List of some of the Great Personalities of India

Abdullah, Sheikh Mohammad (1906-1982) -

Founder of National Conference and Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir. Popularly known as Sher-e-Kashmir.

Abul Fazal (1571-1602) -

A Minister and adviser of King Akbar. Indo-Persian Writer. Aine-Akbari and Akbar Namah are his famous works.

Akbar (1556-1605 A.D.) -

The greatest of the Mughal Emperors of India, founder of a new religion Din-I-Ilahi.

Ahmed Khan, Syed Sir (1817-1898) -

A great Muslim reformer and educationist; founder of the Aligarh Muslim University.

Ambani, Dhirubhai (1932-2002) -

Born in a poor teacher's family in western Gujarat in 1932. From a petrol filling clerk in Aden he rose to preside over a fortune 500 company (Reliance Industries Ltd.) worth Rs. 65,000 crore. He died in 2002.

Ambedkar, Dr. B.R. (1891-1956)-

A great Indian scholar and jurist. Leader of Scheduled Castes; Member, Viceroy's Executive Council, 1942- 46; Minister of Law, 1947-51. Embraced Buddhism at later age. As Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly, he was an architect of the Indian Constitution.

Amir Khusro (1275-1325)-

Renowned Urdu poet and linguist. Lived during Ala-ud-din Khilji's regime. A learned scholar, famous for pahelis and songs.

Aryabhatta (476-520 A.D.)-

A great Indian astronomer and mathematician after whom the first scientific satellite of India was named. He was founder of Algebra.

Aurobindo, Ghosh (1872-1950)-

Philosopher, poet, yogi and politician. First Editor of Vande Mataram. Turned Sanyasi and established Ashram at Pondicherry; author of "Life Divine".

Ashapurna Devi (1909-1995)-

Grand old lady of Bengali Literature. First women Jnanpith Award winner (1976).

Ashoka (264-228 B.C.)-

Great Indian Emperor, grandson of Chandragupta. He denounced war, embraced and preached Buddhism after battle of Kalinger.

Azad, Chander Shekhar (1906-1931)-Indian revolutionary leader.

Was involved in the Non-Cooperation movement. Assembly bomb incident-

Banerjee, Womesh Chander (1844-1905)-

A great Bengali patriot, who presided over the first session of the Indian National Congress in 1885.

Babur (1483-1530)-

He was founder of the great Mughal dynasty which ruled northern India for nearly three centuries.

Bhaskara-I (7th C. A.D.)-

He was a leading astronomer of the sixth century and a contemporary of Brahmagupta. He was an exponent of the Aryabhatta system of astronomy and composed his commentary on these theories around 629 A.D.

Bhabha, Dr. Homi Jahagir (1909-1966)-Formerly Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Director, Indian Institute of Fundamental Research.

Bhaskar-II (12th C. A.D.)-

He was an eminent mathematician and astronomer who was born in the city of Vijjadavida (Bijapur in Karnataka) in 1114 A.D. He produced a number of well known books on mathematical astronomy dealing with planetary motions, lunar and solar eclipses, conjunctions of the planets with stars and eclipse calculations.

Bhatnagar, Shanti Swarup (1894-1955)-

Indian scientist and science administrator responsible for the establishment of network of national science laboratories. Many science awards have been instituted in his name.

Bhave, Acharya Vinoba (1895-1982)-

Sarvodaya leader, disciple of Mahatma Gandhi and his representative in Civil Disobedience Movement, Later on he worked for Bhoodan, Shramdan movements.

Bose J.C. (1858-1937)-

Great Indian scientist. Founded Bose Research Institute, Calcutta. Invented crescograph.

Bose, Subhash Chandra (1896-1945)-

Great Indian national leader. President of Congress worker. Owing to differences with Mahatma Gandhi, Founded of Forward Bloc; a determined fighter of national freedom. Organised I.N.A. at Singapore. Died in Japan in an air crash in 1945.

