1917: Major Quake Hits Ladakh

A massive earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale caused extensive destruction in the Ladakh region.

 1973: Protests over Book of Knowledge Image

A publication, Arthur Mee’s Book of Knowledge: Children’s Encyclopedia, was discovered in a college library in Anantnag around May 17 in 1973. It was a work of monumental blandness, which did, however, contain a drawing of Prophet Mohammad to whom the Archangel Gabriel was dictating portions of the holy Quran. Somehow this came to be noticed by the students in Anantnag who  held a demonstration on May 17 in protest against the authorities for permitting this obnoxious publication. The State Government lost no time in banning the book, but it was too late. By May 20, the trouble had spread to Srinagar where a wave of strikes and students marches broke out (in which placards saying ‘hang the author’ were displayed). Other expressions of public outrage broke out against both India (which was alleged to have permitted the import of the publication) and the UK (which was held responsible for its existence in the first place). All shops were forcibly closed. Public transport was brought to a halt. An attempt was made to burn down the local branch of the British-owned Lloyd’s Bank (which later merged with the Grindlays Bank) at the Bund. A church of the North Church of India (Diocese of Amritsar) at Sonawar was torched. Another church near the Army Cantonment was threatened. The police opened fire on demonstrators and there were a number of deaths. The book in question had been acquired by a missionary school in Anantnag way back in 1911 and had then had found its way to the college library where it languished in anonymity for decades.