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Geografía de la India - Historia

Geografía de la India - Historia


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INDIA

India se encuentra en el sur de Asia, bordeando el Mar Arábigo y la Bahía de Bengala, entre Birmania y Pakistán.

La masa terrestre total de la India es de 2,973,190 kilómetros cuadrados y está dividida en tres regiones geológicas principales: la llanura indogangética, el Himalaya y la región de la península. La llanura indogangética y esas partes del Himalaya dentro de la India se conocen colectivamente como el norte de la India. Sur
La India está formada por la región peninsular, a menudo denominada simplemente Península. Sobre la base de su fisiografía, la India se divide en diez regiones: la
Llanura Indogangética, las montañas del norte del Himalaya, las tierras altas centrales, el Deccan o meseta peninsular, la costa este (Coromandel
Costa en el sur), la costa oeste (costas de Konkan, Kankara y Malabar), el gran desierto indio (una característica geográfica conocida como el desierto de Thar en
Pakistán) y el Rann de Kutch, el valle del Brahmaputra en Assam, las cadenas montañosas del noreste que rodean el valle de Assam y las islas de
el Mar Arábigo y la Bahía de Bengala.


Clima: El Himalaya aísla el sur de Asia del resto de Asia. Al sur de estas montañas, el clima, al igual que el terreno, es muy diverso, pero algunos geógrafos le dan una caracterización general de una sola palabra: violento. Lo que los geógrafos tienen en mente es la brusquedad del cambio y la intensidad del efecto cuando ocurre el cambio: el inicio de las lluvias monzónicas, inundaciones repentinas, erosión rápida, temperaturas extremas, tormentas tropicales y fluctuaciones impredecibles en las precipitaciones. En términos generales, la agricultura en la India se ve constantemente desafiada por la incertidumbre climática.

Es posible identificar las estaciones, aunque estas no ocurren de manera uniforme en todo el sur de Asia. El Servicio Meteorológico de la India divide el año en cuatro estaciones: el invierno relativamente seco y fresco de diciembre a febrero; el verano seco y caluroso de marzo a mayo; el monzón del suroeste de junio a septiembre, cuando los vientos marítimos predominantes del suroeste traen lluvias a la mayor parte del país; y el noreste, o en retirada, monzón de octubre y noviembre.

El monzón del suroeste sopla de mar a tierra. El monzón del suroeste por lo general rompe en la costa oeste a principios de junio y llega a la mayor parte del sur de Asia en la primera semana de julio (ver fig. 6). Debido a la importancia crítica de las lluvias monzónicas para la producción agrícola, los planificadores gubernamentales y los agrónomos observan con entusiasmo las predicciones de la fecha de llegada del monzón, quienes necesitan determinar las fechas óptimas para las siembras.

MAPA DEL PAÍS


Efectos de la geografía en la historia de la India

Los siguientes puntos destacan los ocho efectos principales de la geografía en la historia de la India. Los efectos son: 1. Diferentes Zonas Locales, Unidades Políticas y Culturales. 2. El desierto de Thar hizo difícil la defensa india 3. Aislamiento de la India 4. Descuido de la defensa 5. Preservación de la cultura india primitiva 6. Impacto del clima 7. Ausencia de poderío naval fuerte 8. Desarrollo de las Bellas Artes.

Efecto # 1. Diferentes Zonas Locales, Unidades Políticas y Culturales:

Las variadas características físicas del subcontinente de la India han llevado a la formación de diferentes zonas locales, unidades políticas y culturales. Debido a la diferencia en las características físicas y las barreras naturales, la India se ha dividido en diferentes unidades políticas y culturales.

El norte de la India, la meseta de Deccan, los planes peninsulares y los Ghats, todos poseen características políticas y sociales especiales, que son bastante distintas entre sí. La civilización aria no pudo ejercer mucha influencia en Deccan. En el Lejano Sur, el idioma, las costumbres y las ideas de los no arios continuaron dominando.

Efecto # 2. El desierto de Thar hizo difícil la defensa india:

El desierto de Thar, que se encuentra entre las llanuras del valle del Indo y el Ganges, también ha afectado en gran medida el curso de la historia de la India. Como el desierto de Thar separa estas dos regiones en dos unidades diferentes, la defensa india se debilitó. Esto benefició enormemente a los invasores extranjeros que llegaron a la India a través de los pasos montañosos del noroeste.

Como la mayor parte de las regiones indias estaban separadas a través de esta región por el gran desierto, los recursos del norte de la India no podían agruparse por completo contra los invasores extranjeros. En vista de la limitada resistencia que se les ofreció, los invasores obtuvieron una serie de victorias decisivas y llegaron hasta Delhi.

Efecto # 3. Aislamiento de India:

La India ha sido separada del resto del mundo por el Himalaya en el norte y el mar en los otros tres lados. Como resultado, la India vivió aislada y desarrolló su propio estilo de vida y desarrollo. Sin duda, algunas de las culturas y civilizaciones extranjeras llegaron a la India a través de los pasos del norte, pero su influencia fue muy limitada.

Efecto # 4. Descuido de la defensa:

La separación de la India del resto del mundo por barreras naturales le dio a la gente de la antigua India una sensación de seguridad e ignoraron por completo la defensa del país. De hecho, nunca prestaron atención a la seguridad de sus fronteras. Esto inevitablemente resultó en una serie de invasiones a la India desde el otro lado de la frontera. Este descuido de los militares fue responsable de la esclavitud del país por parte de los extranjeros.

Efecto # 5. Preservación de la cultura india primitiva:

El acceso a determinadas zonas ha sido tan difícil que han quedado completamente aisladas del resto del país. Los vastos desiertos arenosos, los bosques impenetrables y las altas cadenas montañosas han proporcionado refugio a las tribus primitivas que fueron expulsadas de las llanuras.

Como estas áreas no podían ser fácilmente accesibles, las tribus salvajes primitivas continuaron desarrollando su propia cultura, que existe aún hoy. Algunas de las tribus primitivas prominentes que existen aún hoy incluyen Bhils, Kols, Santhals, Gonds, etc. Estas tribus lograron mantener sus características primitivas solo debido a los terrenos difíciles de su área.

Efecto # 6. Impacto del clima:

El clima del país también ha ejercido una gran influencia en el curso de la historia de la India. El clima tropical ha sido en gran parte responsable del fracaso de los indios para resistir a los invasores extranjeros de las regiones frías.

Los terrenos montañosos del sur fortalecieron a la gente de Maharashtra y Rajputana. Las personas que viven en estas áreas tuvieron que trabajar duro para ganarse la vida y desarrollaron cualidades de guerreros.

Estas personas resistieron enérgicamente todos los intentos de privarlos de su libertad. Esto se debe principalmente a las condiciones físicas que prevalecen en esta región, por lo que los Marathas y los Rajputs pudieron ofrecer una dura resistencia a los gobernantes de Delhi.

La variedad del clima imperante en las diferentes partes del país también ha ejercido una tremenda influencia en el curso de la historia. Si bien las ciudades ricas y florecientes habían existido en abundancia en Uttar Pradesh, Bengala y Bihar debido a las buenas lluvias, las hambrunas han obstaculizado enormemente el establecimiento de ciudades similares en Rajasthan y Deccan.

Los ríos que fluyen desde el Himalaya durante el año han contribuido en gran medida a la prosperidad y el desarrollo de las llanuras, que de otro modo habrían convertido a la India en un desierto. La fertilidad y la consiguiente riqueza de la gente de las llanuras invitaron a invasores extranjeros a la India.

Mahmud Ghaznavi y Muhammad Ghori atacaron esta región varias veces y tomaron grandes cantidades de oro, plata, diamantes y otros artículos valiosos cada vez que atacaron esta región. Esta región también continuó siendo el campo de todas las actividades políticas y culturales y un número de imperios importantes surgieron y cayeron aquí.

La prosperidad y riqueza de la región también ha hecho que la gente sea pacífica y lujosa. Las personas de las montañas Vindhya han sido responsables de la división del país en dos partes distintas: norte y sur. Esta división natural ha sido responsable de dos historias separadas del norte y del sur. Esto también ha mantenido en gran medida al sur de la India inmune a la agitación política del norte.

