdrop, and Bappa Rawal
Kanneganti Hanumanthu, was famous for the Pullari Satyagraha, against the draconian tax imposed by the British on the peasants for grazing their cattle or gathering wood in the forests of Palnadu.
Uyyalavada Narasimha Reddy
Uyyalavada Narasimha Reddy, born in Rupanagudi and grew up in Uyyalavada, had around 66 villages under his control in Bellary, Kadapa, Anantapur, Kurnool districts, and was a patron of arts and literature. One of the heroes of the Polygar Wars against the British.
Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar
Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar one of the greatest Indian scientists of the modern era, who was an equally good writer. To most Indians, his name would be familiar with CSIR, that he founded as well as the awards given out in his name to aspiring scientists. Yet not many know that he was also an equally good Urdu poet under the name of Seemab, and composed the Kulgeet for Benaras Hindu University in Sanskrit.
Kittur Rani Chennamma
The brave queen of Kittur, who took on the British.
Vasudev Balwant Phadke
Vasudev Balwant Phadke, often called as the father of the Indian armed revolt, an inspiration to many a revolutionary. He was an inspiration for Bankim Chandra Chatterjee’s landmark novel Anand Math, which incorporated many references from his life. A Chitpavan Brahmin from Konkan, who rallied the lower peasant castes like Dhangars, Kolis, Bhils as well as warrior communities like Ramoshis against British rule.
On the auspicious occasion of Basant Panchami and Saraswathi Puja, I take a look at it's significance.
Peshwa Madhav Rao
Peshwa Madhav Rao, the youngest of the Peshwas who bought the Maratha empire back to it's glory after the Panipat debacle.
Telanga Kharia from the Kharia tribe in Jharkhand who led an intense uprising against the British in Gumla.
Tilka Manjhi tribal leader who led a major uprising against the British in and around Bhagalpur.
Vikram Sarabhai, the father of India’s space program, regarded as one of the greatest scientists of modern India. And who also made a signficant contribution to the nuclear program.
Battle of Kolhapur
Shivaji Maharaj routs the Adil Shahi forces once again at the Battle of Kolhapur in 1659, as their commander Rustom Zaman flees the battlefield. This victory would make Aurangzeb take notice of him.
Lance Naik Albert Ekka-The man who saved Agartala
Lance Naik Albert Ekka, the man who saved Agartala during the 1971 War, PVC recipient for his sheer courage under fire during the capture of Gangasagar, one of Jharkhand's most famous icons.
Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya
Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, founder of Benares Hindu University, educationist, thinker, freedom fighter, social reformer, a truly great soul or Mahamana as he was called.