Category Archives: On this day in South Asian history

On 21 April in South Asian history


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Updated on April 21, 2019

1526: Babur (Babar or Baber), the ruler of Kabul, leads Mughal forces against the sultan of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodi, killing him in the Battle of Panipat

1651: Birth of Joseph Vaz, Indian priest and missionary, apostle of Ceylan, who died on January 16, 1711

1938: Death of Sir Muhammad Iqbal, a Muslim poet, philosopher and politician who introduced the theory of the Two-Nation theory and outlines a vision for the creation of Pakistan

1959: The 14th Dalai Lama arrives in Mussoorie, India, receiving political sanctuary there

1964: Death of Bharathidasan, Indian poet, born on April 29, 1891


1972: In Pakistan, Martial Law is lifted by President Ali Bhutto. The constitutional rule is restored in the country. Hamoodu-ur-Rehman is sworn in as Chief Justice of Pakistan.

1977: Ziaur Rahman is sworn in as Bangladesh president

1987: The Tamil Tigers are blamed for a car bomb that explodes in the Sri Lanka capital of Colombo, killing 106 people

2003: In Sri Lanka, LTTE break off negotiations with the government

2006: Death of T.K. Ramakrishnan, Indian communist politician, born in 1922

2011: United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights calls on the Kathmandu government to bring Maoist army and militias leaders responsible for crimes against humanity to trial. In 10 years, the conflict claimed more than 12,800 deaths and nearly 100 thousand displaced,-UN-calls-for-justice-for-victims-of-civil-war-21369.html

2011: The US military’s top officer, Adm Mike Mullen, accuses Pakistan’s spy agency of having links with militants targeting troops in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had a « long-standing relationship » with a militant group run by Afghan insurgent Jalaluddin Haqqani


On 20 April in South Asian history


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Updated on April 20, 2019

1870: Birth of Maulvi Abdul Haq, Pakistani scholar, father of Urdu, who died on 16 August 1961

1895: Birth of Ghulam Mohammad, Governor General of Pakistan, who died on 12 September 1956

1950: Birth of Chandra Babu Naidu, Indian politician, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh

1970: Death of Shakeel Badayuni, Urdu poet, lyricist and songwriter, born on August 3, 1916

1986: Death of Sibte Hassan, Pakistani activist, journalist and writer, born on 31 July 1916

2011: The government of Sri Lanka firmly rejects a United Nations report that blames it for war crimes committed during the final phase of the 30-year-old interethnic conflict, which ended in 2009

2012: In Sri Lanka, about 2,000 Buddhists, including monks, march to a mosque and hold a demonstration demanding its demolition, along with a Hindu temple being built in an area designated as a Buddhist sacred zone

2014: Famous Pakistan TV host Hamid Mir shot by gunmen amid a wave of attacks on journalists in the country

2015: Shots are fired at a car carrying Bangladeshi opposition leader Khaleda Zia when it stopped at a market in Dhaka, with television footage showing scores of people attacking her convoy

2015: Pakistan and China sign 51 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) relating to diverse aspects of bilateral relations, including the Pakistan China Economic Corridor

On 19 April in South Asian history


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Updated on April 19, 2019

1451: Alam Shah of Delhi resigns throne

1880: During the Second Afghan War, battle of Ahmed Khel won by the British

1880-04-19 Battle of Ahmed  Khel

1897: Birth of Peter de Noronha, Indian businessman and philanthropist, who died on July 24, 1970

1954: Constituent Assembly of Pakistan decides Urdu and Bengali to be national languages of Pakistan

1968: Birth of Arshad Warsi, Indian actor

1972: Bangladesh becomes a member of British Commonwealth

1974: Death of Muhammad Ayub Khan, second president of Pakistan (October 1958-March 1969), born on May 14, 1907

1975: India’s first satellite Aryabhata is launched with aid from the USSR

2001: Border Incident between India and Bangladesh. 16 Bangladeshi border guards and 2 soldiers are killed

 2012: India successfully testfires its homemade nuclear-capable Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile, with a range of 5,000 kms, off the coast of the eastern state of Odisha

2012: The ousted ex-president of the Maldives Nasheed calls for the Commonwealth grouping and other countries to impose sanctions on the new regime, which he accuses of deposing him in a coup

2012: Murtaza Razvi, a senior assistant editor and head of magazines at Dawn, is murdered in Karachi

2013: Pakistani police arrest Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad. He was initially placed under house arrest at his home in Islamabad but later transferred to the police headquarters in the city

On 18 April in South Asian history


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Updated on 18 April 2019

1504: Birth of Angad Dev, second Sikh guru, who died on April 16, 1552

1858: Birth of Dhondo Keshav Karve, Indian educator and activist who died on November 9, 1962

1859: Execution of Tantya Tope, Indian leading fighter against the British, born in 1814

