Quiz on Indophiles

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on March 10, 2018 Published on October 27, 2017

It’s the 150th birth anniversary of Margaret Noble, better known in India as Sister Nivedita, one of Swami Vivekananda’s most ardent disciples.

1 Which American-born Indian citizen created a park to rehabilitate the Irula tribe and was first known internationally for a National Geographic documentary titled The King & I?

2 Who is easily the best-known Indian citizen to be born in the Ottoman empire. If it helps, the date of birth was August 26, 1910.

3 One of Britain’s best-known polymaths, with contributions to physiology, genetics, biochemistry, statistics, biometry, cosmology, and philosophy, he moved to India in 1956, primarily because of his Marxist leanings and became an Indian citizen in 1961. Who is this Scotsman, who also has a evolutionary dilemma named after him?

4 Which well-known actor and son of American missionaries in Mussoorie was a sports buff who also recorded Sachin Tendulkar’s first video interview in the ’80s?

5 A socialist and women’s rights activist was in a relationship with playwright George Bernard Shaw. She proposed that they have a formal contract outlining their relationship. On seeing the document, Shaw reportedly exclaimed that it was worse than all the vows of all the churches on earth and refused to sign. Identify this Indophile, who was also a proponent of Irish self-rule?

6 Which American Nobel Peace Prize-winning minister and activist came to India as a State guest in 1959 and said “to other countries I may go as a tourist, but to India I come as a pilgrim”?

7 In August 1965, Byrd’s member David Crosby introduced which British musician to Indian classical music and Ravi Shankar’s work, which resulted in a lifelong fascination with India and Indian music. If it helps, his musician son is named Dhani.

8 Who, born to Turkish and Egyptian parents, first came to Pondicherry to meet Sri Aurobindo in 1914, and returned for good to India in April 1920?

9 Which Nobel laureate was his nation’s ambassador to India between 1962 and 1968 and wrote of his travels in the country?

10 This well-known 19th-century writer went on a world tour in 1895 in order to raise money to pay his debts. He was so taken up with India in his three months here that he wrote, “Nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the Sun visits on his round. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked.” Name this writer, who recovered most of his money with his lectures in India.


1. Romulus Whitaker, who set up the Snake Park in Chennai. The ‘King’ in question is the king cobra

2. Mother Teresa. She was born in Skopje, originally a part of the Kosovo Vilayet of the Ottoman

3. JBS Haldane. There is a street named after him in Kolkata

4. Tom Alter, who acted in films such as Shatranj Ke Khiladi and Kranti

5. Annie Besant, founder of The Theosophical Society

6. Martin Luther King Jr, who regarded Mahatma Gandhi as his hero and inspiration

7. George Harrison, who used the sitar extensively in songs like ‘Norwegian wood’ and ‘Within You Without You’

8. Mira Alfassa, but known as Mother. The township of Auroville was inspired by an article written by her

9. Octavio Paz, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980

10. Mark Twain

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

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Published on October 27, 2017
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