The way one lyrist has written, “Hum logo ko samajh sako to samjho dilbar jaani; jitna bhi tum samjhoge utni hogi hayerani”…in a nut-shell we Indian’s are most “unpredictable”. When the expectations are low…we have performed really well and contrary to that when expectations were very high…most of the time we have failed to live up to those expectations.
As we are going to complete 58 yrs of independence on 15th August 2005, it is a pleasure to share with you the facts about India, Vision India 2025 (From Ordinary person’s point of View), and India in 21st Century.
From Independence…till now
India was a British colony. It earned its independence from the British on 15th August 1947. Day before that Pakistan which was created as a result of partition of British India was established and flanked on two sides of India: West Pakistan which is called today Pakistan, and east Pakistan, now an independent state called Bangladesh. After its independence, the political leaders of India adopted the liberal democratic system for the country.
Since its independence, India has transformed a lot. When India attained independence in 1947, its population was around 400 million people. Now there are billion people in India. India is the largest democracy in the world. It has the biggest number of people with franchise rights and the largest number of Political Parties, which take part in election campaign.
Before its independence, India was never a single country but a bunch of different entities. Many predicted that India, because of diversities in its cultures, religion, languages, castes, manners, local histories, nationalities and identities, would not survive as a single democratic country, but would break up into smaller countries.
Since independence, India had many political problems. During independence the most burning issues were the riots between the Hindus and Muslims while the Sikhs were siding with Hindus. Another issue was convincing the Princely states not to declare independence or join Pakistan but to join the Indian Union. India also had a few wars with its neighbors on border issues.
India also has many internal problems. Different communities with different identities – regional, language, caste, religion – demanded different rights for their communities. Some communities demanded more autonomy for their cultures within the Indian states. Others demanded autonomous states within the Indian Union, while the others demanded to be independent from India.
With all its problems India survives as a single state with democratic character.
How much do you know about India? (India – Fact File)
Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan
Population: 1,080,264,388 (July 2005 est.)
Population Growth Rate: 1.4% (2005 est.)
Life expectancy: 64.35 years
Sex ratio: 1.06 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Composition of Religion: Hindu 80.5%, Muslim 13.4%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.1% (2001 census)
Languages: English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people; there are 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language
Administrative Break-up: 28 states and 7 union territories
Executive Heads: President A.P.J. Abdul KALAM (since 26 July 2002); Vice President Bhairon Singh SHEKHAWAT (since 19 August 2002)
Head of government: Prime Minister Manmohan SINGH (since May 2004)
Economic Overview: India’s diverse economy encompasses traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and a multitude of services. Services are the major source of economic growth, though two-thirds of the workforce is in agriculture. The UPA government has committed to furthering economic reforms and developing basic infrastructure to improve the lives of the rural poor and boost economic performance. Government controls on foreign trade and investment have been reduced in some areas, but high tariffs (averaging 20% in 2004) and limits on foreign direct investment are still in place. The government has indicated it will do more to liberalize investment in civil aviation, telecom, and insurance sectors in the near term. Privatization of government-owned industries has proceeded slowly, and continues to generate political debate; continued social, political, and economic rigidities hold back needed initiatives. The economy has posted an excellent average growth rate of 6.8% since 1994, reducing poverty by about 10 percentage points. India is capitalizing on its large numbers of well-educated people skilled in the English language to become a major exporter of software services and software workers. Despite strong growth, the World Bank and others worry about the combined state and federal budget deficit, running at approximately 9% of GDP. The huge and growing population is the fundamental social, economic, and environmental problem. In late December 2004, a major tsunami took at least 60,000 lives in India, caused massive destruction of property, and severely affected the fishing fleet.
GDP: purchasing power parity – $3.319 trillion (2004 est.)
Important Years for India, since independence
1947: India gains independence at the stroke of midnight on Aug. 15. Hours before, Pakistan is born. As many as 6 million people cross the communal border in a two-way exodus. Rampages among Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs claim a million lives.
1948: Spiritual leader Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi is shot dead Jan. 30 by a Hindu extremist. An advocate of non-violent political action, Gandhi had campaigned against British rule and sectarian violence for two decades.
The fighting stops in Kashmir; the disputed territory belongs to India.
1951: India’s first Five-Year Plan is initiated.
1961: Indian troops move in to liberate Goa from the Portuguese.
1962: Indo-Chinese hostilities break out on the Tibetan border.
1965: Political tension rises with Pakistan over Kashmir. India proclaims Hindi the national language.
1967: Drought and major famine strike India, especially the Bihar region.
1971: India goes to war against Pakistan, recognizes the independent state of Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan).
1974: Nuclear tests are performed in the Rajasthan desert.
