Lata Mangeshkar is an Indian singer, and occasional music-composer. She is one of the best-known and most respected playback singers in India. Mangeshkar's career started in the year 1942 and has spanned over six and a half decades.She was born on 28 September 1929. She has recorded songs for over a thousand Hindi films and has sung songs in over thirty-six regional Indian languages and foreign languages, though primarily in Hindi. She is the elder sister of singer Asha Bhosle, Hridayanath Mangeshkar, Usha Mangeshkar and Meena Mangeshkar. She is the second vocalist to have ever been awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honors. Mangeshkar was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records from 1974 to 1991 for having made the most recordings in the world. The claim was that she had recorded approximately 25,000 solo, duet, and chorus-backed songs in 20 Indian languages between 1948 to 1974. Over the years, while several sources have supported this claim, others have raised concerns over its veracity, claiming that this number was highly exaggerated and that Mangeshkar's younger sister, Asha Bhosle, had more song recordings than she had. In 2011 Guinnessofficially acknowledged Bhosle as the most recorded artist in music history.

In 1942, when Mangeshkar was 13, her father died of heart disease. Master Vinayak, the owner of Navyug Chitrapat movie company and a close friend of the Mangeshkar family, took care of them. After Vinayak's death in 1948, music director Ghulam Haider mentored her as a singer. Haider introduced Mangeshkar to producer Sashadhar Mukherjee, who was working then on the movie Shaheed (1948), but Mukherjee dismissed Mangeshkar's voice as "too thin." An annoyed Haider responded that in the coming years the producers and the directors would "fall at Lata's feet" and "beg her" to sing in their movies. Haider gave Lata her first major break with the song “Dil Mera Toda,” from the movie Majboor (1948). In the 1950s, Mangeshkar sang songs composed by various music directors of the period, including Anil Biswas in films such as Tarana and Heer, Shankar-Jaikishan, Naushad, S. D. Burman, C. Ramchandra, Hemant Kumar, Salil Chowdhury, Khayyam, Ravi, Sajjad Hussain, Roshan, Kalyanji-Anandji, Vasant Desai, Sudhir Phadke, Hansraj Behl, Madan Mohan, and Usha Khanna. During the 1960s, Lata Mangeshkar continued her association with Madan Mohan which included the songs "Aap Ki Nazron Ne Samjha" from Anpadh (1962), "Lag Ja Gale" and "Naina Barse Rim Jhim" from Woh Kaun Thi? (1964), "Woh Chup Rahen To" from Jahan Ara (1964), and "Tu Jahan Jahan Chalega" from Mera Saaya (1966).

In 1972, Meena Kumari's last film, Pakeezah, was released. It featured popular songs including "Chalte Chalte" and "Inhi Logon Ne" sung by Lata Mangeshkar, and composed by Ghulam Mohammed. She recorded many popular songs for S. D. Burman's last films, including "Rangeela Re" from Prem Pujari (1970), "Khilte Hain Gul Yahaan" from Sharmeelee (1971), and "Piya Bina" from Abhimaan (1973). From 1980s onwards, Lata Mangeshkar worked with music directors including Shiv-Hari, Ram Laxman, and A. R. Rahman. She recorded some non-film songs, including ghazals with Jagjit Singh. Lata Mangeshkar has won several awards and honors, including Bharat Ratna (India's Highest Civilian Award), Padma Bhushan (1969), Padma Vibhushan (1999), Dada Saheb Phalke Award(1989), Maharashtra Bhushan Award (1997), NTR National Award (1999), Bharat Ratna (2001), ANR National Award (2009), three National Film Awards, and 12 Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards. She has also won four Filmfare Best Female Playback Awards. In 1969, she made the unusual gesture of giving up the Filmfare Best Female Playback Award, in order to promote fresh talent. She was later awarded Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993. In 1984, the State Government of Madhya Pradesh instituted the Lata Mangeshkar Award in honour of Lata Mangeshkar. The State Government of Maharashtra also instituted a Lata Mangeshkar Award in 1992. In 1974, The Guinness Book of Records listed Lata Mangeshkar as the most recorded artist in the history, stating that she had reportedly recorded "not less than 25,000 solo, duet and chorus backed songs in 20 Indian languages" between 1948 and 1974. Her record was contested by Mohammed Rafi, who was claimed to have sung around 28,000 songs. After Rafi's death, in its 1984 edition, the Guinness Book of World Records stated Lata Mangeshkar's name for the "Most Recordings", but also stated Rafi's claim. The later editions of Guinness Book stated that Lata Mangeshkar had sung no fewer than 30,000 songs between 1948 and 1987. Although the entry has not been printed in Guinness editions since 1991, several sources claim that she has recorded thousands of songs, with estimates ranging up to figures as large as 50,000. However, even the earliest Guinness claim of 25,000 songs (between 1948–1974) was claimed to be exaggerated by several other sources, with one of them stating that the number of songs sung by Lata Mangeshkar in Hindi films till 1991 was found to be 5250. Mangeshkar herself stated that she does not keep a record of the number of songs recorded by her, and that she did not know from where Guinness Book editors got their information. In 2011 Asha Bhosle was officially acknowledged by Guinness as the most recorded artist in music history, surpassing Mangeshkar.


