Sarojini Naidu (2/13/1879 – 3/2/1949)

Sarojini NaiduSarojini Naidu, also known as Sarojini Chattopadhyaya, was a famous Indian poet and a major freedom fighter who went on becoming the first Indian woman to be appointed the president of the Indian National Congress and the Governor of any state in India. Most of all, she was a noted child prodigy and a master of the children’s literature. Naidu was given a sobriquet Bharat Kokila (The Nightingale of India) on account of her beautiful poems and songs. Some of her best books that established her as a potent writer include The Golden Threshold, The Gift of India, and The Broken Wing. An active participant of the Indian Independence movement, Naidu joined the national movement taking Gandhi’s call and joined him in the popular Salt March to Dandi. With the Indian Independence in 1947, Sarojini Naidu was made the Governor of the Uttar Pradesh in the wake of her contribution to the movement.

Sarojini Naidu had many credits to her, including a notable contribution to the Indian Independence Movement. She joined the movement at the rear of Bengal partition in 1905 and since then, she stuck to her commitment to the cause. While working for the Indian National Congress, she was introduced to many eminent personalities such as Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi with whom she shared a special bond and a very good rapport.

During 1915-1918, she traveled across India lecturing on social welfare, women empowerment, emancipation and nationalism. Inspired by Jawaharlal Nehru, she embarked on providing help and support for the indigo workers in Champaran who were being subjected to violence and oppression. In 1925, Naidu was appointed the President of the National Congress thus making her the first Indian women to hold the post. 

With the introduction of the Rowlett Act in 1919, Sarojini joined the Non-Cooperation Movement organized and led by Mahatma Gandhi. In the same year, she was appointed the Home Rule League’s ambassador to England. In 1924, she became a delegate to the East African Indian Congress.

In her last years, Sarojini actively participated in the freedom movement and was a part of the Round Table summit held in 1931. In 1942, she was arrested along with Mahatma Gandhi for her involvement in the Quit India movement and was jailed for almost 2 years. After her release from the jail, she presided over the Steering Committee at the Asian Relations Conference. With the independence of India in 1947, Sarojini Naidu was made the Governor of the Uttar Pradesh in the wake of her contribution to the movement. She was the first woman to become the governor of a state.

Content taken from www.thefamouspeople.com

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Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (10/31/1875 – 12/15/1950)

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is a historical figure who moves you to tears. Mostly these are tears of joy, for he achieved a thrilling Indian unity. Yet some are tears of pity, for the Sardar suffered and sacrificed much.

Sardar PatelThis man of steel learnt early to be tough, for he was born as a middle child in a family of impoverished peasant proprietors. As Vallabhbhai would himself recall, his parents’ hopes seemed centered on the eldest two sons, Soma and Narsi, and their affection on the youngest two, Kashi and the only daughter, Dahiba. The ones in the middle, Vallabh and Vithal, were remembered last when clothes or sweets were to be distributed, and at once when a chore had to be done. The rough schools he went to as a boy, and the courts where he defended alleged criminals, also contributed to Vallabhbhai’s mental muscle and stern appearance.

Yet this tough man smiled at the world and at gloomy moments helped others to laugh. Also, he did not hesitate to step aside for another –for his older brother Vithal when the latter wanted to use his passport and ticket to London, and, years later, for Jawaharlal Nehru, when Mahatma Gandhi desired that Nehru should sit in a chair to which Patel seemed entitled. And this strong man before whom rajas and maharajas trembled, and to whom rich men gave large funds for India’s national movement, did not allow a rupee to stick to his fingers, and he saw to it that his children, a son and a daughter, lived simple lives during and after their father’s lifetime.

His strength of character, the sharpness of his mind, his organizing skills, and all his energy were offered up for achieving the freedom of India under Gandhi’s leadership, and after independence for India’s consolidation. We admire a man who rises to a political or financial peak, but are moved by one whose sole purpose in life is the strength and wellbeing of his compatriots. And we are moved even more when we discover that next to the steel in his soul is tenderness for colleagues and a readiness to accept whatever results God ordains.

