Category Archives: On this day in South Asian history

On 20 February in South Asian history


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Updated on February 20, 2019

1707: Death of Aurangzeb, Mogul emperor of India, born in 1618

1913: Coronation of Nepal king Tribhuvan

1919: Murder of Habib Ullah Khan, emir of Afghanistan (1901-1919), at 46

1945: Birth of Annu Kapoor, Indian actor

1947: Lord Mountbatten becomes Viceroy of India to oversee the move to independence

1947-02-20 mountbatten_installation_as_viceroy

1983: Hundreds die in Assam poll violence

1987: Anurachal Pradesh (former NEFA), disputed with China, gets the status of state of India

1988: Birth of Jiah Khan, Indian actress

2003: Death of Mushaf Ali Mir, Pakistani Chief of the Air Staff, in an air crash, born on March 5,1947×59589

2007: Zilla Huma Usman, a milister and an activist for women emancipation in Pakistan is assassinated. She was born on September 16, 1971

2009: Two Tamil Tiger planes bomb the Sri Lankan capital, but one of them is shot down as it flew back towards the country’s north

2010: Death of Basavaraju Venkata Padmanabha Rao, Indian actor, born August 20, 1931

2012: Death of S. N. Lakshmi, Indian actress, born in 1927

2013: Saudi Arabia recalls its ambassador from Colombo in a tit-for-tat decision amid tensions after a Sri Lankan nanny convicted of murder was beheaded in the kingdom

2014: Death of Reghu Kumar, Indian composer, born on July 13, 1953

2014: India’s top court blocks the release of three of former premier Rajiv Gandhi’s killers after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh denounced their freeing as against all principles of justice

2015: Death of Govind Pansare, Indian author and communist activist, four days after a gun attack, born in 1933

2018: India successfully test-fires nuclear-capable ballistic missile


On 19 February in South Asian history


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Updated on February 19, 2019

1630: Birth of Shivaji Bhosle, founder of the Maratha Empire (India) in 1674 and died on April 3, 1680

1915: Death of Gopal Krishna Gokhale, leader of the Indian Independence Movement, born on 9 May 1866

1930: Birth of K Viswanath, South Indian film director


1938: Birth of Choekyi Gyaltsen, 10th Panchen Lama, who died on January 28, 1989,_10th_Panchen_Lama

1949: Mass arrest of Communists in India

1951: Birth of Tahir-ul-Qadri, Pakistani Islamic scholar

1964: Birth of Sonu Walia, Indian actress

 1986: Akkaraipattu massacre, massacre of 80 Tamil farm workers by the Sri Lankan Army in the eastern province of Sri Lanka

1994: Phoolan Devi, popularly named the « Bandit Queen », is released from an Indian jail

1999: Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee inaugurate the Delhi-Lahore bus line going to an historic summit with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif


2013: Nepal’s major political parties agree to form an interim government led by a supreme court chief justice, and to hold elections in June, in an attempt to end the deadlock that has left the nation without a fully functioning government since last year

2013: Prominent Pakistani Taliban commander Maulvi Faqir Mohammad has been arrested in eastern Afghanistan

2014: The chief minister of Tamil Nadu orders the release of all seven people jailed for plotting the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi


Holidays and observances

Birthday of Shivaji or Shivaji Jayanti (Maharashtra)

On 18 February in South Asian history


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Updated on February 18, 2019

3102 BC: Origin of the Kali Era (India)

1294: Death of Khubilai Khan, founder of the Chinese Yuan dynasty, born on September, 23 1215

1405: Death of Tamerlane (Timur), Mongol emperor, born on April 8, 1336

1486: Birth of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Bengali saint and bhakti yoga developer

1815: The king Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe of Kandyan kingdom (Ceylon) is captured by the British

1836: Birth of Sri Ramakrishna, Bengali saint, guru of Swami Vivekananda  who died on August 16, 1886

1883: Birth of Madan Lal Dhingra, Indian Revolutionary who died on August 17, 1909

1894: Birth of Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, Indian independence activist then minister who died on October 24, 1954–Vlqz3dynlHZ9Q&sig2=FWMifQsvSP2BrULhRE5Iog

Rafi Ahmed Kidwai

1911: The first official flight with air mail takes place in Allahabad, British India, when Henri Pequet, a 23-year-old pilot, delivers 6,500 letters to Naini, about 10 km away

1926: Birth of Nalini Jaywant, Indian actress

1927 : Birth ofnKhayyam, Indian music composer

1946: Sailors of the Royal Indian Navy mutiny in Mumbai harbour, from where it would spread throughout British India and involve 78 ships, 20 shore establishments and 20,000 sailors

1951: Nepal king Tribhuvan, in exile from one year, comes back to his country as a constitutional king

1959: For the first time in Tibet history, legislative elections are organized

1979: President Zia ur-Rahmans National Party wins elections in Bangladesh,_1979

2007: Attack on the Samjhanta Express (Train of the Friendship) between Pakistan and India causing 67 people dead

