Contents• 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 INTRODUCTIONThe Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world, goes back atleast 5,000 years. Aryan tribes from the northwest invaded about 1500B.C.; their merger with the earlier inhabitants created classical Indianculture. Arab incursions starting in the 8th century and Turkish in 12thwere followed by European traders beginning in the late 15th century. Bythe 19th century, Britain had assumed political control of virtuallyall Indian lands. Nonviolent resistance to British colonialism underMohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru led to independence in 1947.The subcontinent was divided into the secular state of India and thesmaller Muslim state of Pakistan. A third war between the two countriesin 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation ofBangladesh. Fundamental concerns in India include the ongoing disputewith Pakistan over Kashmir, massive overpopulation, environmentaldegradation, extensive poverty, and ethnic strife, all this despiteimpressive gains in economic investment and output.
GeographyLocation:Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal,between Burma and PakistanGeographic coordinates: 20 00 N, 77 00 EMap references:AsiaArea: Total: 3,287,590 sq km Land: 2,973,190 sq km Water: 314,400 sq kmArea - comparative: slightly more than one-third the size of the USLand boundaries:Total: 14,103 kmBorder countries: Bangladesh 4,053 km, Bhutan 605 km, Burma 1,463km, China 3,380 km, Nepal 1,690 km, Pakistan 2,912 kmCoastline: 7,000 kmMaritime claims:contiguous zone: 24 NM
Continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental marginExclusive economic zone: 200 NMTerritorial sea: 12 NMClimate:varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in northTerrain: upland plain (Deccan Plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain alongthe Ganges, deserts in west,Himalayas in northElevation extremes:lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m highest point: Kanchenjunga 8,598 mNatural resources:Coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), iron ore, manganese, mica,bauxite, titanium ore, chromite,natural gas, diamonds, petroleum,limestone, arable landLand use:Arable land: 56% Permanent crops: 1% Permanent pastures: 4% Forests and woodland: 23% Other: 16% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land:535,100 sq km (1995/96 EST.)Natural hazards:droughts, flash floods, severe thunderstorms common;earthquakesEnvironment - current issues:Deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing; desertification; air pollutionfrom industrial effluents and vehicle emissions; water pollution from rawsewage and runoff of agricultural pesticides; tap water is notpotable throughout the country; huge and growing population isoverstraining natural resourcesEnvironment -international agreements:Party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine LivingResources, Antarctic Treaty,Biodiversity, Climate Change,Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification,Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone LayerProtection, Ship Pollution,Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94,Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: none of the selectedagreements
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) (2001EST.)Population growth rate: 1.55% (2001 EST.)Birth rate: 24.28 births/1,000 population (2001 EST.)Death rate:8.74 deaths/1,000 population (2001 EST.)Net migration rate:-0.08 migrant(s)/1,000 population (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 EST.)
Infant mortality rate:63.19 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 EST.)Life expectancy at birth:Total population: 62.86 yearsMale: 62.22 yearsFemale: 63.53 years (2001 EST.)Total fertility rate:3.04 children born/woman (2001 EST.)HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.7% (1999 EST.)HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 3.7 million (1999 EST.)HIV/AIDS - deaths:310,000 (1999 EST.)Nationality: Noun: Indian(s) Adjective: IndianEthnic groups:India-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3% (2000)Religions:Hindu 81.3%, Muslim 12%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other groupsincluding Buddhist, Jain, Parsi 2.5% (2000)
Languages:English enjoys associate status but is the most important language fornational, political, and commercial communication, Hindi the nationallanguage and primary tongue of 30% of the people,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 popularvariant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India)note: 24 languages each spoken by a million or more persons; numerousother languages and dialects, for the most part mutually unintelligibleLiteracy:Definition: Age 15 and over can read and write Total population: 52% Male: 65.5% Female: 37.7% (1995 est.)
