Essay on India
India is the seventh-largest country by land area, the second most populous country, and the most populous democracy. India has many neighbour sharing borders, including Pakistan to the west, China, Nepal, Bhutan to the north, and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. It faces the Indian Ocean to the south, the Arabian Sea to the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal to the southeast. At the same time, Thailand, Myanmar, and Indonesia share a maritime boundary with the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The name "India" is derived from Latin, referring to South Asia and an uncertain region to its east. The Indians were known as "Indoi" by the ancient Greeks, which translates as "people of the Indus."
In the Indian epics and Indian constitutions, the term "Bharat" is used, a modern rendering of the historical name "Bharatavarsha" that initially applied to North India. In the mid-nineteenth century, it became well-known as a native term for India, and the name has since spread globally.
Demography of India
India is a multicultural nation with a diversified population. The following are some crucial demographic details for India:
These demographic characteristics add to Indian society's richness and variety. They influence the nation's social, cultural, economic, and political environment, and an awareness of them is essential for tackling a range of issues and seizing development possibilities.
History Of India
1. Ancient India
Homosapiens, the first modern humans, arrived from Africa in the Indian subcontinent around 55,000 years ago. The proof of their existence was verified by the evidence that was later found in places in Mehrgarh, Balochistan, Pakistan, as of domestication of animals, the construction of permanent structures, and the storage of agricultural surplus. These subsequently evolved into the Indus Valley civilization, South Asia's earliest urban culture, which flourished in Pakistan and western India between 2500 and 1900 BCE. The civilization, centered on towns like Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, Dholavira, and Kalibangan and reliant on various means of sustenance, participated vigorously in crafts production and wide-ranging commerce.
The Vedas, Hinduism's earliest writings, were written between 1500 and 500 BCE. Historians have used them to argue for the existence of Vedic civilization in the Punjab area and the upper Gangetic Plain. Some historians believe that this time saw waves of Indo-Aryan migration onto the subcontinent. During this period, the caste system established a hierarchy of priests, warriors, and free peasants while excluding indigenous peoples by labelling their unclean conduct. Many megalithic structures dating from this time and adjacent indications of agriculture, irrigation tanks, and craft practice suggest transitioning to sedentary life in South India.
In the late Vedic period, Buddhism and Jainism rose in popularity. They drew adherents from all socioeconomic levels except the middle class. Both faiths held renunciation as an ideal in an age of increasing urban prosperity and built long-lasting monastic traditions. The kingdom of Magadha had invaded neighboring states by the third century BCE, forming the Mauryan Empire. Except for the extreme south, the empire was supposed to govern most of the subcontinent. Nonetheless, its essential parts are now thought to be divided into enormous independent zones. The Mauryan monarchs are remembered for their empire-building, decisive governance of public affairs, and Ashoka's renunciation of militarism and broad support for the Buddhist dhamma.
The Cheras, Cholas, and Pandyas ruled the southern peninsula between the Sangam Era and the 15th Century AD. These dynasties conducted substantial commerce with the Roman Empire, as well as with West and Southeast Asia. Hinduism asserted patriarchal power in North India's households, increasing female servitude. By the 4th and 5th centuries, the Gupta Empire had established a complex administrative and taxing system on the more immense Ganges Plain, which served as a model for following Indian kingdoms. A revitalized Hinduism centred on devotion rather than ceremonial control emerged under the Guptas. This revitalization was mirrored in a blossoming of art and architecture, which found clients among the urban elite.
2. Medieval India
Regional kingdoms and cultural variety characterized the early Indian medieval period, which lasted from 600 to 1200 CE. Harshavardhana of Kannauj, who dominated most of the Indo-Gangetic Plain from 606 to 647 CE, was defeated by the Deccan Chalukya monarch when he attempted to march southwards. When his successor Arunasva sought to move east, the Pala ruler of Bengal defeated him. The Pallavas from further south defeated the Chalukyas as they sought to expand southwards. In response, the Pandyas and Cholas fought against the latter from even further south. No monarch of this era was able to establish an empire and maintain sustained authority over regions much beyond their primary territory.
The first devotional hymns were written in Tamil in the sixth and seventh centuries. They were emulated throughout India, leading to the revival of Hinduism and the formation of all current subcontinent languages. Indian aristocracy, both large and petty, and the temples they frequented lured inhabitants to capital cities, which also served as commercial centres. As India continued to urbanize, temple towns of varying sizes began to spring up all over the place. By the eighth and ninth centuries, South Indian culture and political institutions had extended to nations that are now Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Brunei, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Indian businessmen, scholars, and even warriors are all involved in this transfer.