In successive phases of his life, Vallabhbhai Patel showed the defiance of the oppressed, a trial lawyer’s brilliance, the daring to give up a flourishing career, the discipline of a soldier in freedom’s battles, the strategies of a General, indifference as a prisoner of the Raj, the generosity of the strong, the firmness of a patriot, and the farsightedness of a statesman.

Content taken from www.sardarpatelaward.com

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Rani Lakshmi Bai (11/19/1835 – 6/17/1858)

Jhansi ki RaniRani Lakshmi Bai, the fiery Queen of Jhansi, also known as the Rani of Jhansi, one of the great   nationalist   heroines   of    the first war of India freedom, a symbol of resistance to   the British rule in India. She completed her education and also learned horse riding, sword fighting and shooting on a target with a gun.

She was married to Raja Gangadhar Rao, the Maharaja of Jhansi in 1842, and became the Rani of Jhansi. After the marriage, she was given the name Lakshmi Bai. The Marriage ceremony was performed in Ganesh Mandir, the temple of Lord Ganesha situated in the city of Jhansi. Rani Lakshmi Bai gave birth to a son in 1851, but unfortunately this child died when he was about four months old. After this tragedy, Damodar Rao was adopted as son. Later on Maharaja Gangadhar Rao also died on 21st November 1853. After the death of Maharaja Gangadhar Rao, Rani Lakshmi Bai was left alone. At this time she was eighteen years old. Rani Lakshmi Bai did not lose her courage, she always remembered her responsibility.

In March 1854, the British ruler announced 60,000 (Sixty Thousand) annual pension for Rani and also ordered to leave the Jhansi fort. Jhansi was in humiliating condition but it was like a silent volcano before eruption. Rani Jhansi was determined not to give up Jhansi. She was a symbol of patriotism and self-respect. Britishers were making every effort to destroy the freedom of country whereas Rani was determined to get rid of Britishers.

Rani Lakshmi Bai strengthened the defense of Jhansi and she assembled a volunteer army of rebellions. Women were also given Military training. Rani was accompanied by her brave warriors, some of them were Gulam Gaus Khan, Dost Khan, Khuda Baksh, Lala Bhau Bakshi, Moti Bai, Sunder-Mundar, Kashi Bai, Deewan Raghunath singh and Deewan Jawahar Singh. Along with all these warriors the local population of Jhansi irrespective of their religion or caste were always determined to fight and give their lives with pleasure for the cause of Independent and their beloved Rani.

The Britishers attacked Jhansi in March 1858. Rani Jhansi with her faithful warriors decided not to surrender. The fighting continued for about two weeks. Shelling on Jhansi was very fierce. In the Jhansi army women were also carrying ammunition and were supplying food to the soldiers. Rani Lakshmi Bai was very active. She herself was inspecting the defense of the city. However, after this great war, Jhansi fell to the British forces.

Rani Lakshmi Bai left Jhansi and reached Kalpi. Many other rebellions force joined her. Tantia Tope from Kalpi was also one of them, from Kalpi Rani departed to the Gwalior. Again a fierce battle took place. Rani Jhansi fought with deathless patriotism and martyrdom. However on the second day of fighting, the great heroine of the first struggle for India freedom, at the age of 23 years, lost her life.

Content taken from www.jhansi.nic.in

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National Emblem

National EmblemThe state emblem is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. In the original, there are four lions, standing back to back, mounted on an abacus with a frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and a lion separated by intervening wheels over a bell-shaped lotus. Carved out of a single block of polished sandstone, the Capital is crowned by the Wheel of the Law (Dharma Chakra).

In the state emblem, adopted by the Government of India on 26 January 1950, only three lions are visible, the fourth being hidden from view. The wheel appears in relief in the centre of the abacus with a bull on right and a horse on left and the outlines of other wheels on extreme right and left. The bell-shaped lotus has been omitted. The words Satyameva Jayate from Mundaka Upanishad, meaning ‘Truth Alone Triumphs’, are inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script.

Content taken from india.gov.in

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National Game

National GameIndia has conquered the podium when it comes to the game of Hockey. Our nation has an excellent record with eight Olympic gold medals. Indian hockey’s golden period was from 1928-56, when the Indian hockey team won six successive Olympic gold medals. Team also won the 1975 World Cup besides two more medals (silver and a bronze). The Indian Hockey Federation (External website that opens in a new window) gained global affiliation in 1927 and joined the International Hockey Federation (FIH) (External website that opens in a new window).