Government Country name:Conventional long form: Republic of IndiaConventional short form: IndiaGovernment type:Federal RepublicCapital:New DelhiAdministrative divisions: 28 states and 7 union territoriesIndependence:15 August 1947 (from UK)National holiday:Republic Day, 26 January (1950)Constitution:26 January 1950Legal system:Based on English common law; limited judicial review oflegislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservationsSuffrage:18 years of age; universalExecutive branch:Chief of state: President Kicheril Raman Narayanan (since 25 July1997); Vice President Krishnan Kant (since 21 August 1997)Head of government: Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee (since 19March 1998)Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on therecommendation of the prime minister
Legislative branch:Bicameral Parliament or Sansad consists of theCouncil of States or Rajya Sabha (a body consisting of not more than250 members, up to 12 of which are appointed by the president, theremainder are chosen by the elected members of the state and territorialassemblies; members serve six-year terms) and the Peoples Assembly orLok Sabha (545 seats; 543 elected by popular vote, 2 appointedby the president; members serve five-year terms)Elections: Peoples Assembly - last held 5 September through 3 October1999 (next to be held NA 2004)Election results: Peoples Assembly - percent of vote by party - BJPalliance 40.8%, Congress Alliance 33.8%, other 25.4%; seats by party -BJP alliance 304, Congress alliance 134, other 107Judicial branch:Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president and remain inoffice until they reach the age of 65)
Flag description:Three equal horizontal bands of orange (top), white, and green with ablue chakra (24-spoked wheel) centered in the white band; similar to theflag of Niger, which has a small orange disk centered in the white bandEconomyEconomy :OverviewIndias economy encompasses traditional village farming, modernagriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and amultitude of support services. More than a third of the population istoo poor to be able to afford an adequate diet. Indias internationalpayments position remained strong in 2000 with adequate foreignexchange reserves, moderately depreciating nominal exchange rates,and booming exports of software services. Growth in manufacturingoutput slowed, and electricity shortages continue in many regions.GDP:Purchasing power parity - $2.2 trillion (2000 est.)GDP - real growth rate:6% (2000 est.)GDP - per capita:Purchasing power parity - $2,200 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:Agriculture: 25% Industry: 24% Services: 51% (2000)Population below poverty line:35% (1994 est.)Household income or consumption by percentage share: Lowest 10%: 3.5% Highest 10%: 33.5% (1997)Inflation rate (consumer prices):5.4% (2000 est.)Labor force - by occupation: Agriculture 67%, services 18%, industry15% (1995 EST.)Budget: Revenues: $44.3 billionExpenditures: $73.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA(FY00/01 EST.)Industries:Textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportationequipment, cement, mining, petroleum,machinery, softwareIndustrial production growth rate:7.5% (2000 EST.)Electricity - production:454.561 billion kWh (1999)
Imports - partners:US 9%, Benelux 8%, UK 6%, Saudi Arabia 6%, Japan 6%, Germany 5%(1999)Debt - external:$99.6 billion (2000)Economic aid -recipient:$2.9 billion (FY98/99)Currency:Indian rupee (INR)Currency code:INRExchange rates:Indian rupees per US dollar - 46.540 (January 2001),44.942 (2000), 43.055 (1999), 41.259 (1998),36.313 (1997), 35.433(1996)Fiscal year:1 April - 31 March
Political Parties In India Bharatiya Janata Party (commonly known as BJP): currently headsthe ruling coalition of parties. Indian National Congress (commonly known as Congress): currentlythe main opposition. Communist Party of India (Marxist) - commonly known as CPM:strong in West Bengal and Kerala states. Samajwadi Party Shiv Sena (strong in Maharashtra state; has presence in some otherparts of India including the state of Delhi) All-India Anna DMK (commonly known as AIADMK; strong inTamil Nadu state) Akali Dal (strong in Punjab state)
BJP:Bharatiya Janata Party is today the most prominent member of thefamily of organisations known as the "Sangh Parivar".And RSS hasalways been dubbed "communal", "reactionary”and what not by itsdetractors. Sanghs of swayamsevaks have of course always shaken offthat criticism like so much water off a ducks back. They have never hadany doubt that the organisation is wedded to national unity, nationalintegrity, national identity and national strength through individualcharacter and national character. And today this organisation is poised fora gresat leap forward. Even its long- time detractors think and say thatnow bjp is "unstoppable".What is the story of this national epic?
Congress: The oldest Indian political party, the Indian National Congress wasformed in 1885 and was the most powerful force behind thecountrys struggle for independence. It also held power for mostyears after independence. The party has also been instrumental inthe making or fall of non-Congress governments at the center whenit was out of power. However, the party has undergone many splitsand its fetish for the Gandhi family has today put it in a tight spot.
