1. Salman Khan was only nine years younger than Alok Nath when the latter played the heroine’s father in ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’.
Salman was born in 1965, while Alok Nath was born in 1956. ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ hit the screens in 1989.
2. The Battle of Plassey (beginning of British rule) was closer to India’s year of Independence than Portuguese capture of Goa.
The battle took place in 1757. Portuguese captured Goa in 1510. India won freedom in 1947. Do your math.
3. India signed Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with Soviet Union in 1971 for exactly 20 years.
In 1991, Soviet Union collapsed. Clairvoyance?
4. Untouchability was still practiced at the time of release of ‘Raja Harishchandra’ – India’s first film.
The Untouchability Offences Act came in 1955, five years after the Constitution abolished it. ‘Raja Harishchandra’ was released in 1913.
5. The population of India more than doubled by the time Jean-Claude Van Damme was 32.
Van Damme was born in 1960, when India’s population was just 449.6 million. It was 903.7 million in 1992 – the year ‘Universal Soldier’ was released.
6. The first college of India is older than the combined age of India Gate and Gateway of India.
Hindu College (now Presidency University) was founded in 1817 by Raja Ram Mohan Roy. India Gate was built in 1921, while the Gateway of India in 1924.
7. The last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II died after the Indian Penal Code became an act.
Bahadur Shah Zafar II died in 1862; the Indian Penal Code became an Act in 1860. The latter is still in force.
8. In just 111 years, we went from taking flight to landing a probe on a comet.
In 1903 the Wright brothers successfully flew a plane for a whopping 59 seconds. In November 2014 the Rosetta Philae probe landed on a comet.
9. Irrespective of its exact date, Mahabharata happened within the period of Ancient Egypt.
10. The Fax machine was invented the same year when the British passed Indian Slavery Act.
Both happened in 1843. Contrary to what you may be thinking, the Slavery Act actually helped end slavery in India.
11. The Ottoman Empire was still around when Warner Brothers came into existence.
Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack Warner opened their first theatre, the Cascade, in New Castle, Pennsylvania in 1903. Meanwhile, the Ottoman Empire spanned from 1299 to 1923, when Turkey became an independent nation.
12. South Africa was under apartheid when India won its first Cricket World Cup.
India won the world cup in 1983. South Africa gained complete freedom with the end of apartheid in 1994.
13. There was a gap of 1824 years before India and the West were reconnected.
Alexander the Great was the last Western to have arrived in India before Vasco Da Gama. The Macedonia king invaded in 326 BCE; Portuguese traveller Vasco Da Gama arrived in Calicut in 1498.
14. The combined age of Islam and Christianity is yet to cross the age of Rig Veda.
Islam is around 1400 years old, while Christianity dates back to 1 CE (2015 years to this day). The Rig Veda was written in approximately 1500 BCE – around 3515 years ago.
15. While Gandhi returned to India from South Africa to a hero’s welcome, US was praising a racist film.
Mahatma Gandhi came back to India in 1915, after his success in South Africa (search Indian Relief Act). ‘Birth of a Nation’ – the silent film by D.W. Griffith – encouraged Ku Klux Klan and demonized Blacks.
16. There is a gap of 730 years between the first and the second woman to have ruled from Delhi.
Razia Sultana ruled Delhi from 1236 to 1240. Indira Gandhi became the Prime Minister for the first time in 1966.
17. If the history of Earth were compressed to a single year, modern humans would appear on December 31st at about 11:58 pm.
The human race has lived on Earth for only 0.004% of the planet’s history.