Sarojini Naidu was born on February 13, 1879 in Hyderabad. Sarojini Naidu is also known by the sobriquet The Nightingale of India. She was a child prodigy, Indian independence activist and poet. Naidu was the second Indian woman to become the President of the Indian National Congress and the first woman to become the Governor of Uttar Pradesh state. Her birthday is celebrated as Women's Day in India. Sarojini Naidu was moved by the partition of Bengal in 1905 and decided to join the Indian freedom struggle. She met regularly with Gopal Krishna Gokhale, who later introduced her to the stalwarts of the Indian freedom movement.

She met Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, C. P. Ramaswami Iyer and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. With such an encouraging environment, Sarojini later moved on to become leader of the Indian National Congress Party. She traveled extensively to the United States of America and many European countries as the flag-bearer of the Indian Nationalist struggle. She wrote many poems. One of the famous poems were Song of radha, the milkmaid. This tells us about goddess Radha, the eternal lover of lord Krishna, who wants to sell her curd in the mathura fair. During 1915-1918, she traveled to different regions in India delivering lectures on social welfare, women empowerment and nationalism. She awakened the women of India and brought them out of the kitchen. She also helped to establish the Women's Indian Association (WIA) in 1917. She was sent to London along with Annie Besant, President of WIA, to present the case for the women's vote to the Joint Select Committee. Sarojini Naidu began writing at the age of 12. Her play, Maher Muneer, impressed the Nawab of Hyderabad. In 1905, her collection of poems, named "The Broken exs" was published. Her poems were admired by many prominent Indian politicians like Gopala Krishna Gokhale and Jawahar Lal Nehru.

Sarojini Naidu was truly one of the gems of the 20th century India. Her contribution was not confined to the fields of politics only but she was also a renowned poet. The play "Maher Muneer", written by Naidu at an early age, fetched a scholarship to study abroad. She briefed the struggles of freedom for independence to the political stalwarts of European nations, she had visited. She married Dr. Muthyala Govindarajulu Naidu, a South India. The marriage took place at a time when inter-caste marriage was not acceptable in the society. Her acts helped in raising many eyebrows. In 1905, a collection of poems, she had composed, was published under the title of "Golden Threshold". Her chairmanship of the Asian Relations Conference in 1947 was highly-appraised. Two years later, on 02 March 1949, Sarojini Naidu died at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.


He was born on 3 December 1884 and he was an Indian politician who became the first President of India. He was one of the architects of the Indian Republic, having served as the president of the Constituent Assembly and later as the first president of independent India. Prasad is the only president to have been elected twice for the office. During the independence movement, he left his practice of law and joined the Congress Party, playing a prominent role in the Indian Independence Movement. Before serving as the president of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the constitution, he had served as Minister of Food and Agriculture in the year 1946 in the Interim national Government. Prasad had formally joined the Indian National Congress way back in the year 1911. During the Lucknow Session of Indian National Congress held in 1916, he met Mahatma Gandhi. During one of the fact-finding missions at Champaran, Mahatma Gandhi asked him to come with his volunteers. He was so greatly moved by the dedication, courage, and conviction of Mahatma Gandhi that as soon as the motion of Non-Cooperation was passed by Indian National Congress in 1920, he retired his lucrative career of lawyer as well as his duties in the university to aid the movement.

He also responded to the call by Gandhi to boycott Western educational establishments by asking his son, Mrityunjaya Prasad, to drop out of his studies and enroll himself in Bihar Vidyapeeth, an institution he along with his colleagues founded on the traditional Indian model. During the course of the independent movement, he interacted with Dr Rahul Sankrityayan, a writer, and polymath. Rahul Sankrityayan was greatly influenced by Prasad's intellectual prowess, finding him to be a guide and guru. In many of his articles he mentioned about his meeting with Sankrityayan and narrated about their him. He wrote articles for the revolutionary publications Searchlight and the Desh and collected funds for these papers. He toured widely, explaining, lecturing, and exhorting the principles of the independence movement. He took an active role in helping the affected people during the 1914 floods that struck Bihar and Bengal. When an earthquake affected Bihar on 15 January 1934, Prasad was in jail. During that period, he passed on the relief work to his close colleague Anugrah Narayan Sinha. He was released two days later and set up Bihar Central Relief Committee on 17 January 1934, and took the task of raising funds to help the people himself. During the May 31, 1935 Quetta earthquake, when he was forbidden to leave the country due to government's order he set up Quetta Central Relief Committee in Sindh and Punjab under his own presidentship.