CPI(M):The CPI(M) was formed at the Seventh Congress of the CommunistParty of India held in Calcutta from October 31 to November 7, 1964.The CPI(M) was born in the struggle against revisionism andsectarianism in the communist movement at the international andnational level, in order to defend the scientific and revolutionary tenets ofMarxism-Leninism and its appropriate application in the concrete Indianconditions. The CPI(M) combines the fine heritage of the anti-imperialiststruggle and the revolutionary legacy of the undivided Communist Partywhich was founded 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. There are references to various string and wind instruments, as well as several kinds of drums and cymbals, in the Vedas. 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
influence on the development of Indian music, dance, and theperforming arts in general.Festivals:The festivals of importance are Diwali, Dussera, Raksha 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, it signifiesthe renewal of life, and accordingly it is common to wear new clotheson the day of the festival; similarly, it heralds the approach of winterand the beginning of the sowing season. It is colloquially known asthe "festival of lights", for the common practice is to light small oillamps (called diyas) and place them around the home, in courtyards,verandahs, and gardens, as well as on roof-tops and outer walls.
Dussera:This festival lasts ten days, and most communities celebrate it with greatfanfare. During the festival, the Ramleela, or the story of Rama, isenacted by professional dance companies and amateur troupes. On thelast day of the festival, young men and small boys, dressed as Rama, hisbrother Lakshman, Ravana, and other players in the drama, proceedthrough the streets of the community as part of a float that is sometimesquite elaborate. Rama and Ravana engage in battle; Ravana is defeated.Though known by different Rama over Ravana, or the orces "good" overthe forces of "evil". Large effigies of the ten-headed Ravana, the king ofLanka who abducted Ramas wife, Sita, and was subsequentlyvanquished in battle, are burnt as the sun goes down; on either side ofhim are the slightly smaller effigies of Meghnada, the son of Ravana, andKumbhakarna, the full brother of Ravana whose name has become ahousehold word in India for lethargy and laziness. (It is said thatKumbhakarna slept for six months and would then stay awake for a fullday, no doubt to replenish himself.)
Raksha Bandhan: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. The thread-tying ceremony is sometimes preceded by thewoman conducting aarti before her brother, so that the blessingsof God may be showered upon him, and this is to theaccompaniment of her enunciation or chanting of a mantra, whichmay be in Sanskrit or one of the other Indian languages.
BAKRI-ID : It is one of the Muslim festivals, the celebration of which isenjoined in Koran and it commemorates Abrahams sacrifice of hisbeloved son in obedience to Gods command. Abraham having implicitfaith in God decided to offer the sacrifice. Abraham blindfolded himselfand killed his son but when he removed the bandage from his eyes,found his son standing before him with a slain ram at the altar.Therefore, for Bakri-Id every Muslim family is required to sacrifice ahealthy animal and distribute two-thirds of the meat among the poor. Afull grown camel, cow, goat or sheep free from disease is considered thebest offering with a short prayer which is an absolute surrendering of thesoul and acknowledging the greatness of Allah.ID-I-Milad :The prophet was born on the twelfth day of the third month of theMuslim year and his death anniversary also falls on the same date.During the twelve days of sickness of the Prophet which ended in hisdeath, sermons are delivered in mosques by learned men. Also aceremony known as the "Sandal Rite" is performed over the symbolic
foot-prints of the Prophet in stone, kept in some households or mosques.A replica of Burag, the horse on which the Prophet is believed to haveascended to heaven is kept near the foot-prints and is anointed withSandal Paste. And the casket of foot-prints are decorated and illuminated.The twelfth day, which is the URS proper is observed quietly and spentin prayers and alms-giving.SHAB-I-BARAT:This feast is held either on the thirteenth or on the fourteenth day of theeighth month of the Muslim year. It is a nocturnal observance as thefortunes of all mortals for the coming year are to be registered in heavenduring the night. Fatiha, which means blessings are recited over the foodand the sweet dishes in the name of the Prophet, his daughter Fatima andher husband Ali.RAMZAN ID:This is perhaps, the gayest of the Muslim festivals. It comes at the end ofthe Muslim month of Ramzan during which every devout Muslim fastsby day and eats only at night. It is celebrated on the day following the
