» Seven-time member of Lok Sabha Karia Munda was unanimously
elected Deputy Speaker of the 15th Lok Sabha on June 8. The tradition of having
the Deputy Speaker from the Opposition was began in 1977, the very year Karia
Munda entered the Lok Sabha. Munda was elected to the 15th Lok Sabha from Khunti
in Jharkhand on BJP ticket.
» Former Law Minister 72-year-old, Hans Raj Bhardwaj, who failed to make it to
the Union Cabinet after the elections, was on June 24 appointed as the new
Governor of Karnataka. He replaced Rameshwar Thakur who was transferred to
» Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur was appointed new Governor of Madhya
Pradesh for his remaining tenure. He will hold the post till November 2009. He
replaced Balram Jakhar, whose term ended on June 30. Thakur was first appointed
Governor on November 17, 2004. In 2006, he was shifted to Andhra Pradesh and
later to Karnataka in 2007.
» The former Finance Minister of Assam, Devanand Konwar, was appointed Governor
of Bihar in place of R. L. Bhatia, whose term ended on June 23. Konwar was the
founder general secretary of Congress I, when the Party split in 1978.
» One of the most influential figures in modern pop culture, Michael Jackson,
died of a sudden cardiac arrest at his home in Los Angeles on June 25,2009.
Jackson, known as 'King of Pop' by fans and often derided as 'Whacko-Jacko' by
the media, was 50. Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 in Gary,
Indiana, US. I Want You Back, Don't Stop Til You Get Enough, Billie Jean, Bad,
Black or White, Earth Song were his biggest hits album. His 1982 album Thriller
remains the world's best-selling record of all time. Jackson began his career as
a child in family group The Jackson 5. He then went on to achieve global fame as
a solo artist with smash hits such as Billie Jean and Bad. Thriller, released in
1982, is the biggest-selling album of all time, shifting 65m copies, according
to the Guinness Book of World Records. He scored seven UK number ones as a solo
artist and won a total of 13 Grammy awards. Michael Jackson popularised a dance
technique called the moonwalk or backslide. Moonwalk presents the illusion that
the dancer is stepping forward while actually moving backward. The dance move
gained widespread popularity after being performed by Michael Jackson during his
song ‘Billie Jean’ on the March 25, 1983. He published autobiography ‘Moon Walk’
in 1988. The book was edited by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and reached number
one on the New York Times Best Seller list.
» Famous poet and writer Kamala Surayya, best known as Kamala Das passed away at
Jehangir hospital in Pune on May 31,2009 due to respiratory failure. She was 75.
Kamala Das enjoyed the status of being one of the first poets writing in English
from Kerala to be recognised nationally and internationally. She wrote with
literary name ‘Madhavikutty’. An iconoclast of her generation who unabashedly
spoke about the Indian woman’s sexual desires and a maverick who courted
controversies, she was decorated with prizes such as the Kent Award and
nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature. A free spirit, she dabbled in
painting and even politics. She contested Parliamentary elections in 1984 and
lost. On December 16, 1999, at the age of 65, she converted to Islam. Her
writings like ‘Summer in Calcutta’ (1965), ‘The Descendants’ (1970), ‘The Old
Playhouse And Other Poems’ (1973), ’The Anamalai Poems (1985), and ‘Only the
Soul Knows How to Sing’ (1996) and a collection of poetry with Pritish Nandy
(1990) celebrate love and womanhood. She complemented the five books of English
poetry with the novel, ‘Alphabet of Lust’ (1977), a collection of short stories,
‘Padmavati the Harlot and Other Stories’ (1992) and her autobiography, ‘My
Story’ (1976), which earned her more fame and notoriety than those from all her
other works put together.
