'1956: Key Events

  • The Second Five-Year Plan, with a plan outlay of Rs 4800 crores. The government signs the controversial PL 480 agreement with the USA on foodgrain imports: India pays for the food in the form of loans to US multinationals in India and to private enterprises marketing American goods.
  • The States Reorganisation Bill is passed; the State of Madhya Pradesh and the Union Territories of Delhi and Andaman and Nicobar Islands come into being.
  • Language riots in Ahmedabad over the proposed division of Bombay into Maharashtra and Gujarat.
  • Kerala State is formed, combining Malabar, Kasergod and most of Travancore-Cochin. Mysore State (later Karnataka) is formed, extending the old Mysore kingdom with parts of Madras and Bombay Presidencies and Hyderabad.
  • On 14 October, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and 200,000 ‘scheduled caste’ Hindus convert to Buddhism in Nagpur to overcome the iniquities of caste oppression.
  • The first Indian newsprint factory at Nepanagar is started.
  • APSARA, the first nuclear reactor in Asia outside the USSR, is commissioned at Turbhe, just outside Bombay city.
  • The artist M. F. Husain paints his seminal works Zameen (1955) and Between the Spider and the Lamp, presenting an emblematic cultural amalgam for independent India.
  • UNESCO gives a $20,000 grant to study the use of television as a medium for education and ‘rural uplift’. The USA donates equipment and Philips sells a 500w transmitter at a nominal price.
  • Indian films are shown at Edinburgh, Karlovy Vary and Berlin.
  • The government refuses to make its ‘approved’, compulsory propaganda films available free of charge to exhibitors.
  • The freeze on construction of new cinemas in Bombay is lifted.
  • The Kerala Film Chamber is started in Cochin. The
  • Andhra Film Chamber Journal is launched in Vijaywada.
  • Rossellini starts work on India ‘57. Despite major government support and funds, his visa is allowed to expire after a variety of controversies including allegations that he infringed local moral codes (by having an affair with a married Indian woman).
  • The Hindi journal Film Sangeet, published by the Sangeet Karyalaya, Hathras (which had earlier published Bhatkhande’s pathbreaking textbook on North Indian classical music).
  • Bhatkhande’s influence is extended to written musical scores for film songs, in addition to essays on film music aesthetics and interviews with musicians.
Last modified 12 years ago Last modified on Feb 29, 2012, 12:19:49 PM