appearance of the New Moon at the end of Ramzan and in the eveninganxious crowds are seen watching the fading light of the western sky fora trace of the moon.The Ramzan fast, observed during the whole month begins daily fromthe time the first streak of daylight is observed on the horizon tillnightfall when the stars become clearly visible. During the day evendrinking water is prohibited but food is permitted to be eaten at night.Muslims spent the day in reading the Koran.The odd nights of the last ten days of Ramzan are known as Lailut-ul-Kadar or "the nights of power", as the Koran is believed to havedescended from heaven on one of these nights. The actual date and timeof the event is known only to Allah and the Prophet who did not reveal itto his followers. On this night, the whole of creation is believed to lowdown mysteriously in praise of Allah.Community prayer, generally held in an open space is the most importantpart in Ramzan Id celebrations. Every Muslim is commanded by Koranto offer Id prayer with his breathern in full faith. As the congregation
becomes too unwieldy to be accommodated in a mosque spaciousgrounds are selected for Community Prayers. It is required that everyMuslim gives alms to the poor and dresses in clean clothes beforeattending the public prayer.The Fitr or alms must be a minimum of two kilos and a half of wheat orany other grain, dates or grapes. Thus every member of a Muslimhousehold is under religious obligation to give this Fitr or alms beforeproceeding to the ground where Id Prayer or Community Ibadat isarranged.After the distribution of alms the congregation proceeds to the house ofthe Kazi who is a Muslim religious official or some other learned andpious man who is detailed to lead the Ibadat and then the Kazi isconducted to the place of worship.After the Ibadat or prayer is over, a sermon is delivered for an hour or so.The preacher then offers extempore supplementary prayers which areknown as `Munajat to the Almighty Allah for the welfare of the Muslimfaith, remission of sins for all Muslims, for the safety of pilgrims and
travellers, for the recovery of the sick, for timely rain, preservation frommisfortune and freedom from indebtedness. He then comes down fromthe pulpit, kneels on a prayer carpet to do "NAMAZ" supplication onbehalf of the people. The congregation at the end of each prayer , rises upand ejaculates "Faith"- Din.After the ritual prayers, the assembled people conduct the Kazi back tohis house and the people who had accompanied him to house take leaveof him.People spend the rest of the day in feasting, visiting friends and relativesand going to the fairs which are held in open spaces for the sale of toysand trinkets. Children also enjoy themselves to their hearts content inthese fairs.Muslims firmly believe that those who neither give alms freely nor takepart in the Community prayers nor observe Ramzan Id as prescribed byreligion, remain suspended after death between heaven and earth.Ramzan Id is an occasion for a general expression of goodwill andfriendship.
Even those who are dead are not excluded from the benefit of this Id. Soit is a prevalent custom in certain parts of India for the livingwife of a Muslim to offer new clothes and finery to a former dead wife ina small ceremony which is known by the name -"SAUKAN MAURA" -which literally means first wifes crown. Greeting cards printed with "IdMubarak" which is also the greetings for this Id festival are sent tofriends and relatives also when friends meet they greet each other saying"Id Mubarak".
ArchitectureOne of the most enduring achievements of Indian civilization isundoubtedly its architecture, which extends to a great deal more than theTaj Mahal or the temple complexes of Khajuraho and Vijayanagara.Though the Indus Valley sites of Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, and Lothalprovide substantial evidence of extensive town planning, the beginningsof Indian architecture are more properly to be dated to the advent ofBuddhism in India, in the reign of Ashoka (c. 270-232), and theconstruction of Buddhist monasteries and stupas. Buddhist architecturewas predominant for several centuries, and there are few remains ofHindu temples from even late antiquity. Among the many highlights ofBuddhist art and architecture are the Great Stupa at Sanchi and the rock-cut caves at Ajanta.Many other architectures of importance are:Ajanta, Buddhist Architecture, Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram,South Indian Architecture, Khajuraho, Orissan Architecture, MughalArchitecture, Fatehpur Sikri, Taj Mahal, Fort Architecture, Stepwells
DanceThere are many types of dance in India, from those which are deeplyreligious in content to those which are danced on more trivial happyoccasions. Classical dances of India are usually always spiritual incontent, although this is often true also of Folk dances.The classical dances are Kathakali and Mohini Attam from Kerala.Bharata Natyam from Tamil Nadu.Kuchipudi from Andhra PradeshOdissi from Orissa ,Kathak from Uttar Pradesh, Manipuri from ManipurFolk Dances:Dumhal of Kashmir ,Bihu of Assam ,Brita or Vrita of WestBengal ,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 he litthe 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 were 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.