Efecto # 7. Ausencia de poder naval fuerte:

Aunque la India tiene una larga costa que se extiende por más de 3,000 millas, nunca mantuvo una Armada fuerte para su defensa. Sin duda, la India llevó a cabo actividades culturales y comerciales y estableció un contacto con el mundo exterior a través de los mares, pero nunca pensó en la dominación política sobre esas regiones.

Varios indios inspirados por el espíritu de empresa y aventura fueron a la isla vecina, como Birmania, Java, Sumatra Malai, etc. para difundir la cultura india.

Los antiguos gobernantes del sur también dieron todo el estímulo posible al desarrollo de la Armada. Pero todas estas actividades fueron guiadas por motivos pacíficos y no se sintió la necesidad de crear una fuerza naval fuerte. De hecho, los gobernantes indios se dieron cuenta de las dificultades de establecer un imperio de ultramar y se concentraron principalmente en ambiciosos militares dentro de la India.

Efecto # 8. Desarrollo de las Bellas Artes:

La geografía de la India también ejerció una tremenda influencia en la vida y los hábitos de la gente. En vista de la abundancia de riquezas y otros recursos en el país, los indios no sólo desarrollaron el hábito de quedarse en casa, sino que también se convirtieron en una vida cómoda.

Esta riqueza y fertilidad del suelo indio proporcionó a la gente mucho tiempo de ocio y dedicó su atención a la promoción del arte y la literatura. La literatura védica es uno de los tesoros más valiosos de nuestro país.

Las artes y la artesanía también lograron un progreso notable. Las reliquias del período Maurya y Gupta son las mejores muestras de arquitectura, escultura, pintura, etc. de ese período. En el ámbito de la literatura, las obras más destacadas producidas durante la antigüedad fueron las Arthashastra de Kautilya y los dramas de Kalidas.

Dos de las universidades de renombre mundial, Taxila y Nalanda, también florecieron en el norte del país. Estas universidades también atrajeron a estudiantes de varios países extranjeros. Como la mayoría de los indios estaban libres de las preocupaciones mundanas, naturalmente pasaron mucho tiempo reflexionando sobre los problemas de la vida y la muerte y desarrollaron un estado de ánimo especulativo.

Esto explica el predominio del espiritismo en la cultura india. Una vez más, fueron sólo las partes del norte las que estuvieron sujetas a invasiones e influencias extranjeras. El Sur, que no era de fácil acceso para los invasores extranjeros, siguió siendo promotor de la civilización y la cultura indias.


Mapa de los estados de la India

India está dividida en 28 estados y 8 territorios de la Unión. Los estados son: Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand y Bengala Occidental. Los Territorios de la Unión son: Islas Andaman y Nicobar, Chandigarh, Dadra y Nagar Haveli y Daman y Diu, Territorio de la Capital Nacional de Delhi, Jammu y Cachemira, Ladakh, Lakshadweep y Puducherry.

Con una superficie total de 3.287.263 kilómetros cuadrados, la India es el séptimo país más grande del mundo y el segundo más poblado. Situada en la parte centro-norte del país en el Territorio Capital Nacional de Delhi, Nueva Delhi, la capital de la India. Situada en la costa occidental del país se encuentra Mumbai, la ciudad más grande y poblada de la India. También es el puerto principal del país, así como el centro industrial y comercial.


Geografía de la India antigua

India y sus países vecinos son tan similares en cultura y condiciones climáticas que la región a veces se llama subcontinente indio. En la antigüedad, la geografía de la India era un poco diferente a la actual. En la parte norte de la India se encuentran las montañas del Himalaya y el Hindu Kush en el noroeste. La región sur de la India está rodeada por tres cuerpos de agua. Son el Mar Arábigo al suroeste del Océano Índico en el lado sur y al sureste se encuentra la Bahía de Bengala.

En la antigüedad, la India estaba mucho más extendida hacia el noroeste y el oeste (que constaba de partes de los modernos Pakistán y Afganistán). Los Himalayas se encuentran al norte como están hoy. En la antigüedad había muchos otros ríos además de los preestablecidos. El más importante de ellos fue el río Saraswati, que ahora no se puede rastrear. La geografía de la India es una de grandes extremos, que abarca el desierto, las montañas, los bosques y la jungla. Todos estos entornos son susceptibles a períodos impredecibles de inundaciones, sequías y monzones.

Aunque la India puede tener algunas de las características geológicas y climáticas más extremas, estas difíciles condiciones también fueron un gran activo para el desarrollo de las primeras civilizaciones de la India. El Himalaya proporcionó una gran protección contra las invasiones nómadas y militares del norte, y otras cadenas montañosas proporcionaron una protección similar en el oeste y el este. Las vías fluviales del valle del Indo proporcionaron una excelente fuente de comercio y comercio a lo largo de la historia de la India.


Las grandes influencias culturales en la comida [editar]

La India siempre se ha caracterizado por el sincretismo, con la variedad de prácticas culturales que surgen de los diferentes rincones del continente que se mezclan y se desangran. Esto significa que aunque puede haber diferencias en las opiniones, a veces fuertes, todavía hay una fuerte tendencia a convivir, adoptar partes de otras culturas que son del agrado e ignorar al resto lo mejor posible. Los dos mayores desarrollos en los últimos milenios con respecto a las fuertes influencias en la cocina son el surgimiento de tres religiones principales (hinduismo, budismo y jainismo) e incluso más recientemente el control del imperio mogol (o mogol) desde 1526 hasta 1707.

El hinduismo como religión se remonta a varios miles de años, y en todo este tiempo se ha adaptado de varias maneras para abarcar una filosofía india más amplia con varias escuelas de pensamiento. Ahora, voy a reservar comentarios sobre esta área porque no sé mucho y no quiero hacer un bobo total de mí mismo, pero hay un montón de información interesante para leer para cualquiera que me gusta digerirlo. Con respecto a la comida, un principio central de la religión hindú es Ahimsa, "no hacer daño", una influencia impulsora detrás de la larga tradición de la cocina vegetariana en la India. Gran parte de la población vive con alguna variación de una restricción dietética vegetariana.

El consumo de carne también está muy extendido, más entre las poblaciones musulmanas, pero cuando se come carne, normalmente se limita a mariscos, cordero o pollo. De hecho, la comida rápida está teniendo mucho éxito en la India en este momento. KFC ha abierto varias ubicaciones y Church's Chicken recientemente se mudó al mercado. McDonald's ha adaptado su menú para incluir hamburguesas de cordero y pepitas de verduras para satisfacer los gustos locales. Sin embargo, no hay carne. En la mayoría de los estados está prohibida la matanza de ganado. Dicho esto, todavía hay una pequeña tradición de comer carne de res, que mencionaré en la sección de Gujarat. Sin embargo, la prohibición del sacrificio de carne de res tiene sentido, porque las vacas son un alimento básico para la gente de la India. De las vacas obtienen leche, yogur, queso paneer, aceites de cocina (ghee) y estiércol de vaca para fertilizar los cultivos. El ganado también se utiliza para trabajos agrícolas y de tiro. Todos estos factores hacen que la vaca sea una parte muy importante del estilo de vida indio.

La mayoría de las tradiciones para preparar carne, y una gran cantidad de otros platos indios, especialmente en el norte de la India, se originan en la influencia del imperio mogol. La cultura predominante de este imperio musulmán fue la persa. Su presencia en la cocina india viene con el estilo de la mayoría de las preparaciones de carne, así como con los métodos de cocinar platos indios en salsas espesas y grasas infundidas con especias. Trajeron el método de cocinar la carne al estilo tandoori, en hoyo en brochetas. Los platos de carne cocinados de esta manera normalmente eran brochetas preparadas en hornos de hoyo para asar. Otra forma popular de preparar platos de carne era hacer picadillos / albóndigas, freírlos y dorarlos y cocinarlos en una especie de curry. Aún así, los gobernantes mogoles respetaban la conmoción y el horror de los lugareños por el consumo de carne de res, por lo que el consumo de carne entre los musulmanes todavía se limitaba al cordero y las aves de corral. Los tramos del imperio alrededor de Kabul, una vez una importante ciudad mogol y ahora capital de Afganistán, adoptaron las tradiciones de comer carne de res, pero no se pusieron de moda en la India.

Así que, en pocas palabras, la tradición culinaria vegetal se remonta a 6 milenios con la religión hindú, y las técnicas de cocina y el consumo de carne están fuertemente influenciados por el imperio musulmán mogol.


