• India-Introduction• Geography• People• Government• Economy• Religions• Politics• Culture• Great Leaders• Women• Conflict with Pakistan over J&K• Indians in America• Useful Links And Sights of India
INDIA INTRODUCTION The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world,goes back at least 5,000 years. Aryan tribes from the northwestinvaded about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier inhabitantscreated classical Indian culture. By the 19th century, Britain hadassumed political control of virtually all Indian lands.Nonviolent resistance to British colonialism underMohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru led to independence in1947. The subcontinent was divided into the secular state of Indiaand the smaller Muslim state of Pakistan.
GeographyLocation:Southern Asia, bordering theArabian Sea and the Bay ofBengal, between Burma andPakistanGeographic coordinates: 20 00N, 77 00 EMap references: AsiaArea: Total: 3,287,590 sq km Land: 2,973,190 sq km Water: 314,400 sq kmCoastline: 7,000 km
Irrigated land:535,100 sq km (1995/96EST.)Natural hazards: droughts, flash floods,severe thunderstorms common;earthquakesEnvironment - current issues:Deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing;desertification; air pollution fromindustrial effluents and vehicle emissions;water pollution from raw sewage andrunoff of agricultural pesticides; tap wateris not potable throughout thecountry; huge and growing population isoverstraining natural resources
PeoplePopulation:1,029,991,145 (July 2001 EST.)Age structure:0-14 years: 33.12% (male 175,630,537; female 165,540,672)15-64 years: 62.2% (male 331,790,850; female 308,902,864)65 years and over: 4.68% (male 24,439,022; female 23,687,200)(2001 EST.)Sex ratio:At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 1.03 male(s)/female total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (2001.)
English enjoys associate status but is the mostimportant language for national, political, andcommercial communication, Hindi the nationallanguage and primary tongue of 30% of thepeople,Bengali (official), Telugu (official), Marathi(official), Tamil (official), Urdu (official), Gujarati(official),Malayalam (official), Kannada (official),Oriya (official), Punjabi (official), Assamese (official),Kashmiri (official), Sindhi (official),Sanskrit (official), Hindustani (a popular variant ofHindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India)note:
Flag description:Three equal horizontal bands oforange (top), white, and greenwith a blue chakra (24-spokedwheel) centered in the white band;similar to the flag of Niger, whichhas a small orange disk centeredin the white band
The Indian economy has been catching up quicklyin the past two decades, and weathered the globalrecession well. Wide-ranging reforms andincreased investment have lifted potential growthto almost 9%, the highest in Indian history, helpedby improvements in infrastructure. Thegovernment should step up efforts to restructurepublic expenditure; reduce the fiscal deficit; relaxsome of the constraints facing the financial sectorand further promote international integration.
Electricity - production by source:Fossil fuel: 79.41%Hydra: 17.77%Nuclear: 2.52%Other: 0.3% (1999)Electricity -consumption: 424.032 billion kWh(1999)Electricity - exports:200 million kWh (1999)Electricity - imports:1.49 billion kWh (1999)
Bahujan Samaj PartyBharatiya Janata PartyCommunist Party of IndiaCommunist Party of India (Marxist)Indian National CongressNationalist Congress PartyRashtriya Janata Dal
Bharatiya Janata Party is today the most prominent memberof the family of organisations known as the "SanghParivar".And RSS has always been dubbed "communal","reactionary”and what not by its detractors. Sanghs ofswayamsevaks have of course always shaken off thatcriticism like so much water off a ducks back. They havenever had any doubt that the organisation is wedded tonational unity, national integrity, national identity andnational strength through individual character and nationalcharacter. And today this organisation is poised for a gresatleap forward. Even its long- time detractors think and say thatnow bjp is "unstoppable".What is the story of this nationalepic?
The oldest Indian political party, the Indian NationalCongress was formed in 1885 and was the mostpowerful force behind the countrys struggle forindependence. It also held power for most years afterindependence. The party has also been instrumental inthe making or fall of non-Congress governments at thecenter when it was out of power. However, the partyhas undergone many splits and its fetish for the Gandhifamily has today put it in a tight spot.
The CPI(M) was formed at the Seventh Congress of theCommunist Party of India held in Calcutta from October 31 toNovember 7, 1964. The CPI(M) was born in the struggle againstrevisionism and sectarianism in the communist movement at theinternational and national level, in order to defend the scientificand revolutionary tenets of Marxism-Leninism and its appropriateapplication in the concrete Indian conditions. The CPI(M)combines the fine heritage of the anti-imperialist struggle and therevolutionary legacy of the undivided Communist Party which wasfounded in 1920. Over the years, the Party has emerged as theforemost Left force in the country.
