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Themes & Thoughts of the day : March

31 March: Meena Kumari death anniversary

यह न सोचो

यह न सोचो कल क्या हो
कौन कहे इस पल क्या हो

रोओ मत, न रोने दो
ऐसी भी जल-थल क्या हो

बहती नदी की बांधे बांध
चुल्लू में हलचल क्या हो

हर छन हो जब आस बना
हर छन फिर निर्बल क्या हो

रात ही गर चुपचाप मिले
सुबह फिर चंचल क्या हो

आज ही आज की कहें-सुने
क्यों सोचें कल, कल क्या हो.

- मीना कुमारी
(Poetry by Meena Kumari)

Meena Kumari (b.1 August 1932 - 31 March 1972), born Meena KumariMahjabeen Bano, was an Indian movie actress and poet. She is regarded as one of the most prominent actresses to have appeared on the screens of Hindi Cinema. During a career spanning 30 years from her childhood to her death, she starred in more than ninety films, many of which have achieved classic and cult status today. With her contemporaries Nargis and Madhubala she is regarded as one of the most influential Hindi movie actresses of all time.

Meena Kumari gained a reputation for playing grief-stricken and tragic roles, and her performances have been praised and reminisced throughout the years. Like one of her best-known roles, Chhoti Bahu, in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962), Kumari became addicted to alcohol. Her life and prosperous career were marred by heavy drinking, troubled relationships, an ensuing deteriorating health, and her death from liver cirrhosis in 1972. Meena Kumari is often cited by media and literary sources as "The Tragedy Queen", both for her frequent portrayal of sorrowful and dramatic roles in her films and her real-life story.

23 March: Saheed Divas (Martyrs’ day); Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev attained Martyrdom
Bhagat Singh
Shiv Ram Hari Rajguru
Sukhdev Thapar

"One should not interpret the word “Revolution” in its literal sense. Various meanings and significances are attributed to this word, according to the interests of those who use or misuse it. For the established agencies of exploitation it conjures up a feeling of blood stained horror. To the revolutionaries it is a sacred phrase." - Bhagat Singh

Bhagat Singh (b. 28 September 1907 – d. 23 March 1931) was an Indian socialist considered to be one of the most influential revolutionaries of the Indian independence movement. He is often referred to as "Shaheed Bhagat Singh", the word "Shaheed" meaning "martyr" in a number of Indian languages. Born into a Sikh family which had earlier been involved in revolutionary activities against the British Raj, as a teenager Singh studied European revolutionary movements and was attracted to anarchist and Marxist ideologies. He became involved in numerous revolutionary organisations, and quickly rose through the ranks of the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) to become one of its main leaders, eventually changing its name to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) in 1928.

Shivaram Hari Rajguru (b. August 24, 1908 – d. March 23, 1931) was an Indian revolutionist from Maharashtra. Rajguru was born at Khed near Pune now known as Rajgurunagar. He was a colleague of Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev, and took part in the murder of a British police officer, J.P. Saunders, (at Lahore) in 1928. The reason behind the murder was to revenge the death of veteran leader Lala Lajpat Rai who died due to injuries sustained during excessive police beating.

Sukhdev Thapar (b. 15th May 1907 - d. 23rd March 1931) was a Bharatiya revolutionary from Punjab. He was an active member of the HSRA, being one of its senior most leaders. He is known to have started study circles at the National College (Lahore), in order to delve into Bharat's past as well as to scrutinise the finer aspects of the world’s revolutionary literature. Along with Bhagat Singh and others he started the ‘Naujawan Bharat Sabha’ at Lahore. The main aims of this organisation were to activate the youth for the freedom struggle, inculcate a rational scientific attitude, fight communalism and end the practice of untouchability.

All three were convicted of the crime and hanged on 23rd March, 1931. They were cremated at Hussainiwala at the banks of the Sutlej river in Ferozepur district of Punjab.

So far Commemorative Stamp has not been issued on Sukhdev Thapar. Sukhdev Thapar Memorial Trust has submitted memorandum seeking the release of commemorative stamp on Sukhdev Thapar to the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, during the stamp release function of commemorative stamp issued on Shivaram Hari Rajguru issued on 22nd March 2013.

16 March: Sachin Tendulkar became first cricketer to score 100 international centuries
Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III

"Any active sportsman has to be very focused; you've got to be in the right frame of mind. If your energy is diverted in various directions, you do not achieve the results. I need to know when to switch on and switch off: and the rest of the things happen around that. Cricket is in the foreground, the rest is in the background." - Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar (b. 24 April 1973) is a Indian cricketer widely acknowledged as the greatest batsman of the modern generation, popularly holds the title "God of Cricket" among his fans.

Former West Indian batsman Brian Lara, have labelled Tendulkar the greatest cricketer of all time. Sachin Tendulkar took up cricket at the age of eleven, made his Test debut against Pakistan at the age of sixteen, and went on to represent Mumbai domestically and India internationally for close to twenty-four years. He is the only player to have scored one hundred international centuries, the first batsman to score a Double Century in a One Day International, and the only player to complete more than 30,000 runs in international cricket. In October 2013, he became the 16th player and first Indian to aggregate 50,000 runs in all recognised cricket.

