31 January in Indian and World History

OV Digital Desk

31 January in Indian and World History is celebrated, observed, and remembered for various reasons. 31 January is the birth anniversary of Major Somnath Sharma, Rajesh Vivek Upadhyay, and Preity Zinta.

31 January is also observed as the death anniversary of Krishna Singh, Minjur Bhaktavatsalam, Maniram Bagri, and Akilan.

Birth Anniversary on 31 January

31 January in Indian history is celebrated as the birth anniversary of the following personalities:

Major Somnath Sharma (31 January 1923 – 3 November 1947), a company commander of the Delta Company of the 4th Battalion of the Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army, who fought the Indo-Pak war in October – November 1947. With his valor in the struggle, saved the enemy’s sixes. He was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra by the Government of India. He is the first person to get Param Vir Chakra. He was born on 31 January 1923.

Rajesh Vivek Upadhyay (31 January 1949 – 14 January 2016), is an Indian actor. He is best known to Hindi film audiences for his role as the astrologer Guran in Lagaan (2001) and as the postmaster Nivaran in Swades (2004). He had also played the role of Vyasa, author of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. He was born on 31 January 1949.

Preity Zinta, an Indian actress, and entrepreneur is primarily known for her work in Hindi films. She got the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. In addition to acting, Zinta is a social activist, television presenter, and stage performer. Preity Zinta was born on 31 January 1975 in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India.

Read More: 30 January in Indian and World History

Death Anniversary on 31 January

31 January in Indian history is observed as the death anniversary of the following personalities:

Krishna Singh (21 October 1887 – 31 January 1961), the first Chief Minister of Bihar and a lawyer. He was famous as ‘Bihar Kesari’. Bihar was the first state in India, where the zamindari system was first abolished under his leadership during his reign. Along with Dr. Rajendra Prasad and Anugrah Narayan Sinha, he is also known as the builder of modern Bihar. He died on 31 January 1961.

Minjur Bhaktavatsalam (9 October 1897 – 31 January 1987), was a famous freedom fighter and former Chief Minister of Madras Province (now Tamil Nadu). He died on 31 January 1987.

Maniram Bagri (1 January 1920 – 31 January 2012), was a well-known leader of socialist thought, who was a member of parliament for three terms (2nd, 6th, and 7th) Lok Sabha. Maniram Bagri, who belonged to a simple family, always fought for his class. Be it the ‘Mujara Andolan’ or the movement of teachers, farmers, and workers, he had active participation in all. He died on 31 January 2012.

Akilan (27 June 1922 – 31 January 1988), was a noted Tamil language writer, novelist, short story writer, journalist, satirist, travel writer, playwright, and screenwriter. Akilan’s full name was ‘Perungalur Vaidya Vingam Akhilandam’ (P.V.Akhilaandam). He did most of his writing work under the name. He was also known as a freedom fighter. Akilan died on 31 January 1988.

Read More: 29 January in Indian and World History

Notable events on 31 January in Indian and World History

31 January 1561 – Bairam Khan, the patron of the Mughal emperor Akbar, was assassinated at Patan, Gujarat.

31 January 1599 – Britain’s first East India Company was established in India on the orders of Queen Elizabeth I of Britain.