Following the 10th century, Muslim Central Asian nomadic tribes overran South Asia's northern plains on several occasions, deploying swift-horse cavalry and collecting massive armies unified by race and religion, finally establishing the Islamic Delhi Sultanate in 1206. The Sultanate was supposed to rule most of North India and make many excursions into South India. Although initially upsetting to Indian elites, the Sultanate largely abandoned its enormous non-Muslim subject people to its own laws and traditions. Raids and the weakening of South Indian provincial rulers by the Sultanate paved the ground for the indigenous Vijayanagara Empire. The empire grew to govern most of peninsular India by embracing a strong Shaivite heritage and expanding on the Sultanate's military technology.
3. Modern India
The appointment of Lord Dalhousie as Governor General of the East India Company in 1848 began establishing a modern state. These included sovereignty consolidation and demarcation, population surveillance, and citizen education. However, discontent with the company grew throughout this time, resulting in the Indian Rebellion 1857. The insurrection rocked several northern and central Indian provinces. It challenged the foundations of Company control, fueling other resentments and views such as invasive British-style social reforms, severe land taxes, and summary punishment of certain affluent landowners and princes. Although the revolt was put down by 1858, it resulted in the breakup of the East India Company and the British government's direct control of India. While proclaiming a unified state and a rising but limited British-style parliamentary system, the new rulers kept the monarchy. They established the landed nobility as a feudal safeguard against future unrest. In the decades afterward, public life in India gradually evolved, culminating in establishment of the Indian National Congress in 1885.
Economic disasters marred the surge of technology and agricultural commercialization in the second part of the nineteenth century. Many small farmers were dependent on the whims of faraway markets. The number of large-scale famines increased. Despite the hazards associated with infrastructural development, little industrial employment was created for Indians. Commercial planting, particularly in the recently canalized Punjab, resulted in increased food output for domestic use. The railway network supplied crucial famine relief, significantly lowered the cost of transporting products, and aided the development of the Indian-owned industry.
Following World War I, roughly one million Indians served, ushering in a new era. It was distinguished by British reforms, harsh laws, more strident Indian aspirations for self-rule, and the start of a nonviolent non-cooperation campaign. The British conducted sluggish legislative change during the 1930s, and the Indian National Congress won elections. The decade that followed was laden with obstacles, including Indian participation in World War II, the Congress's final non-cooperation attempt, and increasing Muslim nationalism. Everything was capped off by India's independence in 1947.
The constitution of 1950 created a secular and democratic republic, which was crucial to India's self-image as an independent nation. It has remained a democratic country with civil liberties, an active supreme court, and a primarily independent press. Economic liberalization, which began in the 1990s, resulted in the formation of a robust urban middle class, the transformation of India into one of the world's fastest-growing economies, and the expansion of the country's geopolitical might.
In worldwide culture, Indian films, music, and spiritual teachings are becoming increasingly prominent. However, India is also defined by apparently intractable rural and urban poverty, religion and caste-related violence, Maoist-inspired Naxalite insurgencies, and separatism in Jammu & Kashmir and Northeast India. It has territorial issues with both China and Pakistan. India's ongoing democratic liberties are unique among the world's younger nations.
Its topography is varied, with snow-capped mountain ranges, deserts, plains, hills, and plateaus. The Indian Plate, part of the Indo-Australian Plate, covers most of the Indian subcontinent. Most of India is located on a southern Asian peninsula that protrudes into the Indian Ocean and has an approximately 7,000-kilometer coastline (4,300 miles). On the southwest, the Arabian Sea borders India, while on the southeast, the Bay of Bengal.
The Indo-Gangetic Plain dominates northern, central, and eastern India, whereas the Deccan Plateau dominates southern India. The Thar Desert, located to the nation's west, is a mix of stony and sandy deserts. The high Himalayan range forms India's eastern and northeastern boundaries. At 8,598 meters, Kangchenjunga is the highest point in the uncontested Indian Territory. The climate ranges from tropical in the deep south to tundra at high elevations in the Himalayas.
Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, and Afghanistan share borders with India. The island nations of Sri Lanka and the Maldives are located south of India. India is divided into 28 states, 8 union territories governed by the federal government, and a national capital territory. Rather than physical changes, political divides often follow linguistic and ethnic borders.