Influencia de la geografía en la historia de la India

Para formar una imagen holística de la India, es necesario un intento de comprender y apreciar el papel de la geografía y la ecología en moldear el carácter y la psique de los indios.

Lo que observamos es un ajuste armonioso de entornos físicos y culturales.

Además, notamos que las características físicas del subcontinente que facilitan la coexistencia de diferentes niveles de culturas en diferentes regiones se deben a las condiciones ecológicas y geográficas.

Fuente de la imagen: 8dd4d2aa9263c5094bdf-9f7114a943e0980c1bc96778d91d93b7.r3.cf2.rackcdn.com/FA33F53E-A16D-4507-B629-0279042BC139.jpg

También notamos la ausencia de un patrón cultural uniforme en toda la India en un momento dado. Nos encontramos con el fenómeno de culturas muy complejas que coexisten con otras en diversas etapas de evolución a lo largo de diferentes partes de la India, a lo largo de su historia, dependiendo de su configuración ecológica.

Otra característica notable es que las características físicas también regulan el sistema de comunicación, al igual que los niveles culturales. Con base en las características físicas del subcontinente y el sistema de comunicación, cabe señalar que mientras las principales cuencas fluviales constituían las áreas de atracción, las regiones tribales constituyen las áreas de retraso.

Las áreas de relativo aislamiento se encuentran entre las áreas de atracción y retraso. Aunque se conviene en que la historia de cualquier nación y su entorno son mutuamente complementarios, debe tenerse en cuenta que el determinismo geográfico por sí solo no puede explicar el proceso histórico de ninguna nación.

Se puede estar de acuerdo en que las características geográficas juegan un papel importante, aunque no son los principales motores del proceso histórico. El motor principal del proceso histórico es el hombre, el animal social y el fabricante de herramientas, o el esfuerzo consciente colectivo de todos los seres humanos deseosos del cambio necesario para hacer sus vidas mejores, más pacíficas y más felices. A pesar de este hecho, el conocimiento de las características fisiográficas básicas de la India es esencial para comprender el proceso histórico.

El subcontinente indio se divide en:

(b) llanuras indogangéticas, y

Estas tres divisiones se subdividen aún más para comprender mejor el proceso histórico. Los Himalayas suministran agua perennemente a los tres grandes sistemas: Indo, Ganges y Brahmaputra y proporcionan grandes cantidades de aluvión a las llanuras. Por lo tanto, desde la desembocadura del Indo hasta la desembocadura del Ganges, tenemos una llanura aluvial que se extiende sobre un área de, aproximadamente 3.200 kms con un ancho de 320 kms.

No es exagerado sugerir que mientras las llanuras del Indo fueron testigos del florecimiento de la primera civilización urbana del subcontinente, las llanuras del Ganges desempeñaron un papel crucial en el sostenimiento y el fomento de la vida urbana, el estado y la estructura de poder imperial. Las llanuras indogangéticas y la India peninsular están separadas por el centro de la India, cubriendo 1.600 kilómetros que se extienden desde Gujarat hasta el oeste de Orissa.

Las colinas de Aravali en Rajasthan separan la llanura del Indo de la península. Esta zona comprende los rangos de Vindhyan y Satpura y la meseta de Chota Nagpur. La India peninsular forma el borde sur de la India central.

Era una antigua masa terrestre rocosa estable. Se inclina suavemente de oeste a este. Cuatro ríos principales, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna y Kaveri desembocan en la Bahía de Bengala. Al crear llanuras aluviales, estos ríos crearon áreas nucleares en llanuras y deltas que mantuvieron un crecimiento cultural continuo a lo largo de la historia.

Los ríos Narmada y Tapti fluyen hacia el oeste y se unen al Mar Arábigo en Gujarat después de atravesar una larga distancia en la India central montañosa. La meseta de Deccan comienza aquí y se extiende desde Vindhyas en el norte hasta los límites del sur de Karnataka. El suelo negro de Maharashtra y las partes adyacentes del centro de la India es adecuado para la agricultura de arado.

Es muy interesante notar que a pesar de las instalaciones de riego y lluvias inadecuadas, la agricultura temprana comenzó en el período Calcolítico en la meseta de Deccan. La meseta de Deccan termina con los Ghats occidentales al oeste y al este está separada de las llanuras costeras orientales por los Ghats orientales.

Las llanuras costeras orientales son más anchas que las llanuras costeras occidentales. Los vástagos peninsulares básicos de los Ghats orientales son Nilgiris y las colinas de cardamomo. Estas divisiones geográficas son aproximadamente colindantes con las regiones lingüísticas actuales.

Debido a la variación ecológica y geográfica, lo que notamos es la biodiversidad y la diversidad de estilos de vida en todo el subcontinente de la India. No es de extrañar que el carácter y la actitud de los indios en general estén influenciados por los caprichos de la naturaleza. Por tanto, es un hecho aceptado que el patrón de desarrollo de las culturas materiales en la India está influido en gran medida por factores geográficos y ecológicos.

Es por la ubicación geográfica del subcontinente. Como el subcontinente indio es periférico a Oriente, las influencias orientales son claramente visibles en el patrón de desarrollo de la cultura y, con el paso del tiempo, esas influencias fueron absorbidas por una cultura sintética de la India.

Hasta 1922, se creía que las raíces y los comienzos de la civilización india estaban en la obra de los arios, que no eran nativos de la India y que llegaron a la India como migrantes. Sin embargo, el repentino descubrimiento de la civilización del Indo o la cultura Harappa en 1922 reveló que los comienzos de la vida civilizada se remontan a 5000 años antes de Cristo.

Desde entonces, se ha debatido entre académicos extranjeros e indios sobre quiénes podrían ser los constructores originales o indígenas de esta floreciente cultura urbana india. Se ha convertido en un tema polémico que ha provocado una fuerte división entre los estudiosos. Si bien muchos creen que los constructores de la civilización Harappa no son arios y prearios, o dravidianos, en las últimas décadas el problema ario se ha reabierto y ahora prevalece la opinión de que los arios eran nativos de la India y la llamada invasión de la India. Los arios son un mito y que los harappanos también son arios.

Se están haciendo esfuerzos para llevar la antigüedad de la cultura Harappa a unos 8.000 años. Desafortunadamente, se ha convertido en un tema tan controvertido, que los académicos y la gente en general están divididos en campos en guerra, lanzándose insinuaciones unos contra otros, causando un daño enorme a la unidad y la solidaridad, que es esencial para la supervivencia de un sentimiento de unidad. No se puede probar más allá de toda duda, que en el pasado distante, existió una raza puramente aria o pura dravidiana y la cultura de esa época no puede ser etiquetada como puramente aria o puramente dravidiana.

Estamos olvidando que esta división aria y dravidiana basada en rasgos raciales y lenguaje, costumbres y tradiciones, es una construcción colonial inventada para necesidades estratégicas. A sabiendas o sin saberlo, nos hemos convertido en presa de la construcción egoísta y estrecha de los amos coloniales y nos estamos convirtiendo en el hazmerreír de nuestra incapacidad para liberarnos de la esclavitud mental hacia el oeste. Este es uno de los principales obstáculos que se interponen en el camino para que la India se convierta en una nación durante un siglo o más.

Esta división ha creado un abismo infranqueable entre los indios. Como si este tema polémico no fuera suficiente para desestabilizar a la sociedad, otra visión ha ganado aceptación de que los habitantes originales del subcontinente indio son los adivasis, que han sido marginados en el proceso histórico por la tradición de la hegemonía brahmánica.

Circula una idea de que el dominio brahmánico es responsable de mantener alejados a los adivasis, los constructores originales de la cultura india, de la corriente principal, por tratarlos como parias o marginados. Esta creencia también creó un estereotipo de la sociedad india como jerárquica y piramidal en sustancia y forma.


Vida política

Gobierno. El sistema nacional de gobierno es una república federal democrática liberal, lo que convierte a la India en la democracia más grande del mundo. El país está dividido a efectos administrativos en veintiocho estados de base lingüística, más siete pequeños "territorios de la Unión" administrados directamente por el gobierno central en Nueva Delhi, la capital nacional.

Funcionarios políticos y de liderazgo. El parlamento central de Nueva Delhi está formado por la Casa del Pueblo ( Lok Sabha ) y el Consejo de Estados ( Rajya Sabha ).

