With 1.2 billion inhabitants, India had potential to have important personalities. Here is the biography of the two most famous.
Gandhi is without doubt one of the most well-known personalities in India but also in the world. Everyone recognises his face and his non-violent movement, but you do you know the reasons behind his political positioning?
He studied law in England, where he succeeded in becoming a lawyer but he lacked the self-confidence to defend the cases. An Indian company offered him to move to South Africa, and it's there where Gandhi would start to become an important figure, he gained confidence in defending the Indian minorities.
He then decided to return to India to launch the independence movement. He confronted the British government by organising protests and hunger strikes (always without violence). It was when the Second World War broke out that his opposition to English people became even stronger. He organised the famous Quit India movement, initiated in 1942, to show the English that they weren't welcome in India.
It was nearly eight years later that he could finally obtain Independence. To achieve his goals, to fight for his beliefs, Gandhi was repeatedly arrested (in total, he spent six years of his life in prison). Ever since, he has been considered as the Father of the Nation in India, and his birthday is a national holiday. And since 2007, this day is also the day of non-violence.
The cinema of India is one of the most prolific in the world. But in general, it remains rather confined to the Asian borders. However, some actors make a name for themselves and become famous in the also impressive Hollywood scene, that the West knows best.
One of the most well known Indian figures of contemporary cinema is Irrfan Khan. If you like cinema, or even if you only devote a small amount of time to it, you will definitely have seen his face in a film.
From the outset, he knew that he wanted to be an actor, he studied theatre and graduated in 1987. In the 90's, he played roles in Indian films that went unnoticed. But in 2001, Irrfan Khan produced The Warrior as the main actor, and this role earned him a BAFTA, which would launch his career. He then had an Indian career and a career in Hollywood. Notably, he would go on to act in A Mighty Heart by Angelina Jolie, in The Darjeeling Limited, and also in Slumdog Millionaire. Thereafter, he appeared in Life of Pi and The amazing spiderman. More recently, you would definitely have seen him in Jurassic World.
In general, his acting is considered as internalised, all in restraint. He also enjoys a reputation as a reliable actor. It's why alongside his Indian career, he could also act in successful American films.