1975: PM Gandhi is accused of electoral crimes. A state of emergency is declared across the country, restricting political and individual rights.
1977: State of emergency ends. Cyclones plague the Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu regions.
1984: Sikhs occupy the Golden Temple compound in Amritsar. On June 6, Indian troops storm the temple. On Dec. 2, a leak at the Union Carbide pesticide factory in Bhopal kills 2,000 and leaves millions affected by chemical poisoning.
1987: Indian peacekeeping troops are sent to Sri Lanka to deal with Tamil insurrectionists.
1990: Singh announces plans to reserve places for the lower castes in the public service. Riots erupt across the country.
Hindu militants attempt construction of a temple on the site of the former Babri Masjid mosque in Uttar Pradesh. A procession to the site leads to thousands of arrests. Clashes between police and Hindu militants occur throughout Northern India.
1992: India’s worst financial scandal, involving state-owned commercial banks, leads to a major slump on the Bombay stock market.
Sectarian violence erupts after Hindu extremists level the 16th century Babri mosque at Ayodhya on Dec. 6. The violence is the worst seen since Partition. The government’s offer to build a mosque and a Hindu temple at the site fails to appease both sides.
1993: Hundreds are killed when bombs go off in Bombay public buildings. Four days later, a bomb ignites in Calcutta. Pakistan denies complicity.
1995: The World Bank allocates a $980 million loan, its largest ever, to aid Indian bank reforms.
2002: Communal riots in Gujarat, hundred’s of people were killed.
Vision India, 2025 (From an Ordinary Person’s Point of View)
1) Ensure dignity, Self-Respect and Pride for each individual, irrespective of age, gender, region or religion.
2) Drinking Water, Food, Cloth, Shelter and education for all.
3) World Class infrastructure: roads, airports and railways.
4) Every year there is a loss of billions of rupees due to flood; only solution is “Unification” of all rivers.
5) Only one caste (Brotherhood) and one religion (Humanity), across the length and breadth of the country.
6) No “reservation”, no subsidiary, no “special privilege” and no discount, on the basis of Region, Religion, Community, Profession and Community.
7) Minimum education (Graduate), Minimum Administrative Experience (7-10 yrs) and retirement age (67 yrs) for all politicians. Also, annual appraisal system for all ministers.
(These are the few points, I am able to pen down; however I have not mentioned anything about security and foreign policy…because as an ordinary person above mentioned things are of more importance than anything else)
India in 21st Century
Everyone recognizes that the twenty-first century is the Century of Knowledge. Nations, which have mastered the production of knowledge, its dissemination, its conversion into wealth and social good and its protection have assumed a leadership position in the world today. But it must be recognized that knowledge without innovation is of no value. It is through the process of innovation alone that new knowledge can be created. It is innovation, which converts knowledge into wealth and social good.
India was a leader in innovation several centuries ago. In fact, our innovations were diverse and pioneering. They included
1. Remarkable town planning,
2. The use of standardized burnt bricks for dwelling houses
3. Interlinked drainage systems
4. Wheel-turned ceramics and solid-wheeled carts.
5. The dockyard at Lothal in Gujarat is regarded as the largest maritime structure ever built by a bronze-age community.
6. The discovery of zero and the decimal place value system by Indians dates back to the Vedic period.
7. Our pioneering work in algebra, trigonometry and geometry was truly outstanding.
8. Indian innovations in medicine, especially in Ayurveda, not only aimed at the cure of diseases but, more importantly, on the preservation of health.
9. The innovations in surgery included pioneering efforts in laprotomy, lithotomy and plastic surgery.
10. The iron pillar at Delhi, which testifies to the achievements in metallurgy some 1500 years ago, is truly inspirational even today.
Indian civilization was characterized by scientific thought, capabilities and techniques at levels far more advanced than others.
In spite of this great heritage and record of accomplishments, why did India fall behind in the ensuing centuries? When the scientific and industrial revolutions took place in the West a few hundred years ago, there was a period of stagnation in India. The lack of development over this period was a result of a hierarchical approach, irrational subjective thinking, and build up of superstitions and superficial ritualism. We have lost the leadership position. This cannot continue into the twenty-first century. We must regain this position with determined action.
Our confidence in building the new innovative India of our dreams stems from our major successes in the arena of many technological innovations that have made such a difference to the nation. Some prominent examples include
the blue (space), green (agriculture), white (milk) and gray (software) revolutions. Let us just take one example.
1. The Indian space program, for example, has designed and sent into space a series of satellites that, among other things, comprise the largest domestic communication system in the Asia-Pacific region.