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.
Women in IndiaIndia has always been a relentless champion of the cause of women at allinternational and national fora. The policy makers realise that realdevelopment cannot take roots if it bypasses women, who represent thevery kernel around which social change must take shape. The past fewyears have seen unprecedented changes in the political, diplomatic,economic and ideological spheres, but certain quiet but perhaps more farreaching developments have also taken roots. From growth to growthwith equity, from routine delivery of services to peoples participation,from economic development to human development and from servicesendowment to empowerment, the paradigms of development havecertainly come a long way.The development of women in India - whoaccording to the 1991 census represent 48.1 per cent of the countryspopulation - has occupied the centre-stage in our development planningsince independence. However, it was in 1980s that women wererecognised as a separate target group and given their rightful place indevelopmental planning by including a separate chapter viz.,
Women and Development in the Sixth Plan Document (1980-85). Thismarked the final breakaway from a welfare approach to womensproblems in the earlier years. Since then, all efforts of the governmenthave been directed towards bringing women into the mainstream of thenational development process by raising their overall status -social,economic, political and legal - at par with that of men.
Conflict with Pakistan over KashmirThe first test for the Indian armed forces came shortly after independencewith the first Indo-Pakistani conflict (1947-48). The military was calledupon to defend the borders of the state of Jammu and Kashmir whentribals--principally Pathans--attacked from the northwest reaches ofKashmir on October 22, 1947. Indias 161st Infantry Brigade wasdeployed and thwarted the advance of the tribal forces. In earlyNovember 1947, the 161st counterattacked and successfully brokethrough the enemy defenses. Despite early successes, the Indian armysuffered a setback in December because of logistical problems. Theproblems enabled the forces of Azad Kashmir (Free Kashmir, as the partof Kashmir under Pakistani control is called) to take the initiativeand force the Indian troops to retreat from the border areas. In the springof 1948, the Indian side mounted another offensive to retake some of theground that it had lost. No doubt fearing that the war might move intoPakistan proper, regular units of the Pakistani army became moreactively involved.
As the conflict escalated, the Indian leadership was quick to recognizethat the war could not be brought to a close unless Pakistani support forthe Azad Kashmir forces could be stopped. Accordingly, on theadvice of Governor General Earl Louis Mountbatten (Britains lastviceroy in India in 1947 and governor general of India, 1947-48), theIndian government sought United Nations (UN) mediation of the conflicton December 31, 1947. There was some opposition to this move withinthe cabinet by those who did not agree with referring the Kashmirdispute to the UN. The UN mediation process brought the war to a closeon January 1, 1949. In all, 1,500 soldiers died on each side during thewar.The second Indo-Pakistani conflict (1965) was also fought over Kashmirand started without a formal declaration of war. It is widely accepted thatthe war began with the infiltration of Pakistani-controlled guerrillas intoIndian Kashmir on about August 5, 1965. Skirmishes with Indian forcesstarted as early as August 6 or 7.
The first major engagement between the regular armedforces of the two sides took place on August 14. The next day, Indianforces scored a major victory after a prolonged artillerybarrage and captured three important mountain positions in the northernsector. Later in the month, the Pakistanis counterattacked,moving concentrations near Tithwal, Uri, and Punch. Their move, inturn, provoked a powerful Indian thrust into Azad Kashmir.Other Indian forces captured a number of strategic mountain positionsand eventually took the key Haji Pir Pass, eight kilometersinside Pakistani territory.The Indian gains led to a major Pakistani counterattack on September 1in the southern sector, in Punjab, where Indian forceswere caught unprepared and suffered heavy losses. The sheer strength ofthe Pakistani thrust, which was spearheaded by seventytanks and two infantry brigades, led Indian commanders to call in airsupport. Pakistan retaliated on September 2 with its own airstrikes in both Kashmir and Punjab.