31 January 1606 – In Britain, Guyfax, who conspired against the throne, was put to death.

31 January 1820 Concepción Arenal, a graduate in law, thinker, journalist, poet, and Galician dramatic author, was born.

31 January 1850 – the largest mass movement named Tae Pingha (People’s Resolve) started in China.

31 January 1865 – In America, the 13th Amendment Bill regarding the ‘Abolition of Slavery’ was approved.

31 January 1868 – Theodore William Richards an American scientist, and Nobel Laureate, was born.

31 January 1884 – The Emir of Afghanistan was captured by Russian forces.

31 January 1893 – The Coca-Cola trademark was first patented in the US.

31 January 1908 – Atahualpa Yupanqui, an Argentine singer, songwriter, guitarist, and writer, was born.

31 January 1915 – Germany used poison gas against Russia during the First World War.

31 January 1923 Somnath Sharma, an Indian Major, and Nobel Prize Laureate, was born.

31 October 1926  Harry Houdini, a Hungarian-American escape artist, magic man, and stunt performer, died.

31 January 1929Rudolf Mossbauer, a German physicist, and Nobel Prize Laureate, was born.

31 January 1933John Galsworthy, an English novelist, and Nobel Prize Laureate, was born.

31 January 1935Kenzaburo Oe, a Japanese writer, and Nobel Prize Laureate, was born.

31 January 1943 – German Field Marshal Friedrich Polus lays down his arms before the Soviet Union during World War II.

31 January 1955 – John Raleigh Mott, an evangelist, and Nobel Prize Laureate, died.

31 January 1957 – The laying of the pipeline from Abadan to Tehran was completed.

31 January 1958 – The US launched the first Earth satellite.

31 January 1962 – The Organization of American States decided not to include Cuba.

31 January 1963 – Peacock was declared the national bird of India.

31 January 1966 – The Soviet Union launched the unmanned Luna 9 spacecraft under the Luna program.

31 January 1968 – Nauru, an island country located in the Pacific Ocean, gained independence from Australia.

31 January 1971 – After a gap of 19 years between East and West Berlin, telephone service was restored again.

31 January 1972 – Birendra Bir Bikram Shah became the 12th King of Nepal.

31 January 1973 – Ragnar Frisch a Norwegian economist statistician, and Nobel Prize laureate, died.

31 January 1974 – A Penn America Airways plane crashed over US borders, killing about 25 people.

31 January 1979 – China accused the Soviet Union of being the main instigator of World War I.

31 January 1983 – The first dry port was commissioned at Kolkata.

31 January 1990 – The world’s largest McDonald’s store opened in Moscow, the capital of Russia.

31 January 1996 – 86 killed, 1400 injured in a suicide attack in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo.

31 January 2002 – Jharkhand Governor Prabhat Kumar resigned.

31 January 2004 – The father of the Pakistani nuclear program, Dr. Abdul Qadir Khan, was arrested for the transfer of nuclear technology to other countries.

31 January 2005 – General Joginder Singh became the new Army Chief.

31 January 2007 – Indian steel company Tata became the fifth-largest company in the world after the acquisition of Anglo-Dutch steel company Corus.

31 January 2008 – Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for power projects worth Rs 6,168 crore to make UP self-reliant in terms of electricity within 5 years.

31 January 2008 – The party of former prime minister late Benazir Bhutto released its Pakistan People’s Party manifesto for elections.

31 January 2010 – Hollywood film ‘Avatar’ became the highest-grossing film worldwide, earning two billion dollars.

31 January 2013 – Around 2500 people were injured train accident in Pretoria, South Africa.

31 January Historical Significance

January 31 has witnessed several significant events throughout history. On this day in 1606, Guy Fawkes, a member of a group of English Catholics, was executed for his role in the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to assassinate King James I of England. In 1865, the United States Congress passed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery. This marked a pivotal moment in American history and the culmination of years of struggle for freedom and equality. Additionally, in 1945, during World War II, Allied forces liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, revealing the horrors of the Holocaust to the world. January 31 serves as a reminder of both the darkest chapters of human history and the triumph of justice and liberation.

Important Days of 31 January in History

World Leprosy Day: This day raises awareness about leprosy, a chronic infectious disease that affects the skin and nerves.

Street Children’s Day: Street Children’s Day highlights the plight of children who live and work on the streets, advocating for their rights and welfare.

Backward Classes Day (India): This day in India is observed to recognize and empower the backward classes or socially and educationally disadvantaged communities.

National Gorilla Suit Day: This fun and quirky day celebrate the invention of the gorilla suit, a costume often used in comedy and entertainment.