When we recall the series of events that happened last year, we cannot forget the fact that we lost many eminent personalities who contributed a lot to the society. We have come up with a list of 10 top Indian personalities, who breathed their last in 2011.
1. Sri Sathya Sai Baba (November 23, 1926 - April 24, 2011)
Saint, Philanthropist, Spiritual Guide, Educator, Social Worker and Godman Sathya Sai Baba, a cult like figure died on April 24, 2011, following a multiple organ failure after battling serious illness for nearly a month. Born as Sathyanarayana Raju in 1926 he was given the epithet Sai Baba since he was been considered as the reincarnation of Shiridi Sai.
Sai Baba emerged as one of the most popular Godmen in India in modern times initially through acts like producing articles like sacred ash(Bibhuti) and 'lingam' through sleight of hand and also founding institutions of learning and philanthropy. He had disciples of all sections of the society across the world.
2. Dev Anand (September 26, 1923 - December 3, 2011)
Dev Anand was the 'Evergreen Romantic Superstar' of Indian cinema who died on December 3 in London of cardiac ailment. His was active in Bollywood Silver Screen for long 65 years. He had appeared as the lead actor in 110 films out of his total 114. Dev has given several hits like Paying Guest, Guide, Baazi, Jewel Thief, CID, Johnny Mera Naam, Hare Rama Hare Krishna and Des Pardes.
He was awarded ‘Padma Bhushan’ for his outstanding contribution to Indian cinema in 2001 and the Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 2002. He won two Filmfare Awards in 1958 for his performance in the film Kala Paani and in 1966 for Guide. He produced more than 35 films under his own film production company Navketan International films. Dev was active till his last time. His last film ‘Charge Sheet’ was released on September 30th, months before his death.
3. Jagjit Singh (February 8, 1941 - October 10, 2011)
"The Ghazal King", Jagjit Singh died due to a brain hemorrhage at the age of 70 in Mumbai. Among his most memorable numbers were Tum itna jo muskara rahe ho, Desires, Insight, Face to Face, Sajda. Padmabhushan Jagjit is the only composer and singer to have composed and performed songs written by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in two albums, Nayi Disha (1999) and Samvedna (2002).
The pair, Jagjit along with his wife, renowned ghazal singer, Chitra Singh, was a legend of Gazal world. Their combination albums in the film like Arth, Saath Saath and albums like Desires, Insight etc. are India's largest selling combination album of all time.
4. M F Husain (September 17, 1915 - June 9, 2011)
Renowned and controversial painter of International repute, M.F. Husain died at the age of 95 in London following a heart attack. Husain elevated contemporary Indian art to the global level with his personal creative style of modern art. He was peeved in controversy for his paintings of Hindu goddesses with obscenity. Following this, he left the country and started living in UK.
Born in Pandharpur, Maharashtra, on September 17, 1915, Husain was an in-born artist. He was honored with Padma Shree, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan and was the highest paid painter in India. He was also a great fan of Madhuri Dixit, the Bollywood actor. Besides, Husain has also directed and written three films in Bollywood – Gaja Gamini, Minakshi and Through the eyes of a painter.
5. Har Gobind Khorana (January 9, 1922 to November 9, 2011)
Nobel laureate Har Gobind Khorana died of natural causes on November 9, 2011 in Concord, Massachusetts, at the age of 89. He was an Indian-born American biochemist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1968 with Marshall W. Nirenberg and Robert W. Holley for research that helped show how the nucleotides in nucleic acids, which carry the genetic code of the cell, control the cell's synthesis of proteins. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1966 and subsequently received the National Medal of Science.
6. Pt. Bhimsen Joshi (February 4, 1922 to January 24, 2011)
Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi died in Pune at the age of 88. He was an Indian vocalist and Guru in the Hindustani classical tradition. He was known for his powerful voice, amazing breath control and musical sensibility. A member of the Kirana Gharana (school), he is renowned for the khayal form of singing, as well as for his popular renditions of devotional music (bhajans and abhangs).
Pandit Joshi was widely recognized in India for his appearance in the Music video ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara’), which begins with him performing ‘Desh raag’. He was the last to receive the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honor, awarded in 2008.
7. Mataji Nirmala Devi (March 21, 1923 to February 23, 2011)
Nirmala Srivastava, more widely known as Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, died on February 23, 2011, in Genoa, Italy at the age of 87. She was the founder of Sahaja Yoga, a new religious movement. To her devotees she declared that she was the complete incarnation of the Adi Shakti and she is now adored as such in over 140 countries.
8. Shammi Kapoor (October 21, 1930 - August 14, 2011)
Bollywood actor Shammi Kapoor (Shamsher Raj Kapoor) died of kidney failure on August 14, 2011 in Mumbai. He made his Bollywood debut in 1953 with the film Jeevan Jyoti and was one of the most popular actors till seventies. His hit films are Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Dil Deke Dekho, Junglee, Dil Tera Diwana, Professor, China Town, Rajkumar, Kashmir Ki Kali, Janwar, Teesri Manzil, An Evening in Paris, Bramhachari, Andaz and Vidhaata.
He received the Filmfare Best Actor Award in 1968 for his performance in Brahmachari and Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for Vidhaata in 1982. His last film before his death was Rockstar. Son of Prithviraj Kapoor, Shami hails from the kapoor dynasty, the leading family of Indian cinema.
9. Arjun Singh (November 5, 1930 - March 4, 2011)
Ex- Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Arjun Singh died of heart attack on March 4, 2011. He was the Union Minister of Human Resource Development in the Manmohan Singh cabinet from 2004 to 2009. He was the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh for three times and a Union minister and the Governor of Punjab once for a short period.
As Governor of Punjab, he worked for the Rajiv-Longwal Accord for peace in Punjab. Arjun Singh was also a minister in the P.V. Narasimha Rao cabinet but he resigned after the Babri Masjid demolition. He was awarded the outstanding Parliamentarian Award in 2000.
10. Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi (January 5, 1941 - September 22, 2011)
Former captain of the Indian cricket team, Mansoor Ali Khan, nicknamed Tiger Pataudi, died of respiratory failure in Delhi on September 22. He was the ninth Nawab of Pataudi until 1971, when India abolished royal entitlements through the 26th Amendment to the Constitution of India.
Mansoor became the youngest India captain at 21 years and led the team to its first-ever Test win abroad against New Zealand in Dunedin in 1968, and the first Test series triumph on the same tour. He is survived by his wife actor Sharmila Tagore, son Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan and daughter actor Soha Ali Khan.
Besides these persons, the other eminent persons who also died in 2011 are – Ex-Chief Minister of Haryana, Bhajan Lal on 3rd June, Ex-Arunachal Pradesh chief Minister Dorjee Khandu on April 30, Assamese Musician Padma Bhusan Bhupen Hazarika, Editor of Mid-Day Jyotirmaya Dey on June 11, Bollywood actor Navin Nischol on March 19 and Bollywood actor Bob Christo on March 20.