Todos los estados tienen asambleas legislativas ( Vidhan sabha ) y consejos legislativos ( Vidhan parishad ). Los miembros del parlamento y las legislaturas estatales se seleccionan en elecciones democráticas. Una excepción a este procedimiento es que la Lok Sabha tiene dos escaños reservados para miembros angloindios, y de los 4.072 escaños en todas las asambleas legislativas estatales, 557 se han reservado para candidatos de las castas programadas y 527 más para candidatos de las Tribus programadas. Estas disposiciones han asegurado que las principales poblaciones minoritarias tengan representación legislativa y un interés en continuar el proceso electoral. La Lok Sabha recientemente tuvo miembros en funciones de veintiún partidos diferentes. Las legislaturas estatales también albergan una multiplicidad de partidos políticos.

El jefe de estado es el presidente, y también hay un vicepresidente, ni elegido por sufragio general sino por un colegio electoral. El presidente cuenta con la ayuda de un consejo de ministros y nombra al primer ministro de cada gobierno. Este primer ministro es el líder del partido dominante o de una coalición de partidos prominentes y ha sido elegido miembro del parlamento. El presidente tiene el poder de disolver un gobierno y ordenar nuevas elecciones o de destituir a un gobierno estatal problemático y declarar el "gobierno del presidente".

Problemas sociales y control. Los indios han vivido bajo el imperio de la ley desde la antigüedad. La ley hindú fue codificada hace más de dos mil años en los libros llamados Dharmasastras. Ahora hay una jerarquía legal en todo el país, con la Corte Suprema a la cabeza. El procedimiento legal se basa en el Código Penal de la India (IPC) que se redactó a mediados del siglo XIX, y el Código de Procedimiento Penal de 1973. La constitución promulgada en 1950 fue más lejos que cualquier otro país del sur de Asia en la reducción de la influencia de los sistemas legales tradicionales que en la práctica se aplicaban solo a los seguidores de una religión en particular, ya fueran hindúes, budistas, musulmanes, cristianos, judíos o parsi.

La enorme profesión jurídica ayuda a impulsar los casos lentamente a través del complejo aparato de los magistrados y los tribunales de alto nivel, creando a veces la impresión de que el litigio es un deporte nacional. Si bien las multas y el encarcelamiento son los castigos más comunes, el Tribunal Supremo ha confirmado la legalidad de la pena de muerte.

Actividad militar. Cinco guerras con Pakistán y una con China desde la independencia han proporcionado entrenamiento a varias generaciones de soldados. Por lo tanto, India tiene un fuerte programa de defensa nacional, con cuatro servicios nacionales: el ejército, la marina, la fuerza aérea y la guardia costera (desde 1978). En 1996, estas sucursales


Índice

Geografía

Un tercio del área de los Estados Unidos, la República de la India ocupa la mayor parte del subcontinente de la India en el sur de Asia. Limita con China en el noreste. Otros vecinos son Pakistán al oeste, Nepal y Bután al norte, y Birmania y Bangladesh al este.

El país se puede dividir en tres regiones geográficas distintas: la región del Himalaya en el norte, que contiene algunas de las montañas más altas del mundo, la llanura del Ganges y la región de la meseta en la parte sur y central. Sus tres grandes sistemas fluviales, el Ganges, el Indo y el Brahmaputra, tienen extensos deltas y todos se elevan en el Himalaya.

Gobierno
Historia

Una de las primeras civilizaciones, la civilización del valle del Indo floreció en el subcontinente indio desde c. 2600 a.C. a c. 2000 a.C. Generalmente se acepta que los arios entraron en la India c. 1500 a.C. desde el noroeste, encontrando una tierra que ya era el hogar de una civilización avanzada. Introdujeron el sánscrito y la religión védica, precursora del hinduismo. El budismo se fundó en el siglo VI a.C. y se extendió por todo el norte de la India, sobre todo por uno de los grandes reyes antiguos de la dinastía Maurya, Asoka (c. 269-232 a. C.), que también unificó la mayor parte del subcontinente indio por primera vez.

En 1526, los invasores musulmanes fundaron el gran Imperio Mogul, centrado en Delhi, que duró, al menos de nombre, hasta 1857. Akbar el Grande (1542? 1605) fortaleció y consolidó este imperio. El largo reinado de su bisnieto, Aurangzeb (1618? 1707), representa tanto la mayor extensión del Imperio Mogul como el comienzo de su decadencia.

Los británicos ejercen influencia, reprimen a los indios

Vasco da Gama, el explorador portugués, desembarcó en la India en 1498 y durante los siguientes 100 años los portugueses tuvieron prácticamente el monopolio del comercio con el subcontinente. Mientras tanto, los ingleses fundaron la Compañía de las Indias Orientales, que estableció su primera fábrica en Surat en 1612 y comenzó a expandir su influencia, luchando contra los gobernantes indios y los comerciantes franceses, holandeses y portugueses simultáneamente.

Bombay, tomada de los portugueses, se convirtió en la sede del dominio inglés en 1687. La derrota de los ejércitos francés y mogul por Lord Clive en 1757 sentó las bases del Imperio Británico en la India. La Compañía de las Indias Orientales continuó reprimiendo los levantamientos nativos y extendió el dominio británico hasta 1858, cuando la administración de la India fue transferida formalmente a la Corona británica después del motín cipayo de las tropas nativas en 1857-1858.

Gandhi lidera el desafío del dominio británico

Después de la Primera Guerra Mundial, en la que los estados indios enviaron más de 6 millones de tropas para luchar junto a los aliados, el descontento nacionalista indio alcanzó nuevas alturas bajo el liderazgo de un abogado hindú, Mohandas K. Gandhi, llamado Mahatma Gandhi. Su filosofía de la desobediencia civil pedía la nocooperación no violenta contra la autoridad británica. Pronto se convirtió en el espíritu principal del Partido del Congreso Nacional Indio, que fue la punta de lanza de la revuelta. En 1919, los británicos dieron mayor responsabilidad a los funcionarios indios, y en 1935, la India recibió una forma de gobierno federal y una medida de autogobierno.

En 1942, con los japoneses presionando con fuerza en las fronteras orientales de la India, el gabinete de guerra británico intentó y fracasó en llegar a un acuerdo político con los líderes nacionalistas. El Partido del Congreso adoptó la posición de que los británicos debían abandonar la India. Por temor a la desobediencia civil masiva, el gobierno de la India llevó a cabo detenciones generalizadas de líderes del Partido del Congreso, incluido Gandhi.

Independencia agriada por la partición de India y Pakistán

Gandhi fue liberado en 1944 y se reanudaron las negociaciones para llegar a un acuerdo. Finally, in Aug. 1947, India gained full independence. The victory was soured, however, by the partitioning of the predominantly Muslim regions of the north into the separate nation of Pakistan. The Muslim League, led by Mohammed Ali Jinnah, demanded a separate nation for the Muslim minority to prevent Hindu political and social domination. Indian Hindus, however, had hoped for a unified rather than balkanized Indian subcontinent. Lord Mountbatten as viceroy partitioned India along religious lines and split the provinces of Bengal and the Punjab, which both nations claimed. The partition of Pakistan and India led to the largest migration in human history, with 17 million people fleeing across the borders in both directions to escape the bloody riots occurring among sectarian groups. Armed conflict also broke out over rival claims to the princely states of Jammu and Kashmir.

Jawaharlal Nehru, nationalist leader and head of the Congress Party, was made prime minister. In 1949, a constitution was approved, making India a sovereign republic. Under a federal structure the states were organized on linguistic lines. The dominance of the Congress Party contributed to stability. In 1956, the republic absorbed former French settlements. Five years later, the republic forcibly annexed the Portuguese enclaves of Goa, Damao, and Diu.

Nehru died in 1964. His successor, Lal Bahadur Shastri, died on Jan. 10, 1966. Nehru's daughter, Indira Gandhi, became prime minister, and she continued his policy of nonalignment.

India Supports Independence Movement That Leads to the Creation of Bangladesh

In 1971, the Pakistani army moved in to quash the independence movement in East Pakistan that was supported by India, and some 10 million Bengali refugees poured across the border into India, creating social, economic, and health problems. After numerous border incidents, India invaded East Pakistan and in two weeks forced the surrender of the Pakistani army. East Pakistan was established as an independent state and renamed Bangladesh.