Brahmagupta (598-680 A.D.)-

Indian mathematician. First to treat zero as a number.

Chanakya, (Kautilya) (4th C. B.C.)-

A Minister of Chandragupta

Maurya during 4th century B.C. Author of Arthashastra, an authentic book on statecraft.

Charak (2nd C. A.D.)-

Considered as the King of Physicians in India. He was well-acquainted with all the branches of medicine.

Chatterji, Bankim Chandra (1838-1894)-

Famous Bengali Novelist,Wrote An and Math and composed Vande Mataram, India's National Song. Author of Durgesh Nandini, Kapala Kundala.

Chaudhuri, Nirad C. (1897-1999)-

Indian celebrity author who ecame most famous for his work,. The Autobiography of an unknown indian, a memoir of his childhood in colonial India.

Dadabhai Naoroji (1825-1917)-

"The Grand Old Man" of India. A great nationalist of India, who was the first to raise his voice for self- government. President, Indian National Congress for three terms in 1886, 1893 and 1906. Member of British House of Commons, London.

Das, C.R. (1870-1925)-

A celebrated lawyer, freedom fighter, poet, journalist and politician. He was one of the founder-members of the Swaraja Party.

Dayanand Swami, S.-

One of the greatest modern Hindu Rishis and saviours of India; a social and religious reformer. Founder of Arya Samaj, Zealously worked for women education, removal of untouchability, preached widow remarriage.

Desai, Morarji (1896-1995)-

Noted Gandhian and freedom fighter. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister under Congress rule. First non-Congress Prime Minister. Recipient of Bharat Ratna, 1991.

Dinkar, Ramdhari Singh (1880-1974)-

A well-known Hindi poet, recipient of Padma Bhushan in 1952. Also received the Sahitya Academy Award for his brilliant work "Sanskriti Ke Char Adhyaya". Also recipient of Bharatiya Literary Jnanpath Award for 1972 for his poetic works "Urvashi".

Gandhi, Rajiv (1944-1991)-

Prime Minister and President of the Congress (I) Party was killed in a bomb blast on May 21, 1991 at the age of 47. He was one of the youngest elected Heads of the Government world wide. He became the country's Seventh Prime Minister. He was honoured by Bharat Ratna, 1991 posthumously.

Gandhi, M.K. (1869-1948)-

Won freedom for India. Father of the Nation; barrister, leader of Satyagraha in South Africa, started Non-Co­operation and Civil-Disobedience Movements. Preacher of truth and non­violence.

Gandhi, Indira (1917-1984)-

Prime Minister of India for a little over 15 years, she was assassinated on October 31, 1984 by two security guards. She was a dynamic leader who had introduced many reforms for the upliftment of down-trodden. She steered the country to be self-reliant in every field. Recipient of 1971 Bharat Ratna.

Gautam Buddha-Was an ancient great scholar, born in a royal family in 563 B.C. at Kapilavastu. Renounced the world at a young age, founded the religion of Buddhism.

Ghalib, Mirza (1786-1869)-

A renowned Urdu poet. His collections of poems is contained in Diwan-e-Ghalib.

Gokhale, G.K. (1866-1915)-

Famous Indian Statesman. Political Guru of Mahatma Gandhi in the Indian struggle for freedom. One of the builders of modern India; founder of Servants of India Society. President of Indian National Congress, 1907.

Gupt, Maithilisaran (1886-1964)-

Renowned National Hindi Poet, Member Rajya Sabha, Recipient of Padma Vibhushan in 1954. He was awarded the title of "Rashtriya Kavi" by Mahatma Gandhi. His notable works include Charat, Bharati, Saket, Yashodhra, Swapan, Jaidrath Wadh, Jai Bharat, etc.

Guru Gobind Singh-

The tenth and the last Guru of the Sikhs-a real founder of Khalsa whose major part of life was spent in fighting the Mughals. Ibrahim Lodi-He was the last ruler of Lodi dynasty.