He was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress during the Bombay session in October 1934. He again became the president when Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose resigned in 1939. On 8 August 1942, Congress passed the Quit India Resolution in Bombay which led to the arrest of many Indian leaders. He was arrested from Sadaqat Ashram, Patna and sent to Bankipur Jail. After remaining incarcerated for nearly three years, he was released on 15 June 1945. After the formation of Interim Government of 12 nominated ministers under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru on Sep 2 1946, he got the Food and Agriculture department. Later, he was elected the President of Constituent Assembly on 11 December 1946. Again on 17 November 1947 he became Congress President for a third time after Jivatram Kripalani submitted resignation. Two and a half years after independence, on January 26, 1950, the Constitution of independent India was ratified and Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected the nation's first President. He served as the President of constituent assembly. Prasad acted independently of politics, following the expected role of the president as per the constitution. Following the tussle over the enactment of the Hindu Code Bill, he took a more active role in state affairs. In 1962, after serving twelve years as the president, he announced his decision to retire. After relinquishing the office of the President of India on May 1962, he returned to Patna on 14 May 1962 and preferred to stay in the campus of Bihar Vidyapeeth. He was subsequently awarded the Bharat Ratna, the nation's highest civilian award. He died on 28 February 1963.


The great heroine of the First war of India Freedom. She lived for only twenty-two years. She became a widow in her eighteenth year. She was born on 19 November 1828 in Kashi India. She was the great heroine of the First War of Indian Freedom. She became a widow at the tender age of 18 and lived only till 22 yet she has inspired many and is still a living legend. She was the embodiment of patriotism, self-respect and heroism. Her life is a thrilling story of womanliness, courage, adventure, deathless patriotism and martyrdom. In her tender body there was a lions spirit. At birth she was named Manu. The young Manu, unfortunately she lost her mother when she was only four. The entire duty of bringing up the daughter fell on her father. Along with formal education she acquired the skill in sword fighting, horse riding and shooting. Manu later became the wife of Gangadhar Rao, Maharaj of Jhansi, in 1842. From then on she was known as Maharani Laksmi Bai of Jhansi.

In 1851 Maharani Lakshmi Bai bore a son but her fate was cruel and she lost her child within three months. The Maharaja passed away on the 21st November 1853. Although prior to this the Maharaja and Maharani adopted a boy the British government claimed they did not recognise the right of the adopted boy. Thus they tried to buy off the Rani however she stated "No, impossible! I shall not surrender my Jhansi!"It did not take her long to realise how difficult it was for the small state of Jhansi to oppose the British when even the Peshwas and Kings of Delhi had bowed down to the British Demands. The Rani’s battle now was against the British who had cunningly taken her kingdom from her. After the British took over her government her daily routine changed. Every morning from 4am to 8am were set apart for bathing, worship, meditation and prayer. From 8am to 11am she would go out for a horse ride, practise shooting, and practise swordmanship and shooting with the reins held on her teeth. Thereafter she would bathe again, feed the hungry, give alms to the poor and then have food; then rested for a while. After that she would chant the Ramanyan. She would then exercise lightly in the evening. Later she would go through some religious books and hear religious sermons. Then she worshipped her chosen deity and had supper. All things were done methodically, according to her strict timetable. Such a dedicated and devoted women!

All these disciplined and training patterns came in use during the Indian Mutiny in 1857. Many lives were lost and innocence people killed. Although Bharat did not gain independence the Rani did win back Jhansi and created the state to its former glory having a full treasury and army of women matching the army of men. However Sir Hugh Rose attacked Jhansi on 17th March 1858. The next day’s battle was the Rani’s last. Her death was heroic, her army had declined as they were out numbered by the opposition. The British Army had encircled her and her men. There was no escape blood was flowing, darkness was approaching. The British army was pursuing her. After a great struggle the Rani died muttering quotes from the Bhagvad Gita. When she went to War and took up arms she was the very embodiment of the War Goddess Kali. She was beautiful and frail. But her radiance made men diffident. She was young in years, but her decisions were mature. Such an confident and dominant women! A lesson is to be learnt for us all from her experiences! The words of the British General Sir Hugh Rose who fought against the Maharani several times and was defeated time and time again stated "Of the mutineers the bravest and the greatest commander was the Rani". Rani was an exemplary warrior for a woman, was extremely beautiful, fearless and her perseverance knew no bounds. And also that she was the most dangerous rebel they had faced in the battle.She died on 17 June 1858 in Gwalior, India.


