Consider yourself a true lover of Indian History? Let’s see how many of these facts you knew before reading them!

#1 – Indians ruled hockey in the 20s
1936-indian-olympic-hockey-team

Hockey may not be our national sport, but we sure were pretty good at it way back in the 1920s. In fact, there was a time when the British withdrew from the Olympics to avoid a possible defeat by India, their colony. One time when the colony scared the colonisers!

#2 – Calcutta had the first ever Indian theatre
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A cultural and artistic hub from then to now, Calcutta proves its rich love of the arts by the fact that the very first theatre in India was Elphinstone Palace. It started in 1907.

#3 – Rocket on wheels
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The very first rocket in India was so light and small that people transported it on a bicycle to the Thumba Launching Station in none other than Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

#4 – Hitler made a proposal to Dhyan Chand!
dhyan_chand_with_the_ball_vs-_france_in_the_1936_olympic_semi-finals

Not what you think! After India defeated Germany 8-1 in the Berlin Olympics (1936), Hitler summoned Major Dhyan Chand, the hockey superstar – and offered him German citizenship, a high position in the German military forces and the chance to play hockey for Germany’s team. Like a true patriot, Dhyan Chand declined the offer.

#5 – Mahatma Gandhi never received the Nobel Peace Prize
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The Nobel Peace Prize was meant to go to Mahatma Gandhi in the year 1948, but was withdrawn. This was because of his assassination and they left the title unassigned as a tribute to the great Indian freedom fighter.

#6 – Our first ever general elections lasted 4 months
22_feb_1952_duroad

India’s very first general elections was the longest ever. The polls were on from October 1951 to February 1952.

#7 – Dr Rajendra Prasad ought to be a role model for today’s politicians!
food_minister_rajendra_prasad_during_a_radio_broadcast_in_dec_1947_cropped

When he was appointed as the Indian president, Dr Rajendra Prasad took just 50% of his salary, saying he did not need more than that. Towards the end of his long tenure of 12 years, he only took 25% of his salary – back then, a president’s salary was 10,000 rupees.

How many of these did you know before? Comment below! No cheating 😉

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