2. It has also developed a range of launch vehicles, the most recent being a geo-synchronous launch vehicle with an 1800 kg payload. These developments have helped in the application of space technology for national needs in communication, meteorology, broadcasting, and remote sensing. All of this has been achieved in a relatively cost-effective manner. The Indian space programmer’s current annual budget is equivalent to US $450 million while NASA’s budget, in comparison, is over $15 billion.
3. Other innovations serving specific Indian needs include C-DOT digital switches, CorDECT cost-effective wireless-local-loop products, the Simputer, which is a low-cost computer and the Param supercomputer.
4. The last is an example of “denial-driven innovation,” illustrating that India has the potential to tackle highly advanced technological issues, given the proper motivation.
Yesterday was good since then we have traveled a lot; covered a lot of distance, but still there are miles to go. Building a nation is not easy. We have to “learn from our past and focus on future”. The way ahead is not easy…is not a bed of roses. Instead of pulling each other, lets grow together…lets be a “Team India”.
On this independence, this is all I have to share…to write.
Have a great day and take care of yourself.
Awaiting your feedback and comments,
Urdu is one of the most widely spoken languages in the Indian subcontinent. Other than that, communities all over the world speak it. In total almost 4 million people, speak the Urdu language.
Several factors lead to the development of Urdu language. The four most important of all the factors are given below.
1. Development of Urdu by speaking
The Urdu language was developed among the soldiers of the British Army who belonged to different nations. The word ‘Urdu’ itself means’Army’.To communicate with each other fluently, these soldiers used to speak in an amalgam of Persian, Arabic and Turkish languages.
However, very soon the language reached to the Royal courts. Actually, the language was easier than the Persian language. So the Royals also liked it. In those times, speaking Urdu became one of the trendiest things. Soon the Hindu population too started to speak it, by including many Sanskrit words to the language.
2. Development of Urdu through poetry
The Royals of the Indian subcontinent were very interested in the poetry. Amir Khusro was the first man who attempted Urdu poetry in the 13th century. It was a huge success. However, for another century no one prominent dared to experiment in Urdu poetry. In the 18th and 19th century, poets gave a major boost to the Urdu poetry. The royals too appreciated it in every way. They used to hold Mushairas in their courts and used to pay monthly stipends to the poets. Other than that, they used to bestow valuables upon their favorite poets.
3. Development of Urdu through prose
Unlike the Urdu poetry, Urdu short story or novel did not become a trend. The major reason is that the Royals were never interested in the reading. However, after the decline of Mughals and in the era of the British, a very intelligent man attempted to write an Urdu novel. The name of the man was Deputy Nazir Ahmed and the name of the novel is Mirat ul Uroos. Despite the fact that it was the first novel of Urdu, the novel became a huge success. Even today the novel is popular and in demand. In fact, Deputy Nazir Ahmed can be called the first and the most prestigious institution of the Urdu novel.
4. Development of Urdu through journalism
The Urdu journalism was late to pick up as compared to the Urdu poetry. However, as compared to the Urdu novel it picked up quite soon. In fact, when the atrocities of the British rose gradually, many prominent Hindus and Muslims took notice. So they started monthly, bimonthly, and weekly digest with focus on the current affairs and political satires.
Those magazines also had a dose of the ethics and the morals to be introduced among the Muslims and the Hindus both. It is needless to say that even the starting of the Urdu journalism contributed a lot to the mental awakening of the people of the subcontinent.
In fact, if it were not for the Urdu poetry, prose and journalism, the people of subcontinent might not had realized their worth and fought to drive the British out of the subcontinent.
The Republic of India or Bharat Ganrajya is a Sovereign Socialist Democratic Republic country. It is the largest democracy in the world with variety and rich cultural heritage. The great Indian culture evolved during its long history by preserving its ancient heritages of the Indus Valley Civilization, Vedic age, rise of Buddhism, Golden age, Muslim conquests and European colonization. India has a great diversity of cultural practices, languages, customs, and traditions.
India – a vast country
India is a country that occupies a greater part of the South Asian continent covering an area of 32,87,263 sq. km. Bounded by the great Himalayas in the north, it stretches southwards and tapers off into the Indian Ocean between the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west side.
•India is the seventh largest country in the world
•Second most populous country in the world
•Population of more than 1 billion
•India has 28 States and 7 Union Territories
India a diverse country
India is a diverse country and it can be clearly seen in its geography, people, culture and climate. The snow capped Himalayas reaching the skies, the vast area of desert, green rain washed forests, live perennial rivers flowing and the solid central plateau clearly glorify the diversity of its geography. Similar to its vast geography, the Indian culture varies. The food, clothing and habits of Indians differ from place to place but they all live in harmony.
