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Chaudhurani, Sarala Devi (1872–1945), political activist and campaigner for women's rights in India, was born on 9 September 1872 at Jorasanko, Calcutta, the younger daughter and youngest of the three children of Janakinath Ghosal (1840–1913), son of a local zamindar of Krishnanagar, and a supporter of the ...

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Das [née Sarbadhikari], Krishnabhabini (1864–1919), author and social activist, was born in 1864 in a traditional Hindu zamindari household in Chowa, Murshidabad district, Bengal, the only child of Joynarayan Sarbadhikari. It was not usual to educate girls in the village and Krishnabhabini's...

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Gaikwar [Gaekwar], Sayaji Rao [Sayaji Rao], maharaja of Baroda (1863–1939), social reformer, was born on 11 March 1863 at Kavlana in Nasik district of Bombay presidency, and named Gopal Rao, the second son of Kashi Rao, a village headman, who belonged to the ...

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Sayaji Rao Gaikwar, maharaja of Baroda (1863–1939) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand [known as Mahatma Gandhi] (1869–1948), political leader and religious and social reformer, was born in Porbandar, Kathiawar, western India, on 2 October 1869, to Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi and his fourth wife, Putlibai: he was the youngest of the one daughter and three sons of the marriage....

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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi [Mahatma Gandhi] (1869–1948) by Margaret Bourke-White, 1946 Köln, Museum Ludwig / Rheinisches Bildarchiv Köln

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Madhvani, Muljibhai Prabhudas (1894–1958), entrepreneur and philanthropist, was born near Bileshwar, Jamnagar, in Saurashtra, India, on 18 May 1894, the second son of Prabhudas Madhvani, an employee in a retail shop, and his wife, Hirabai. His primary education was in Ranavav, and he completed the Gujarati seventh standard before passing the English standard I, ranked first, at a school in ...

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Narayan, Jayaprakash (1902–1979), political activist and social worker, was born on 11 October 1902 in the village of Shitab Diara, Bihar, in an upper caste (Kayastha) family of modest means, the fourth of six children of Harsu Dayal, a government official, and his wife, ...

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Ramabai, Pandita Mary Saraswati [née Ramabai Dongre] (1858–1922), social reformer and writer, was born on 23 April 1858 in Gangamul, near Mangalore, India, the youngest of the six children (of whom three survived infancy) of Anant Shastri Dongre, Sanskrit scholar, and his second wife, ...

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Sastri, Valangiman Sankaranarayana Srinivasa (1869–1946), social worker and politician in India, was born at Valangiman, Tanjore district, Madras, on 22 September 1869, the son of a Brahman priest, Sankaranarayana Sastri. He was educated at the Native High School and the Government College, Kumbakonam...

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Srinivas, Mysore Narasimhachar (1916–1999), social anthropologist and sociologist, was born on 16 November 1916 in the city of Mysore, south India, the sixth child in a family of four sons (of whom he was the youngest) and four daughters of Mysore Narasimhachar Iyengar (...

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Tagore, Dwarkanath (1794–1846), businessman and philanthropist, was born in Calcutta, Bengal, India, the second son of Rammani Tagore (1759–1833), police officer, and his first wife, Menaka, daughter of Ramakanta Roy of Jessore. At the age of five he was adopted by the childless older brother of ...

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Vidyasagar, Iswarchandra (1820–1891), social reformer and Sanskrit scholar, the eldest son of Thakurdas Bandyopadhyay and Bhagavati Devi, was born on 26 September 1820 in the village of Birsimha, Midnapore district, Bengal. The name Vidyasagar is actually an academic title, conferred on him in 1839 when he passed the examination in Hindu law from ...