In 1986, a 22-year-old Indian air hostess named Neerja Bhanot who helped hide 41 American passports aboard a hijacked plane. She died shielding three children from gunfire and was posthumously awarded bravery medals from India, Pakistan, and the United States.
2. A male tiger in India adopted a litter of orphaned cubs, taking on the role of 'mother'. Wildlife officials say such behavior had never been observed before.
3. The world's largest soup kitchen is the Golden Temple, the holiest temple for Sikhs, which is located in Amritsar, Punjab, India. The Golden Temple can serve free food for up to 100,000 - 300,000 people every day, regardless of faith, religion, or background.
4. India bans captive dolphin shows as ‘morally unacceptable’ - They believe they are highly intelligent & should be seen as ‘non-human persons’ with their own specific rights.
5. A Mumbai thief was force-fed 48 bananas to make him excrete a stolen gold chain.
The Beatles trip to India ended badly because the Maharishi wanted the band to deposit up to 25% of their next album's profits in his Swiss bank account as a tithe, to which Lennon replied, "Over my dead body".
7. India celebrates Children's Day on November 14th, exactly 9 months after Valentine's Day.
8. There is a rare blood group known as ‘h/h’ or ‘Oh’ which was first discovered in 1952 at Bombay, India, hence christening another name ‘Bombay Blood Group’. This blood is so rare that only 4 in a million would have it globally; however, every 1 in 10,000 have it in Bombay.
9. In India, there is a Guardian Angels-style vigilante group (Love Commandos) that protects young couples who fall in love across different castes. They are called the Love Commandos
10. There are 2.5 million of Zero Rupee banknotes in India. They are "paid" in protest by angry citizens to government functionaries who solicit bribes
Hallucinatory 'voices' shaped by local culture. In the U.S.A., voices are harsh and threatening while those heard by schizophrenics in Africa and India tend to be more benign and playful.
12. When introducing Golf to India, the British were angered by monkeys running onto the course and playing with their balls. When all attempts to stop the monkeys failed, they decided the game needed to adapt. To do so they introduced a new rule: "Play the ball where the monkey drops it."
13. India has proposed to link 67 rivers to prevent floods and droughts. By doing so, an area equivalent to that of Germany will be irrigated.
14. When Sati was prohibited in India. Charles Napier told protesting Hindu priests "Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property..."
15. A poor and illiterate irishman called George Thomas traveled to India, worked as a mercenary for Indian Kings and eventually became a King himself, ruling over his own kingdom for a number of years in the districts of Rohtak and Hisar
The 'sand mafia' is a huge problem in India, illegally mining sand and causing permanent environmental damage.
17. In 1947, India and Pakistan still had British Officers in their armies. When the first Indo-Pakistan War broke out, they commanded troops on both sides and regularly corresponded via telephone.
18. In 2004, 200 women in India, armed with vegetable knives, stormed into a courtroom and hacked to death a serial rapist (Akku Yadav) whose trial was underway. Then every woman claimed responsibility for the murder.
19. A pregnant Indian woman named Yellava swam nearly 1 km across a swollen river to give birth in a hospital instead of her home.
20. If you are 27, half of India is younger than you. If you are 30, already half of the world is younger than you.
70% of the spices used in the world come from one country. India.
22. An Indian rationalist named Sanal Edamaruku was accused of blasphemy and had to flee the country after he proved that the "miracle" tears coming from a Jesus statue actually came from clogged drainage pipes.
23. Arunachalam Muruganantham invented a simple method to produce low-cost sanitary pads in India. It took 4.5 years, his wife and mother left, and he was expelled from his village. He said: "Luckily I'm not educated. If you act like an illiterate man, your learning will never stop. You have no fear of the future".
24. There is a gypsy tribe in India that celebrates death as one of the happiest events in their lives while treating births as occasions of great grief.
25. There is a tribe in India that has learned how to train the roots of fig trees to create natural suspension bridges that can span over 100 feet and last 500-600 years.