21 February in Indian History and World History

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21 February in Indian History and World History

21 February in Indian and World History is celebrated, observed, and remembered for various reasons. 21 February is the birth anniversary of Mirra Alfassa, Sir Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar, Suryakant Tripathi, Gulab Khandelwal, and Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee.

21 February is also observed as the death anniversary of Kittur Chennamma, Nutan Samarth, and Aranmula Ponnamma.

Birth Anniversary

21 February in Indian history is celebrated as the birth anniversary of the following personalities:

Mirra Alfassa (21 February 1878 – 17 November 1973), a spiritual guru, an occultist. She was also known as “The Mother”. She collaborated with Sri Aurobindo and the founder of Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Shri Aurobindo considered her to be of equal yogic stature and called her with the name “The Mother”. She was an inspiration to many writers and spiritual personalities about Integral Yoga. Mirra Alfassa was born in Paris on 21 February 1878 to a Jewish family.

Sir Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar (21 February 1894 – 1 January 1955), Indian scientist, academician, and scientific administrator. He was the first Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) and also the first director-general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). He is known as the “father of research laboratories” in India. In 1958, to honour his name and legacy, the Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) instituted the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology for scientists who have made significant contributions in various branches of science. Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar was born on 21 February 1878  in the Punjab region of British India.

Suryakant Tripathi (21 February 1896 – 15 October 1961), an Indian poet, novelist, and story writer. He was also known as “Nirala” which translates to English as unique. Though he has not learnt Hindi from his childhood, he learnt from insistence from his wife. Once he learnt Hindi, he started writing in Hindi rather Bengali. He wrote strongly against social injustice and exploitation in society. Due to course of his work, he faced numerous instances of mockery and even derision. All this may have played a role in making him a victim of schizophrenia in his later life and he was admitted to Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi. His remarkable work includes Indulekha, Nirupama, Apsara, Prabhatvati, Saroj Smriti, Alka, Tulsidaas….Tripathi was born on 21 February 1896 in Midnapore in Bengal

Gulab Khandelwal (21 February 1924 – 2 July 2017), an Indian poet. He has written not only in Hindi but also in Urdu and English. He was the president of Akhil Bhartiya Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, Prayag, for 18 years. He was also the president of Bharati Parishad, an organisation founded by Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya. Gulab Khandelwal was awarded the Honorary Citizenship of Baltimore City (USA) on 13 July 1985 “for his achievements and eminent gifts to our times.” He was born on 21 February 1924 in the town of Nawalgarh, Rajasthan, India.

Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, an economist. Currently, he is Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He shared the 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty“. Banerjee is a co-founder of Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab. Abhijit Banerjee was born on 21 February 1961 in Bombay, Maharashtra, India.

Read More: 20 February in Indian and World History

Death Anniversary

21 February in Indian history is observed as the death anniversary of the following personalities:

Kittur Chennamma (23 October 1778 – 21 February 1829), queen of Kittur, a princely state in Karnataka, British India. She received training in horse riding, sword fighting, and archery from a young age. Chennamma’s husband died in 1824, leaving her with a son and a state full of volatility. This was followed by her son’s death in 1824. Rani Chennamma was left with the state of Kittur and an uphill task to save it from the British. Following the death of her husband and son, Rani Chennamma adopted Shivalingappa in the year 1824 and made him the heir to the throne. She revolted against the British East India Company in 1824 to defy the doctrine of lapse, an annexation policy by British. However, she was defeated and died in the prison. One of the first female rulers to rebel against British rule, she has become a folk hero in Karnataka and symbol of the independence movement in India.

Nutan Samarth (4 June 1936 – 21 February 1991), an Indian film actress. She acted in more than 70 Hindi films and regarded as the finest actress in Indian Cinema. Nutan holds the record of five wins of the Best Actress award at Filmfare, which was held only by her for over 30 years until it was matched by her niece Kajol in 2011. In 1974, she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India. She died from breast cancer on 21 February 1991.

Aranmula Ponnamma (8 April 1914 – 21 February 2011), National Award-winning Malayalam film actress known for her roles as mother of the protagonist in numerous films. She was widely described as a mother figure in Malayalam cinema. She died on 21 February 2011 at age of 96.

Read More: 19 February in Indian and World History

Notable events on 21 February in Indian and World History

21 February 1926– Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, a Dutch physicist, and Nobel Prize in Physics, died.

21 February 1946 – Alan Rickman – an English actor and director – was born.

21 February 1951 Katarzyna Kobro, a Polish avant-garde sculptor and a prominent representative of the Constructivist movement died.

21 February 1981 – NASA launches Comstar D-4.

21 February 1895 – Henrik Dam a Danish biochemist, physiologist, and Nobel Prize Laureate, was born.

21 February 1991  Nutan – an Indian actress who worked in Hindi films – died.

21 February 1999 – Lahore Declaration, a government treaty between Indian and Pakistan, signed between India’s Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistan’s Nawaz Sharif on the use of nuclear weapons. It was ratified by the parliament of both countries.

21 February 1999 – Gertrude Belle Elion an American biochemist, pharmacologist, and Nobel Prize Laureate, died.

21 February is observed worldwide International Mother Language Day. It is promoting awareness about linguistic and cultural diversity and promote multilingualism. First announced by UNESCO on 17 November 1999, it was formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in 2002.

Language Movement Day is a national holiday of Bangladesh commemorating the Bengali language movement and the martyrs of the movement on 21 February every year.

21 February 1953 – Tilaiya Dam was inaugurated. It was the first of the four multi-purpose dams included in the first phase of the Damodar Valley Corporation. It was constructed across the Barakar River, at Tilaiya in Koderma district in the Indian state of Jharkhand and opened in 1953.

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