India's forest cover is around 713,789 km, which accounts for 21.71% of the country's total land area. It is further subdivided into broad groups based on canopy density, or the percentage of a forest's space covered by tree canopy. Very thick forest, with a canopy density of more than 70%, covers 3.02 percent of India's land area. It is widespread in the Andaman Islands, Western Ghats, and Northeast India's tropical wet forest. A moderately dense forest with a canopy density of 40% to 70% covers 9.39 per cent of India's land area. It is most widespread in the Himalayan temperate coniferous forest, eastern India's wet deciduous sal forest, and central and southern India's dry deciduous teak forest. Open woodland, with a canopy density of 10% to 40%, accounts for 9.26% of India's land area. India has two natural thorn forest zones: one on the Deccan Plateau, directly east of the Western Ghats, and one in the western section of the Indo-Gangetic plain, which has been transformed into productive agricultural land by irrigation and has lost its features.
The Neem tree, widely used in rural Indian herbal medicine, and the Peepal tree (also called Ficus religiosa), depicted on ancient seals from Mohenjo-Daro and under which the Buddha is said to have sought enlightenment in the Pali canon, are two notable indigenous trees of the Indian subcontinent.
Many Indian species are derived from the Gondwana supercontinent, which divided India over 100 million years ago. Following India's collision with Eurasia, a vast interchange of species occurred. However, volcanism and climate shifts eventually wiped off wide unique Indian varieties. Mammals later invaded India from Asia via two zoogeographical passages surrounding the Himalayas. This reduced endemism among India's mammals, which now stands at 12.6 percent, compared to 45.8 percent among reptiles and 55.8 percent among amphibians.
India has 172 IUCN-designated threatened animal species, accounting for 2.9 percent of all endangered forms. The critically endangered Bengal tiger and the Ganges river dolphin are two such examples. The gharial, crocodile, great Indian bustard, and Indian white-rumped vulture have all become critically endangered due to eating diclofenac-treated cattle carrion. Punjab's thorn forests were interspersed with open grasslands grazed by large herds of blackbuck preyed on by the Asiatic cheetah before they were extensively used for agriculture and cleared for human settlement; the blackbuck, which is no longer found in Punjab, is now critically endangered in India, and the cheetah is extinct. Human encroachment has been extensive and environmentally disastrous in recent decades, endangering Indian wildlife. As a result, the national parks and protected areas system, founded in 1935, was significantly enlarged. To protect essential wildness, India passed the Wildlife Protection Act and Project Tiger in 1972; the Forest Conservation Act was passed in 1980, with changes added in 1988. India has about 500 wildlife sanctuaries and thirteen biosphere reserves, four of which are members of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. At the same time, twenty-five wetlands are listed under the Ramsar Convention.
India is renowned for having a wide variety of flora and wildlife and great biodiversity. Various plant and animal species have developed in the nation due to its diverse geography, climate, and ecosystems. Here is a sample of the intriguing plants and animals that may be found in India:
These are a few illustrations of India's abundant and diverse plant and animal life. The nation's dedication to conservation initiatives and the creation of national parks, wildlife refuges, and protected areas are essential to maintaining its exceptional biodiversity and guaranteeing the survival of its outstanding plant and animal species.
Indian culture places a high value on dance, which has a long history and rich heritage. Indian dances come in a wide variety, each having its distinctive style, background, and cultural importance. The nation's dance legacy, including classical and folk dances, displays a colorful tapestry of feelings, emotions, and storytelling. Here is a summary of several well-known dance styles and India's contribution to dance:
Traditional Dance Styles
Folk and Classical Dance Styles
India's dance heritage is distinguished by its strong roots in mythology, spirituality, and cultural traditions. Artists communicate tales, feelings, and essential ideas via dance. Dance is a form of celebration, self-expression, and cultural heritage preservation. Contemporary dance forms have also developed, combining components from numerous traditional forms while experimenting with new methods, themes, and music. These dance forms are in addition to classical and folk dance.
Indian dancing has captured the attention of viewers not just domestically but even beyond. Indian dancers and dance companies have performed worldwide, showcasing the variety and wealth of Indian dance styles and influencing the global dance scene. The Indian government continues to fund and promote the preservation, use, and instruction of Indian dance styles, along with several cultural institutes and organizations. Aspiring dancers may polish their abilities and help India's dance tradition to continue to evolve by participation in festivals, contests, workshops, and dance academies.
India is a famous country in the world with many creeds, castes, cultures, and religions. The best part is that people from different religions and cultures live together, which proves the common saying of "Unity in Diversity." Despite this, this country is also famous for being the land of spirituality, philosophy, medical approaches, and the development of science and technology.