Azim Premji is Chairman of Wipro Technologies, one of the largest software companies in India. He is an icon among Indian businessmen and his success story is a source of inspiration to a number of budding entrepreneurs. He born on July 24, 1945, Azim Hashim Premji was studying Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, USA when due to the sudden demise of his father; he was called upon to handle the family business. Azim Premji took over the reins of family business in 1966 at the age of 21. At the first annual general meeting of the company attended by Azim Premji, a shareholder doubted Premji's ability to handle business at such a young age and publicly advised him to sell his shareholding and give it to a more mature management. This spurred Azim Premji and made him all the more determined to make Wipro a success story. And the rest is history. When Azim Premji occupied the hot seat, Wipro dealt in hydrogenated cooking fats and later diversified to bakery fats, ethnic ingredient based toiletries, hair care soaps, baby toiletries, lighting products and hy.draulic cylinders. Thereafter Premji made a focused shift from soaps to software.

Under Azim Premji's leadership Wipro has metamorphosed from a Rs.70 million company in hydrogenated cooking fats to a pioneer in providing integrated business, technology and process solutions on a global delivery platform. Today, Wipro Technologies is the largest independent R&D service provider in the world. Azim Premji has several achievements to his credit. In 2000, Asia week magazine, voted Premji among the 20 most powerful men in the world. Azim Premji was among the 50 richest people in the world from 2001 to 2003 listed by Forbes. In April 2004, Times Magazine rated him among the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. He is also the richest Indian for the past several years. In 2005, Government of India honored Azim Premji with Padma Bhushan. Under his stewardship, WIPRO has grown from a US$ 2 million hydrogenated cooking fat company to a US $1.76 billion IT- giant. Ranked among the top 100 Technology companies globally, Wipro is also the largest BPO services provider based in India. Premji was named as the Business Man of the Year 2000 by Business India and the Business Leader of the Year 2004 by the Economic Times. The TIME magazine listed him in 2004 as one of the 100 most influential people worldwide. In 2003, the Fortune magazine named him as one of the 25 most powerful business leaders outside the US. He was awarded honorary doctorates by many renowned institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee and the Manipal Academy of Higher Education, besides serving on the Prime Minister's Committee for Trade and Industry in India.

In 2001, he founded Azim Premji Foundation, a non-profit organization, with a vision to significantly contribute to achieving quality universal education that facilitates a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society. The Foundation works in the area of elementary education to pilot and develop 'proofs of concept' that have a potential for systemic change in India's 1.3 million government-run schools. In December 2010, Premji pledged to donate $2 billion for improving school education in India. This has been done by transferring 213 million equity shares of Wipro Ltd, held by a few entities controlled by him, to the Azim Premji Trust. This donation is the largest of its kind in India.


Rishi Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay is famous for penning India's national song, Vande Mataram. This great son of India was born on June 27, 1838 in Kantalpara village in West Bengal's 24 Paraganas district. After completing his early education in Midnapur, he joined the Mohsin College at Hoogly. Bankim Chandra had married when he was only eleven. After his first wife died, he remarried. He was a voracious reader and was especially interested in Sanskrit literature. He joined the Presidency College in Calcutta in 1856. After completing his education, he joined government service and retired in 1891. The Bengali Novel practically began with him. He also wrote philosophical works, which stimulated independent thinking. He was adept at both verse and fiction. He shot into the limelight with Durgeshnandini, his first Bengali romance, published in 1865. He then went on to write other famous novels like Kapalkundala in 1866, Mrinalini in 1869, Vishbriksha in 1873, Chandrasekhar in 1877, Rajani in 1877, Rajsimha in 1881 and Devi Chaudhurani in 1884. He brought out a monthly magazine called Bangadarshan in 1872.

His most famous novel was Anand Math, published in 1882, which contains the famous song Vande Mataram. Anandamath depicted an army of Brahmin ascetics fighting Indian Muslims in the pay of the East India Company. The book called for unity among the Hindus and Muslims. This famous song Vande Mataram was set to music by none other than Rabindranath Tagore. Bankim Chandra's humorous sketches are his best known works other than his novels. Kamalakanta is an opium-addict, similar to De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, but Bankim Chandra goes much beyond with his deft handling of sarcastic, political messages that Kamalakanta delivers. Bankim Chandra's commentary on the Gita was published eight years after his death and contained his comments up to the 19th Verse of Chapter 4. Through this work, he attempted to reassure Hindus who were increasingly being exposed to Western ideas. His belief was, that there was "No serious hope of progress in India except in Hinduism-reformed, regenerated and purified". He wrote an extensive commentary on two verses in particular-2.12 and 2.13-which deal with the immortality of the soul and its reincarnation.

