is a very colorful country with a very rich history starting from ancient
civilizations which date back almost 5000 years.
Indian subcontinent is in Asia. It is a
peninsula and the three sides are
surrounded by Arabian Sea in the south west, Bay Of Bengal in the south
east and Indian Ocean in the South. India shares its political borders
with Pakistan and Afghanistan on the west, Bangladesh and Burma in the
east, Nepal, China, Tibet and Bhutan in the north.
GANA MA NA
National Anthem sung by kids
official, Sanskrit name for India is "BHARAT"
, the name of the legendary king in the Mahabhrata. India became independent
on August 15,
British rule. Through India's long history, religion has been the
carrier and preserver of culture.
varies significantly from Himalayas in north to tropical south. Four
seasons: relatively dry, cool winter December to February; dry, hot summer
March to May; southwest monsoon June to September when predominating
southwest maritime winds bring rains to most of country; and northeast, or
retreating, monsoon October and November.
India achieved independence on August
15, 1947. Throughout history, India has been influenced by the civilizations,
invasions, kings, and empires, with which it has come into contact with,
thus making it the most culturally influenced of all countries. It stands today rich in resources and
history, yet is haunted by its vast population. At
the same time, its intellectual community leads the way in the some of the
world's latest developments and technologies.
History of Events
A look back in time
!!! Sit back....relax...it's a good read!
The people of
India have had a continuous civilization since 2500 B.C., when the
inhabitants of the Indus
River valley developed
an urban culture based on commerce and sustained by agricultural trade.
This civilization declined around 1500 B.C., probably due to ecological
During the second
Aryan-speaking tribes migrated from the northwest into
the subcontinent. As they settled in the middle Ganges River valley,
they adapted to antecedent cultures.
Note : The
Aryan Invasion Theory :
One of the most controversial ideas about Hindu history is the Aryan
invasion theory. This theory, originally devised by F. Max Muller in
1848, traces the history of Hinduism to the invasion of India's
indigenous people by lighter skinned Aryans around 1500 BCE. The theory
was reinforced by other research over the next 120 years, and became the
accepted history of Hinduism, not only in the West but in India. But
many people argue that there is now evidence to show that Muller, and
those who followed him, were wrong. Others, however, believe that the
case against the Aryan invasion theory is far from conclusive. ( Source
The political map
of ancient and medieval India was made up of myriad kingdoms with
fluctuating boundaries. In the 4th and 5th centuries A.D., northern
India was unified under the Gupta
Dynasty. During this period, known as India's
Hindu culture and political administration reached new heights.
across the subcontinent over a period of 500 years. In the 10th and 11th
centuries, Turks and Afghans invaded India and established sultanates in
Delhi. In the early 16th century, descendants of Genghis Khan swept
across the Khyber Pass and established the Mughal
which lasted for 200 years. From the 11th to the 15th centuries,
southern India was dominated by Hindu Chola and Vijayanagar Dynasties.
During this time, the two systems--the prevailing Hindu and
Muslim--mingled, leaving lasting cultural influences on each other. The
Mogul cuisine made popular in the western world comes from this
The first British
outpost in South Asia was established in 1619 at Surat on the
northwestern coast. Later in the century, the East
opened permanent trading stations at Madras, Bombay, and Calcutta, each
under the protection of native rulers.
expanded their influence from these footholds until, by the 1850s, they
controlled most of present-day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
a rebellion in north India led by mutinous Indian soldiers caused the
British Parliament to transfer all political power from the East India
Company to the Crown. Great Britain began administering most of India
directly while controlling the rest through treaties with local rulers.
In the late
1800s, the first steps were taken toward self-government in British
India with the appointment of Indian councilors to advise the British
viceroy and the establishment of provincial councils with Indian
members; the British subsequently widened participation in legislative
Beginning in 1920, Indian leader Mohandas
K. Gandhi transformed
political party into a mass movement to campaign against British
colonial rule. The party used both parliamentary and nonviolent
resistance and non-cooperation to achieve India's independence.
