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WHO S WHO - P, Q, R, S, T

AUGUST 01, 2013

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WHO'S WHO - P, Q, R, S, T


Palkhivala, Nani (1920-2002)

Eminent Indian jurist and ambassador to the USA during 1977-79.


Parks, Rosa (1913- 2005)

US black civil rights activist who made headlines by refusing to give her seat in a public bus to a white man, an unthinkable idea at that time. This incident resulted in the boycott of the bus system and strengthened the civil rights movement.


Patekar, Medha (b. 1956)

Indian social activist and environmentalist. Firebrand leader of the Save Narmada movement. Recipient of Right Livelihood Prize.


Paul, Lord Swaraj (b. 1931)

UK- based Indian industrialist and member, House of Lords. Received the Padma Bushan in 1983. He also served as deputy speaker of the House of Lords.


Peale, Rev. Norman Vincent (1898­-1993)

American religious leader, who preached positive thinking for more than half a century.


Phule, Mahatma (1827-'90)

Indian social reformer who worked for the downtrodden, women's education, social justice and against child marriage.


Pitman, Sir Isaac (1813-'97): English inventor of a system of phonographic shorthand.


Plato (427-347 B.C.): Greek philosopher and educator; pupil of Socrates, teacher of Aristotle. Dialogues, which includes the Republic, is his longest and the most cel­ebrated work.


Pandit, Vijayalakshmi (1900-'90)

Jawaharlal Nehru's sister and the first Indian woman to become Minister (UP, 1937). India's High Commissioner to the UK and Ambassador to the U.S. and the erstwhile USSR. First woman President of UN General Assembly (1954).


Pant, Gobind Ballabh (1887-1961).

Freedom fighter and later the Chief Minister of UP. Home Minister in the Nehru cabinet. Honoured with the Bharat Ratna.


Patel, Sardar Vallabhbhai (1875-1950)

Called the Iron Man of India. Leading freedom fighter who worked closely with Mahatma Gandhi. Played a key role in the integration of India's princely states with the Union. Deputy Prime Minister in Nehru government. Bharat Ratna.


Patil, Pratibha Devisingh (b. 1934)

President of India. The first Indian woman to hold the post of the Head of the State. Formerly Governor of Rajasthan (2004-07) and Cabinet Minister in Maharashtra.


Pitt, William (1759-1806) (The Younger Pitt)

British statesman and the youngest Prime Minister at 24.


Pol Pot (1928-'98)

Notorious leader of the much-feared Khmer Rouge (in Cambodia). Accused of genocide and held responsible for massacre of 15-20 lakh people during 1975-79. Also known as Saloth Sar.


Prasad, Dr. Rajendra (1884- 1963)

Prominent statesman and Gandhian. First President of India, 1950-'62. Decorated with the Bharat Ratna.


Polo, Marco (AD 1256-1323)

The most famous European traveler in China and India.


Quisling, Vidkun (1887-1945)

Norwegian politician who helped the enemy during invasion of Norway. Seized as a traitor and shot dead. His surname has become synonymous with 'traitor'.


Rajneesh (Chandra Mohan Jain) (1931- '90)

Charismatic Indian godman, also known as Osho. Set up an ashram in Koregaon, Pune and 'Rajneeshpuram' on 64,000 acres in Oregon, USA. Turned highly controversial with his more than 650 books.


Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Sri (1836-'86)

Indian religious leader who preached that the realization of God is the only goal of life. His most famous disciple was Swami Vivekananda, who set up the Ramakrishna Mission in his name.


Ravi Shankar, Sri Sri (b. 1956)

Modern day spiritual icon and founder of the Art of Living. Has a big following in India and beyond.



Reuter, Paul Julius (1816-'99)

German pioneer of telegraphic press service, who organized the Reuters news agency.


Ricardo, David (1772-1823)

British political economist who formulated the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation.