The war was at the point of stalemate when the UN Security Councilunanimously passed a resolution on September 20 that called for a cease-fire. New Delhi accepted the cease-fire resolution on September 21 andIslamabad on September 22, and the war ended on September 23. TheIndian side lost 3,000 while the Pakistani side suffered3,800 battlefield deaths. The Soviet-brokered Tashkent Declaration wassigned on January 10, 1966. It required that both sides withdraw byFebruary 26, 1966, to positions held prior to August 5, 1965, and observethe cease-fire line agreed to on June 30, 1965.The origins of the third Indo-Pakistani conflict (1971) were differentfrom the previous conflicts. The Pakistani failure to accommodatedemands for autonomy in East Pakistan in 1970 led to secessionistdemands in 1971 (see The Rise of Indira Gandhi, ch. 1). In March 1971,Pakistans armed forces launched a fierce campaign to suppress theresistance movement.
But they encountered unexpected mass defections among East Pakistanisoldiers and police. The Pakistani forces regrouped and reasserted theirauthority over most of East Pakistan by May.As a result of these military actions, thousands of East Pakistanis died atthe hands of the Pakistani army. Resistance fighters and nearly 10 millionrefugees fled to sanctuary in West Bengal, the adjacent Indian state. Bymidsummer, the Indian leadership, in the absence of a political solutionto the East Pakistan crisis, had fashioned a strategy designed to assist theestablishment of the independent nation of Bangladesh. As part of thisstrategy, in August 1971, India signed a twenty-year Treaty of Peace,Friendship, and Cooperation with the Soviet Union. One of the treatysclauses implied that each nation was expected to come tothe assistance of the other in the event of a threat to national securitysuch as that occurring in the 1965 war with Pakistan.Simultaneously, India organized, trained, and provided sanctuary to theMukti Bahini (meaning Liberation Force in Bengali), theEast Pakistani armed resistance fighters.
Unable to deter Indias activities in the eastern sector, on December 3,1971, Pakistan launched an air attack in the western sectoron a number of Indian airfields, including Ambala in Haryana, Amritsarin Punjab, and Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir. The attacks did notsucceed in inflicting substantial damage. The Indian air force retaliatedthe next day and quickly achieved air superiority. On the ground, thestrategy in the eastern sector marked a significant departure fromprevious Indian battle plans and tactics, which had emphasized set-piecebattles and slow advances. The strategy adopted was a swift, three-pronged assault of nine infantry divisions with attached armored unitsand close air support that rapidly converged on Dhaka, the capital of EastPakistan. Lieutenant General Sagat Singh, who commanded the eighth,twenty-third, and fifty-seventh divisions, led the Indianthrust into East Pakistan. As these forces attacked Pakistani formations,the Indian air force rapidly destroyed the small air contingent in EastPakistan and put the Dhaka airfield out of commission. In the meantime,the Indian navy effectively blockaded East Pakistan. Dhaka fell tocombined Indian and Mukti Bahini forces on December 16, bringing aquick end to the war.
Action in the western sector was divided into four segments, from thecease-fire line in Jammu and Kashmir to the marshes of theRann of Kutch in northwestern Gujarat. On the evening of December 3,the Pakistani army launched ground operations in Kashmir and Punjab. Italso started an armored operation in Rajasthan. In Kashmir, theoperations were concentrated on two key points, Punch and Chhamb.The Chhamb area witnessed a particularly intense battle where thePakistanis forced the Indians to withdraw from their positions. In otherparts of Kashmir, the Indians made some small gains along the cease-fireline. The major Indian counteroffensive came in the Sialkot-Shakargarharea south and west of Chhamb. There, two Pakistani tank regiments,equipped with United States-made Patton tanks, confronted the IndianFirst Armored Corps, which had British Centurion tanks. In what provedto be the largest tank battle of the war, both sides suffered considerablecasualties.
