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Important personalities and their contribution in Indian History

Chandra Shekhar Azad 1906-1931

• He was a famous revolutionary activist, member of the Hindustan Republican Association and leader of the Hindustan Social Republican Army.
• He gained his title “Azad” during the Non Co-operation Movement when he was arrested and the court asked his name, he repeatedly answered “Azad”.
• He was involved in Kakori Conspiracy of 1925, Second Lahore Conspiracy, the Delhi Conspiracy, the killing of Saunders in Lahore and Central Assembly bomb episode.
• He shot himself while fighting with the police at Alfred Park in Allahabad.



Chhakravarti Rajagopalachari 1879-1972

• He was a politician and lawyer from Tamil Nadu.
• He gave up his practice during NCM.
• He held the post of the General-Secretary of the INC in 1921-1922 and was a member of Congress Working Committee from 1922 to 1924.
• He hoisted the CDM in Tamil Nadu and was arrested for leading a Salt March from Trichinopoly to Vedaranniyam on the Tanjore coast.
• He was elected as the Chief Minister of Madras in 1937 Elections.
• He resigned from INC in 1942 for not accepting the Cripp’s Proposal.
• He prepared the CR Formula for Congress-League Co-operation.
• He served as the Governor of Bengal (August-November 1947) and was the first and last Indian Governor-General of India (1948-50).
• He became the Minister of Home Affairs in the country’s first Cabinet.
• He founded the Swatantra Party in 1959.
• His rational ideas are reflected in the collection Satyameva Jayate.
• He was awarded the ‘Bharat Ratna’ in 1954.


CR Das 1870-1925

• A lawyer by profession, he defended Aurobindo in the Alipur Bomb Conspiracy case.
• He was the member of the Congress Enquiry Committee set up to look into Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.
• He founded the All India Swaraj Party in 1923.
• He was elected as the first Mayor of the Calcutta Co-operation in 1924.
• He prepared the Das Formula for Hindu-Muslim Co-operation.
• He was nicknamed as Deshbandhu Chittaranjan.
• His works include Malancha in 1895 (poems), Mala in 1904, Antaryami in 1915, Kishore-Kishoree and Sagar-Sangit in 1913.
• Newspapers/Journal-Narayana (Bengali monthly) and Forward.


Dadabhai Naoroji 1825-1917

• First to demand ‘Swaraj” in the Calcutta Session of INC, 1906.
• Title — “Indian Gladstone”, “Grand Old Man of lndia’.
• First Indian to be selected to the “House of Commons” on Liberal Party ticket.
• He highlighted the draining of wealth from India by the British and its effect in his book “Poverty and un-British Rule in India “(1901).


Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar 1891-1956

• Leader of the depressed class and an eminent jurist.
• He founded the Depressed Classes Institute (1924) and Samaj Samata Sangh (1927).
• He set up a network college in the name of Peoples Education Society.
• Participated in all the Three Round Table Conferences and signed the Poona Pact with Gandhiji in 1932.
• He was in the Governor General’s Executive Council from 1942 to 1946 and organized the Indian Labour Party and Scheduled Caste Federation.
• Chairman of the Drafting Committee of Indian Constitution.
• As the first Law Minister of Independent India, he introduced the Hindu Code Bill.
• He started ‘The Republican Party’ in 1956.
• Towards the end of his life, he embraced Buddhism.


Dr Rajendra Prasad 1884-1963

• Participated in Swadeshi Movement (established Bihari Students, Conference), Champaran Satyagrah, NCM, CDM and Quit India Movement.
• Founded the National College at Patna.
• Minister in charge or Food and Agriculture in the Interim Government (1946).
• President of the Constituent Assembly.
• First President of the Indian Republic.
• Honoured with ‘Bharat Ratna’ in 1962.
• Newspaper — Desh (Hindi weekly).


Dr Zakir Hussain 1897-1969

• An educationist and nationalist from Hyderabad, Hussain was the student of Mohammedan Anglo-Oriented College at Aligarh.
• He was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of Jamia University at the age of 29 years.
• In 1937, he participated in the National Conference on Education in Wardha.
• He was elected to the post of vice-Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University in 1948 and was selected to the executive board of the UNESCO.
• He served as the 3rd President of Indian Union and was honoured with Bharat Ratna in 1963.
• He translated Plato’s Republic and Edwin Cannan’s Elementary Political Economy also wrote a book titled Die Botschaft des Mahatma Gandhi in German. The Dynamic University contains his addresses during the convocation ceremonies. He also wrote a book on short stories for children, named Ruqayya Rehana.


Dhondo Keshav Karve 1858-1962

• A social reformer and educationalist who worked for the upliftment of women.
• He founded the Vidhva Vivahottejak Mandali (Society for the promotion of widow remarriage) in 1893 which was named as Vidhwa Vivaha Pratibandh Nivarak Mandali in 1895.
• Other institutions include-Mahisasuramardini (home for widows) in 1898, Mahila Vidyalaya, Nishkam Karma Math Monastery of Disinterested Work in 1908, Indian Women’s University in 1916 and Samata Sangh in 1944.
• He was awarded Padma Vibhushan’ in 1955 and ‘Bharat Ratna in 1958.


Dinbandhu Mitra 1830-1873

• He was a Bengali writer who highlighted the cause of Indigo planters through his play ‘Neel Darpan Natakam’, published in 1860.
• The play was translated in English by Madhu Sudan Dutt.


Durgabai Deshmukh 1909-1981

• She was popularly known as “Iron Lady.”
• She organized Salt Satyagrah during CDM in Madras and was imprisoned.
• She was a member of the Constituent Assembly.
• She was awarded the Tamrapatra and Paul Hoffman Award after independence in recognition to her service to the society.
• Her social works include the establishment of Andhra Mahila Sabha (1941), Andhra Education Society, Sri Venkateswar College in the Delhi University, Central Society welfare Board and she also edited the journal Andhra Mahila.

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