Rockefeller, John (1839-1937)

American philanthropist and founder of the Rockefeller business empire; Founded the Rockefeller University and the Rockfeller Foundation.


Rousseau, Jean Jacques (1712-'78)

French political philosopher whose views on Liberty, Equality and Fraternity were instrumental in stimulating the movement leading to the French Revolution. Theory of Social Contract is his most famous book.


Roy, Prannoy (b. 1946)

Pioneered the science of Psephology (Poll analysis) in India.  Prominent TV commentator.


Roy, Raja Rammohan (1774-1833)

Indian social reformer, scholar and The Renaissance Man of India. Worked for the abolition of 'sati', child marriage and 'Purdah'. Founder of Brahmo Samaj. Was instrumental in pressing upon the British to introduce English in India.


Known as the First Modern Man In India.



Radhakrishnan, Dr. Sarvepalli (1888- 1975)

The second President (1962-7) and the first Vice-President ('52-'62) of India. Scholar, philosopher, writer and statesman. Received the Bharat Ratna and the Templeton Prize. The Hindu View of Life, Indian Philosophy are some of his well-known books.



Rahman, Sheikh Mujibur (1920—'75)

Father of Bangladesh and its first President and Prime Minister. Was killed in a bloody coup in 1975. His daughter Sheikh Hasina became the Prime Minister in 1996.



Rahman, Ziaur (1937-1981)

Former President of Bangladesh who rose to power in 1975 in a coup. Was assassinated later. His wife, Begum Khaleda Zia, later became the Prime Minister.


Rai, Lala Lajpat (1865-1928)

Part of the famous trio Lal, Bal, Pal (The Extremists). Indian patriot and prominent freedom fighter. Known as the 'Lion of the Punjab' (Punjab Kesri). Died in a police lathicharge by the Britsih during anti-Simon Commission demonstrations. His killing was later avenged by Bhagat Singh, the great martyr, by killing Gen. Saunders.



Rajagopalachari, Chakravarti (1878-1972)

The first and the last Indian Governor- General of India (1948-'50). Called Rajaji. Was the CM of Madras and Home Minister in Nehru's cabinet. Founded the Swatantra Party. Received the Bharat Ratna.

Ramachandran, M G (1917-'87)

Film star-turned politician and Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Awarded the Bharat Ratna.

Rao, P V Narasimha (1921-2004)

Prime Minister of India (1991-96). Formerly, Chief Minister (Andhra Pradesh) during 1971-'73 and Union Minister (External Affairs, Defence, Human Resources) 1980 onwards. Started the policies of Liberalization, Globalization and Privatization to lift the economy out of the 1991 crisis.



Russian courtier and religious figure. In Nicholas II’s court, he exerted influence over the Tsarina. Was killed by the nobles.


Reagan, Ronald (1911-2004)

U.S. President and a former film star.

Reddy, Neelam Sanjiva (1913- '96)

President of India, before which he was Chief Minister of the then Andhra Pradesh. Also served as Union Minister and Speaker, Lok Sabha.

Rhodes, Cecil John (1853-1902)

British statesman and empire builder. At 35, one of the world's richest men. Prime Minister, Cape Colony. Developed Rhodesia, which was named after him. Well-known scholarships in his name.



Sankaracharya (788-820) (Adi Sankara)

Indian scholar and philosopher, who revived the Hindu religion. Founder of Advaita (Non-dualism) philosophy. He  established 'mutts' all over India.

Saraswati, Dayanand (1824-'83)

Hindu social reformer. Founded the Arya Samaj and fought for the abolition of social evils. Wrote Satyarth Prakash.

Schwarzenegger, Arnold (b.1947)


Hollywood action hero (Terminator, Predator and Total Recall). Took to Republican politics, became Governor of California later.



Sen, Amartya (b. 1933)

Prominent Indian economist, who is the Lamont Professor of Philosophy and Economics at Harvard University and the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. Received the Nobel Prize (1998) and the Bharat Ratna. Authored Development and Freedom, The Argumentative Indian, Technique of Choice. Along with Jean Dreze, Amartya Sen has been a prominent advocate of welfarist policies and programmes of the UPA government.


