Lord William Bentinck, Louis Braille, Mahatma Gandhi and Mahavira

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Lord William Bentinck (1828-1835)

He is known for many reforms viz., suppression of thuggee (Plunderers of North India), and prohibition of “Sati, the evil system followed by Rajputs, female infanticide and human sacrifices. Lord William Bentinck received the hearty support of Raja Ram Mohan Roy. He introduced English Education in India. The first Indian Medical College was opened at Calcutta and the Elphinstone College was founded at Bombay. He was the first Governor General to act on the principle that the first duty of British Government was to govern India for the benefit of Indians and not simply to extend the territory.

Louis Braille

He was the inventor of embossed dot system of reading and writing for the blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

Indian leader who fought against the British rule. He believed in non- violence and led India to achieve independence. He is called the `Father of Indian Nation’. Gandhiji founded the Sabarmati Ashram at Ahmadabad. Gandhiji made his first experiment of Satyagraha in Champaran. In 1919 Gandhiji led an agitation against the Rowlatt Act and made Satyagraha his instrument of struggle. Gandhiji gave to the country the slogan, “Do or Die”. On January 30, 1948 he was assassinated at the prayer meeting. Jawaharlal Nehru declared “The light has gone out of our lives”. The world dignitaries visit his Samadhi at Rajghat whenever they visit India.

Mahavira

Vardhaman Mahavira is considered to be the founder of Jainism. He was born as Kundagram near Vaisali. He was called Mahavira or the Great Hero and Jina or the Conqueror. He first preached in Maghada. His teachings were Karma and Transmigration and Nirvana. The object of life is to attain Nirvana, which can be achieved by following the three-fold path namely (1) Right Faith, (2) Right Knowledge and (3) Right Conduct. These three principles are called “Three Jewels” or “Tri Ratna”. The Jains worship Tirthankaras. Mahavira died at the age of 72 at Pawa. (Patna district).

Mahmud of Ghazani

A brilliant General and a mighty conqueror. He led as many as 17 expeditions into India. He attacked the most celebrated temple of Somnath. He entered the temple, broke the idol and took vast booty. He would rather like to be known as Mahmud the idol-breaker than Mahmud the idol- seller. The frequent invasions and conquest of India. He was a patron of art and letters. Alberuni, Firdausi and Ansari adorned his court. He also erected mosques and one of the mosques was called the “Celestial bride”.

Major Yuri Gagarin

This Russian cosmonaut was the first spaceman of the world at the age of 27. He launched into space on April 12, 1961 in Vostok I and returned to earth safely. He died in an aircrash.

Manu

Famous Hindu Law giver and author of Manu Smiriti.

Margaret Atwood

One of Canada’s most prolific and well-known authors bagged the prestigious Booker Prize for 2000 in London on November 7, 2000 for her novel “The Blind Assassin”. The 60-year-old author has written some 10 novels and various critical works and poetry collections.

Maria Montessori

Founder of the Montessory system of child education, who hailed from Italy. Her system enables the child to learn naturally and easily.

Martin Luther

A celebrated German reformer who fought against the dogmas of the Catholic Church and got himself excommunicated on that account. His movement of reformation eventually led to the emergence of Protestantism.

Masti Venkatesh Iyengar

  • The grand old man of Kannada literature, popularly known as `Masti’ and also `Srinivasa’, he won the Jnanpith Award in 1983 for his novel `Chikkaveera Rajendra’.

  • Megasthanese: Megasthanese was a Greek scholar who was sent by Seleucus as an ambassador to the court of Chandra Gupta Maurya. He lived in Pataliputra, the capital of Chandragupta for about a period of 5 years. During his stay whatever he heard and saw with his own eyes he jotted down in a book called “Indica”. Indica throws a flood of light on the personality of the king, his capital and also his system of administration.

Michael Faraday

He was an English Scientist who made important discoveries in electricity and magnetism which laid the foundation of the modern electrical industry. At first, he was assistant to Sri Humphrey Davy at the Royal Institution.

Mother Teresa

The angel of mercy who conquered the world by serving the poorest of the poor. Roman Catholic nun born to Albanian parents in Yugoslavia, and baptized Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhin. Came to India and was a teacher at Kolkata. Founded “Missionaries of Charity”, devoted to working for destitutes. Became a citizen of India in 1962. Set up about 570 homes for the poor, spread in about 125 countries. Nobel Peace Prize 1979, Magsaysay Award 1962, Bharat Ratna 1980, and many other awards. Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997 due to cardiac arrest. She was conferred with Saint Hood on October 19, 2003 at St.Peter’s Square in Vatican by Pope John Paul II.

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