India is very similar to China in that it has huge populations are both are increasing at enormous rates economically. However to understand India one must first look at its beginnings before British colonialism and during British colonialism. The history starts with the Mughal Empire and Muslim Empire around the 1500s which lasted until the mid 1800s. When the Mughal Empire fell it was divided into small units which made it an easy target for British colonialism.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½
The ethnic makeup of India is 80% Hindu and emphasizes a strong belief in Karma, Rebith and Nirvana. One of the biggest social factors in India is the caste system which defines rigid class structural lines. The caste system is made up of the Brahmans who are priests, Kshatriya which are wrriors, Vaishya who are traders, Sundra who are artisans and the untouchables. The 5 castes then divide into sub castes of about 2000 different ones. This creates a hierarchical system and creates diffefrences among the castes. It also restricts the economic activiites of each of these groups. Mulsims also make up roughly 14% or 137 million people in India. The Muslims live mostly in Northern India. Other religious groups include Christians, Buddhists, and Sikhs.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½
British Imperialsim began with the British East India Company. TheÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ 1784 India Act and the 1887 Sepoy Rebellion were important parts of Indian history. The British colonialism is characterized by indirect rule which allowed the colony to have their own rulers while Britain controlled the country. This marked a different approach than the Portuguse who used direct rule. The British methods were successful as peace existed in the countries compared to the Portuguese who faced fierce resistance and revolution.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½
There wereÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½many consequences of the British imperialism. India’s economy was distorted because raw materials were sent to Britain. The British land tenure system was also inconsistent with the Indian land tenure system. The health improvements by the British did help save many lives and allowed people to live longer but it created huigeÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½overpopulation in India, a problem thatÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½it stillÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½faces today with its 1 billion plus population. Positives inlcluded an effective bureaucracy, roads, railroads, and communication systems being built. Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½
The main political party in India is the Congress Party formed in 1885. One of India’s first and most influential leaders was Mahatma Ghandi. He was born in 1869 but he was assassinated in 1948 by extremists. In England Ghandi studied law and became politically active in South Africa and India. He led mass movements of civil non violent protests which led to Independence from the British. Ghandi’s political philosophy was that of non violence as well as tolerance for Muslims, and self reliance without British imperialism. He also turned the elitish party of the Congress Party into a party for all of India and comon people.
Jawaharlal Nehru took over after Ghandi. He was born in 1889 into the Brahman caste and died in 1964 due to a stroke. He beleived in democracy and socialism/social democracy as well as secularism, and non alignment. In the economic sector he supported socialist planning, import substitution, and industrialization.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½
The next ruler was Indira Ghandi who was one of the firstÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½female leaders in the world. She won the election in 1967 and led India to victory over Pakistan in the war of 1971. In 1975 she was asked to step down due to a beleif in election fraud but instead she disobeyed and used her emergency powers to rule by decree as she imprisoned her opponents. In 1977 Ghandi was defeated only to return to power in 1980. During those three years in between, Moraji Desai took over as prime minister. The next four years were marked by demands in India for linguistic, religious and regional autonomy. The demands of Sikh autonomy led to the army being sent in and suppresing the Sikhs at the Golden Temple. Finally in 1984Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½Indira Ghandi was assassinated by her own Sikh bodyguards.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½
In 1984 Rajvi Ghandi won the election but his time in office was short lived. He was assassinated in 1991. Still during his time as ruler, he began an economic transition to a liberal economy with modernization.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½
In 1996 the new Bharatya Janata Party replaced the Congress party as the main party of India. They needed a coalition to rule over the government.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½
In the year 2006, India still ha many issues that it faces such as overpopulation, half of its people living in poverty, corruption and crime, Hindu nationalism, and religious tension to Muslims and Sikhs.