This Day in History (23-Feb-1980) – Prakash Padukone becomes the first Indian to win All-England Badminton Championship

Prakash Padukone,  dominated the national badminton scene for almost a decade (1971–80) and put India on the sport’s international map. Padukone participated in the Karnataka State Junior Championship, his first official Badminton tournament in 1962, wherein he lost right in the first round. Improving his performance, Padukone was able to win the State Junior Championship 2 years later in 1964. Later, he won the National Junior Badminton Championship in the year 1970. In the same year, he occurred to witness the legendry Badminton player, Rudi Hartono of Indonesia playing a power packed game, full of aggressiveness and power, at Jabalpur, India. Getting inspired by him, Padukone decided to change his style of game from mild to aggressive. There was no looking back for him. He won the national senior championship in 1971 at age 16, thereby becoming the youngest player to have achieved the feat. He won each successive national championship until 1979, setting a record of nine national titles in a row. In 1978 he won the singles badminton gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

The following year he completely dominated the top European players of his era and won both the Danish Open and the Swedish Open. His greatest accomplishment came in 1980 when he became the first Indian to win the All England Championships, the world’s most prestigious annual badminton competition. The All England win catapulted Padukone to the number one world badminton ranking, making him the first Indian to achieve that status.

Padukone won the first Alba World Cup in October 1981 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the first Indian open prize-money tournament, the Indian Masters (now the India Open), at Pune in November. In 1982 he won the Dutch Open and the Hong Kong Open, and at the 1983 world championships, Padukone won the bronze medal in men’s badminton. Padukone was conferred upon the Arjuna Award in 1972 and was awarded the Padmashri in 1982. He was known as the ‘Gentle Tiger’ on the court. In 1994, he launched The Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy at Bengaluru to nurture Badminton talents.
Reference:

http://www.indianage.com/search.php

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1913047/Prakash-Padukone

http://www.iloveindia.com/sports/badminton/players/prakash-padukone.html

http://www.ppba.in/about-us/our-centers/

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This Day in History (8-Feb-1943) – Subhashchandra Bose started his journey to Japan from Germany in a submarine

Netaji Subhash Chadra Bose, once a colleague of Gandhi, was fighting against British in non Violent way. But when World War II broke out, Bose thought that it was the best opportunity for India to get freedom by armed revolution. His plan was to co-operate with Germany and attack British India. He was sure that Indian soldiers in British army will rebel against the British Government as soon as his army will attack India. British Government house arrested him, but he escaped and went to Afghanistan, and then to Germany in April 1941. In his 2 years stay in Germany, Bose realised that  Germany is not interested in India’s independence but only to rule the world. His meeting with Hitler was one sided affair where Hitler proudly reiterated his well known ugly racist chauvinism. Bose wanted Germany to withdraw from Russia while  Hitler boasted that for Germany, it is only possible to reach India over ‘the dead body of Russia’.

Meanwhile Japan had entered the world war and had advanced towards India against British. Bose realised that collaborating with Japan at this stage will yield the desired result than with Germany. He also wanted to be nearer home when Japan decided to invade India so that he could be physically available to offer leadership to the people and the prisoners of war of Indian origin in South East Asia. Bose planed to go to Japan. Hitler arranged a submarine for Bose. It was a U-180 German submarine.

On 8th February 1943, the submarine sailed from Keil, to travel towards Indian ocean. Abid Hassan, a personal assistant and a doctor of Subhash Chandra Bose was his fellow traveler in this journey. When it detoured south Africa and turned to east, a British tanker Corbis confronted. U-180 sank the British Tanker. Three days later, a Japanese submarine I-29 met with U-180 near Madagascar. Subhash Chandra boarded on Japanese submarine which successfully and safely reached to Japan. After reaching Japan, he met Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo and discussed about future strategy and plans. Later Subhash Chandra Bose attacked British India from Eastern front with Indian National Army.

 

Reference:

http://jainismus.hubpages.com/hub/The-Submarine-Adventure-of-Subhash-Chandra-Bose

http://www.indianage.com/show.php

http://www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/rdv7n1/Bose.htm

This Day in History (29-Jan-1967) – The “ultimate high” of the hippie era, the Mantra-Rock Dance, takes place in San Francisco

Hippie (or hippy) subculture was originally a youth movement that arose in the United States during the mid-1960s and spread to other countries around the world. The word ‘hippie’ came from hipster, and was initially used to describe beatniks who had moved into New York City’s Greenwich Village and San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district. The Beats adopted the term hip, and early hippies inherited the language and countercultural values of the Beat Generation; children of the road who believed they should make love, not war. Their vocal opposition to the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War (1955-1975) and the increasingly rocky road to shared civil rights among all Americans led to this new, alternative form of activism. Hippies created their own communities, listened to psychedelic music, embraced the sexual revolution, and used drugs such as cannabis,  marijuana, LSD, peyote and psilocybin mushrooms to explore altered states of consciousness.

