BlueWorld

Southeast Asia: India



About India

The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world, goes back at least 5,000 years. Aryan tribes from the northwest invaded about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier inhabitants created classical Indian culture. Arab incursions starting in the 8th century and Turkish in 12th were followed by European traders beginning in the late 15th century. By the 19th century, Britain had assumed political control of virtually all Indian lands. Nonviolent resistance to British colonialism under Mohandas GANDHI and Jawaharlal NEHRU led to independence in 1947. The subcontinent was divided into the secular state of India and the smaller Muslim state of Pakistan. A third war between the two countries in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. Fundamental concerns in India include the ongoing dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir, massive overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and ethnic strife, all this despite impressive gains in economic investment and output.


Vital Statistics
Capitol City: New Delhi
Population: 1,029,991,145 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: 35% (1994 est.)
Language: English, Hindi, Bengali, and many others
Date of independence: 15 August 1947 (from UK)
Form of government: federal republic
Title of Leader: president
Natural Resources: coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land
Environmental Issues: deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing; desertification; air pollution from industrial effluents and vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage and runoff of agricultural pesticides; tap water is not potable throughout the country; huge and grow
Agricultural Products: rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry; fish
Imports: crude oil, machinery, gems, fertilizer, chemicals
Exports: textile goods, gems and jewelry, engineering goods, chemicals, leather manufactures
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: US 9%, Benelux 8%, UK 6%, Saudi Arabia 6%, Japan 6%, Germany 5% (1999)
EXPORTS: US 22%, UK 6%, Germany 5%, Japan 5%, Hong Kong 5%, UAE 4% (1999)

 

India Headlines

 


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