Some Great PeopleMohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Gujarati: ; Devnagari ), pronounced[moːˈɦəndaːskəˈrəmtʃənd ˈɡaːndʱi] ( listen). 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independencemovement. A pioneer of satyagraha, or resistance to tyranny through mass civildisobedience—a philosophy firmly founded upon ahimsa, or total nonviolence—Gandhi led India toindependence and inspired movements for civil rights andfreedom across the world. Gandhi is often referred toasMahatma ([məˈɦaːtmaː]; Sanskrit: mahātmā or "Great Soul," anhonorific first applied to him by Rabindranath Tagore). In India, he is alsocalled Bapu (Gujarati: , bāpu or "Father") and officially honoured asthe Father of the Nation. His birthday, 2 October, is commemorated in Indiaas Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and worldwide as theInternational Day ofNon-Violence.Gandhi first employed non-violent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer inSouth Africa, in the resident Indian communitys struggle for civil rights. After hisreturn to India in 1915, he set about organising peasants, farmers, and urbanlabourers in protesting excessive land-tax and discrimination. Assuming leadershipof the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns foreasing poverty, expanding womens rights, building religious and ethnic amity,ending untouchability, increasing economic self-reliance, but above all forachieving Swaraj—the independence of India from foreign domination. Gandhifamously led Indians in protesting the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km(250 mi) Dandi Salt March in 1930, and later in calling for the British to QuitIndia in 1942. He was imprisoned for many years, on many occasions, in bothSouth Africa and India.Gandhi strove to practice non-violence and truth in all situations, and advocatedthat others do the same. He lived modestly in a self-sufficient residentialcommunity and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn hehad hand spun on a charkha. He ate simple vegetarian food, and also undertooklong fasts as means of both self-purification and social protest.
Subhas Chandra Bose (Bengali: ; Hindi: ; Urdu: ;ن ی تاجی س بھاش چ ندر ب وسOriya: , 23 January1897 – - unconfirmed) known by name Netaji (Hindi: "Respected Leader") was anIndian revolutionary who led an Indian national political and military force againstBritain and the Western powers during World War II. Bose was one of the mostprominent leaders in the Indian independence movement and is a legendary figurein India today. Bose was born on 23 January 1897 in Cuttack, Orissa to JanakinathBose and Prabhabati Devi.He is presumed to have died "in absentia" on 18 August 1945 from injuriessustained in an alleged aircraft crash in Taihoku (Taipei). However, no actualevidence of the death of Subhas Chandra Bose on that day has ever been officiallyauthenticated and many committees were set up by the government of India toinvestigate the mystery of his presumed death.Jawaharlal Nehru (IPA: [dʒəʋaːɦərˈlaːl ˈneːɦru] ( listen), Hindi: , Urdu: 41 جواهر الل ن ھروNovember 1889 – 27 May 1964), often referred towith the epithet of Panditji, was an Indian politician who became the first PrimeMinister of independent India (1947–64) and became noted for his ―neutralist‖policies in foreign affairs. He was also one of the principal leaders of India’sindependence movement in the 1930s and ’40s. Nehru was elected by the IndianNational Congress to assume office as independent Indias first Prime Minister, andre-elected when the Congress Party won Indias first general election in 1951 and1952. Nehru contributed to the establishment of a secularParliamentarydemocracy in India and was one of the founders of the international Non-AlignedMovement.The son of moderate nationalist leader and Congressman Motilal Nehru,Jawaharlal Nehru became a leader of the left wing of the Congress when fairlyyoung. Rising to become Congress President under the mentorship of MohandasKaramchand Gandhi, Nehru was a charismatic and radical leader,advocating complete independence for India from theBritish Empire. In the longstruggle for Indian independence, Nehru was eventually recognized as Gandhispolitical heir. Throughout his life, Nehru advocated Democratic socialism/FabianSocialism and a strong Public sector as the means by which economicdevelopment could be pursued by poorer nations. He was the father of IndiraGandhi and the maternal grandfather of Rajiv Gandhi, who would later serve as thethird and sixth Prime Ministers of India.
