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Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1891–1956) by unknown photographer © reserved; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Ambedkar [formerly Ambavadekar], Bhimrao Ramji (1891–1956), politician, was born at Mhow in central India on 14 April 1891, the youngest of the fourteen children of Ramji Maloji Sakpal, a subahdar-major in the British Indian army and headmaster in a military school, and his wife, ...

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Amir Chand [Omichund, Umichund] (d. 1758), merchant, was a major trading partner of the British in Bengal and deeply involved in the events that gave them political power there. Very little is known about his origins. He appears to have been a ...

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Angadi, Ayana Deva (1903–1993), journalist and arts promoter, was born on 12 March 1903 in the village of Jakanur, in the south Indian state of Mysore, the son of Veerayya Angadi and his wife, Kotawa. Mysore, ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty, was a progressive princely state where education was highly valued. ...

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Bajpai, Sir Girja Shankar (1891–1954), administrator and politician in India, was born in Lucknow on 3 April 1891, the second of the three sons of Sir Seetla Prasad Bajpai, chief justice of Jaipur state, and his wife, Rukmini Shukla (d. 1945). Having won a science scholarship from ...

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Sir Surendranath Banerjea (1848–1925) by Johnston & Hoffmann © reserved

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Banerjea [Bandyopadhyay], Sir Surendranath (1848–1925), politician, the second child of Dr Durgacharan Banerjea, was born in Taltala, Calcutta, on 10 November 1848. Durgacharan, a disciple of David Hare, the philanthropist who helped him to get his medical education, was one of the most successful doctors in the city and a friend of the reformer ...

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Bhave, Vinoba (1895–1982), spiritual leader in India, was born Vinayak Narhari Bhave on 11 September 1895, the eldest of the five children (four brothers, one sister) of a Maharashtrian Brahman family in the village of Gagoda, Kolaba district, Bombay. His father, Narhari Shambhurao Bhave...

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Ghanshyamdas Birla (1894–1983) by unknown photographer courtesy The Harvill Press, London

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Birla, Ghanshyamdas (1894–1983), businessman and politician in India, was born in the small village of Pilani in Rajputana, India, on 10 April 1894, the son of Raja Baldeodas Birla (c.1862–1957) and his wife, Yogeshwari Singhi (c.1863–1963). The Birlas were of the mercantile caste known as the ...