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India Overview - Part 1 (2007)
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India Overview - Part 1 (2007)

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  • 1. India Overview Religion, the Caste System, and British Colonialism
  • 2. Demographics
    • Over 500,000 villages
    • Over 2000 cities
    • 2nd largest population, fastest growing
    • 80% Hindu, 13% Muslim
    • Today: 1.129 Billion
    • 1920: 300 million
  • 3. Caste System
    • Hindu society was divided into major castes or classes
    • There are four major castes, but thousands of sub-castes
    • People are born into a caste and upward mobility is next to impossible – people only married within their caste
  • 4. Caste System
    • Part of a complex system of job division – each caste had a role within the community
    • Strict rules dictated behavior
    • Hindu idea of reincarnation played into the system – to advance you must live well and then you will be reborn into a higher caste
  • 5. Major Hindu Castes
    • Brahmins – Priests and scholars
    • Kshatriyas – Warriors
    • Baishyas – Farmers and merchants
    • Shudras – Laborers and serfs
    • Untouchables – People who were below the caste system and completed the most undesirable of jobs
  • 6. British East India Company
    • Became leading commercial power by 1757
    • Exploited Indian indigo, cotton, and tea
    • Ruled India, politically and economically (called raj or "rule")
  • 7. British East India Company
    • Made alliances with different tribes and ethnic groups, employed sepoys (Indian soldiers)
    • Considered the "jewel in the crown" of the British Empire
  • 8. Direct Control
    • 1857 Sepoy Rebellion takes place
    • Started with misunderstanding that new bullets had animal grease on them (sacred to Hindus and unclean to Muslims)
    • British government saw uprising as a sign that Indians could cause more problems in the future and took direct control of government
  • 9. Culture Clash
    • English and Western ideas promoted as elite
    • Limited social contact between British and Indians
    • Only Hindus who became Christians could hold government positions
  • 10. Culture Clash
    • Instruction in English, became language of the educated
    • British did stop suttees (killing wife when the husband dies), child marriages (as early as nine or ten), and infanticide (killing of infant girls because they were too costly to marry)
  • 11. Impact
    • Modernized India (railroads, irrigation, dams, better sanitation and education)
    • British held all economic and political power
    • Restricted domestic industries
  • 12. Indian National Congress
    • 1885 – Met for the first time to bring more Indians into the British controlled government
    • Over then next thirty years they began to push for home rule and then independence
  • 13. Indian National Congress
    • Party members generally were English educated and did not represent the 350 million Indians who mostly worked in the fields of rural India
    • Many did not separate the Congress members in their minds from the British because they advocated similar ideas (i.e. industrialization), but under Indian rule

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