Republic of India

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Republic of India
भारत गणराज्य
Flag of Republic of India
Flag
Coat of arms of Republic of India
Coat of arms
CapitalNew Delhi
Largest cityMumbai
Official languagesHindi
English
Religion
79.8% Hinduism
14.2% Islam
2.3% Christianity
1.7% Sikhism
0.7% Buddhism
0.4% Jainism
0.23% unaffiliated
0.65% other
Dominant mode of productionCapitalism
GovernmentFederal parliamentary bourgeois republic
• President
Droupadi Murmu
• Vice President
Jagdeep Dhankar
• Prime Minister
Narendra Modi
• Chief Justice
Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud
Area
• Total
3,287,263 km²
Population
• 2018 estimate
1,352,642,280
CurrencyIndian rupee (₹) (INR)


India, officially the Republic of India, is a bourgeois country in South Asia and the second most populated country in the world behind the People's Republic of China.[1] Hundreds of languages are spoken in India, and the country has a large Muslim minority that makes up 10% of the world's Muslim population.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

Bronze Age[edit | edit source]

An urban civilization developed in the Indus Valley around 2600 BCE. Its major cities included Mohenjo-daro and Harappa. The Indus civilization collapsed around 1900 BCE, and archaeologists found many unburied remains showing signs of violent death.[3]

Iron Age[edit | edit source]

See main article: Maurya Empire

16 states dominated northern India by 500 BCE, and the Kingdom of Magadha conquered the others by 321 BCE to form the Maurya Empire.[4]

Classical period[edit | edit source]

See main article: Gupta Empire

Early modern period[edit | edit source]

See main article: Mughal Empire

Colonization[edit | edit source]

See main article: British Raj

The British East India Company took control of India in 1765 and established a trade monopoly. The British Raj took control of India in 1847 and suppressed a rebellion in 1857. The British stole at least $44.6 trillion from India, while the population of India dropped by 20% between 1870 and 1920 and tens of millions died from famine under British rule.[5]

Independence movement[edit | edit source]

In the early 1900s, following the defeat of the Swadeshi movement, Indians began boycotting British goods and picketing their shops. In 1908, the workers of Mumbai went on strike.[6]:34 Following the Jallianwallah Bagh massacre, the Indian National Congress met in 1919 at Amritsar. Nehru wanted to redistribute land to the peasants, but Gandhi prevented the Congress from following that path.[6]:40 In February 1946, strikes took place within the Royal Indian Navy and mutinies within various army units; along with the assistance of 300k workers. British ruling circles soon admitted that the colonial model in India was unsustainable, accepting that the anti-colonialist movement had assumed a mass character.[7]

Independence[edit | edit source]

Nehru government[edit | edit source]

Nehru's first two five-year plans, which ended in 1961, failed to lessen inequality.[8] He ousted a Communist government from power in Kerala.[9] India fought against China in 1962 and against Pakistan in 1965.[10]:215

Indira Gandhi Government[edit | edit source]

Nehru died in 1964, and Indira Gandhi became prime minister in 1966. She ruled under martial law from 1975 to 1977, when she left office. She returned to power in 1980. The INC lost the 1983 elections in several southern states, with N. T. Rama Rao taking power in Andhra Pradesh and the Janata Party taking power in Karnataka. It won in Assam, where only 2% of the population voted among widespread ethnic violence.[10]:208

Liberalization[edit | edit source]

In 1989, India introduced economic changes that allowed capitalists to take control of scarce natural resources.[11] Following the overthrow of the Soviet Union and the Gulf War, Indian Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao instituted a policy of LPG (Liberalization-Privatization-Globalisation) in 1991 to secure funding from the IMF and World Bank. Contrary to popular belief within the nation, these neo-liberal reforms did not improve the quality of life for many.[12]

BJP Government[edit | edit source]

India joins G7 in "free speech" campaign
India joins G7 in "free speech" campaign

Narendra Modi's far-right Bharatiya Janata Party won 303 out of 543 seats in parliament in 2019 and 240 seats in 2024. His National Democratic Alliance won a total of 293 seats, which is enough to form a government and give him another term as Prime Minister.[13] However, this time, the authority of the BJP will be significantly reduced due to coalition politics.

Demographics[edit | edit source]

40% of India's 1.4 billion people are under 25 years old.