In May 1975, the 300-year-old kingdom of Sikkim became a full-fledged Indian state. Situated in the Himalayas, Sikkim was a virtual dependency of Tibet until the early 19th century. Under an 1890 treaty between China and Great Britain, it became a British protectorate and was made an Indian protectorate after Britain quit the subcontinent.

Indira Gandhi's Leadership Is Challenged

In the summer of 1975, the world's largest democracy veered suddenly toward authoritarianism when a judge in Allahabad, Indira Gandhi's home constituency, found Gandhi's landslide victory in the 1971 elections invalid because civil servants had illegally aided her campaign. Amid demands for her resignation, Gandhi decreed a state of emergency on June 26 and ordered mass arrests of her critics, including all opposition party leaders except the Communists.

Despite strong opposition to her repressive measures, particularly resentment against compulsory birth control programs, in 1977 Gandhi announced parliamentary elections for March. At the same time, she freed most political prisoners. The landslide victory of Morarji R. Desai unseated Gandhi, but she staged a spectacular comeback in the elections of Jan. 1980.

In 1984, Gandhi ordered the Indian army to root out a band of Sikh holy men and gunmen who were using the most sacred shrine of the Sikh religion, the Golden Temple in Amritsar, as a base for terrorist raids in a violent campaign for greater political autonomy in the strategic Punjab border state. The perceived sacrilege to the Golden Temple kindled outrage among many of India's 14 million Sikhs and brought a spasm of mutinies and desertions by Sikh officers and soldiers in the army.

Indira and Rajiv Gandhi Are Gunned Down

On Oct. 31, 1984, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two men identified by police as Sikh members of her bodyguard. The ruling Congress Party chose her older son, Rajiv Gandhi, to succeed her as prime minister for four years. While running for reelection, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 22, 1991, by Tamil militants who objected to India's mediation of the civil war in Sri Lanka.

The ruling Congress Party lost the parliamentary elections of May 1996, and its waning resulted in a period of political instability. The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) then became the dominant force in politics, with Atal Bihari Vajpayee as prime minister.

India and Pakistan Test Nuclear Weapons

In May 1998, India set off five nuclear tests, surprising the international community, which widely condemned India's pronuclear stance. Despite international urging for restraint, Pakistan responded by conducting several nuclear tests of its own two weeks later. India has resisted signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty for nuclear weapons and has been slapped with sanctions by the U.S. and other countries. Less than a year later, in April 1999, both India and Pakistan tested nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.

Kashmir Continues to Test Relationship Between India and Pakistan

India and Pakistan have held various talks about the disputed territory of Kashmir, which is the issue at the base of their chronic antagonism and their displays of nuclear strength. India controls two-thirds of this Himalayan region, which is the only Indian state that is predominantly Muslim.

The Indian Air Force launched air strikes on May 26, 1999, and later sent in ground troops against Islamic guerrilla forces in Kashmir. India blamed Pakistan for orchestrating violence in Kashmir by sending soldiers and mercenaries across the so-called Line of Control that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan. Pakistan countered that the guerrillas were independent Kashmiri freedom fighters struggling for India's ouster from the region. Most international sources agreed with India's assumption that Pakistan was arming the soldiers. In Aug. 1999, Pakistan was forced to withdraw, but fighting continued sporadically during the coming year.

In Oct. 2001, violence again broke out in the region when a suicide bombing by a Pakistan-based militant organization killed 38 in India-controlled Kashmir. India retaliated with heavy shelling across the Line of Control. India, angered by Washington's sudden coziness with Pakistan following the Sept. 11 attacks, took the opportunity to point out that, while Pakistan might be helping the U.S. fight terrorism on the Afghan front, it was simultaneously supporting terrorism on its own borders with India. On Dec. 13, 2001, suicide bombers attacked the Indian parliament, killing 14 people. Indian officials blamed the deadly attack on Islamic militants supported by Pakistan.

Hope for a peaceful solution to the conflict in Kashmir was raised in Nov. 2002, when a newly elected coalition government in India-controlled Jammu and Kashmir vowed to reach out to separatists and to improve conditions in the state. But hopes were dashed in March 2003, following the slaughter of 24 Hindus in Kashmir. Officials blamed the massacre on Islamic militants. Days after the violence, both India and Pakistan test-fired short-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Two bombs exploded in Mumbai (Bombay) in August, killing more than 50 people and injuring about 150. Indian officials blamed Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based militant Islamic group. But in Nov. 2003, India and Pakistan declared their first formal cease-fire in 14 years. The cease-fire applied to the entire Line of Control dividing Kashmir. Relations between the two countries have continued to thaw, though no real progress has been made.

Electoral Upset Brings Congress Party to Power

In one of the most dramatic political upsets in modern Indian history, the Indian National Congress Party, led by Sonia Gandhi, prevailed in parliamentary elections in May 2004, prompting Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to resign. Although the country prospered economically under Vajpayee's rule, a substantial number of India's poor felt they had not benefitted from India's economic growth. Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born widow of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, dealt a further shock to the country when she refused to become prime minister. The BJP had vociferously protested Gandhi's expected elevation to prime minister because of her foreign birth. The Congress Party instead chose former finance minister Manmohan Singh, who became India's first Sikh prime minister.

On Dec. 26, 2004, a tremendously powerful tsunami ravaged 12 Asian countries. Nearly 11,000 people perished in India.

President Bush announced in March 2005 that he would allow American companies to provide India with several types of modern combat weapons, including F-16 and F-18 fighter jets. The announcement was seen as an attempt to balance Bush's offer to sell Pakistan about two dozen F-16s.

India and the U.S. Reach Deal on Nuclear Technology

In March 2006, President Bush and Prime Minister Singh agreed to a controversial civil nuclear power deal that permitted the sale of nuclear technology to India despite the fact that India has never signed the international Nuclear Nonproliferation agreement. Since 1998, the U.S. has imposed sanctions on India for undertaking nuclear tests. Critics of the deal contend that allowing India to circumvent the international treaty will make it more difficult to negotiate with Iran and North Korea and their nuclear ambitions. In September 2008, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, comprised of representatives from 45 countries, voted in favor of the deal, bringing it a step away from implementation. The U.S. Congress approved the deal in Oct. 2008 it was the last hurdle for the implementation of the controversial agreement. India's Bharatiya Janata Party, which opposes the deal, called it a "nonproliferation trap." The deal could be scrapped if India uses the fuel for its weapons program.

Pratibha Patil, of the governing Congress party, was elected president in July 2007, becoming the country's first woman to hold the post. She defeated Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.

Prime Minister Singh survived a confidence vote in July 2008, taking 275 votes to the opposition's 256. Eleven members of Parliament abstained. He had lost the support of Communist parties as he sought to seal the deal that has the U.S. providing India with nuclear technology and fuel for civilian purposes.

Squirmishing along Kashmir's Line of Control broke out over the summer of 2008, after more than four years of relative calm. The problems arose after authorities in Indian-controlled Kashmir transferred 99 acres of land to a trust that runs a Hindu shrine, called Amarnath. Muslims launched a series of protests. The government rescinded the order, which outraged Hindus. About 40 people were killed in the protests and counterdemonstrations, which involved several hundred thousand people. Despite the hostilities, a trade route between India and Pakistan across the line of control opened in October for the first time in 60 years.

Terrorists Attack Landmarks in Mumbai

Religious and ethnic clashes that pitted Muslims against Hindus and Hindus against Christians broke out throughout India in the summer and fall of 2008. The violence was exacerbated by a series of terrorist attacks largely blamed on Islamic militants, including one in the northern state of Assam that killed at least 64 people and wounded hundreds in October. In total, well over 200 people died in the attacks.

India launched its first unmanned spacecraft in October 2008 for a two-year mission to map a three-dimensional atlas of the Moon and search for natural resources on the Moon's surface.

About 170 people were killed and about 300 wounded in a series of attacks that began on Nov. 26 on several of Mumbai's landmarks and commercial hubs that are popular with foreign tourists, including two five-star hotels, a hospital, a train station, and a cinema. Indian officials said ten gunmen carried out the attack, which was stunning in its brutality and duration it took Indian forces three days to end the siege. India's police and security forces were ill-prepared for such an attack, which many inside India are calling their own September 11. In fact, Indian sharpshooters were not equipped with telescopic sights, and therefore withheld firing in fear of killing hostages rather than terrorists. In addition, a 2007 report to Parliament warned that India's shores were particularly vulnerable. (The perpetrators reportedly arrived in Mumbai by boat.)

