Quiz: India at 70

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on August 11, 2017


To celebrate 70 years of Independence, a quiz on the wonder that is India.

1 KA Abbas’s Dharti Ke Lal was critically acclaimed and considered an important political film for its realistic portrayal of the changing social and economic climate during World War II. It remains the only film to be officially produced by which person or organisation?

2 The Paliyan tribals of Tamil Nadu still use a particular event to calculate age, an event that last happened in 2006, and before that in 1994. What do they use as a reference, which has also given a particular region its generic name?

3 Till 1947, Thakur Govind Singh and Sahabzada Yaqub Khan belonged to the same organisation. When it was split that year, Singh became the Indian head and Khan, the Pakistan head. The same year, they actually tossed for a particular transport, and Singh won. Which organisations did they lead, and what did they toss for, something you normally see twice a year?

4 In his will, to who or whom did Maharaja Ranjit Singh give the Kohinoor diamond. The British did not honour his will after his death in 1839.

5 Which institution connects the following: Charles Freer Andrews, Satyen Bose, Nandalal Bose, Balraj Sahni and PC Mahalanobis?

6 In 1956, the first project was tried in Chakia forest. The second attempt was made in a sanctuary called Chhadra Prabha in the ’60s. The latest attempt is in Kuno in Madhya Pradesh, but this time the problem is bureaucratic wrangling. What did all these projects aim to do?

7 We all know that Rajesh Khanna won the 1965 All India Talent Contest. But who was the runner-up, an executive with Goldfield Mercantile Company, who also joined the film industry after being spotted by Roop K Shorey at Mumbai’s Gaylord restaurant?

8 After giving his famous Dilli Chalo call, at whose tomb did Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose vow to free India from the British?

9 Born in Lucknow in October 1930, she joined the Bar in 1959. She was the first woman to top the London Bar exams in 1958. Her biography is titled On Balance. Identify this feisty and talented woman

10 If Ardh Kumbh is celebrated every six years , after how many years is Maha Kumbh observed?


1. IPTA, the Indian People’s Theatre Group, which had intellectuals such as Utpal Dutt, Balraj Sahni, Salil Chowdhury and Pandit Ravi Shankar as members

2. The flowering of the kurinji, the purple flowers that give the ‘blue mountain’ Nilgiris its name

3. The President’s Bodyguard, originally the Governor General’s Bodyguard. They tossed a coin for the President’s gold-plated buggy, usually seen on Republic Day and the Beating of the Retreat

4. Jagannath Temple, Puri

5. They all taught or worked at Santiniketan, the institution founded by Rabindranath Tagore

6. Introduce the Asiatic Lion, so far restricted to only Gir, to other parts of India

7. Vinod Mehra

8. Bahadur Shah Zafar. Bose was in Rangoon at the time

9. Leila Seth, India’s first woman Chief Justice , and the mother of poet and writer Vikram Seth

10. 144 years. The next Maha Kumbh is in 2157

Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster and Project Director, FIFA U-17 World Cup; Follow Joy on Twitter @joybhattacharj

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Published on August 11, 2017
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