Music• Music has always occupied a central place in the imagination of Indians. The range of musical phenomenon in India, and indeed the rest of South Asia, extends from simple melodies, commonly encountered among hill tribes, to what is one of the most well- developed "systems" of classical music in the world. Indian music can be described as having been inaugurated with the chanting of Vedic hymns, though it is more than probable that the Indus Valley Civilization was not without its musical culture, of which almost nothing is known. Sometime between the 2nd century BC and the 5th century AD, the Natyasastra, on Treatise on the Dramatic Arts, was composed by Bharata. This work has ever since exercised an incalculable
The festivals of importance areDiwaliDusseraRaksha Bandhan etc
Diwali:Diwali signifies many different things to people across the country. Innorth India, Diwali celebrates Ramas homecoming, that is his returnto Ayodhya after the defeat of Ravana and his coronation as king; inGujarat, the festival honors Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth; and inBengal, it is associated with the goddess Kali. Everywhere, itsignifies the renewal of life, and accordingly it is common to wearnew clothes on the day of the festival; similarly, it heralds theapproach of winter and the beginning of the sowing season. It iscolloquially known as the "festival of lights", for the commonpractice is to light small oil lamps (called diyas) and place themaround the home, in courtyards, verandahs, and gardens, as well as onroof-tops and outer walls.
On the last day of the festival, young men and small boys,dressed as Rama, his brother Lakshman, Ravana, and otherplayers in the drama, proceed through the streets of thecommunity as part of a float that is sometimes quite elaborate.Rama and Ravana engage in battle; Ravana is defeated.Though known by different Rama over Ravana, or the orces"good" over the forces of "evil". Large effigies of the ten-headed Ravana, the king of Lanka who abducted Ramas wife,Sita, and was subsequently vanquished in battle, are burnt asthe sun goes down; on either side of him are the slightly smallereffigies of Meghnada, the son of Ravana, and Kumbhakarna,the full brother of Ravana whose name has become a householdword in India for lethargy and laziness.
The annual "festival" of Raksha Bandhan, which is meant tocommemorate the abiding ties between siblings of opposite sex,usually takes place in late August, and is marked by a very simpleceremony in which a woman ties a rakhi — which may be acolorful thread, a simple bracelet, or a decorative string — aroundthe waist of her brother(s). The word "raksha" signifies protection,and "bandhan" is an association signifying an enduring sort ofbond; and so, when a woman ties a rakhi around the waist of herbrother, she signifies her loving attachment to him. He, likewise,recognizes the special bonds between them, and by extending hiswrist forward, he in fact extends the hand of his protection overher.
Indian Art is the visual art produced on the Indian subcontinent from about the 3rd millennium BC to modern times. To viewers schooled in the Western tradition, Indian art may seem overly ornate and sensuous; appreciation of its refinement comes only gradually, as a rule. Voluptuous feeling is given unusually free expression in Indian culture. A strong sense of design is also characteristic of Indian art and can be observed in its modern as well as in its traditional forms. The vast scope of the art of India intertwines with the culturalhistory, religions and philosophies which place art production and patronage in social and cultural contexts.
One of the most enduring achievements of Indian civilization isundoubtedly its architecture, which extends to a great deal morethan the Taj Mahal or the temple complexes of Khajuraho andVijayanagara. Though the Indus Valley sites of Harappa,Mohenjo-daro, and Lothal provide substantial evidence ofextensive town planning, the beginnings of Indian architectureare more properly to be dated to the advent of Buddhism inIndia, in the reign of Ashoka (c. 270-232), and the constructionof Buddhist monasteries and stupas.