•India has a huge population of about 119.8 crore (Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare 2009)
•All the five major racial types – Australoid, Mongoloid, Europoid, Caucasian, and Negroid find representation among the people of the country.
•India is one of the most religiously diverse nations across the globe. Out of the total population in the country, Hindus constituted 80.5%, Muslims 13.4%, followed by Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and others (Source: Census 2001)
•India has 22 National Languages recognized by its constitution. Hindi and English are official languages. Besides these, there are 844 different dialects that are practiced in various parts of the nation.
•India is a multi-cultural and multi-religious society celebrating festivals of various religions. Some of the festivals celebrated all over the country are Janmashtami, Christmas, Rakshabandhan, Deepawali, Id-ul-Zuha, Ramnavami, Guru Nanak Jayanti etc.
•Indian cuisine varies from region to region, showcasing the varied demographics of the ethnically diverse country. Indian cuisine can be broadly split into five categories such as North, South, East,West Indian and North-eastern.
Unity in diversity
The hallmark of India is its unity in diversity. Its real strength lies in its compactness of culture, firmness of trust and togetherness between Indians. Though there is a huge diversity in physical, religious, racial variety and languages, people from every nook and corner of the country live in harmony with the pride and patriotism of being Indians. People from diverse cultures, surroundings, habits, life-style, preferences, costumes represent one country – India.
Every person, right from his/her childhood would be taught and reminded of his/her role and place in the society. They are taught not only to respect their as well as others culture, tradition, language and festivals, but also to celebrate them wholeheartedly.
Here the Koran, the Bhagwat-Gita, the Bible, the Guru Granth Sahib all will get same respect and honor. Many people (particularly along with friends) visit all the places of worship with same faith and hope irrespective if their religion. Whether it is Diwali, Christmas or ID, most of them celebrate with undivided joy. In fact, almost every family celebrates festivals inviting friends from other religions. Neighbours and friends play a major role in joyous occasions as well as in grief moments. Right from the cradle ceremony to funeral ceremony, Indians with a strong bond of love and friendship share their feelings of happiness or pain.
Every Indian is aware of the fact that Britishers implemented the ‘Divide and Rule’ policy and exploited them for almost 200 years. So they cannot afford to lose their hard-earned independence again. Though there were some instances where people have fought against each other for some reason or the other but such cases very few and only a small, in fact negligible amount of people (with sadistic behaviours) get influenced by this.
Wedding is considered to be one of the most auspicious moments in a girl’s life. They will ensure that they are in the best of their attire. In India, mostly Hindus wear sarees on their wedding day unlike the western countries as women wear wedding gowns during their wedding ceremony. Even Catholics wear a wedding gown in India. Wedding sarees are usually made with designer works and the fabric used for such occasion is Chiffon, Georgette, Silk etc. Most of the Indian weddings prefer red color sarees as it is considered as a good omen since they are bright in color.
Usually in India after a girl is married, she will continue to wear a saree in her husband’s home even though she might have never worn a saree throughout her life. This is the tradition of the Indian culture.
The color red for wedding sarees makes the wedding a special occasion. Moreover, the beauty of the saree is created due to the gorgeous thread work which comes in golden as well as silver colors. These colors and designs enhance the whole atmosphere of a wedding and every member of the family attending the wedding will have their focus of the sarees of the bride. Most of the sarees are designed by reputed fashion designers and the range for such kind of sarees can be anywhere from $300 onwards up to $2,000 or even more. Some of the important facts which have to be taken into consideration before choosing bridal or wedding sarees are mentioned here below.
- As we all know that choosing sarees for a wedding can be very tiring and tedious job and women are bound to get confused with the different types and styles of bridal wear that are available on display. Therefore more attention has to be given to the fabric of the wedding saree.
- Though most women prefer pure silk saree as their bridal wear, these days there are other fabrics available which are in the form of Georgette, Satin and Chiffon.
- Though red color is considered to be the best wedding saree color for any bride, there are other colors which can be taken as an option. Colors such as white and pink also add glamour to the bride when it is combined with the amount of jewelry on their body and the color of their skin.
- Designer sarees must also have embroidery work in zardosi, semi precious stones, bead work, resham and mirror work. If you are still confused, you can get advice and suggestions from a bridal wear fashion designer.
- If budget is not a problem, bridal wear designers can provide the best saree for a woman planning to get married.
With so many wedding sarees outlets opened all over India and overseas, these days would-be brides have a vast array of choices to choose their wedding outfits. Moreover, we must remember that wedding and designer sarees are worn only on the wedding day and then it is kept in safe custody and is again worn during the couple’s 10th, 25th, 35th and 50th wedding anniversary.