Bankim Chandra emerged as a great writer in Bengali. He wrote novels and poems. He wrote articles, which stimulated impartial thinking. He became well known outside Bengal too. His novels have been translated into many Indian languages. He wrote poems, then he wrote a novel in English. But after this he began to write novels in Bengali. He wrote while still in service. Because of constant pinpricks he grew weary of service. He felt that government service curbed his freedom and challenged his self respect. So he asked for permission to retire, though he was only fifty three years old. But his superior officers were displeased with him. So they would not even allow him to retire. When a new Lieutenant Governor, Charles Eliot by name, was posted, Bankim Chandra approached him. He told him that he wished to write books and needed leisure. "I would like to retire. Please allow me to do so," he requested Eliot. He agreed. At last Bankim Chandra was free. He was retired on a pension of four hundred rupees a month. When Bankim Chandra retired he was eager to write many books. But he was not able to devote many years to writing on a large scale. His health soon declined and he died in 1894 when he was only fifty six. Bankim Chandra worked in the field of journalism too. Those were the days of few journals. He felt that there was need for a journal offering variety of reading material.

Bankim Chandra had founded a journal called 'Vangadarshan'. 'Anandamath' appeared in installments in this monthly journal. In 1882 it appeared in book form. Soon the copies were sold out and the book was reprinted. During Bankim Chandra's lifetime alone, in ten years 'Anandamatha' was reprinted five times. Readers found reading a Bankim Chandra's novel an altogether knew kind of experience. The people of Bengal were fascinated by his novels. When the novels were translated into other Indian languages they delighted the new readers too. Bankim is regarded as one of Bengal's treasures; this was because of his novels. Bankim Chandra had give thought to the question of a writer's style. A novelist tells a story. This great novelist and poet of Bengal, nay entire India passed away on April 8, 1894.


Arundhati Roy was born on 24 November 1961, and she is an Indian novelist. Arundhati Roy was born in Shillong, Meghalaya, India, to Ranjit Roy, a Bengali Hindu tea planter and Mary Roy, a Malayali Syrian Christian women's rights activist. She lives in New Delhi. She won the Booker Prize in 1997 for her novel The God of Small Things, and has also written two screenplays and several collections of essays. Her writings on various social, environmental and political issues have been a subject of major controversy in India.

Roy began writing her first novel, The God of Small Things, in 1992, completing it in 1996. The book is semi-autobiographical and a major part captures her childhood experiences in Aymanam. The publication of The God of Small Things catapulted Roy to instant international fame. It received the 1997 Booker Prize for Fiction and was listed as one of the New York Times Notable Books of the Year for 1997. It reached fourth position on the New York Times Bestsellers list for Independent Fiction. From the beginning, the book was also a commercial success. A Celebration of Tribal People, released in October 2009. The book explores the culture of people around the world, portraying their diversity and the threats to their existence. The royalties from the sale of this book go to the indigenous rights organization Survival International.

She won the National Film Award for Best Screenplay in 1989, for the screenplay of In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones. In 2002, she won the Lannan Foundation's Cultural Freedom Award for her work "about civil societies that are adversely affected by the world’s most powerful governments and corporations," in order "to celebrate her life and her ongoing work in the struggle for freedom, justice and cultural diversity." In 2003, she was awarded 'special recognition' as a Woman of Peace at the Global Exchange Human Rights Awards in San Francisco with Bianca Jagger, Barbara Lee and Kathy Kelly. Roy was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize in May 2004 for her work in social campaigns and her advocacy of non-violence.

In January 2006, she was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award, a national award from India's Academy of Letters, for her collection of essays on contemporary issues, The Algebra of Infinite Justice, but she declined to accept it "in protest against the Indian Government toeing the US line by 'violently and ruthlessly pursuing policies of brutalization of industrial workers, increasing militarization and economic neo-liberalization."

In November 2011, she was awarded the Norman Mailer Prize for Distinguished Writing. In response to India's testing of nuclear weapons in Pokhran, Rajasthan, Roy wrote The End of Imagination, a critique of the Indian government's nuclear policies. It was published in her collection The Cost of Living, in which she also crusaded against India's massive hydroelectric dam projects in the central and western states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. She has since devoted herself solely to nonfiction and politics, publishing two more collections of essays as well as working for social causes.


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