Important Indian Personalities

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1. Annie Besant

  • She was an Irish lady who came to India to attend the Annual Convention of the Theosophical Society at Adyar in Madras in 1893.
  • She became the President of Indian National Congress in 1917 (first woman Presidnet of INC).
  • She is well known for her Home Rule movement.
  • She also established the Central Hindu College in 1898, which later formed the nucleus of the Benares Hindu University.

2. Rabindranath Tagore

  • He was a poet, playwright, novelist, short story writer, musician, artist, actor, director philosopher was born on May 7, 1861.
  • Won the Nobel prize for literature in 1913 for his collection of verses Geetanjali.
  • He was awarded the knighthood in 1915 but returned it in 1919 as a protest against the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.

3. Acharya Vinoba Bhave

  • A true Gandhian, he was arrested for participating in the Dandi march in 1930.
  • He was one of the moving spirits behind the Nagpur Flag Satyagraha.
  • He is well known for his Bhoodan and Sarvodaya Movement.

4. Aurobindo Ghosh

  • Born on August 15, 1872 in Kolkata he embarked himself in the freedom movement from 1902 – 1910.
  • He later took refuge in Pondicherry devoting his life to the development of unique philosophy.
  • He was a poet, philosopher and a politician.
  • His most famous work is ‘Life Divine’.
  • He passed away on December 5, 1950.

5. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan

  • He was the pioneer of Muslim education in India.
  • His efforts ensured the laying of the foundation stone of Mohammaden Anglo Oriental College by Lord Lytton on Jan 8, 1877 at Aligarh.
  • The college became Aligarh Muslim University in 1920.

6. Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherji

  • He was the founder of the Bhartiya Jan Sangh in October 1951.
  • He represented North Calcutta in the first Lok Sabha.
  • As the leader of opposition he earned the title ‘Lion of Parliament’.
  • Earlier when he was in the cabinet of Nehru he quit in protest over according special status to Jammu & Kashmir.

7. Mother Teresa

  • Her original name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhin.
  • She was born on 26 Aug 1910 in Skopje, then in Albania, now the capital of Macedonia.
  • She founded the Missionaries of Charity and Nirmal Hriday a home for the dying destitutes.
  • Won Padma Shri in 1961, Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and the Bharat Ratna in 1980.

8. Jai Prakash Narayan

  • He joined the Civil disobedience movement of 1930s.
  • He organized the All India Congress Socialist Party along with Acharya Narendra Dev.
  • On 26 Jun 1975 he launched Bhrashtachar Mitao Andolan, a movement against corruption which brought down the Congress government in 1977.


Select the right answer

1. Who of the following was the author of Life Divine?

2. When was Ranindranath Tagore awarded knighthood?

3. To which country did Annie Besant originally belong?

4. In which year was Mother Teresa awarded the Bharat Ratna?

5. Who was the founder of Bhartiya Jan Sangh?