History of India
The oldest known civilization on the Indian subcontinent and one of the oldest advanced civilizations in the world is the Indus culture . Their history goes back at least 5000 years. Since around 1500 BC Aryan tribes are said to have immigrated from the north and produced the Vedic culture .
From the 6th century BC Chr. Unfolded of Buddhism , the more than 1000 years next to Hinduism was one of the key intellectual currents of India. In the 4th century BC The Maurya Empire came into being , which rose to become the first great empire of India and reached its greatest extent under Emperor Ashoka . In the 3rd century BC The Prakrit literature and the Tamil Sangam literature flourished in southern India. In the 4th century AD, a large empire emerged under the rule of the Guptas in northern India and the Tamil Chola empire in the south .
Arab conquests in the 8th century brought Islam to northwest India. When the Arabs tried to advance into Gujarat and beyond, they were defeated by the Indian King Vikramaditya II of the Western Chalukya dynasty. From the 8th century to the 10th century, the three dynasties Rashtrakuta , Pala and Pratihara ruled over a large part of India and fought among themselves for supremacy in northern India. In southern India, the Chola and Chalukya dynasties ruled from the 10th century to the 12th century. The south of India was ruled by the Hindu Vijayanagar Empire from the 14th to the 16th centuries. During the Mughal dynasty , the influences of Persian culture played a major role. In the late 17th century the Hindu Maratha Empire was founded, which overran the Mughal Empire in the 18th century and conquered a large part of northern India. In the 19th century, Britain had complete political control over all Indian territories.
Resistance to British colonial rule , especially under Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru , led to independence in 1947. The subcontinent was divided into two states , the secular (Hindu) state of India and the smaller Islamic state of Pakistan . After two previous wars with Pakistan, a third war in 1971 led to the secession of East Pakistan and the establishment of the new state of Bangladesh .
Today, India's fundamental problems are on the one hand the ongoing dispute with Pakistan over the Kashmir region , on the other hand severe overpopulation , increasing environmental pollution , widespread poverty and ethnic and religious conflicts between Hindus and Muslims.
The prehistory of India goes back to the Paleolithic . India is on the eastern edge of the area with hand axes spread . Industries of the early Paleolithic are characterized by rough hand axes, choppers , chopping tools and wedge knives . The earliest known finds come from the Acheuleans . The South Indian industries of the Old Paleolithic are also known as Madrasien , after the site near Madras discovered by Bruce Foote in 1863 , and those from the Punjab as Soan .
Both open-air settlements and cave sites are known, but most of the finds come from the gravel terraces of larger rivers and have been relocated. The site of Bhimbetka III F-23 near Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh is one of the few stratified sites. A stratigraphy was observed here that extends from the late Acheuleans to the Neolithic . In the strata of the late Acheulean, five round finds paved with flat stones were observed, perhaps indicating the locations of tents or simple windscreens . The majority of the tools are made of coarse yellowish quartzite , artefacts from chalcedony and coarse flint are rare.
The hill of Adamgahr near Hoshangabad and the cave of Gudiyam near Madras have also provided stratified finds from the Old and Middle Paleolithic . From Hathnora in the Narmada valley originate Homininireste from the Middle Pleistocene : A by Arun Sonakia salvaged on 5 December 1982 at the riverbed skullcap, whose complex characteristic mosaic Indian " Narmada Man " ( Homo erectus narmadensis ) a place between the classical Homo erectus and from seems to assign Homo heidelbergensis to this emerging taxon, which has not yet been related to Asian finds .
Middle Paleolithic industries increasingly show tools made from chips , and chips from specially prepared cores are also known. In the Middle Paleolithic, clear local differences developed, for example between the industries of the Deccan and Central India and the traditions of the Punjab and the Indus valley. The Nevasan (after the site of Nevasa in Maharashtra ) stands at the transition between the Old and Middle Paleolithic. Above all, finer silices were used here, which may have contributed to the "more advanced" appearance of the artifacts. Clear bulbs on the artifacts refer to the technique of the direct hard blow. In addition to small hand axes, there are retouched cuts, including drills with steep retouching. Scratches are frequent and very variable in shape, the tools show hardly any standardization overall. To the west of the Aravalli Mountains , especially in the Luni Basin, there is a significantly higher proportion of tools from tees, here too scratches are the predominant form. In addition, burins and lateral retouches from prepared cuts also occur. The predominant raw material is rhyolite .
The first blade industries can be found in the Upper Paleolithic . A local development of blade industries in the Rohri and Luni groups is assumed. For Upper Paleolithic finds from the Belan Valley in southern Uttar Pradesh , radiocarbon dates from 18,000–17,000 BC are available. BC before. At the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic, people were probably still working with hard blows, later industries of the Upper Paleolithic show very regular blades and fluffy bulbs, here perhaps a hammer made of organic material was already used. Paleolithic rock art is also known. Organic remains such as bones have rarely survived, so little is known about diet and lifestyle.