2008: First free elections since Musharraf took power, won by Bhutto family party, the PPP

2010: Obama meets with Dalai Lama despite Chinese objections


Holidays and observances

Nepal: National Democracy Day (The 1951 overthrow of the Rana dynasty)

On 17 February in South Asian history


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Updated on February 17, 2019

1702: Birth of Muhammad Shah, the last Mughal emperor (1719-1748) who died on April 26, 1748

1843: Engagement between a British force of about 2,800 troops under Sir Charles Napier and a host of more than 20,000 followers of the amirs (chiefs) of Sindh ending in a British victory and the annexation of most of Sindh

1883: After hunger strile, death of Vasudev Balwant Phadke, Indian revolutionary, father of the armed struggle for independence, born on November 14, 1845

vasudev balwant phadke

1899: Birth of Jibanananda Das, Bangladeshi-Indian poet and author who died on October 22, 1954

1931: First talks between Mahatma Gandhi and viceroy of British India, Lord E.W. Irving

1984: Birth of Sadha, South Indian film actress

1986: Death of Jiddu Krishnamurti, Indian philosopher , born on May 11, 1895

1997: After a huge victory, Nawaz Sharif comes back for the second time as Pakistan’s Prime Minister

2002: The Nepali communist guerilla launches its largest scale offensive since  the beginning of the insurrection in 1996. 137 are killed

2010: The European Union has decided to suspend Sri Lanka’s preferential trade benefits because of concerns over the country’s human rights record

2013: Death of Manoranjan Das, Indian playwright, born March 11, 1923

Manoranjan Das

2014: The United Nations’ human rights chief has called for an international war crimes investigation into alleged atrocities carried out in the final stages of the Sri Lankan civil war, according to reports

2014: Death of R. K. Srikantan, Indian singer, born on January 14, 1920,-last-link-to-a-golden-age-of-Carnatic-music,-dies-at-94

2014: A Pakistan Taliban faction announced the execution of 23 soldiers on Monday, dealing a fresh blow to already dwindling hopes that peace talks might end years of violence

2015: India’s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi promises a crackdown on religious violence and freedom of worship for all faiths after a series of attacks on churches

2016: A Maldives court convicts opposition leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla of terrorism and sentenced him to 12 years in jail

On 16 February in South Asian history


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Updated on February 16, 2019

1781: After Warren Hastings sent another force against Mahadaji Sindhia, General Camac defeats Sindhia at Sipri which will lead to the Treaty of Salbai on 17 May 1782 guaranting peace for twenty years

1944: Death of Dadasaheb phalke.Indian filmmaker, born on April 30,.1870

1981: Start of a voyage of pope John-Paul II to Pakistan, Philippines and Japon

2009: The Pakistani government and Taliban of the Swat Valley sign an agreement. Sharia will be applied in this region

2015: India seals nuclear energy pact with Sri Lanka, hopes to push back Chinese influence


On 15 February in South Asian history

1915-02-15 Singapore Indian mutiny


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Updated on February 15, 2019

1780: In India, a strong force under Colonel Goddard take possession of Ahmedabad, after Warren Hastings, the Governor-General, adopted strong measures to retrieve the prestige of the Company

1869: Death of Mirza Ghalib, Indian poet, born on December 27, 1797 in Agra

1915: In Singapore, Indian soldiers launch the first large-scale mutiny of World War I

1915-02-15 Singapore Indian mutiny

1921: Birth of Radha Krishna Choudhary, Indian historian, thinker and writer who died on March 15,  1985

1924: A deputation for the South African Indian Congress (SAIC) meets with the Minister of the Interior, Sir Patrick Duncan, and presents him with a memorandum setting out their objections concerning the Class Areas Bill

1948: Death of Subhadra Kumari Chauhan Indian poet, born in 1904

1949: Birth of Anura Bandaranaike, Sri Lankan politician

Anura Bandaranaike

 1984: Birth of Meera Jasmine, Indian actress

1989: Moscou announces the total Soviet troops pull out of Afghanistan, nine years after they invaded the country

1996: General elections in Bangladesh boycotted by all the parties except the BNP

2012: The Maoist-led government and the Nepal Army have reached consensus on almost all outstanding issues related to the integration of Maoist combatants in the national army. The two parties, however, remain at odds over senior ranks to be conferred to the combatants willing to serve in the Army

2018: China-friendly communist K.P. Sharma Oli appointed Nepal’s new prime minister after landmark polls

Holidays and observances

Afghanistan: Liberation Day

On 14 February in South Asian history


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Updated on February 14, 2019

1483: Birth of Babur, First Emperor of the Mughal Empire, who died on December 26, 1530

1885: Birth of Syed Zafarul Hasan, prominent Muslim Indian-Pakistani philosopher who died on June 19, 1949

1933: Birth of Madhubala, Indian actress who died of illness on February 23, 1969

1962: Birth of Sakina Jaffrey, Indian actress

1979: In Kabul, Muslims kidnap the American ambassador to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs, who is later killed during a gunfight between his kidnappers and police