Sachin Tendulkar scored his much awaited 100th international Century on 16th March 2012, at Mirpur against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup. He became the first person in history to achieve this feat. Incidentally, it was Tendulkar's first ODI hundred against Bangladesh.

11 March: Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III birth anniversary
Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III

"The people must rise superior to their circumstances and realize that more knowledge is their greatest need, their greatest want. They must be brought up to love books, not simply attractive bindings or pretty pictures, but their contents. They must be taught to regard books as part of their lives. Libraries will not then appear a luxury, but a necessity of existence." - Sayajirao Gaekwad III

Sayajirao Gaekwad III (born Shrimant Gopalrao Gaekwad, 11 March 1863 – d. 6 February 1939) was the Maharaja of Baroda State, and is notably remembered for reforming much of his state during his rule. Crowned in 1875, Sayajirao is widely regarded as one of the greatest statesmen and educator of pre-independent India. He was an avant-garde ruler who initiated several educational, economic, cultural and societal reforms during his lifetime.

The Maharaja Sayajirao Gaikwad, is undoubtedly the father of the Library Movement in India. He was a great patron of learning. He decided to establish library as an experiment in one of the towns of a taluka and in order to implement his idea in 1906. He brought to Baroda an American library expert Mr. Borden who started a system of public libraries in the state.

At the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of the Shree Jayasinhrao Library of Baroda, 16th December 1937, Sayajirao spoke - “Partly successful in my efforts to promote the welfare of my people. We do not all get equal opportunities in life, nor do we get sufficient scope or encouragement for what we wish to do. I have done the best I could within my limitations and I am happy to say that I have been able to provide a network of libraries for my people, bringing about a healthy change in their outlook, culture and general knowledge.”

Sayajirao Gaekwad
08 March: Sahir Ludhianvi's birth anniversary
Sahir Ludhianvi

"In past wars only homes burnt, but this time Don't be surprised if even loneliness ignites. In past wars only bodys burnt, but this time Don't be surprised if even shadows ignite." - Sahir Ludhianvi

Sahir Ludhianvi (b. 8 March 1921 – d. 25 October 1980) was a popular Urdu poet and Hindi lyricist, who worked extensively in Hindi films. Sahir Ludhianvi is his pseudonym. He won the Filmfare Award twice, in 1964 and 1977, and in 1971 was awarded the Padma Shri. A comprehensive book named 'Main Sahir Hoon' (Available in Hindi & Urdu) on Life and Works of Sahir Ludhianvi written in autobiographical style is only of its kind to understand the psyche of the legendary poet.

03 March: Firaq Gorakhpuri’s death anniversary
Firaq Gorakhpuri

"बहुत पहले से उन क़दमों की आहट जान लेते हैं तुझे ए ज़िन्दगी, हम दूर से पहचान लेते हैं
'फ़िराक' अक्सर बदल कर भेस मिलता है कोई काफ़िर कभी हम जान लेते हैं कभी पहचान लेते हैं " - Firaq Gorakhpuri

Raghupati Sahay (b. 28 August 1896 – d. 3 March 1982), better known under his pen name Firaq Gorakhpuri, was a writer, critic and one of the most noted contemporary Urdu poets of India. Born to a family of aristocrats, Firaq had a taste of Urdu poetry at very tender age. He started writing poetry in Urdu in teens and developed his own niche. He established himself among peers including Muhammad Iqbal, Yagana Changezi, Jigar Moradabadi and Josh Malihabadi. He was selected for the Provincial Civil Service (P.C.S.) and the Indian Civil Service (I.C.S.), but he resigned to follow Mahatma Gandhi's Non-cooperation movement, for which he went to jail. Later, he joined Allahabad University as a lecturer in English literature. It was there that he wrote most of his Urdu poetry, including his magnum opus Gul-e-Naghma which earned him the highest literary award of India, the Jnanpith Award, and also the 1960 Sahitya Akademi Award in Urdu. He was awarded Padma Bhusan award in 1968.

03 March: Jamsetji Tata's birth anniversary
Jamsetji Tata

"Freedom without the strength to support it and, if need be, defend it, would be a cruel delusion. And the strength to defend freedom can itself only come from widespread industrialisation and the infusion of modern science and technology into the country's economic life." - Jamsetji Tata

Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata (b. 3 March 1839 - d. 19 May 1904) was a pioneer industrialist, who founded the Tata Group, India's biggest conglomerate company. He was born to a Parsi Zoroastrian family in Navsari. Tata was the first businessman in a family of Parsi Zoroastrian priests. He founded what would later become the Tata Group of companies. Jamsetji Tata is regarded as the legendary "Father of Indian Industry". He devoted his life to four goals: setting up an iron and steel company, a world-class learning institution, a unique hotel and a hydro-electric plant. Only the hotel became a reality during his lifetime, with the inauguration of the Taj Mahal Hotel at Colaba waterfront in Mumbai.

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