Tantia Tope

 1930: Attempted raid on the armoury of police and auxiliary forces in Chittagong in Bengal province, British India by armed pro-independence revolutionaries led by Surya Sen popularly known as Master-da

1955: Opening of the Afro-Asian Bandung Conference with Nehru as a main guest

1962: Birth of Poonam Dhillon, Indian actress

1974: Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto inaugurates Lahore Dry Port

1992: In Afghanistan, Abdul Rashid Dostum, leader of the Uzbek-Afghans, revolts against the government of President Najibullah. He will command the principal militia force in Kabul that will oust Najibullah, creating episodes of kidnapping, looting and fighting

1993: President of Pakistan Ghulam Ishaq Khan dissolves the National Assembly and dismisses the Cabinet

2002: Former King Zahir Shah comes back to Afghanistan after 29 years in exile in Italy

2005: During a two-day visit of the Pakistani president, Indian Premier Manmohan Singh and President Musharraf say that the peace between their two countries is irreversible

2012: Pakistan’s army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, calls for the demilitarization of the disputed high-altitude Siachen Glacier where thousands of Pakistani and Indian troops have been stationed for decades

2013: Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is placed under house arrest

On 17 April in South Asian history


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Updated on April 17, 2019

1756: Birth of Dheeran Chinnamalai, Indian Freedom Fighter, Tamil revolutionist who was hanged by the British on July 31, 1805

1897: Birth of Nisargadatta Maharaj, Indian philosopher and educator, who died on September 8, 1981

1916: Birth of Sirimavo Bandaranaike, three times Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, who died on October 10, 2000

1953: In Pakistan, PM Khawaja Nazimuddin is succeeded by Muhammad Ali Bogra

1966: Birth of Chiyaan Vikram, Indian actor

1971: An exile government called the People’s Republic of Bangladesh alias Mujibnagar Government headed by Tajuddin Ahmed take the oath

1975: Death of Sarvepalli Radakrishnan, Indian philosopher, 2nd president of India from May 1962 to May 1967, born on 5 September 1888

1978: Mir Akbar Khyber, Afghan intellectual and a leader of the Parcham faction of the communist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan is assassinated, provoking a communist coup d’état in Afghanistan

1978-04-17 Mir Akbar Khyber assassiné

1979: Birth of Siddharth Narayan, Indian actor

1983: India enters space age launching SLV-3 rocket

1987: In Habarana, Sri Lanka, Tamil separatists attack three buses and two lorries carrying women and children, killing 127 of them

1992: Afghan president Najibullah, forced to resign the day before, takes refuge in the United Nations building in Kabul

2004: Death of Soundarya, Indian actress, born on July 17, 1971

2012: Ilias Ali, organizing secretary of Bangladesh Nationalist Party and a former MP, disappears from Dhaka along with his chauffeur, allegedly abducted by government forces

2013: Death of T. K. Ramamoorthy, Indian composer, born on May 15, 1922


On 15 April in South Asian history


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Updated on April 15, 2019

1469: Birth of Guru Nanak Dev, founder of Sikhism, who died on 7 May 1539

1914: China refuses to accept the proposed McMahon Line between Tibet and India saying that Tibet is not sovereign et cannot sign treaties

Mc Mahon Line 2

1932: Birth of Suresh Bhat, Indian poet who died on March 14, 2003

1948: Indian territory of Himachal Pradesh is created

1960: Visit of Chinese Prime Minister  Zhou Enlai to Burma, India and Nepal, up to 30 April

1962: Birth of Surjit Bindrakhia, Punjabi Bhangra singer, who died on November 17, 2003

1976: China and India restore their diplomatic relations suspended since the 1962 war

1984: Extremist Sikhs plunder 40 stations in Punjab India 

2007: More than 100 000 people demonstrate in Karachi against the leaders of one Islamabad mosque who launch Taliban style action against shops

2012: Talibans stage a wave of co-ordinated attacks on the Afghan capital Kabul and other locations. Foreign embassies, Nato’s HQ and the Afghan parliament are hit in the first major attack on Kabul in more than six months


On 14 April in South Asian history


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Updated on April 14, 2019

1294: Timur (Tamerlan), grandson of Kublai, is elected Khagan of the Mongols and Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty with the reigning titles Oljeitu and Chengzong,_Emperor_Chengzong_of_Yuan

1872: Birth of Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Pakistani Islamic scholar who translated the Quran in English and died on 10 December 1953

Abdullah Yousuf Ali

1881: Birth of Husain Salaahuddin, Maldivian writer who died on September 20, 1948

1891: Birth of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Indian politician and social reformer who died on December 6, 1956

1919: Birth of Shamshad Begum, Indian singer who died on April 23, 2013

1919: Birth of K. Saraswathi Amma, Indian feminist writer who died on December 26, 1975