Though the Indian conduct of the land war on the western front wassomewhat timid, the role of the Indian air force was bothextensive and daring. During the fourteen-day war, the air forcesWestern Command conducted some 4,000 sorties. There waslittle retaliation by Pakistans air force, partly because of the paucity ofnon-Bengali technical personnel. Additionally, this lack ofretaliation reflected the deliberate decision of the Pakistan Air Forceheadquarters to conserve its forces because of heavy lossesincurred in the early days of the war.
The Kargil Conflict With PakistanPakistan Military aim for carrying out the intrusions wasbased on following considerations:-(a) Exploit large gaps which exist in the defences in thesector both on Indian and Pak side of the Line of Control(LOC). The terrain is extremely rugged with very fewtracks leading from the main roads towards the LOC.During winters the area gets very heavy snow fall makingmovements almost impossible.
(b) Zoji La Pass normally opens by end May / beginningJune, thus moving of reinforcements by surface meansfrom Srinagar is not possible till then. Pak calculated thateven if the intrusions were discovered in early May, as itwas, Indian Army reaction would be slow and limited,thereby allowing him to consolidate the intrusions moreeffectively.In the event, however, Zoji La was opened for troopsinduction in early May itself.(c) The intrusions, if effective, would enable Pak troops tosecure number of dominating heights from where theRoad Srinagar-Leh could be interdicted at number ofplaces, which was the plan.The intrusion would also drawin and tie down own reserves.Give Pak control oversubstantial piece of ground across LOC and enable her tonegotiate from a position of strength.(d) Alter the status of LOC
Use of Militants: Some numbers of militants fromLashkar-e-Toiba, Harkat-ul-Ansar and afghan Warveterans were also grouped with each battalion to give ita facade of "jihad". After the intrusion 800 or moremilitants have been brought to Skardu Area for furtherreinforcements.Artillery Support: Pak artillery numbering 20 batterieswere to provide fire support to the intruding groups fromPak side of LOC. This ensured that each intrusion had thesupport of three to four batteries. Observation postofficers from Pak Army were also grouped along with lineand radio communication.Execution of PlanThe plan having been finalized was put into actiontowards the end of April. The main groups were brokeninto a number of smaller sub groups of 30 to 40 each for
carrying out multiple intrusions along the ridge lines andoccupy dominating heights. The intrusions were in fourmain sub sector as under:-(a) Batalik - 250 Numbers approximately(b) Kaksar - 100 Numbers approximately(c) Dras - 250 Numbers approximately(d) Mushko Nullah - 200-300 Numbers approximatelyLogistics: Logistic support was carried out by soldiersfrom within each battalion and militants. The route forsupply is along ridge lines and Nullahs.Reserves: After the plan had been implemented, Pakmoved approximately a brigade worth of troops intoFCNA to re-create reserves.
Obfuscation AttemptsThere has been a systematic and consistent effort by thePak Government to obfuscate the issue. As directed bythe Pak COAS, the Foreign Minister of Pak Sartaj Azizspoke in different languages without any substance. Theshifting stand of Pak since then has been on followinglines:-(a) LOC is delineated but not demarcated. This is themost brazen attempt towards obfuscation. The line whilenot marked on the ground is clearly identified by both theArmies and has remained so for last 27 years.(b) Pak Army has been in occupation of these heights fora long time.(c) The intrusion of the LOC is not by Pak Army but bymilitants over which Pak has on control.(d) Pak Army is fighting in Dras and Kargil Sectors.
These statements are consistent in their contradictions.Bodies of Pak soldiers with identification papers bring outthe lie vividly.The LOC is also marked on Pak maps as it is on Indianones. A captured map of Pak Army recovered in Drassector clearly shows the alignment of LOC.Indian ResolveAs events unfolded, the Zoji La Pass opened early andIndian reaction was far swifter than Pak expected.Further Pak did not expect the reaction of IndianGovernment and the Army to be as vigorous as hasmanifested. We do not think Pak while starting on theventure reckoned the level of Indian resolve in theircalculations.
Indians in AmericaFor more information on Indians in USA please go to the web sitewww.indianembassy.org and click on the link for Indian Americans.A few highlights of Indians in US: There are now more than 1.5 million peoples of Indian origin in America. They reflect the multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-lingual society of India. Indian Americans are represented in many fields including academics and entrepreneurs, doctors and lawyers, engineers and financiers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Indian American median family income is $60,093 as against the national median family income of $38, 885. The high income clearly reflects the advanced educational levels achieved by the community.