Kalidas (400 A.D.)-

Lived in time of Vikramaditya : known as Indian Shakespeare, Great poet and dramatist. His famous works are Meghdoot, Shakuntala, Raghuvansh, etc.

Karve, D.K. (1864-1962)-

Indian Social reformer and pioneer in women's education. Started Widow Home for destitute women and girls. Founded University of Women at Poona in 1916. Awarded Bharat Ratna, 1958.

Kamaraj, Kumaraswami (1903-1975)-

He was the leader of the Indian National Movement. He was awarded Bharat Ratna (posthumously) in 1976.

Khorana, Hargobind-

An Indian-born American Scientist, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1968.

Lajpat Rai, Lala (1865-1928)-

Indian national leader, lawyer, writer and a great patriot and politician, Editor " Vande Mataram". Played a great role in Freedom Struggle. Known as the Lion of the Punjab. Courted martyrdom in 1928 in lathi charge while leading a procession against Simon Commission visit to India.

Lakshmibai, Rani (1835-1858)-

Queen of Jhansi. Wife of Gangadhar Rao. Fought against the army of Huge Rose. Took active part in the First War of Indian Independence 1857.

Malaviya, Pandit Madan Mohan (1861-1946)-Eloquent speaker,

played a great role in the constitutional movement. Founder of Banaras

Hindu University and remained its Vice-Chancellor for a number of years.

Indian delegate to R.T.C. ; President of Indian National Congress, 1906 and 1916.

Manu (1000 B.C.)-

He is widely known to be Law Giver in ancient India-Manu Smriti (The Code of Manu) written by him lays down outlines of the Government law.

Maurya, Chandra Gupta (322-289 B.C.)-

was the founder of the first great historical Empire of India.

Mehta, Ferozeshah (1845-1915)-

One of the founder members of Indian National Congress. President of Congress in 1890.

Munshi, K.M. (1895-1971)-

Founder of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

A famous author; Home Minister, Bombay State, 1937-39, Food and Agriculture Minister in Central Cabinet, 1950-51, Governor of U.P. 1952-57.

Mukerjee, Dr. Shyama Prasad (1901-1953)-

A great nationalist and educationist; Minister of Industries and Supplies in Central Ministry from 1947 to 1950. Vice-Chancellor, Calcutta University, 1934-41. Founder- President of Jan Sangh. Died under detention in Srinagar where he had forced his entry without permit.

Naidu, Smt. Sarojini (1879-1948)-

A famous Indian poetess and author of several books, such as "Bird of Time", "Golden Threshold". Popularly known as "Nightingale of India". First Indian women to become President of Congress in 1925. Governor of Uttar Pradesh, 1947-49.

Nanak Dev, Guru (1469-1538)-

Founder of Sikh Religion. Great poet, preached Hindu-Muslim Unity. Staunch disbeliever in the caste system.

Narayan, Jayaprakash (1902-1979)-

Popularly known as Lok Nayak, he was the author of the "Total Revolution". A great revolutionary, freedom fighter and pioneer of Socialist Movement in India. Took active part in Quit India Movement. Broke out of Hazaribagh jail and went underground operating a clandestine radio station from Nepal. He renounced politics in 1952 and devoted himself entirely to Sarvodaya activities. He was a member of Naga Peace Mission. He was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1965.

He was imprisoned in 1975-76 by the Congress Government for demanding resignation of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the wake of judgment of Allahabad High Court. He unified the democratic opposition and inspired the formation of Janata Party, which swept the polls in 1977 Lok Sabha elections and later on in various States in Northern India. Awarded Bharat Ratna, 1999 (posthumously)

Nehru, Jawaharlal (1889-1964)-

Prime Minister of India from August, 1947 till his death on May 27, 1964. A famous author and fluent speaker, great politician and honest statesman; President, Indian National Congress 1929-30, 1952-53; Staunch believer in secularism and the policy of non-interference and peaceful coexistence; attained world-wide fame for his high principles and political masterpieces,

Nehru, Motilal-

A great political worker, parliamentarian and a lawyer of renown. Leader of Swaraj Party in the Central Assembly.

