Here is a summary of the key events in India according to my perspective since independence in 1947.It is worth dwelling on such timelines because they help us to construct a broad picture of history. Chronology is very useful to deduce causal relationships between different events.
This will be a continuing effort, so please comment and let me know the things that you feel are important, but have been left out.
- Aug 15 – India’s First Independence Day
- Oct 22 – Armed tribals supported by Pakistan invade Kashmir to dislodge Maharaja Hari Singh and secure Kashmir for Pakistan.
- Oct 26 – Hari Singh accedes Kashmir to India in return for military help to ward off the tribal invasion.
- Jan 1 – India takes the Kashmir issue to the UN
- Jan 30 – Mahatma Gandhi assassinated
- Nov 26 – Constituent Assembly adopts the finished constitution
- Jan 26 – Constitution comes into power, Republic Day
- Apr 17 – The First Lok Sabha constituted by the first General Elections
- Dec 15 – Potti Sriramulu dies, 58 days into his fast to get a Telugu speaking province of Andhra Pradesh. Eventually leads to all states being reorganized on the basis of language.
- Aug 8 – Sheikh Abdullah imprisoned by the Nehru Government.
- Hindu Marriage Act passed by the Parliament
- Mar 22 – Angami Zapu Phizo declares the formation of a “Naga Central Government”. Full scale war between Naga rebels and the army by the middle of 1956. War subsides by December.
- Apr 5 – EMS Namboodripad becomes CM of Kerala after the victory of CPI in the assembly elections.
- Oct 20 – India China War over border dispute begins (till November 21).
- May 27 – Death of Jawaharlal Nehru
- Aug 15 – Second Ind0-Pak war hostilities begin
- Sep 23 – Ceasefire ends second Indo-Pak war
- Jan 10 – Tashkent Agreement signed between Lal Bahadur Shastri and Ayub Khan
- Jan 11 – Lal Bahadur Shastri dies a mysterious death at Tashkent
- Dec 16 – Surrender of Eastern command of Pakistan Military in the 1971 war.
- Jun 12 – Allahabad High Court upholds Raj Narain’s accusations of electoral fraud against Indira Gandhi (Rae Bareilly constituency, 1971 General Elections) and disqualifies her from contesting Lok Sabha elections for six years.
- Jun 25 – Indira Gandhi imposes emergency
- Mar 24 – Morarji Desai of the Janata Party becomes the first non-Congress PM of India
- Jan 14 – Indira Gandhi becomes Prime Minister again.
- Jun 3 – Operation Blue Star to flush out extremists from the Harimandir Sahib
- Oct 31 – Indira Gandhi assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards; Hindu-Sikh riots ensue. Her son Rajiv Gandhi becomes Prime Minister.
- Dec 2/3 – Bhopal Gas Tragedy
- Jun 23 – Air India Kanishka plane bombing
- Aug 7 – VP Singh plans to implement the Mandal Commission report favoring reservations for SCs, STs and OBCs.
- Sep 25 – LK Advani begins his rath yatra from the Somnath Temple in Gujarat to Ayodhya
- May 21 – Rajiv Gandhi assassinated
- June 21 – PV Narsimha Rao appoints Manmohan Singh as his finance minister; start of economic reforms and liberalization.
- Dec 6 – Babri Masjid demolished, Hindu-Muslim riots ensue
- May 26 – Operation Vijay launched to fight Pakistani incursion in Kargil.
- Dec 24 – Indian Airlines flight IC 814 hijacked to Qandahar by terrorists.
- Dec 22 – Terror attack on the Red Fort by LeT.
- Dec 13 – Attack on Indian Parliament by LeT and JeM terrorists.
- Feb 27 – Godhra train carnage, Hindu-Muslim riots ensue
- Jun 15 – Right to Information Act passed by the Parliament
- Apr 10 – Supreme Court upholds the 27% OBC quota, taking reservation in IITs and IIMs to a whopping 49.5%.
- Nov 26 – Terror attacks in Mumbai at Hotels Taj and Oberoi, CST train terminal and other places.