Economy[edit | edit source]

Employment[edit | edit source]

Youth unemployment is 45.4% while overall unemployment is only 7.5%.[13]

Income Inequality[edit | edit source]

Income inequality has been rising ever since the 2000s. A minimum wage worker in rural India would need to work 941 years to earn what the top-paid executive at a leading Indian garment company earns in a year.[14]

Living Standards[edit | edit source]

Housing and Construction[edit | edit source]

There are about 1.77 million homeless people (0.15% of the total population) residing in India [15] and around 11.09 million vacant homes.[16]

Education[edit | edit source]

Between 2018-2019, India possessed 1,083,678 government schools but that number declined to 1,022,386 in 2021-22. Similarly, government-aided schools declined from 84,614 to 82,480. At the same time, the number of private schools increased from 325,760 to 335,844. The BJP-led states of Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, and Madhya Pradesh pursued this policy of education privatization aggressively; marking a decline in the number of government schools by 26,074, 5,227, and 22,904 respectively.[17]

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has revised the curriculum of the school textbooks to make them suit the terms laid out in the National Education Policy 2020. These revisions deny the existence of the Babri masjid, whitewash atrocities committed in BJP-led states, removed content on the Mughal Empire, and added Islamophobic dog whistles. [18]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Philip B. Calkins (2022). India. Encyclopedia Britannica.
  2. Mike Wang (2014-05-22). "The election of Narendra Modi and the dangerous rise of India’s far-right" Liberation News. Archived from the original on 2019-07-14. Retrieved 2023-02-11.
  3. Neil Faulkner (2013). A Marxist History of the World: From Neanderthals to Neoliberals: 'The First Class Societies' (pp. 19–21). [PDF] Pluto Press. ISBN 9781849648639 [LG]
  4. Chris Harman (1999). A People's History of the World: 'Iron and empires' (p. 49). [PDF] London: Bookmarks Publications Ltd. ISBN 9781898876557 [LG]
  5. Jason Hickelby (2019-01-09). "How Britain Stole $45 Trillion From India And Lied About It" Black Agenda Report. Archived from the original on 2022-01-06. Retrieved 2022-09-08.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Vijay Prashad (2017). Red Star over the Third World: 'Follow the Path of the Russians!'. [PDF] New Delhi: LeftWord Books.
  7. M. Alexeyev (1948). Indian Union and Pakistan After the Partition of India (pp. 1-2). [PDF] Bolshevik.
  8. Vijay Prashad (2008). The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World: 'Arusha' (p. 199). [PDF] The New Press. ISBN 9781595583420 [LG]
  9. Vijay Prashad (2008). The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World: 'Bali' (p. 162). [PDF] The New Press. ISBN 9781595583420 [LG]
  10. 10.0 10.1 Vijay Prashad (2008). The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World: 'New Delhi'. [PDF] The New Press. ISBN 9781595583420 [LG]
  11. "‘India after Naxalbari: Unfinished History’" (2022-07-14). Monthly Review. Retrieved 2022-07-14.
  12. “[I]ndia’s HDI rank slipped from No. 114 to No. 131, a dismal performance even allowing for the increased number of countries. Even this was largely because of per capita income; other indicators remained woeful even compared to poorer countries like Bangladesh. The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) shows 28% of India’s population in multidimensional poverty, with another 20% vulnerable to it, much higher proportions than the developing-country average.

    The stated goals of the 1991 reforms were higher rates of income growth with more employment generation and diversification into higher value-added activities. Of these, only higher income growth was achieved, but at the expense of massive environmental destruction and without enabling structural change. Employment stagnated and then fell from 2011; industrialization did not take off beyond what was already achieved before 1991; most workers remain stuck in low-paying informal work; women’s employment participation declined significantly. Nutrition indicators are poor, with declining per capita calorie consumption, and worse outcomes for women and young children, even before covid hit. Farming is under threat, and small and micro enterprises that employ the bulk of workers face an extreme crisis.”

    Jayati Ghosh. "The Neoliberal Reforms of 1991 Didn’t Work as Claimed" Janata Weekly.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Vijay Prashad (2024-06-13). "Democracy Will Not Come through Compromise and Fear: The Twenty-Fourth Newsletter (2024)" The Tricontinental. Archived from the original on 2024-06-13.
  14. "India: extreme inequality in numbers". Oxfam International.
  15. Somesh Jha (2013-12-06). "1.77 million people live without shelter, albeit the number decline over a decade" Business Standard.
  16. Ashwini Kumar Sharma (2019-10-15). "11.09 mn homes are lying vacant in India: Report" Mint.
  17. "How BJP is Pushing for Privatisation of Education" (2023-09-05). CPIM.
  18. “The revised Political Science textbooks for class 12 do not mention the Babri masjid but refer to it as a 'three-domed structure'.

    Many sections have also been deleted from the book. These include BJP's 'rath yatra' from Somnath in Gujarat to Ayodhya; the role of kar sevaks; communal violence in the wake of the demolition of the Babri masjid; President's rule in BJP-ruled states; and the BJP's expression of 'regret over the happenings at Ayodhya'.
    ...
    A two-page table detailing achievements of Mughal emperors such as Humayun, Shah Jahan, Akbar, Jahangir and Aurangzeb have also been removed.

    The new Political Science textbook of Class 11, now says that political parties 'give priority to the interests of a minority group' with an eye on 'vote bank politics', which leads to 'minority appeasement'.”

    Puniti Pandey. "Explained: What Are The Latest Changes In The NCERT Books?" NDTV.