Indian and U.S. officials said they have evidence that the Pakistan-based militant Islamic group Lashkar-e-Taiba was involved in the attack. Lashkar-e-Taiba, which translates to Army of the Pure, was established in the late 1980s with the assistance of Pakistan's spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, to fight Indian control of the Muslim section of Kashmir. The accusation further strained an already tense relationship between the two countries. India's home minister in charge of security, Shivraj Patil, resigned after the tragedy. While Pakistani president Zardari first denied that Pakistani citizens were involved in the attack, in December, Pakistan officials raided a camp run by Lashkar-e-Taiba in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, and arrested several militants. Muhammad Ajmal Qasab, a Pakistani and the only attacker who survived the Mumbai attack, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death in May 2010 by an Indian court.

Between April 16 and May 13, 2009, India held general elections. The Indian National Congress won 206 seats and will lead a governing coalition called the United Progressive Alliance. The Bharatiya Janata Party came in second with 116 seats. Analysts attributed Congress's repeat victory to the party's ability to balance the concerns of poor farmers in the rural provinces and the urban middle class. Manmohan Singh remains the prime minister.

New Delhi's highest court overturned the ban on homosexuality in India in July 2009. Homosexuality was illegal in India since 1861. Court justices declared the old law to be a violation of human rights and equality outlined in India's constitution. On Dec. 11, 2013, the Indian Supreme Court reinstated the 1861 law. The ruling came after the court determined that the law had been improperly ruled unconstitutional by a lower court in 2009. The Supreme Court ruled that only Parliament had the power to change the 1861 law, which includes a decade long jail sentence for "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with man, woman or animal."

In 2011, Anna Hazare, a 74-year-old Indian activist went on two hunger strikes in his quest to force India's parliament to adopt legislation instituting an independent anticorruption agency called a Jan Lokpal, or ombudsman. The first strike, which garnered a great public following, ended after 13 days and an invitation to help draft a Lokpal bill. Mr. Hazare decided the legislation was too weak, which led to his second hunger strike in December, aborted after three days due to health concerns. On Dec. 27, a bill--still deemed unsatisfactory by Anna Hazare--was passesd in the lower house before being indefinately stalled in the upper house.

On July 13, 2011, Indian cities were put on high alert after three bombs exploded in Mumbai's business district during rush hour, killing 18 people and injuring more than 100. It was the worst terrorist incident in India's financial capital since a coordinated attack by gunmen in 2008.

India Tests a Long-Range Ballistic Missile

In April 2012, India successfully launched the Agni 5, a long-range ballistic missile that can reach Beijing and Shanghai, China, and can deliver a nuclear warhead. The exercise was seen as a response to China's recent investment in its military and its growing assertiveness on the military front. Some observers questioned if the move would spark an arms race in Asia. A week later, fuel was added to that speculation when Pakistan tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile that can also carry a nuclear warhead. While India and Pakistan are archrivals, both denied the tests were an act of brinkmanship, with Pakistan saying its exercise would "further strengthen and consolidate Pakistan's deterrence capabilities."

India was hit by the largest blackout in history in July 2012. More than half of India's population ?700 million people living in 22 out of the country's 28 states?lost power for two days. Authorities think residents in the northern states exceeded their allotment of electricity during a drought. For the most part, Indians took the blackout in stride, as such events are not unusual in a country whose power grid is still in development.

Gang Rape Case Ignites National Protests

Protests spread throughout India in late Dec. 2012 when a 23-year-old woman died after being gang raped by several men in a moving bus in Delhi. The woman had to be flown to Singapore after three abdominal operations at a Delhi hospital, where her intestines were removed due to damage done by a metal rod during the attack. Police said the attackers would be charged with murder. Sonia Gandhi, president of the Congress Party, said in a rare television appearance, "As a woman, and mother, I understand how protestors feel. Today we pledge that the victim will get justice."

The trial for the five men accused of the gang rape began in late January 2013. The men were charged with robbery, gang rape, and murder. Lawyers for the men said they would all plead not guilty.

In early Feb. 2013, India's government approved new, stiffer laws for sexual violence against women. The new laws included the death penalty in certain cases. The laws were a direct response to the nationwide outrage over the gang rape case. Parliament also created a special court that would hear rape cases much more quickly than India's regular justice system. Reports of sexual assault and rape skyrocketed in 2013 which suggested more willingness to come forward about these crimes since the country's new laws.

Ram Singh, the apparent driver of the bus, was found hanging in his jail cell on March 11, 2013. Officials ruled his death as suicide, but Singh's family said he was killed. On Aug. 31, a 17-year-old participant was convicted for his part in the gang rape he was sentenced to three years in a special juvenile correctional facility. On Sept. 13, Judge Yogesh Khanna had this to say: "In these times when crimes against women are on the rise, the court cannot turn a blind eye to this gruesome act,"as he handed down a sentence of death by hanging for each of the four convicted men.

Opposition Dominates 2014 Election

In May 2014's general election, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party trounced the governing Indian National Congress Party, taking about 60% of the seats in parliament. The decisive victory gave the party an outright majority in parliament. Narendra Modi is set to become prime minister. The Congress party, headed by the Gandhi family, has prevailed over Indian politics since the country gained independence in 1947. The results reflected the country's dissatisfaction with lackluster economic growth, high inflation, and a series of corruption scandals. The election took place in nine phases from April 7 through May 12, making it the longest election in the country's history. Some 550 million votes were cast, and voter turnout was about 66%.

Modi assumed office on May 26, 2014. A Hindu nationalist, Modi was previously chief minister of Gujarat, a state in northwest India, where his administration had been praised for its economic policies, which have created rapid economic growth. However, Modi is a controversial figure, mainly for his administration's role in the 2002 Gujarat riots where the death toll was estimated between 900 to over 2000, with several thousand more injured. Most of the victims of the riots were Muslim. To curb the violence, Modi's government enforced curfews and asked for the army to intervene, but human rights organizations, the media, and the opposition argued that Modi's administration didn't do enough to stop the riots and, in some instances, even condoned it.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif accepted an invitation to attend Modi's inauguration. The invite was one of Modi's first decisions as prime minister. The two shook hands and exchanged pleasantries at the ceremony, a sign that there may be a thaw in relations between India and Pakistan.

Severe Heat Wave Kills More Than Two Thousand

According to officials, a severe heat wave in India has killed 2,330 people as of June 2, 2015. Andhra Pradesh, a state on India's southeast coast, has been the hardest hit with 42 people dying there within 24 hours. During the heat wave, temperatures hit as high as 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit) in some cities. If the death toll were to rise to more than 2,541, it would become the deadliest heat wave in India's history and the fourth deadliest heat wave in the world.


India Geography - History

India's extraordinary history is intimately tied to its geography. A meeting ground between the East and the West, it has always been an invader's paradise, while at the same time its natural isolation and magnetic religions allowed it to adapt to and absorb many of the peoples who penetrated its mountain passes. No matter how many Persians, Greeks, Chinese nomads, Arabs, Portuguese, British and other raiders had their way with the land, local Hindu kingdoms invariably survived their depradations, living out their own sagas of conquest and collapse. All the while, these local dynasties built upon the roots of a culture well established since the time of the first invaders, the Aryans. In short, India has always been simply too big, too complicated, and too culturally subtle to let any one empire dominate it for long.

True to the haphazard ambiance of the country, the discovery of India's most ancient civilization literally happened by accident. British engineers in the mid-1800's, busy constructing a railway line between Karachi and Punjab, found ancient, kiln-baked bricks along the path of the track. This discovery was treated at the time as little more than a curiosity, but archaeologists later revisited the site in the 1920's and determined that the bricks were over 5000 years old. Soon afterward, two important cities were discovered: Harappa on the Ravi river, and Mohenjodaro on the Indus.

The civilization that laid the bricks, one of the world's oldest, was known as the Indus. They had a written language and were highly sophisticated. Dating back to 3000 BC, they originated in the south and moved north, building complex, mathematically-planned cities. Some of these towns were almost three miles in diameter and contained as many as 30,000 residents. These ancient municipalities had granaries, citadels, and even household toilets. In Mohenjodaro, a mile-long canal connected the city to the sea, and trading ships sailed as far as Mesopotamia. At its height, the Indus civilization extended over half a million square miles across the Indus river valley, and though it existed at the same time as the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Sumer, it far outlasted them.