Patel, Sardar Vallabhbhai (1875-1950)-

Known as the Bismark of India; Deputy Prime Minister of India, 1947-50. Chief architect of unified and integrated nation, brought about merger of more than 500 princely states. He was honoured with Bharat Ratna, 1991 (posthumously).

Pratap, Maharana-

A great Rajput who refused to acknowledge lordship of Akbar; was defeated at Haldighati by Mughals. Died in 159? A.D.

Radhakrishnan, Dr. S. (1888-1975)-

A great Philosopher and a teacher. Second President of India, 1962-67; First Vice-President of India and Chairman, Rajya Sabha, 1957-62, Vice-Chancellor, Banaras Hindu University, 1939-48; Indian Ambassador to U.S.S.R.; Author of many well- known books on Philosophy. Recipient of the Templeton Award for Religion in 1974. Awarded Bharat Ratna, 1954.

Raghuvira, Dr. (1902-1962)-

Noted Hindi scholar and linguist. Author of about 100 educational and research publications on various subjects. Editor of scientific series of Hindi and Marathi text books for Nagpur University; Member, Rajya Sabha, 1960-62; Resigned from Congress in 1962 and joined Bharatiya Jana Sangh and was its President during 1962-63.

Rahul, Sankritrayan-Celebrated linguist, scholar, lexeographer, Indologist, writer and historian. He knew 36 languages of Asia and Europe.

Rajagopalachari, C. (1878-1972)-

Popularly known as "Rajaji". The first and the last Indian Governor-General of India, Chief Minister of Madras, 1937-39 and again 1952-54; Governor, West Bengal 1956-57; Minister Without Portfolio, Union Cabinet, 1954. One of the founder members of Swatantra Party, 1959. Awarded Bharat Ratna, 1954.

Rajendra Prasad, Dr. (1884-1963)-

First President of Indian Republic, 1950-62. President of Constituent Assembly of India, 1946-49; Co-worker and faithful disciple of Mahatma Gandhi. Awarded Bharat Ratna, 1962. Author of India divided.

Ramakrishna Paramhansa (1836-1886)-

A great Bengali saint and reformer of the 19th century, who worked for the uplift of the Hindu society. He is also well-known for Ramakrishna Missions now established throughout the world. The Mission was founded by his disciple, Swami Viveknanda.

Raman, C.V. (1888-1970)-

Famous Indian scientist, got Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930; as a research scholar discovered the phenomenon famous as "Raman Effect". Recipient of Bharat Ratna in 1954 and Lenin Prize in 1957.

Ranjit Singh, Maharaja-He was the greatest Indian ruler of his time and founder of a mighty Sikh kingdom in Punjab.

Roy, Raja Ram Mohan (1772-1883)-

A great Hindu reformer of the 19th century who founded the Brahmo Samaj Movement. He was a great liberal leader and educationist. He successfully fought against Sati and occurred British rulers to enacted anti-Sati law. He also advocated re-marriage 0 the Hindu widows but here he was not much of a success. Compulsion remarry could not be legalised. Popularly known as "Father of the Indian Renaissance".

Sarabhai, Dr. Vikram (1919-1971)-

Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission. First Chairman Indian National Committee for Space Research; a great scientest.

Savarkar, Vinayak Damodar (1882-1961)-

A great scholar, patriot and Hindu Mahasabha leader. Author of Indian War for Independence, 1857. Went to England and was arrested there in Nasik Conspiracy Case, escaped from the ship at Marseilles but was rearrested and sent to 45 years' jail to Andamans; President, Hindu Mahasabha for 13 years.

Saraswati, Dayanand (1824-1883)-

A well-known Hindu social reformer and founder of popular reformist movement, Arya Samaj.

Shastri, Lai Bahadur (1904-1966)-

A shrewd politician and serious Congress worker. Prime Minister of India from June 29, 1964 to January 10, 1966. Prior to that, he had held various ministerial posts until 1964 in Central Cabinet and U.P. Government.