Seshan, T N (b. 1932)

India's Chief Election Commissioner during 1990-96. Tried to clean up the electoral system by bringing in several reforms. Had served earlier as Cabinet Secretary. Recipient of the Magsaysay Prize. 

Sethi,  Dr. P.K. (1927-2008)

Noted Indian orthopedic surgeon and inventor of the 'Jaipur Foot', a prosthetic to help the handicapped walk normally. Received the Magsaysay Award in 1981.

Shiva, Vandana (b. 1952)

Prominent economist and environmentalist. Led campaigns on biopiracy and biosafety. Right Livelihood Prize in 1993.


Shourie, Arun (b. 1943)

Outstanding Indian journalist. Former Editor-in-Chief of The Indian Express and Union Cabinet Minister and a recipient of Magsaysay Prize. Authored Does He Know A Mother's Heart?

Smith, Adam (1723-90)

Scottish economist, known as the Father of Economics. Authored the classic Wealth of Nations.

Socrates (470-399 B.C.)

Greek philosopher and Plato's teacher. Charged with profanity and with corrupting young minds, found guilty and made to die by drinking poison.

Spock, Benjamin (1903-98)

Author of the influential classic The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, which has influenced generations of parents worldwide.

Sreedharan, E (b. 1932)

One of the most respected and feared bureaucrats in India. The Metro Man of India and the Managing Director of Delhi Metro. Earlier, he had built the Goa-Managlore rail line called the Konkan Rail.


Won the Padma Shri (2001), Times of India's Man of the Year (2002), Knight of Legion of Honour (France) and Padma Vibhushan (2008).

Sadat, Anwar (1919-'81)

Egyptian soldier and politician. President during 1970-81. Known for Camp David peace treaty. Won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Sharma, Dr. Shankar Dayal (1919-1999)

President of India from 1992-97. Scholar and freedom fighter. Served as Chief Minister of MP, Union Cabinet Minister, Governor and Vice-President.

Shastri, Lal Bahadur (1904-'66)

Indian statesman who succeeded Nehru as India's second Prime Minister (June 1964- January 1966). Earlier, a Cabinet Minister. A simple, selfless Gandhian. Died at Tashkent in 1966 after signing the Tashkent Treaty with Pakistan. His sudden death remains a mystery for some people till date. Awarded the Bharat Ratna posthumously.


Shivaji (1627-1680)

The great Maratha leader known for guerilla warfare tactics. He fought against the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and established a Hindu state in the Deccan. Crowned the King in 1674. Great general and wise ruler.

Singh, Bhagat (1907-'31)

Indian revolutionary and patriot hanged by the British for participating in the Lahore conspiracy. Avenged Lala Lajpat Rai’s death in a police lathi-charge by killing Gen. Saunders. One of the founders of Hindustan Republic Association.


His ancestral house in Khatkar Kalan, near Banga in Panjab, has been converted into a memorial.The Pakistan government has recently named the Shaadman Chauk in Lahore after him.

Singh, Charan (1902-'87)

The only Prime Minister of India who never faced the Lok Sabha. Deputy Prime Minister during the Janata Party regime.

Singh, Dr. Manmohan (b.1932)

Indian statesman and economist. Prime Minister from 2004- 2014. His second term as PM began in May’ 09. He was formerly Finance Secretary, RBI Governor and UGC Chairman. Architect of the economic reforms and liberalization programme during the Narsimha Rao regime in 1991.

Singh, Viswanath Pratap (1931- 2008)

Prime Minister of India (Dec 1989-Nov 1990). Crusader for social justice. The infamous Mandal riots took place during his tenure.

Singh, Zail (1916- '94)

President of India from 1982-87. A veteran freedom fighter, he had also served as Minister (State and Central) and the Chief Minister of Punjab.