Buddhist architecture was predominant for several centuries,and there are few remains of Hindu temples from even lateantiquity. Among the many highlights of Buddhist art andarchitecture are the Great Stupa at Sanchi and the rock-cutcaves at Ajanta.Many other architectures of importance are:Ajanta, Buddhist Architecture, Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram,South Indian Architecture, Khajuraho, Orissan Architecture,Mughal Architecture, Fatehpur Sikri, Taj Mahal, FortArchitecture, Stepwells
There are many types of dance in India, from those which aredeeply religious in content to those which are danced on moretrivial happy occasions. Classical dances of India are usuallyalways spiritual in content, although this is often true also of Folkdances.The classical dances are Kathakali and Mohini Attam fromKerala. Bharata Natyam from Tamil Nadu.Kuchipudi from AndhraPradeshOdissi from Orissa ,Kathak from Uttar Pradesh, Manipuri fromManipur Folk Dances:Dumhal of Kashmir ,Bihu of Assam ,Brita or Vritaof West Bengal ,Dalkhai of Orissa,Hikat of Himachal Pradesh
Heroes of India Gandhiji’s life was dedicated to the ideals of Truth, Non-violence and Love. The Bhagavad Gita is my mother, he once said;and the name of Sri Rama was his shield. He was the architect of Indias freedom and one of the greatest men of this century.Bal Gangadhar Tilak (29th Couplet)Described by British as "The Father of Indian Unrest "Tilak was born on 23.07.1856. His slogan, "Swaraj (SelfRule) is my birthright", inspired millions of Indians. Hisbook "Geetarahasya"a classic treatise on Geeta inMarathi was written by him, in prison at Mandalay.Greatjournalist- editor, an authority on Vedas, SanskritScholar, mathematician and a natural leader of India.Died 01.08.1920 "Swaraj is our birthright,"thundered Tilak, the Lion of India.He founded schoolsand published newspapers, all for his motherland.countrymen.
Bhagat Singh : He is the symbol of the heroism of theyouth of India. A revolutionary He threw a bomb whenthe Legislature was in session to warn the BritishGovernment. He was put to death but lives in the heartsof his countrymen.Ramaprasad Bismil:A brave revolutionary who gave up hislife smilingly for the sake of the Motherland. He waspersecuted by an enraged foreign government, hunted bythe police and betrayed by follow workers. And yet helit the fire of revolution to burn down the slavery.He wasthe brave leader of the Kakori Rail Dacoity episode. Hispoetry is also a lamp lighted at the altar of the Motherland.Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister ofIndependent India and architect of Indias foreign policy,grew from a anglicized child into a dedicated nationalistpar excellence.
• Rabindranath Tagore was born into a distinguished Bengali family in Calcutta, West Bengal on 1861.In 1901 he founded the famous Shantiniketan near Calcutta. This was designed to provide a traditional ashram and Western education. He began with 5 pupils and 5 teachers (three of whom were Christian). His ideals wereRabindranath Tagore simplicity of living and the cultivation of beauty. • Lala Lajpat Rai :A great national leader who came to be called the Lion of Punjab. Worked tire- lessly to improve education, to promote unity among Hindus and to reform society. Lala Lajpat Rai
Madan Mohana Malaviya :The founder of BenaresHindu University. His boyhood was spent in utterpoverty. By his scholarship, pure life and selflessness hewon such respect that he collected more than thirteenmillion rupees for the University. He was the tirelessexponent of the greatness of India and her culture.Raja Rammohan Roy has come to be called the ‘Maker ofModern India’. Without giving up what was good andnoble in the past, he laid the foundations for a great future.He put an end to the horrible custom of burning the livingwife with the dead husband. He was a great scholar and anindependent thinker. He advocated the study of English,Science, Western Medicine and Technology. He spent hismoney on a college to promote these studies.
Dr.M.VISVESVARAYA :One of the makers of modernIndia. MV was a genius. Perfectly honest and devoted tohis work, he set new standards of efficiency. This is thestory of a poor boy that became the Grand Old Man ofIndia.Dr.C.V. Raman: The genius who won the Nobel Prize forPhysics, with simple equipment barely worth RS. 300. Hewas the first Asian scientist to win the Nobel Prize. He wasa man of boundless curiosity and a lively sense of humor.His spirit of inquiry and devotion to science laid thefoundations for scientific research in India. And he wonhonor as a scientist and affection as a teacher and a man.
Jhansi Lakshmi Bhai: The great heroine of the First war ofIndia Freedom. She lived for only twenty-two years. Shebecame a widow in her eighteenth year. Jhansi, of which shewas the queen, was in the grip of the cunning, cruel British.She was the embodiment of patriotism, self-respect andheroism. She was the queen of a small state, but the empressof a limitless empire of glory. Indira Gandhi (1917-1984) was the only child of Kamla and Jawaharlal Nehru. Mrs.. Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister of India from1966-77 and 1980- 84. Mrs.. Gandhi acquired a formidable international reputation as a "statesman", and there is no doubt that she was extraordinarily skilled in politics. She was prone, like many other politicians, to thrive on slogans, and one -- Garibi Hatao, "Remove Poverty" -- became the rallying cry for one of her election campaigns.