Thus began the history of Indian Hockey Federation as India entered the Olympics to begin its golden saga. The tour was a huge success with India winning 18 out of the 21 matches and the legendary Dhyan Chand was the cynosure of all the eyes scoring over 100 goals of the 192 Indian accounted for. The match began in Amsterdam in 1928 and India went on a winning spree in Los Angeles in 1932 and Berlin in 1936 and thus bagged a hat-trick of gold medals at the Olympics.

Post Indian Independence; the Indian team achieved another hat-trick of gold medals at the 1948 London Olympics, 1952 Helsinki Games and the Melbourne Olympics.

During the Golden Era, India played 24 Olympic matches, won all 24, scored 178 goals (at an average of 7.43 goals per match) and conceded only 7 goals. The two other gold medals for India came in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

Content taken from india.gov.in

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National Anthem

The National Anthem of India is played or sung on various occasions.

The composition consisting of the words and music of the first stanza of the late poet Rabindra Nath Tagore’s song known as “Jana Gana Mana” is the National Anthem of India. It reads as follows:

Jana-gana-mana-adhinayaka, jaya he
Bharata-bhagya-vidhata.
Punjab-Sindh-Gujarat-Maratha
Dravida-Utkala-Banga
Vindhya-Himachala-Yamuna-Ganga
Uchchala-Jaladhi-taranga.
Tava shubha name jage,
Tava shubha asisa mage,
Gahe tava jaya gatha,
Jana-gana-mangala-dayaka jaya he
Bharata-bhagya-vidhata.
Jaya he, jaya he, jaya he,
Jaya jaya jaya, jaya he!

 Hear National Anthem (817 KB, 0:52 Sec.)

The above is the full version of the Anthem and its playing time is approximately 52 seconds.

The following is Tagore’s English rendering of the anthem:

Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people,
Dispenser of India’s destiny.
Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind,
Gujarat and Maratha,
Of the Dravida and Orissa and Bengal;
It echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,
mingles in the music of Jamuna and Ganges and is
chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.
They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise.
The saving of all people waits in thy hand,
Thou dispenser of India’s destiny.
Victory, victory, victory to thee.

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National Fruit

National FruitA fleshy fruit, eaten ripe or used green for pickles etc., of the tree Mangifera indica, the mango is one of the most important and widely cultivated fruits of the tropical world. Its juicy fruit is a rich source of Vitamins A, C and D. In India there are over 100 varieties of mangoes, in different sizes, shapes and colours. Mangoes have been cultivated in India from time immemorial. The poet Kalidasa sang its praises. Alexander savoured its taste, as did the Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tsang. Mughal emperor Akbar planted 100,000 mango trees in Darbhanga, Bihar at a place now known as Lakhi Bagh.

Content taken from india.gov.in

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National Animal

National AnimalThe magnificent tiger, Panthera tigris is a striped animal. It has a thick yellow coat of fur with dark stripes. The combination of grace, strength, agility and enormous power has earned the tiger its pride of place as the national animal of India. Out of eight races of the species known, the Indian race, the Royal Bengal Tiger, is found throughout the country except in the north-western region and also in the neighbouring countries, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. To check the dwindling population of tigers in India, ‘Project Tiger’ was launched in April 1973. So far, 27 tiger reserves have been established in the country under this project, covering an area of 37,761 sq km.

Content taken from india.gov.in

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National Tree

National TreeIndian fig tree (also called banyan tree), Ficus bengalensis, whose branches root themselves like new trees over a large area. The roots then give rise to more trunks and branches. Because of this characteristic and its longevity, this tree is considered immortal and is an integral part of the myths and legends of India. Even today, the banyan tree is the focal point of village life and the village council meets under the shade of this tree.

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National Flower

National FlowerLotus (Nelumbo Nucipera Gaertn) is the National Flower of India. It is a sacred flower and occupies a unique position in the art and mythology of ancient India and has been an auspicious symbol of Indian culture since time immemorial.

Content taken from india.gov.in

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