Bhagat Singh (IPA: [p ɡət sɪŋɡ] ( listen),(Punjabi: ; 28 September 1907 – 23 March 1931) was an Indiannationalist considered to be one of the most influential revolutionaries of the Indianindependence movement. He is often referred to as Shaheed Bhagat Singh, theUrdu word Shaheed meaning "martyr".Born into a Jat Sikh family which had earlier been involved in revolutionaryactivities against the British Raj, as a teenager Singh studied Europeanrevolutionary movements and was attractedto anarchist and marxist ideologies.He became involved in numerousrevolutionary organisations, and quickly rose through the ranks of the HindustanRepublican Association (HRA) to become one of its main leaders, eventuallychanging its name to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) in1928.Seeking revenge for the death of Lala Lajpat Rai at the hands of the police, Singhwas involved in the assassination of British police officer John Saunders. Heeluded efforts by the police to capture him. Together with Batukeshwar Dutt, heundertook a successful effort to throw two bombs and leaflets inside the CentralLegislative Assembly, subsequently volunteering to surrender and be arrested.Held on this charge, he gained widespread national support when he underwent a116 day fast in jail, demanding equal rights for British and Indian politicalprisoners. During this time, sufficient evidence was brought against him for aconviction in the Saunders case, after trial by a Special Tribunal and appeal atthe Privy Council in England. He was convicted and subsequently hanged for hisparticipation in the murder, aged 23. His legacy prompted youths in India to beginfighting for Indian independence and he continues to be a youth idol in modernIndia, as well as the inspiration for several films. He wascommemorated with a large bronze statue in the Parliament of India, as well as arange of other memorials.Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi (Hindi: Indirā PriyadarśinīGāndhī listen (help·info); 19 November 1917 – 31 October 1984) was an Indianpolitician who served as the third Prime Minister of India for three consecutiveterms (1966–77) and a fourth term (1980–84). She was assassinated by Sikhextremists. Gandhi was the second female head of government in the worldafter Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka, and she remains as the worlds secondlongest serving female Prime Minister as of 2011. She was the first woman tobecome prime minister in India.
Gandhi was the only child of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister ofindependent India. She adhered to the quasi-socialist policies of industrialdevelopment that had been begun by her father. Gandhi established closer relationswith the Soviet Union, depending on that nation for support in India’s long-standing conflict with Pakistan. She was also the only Indian Prime Minister tohave declared a state of emergency in order to rule by decree and the only IndianPrime Minister to have been imprisoned after holding that office.Albert Einstein ( /ˈælbərt ˈaɪnstaɪn/; German: [ˈalbɐt ˈaɪnʃtaɪn] ( listen); 14March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist whodeveloped the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. Forthis achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physicsand oneof the most prolific intellects in human history. He received the 1921 NobelPrize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for hisdiscovery of the law of thephotoelectric effect". The latter was pivotal inestablishing quantum theory within physics.Near the beginning of his career, Einstein thought that Newtonian mechanics wasno longer enough to reconcile the laws of classical mechanics with the laws ofthe electromagnetic field. This led to the development of his special theory ofrelativity. He realized, however, that the principle of relativity could also beextended to gravitational fields, and with his subsequent theory of gravitation in1916, he published a paper on the general theory of relativity. He continued to dealwith problems of statistical mechanics and quantum theory, which led to hisexplanations of particle theory and the motion of molecules. He also investigatedthe thermal properties of light which laid the foundation of the photontheory oflight. In 1917, Einstein applied the general theory of relativity to model thestructure of theuniverse as a whole.He was visiting the United States when Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, anddid not go back to Germany, where he had been a professor at the Berlin Academyof Sciences. He settled in the U.S., becoming a citizen in 1940. On the eve ofWorld War II, he helped alert President Franklin D. Roosevelt that Germany mightbe developing an atomic weapon, and recommended that the U.S. begin similarresearch; this eventually led to what would become the Manhattan Project. Einsteinwas in support of defending the Allied forces, but largely denounced using the newdiscovery of nuclear fissionas a weapon. Later, together with Bertrand Russell,Einstein signed the Russell–Einstein Manifesto, which highlighted the danger ofnuclear weapons. Einstein was affiliated with the Institute for AdvancedStudy in Princeton, New Jersey, until his death in 1955.
