Modern Indian History

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on August 14, 2014
Modern Indian History

A quiz on events and newsmakers in modern Indian history. In no particular chronology.

1 Let’s start with an answer. “Being a woman by itself is a gift of God which all of us must appreciate. The origin of a child is a mother and is a woman and the woman is the one who shares and shows a man what love, caring, and sharing is all about. That’s the essence of a woman.” Whose words are these, and why does it feature in this quiz?

2 Who famously compared Indira Gandhi to Durga after her leadership during the 1971 Indo-Pak war?

3 Why would Indians have reason to remember two Russian gentlemen named Malyshev and Strekalov, and how are they indirectly connected with a song written by Mohammed Iqbal?

4 In 1982, on a trip to Mexico, Vasant Sathe was impressed by the use of media for social change. As a result, what started on April 7, 1984, which took the nation by storm?

5 June 25 is a red-letter day in Indian cricket history. The day we played our first test match is also the day we won the World Cup in 1983. Who took the last wicket for India to seal the win?

6 August 15, 1975 — Sholay released in halls around the country. The initial going was slow before it gathered momentum and became the biggest hit in Indian film history. Which prominent member of the cast requested not to be featured in any scene with a specific co-star? And why?

7 She starred as a goatherd in an acclaimed film in 1985, wrote the script for Shah Rukh Khan’s first film appearance and also taught aerobics in the ’90s. Who are we talking about and why was she in the news in 1998?

8 Indian sports : Why should we remember Henri Hakkinen of Finland and Zhu Qinan of China?

9 Shankarrao Chavan, Madhu Dandavate, Yashwant Sinha. Next name on that list. Significant, obviously.

10 The first company he started was Softronics, which failed to take off. His second, after a corporate stint, was much more successful, and in March 1999 garnered significant international attention. Name the person, and the company he started. Easy!


1. Sushmita Sen’s answer to the final question in the 1994 Miss Universe contest. All the cosmetics companies shall forever be grateful.

2. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, very sporting of him, though the Opposition reminded him about it for years.

3. They were the cosmonauts who accompanied Rakesh Sharma on Soyuz T11. When the PM asked what India looked like from space, Sharma famously quoted Iqbal, Saare jahan se achcha.

4. The serial Hum Log.

5. Mohinder Amarnath, who trapped Michael Holding leg before wicket.

6. Hema Malini requested not to be featured in any scene with Sanjeev Kumar, as he had proposed to her a few months before. Besides, boyfriend Dharam was also around and probably wouldn’t have approved.

7. Arundhati Roy, won the Booker for God Of Small Things in 1998. The film was In Which Annie Gives it to Those Ones.

8. They finished with bronze and silver medals, respectively, when Abhinav Bindra won India’s first-ever individual gold medal in the 2008 Olympic Games held in Beijing.

9. Manmohan Singh, who followed them as Finance Minister in 1992.

10. Narayana Murthy and Infosys.

Published on May 16, 2014

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