More than 87% of Indians in America have completedhigh school while at least 62% have some collegeeducation. As much as 58% of Indian Americans overthe age of 25 hold a bachelors degree or higher. High levels of education have also enabled IndianAmericans to become a productive segment of the U. S.population, with 72.3% participating in the work force. Of these work force participants, 43.6% are employedin managerial and professional specialties. Technical, sales, and administrative supportoccupations constitute another 33.2% of the work force. The remaining 23.3% of the population works in otherareas, such as operators, fabricators, laborers andprecision production. More than 5,000 Indian Americanstoday serve as faculty members in institutions of highereducation in the U. S.
About 300,000 Indian Americans work in technologyfirms in California’s Silicon Valley. They account formore than 15%[i] of high-tech startups in that region.The median income of Indian Americans in that regionis estimated to be $125,000 (average $200,000)[ii] ayear. Two Indian Americans - Har Gobind Khorana ofMassachusetts Institute of Technology and lateSubrahmanyan Chandrashekhar of University ofChicago - have been awarded the Nobel Prize, inmedicine and physics respectively. In deed, the NASAs premier X-ray observatory wasnamed the Chandra X-ray Observatory in honor of thelate Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. Known to the worldas Chandra, he was widely regarded as one of theforemost astrophysicists of the twentieth century. Theobservatory was launched into space in July 1999.
Dr. Kalpana Chawla added a new chapter to the historyof the Indian American community. In 1997, She becamethe first Indian or Indian American to fly in the US spaceshuttle. She was part of the Space Shuttle ColumbiaFlight STS-87. The estimated annual buying power of Indian Americansin the United States is around $ 20 billion. Indian Americans are increasingly beginning to take amore direct role in political activities. They havetraditionally exercised the most political influence throughtheir campaign contributions, and are actively involved infundraising efforts for political candidates on the federal,state and local levels. As a result of these activities, together with the growingcommercial interest in investment in India, the Indiacaucus in the House of Representatives now numbers118.
[i] Anna Lee SaxenianProfessor of Regional DevelopmentDepartment of City and Regional PlanningUniversity of California, BerkeleyBased on her report - " Silicon Valleys New ImmigrantEntrepreneurs"[ii] Rafiq DossaniConsulting Professor, Asia/Pacific Research CenterStanford University, CASpecifically based on his presentation at the Center for Strategic& International Studies in Washington, DC during February 2000.
A few links to various information about Indiawww.airindia.com (Air India home page)www.air.kode.net (All India Radio - Home Page)www.nic.in (Govt of India links)www.hindustantimes.com (Newpaper link)www.mapsofindia.com (maps of India0www.in.yahoo.com (Yahoo! India)www.indianembassy.org/ (Indian Embassy in D.C)www.indiayellowpages.com/ (India Yellow Pages)http://memory.loc.gov/frd/cs/intoc.html (Country Study by library ofcongress)Portal Sites For India: www.1india.com www.indiaworld.com www.indiaserver.com www.indolink.com www.mahesh.com www.indiaifo.com
www.rediff.comwww.sify.comwww.aia.comhttp://www.itihaas.com (History of India:)http://www.indiaparenting.com/stories/greatindians/index.shtml (links togreat people of india.)NGO:AID - Association for Indias Development: www.aidindia.orgASHA An action group for basic education in India.:www.ashanet.orgCRY - Child Relief and You www.cry.org:SAMUHA Working with people to improve the www.samuha.orgquality of life.India Network Foundation www.indnet.orgSouth Asian Journalists Association www.saja.orgMaharishi Programmes in India www.maharishi-india.orgArmy in Kashmir: http://www.armyinkashmir.org/Bibliographic Sources: http://memory.loc.gov/frd/cs/india/in_bibl.html
Corbett National ParkFounded in 1935 by the British, Corbett National Park isthe oldest national park in India. One of two tigerreserves in Uttar Pradesh, this breathtaking park restsalong the Ramganga river and clutches the Himalayanfoothills.Though it is most famous for the tigers itharbors, it is also an excellent place to see elephant andis home to an enormous variety of bird species.