The first group to invade India were the Aryans, who came out of the north in about 1500 BC. The Aryans brought with them strong cultural traditions that, miraculously, still remain in force today. They spoke and wrote in a language called Sanskrit, which was later used in the first documentation of the Vedas. Though warriors and conquerors, the Aryans lived alongside Indus, introducing them to the casta system and establishing the basis of the Indian religions. The Aryans inhabited the northern regions for about 700 years, then moved further south and east when they developed iron tools and weapons. They eventually settled the Ganges valley and built large kingdoms throughout much of northern India.

The second great invasion into India occurred around 500 BC, when the Persian kings Cyrus and Darius, pushing their empire eastward, conquered the ever-prized Indus Valley. Compared to the Aryans, the Persian influence was marginal, perhaps because they were only able to occupy the region for a relatively brief period of about 150 years. The Persians were in turn conquered by the Greeks under Alexander the Great, who swept through the country as far as the Beas River, where he defeated king Porus and an army of 200 elephants in 326 BC. The tireless, charismatic conqueror wanted to extend his empire even further eastward, but his own troops (undoubtedly exhausted) refused to continue. Alexander returned home, leaving behind garrisons to keep the trade routes open.

While the Persians and Greeks subdued the Indus Valley and the northwest, Aryan-based kingdoms continued developing in the East. In the 5th century BC, Siddhartha Gautama founded the religion of Buddhism, a profoundly influential work of human thought still espoused by much of the world. As the overextended Hellenistic sphere declined, a king known as Chandragupta swept back through the country from Magadha (Bihar) and conquered his way well into Afghanistan. This was the beginning of one India's greatest dynasties, the Maurya. Under the great king Ashoka (268-31 BC), the Mauryan empire conquered nearly the entire subcontinent, extending itself as far south as Mysore. When Ashoka conquered Orissa, however, his army shed so much blood that the repentant king gave up warfare forever and converted to Buddhism. Proving to be as tireless a missionary as he had been as conqueror, Asoka brought Buddhism to much of central Asia. His rule marked the height of the Maurya empire, and it collapsed only 100 years after his death.

After the demise of the Maurya dynasty, the regions it had conquered fragmented into a mosaic of kingdoms and smaller dynasties. The Greeks returned briefly in 150 BC and conquered the Punjab, and by this time Buddhism was becoming so influential that the Greek king Menander forsook the Hellenistic pantheon and became a Buddhist himself. The local kingdoms enjoyed relative autonomy for the next few hundred years, occasionally fighting (and often losing to) invaders from the north and China, who seemed to come and go like the monsoons. Unlike the Greeks, the Romans never made it to India, preferring to expand west instead.

In AD 319, Chandragupta II founded the Imperial Guptas dynasty, which conquered and consolidated the entire north and extended as far south as the Vindya mountains. When the Guptas diminished, a golden age of six thriving and separate kingdoms ensued, and at this time some of the most incredible temples in India were constructed in Bhubaneshwar, Konarak, and Khahurajo. It was time of relative stability, and cultural developments progressed on all fronts for hundreds of years, until the dawn of the Muslim era.

Arab traders had visited the western coast since 712, but it wasn't until 1001 that the Muslim world began to make itself keenly felt. In that year, Arab armies swept down the Khyber pass and hit like a storm. Led by Mahmud of Ghazi, they raided just about every other year for 26 years straight. They returned home each time, leaving behind them ruined cities, decimated armies, and probably a very edgy native population. Then they more or less vanished behind the mountains again for nearly 150 years, and India once again went on its way.

But the Muslims knew India was still there, waiting with all its riches. They returned in 1192 under Mohammed of Ghor, and this time they meant to stay. Ghor's armies laid waste to the Buddhist temples of Bihar, and by 1202 he had conquered the most powerful Hindu kingdoms along the Ganges. When Ghor died in 1206, one of his generals, Qutb-ud-din, ruled the far north from the Sultanate of Delhi, while the southern majority of India was free from the invaders. Turkish kings ruled the Muslim acquisition until 1397, when the Mongols invaded under Timur Lang (Tamerlane) and ravaged the entire region. One historian wrote that the lightning speed with which Tamerlane's armies struck Delhi was prompted by their desire to escape the stench of rotting corpses they were leaving behind them.

Islamic India fragmented after the brutal devastation Timur Lang left in Delhi, and it was every Muslim strongman for himself. This would change in 1527, however, when the Mughal (Persian for Mongol) monarch Babur came into power. Babur was a complicated, enlightened ruler from Kabul who loved poetry, gardening, and books. He even wrote cultural treatises on the Hindus he conquered, and took notes on local flora and fauna. Afghan princes in India asked for his help in 1526, and he conquered the Punjab and quickly asserted his own claim over them by taking Delhi. This was the foundation of the Mughal dynasty, whose six emperors would comprise most influential of all the Muslim dynasties in India.

Babur died in 1530, leaving behind a harried and ineffective son, Humayun. Humayun's own son, Akbar, however, would be the greatest Mughal ruler of all. Unlike his grandfather, Akbar was more warrior than scholar, and he extended the empire as far south as the Krishna river. Akbar tolerated local religions and married a Hindu princess, establishing a tradition of cultural acceptance that would contribute greatly to the success of the Mughal rule. In 1605, Akbar was succeed by his son Jahangir, who passed the expanding empire along to his own son Shah Jahan in 1627.

Though he spent much of his time subduing Hindu kingdoms to the south, Shah Jahan left behind the colossal monuments of the Mughal empire, including the Taj Majal (his favorite wife's tomb), the Pearl Mosque, the Royal Mosque, and the Red Fort. Jahan's campaigns in the south and his flare for extravagant architecture necessitated increased taxes and distressed his subjects, and under this scenario his son Aurungzebe imprisoned him, seeking power for himself in 1658.

Unlike his predecessors, Aurungzebe wished to eradicate indigenous traditions, and his intolerance prompted fierce local resistance. Though he expanded the empire to include nearly the entire subcontinent, he could never totally subdue the Mahrattas of the Deccan, who resisted him until his death in 1707. Out of the Mahrattas' doggedness arose the legendary figure of Shivagi, a symbol Hindu resistance and nationalism. Aurungzebe's three sons disputed over succession, and the Mughal empire crumbled, just as the Europeans were beginning to flex their own imperialistic muscles.

The Portuguese had traded in Goa as early as 1510, and later founded three other colonies on the west coast in Diu, Bassein, and Mangalore. In 1610, the British chased away a Portuguese naval squadron, and the East India Company created its own outpost at Surat. This small outpost marked the beginning of a remarkable presence that would last over 300 years and eventually dominate the entire subcontinent. Once in India, the British began to compete with the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the French. Through a combination of outright combat and deft alliances with local princes, the East India Company gained control of all European trade in India by 1769.

How a tiny island nation, thousands of miles away, came to administer a huge territory of 300 million people is one of history's great spectacles. A seemingly impossible task, it was done through a highly effective and organized system called the Raj. Treaties and agreements were signed with native princes, and the Company gradually increased its role in local affairs. The Raj helped build infrastructure and trained natives for its own military, though in theory they were for India's own defense. In 1784, after financial scandals in the Company alarmed British politicians, the Crown assumed half-control of the Company, beginning the transfer of power to royal hands.

In 1858, a rumor spread among Hindu soldiers that the British were greasing their bullets with the fat of cows and pigs, the former sacred animals to Hindus and the latter unclean animals to Muslims. A year-long rebellion against the British ensued. Although the Indian Mutiny was unsuccessful, it prompted the British government to seize total control of all British interests in India in 1858, finally establishing a seamless imperialism. Claiming to be only interested in trade, the Raj steadily expanded its influence until the princes ruled in name only.

The Raj's demise was partially a result of its remarkable success. It had gained control of the country by viewing it as a source of profit. Infrastructure had been developed, administration established, and an entire structure of governance erected. India had become a profitable venture, and the British were loath to allow the Indian population any power in a system that they viewed as their own accomplishment. The Indians didn't appreciate this much, and as the 20th century dawned there were increasing movements towards self-rule.

Along with the desire for independence, tensions between Hindus and Muslims had also been developing over the years. The Muslims had always been a minority, and the prospect of an exclusively Hindu government made them wary of independence they were as inclined to mistrust Hindu rule as they were to resist the Raj. In 1915, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi came onto the scene, calling for unity between the two groups in an astonishing display of leadership that would eventually lead the country to independence.