Stalin, Joseph (1879-1953)

Soviet statesman who led the Russian people for three decades. Modernized agriculture on socialist lines by ruthless means and introduced the Five Year Plans.

Subramaniam, C (1910-2000)

Freedom fighter, well known for his contribution to Green Revolution in India. Was Union Minister, interim President of INA and Governor of Maharashtra (1990). Honoured with the Bharat Ratna in 1998.

Suu Kyi, Aung San (b.1945)

Myanmar’s champion of democracy and civil rights, opposition leader detained by the military junta. Spent over 13 years under house arrest. Decorated with the Nobel Prize for Peace.


Timur, The Lame (1336- 1405)

A great warrior of Central Asia and the ruler of Samarkand.

Tata, JRD (b. 1904-'93)

Top Indian industrialist and philanthropist known for his clear vision and dynamism. Was one of the earliest to advocate family planning in India. The first Indian pilot to get a license. Founded the Tata Airlines in 1932 which was nationalized later. Was Chairman of Air India. Honoured with the Bharat Ratna.


Teresa, Mother (1910-97)

Born as Agnes Gonxha to Albanian parents in Yugoslavia and baptized later. Came to India and founded the "Missionaries of Charity" in Kolkata, devoted to working for the destitute, the dying and the poor. Set up 570 homes for the poor in about 125 countries. Decorated with the Nobel Peace Prize, Magsaysay Prize, Templeton Award and Bharat Ratna.

Tharoor, Shashi (b. 1956)

Served as Minister of State for External Affairs during 2009-2010. UN Under Secretary General for Communication and Public Information (2002-07). Authored The Great Indian Novel, India: From Midnight to Millennium and Pax Indica.

Thomas, St.

One of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ. He came to India in A.D. 52 and founded seven churches in Kerala.


Thoreau, Henry (1817-62)

American essayist, naturalist and iconoclast, who rebelled against society and lived for a long time in a solitary hut. Authored Walden and Civil Disobedience.

Turner, Ted (Robert Edward) (b. 1938)

The man whose vision created CNN (Cable News Network). Got married to Jane Fonda., the fitness guru.


Tussaud, Madame (1761-1850)

Swiss wax modeler who opened a museum in London containing life-size models of famous people. Madame Tussaud’s Museum is a major tourist attraction.

Tutu, Desmond (b. 1931)

South African clergyman who advocated non-violent resistance to apartheid. The first black Anglican bishop of Johannesburg. Won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Tandon, Purshottam Das (1882- 1962)

Prominent Indian freedom fighter. Honoured with the Bharat Ratna in 1961.

Thackeray, Balasaheb (1926-2012)

The Shiv Sena supremo who began his career as a cartoonist at 18. Known as the Maharashtra Tiger.


Thatcher, Margaret (1925-2012)

British Prime Minister from 1979-90. The first woman head of the government in modern Europe. Described as 'The Iron Lady'.

Tilak, Bal Gangadhar (Lokmanya) (1856 -1920)

Indian patriot and statesman. "Swaraj is my birthright" was his famous quote. Exiled to Mandalay in Myanmar for 6 years by the British for his anti-British writings. The British called him the 'Father of Indian Unrest'. Edited the Kesari and Mahratta.


Tipu, Sultan (1750-'99)

Indian prince and the sultan of Mysore who was the most fearsome warrior the British faced in India. Fought wars against the British. Killed at Seringapatam while fighting the British army. He used to say Better to live a single day as a lion than to live a lifetime as a sheep.

Tito, Marshal Joseph (1892-1980)

Tito, the Father of Modern Yugoslavia, liberated his country from the Axis invaders. He was the first communist Prime Minister (1945) and became the President in 1953. Co-founder of the Non- Aligned Movement.

Truman, Harry (1884-1972)

U.S. President from 1945-53. Took the decision to drop the first atom bomb over Japan during World War II.




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