India has always been a relentless champion of the cause of womenat all international and national fora. The policy makers realise thatreal development cannot take roots if it bypasses women, whorepresent the very kernel around which social change must takeshape. The past few years have seen unprecedented changes in thepolitical, diplomatic, economic and ideological spheres, but certainquiet but perhaps more far reaching developments have also takenroots. From growth to growth with equity, from routine delivery ofservices to peoples participation, from economic development tohuman development and from services endowment toempowerment, the paradigms of development have certainly comea long
The Kashmir conflict is a territorial dispute over Kashmir. There are total 4 parties involved in this dispute – India, Pakistan, China and the people of Kashmir.
Partition and dispute Before Independence from British in 1947 from 1820, Kashmir was ruled by the Maharaja of Kashmir who was Hindu although the majority of the population were Muslim, except the Jammu region. The partition was made on religious lines resulting in to the formation of two separate countries – India and Pakistan. Pakistan insisted that Kashmir should be given to it.
Because of its location, Kashmir could choose to join either India or Pakistan. Maharaja Hari Singh was the ruler of Kashmir. Unable to decide which nation Kashmir should join, Hari Singh chose to remain neutral.
Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 But his hopes of remaining independent were dashed in October 1947, as Pakistan sent in Muslim tribesmen who were knocking at the gates of the capital Srinagar. Hari Singh appealed to the Indian government for military assistance and fled to India. He signed the “Instrument of Accession”, giving up Kashmir to India on October 26. The Instrument of Accession of Kashmir to India was accepted by Viceroy Lord Mountbatten of Burma.
India and Pakistan fought the first war over Kashmir in 1947-48. India referred the dispute to the United Nations. In a resolution, the UN asked Pakistan to remove its troops, after which India was also to withdraw the bulk of its forces. India was confident that it will win the referendum, because Sheikh Abdullah, the most influential Kashmiri mass leader, was firmly on its side. Hence an emergency Govt. was formed on October 30, 1948 with Sheikh Abdullah as the “Prime Minister”.
LOC – LINE OF CONTROL Pakistan ignored the UN mandate and continued fighting, holding on to the portion of Kashmir under its control. On January 1, 1949, a ceasefire was agreed, with 65 % of the territory under Indian control and the remaining 35% with Pakistan. The ceasefire was intended to be temporary, but the Line of Control remains the military control line between the Indian and Pakistani- controlled parts of the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
Tashkent agreement In 1957, Kashmir was incorporated into the Indian Union. It was given a special status under Article 370 of Indias constitution, which ensures, among other things, that non-Kashmiri Indians cannot buy property there. Fighting broke out again in 1965, but a ceasefire was established. Indian Prime Minister, Lal Bhadur Shastri, and Pakistani President, M Ayub Khan, signed the Tashkent agreement on January 1, 1966. They resolved to try to end the dispute, but the death of Mr Shastri and the rise of Gen Yahya Khan in Pakistan resulted in stalemate (deadlock).
Simla Agreement In 1971 a third war, resulting in the formation of Bangladesh was broken out and India declared war on December 3, 1971. When Indians entered 50 km into the area of Pakistan, a ceasefire was reached. In 1972 Indira Gandhi, the Indian prime minister, and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto signed the Simla Agreement, which repeated the promises made in Tashkent.
Infiltration of Pakistani guerrillas The status quo was maintained until 1989. Thereafter Pakistani guerrillas struck in the Indian Kashmir valley. They established a reign of terror and drove out almost all the Hindus from the valley. Meanwhile Indian and Pakistani troops regularly exchanged fire at the border. India and Pakistan both tested nuclear devices in 1998, and then in 1999 test-fired missiles. When the Indian Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, visited Lahore by bus in 1999, the world felt that such a genuine effort at friendly neighborhood relations would lower the tension along the LOC.
Kargil War & Cross-border troubles But, again the cross-LOC firing in Kargil began during the mid-1998. Indian forces drove them out fighting bravely. The death toll, including both soldiers and civilians, was more than 30,000. India argued that the infiltrators were trained and armed by Pakistan, and based in "Azad Kashmir" with the full knowledge of the Pakistani government. Pakistan said that they were freedom fighters (!) from Kashmir and that it was giving only moral support.
A Few Questions to Ponder over Was Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru mainly responsible for the Kashmir issue? Why India always takes soft stand? Shouldn’t we be offensive rather than defensive? Shouldn’t the Article 370 of Indias constitution be removed? Isn’t Kashmir our Natinal Pride ? Shall we allow Pak to snetch it from us ? – NEVER.