Einstein published more than 300 scientific papers along with over 150 non-scientific works. His great intelligence and originality have made the word"Einstein" synonymous with genius.Sir Isaac Newton PRS (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1727 [NS: 4 January 1643– 31 March 1727]) was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, naturalphilosopher, alchemist, and theologian, who has been "considered by many to bethe greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived."His monograph Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, published in 1687,lays the foundations for most of classical mechanics. In this work, Newtondescribed universal gravitation and the three laws of motion, which dominated thescientific view of the physical universe for the next three centuries. Newtonshowed that the motions of objects on Earth and of celestial bodies are governedby the same set of natural laws, by demonstrating the consistency between Keplerslaws of planetary motion and his theory of gravitation, thus removing the lastdoubts about heliocentrism and advancing the Scientific Revolution.The Principia is generally considered to be one of the most important scientificbooks ever written, due, independently, to the specific physical laws the worksuccessfully described, and for the style of the work, which assisted in settingstandards for scientific publication down to the present time.Newton built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a theory ofcolour based on the observation that a prism decomposes white light into the manycolours that form the visible spectrum. He also formulatedan empirical law ofcooling and studied the speed of sound.In mathematics, Newton shares the credit with Gottfried Leibniz for thedevelopment of differential and integral calculus. He also demonstratedthe generalised binomial theorem, developed Newtons method for approximatingthe roots of a function, and contributed to the study of power series.Newton was also highly religious. He was an unorthodox Christian, and wrotemore on Biblical hermeneuticsand occult studies than on science and mathematics,the subjects he is mainly associated with. Newton secretly rejected Trinitarianism,fearing to be accused of refusing holy orders.Alexander Graham Bell (March 3, 1847 –August 2, 1922) was an eminentscientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the firstpractical telephone.[N 1]
Bells father, grandfather, and brother had all been associated with workon elocution and speech, and both his mother and wife were deaf, profoundlyinfluencing Bells lifes work. His research on hearing and speech further led himto experiment with hearing devices which eventually culminated in Bell beingawarded the first US patent for the telephone in 1876.[N 2] In retrospect, Bellconsidered his most famous invention an intrusion on his real work as a scientistand refused to have a telephone in his study.Many other inventions marked Bells later life, including groundbreaking workin optical telecommunications, hydrofoilsand aeronautics. In 1888, AlexanderGraham Bell became one of the founding members of the National GeographicSociety. Bell has been described as one of the most influential figures in humanhistory.Meerabai (c. 1498 – c. 1547AD) (alternate orthographies: Meera; Mira; MeeraBai) was an aristocratic Hindu mysticalsinger and devotee ofLord Krishna from Rajasthan and one of the most significant figures ofthe Sant tradition of theVaishnava bhakti movement. Some 1,200–1,300 prayerfulsongs or bhajans attributed to her are popular throughout India and have beenpublished in several translations worldwide. In the bhakti tradition, they are inpassionate praise of LordKrishna.Details of her life, which has been the subject of several films, are pieced togetherfrom her poetry and stories recounted by her community and are of debatablehistorical authenticity, particularly those that connect her with the later Tansen. Onthe other hand, the traditions that make her a disciple of Ravidas who disputedwith Rupa Goswami are consonant with the usual account of her life.Surdas, the 15th century sightless saint, poet and musician, is known for hisdevotional songs dedicated to Lord Krishna. Surdas is said to have written andcomposed a hundred thousand songs in his magnum opus the Sur Sagar (Ocean ofMelody), out of which only about 8,000 are extant. He is considered a saint and soalso known as Sant Surdas, a name which literally means the "slave of melody".Early Life of Sant Surdas The time of Surdass birth and death are uncertain andsuggest that he lived over a hundred years, which make the facts even murkier.Some say, he was born blind in 1479 in Siri village near Delhi. Many othersbelieve, Surdas was born in Braj, a holy place in northern Indian district ofMathura, associated with the exploits of Lord Krishna. His family was too poor totake good care of him, which led the blind boy to leave home at the age of 6 to join
a wondering group of religious musicians. According to one legend, one night hedreamt of Krishna, who asked him to go to Vrindavan, and dedicate his life to thepraise of the LordValmiki (Sanskrit: , vālmīki) (during Lord Ramas time) iscelebrated as the poet harbinger in Sanskrit literature. He is the author of theepic Ramayana, based on the attribution in the text of the epic itself. He isrevered as the Adi Kavi, which means First Poet, for he discovered thefirst śloka i.e. first verse, which set the base and defined the form to Sanskritpoetry.At least by the 1st century AD, Valmikis reputation as the father of Sanskritclassical poetry seems to have been legendary. Ashvagosha writes inthe Buddhacarita: "The voice of Valmiki uttered poetry which the great seer Chyavana could not compose." This particular verse has been speculated to indicate a familial relationship between Valmiki and Chyavana, as implied by the previous and subsequent verses.