1989: A fatwa requiring Salman Rushdie’s  execution is proclaimed by Ayatola Khomeni

1990: Birth of Deeksha Seth, Indian Actress

2014: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, whose Aam Aadmi party sent shockwaves through India’s political establishment in local elections last year, quits to protest blocking of anti-corruption bill after fewer than 50 days in office

On 13 February in South Asian history


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Updated on February 13, 2019

1585: Salim, future Mughol Emperor Jahangir, Marries his cousin Man Bai, 16 years old

 1601: James Lancaster leads first East India Company voyage from London

1739: Battle of Karnal, decisive victory for Nader Shah the emperor of Persia during his invasion of India

1739-02-13 Battle of Karnal

1835: Birth of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Indian religious figure, founder of the Amadiyya Movement, who died on May 26, 1908

1879: Birth of Sarojini Naidu, Indian freedom fighter, who died on March 2, 1949

1911: Birth of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Pakistani poet who died on November 20 1984

1913: Thubten Gyatso, the 13th Dalai Lama, proclaims an edict that reaffirms the independence of Tibet (not recognised by China)

1931: New Delhi becomes the capital of India

1944: Birth of Oduvil Unnikrishnan, Indian actor who died on May 27, 2006

1990: Birth of the 11th Panchen Lama Gyaincain Norbu imposed by Beijing in November 1995

2012: Yousuf Raza Gilani, Pakistan’s prime minister, is charged with contempt of court by the country’s supreme court, after he disobeyed a court order to open corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari

2013: Mohamed Nasheed, the former Maldives President, takes refuge inside the Indian embassy in the capital, Male, after a local magistrate ordered his arrest

2014: Afghanistan releases 65 alleged Taliban militants from prison despite protests from the US military, which warned that the men were “dangerous insurgents” who will likely return to fighting Afghan and international forces

2014: Death of Balu Mahendra, Sri Lankan-Indian director, cinematographer, and screenwriter, born on May 20, 1939

2016: Death of O. N. V. Kurup, Indian poet and academic, born on May 1927, 1931

On 11 February in South Asian history


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Updated on February 11, 2019

1713: Jahandar Shah I, Mughal emperor of India (1712-1713) is murdered while in prison, born on May 10, 1661

1856: The Kingdom of Awadh is annexed by the British East India Company and Wajid Ali Shah, the king of Awadh, is imprisoned and later exiled to Calcutta

1917: Birth of T. Nagi Reddy, Indian Communist revolutionary, who died on July 28, 1976

1942: Death of Jamnalal Bajaj, Indian industrialist, a philanthropist, and Indian independence fighter, born on. November 4, 1884

1968: Death of Deendayal Upadhyaya, Indian journalist, economist, and politician, born on September 25, 1916

1977: Death of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, president of India since August 24, 1974. Basappa Banappa Jatti becomes acting president

1993: Death of Kamal Amrohi, Indian director and screenwriter, born on January 17, 1918

Kamal Amrohi

2013: The US military has started to withdraw equipment from Afghanistan through Pakistan ahead of next year’s deadline for combat troops to leave the war against the Taliban, an official said

2013: Death of D. Vinayachandran, Indian poet and educator, born on May 13 1946

2018: Pakistani rights activist Asma Jahangir dies at 66

2018: The party of former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse landslide local victory amid disarray in the ranks of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s ruling alliance

On 10 February in South Asian history


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Updated on February 10, 2019

1771: To the head of a powerful army, the Marathe Madhava Râo Sindhia enters Delhi to restore the legitimacy of Shah Alam II, the emperor Moghol exiled with Allâhâbâd

1846: During the first Anglo-Sikh War, British defeat Sikhs in final battle of Sobraon

1846-02-10 Battle of Sobraon

1847: Birth of Nabinchandra Sen, famous Bengali poet who died on January 23, 1909

1859: British Gen Horsford defeats the Begum of Oudh Mazrat Mahral & Nana Sahib in Indian mutiny

1943: In India, Gandhi starts a hunger strike to protest his detention

1952: India passes first test of democracy in the country first general election

1987: Death of Syed Sadequain Ahmed Naqvi, Pakistani painter, calligrapher and artist, born in 1930

Jawaidsid Syed Sadequain Ahmed Naqvi

2011: India and Pakistan announce that the two countries would resume peace talks that have been stalled since 2008, when Pakistani militants staged coordinated terrorist attacks in Mumbai

2011: Tashi Dhondup, Tibet’s freedom singer, is released after more than a year in a re-education through labour camp in Qinghai province. He receives a hero’s welcome at home for his songs that express the pain caused by the lack of freedom in Tibet’s-freedom-singer-released,-gets-hero’s-welcome-20745.html

2015: An anti-corruption party, led by Arvind Kejriwal has won a stunning victory in the Delhi state elections in a huge setback for India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi

2016: Renowned Urdu novelist and playwright Fatima Surayya Bajia passes away