» Legendary sarod player Ustad Ali Akbar Khan died of renal failure at his San
Anselmo, California, home on June 19,2009. He was 87. He composed several ragas,
including Gauri Manjari, Lajwanti, Madhavi and Madhu Malati, and also scored
Bengali films like Jhinder Bandi, Kshudhita Pashan and Satyajit Ray's Devi. Ali
Akbar, born on April 14, 1922, in Comilla in present-day Bangladesh, was one of
the greatest teachers and ambassadors of Indian classical music. He is credited
with taking this music to the West. He was the son of multi-instrumentalist Baba
Allaudin Khan, who founded the Maihar Gharana, the school most closely
associated with Hindustani classical music. He was awarded India’s highest
civilian honours of Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan for his contribution to
Indian classical music. He also won MacArthur Genius Award, two Grammy
nominations, the President of India Award and, the most valuable to him, the
title of Swar Samrat bestowed by his father and guru.
» One of India’s greatest dramatists, Habib Tanvir passed away on June 8,2009 at
the age of 85. He was a popular Hindi playwright, theatre director, poet and
actor. He created a new theatrical language that married contemporary drama with
folk performance and elevating folk forms to international attention. The
founder of Naya Theatre, Tanvir worked with Chhatisgarh tribals in Bhopal. He
channelled their indigenous performance form, nacha, to create milestones such
as Charandas Chor, Agra Bazaar and Kamdeo ka Apna Basant Ritu ka Sapna. He was
awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1969, Padma Shri in 1983, Sangeet
Natak Akademi Fellowship in 1996, and the Padma Bhushan in 2002. Tanvir was also
nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha (1972-1978). His play Charandas Chor
got him the Fringe Firsts Award at the Edinburgh International Drama Festival in
» The last survivor of the legendary ocean liner Titanic, which sank on its
maiden voyage in April 1912 after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic,
Millvina Dean died on May 31,2009 at the age of 97. She was about 2 months old
when she sailed on the ocean liner in 1912. She, her mother and brother were
» Actor-filmmaker-producer Joginder, who is still remembered for his title role
in Ranga Khush, died at a hospital in Mumbai on June 14,2009. He was 65. He had
produced and directed 30 films. Among the films produced by him are Bindiya Aur
Bandook, Do Chattane, Fauji and Yari Zindabad. Joginder was also a trained pilot
and has even worked with late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi before he turned to
» Former Rajasthan chief minister and Assam governor, Shiv Charan Mathur passed
away on June 25,2009 following a heart attack at the Fortis Hospital in New
Delhi. He was 83. A freedom fighter and Congress stalwart, Mathur was in
politics since Quit India movement in 1942. He was twice chief minister of the
Rajasthan state. His first tenure was between July 14, 1981 and February 23,
1985 and second was between January 20, 1988 and December 4, 1989. A member of
All India Congress Committee since 1972, he was a member of the third Lok Sabha
between 1964 and 1967. He was also elected to the tenth Lok Sabha in 1991. He
was sworn in as 9th Governor of Assam since the reorganisation of the Northeast
in 1972 on July 3, 2008.
» Farrah Fawcett, a three-time Emmy-nominated actress, sex symbol, and star of
perhaps the most famous poster of all time passed away on June 23,2009 at St.
John's Heath Center in Santa Monica (USA). She was 62. Known as America’s
sweetheart in the ‘70s, much to fans dismay Fawcett left the show as it
literally was at its peak.
» Noted Bangla author Amalendu Chakraborty passed away in North 24-Parganas
district on June 15,2009 after a brief illness. He was 75. He got fame for his
Akaler Sandhane and Ekdin Pratidin. Akaler Sandhane and Ekdin Pratidin were made
into critically acclaimed films by veteran director Mrinal Sen, with the first
film even starring the likes of Smita Patel among others.
» Kaiga Nuclear power plant scientist, N Mahalingam found dead. His body was
recovered on June 13 from the Kali River --six days after he went missing.
» The world's oldest man, Tomoji Tanabe, died at his home in southern Japan on
June 18 at the age of 113, according to a local official. Tanabe lived with a
son and daughter-in-law, had eight children, 25 grandchildren, 53
great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren. Japan has one of the
world's highest life expectancy rates, attributed in part to a diet
traditionally rich in fish, rice and vegetables.