On August 15,
1947, India became an independent nation, with Jawaharlal
Nehru as Prime Minister.
Enmity between Hindus and Muslims led the British to partition British
East and West Pakistan, where there were Muslim
became a Republic within the Commonwealth on January 26, 1950.
independence, the Congress Party, the party of Mahatma Gandhi and
Jawaharlal Nehru, ruled India under the influence first of Nehru and
then his daughter, Indira Gandhi and grandson, with the exception of two
brief periods in the 1970s and 1980s.
governed the nation until his death in 1964.
He was succeeded by Lal
who also died in office.
In 1966, power passed to Nehru's daughter, Indira
Minister from 1966 to 1977. In 1975, beset with deepening political and
economic problems, Mrs. Gandhi declared a state of emergency and
suspended many civil liberties.
Seeking a mandate at the polls for her
policies, she called for elections in 1977, only to be defeated by Moraji
headed the Janata Party, an amalgam of five opposition parties.
In 1979, Desai's
Government crumbled. Charan Singh formed an interim government, which
was followed by Mrs. Gandhi's return to power in January 1980. On
October 31, 1984, Mrs. Gandhi was assassinated
Her son, Rajiv
Gandhi , was
chosen by the Congress (I)--for "Indira"--Party to take her
place. His government was brought down in 1989 by allegations of
corruption and was followed by V.P.
In the 1989
elections, although Rajiv
Congress won more seats in the 1989 elections than any other single
party, he was unable to form a government with a clear majority.
Janata Dal, a union of opposition parties, was able to form a government
with the help of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on
the right and the communists on the left. This loose coalition collapsed
in November 1990, and the government was controlled for a short period
by a breakaway Janata Dal group supported by Congress (I), with Chandra
Prime Minister. That alliance also collapsed, resulting in national
elections in June 1991.
On May 27, 1991,
while campaigning in Tamil Nadu on behalf of Congress (I), Rajiv Gandhi
was assassinated, apparently by Tamil extremists from Sri Lanka.
elections, Congress (I) won 213 parliamentary seats and put together a
coalition, returning to power under the leadership of P.V.
This Congress-led government, which served a full 5-year term, initiated
a gradual process of economic liberalization and reform, which has
opened the Indian economy to global trade and investment.
domestic politics also took new shape, as traditional alignments by
caste, creed, and ethnicity gave way to a plethora of small, regionally
based political parties.
The final months
of the Rao-led government in the spring of 1996 were marred by several
major political corruption scandals, which contributed to the worst
electoral performance by the Congress Party in its history.
Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged from the May 1996
national elections as the single-largest party in the Lok Sabha but
without enough strength to prove a majority on the floor of that
Parliament. Under Prime Minister Atal
the BJP coalition lasted in power 13 days.
With all political parties
wishing to avoid another round of elections, a 14-party coalition led by
the Janata Dal emerged to form a government known as the United Front,
under the former Chief Minister of Karnataka, H.D.
His government lasted less than a year, as the leader of the Congress
Party withdrew his support in March 1997. Inder
replaced Deve Gowda as the consensus choice for Prime Minister of a
16-party United Front coalition.
In November 1997,
the Congress Party again withdrew support for the United Front. New
elections in February 1998 brought the BJP the largest number of seats
in Parliament--182--but fell far short of a majority. On March 20, 1998,
the President inaugurated a BJP-led coalition government with
serving as Prime Minister.
In April 1999,
the BJP-led coalition government fell apart, leading to fresh elections
in September. The National Democratic Alliance-a new coalition led by
the BJP-gained a majority to form the government with Vajpayee
as Prime Minister in October 1999.
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
was sworn in as the 11th President of India by Chief Justice of India on
July 25, 2002 in the Central Hall of Parliament. He has replaced K.
R. Narayanan, who completed a five-year term.