The profound impact Gandhi had on India and his ability to gain independence through a totally non-violent mass movement made him one of the most remarkable leaders the world has ever known. He led by example, wearing homespun clothes to weaken the British textile industry and orchestrating a march to the sea, where demonstrators proceeded to make their own salt in protest against the British monopoly. Indians gave him the name Mahatma, or Great Soul. The British promised that they would leave India by 1947.

Independence came at great cost. While Gandhi was leading a largely Hindu movement, Mohammed Ali Jinnah was fronting a Muslim one through a group called the Muslim League. Jinnah advocated the division of India into two separate states: Muslim and Hindu, and he was able to achieve his goal. When the British left, they created the separate states of Pakistan and Bangladesh (known at that time as East Pakistan), and violence erupted when stranded Muslims and Hindu minorities in the areas fled in opposite directions. Within a few weeks, half a million people had died in the course of the greatest migration of human beings in the world's history. The aging Gandhi vowed to fast until the violence stopped, which it did when his health was seriously threatened. At the same time, the British returned and helped restore order. Excepting Kashmir, which is still a disputed area (and currently unsafe for tourists), the division reached stability.

India's history since independence has been marked by disunity and intermittent periods of virtual chaos. In 1948, on the eve of independence, Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic. His right-hand man, Jawarhalal Nehru, became India's first Prime Minister. Nehru was a successful leader, steering the young nation through a period of peace that was contrasted by the rule of Lal Bahadur Shastri, who fought Pakistan after it invaded two regions of India. Shastri died in 1966 after only 20 months in power, and he was succeeded by Nehru's daughter, Indira Gandhi.

With the name Gandhi (though no relation to Mahatma), Indira was a powerful, unchallenged leader, and opposition remained negligible until she abused her power by trying to suppress the press. When the rising opposition began to threaten her power, she called a state of emergency and continued to reform the nation, actually making some positive economic and political changes despite her questionable tactics. Her most unpopular policy was forced sterilization, and she was eventually defeated at the polls in 1977 by Morarji Desai of the Jenata party. She won back power in '79, however, but was later assassinated in 1984 by a Sikh terrorist. Although India's political climate remains divisive, the country has attained apparent stability in recent years. Today, India seems poised to realize its potential as an international economic power.


India’s Cultural and History Geography: The Deccan and Aryavarta

That India is an extremely diverse country is a widely known, but nonetheless true, platitude. For convenience, India is usually interpreted through geographical categories, such as North India, Northeast India, West India, or South India.

Indians themselves have historically seen their subcontinent as compromising two major regions, which better reflects cultural and historical divisions in the regions: the Aryavarta and the Deccan. While these somewhat reflect the common understanding of there being a north-south division in India, Aryavarta and the Deccan do not map on exactly to the ideas of North and South India. These two regions are defined by distinct topographies and geologies, and as a result, different social patterns and agricultural patterns. The Deccan is distinct from South India — which is usually defined as the five Dravidian-language speaking states of peninsular India — in that it includes Goa, Maharashtra, Odisha, much of Chhattisgarh, and parts of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand.

Traditionally, either the Vindhya Mountains or the Narmada River in central India have traditionally formed the boundary between northern and southern India, between Aryavrata and the Deccan. The ancient Indian text the Manusmriti from the first century of the common era defines Aryavarta as “the tract between the Himalaya and the Vindhya ranges, from the Eastern Sea [Bay of Bengal] to the Western Sea [Arabian Sea].” Interestingly, texts from before the Manusmriti put the eastern boundaries of Aryavarta around the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna, leaving the ancient, relatively unorthodox (in the Hindu sense) kingdom of Magadh, today’s Bihar and Bengal — the homeland of Buddhism and Jainism — outside of Aryavarta. Modern Bengal is significantly different from the rest of northern India to this understanding to have some modern resonance.

Indeed, there are major differences between the historical Indian regions of Aryavarta and the Deccan, which are salient today. The Indo-Gangetic Plain which dominates Aryavarta has supported both a large and highly dense population, as well as empires that both swiftly expanded and fell due to the lack of topographic barriers. As the name suggests, Aryavarta was inhabited primarily by speakers of Indo-Aryan languages, and is the homeland of much of what is considered “standard” in Hinduism and Indian culture: Sanskrit, the reverence for the cow, an emphasis on vegetarianism as a sacred duty, well-defined caste divisions, worship of the god Rama, amongst other features. This is the classical Indian culture that emerged between 500 BCE and 500 CE, spanning the famed Mauryan and Gupta empires.

Culturally and politically, the Deccan is not just a southward extension of Aryavarta, but like Tibet and Southeast Asian societies, an adaptation of classical Indic civilization to a new environment. The word itself derives from Sanskrit dakshina, meaning south, south of Aryavarta. This does not make it any less Indian than Aryavarta, but it certainly makes it distinct. Dominated by empires such as the Satavahanas, Vatakatas, Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas, Cholas, Vijayanagara, and the Marathas, the Deccan has been home to many historically significant states that nonetheless have not attained the fame of the Ganges-based Mauryas, Guptas, Delhi Sultanate, and Mughals.

Much of the Deccan is arid and hilly, a triangular plateau that rises from central India toward its southern tip, flanked by two mountain ranges, the Western and Eastern Ghats along its long coastlines: coasts which connected it more intimately, relative to Aryavarta, which was more influenced by Persia and Central Asia, to Greco-Roman and Southeast Asian trade.

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Aryavrata underwent massive demographic shifts with the spread of agriculture and migrations from West and Central Asia, whereas the Deccan absorbed only trickles of merchants and Brahmins from the north, and its population density remains significantly lower than that of the Ganges Valley. While Maharashtra and Odisha at the northern edges of the Deccan were Sanskritized and speak the Indo-Aryan languages found in northern India, the rest of the plateau remains linguistically Dravdian. These include some of the driest areas in India outside of the Thar Desert in Rajasthan, such as northeastern Karnataka. Yet other parts of the region, particularly between the Western and Eastern Ghats and the coasts — Kerala, the Konkan region of Goa and Maharashtra, and coastal Andhra Pradesh, are lush.

These factors all explain the features of the Deccan: It was home to longer lasting political entities, and was rarely unified. Tamil and Kannada, both of the Deccan, have the oldest continuous literary histories of any Indian language, implying cultural continuity, which would have been impossible in northern India, with its frequent political turnovers. Social mobility was and is greater today in the Deccan than in Aryavarta, according to a study by Dartmouth University.

As a result, the Deccan has been less agricultural, and more trade-oriented than Aryavarta. It has rarely been conquered, and much less held, by any empire based in the north, which explains why even today, its political and social patterns are different than the rest of India’s for example, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wave that swept the rest of India in its 2019 general elections was much more muted in the south. As Manu S. Pillai put it in his book, Rebel Sultans, “there can be no lasting triumph in the south, and no distant overlord prevailed forever…the Deccan remained unyielding in spirit and in its spine. To some it was a kingdom of tantalizing treasures and marvellous opportunity to others, however, the Deccan became also something more sinister: the undoing of mighty kings, a graveyard of glorious empires.” Empires like the Delhi Sultanate and Mughals overreached and collapsed as a result of their attempts to control the Deccan.

The more Deccan is paradoxically both more modern and traditional than Aryavarta, similar in some ways to societies like Japan and Thailand that have mediated modernity through their distinct cultures. The dichotomy between tradition and modernity in Aryavarta is sharper, because the nature of society there has been one prone to more shocks and changes, so there is either the old, or the new, quite often.

India’s historical evolution and contemporary characteristics are often clearer to the observer when the ancient categories of Aryavarta and the Deccan are mapped onto modern India. These characteristics are still salient, and are an important and illuminating way of understanding the subcontinent.


Ver el vídeo: Τα 10 πιο ΠΑΡΑΞΕΝΑ που συμβαίνουν στην ΙΝΔΙΑ - Τα Καλύτερα Top10 (Mayo 2022).


Comentarios:

  1. Okpara

    Lo siento, nada, no puedo ayudarte. Creo que encontrarás la solución adecuada.

  2. Renneil

    Que palabras tan correctas... frase super, maravillosa

  3. Gonris

    Excusa para eso interfiero ... pero este tema está muy cerca de mí. Escribe en PM.



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