Important Events of Independent India in last 70 Years | Part 2
Pt. Nehru wanted India to get transformed into a modern and prosperous country flying on the back of its highly educated & professional citizens. To give a shape to this dream, in 1951 IIT Kharagpur was established. Soon other IITs were also established in Delhi, Madras, Bombay & Kanpur. Simultaneously, IIMs were also established starting with the Ahmedabad chapter and subsequently Calcutta chapter was also established. Soon, these institutions became synonymous with success.
World famous cinematic tale of abject Indian poverty – Mother India – was released in the year 1957. That movie starring Nargis in an epic role of a poor mother proved to be a milestone in many aspects. It was directed by Mehboob Khan.
In 1958, AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) was enacted to crush any kind of disturbance in sensitive areas like Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Assam etc. Irom Sharmila started her Fast demanding its removal. Her fast continued for 16 years. This act is still forceful in J&K and north-eastern states except Tripura.
In 1960, India gave the world a new hero – The Flying Sikh- Milkha Singh. In the Rome Olympic he missed the bronze medal by a meagre 0.1 second. But he won numerous medals at national, commonwealth and Asian Games. His Rome Olympic record remained unbeaten for almost 30 years.
After the India-China war of 1962, in the memory of the war-martyrs, Kavi Pradeep wrote a song – aye mere watan ke logo – which was sung by none other than the legendary Lata Mangeshkar. This song was sung live in the national stadium in the presence of the then Indian president Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. This song became a sensational hit even in the age of Radio and it was termed as the unofficial national anthem.
Pt. Nehru inaugurated the Bhakra Nangal Dam while terming it and the big ticket projects like the Bhilai steel plant as the temples of modern India. All these projects showcased the scientific and socialist outlook of Pt. Nehru. He always promoted science and technology as the active forces for India’s development.
India faced a stiff war with Pakistan in 1965. On the other hand, India was also fighting with a tough drought. During these testing times, then prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri gave India a thunderous slogan which became the national slogan with immense popularity. Shastri ji echoed – Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan – pointing to the two important pillars of Indian economy, our soldiers and our farmers. Later in 1998, during the Pokharan nuclear test, then prime minster Atal Bihari Vajpayee modified this slogan as – Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan.
During the disturbing political era in the late 1960s, Social worker and politician Ram Manohar Lohia called Indira Gandhi as ‘Gungi Gudiya’ but he couldn’t live to see the steel like character of Indira Gandhi under whose leadership congress won the next general elections with huge margin and meticulously handled the Bangladesh crises of 1971. Further post the declaration of emergency also, she showed great professionalism in handling the country’s affairs.