» Gabon President Omar Bongo, the world's longest-serving president, who had led
Gabon since 1967 died of cardiac arrest in a Spanish hospital on June 8. He was
73. He had stopped work in May, and entered a clinic in Barcelona. He faced a
inquiry into corruption allegations. Oil earnings mean that Gabon is officially
one of Africa's richest states but country's 1.4 million people live in poverty.
» Infosys Technologies Co-Chairman Nandan Nilekani was appointed on May 25 ,2009
as first of chairperson of Unique Identification Authority of India in the rank
and status of a Cabinet Minister. Earlier the Government approved creation of a
position of Chairperson UID Authority of India on same day i.e. on June 25. The
Authority shall have the responsibilities to lay down plans and policies to
implement the Unique Identification Scheme (UID), shall own and operate the
Unique Identification number database and be responsible for its updation and
maintenance on an ongoing basis. The Authority will identify the targeted groups
for various flagship programmes. The flagship schemes of the UPA include the
National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, National
Rural Health Mission and Bharat Nirman.
» An assassination attempt was made on Yunus-bek Yevkurov, the president of
Russia's southern republic of Ingushetia on June 22,2009. 45-year-old Yunus-bek
Yevkurov was injured when his car hit an explosive device planted on the
roadside or in a car parked along his motorcade's route near the city of Nazran.
» Meira Kumar made history in the Lok Sabha when she was unanimously elected its
Speaker on June 3,2009 and thus became the first woman to occupy one of the high
Constitutional posts. She was elected after a resolution moved by UPA
chairperson Sonia Gandhi and seconded by leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee
was approved by a voice vote amidst thumping of desks by the entire House.
Daughter of prominent dalit leader and former Deputy Prime Minister, Babu
Jagjivan Ram, 64-year-old Kumar, Congress’ dalit face, a former Indian Foreign
Service official and union minister, was inducted as Union Cabinet Minister of
Water Resources after 15th Lok Sabha election. She quit IFS and fought first
time for Lok Sabha in 1985 from Bijnore in Uttar Pradesh, a year before her
father’s death. Meira Kumar became an MP again in 1996 and in 1998 from Delhi’s
Karol Bagh constituency but lost her seat in 1999 when NDA returned to power.
She was re-elected in 2004 and 2009 from Sasaram in Bihar, the constituency of
her father. In between, she had quit Congress for two years from 2000 citing
differences with the party leadership. She rejoined the party in 2002.
» Iran’s President and candidate of Abadgaran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad secured a
landslide victory in the presidential polls on June 13,2009 trouncing his
nearest rival Mir-Hossein Mousavi. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad got 62.6 per cent of the
vote while his rival Mir-Hossein Mousavi got only 33.75 per cent. Though there
was sporadic violence and allegations of electoral irregularities in the polls.
Mousavi rejected the results and threatened to unveil, what he called the
‘secrets’ behind ‘perilous process.’ Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei,
who has the final word over state matters, described the outcome in a televised
address as ‘divine assessment’ and urged all the candidates to support the
» Union Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar was given one-year extension in
service on June ,2009 1. The extension for a year came into effect from June 13.
An IAS of 1970 batch of the Kerala cadre, K.M. Chandrasekhar had taken charge as
the Union Cabinet Secretary on June 14, 2007.
» The Justice Liberhan Commission, which probed the sequence of events that led
to the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, submitted its
report on June 30,2009. Set up on December 16, 1992, the Commission was
initially asked to give a report in three months. However, it could do so only
after over 16 years that saw 399 sittings and 48 extensions. About Rs. 8 crore
was spent on the Commission, including on salary. The Commission was asked to
probe the sequence of events leading to, and all the facts and circumstances
relating to the occurrences in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid complex at
Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 involving the destruction of the structure; the role
played by the (then) Chief Minister, members of the Council of Ministers,
officials of the Uttar Pradesh government and by individuals, organisations and
agencies concerned or in connection with the destruction of the structure and
deficiencies in security measures that might have contributed to the events that
took place on December 6, 1992.