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Important People of India

There are many people from India who changed the course of history in our world.

There are a number of famous and influential people from India. Here are a few of them with descriptions about their lives and achievements:

Ashoka (304 — 232 BC)

Ashoka, also known as Ashoka the Great, was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty. His rule started in 270 BC, and early in his rule, started a war with the empire of Kalinga. He conquered Kalinga, but was so sickened by war that he vowed to never battle again. Shortly after, Ashoka adopted Buddhism, and made it his state religion in 260 BC. He sought to spread it across Asia and built many Buddhist monuments and temples. Ashoka also adjusted India’s harsh laws, and focused on the well-being of his people. Much of our knowledge of this leader comes from many columns and boulders consisting of his teachings and words. Ashoka died in 232 BC, but he will live forever as the ruler who showed that conquest is not necessary in being a great leader.

Shah Jahan (January 5, 1592 ─ January 22, 1666)

Shah Jahan was the fifth Mogul emperor of India. His reign was called the Golden Age of Moguls. He wanted to expand his empire. Among his great achievements was destroying the civilization of Ahmadnagar. He built many beautiful buildings, including the Taj Mahal, which served as a tomb for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan had four sons, Dara Shukoh, Shah Shuja, Aurangzeb, and Murad Bakhsh. In 1657 Shah Jahan became seriously ill. His sons started fighting over the throne, expecting their father to die. Aurangzeb became the clear winner. Although he had made a full recovery, Aurangzeb threw Jahan in jail and declared himself king. Shah Jahan was kept in jail for eight years. With his health declining, he died on January 22, 1666. He was buried beside his wife in the Taj Mahal.

Mahatma Gandhi (October 2, 1869 ─ January 30, 1948)

Mahatma Gandhi was born at Probandar, India, into a family of Hindu merchants. At that time, India was in British rule. When Gandhi was 19, he went to University Collage in London. He then set up a law practice in Bombay after he returned from college, but had limited success. He went to another law firm in Durban, South Africa. He observed the treatment of Indian immigrants and fought for their basic rights. He was jailed many times. In 1915, Gandhi returned to India again. He tried to get the British government to treat Indian people better with a way called Satyagraha, which is a devotion to the truth. He tried to get Hindus and Muslims to live together peacefully. In January 30, 1948, he was shot and killed by a fanatic Muslim.

Jawaharlal Nehru (November 14, 1889 ─ May 27, 1964)

Jawaharlal Nehru was born in Allahabad, India. He went to Harrow School and Cambridge University in England to practice law. In 1919 he joined the Indian National Congress. Nehru soon became a leader of the nationalist movement. Between 1921 and1945 he was jailed nine times because of his activities for Indian independence. He was president of the Congress party from 1929 to 1931. In 1942 he replaced Mohatma K. Gandhi as the recognized leader of the National Congress party. In 1946, the British government invited him to form an interim government. In 1947, India became officially an independent country. Nehru was elected as the first prime minister of India. On May 27, 1964, Jawaharlal Nehru suffered a heart attack and later, a stroke and died early in the morning.

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