India is one of the countries in the world in terms of land mass and population. The country has two main religions; the Hindus and the Muslims. Like other Asian countries that were under the colonial powers, India also was colonized for an extended period. India was a colony of the British from 1757 to 1947 before attaining self-rule (Viswanathan, 2014). The colonization was spearheaded by a British corporation that was involved in the trading of cotton, silk, spices and tea which was known as East India Company. The Indians were heavily taxed and restricted from holding office by the company. For easier ruling and colonization, the British divided the two religious groups into different locations thus creating strife among these religious groups. Despite the split, the Indians never gave up on the fight and protest against the British for their independence (Chandra, 2014). The social and political struggle continued for years creating high pressure on the British government which finally decided to grant independence Indians freely.
Since the religious groups were divided into two different locations, they were headed by various leaders; Mahatma Gandhi and Mohammad Ali who had different opinions and wishes. After the passing of the Indian Act, the British declared division of India into two countries; India which was occupied by the Indians and Pakistan occupied by the Muslims. The two countries became independent on August 15th, 1947. However, despite the independence, the two nations have been involved in boundary wars regarding the greatly disputed land of Kashmir which each country seeks to control and own (Adeney, 2016). The disputed land of Kashmir has led to an engagement in a war between the two nations more than twice with negotiations over the land not bearing any fruits.
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India is a democratic government that is structured under a federal system of government. Apart from the national government, the country is comprised of individual states. The president heads the Indian state while the prime minister heads the government (Adeney, 2016). Technically, the prime minister is appointed by the president meaning that the president performs a largely ceremonial function than the prime minister. The prime minister is usually the leader of the majority in the House of the People. There have been several significant political events in the country since the attainment of independence in 1947. The first event was the killing of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948 which brought tension between the leaders who were seeking the leadership position. Then in 1952, the country held its first general elections. Two years later, India under Nehru officially recognized Tibet as part of China which followed to his first ever visit China. The country then held its second elections in 1957 and did its first surface-surface missile which had the capability of attacking targets far as 100 miles away (Viswanathan, 2014) In 1989 Rajiv Gandhi becomes the first prime minister to visit China in a period of three decades.
India has had democratic transitions since independence and has never undergone a military coup. The country has been electing leaders through general elections and power is transited peacefully making it the largest democratic nation globally (Adeney, 2016). The country’s military was rendered coup-proof by the thorough checks and balances put across the government. The systems of checks and balances ensure that every sector of the government is overseen by the other thus becomes difficult in staging an illegal activity minus being noticed (Viswanathan, 2014). Despite the country having the largest military in the world; 1.1 million army officers, the state has ever been democratic. Currently, the political situation in India is a bit stable as compared with before. The economy seems to be friendly with the common man. Despite the lack of strong opposition, the government is quite performing.
The rate of corruption is gradually decreasing as the politicians are keeping a watch on it. Similarly, the economic development in all sections is steadily growing as compared to the past years (Viswanathan, 2014). Moreover, the government is striving hard to ensure its people are receiving the necessary social support concerning food, health, and education. The major political actors in India are the president and the prime minister as they rule the majority of the administrative areas in the state. However, with the rate of literacy increasing, the political wavelength in the country is likely to change in the future. People have started focusing on electing leaders with vision and development agendas rather than electing leaders relying on parties (Chandra, 2014). This move will see the country gained economic and development steadiness thus able to compete with the major political and economic giants in the region such as Japan and China and potentially across the globe such as Russian and the United States.
- Adeney, K. (2016). Federalism and ethnic conflict regulation in India and Pakistan. Springer.
- Chandra, S. (2014). The oppressive present: Literature and social consciousness in colonial India. Routledge.
- Viswanathan, G. (2014). Masks of conquest: Literary study and British rule in India. Columbia University Press.