Shankaracharya-Shankaracharya was one of the greatest Hindu reformers. He eliminated Buddhism from India by adapting the best of Buddhism in Hinduism.

Shivaji (1627-1680)-

Son of Shahji Bhonsle, born in 1627; was a brave general, military genius and capable administrator. He was the last great Hindu king who partly succeeded in establishing 'Hindu Swaraj'. He fought many battles against Auranzeb's army successfully and was instrumental in shattering the mighty structure of Mughal Empire in India.

Singh, Bhagat (1907-1931)-

Known as Shahid-e-Azam. Founder of Naujawan Bharat Sabha. Hanged by British government for participation in the Lahore Conspiracy.

Suri, Sher Shah-

The first Muslim ruler of India-Builder of Grand Trunk Road, introduced many welfare schemes which brought him the coveted title of the fore-runner of Akbar.

Tansen (1506-1589)-

A exponent of Indian classical music. One of the Nav Ratnas in the Court of Emperor Akbar.

Tagore, Rabindra Nath (1861-1941)-World-famous Indian poet and philosopher, he was the first Indian to win a Nobel Prize in 1913 for Literature. Founded the Viswa Bharati University at Shantiniketan West Bengal.

Teresa, Mother (1910-1997)-

Roman Catholic nun, born to Albanian parents in Yugoslavia, who dedicated her life and resources to the destitutes in Kolkata through her Missionaries of Charity. Awarded the Bharat Ratna (1980) and Nobel Peace Laureate (1979).

Thimayya, Lt. General K.S. (b. 1906)-Chief of Army Staff 1957- 61. Chairman of N.N.R.C. for Korean Prisoners, 1953. Military Advisor to U.N. Deligation in Paris 1951-1952. Commander of Indian troops in Kashmir in 1948-1950.

Thyagaraja (18th C)-

Famous South Indian saint and musician, well- loiown for his vocal songs. He was a great exponent of Carnatic music to which his contribution is unparallel Led. He was also a religious reformer.

Tilak, Bal Gangadhar (1856-1926)-"Known as Lokmanya", leader of Indian freedom struggle from Maharashtra, who raised the slogan "Freedom is my birth-right and I shall have it." He was a profound scholar of Sanskrit, and wrote many books. Of them, most famous is "Gita Rahasya."

Ibdar Mai (16th C)-

A great soldier and statesman. Revenue Minister of Sher Shah and Akbar; famous for his pioneering revenue system. One of the nine gems of Akbar's Court.

Tulsidas (1532-1623)-

A great Hindi poet and a teamed scholar of Sanskrit; wrote "Ram Charit Manas". He described the life story of Lord Rama in a mesmerising style and charm.

Valmiki (800 B.C.)-

Sanskrit poet. Author of Ramayana.

Visvesvaraya, Dr. M. (1861-1962)-

Former Chief Engineer of Mysore; Pioneer in the field of industry, irrigation and power. Established Mysore University, Bank of Mysore, Chamber of Commerce, etc. A world- famous authority on Planning.

Vithalbhai Patel (1885-1933)-

First Indian President of the Central Legislative Assembly, 1925-30.

Vivekananda, Swami (1863-1902)-

Renowned Indian saint and a great scholar-speaker; founded Ramakrishna Mission; Active propagator of Vedant philosophy a visited many foreign countries and preached Vedantism there.

Vyas, Ved (800 B.C.)-

A Sanskrit scholar of ancient india, wrote Mahabharata and Bhagawad Gita containing significant the great religious and moral code for Hindus.

Zakir Husain, Dr. (1897-1969)-

An eminent educationist who propounded Wardha Scheme of Education. Third President of India, 1967- 69. Second Vice-President, 1962-67, Governor of Bihar, 1957-62. Earlier Vice-Chancellor, Jamia-Millia. Awarded Bharat Ratna, 1963.