20 March in Indian and World History

20 March in Indian and World History

20 March in Indian and World History is celebrated, observed, and remembered for various reasons. 20 March is the birth anniversary of P. C. Alexander, Govindarajan Padmanaban, Savitri Devi Jindal, Madan Lal Udhouram Sharma, and Alka Yagnik.

20 March is also observed as the death anniversary of Jaipal Singh Munda, Girija Prasad Koirala, and Khushwant Singh.

Birth Anniversary

20 March is the birth anniversary of P. C. Alexander, Govindarajan Padmanaban, Savitri Devi Jindal, Madan Lal Udhouram Sharma, and Alka Yagnik.

P. C. Alexander (20 March 1921 – 10 August 2011), an Indian Administrative Service officer of the 1948 batch who served as the Governor of Tamil Nadu from 1988 – 1990 and as the Governor of Maharashtra from 1993 –  2002. He was considered as a candidate for the post of the President of India in 2002. During his time in Maharashtra, he had an additional charge of Goa from 1996 to 1998. He was also a member of the Rajya Sabha representing Maharashtra as an independent candidate from 29 July 2002 – 2 April 2008. He was born on 20 March 1921 in Mavelikara, Travancore, British India.

Govindarajan Padmanaban, an Indian biochemist and biotechnologist. He was the former director of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and presently serves as an honorary professor in the department of biochemistry at IISc.  He was awarded Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology in 1983. Later, he was honoured with Padma Shri in 1991 and with Padma Bhushan, India third highest civilian award, in 2003. He was born on 20 March 1938.

Savitri Devi Jindal, an Indian businesswoman who served as Chairman of Jindal Steel & Power Limited. She was born on 20 March 1950 in Tinsukia, Assam, India.

Madan Lal Udhouram Sharma, a former Indian cricketer. He was an Indian national cricket coach and a member of the World Cup-winning India squad of 1983. After his retirement, Madan Lal has been actively involved in the game in various capacities. He was born on 20 March 1951.

Alka Yagnik, an Indian playback singer. She is noted in Indian cinema for a career spanning over four decades. She was born on 20 March 1966.

Read More: 18 March in Indian and World History

Death Anniversary

20 March is also observed as the death anniversary of Jaipal Singh Munda, Girija Prasad Koirala, and Khushwant Singh.

Jaipal Singh Munda (3 January 1903 – 20 March 1970), an Indian politician, writer and sportsman. He was a member of the Constituent Assembly which debated on the new Constitution of the Indian Union. He captained the Indian field hockey team to clinch gold in the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. He died on 20 March 1970 in New Delhi, India at an age of 67.

Girija Prasad Koirala (4 July 1924 – 20 March 2010), a Nepalese politician. He was born in Saharsa, Bihar. He headed the Nepali Congress and served as the Prime Minister of Nepal on four occasions, including from 1991 – 1994, 1998 – 1999, 2000 – 2001, and from 2006 – 2008. He was the Acting Head of State of Nepal between January 2007 – July 2008 as the country transitioned from a monarchy to a republic. He died on 20 March 2010 in Kathmandu, Nepal, at age of 85.

Khushwant Singh (2 February 1915 – 20 March 2014), an Indian author, lawyer, diplomat, journalist and politician.  Khushwant Singh was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1974; however, he returned the award in 1984 in protest against Operation Blue Star in which the Indian Army raided Amritsar. In 2007 he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award in India. His experience in the 1947 Partition of India inspired him to write Train to Pakistan in 1956. He died on 20 March 2014 in New Delhi, India at an age of 99.

Read More: 19 March in Indian and World History

Notable events on 20 March in Indian and World history

20 March 2003 – Invasion of Iraq: The United States, UK, Australia, and Poland begin an invasion of Iraq.

20 March 2017 – Indian rivers the Yamuna and the Ganges declared “living entities” by the court in the state of Uttarakhand. It was overruled by the Supreme court of India in their later verdict.

20 March is celebrated annually as World Sparrow Day. It is aimed to raise awareness and protect the common house sparrows, which are not so commonly seen now due to increasing noise pollution. World Sparrow Day is an initiative started by the Nature Forever Society of India along with the Eco-Sys Action Foundation of France. The Society was started by a dedicated conservationist Mohammed Dilawar. He was named by Time as one of the “Heroes of the Environment” in 2008. He is also the recipient of the Limca Book of Records for the conservation of house sparrows and Guinness Book of Records in 2011 for the largest distribution of bird feeders in the world.

20 March is also observed annually as the International Day of Happiness It is aimed to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world. In 2015, the UN launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which seek to end poverty, reduce inequality, and protect our planet – three key aspects that lead to well-being and happiness.

OV Team