The month of February is the shortest month of the year, but this day of the month is replete with significant events. It was on this day in 1670, the Sinhagad fort was captured by Chhatrapati Shivaji’s general Tanaji Malsure. It is said that the Maratha army scaled a steep cliff to gain access into the heavily guarded fort. In the ensuing battle, Tanaji was killed and Shivaji said, ‘the fort has come but the lion has gone’.
Other than the heroic saga of Malsure, several important incidents are recorded on the pages of the history of India and the world on the date of February 17.
1670: Chhatrapati Shivaji’s forces reclaimed the Sinhagad fortress occupied by the Mughals.
1698: Mughal emperor Aurangzeb captured the fort of Jinji.
1813: Prussia declared war against France.
1843: Battle of Miani – Britain captured most of today’s Sindh province of Pakistan.
1863: The International Committee for Relief to the Wounded, which later became known as the International Committee of the Red Cross, is founded in Geneva, Switzerland.
1915: Mahatma Gandhi visited Santiniketan for the first time.
1931: Lord Irwin welcomed Mahatma Gandhi as the popular leader of the people of India for the first time at the viceregal lodge in Delhi. 1963: One of basketball’s greatest players Michael Jordan was born.
1979: Post the Vietnam War, Vietnam increased its proximity to the Soviet Union rather than China. Further due to some of its anti-China and pro-Soviet steps, China attacked this neighbouring country.
1987: A group of Sri Lankan Tamils seeking asylum in Britain took off their clothes and protested when the authorities attempted to deport them to their country.
1996: A severe earthquake in Indonesia and subsequent tsunami claimed more than 100 lives and left hundreds more injured.
2004: Shamsher Singh Rana, the prime accused in the murder of Phoolan Devi, escaped from Tihar Jail.
2005: Bangladesh’s controversial writer Taslima Nasreen requested Indian citizenship.
2007: Veteran Gandhian activist Arunaben Desai passed away in Gujarat.
2009: The Election Commission of India banned the telecast of exit polls till the final phase of voting ends.