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Royal History of India

The name India comes from "Indoi", a Greek word for the people who lived beyond the Indus River. The roots of Indian civilization lie in the country's precise and awesome natural boundaries formed by the Himalayas in the North, and seas to the east, south and west. These have fostered a remarkable physical and cultural unity, despite the size and diversity of the area they enclose.

Indus valley civilization: From 250000 BC to 1800 BC. By 7000 BC emerged the first agricultural settlements, and then around 2500 BC appeared a sophisticated urban civilization. This civilization declined around 1500 B.C., probably due to ecological changes.

The Vedic Ages: It started around 1500BC with the immigration of a people coming from Central Asia in the Indus valley: the Aryans. It is in the Vedic period that Hinduism first arose: this is the time to which the Vedas are dated. This was also the time of the Mahabharata epic which describes a great war between two clans.

The age of Buddha: The 6th century saw the Buddhism spreading to Asia. With the rise of several urban centers in the North, and a widespread trade in his region, Buddhism and Jainism, two religions opened to everyone and rejecting the cast system, gained popularity.

The Mauryan Empire: This first empire in India was founded in 321 BC. Ashoka became one the greatest rulers extending the empire at its very most. After him, the empire declined and successor states were more fragmented.

The coming of Islam: After constant wars between the different kingdoms in the north and in the south, Islam first came to India in the eighth century with a new wave of invasions, and by the eleventh century had firmly established itself in India as a political force. These invasions were to have a lasting impact on religion, art, culture and history in India.

The Great Mughals : The North Indian dynasties of the Lodhis, Tughlaqs, and numerous others, whose remains are visible in Delhi and scattered elsewhere around North India, were finally succeeded by the Mughal empire, under which India once again achieved a large measure of political unity. This powerful and influential dynasty ruled India for over 300 years establishing a rich culture (Taj Mahal, Jewells, weapons...), blending the best of Islamic and Hindu traditions.

 

The Europeans: The European presence in India dates to the seventeenth century and it is in the latter part of this century that the Mughal Empire began to disintegrate, paving the way for regional states.


The rise of the British: In the contest for supremacy, the English emerged 'victors', their rule marked by the conquests at the battlefields of Plassey and Buxar. After 1857, nationalist aspirations began to grow. A turning point came in 1919, when a pacific demonstration for civil liberties was crushed by the British army in Amristar.


The National Movement: By 1920, Mohandas Karamchand ('Mahatma') Gandhi emerged as the virtually undisputed leader of a non violent resistance to British laws and institutions. After the Second World War, the movement increased, and finally at midnight, the fifteenth of August 1947, the Independence was declared. The birthday of India came along with the Partition of the Indian subcontinent in two countries (Pakistan was born), and so the mass migrations of Muslims and Hindus.

 

Independent India: On 26 January 1950, India became a Republic, and the Constitution of India was promulgated. The Indian National Congress, which had led the country to freedom, remained the largest and most influential party under Jawaharlal Nehru, who served as India's Prime Minister from 1947 to 1964. Relations with Pakistan remained chilling after the war in late 1947. In 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic. In 1962 China invaded North India and inflicted the country a severe defeat. In 1966, the daughter of Nehru became Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi was famous for its socialist policies and its help in the struggle between East and West Pakistan, which led to the formation of Bangladesh. Indira Gandhi was shot by her own Sikh bodyguard in 1984.
Since Independence, significant progress has been made in the 55 years: economic reforms, reduction of poverty and unemployment, improving of women situation….

 

 
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