Donning psychedelic floral clothing and growing beards, all became part of the evolving counter-culture. With this also came a new epoch of fashion, film and literature; one which would grow out of the San Francisco valley and spill into the daily lives of the masses at home and abroad within the span of a couple of years. Hippies often chose brightly colored clothing and wore unusual styles, such as bell-bottom pants, vests, tie-dyed garments, dashikis, peasant blouses, and long, full skirts; non-Western inspired clothing were also popular.

Hippies tended to travel light, and could pick up and go wherever the action was at any time. One travel experience, undertaken by hundreds of thousands of hippies between 1969 and 1971, was the Hippie trail overland route to India. Carrying little or no luggage, and with small amounts of cash, almost all followed the same route, hitch-hiking across Europe to the Indian frontier. Once in India, hippies went to many different destinations, but gathered in large numbers on the beaches of Goa and Kovalam in Trivandrum (Kerala), or crossed the border into Nepal to spend months in Kathmandu. By the mid-1970s, the hippie movement began to slow.

Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/January_29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippie

http://all-that-is-interesting.com/a-brief-history-of-hippies

This Day in History (27-Jan-1921) – The Imperial Bank of India (State Bank of India) came into existence

The evolution of State Bank of India can be traced back to the first decade of the 19th century. It began with the establishment of the Bank of Calcutta in Calcutta, in 1806. The bank was redesigned as the Bank of Bengal, three years later. It was the first ever joint-stock bank of the British India, established under the sponsorship of the Government of Bengal. Subsequently, the Bank of Bombay (established in 1840) and the Bank of Madras (established in 1843) followed the Bank of Bengal. These three banks dominated the modern banking scenario in India, until when they were amalgamated to form the Imperial Bank of India, on 27 January 1921, with combined role of a commercial bank and a central bank.

However, with the establishment of the Reserve Bank of India in 1935, the Imperial Bank ceased to have a central banking function. It now became a purely commercial bank and certain business restrictions on it were removed. An important turning point in the history of State Bank of India is the launch of the first Five Year Plan of independent India, in 1951. The Plan aimed at serving the Indian economy in general and the rural sector of the country, in particular. Until the Plan, the commercial banks of the country, including the Imperial Bank of India, confined their services to the urban sector. Moreover, they were not equipped to respond to the growing needs of the economic revival taking shape in the rural areas of the country. Therefore, in order to serve the economy as a whole and rural sector in particular, the All India Rural Credit Survey Committee recommended the formation of a state-partnered and state-sponsored bank. The committee proposed the take over of the Imperial Bank of India, and integrating with it, the former state-owned or state-associate banks.

Subsequently, an Act was passed in the Parliament of India in May 1955. As a result, the State Bank of India (SBI) was established on 1 July 1955.  Later on, the State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks) Act was passed in 1959. The Act enabled the State Bank of India to make the eight former State-associated banks as its subsidiaries, with the State Bank of Hyderabad becoming the first subsidiary of the SBI.

Reference:

http://www.mapsofindia.com/on-this-day/27-january-1921-the-imperial-bank-of-india-came-into-existence

http://www.iloveindia.com/finance/bank/nationalised-banks/state-bank-of-india.html

This Day in History (25-Jan-1565) – Battle at Talikota – the Deccan sultanate destroy Vijayanagar’s army and the last Hindu kingdom of Southern India

The Vijayanagar Empire was a South Indian dynasty based in the Deccan spanning across all present South Indian states. It was founded by Harihara I and his sibling Bukka Raya in 1336, the empire ruled untill 1646. The ruling dynasty declined in the 1565 after a key military defeat by the Deccan Sultanates. The empire is named after its capital city of Vijayanagar, the remarkable ruins of which surround modern World Heritage site Hampi is in modern Karnataka, India, till today. The Vijayanagara Empire`s support facilitated fine arts and literature in order to attain new-fangled pinnacles in the languages of Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and Sanskrit, while Carnatic Music advanced into its existing structure. The Empire shaped an era in South Indian history thereby surpassing regionalism with the promotion of Hinduism as a coalescing feature.

After the death of Krishna Deva Raya the fall of Vijayanagar Empire began. Two rulers Achyuta Raya and Sadasiva Raya were weak. At the time of Sadasiva Raya his minister Rama Raya captured all the royal authorities. He tried to capital the difference amongst Muslim sultans of Bijapur, Bidar, Ahmadnagar, and Golconda of South India and crush them. But they soon understood his plan and joined hands with each other. Then jointly they attacked Vijayanagar. Battle of Talikota, was a confrontation between the forces of the Hindu raja of Vijayanagar and the four Muslim sultans in the Indian Deccan. The armies numbered several hundred thousand, with large contingents of elephants. The battle seems to have been decided by the Muslim artillery and the capture and execution of the ruling minister Rama Raya. The capital city of Vijayanagar was captured, destroyed over a period of five months, and never reoccupied. The raja and Rama Raya’s brother Tirumala retired to Penukonda, where the latter usurped the throne in 1570. The battle was decisive in breaking up the Vijayanagar empire, a Telugu domination over the Tamil and Kannada south. It also began a final Muslim penetration lasting until the end of the 18th century.