K. Saraswathi Amma

1936: Birth of Ivan Dias, Indian cardinal, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples

1944: Freighter Fort Stikene carrying tons of explosives explodes in Bombay, killing around 800 people

1950: Death of Sri Ramana Maharshi, Indian monk and philosopher, born on 30 December 1879

1963: Death of Rahul Sankrityayan, Indian historian, born on April 9, 1893

1975: Birth of Rajeshwari Sachdev, Indian actress

1986 : Death of Nitin Bose, Indian film director and cinematographer, born in April 1897

nitin bose

1988: In Geneva, the Soviet Union signs an agreement paving the way for pulling Russian troops out of Afghanistan

1994: Death of Salimuzzaman Siddiqui, Pakistani scientist and scholar, born in 1897

1999: Pakistan test-fired a ballistic missile that was capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and reaching its rival neighbor India

2008: Dhaka-Calcutta passenger train resumes after 43 years

2010: Death of Israr Ahmed, Pakistani Muslim religious scholar, born on April 26, 1932

2011: Afghan pro-government tribal elder Haji Malik Zarin is killed in a blast in Kunar province near the Pakistan border. Mr Zarin, a close ally of President Hamid Karzai, died along with his son and another family member


Holidays and observances

Ambedkar Jayanti (India)

Dhivehi Language Day (Maldives)


On 13 April in South Asian history


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Updated on April 13, 2019

1699: Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the Tenth Sikh Guru, creates Khalsa order at Anandpur Sahib, Punjab

1796: The first elephant ever seen in the United States arrives from India

1842: During the First Afghan War, end of the siege of Jellalabad, an enormous boost to the British in India

1890: Birth of Dadasaheb Torne, Indian director and producer who died on January 19, 1960

Dadasaheb Torne

1919: In India, Amitsar massacre by the British. Around 1 000, including women and children, are killed

1939: In India, the Hindustani Lal Sena (Indian Red Army) is formed and vows to engage in armed struggle against the British

1952: Birth of Erick Avari, British-Indian actor

1973: Death of Balraj Sahni, Indian film and theatre actor

1975: Death of Dudley Senanayake, second Sri Lanka Prime Minister

1984: India moves into Siachen Glacier (Operation Meghdoot) thus annexes more territory from the Line of Control

2011: Pro-government tribal elder Haji Malik Zarin is killed in a blast in Kunar province near the Pakistan border. Mr Zarin, a close ally of President Hamid Karzai, died along with his son and another family member

2012: Death of Cecil Chaudhry, Pakistani human rights activist and pilot, born on August 27, 1941

 2018: Pakistan court bars former prime minister Nawaz Sharif from holding public office for life


On 12 April in South Asian history


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Updated on April 12, 2019

599 BC Birth of Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism who died in 527 BC

1928 : Birth of Akbar Padamsee, Indian painter

1932: Birth of Lakshman Kardirgamar, Sri Lanka politician, who was killed on 12 August 2005

1956: SWRD Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Ceylon up to his assassination on September 26, 1959

1960: Amir Mohammad Khan is sworn in as Governor of West Pakistan, up to September 1966

1962: Death of Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, Indian politician and engineer, born on September 15, 1860

2006: Death of Dr. Rajkumar, Kannada language film actor/singer (India), born on April 24, 1929

2011 : Death of Sachin Bhowmick, Indian screenwriter and director, born on July 17, 1930

On 11 April in South Asian history


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Updated on April 11, 2019

1241: Batu Khan defeats Béla IV of Hungary at the Battle of Mohi (or Muhi)

1827: Birth of Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, Indian social reformer who died on November 28 1890

1869: Birth of Kasturba Gandhi, wife of Mohandas Gandhi, who died on February 22, 1944

1887: Birth of Jamini Roy, Indian/Bengali painter who died on April 24, 1972

Jamini Roy

1904: Birth of Kundan Lal Saigal, Indian singer and actor who died on January 18, 1947

1951: Birth of Rohini Hattangadi, Indian film, theatre and television actress

1977: Death of Phanishwar Nath ‘Renu’, Indian author, born on March 4, 1921

1983: Second series of indirect talks in Geneva on Afghanistan. Failure, due to the question of the Afghan refugees in Pakistan

1983: Death of Ahmed Rushi, Pakistani singer, born on April 24, 1934

1991: Birth of Poonam Pandey, Indian fashion model

1997: In India, Congress Party (I) removes its support with no participation to the government of Deve Gowda of Janata who loses his majority in parliament

2007: In Bangladesh, murder charges are filed against Sheikh Hasina, alleging she masterminded the killing of four supporters of a rival party in October 2006

2009: Death of Vishnu Prabhakar, Indian author and playwright, born on June 21, 1912

2014: Death of Nandu Bhende, Indian singer and actor, born in 1955