 

Reference:

http://www.historyorb.com/day/january/25

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/581480/Battle-of-Talikota

http://www.indianmirror.com/dynasty/vijayanagaradynasty.html

 http://www.importantindia.com/11629/battle-of-talikota-1565/

This Day in History (23-Jan-1977) – Janata Party was formed

In 1975, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared a state of national emergency. Thousands of opposition political activists, as well as leaders were arrested. Calling elections in 1977 the government released political prisoners and weakened restrictions and censorship on the press. When opposition leaders sought the support of Jayaprakash Narayan for the forthcoming election, he insisted that all opposition parties form a united front.

The Janata party was officially launched on 23 January 1977 when the Janata Morcha, Charan Singh’s Bharatiya Lok Dal, Swatantra Party, the Socialist Party of India of Raj Narain and George Fernandes, and the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) joined together, dissolving their separate identities. Although the political ideologies of Janata Party constituents were diverse and conflicting, the party was able to unite under the over-reaching appeal of Jayaprakash Narayan, who had been seen as the ideological leader of the anti-Emergency movement and now the Janata party. Morarji Desai was elected the first party chairman. Ramakrishna Hegde became the party general secretary, and Jana Sangh politician Lal Krishna Advani became the party spokesperson.

As it became clear that Indira’s Emergency rule had been widely unpopular, defections from the Congress (R) government increased. A former Minister of Defence, Jagjivan Ram left the Congress (R) and formed the Congress for Democracy along with the former Chief Minister of Orissa Nandini Satpathy, former Union Minister of State for Finance K. R. Ganesh, former M.P. D. N. Tiwari and Bihar politician Raj Mangal Pandey. Congress for Democracy contested the election with the same manifesto as the Janata party and subsequently merged.

Janata party won a sweeping victory, securing 43.2% of the popular vote and 271 seats. With the support of the Akali Dal and the Congress for Democracy, it had amassed a two-thirds, or absolute majority of 345 seats. Raj Narain defeated Indira in Rae Bareilly constituency. The first non-Congress Government was formed with Moraraji Desai as a Prime Minister. However continuous in-fighting and ideological differences made the Janata government unable to effectively address national problem and was defragmented losing elections in 1980.

Reference:

http://www.indianage.com/search.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janata_Party

This Day in History (21-Jan-1952) – Indian National Congress party wins the 1st General Election of India under the ledearship of Jawaharlal Nehru

The 1951 general election was of great importance to the country as it was the very first general election held in India after Independence. Based upon universal adult suffrage, these elections were an opportunity for anyone with 21 years or older in age to participate in the democratic process. Organizing the first-ever elections in India was an arduous task and it took around four months: October 25, 1951 to February 21, 1952 to get over. Though the Indian National Congress was the largest political party in India at that time, favorable atmosphere was created for opposition parties too to take part in the elections. Before Independent India went to the polls, two former cabinet colleagues of Nehru established separate political parties to challenge the INC’s supremacy. While Shyama Prasad Mookerjee went on to found the Jana Sangh, Dalit leader B. R. Ambedkar revived the Scheduled Castes Federation (which was later named the Republican Party).

The election was held in 26 Indian states. Around 170,000 candidates wanted a chance in the state assemblies for around 3,278 seats. Besides, there were 489 seats to be filled in the Lok Sabha, for which around 1,800 candidates contested. It was the INC that tried its best at all levels to win the interest and trust of people across the nation. In fact, Jawaharlal Nehru, in his election campaigning, approached about one tenth of India’s population, or 35 million people, by covering about 40,000 km. 17.6 Cr Indians, 85 per cent of whom couldn’t read or write, formed the electorate. Symbols were used on ballot papers for voters who couldn’t read. Voter turnout was 45.7%.

The Indian National Congress party won 364 of the 489 seats with around 45% votes all over the country, over four times as many as the second-largest party. B. R. Ambedkar was defeated in the Bombay constituency by a little-known Kajrolkar. Jawaharlal Nehru became the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the country. The Congress formed the government at the Centre and in all the states. It did not get a majority on its own in four states-Madras, Travancore-Cochin, Orissa and PEPSU (Patiala and East Punjab State Union)—but formed governments even there with the help of independents and smaller, local parties which then merged with it.

Reference:

http://www.indianage.com/search.php

http://www.elections.in/parliamentary-constituencies/1951-election-results.html

http://indiansaga.com/history/postindependence/elections_results.html