Middle Stone Age (Mesolithic)
Mesolithic industries set in at the beginning of the Holocene in the 9th millennium, but a hunting and gathering way of life was continued in many parts of India well into the Neolithic, sometimes up to the present. The transition from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Mesolithic period also appears to have been a local development in central and western India. The raw material used is gradually changing, quartz becomes popular, and the artifacts are getting smaller and smaller. Mesolithic artifacts are mostly made from regular blades.
Mesolithic sites are very common, if only artifacts from cut stone are preserved, however, it is often difficult to decide whether they are hunters and gatherers or early farmers. The site of Budha Pushkar z. B. has hit places with microlithic artefacts, ceramics in the Chalcolithic tradition and a fishing hook made of copper. Outlines of huts with paved floors come from Bagor in Rajasthan , but here too the cultural classification is not entirely certain. Sites with Mesolithic industries such as Langhnaj in Gujarat seem to occur in parallel with the Indus culture . Evidence for the use of wild rice and other wild grasses ( Eleusine indica , Dactyloctenium sp. ) Is known from the Damdama site in Uttar Pradesh from the 3rd millennium . The animal bones all come from wild animals. Among other things, numerous chicken bones were found in the later layers . Researchers like Fuller (2000, 199) are considering local domestication in a Mesolithic context.
Mesolithic rock art is known from central India, e.g. B. from the rock roofs of Baghai Khor, Bhimbetka near Bhopal and Adamgarh. The rock carvings by Morhana Pahar near Mirzapur already show domesticated goats and chariots . The paintings are mostly done with hematite . There are a number of elongated burials from Mahadaha which had additions of arrowheads, animal bones and bone pendants. Other important sites are Sarai-Nahar-Rai , Birbhanpur in Bengal and Morhana Pahar in central India.
Neolithic Age (Neolithic)
The Mehrgarh culture in Pakistan and northwest India dates to the 7th millennium BC. BC and represents the earliest Neolithic settlement to date . In Mehrgarh itself, in the last phase of settlement, houses made of mud bricks and ottoman burials with rich additions were excavated. Wheat , barley and date palm were already grown in the first, ceramic settlement phase . The animal bones still come mainly from wild animals; Cattle, goats, sheep, etc. In a developed phase of the culture, the zebu and perhaps sheep were domesticated locally, goats and domesticated grain probably originated in Western Asia.
In Rajasthan, too, domesticated types of wheat seem to have been grown as early as the 7th millennium. Safe domestics come from the pre- Harappa phase in the end of the 4th millennium from sites of the Ahar culture such as Balathal. Domesticated cattle and sheep are also recorded here. From approx. 5000 BC In north-west India one speaks of a pre-Harappa culture.
When the transition to a Neolithic economy took place in the Gangestal is unclear, the transition seems to be very fluid and lies between the 6th and 5th millennium BC. Chr. Cultigens as wheat and flax reached the Ganges appear only during the Harappan culture (2500-2000 v. Chr.) And penetrated from there from about 2500 BC. BC further to Central India (Kayatha). From the Senuwar site on the Middle Ganges , rice ( Oryza sativa ) and red millet ( Setaria pumila ) have been identified in the first phase, and wheat, barley, lentils and peas from a later phase . African crops such as sorghum , Lablab purpureus and Vigna unguiculata did not appear until the late 2nd millennium BC. Chr. On. At the Hulas site on the Upper Ganges, fruits of the great scarlet tendril ( Coccinia grandis ) were found between 1800 and 1300 .
In Gujarat, the Neolithic mode of production has probably been around since the 4th millennium BC. Known. Sites such as Padri attest to the manufacture of ceramics and a sedentary way of life in the Padri culture (approx. 3000–2600 BC). Domesticated animals are documented from Saurashtra . Around 4000 BC Domesticated cattle from Bagor in northern Gujarat are documented, further sites are Loteshwar and perhaps Adamgarh , where cattle and sheep were found in a Mesolithic context.
The Neolithic finds from Assam mainly consist of stone axes , which are difficult to date. From Daojali-Hading comes ceramics with imprints of cord or imprints of a cord-wrapped paddle ("cord-marked ware"), which some researchers would like to associate with South Chinese ceramics. However, no reliable data is available here either.
While the South Indian Neolithic was traditionally traced back to Northeast Indian models because of the cut stone tools, especially hoes with pronounced shoulders ("shouldered celts"), there have been increasing signs of an independent development in recent years. Important Domestikate were mung bean (Vigna radiata) , whose wild ancestors in the Western Ghats happen horse beans ( Macrotyloma uniflorum ) , millet , (Brachiaria ramosa) and foxtail (Setaria verticillata) . The wild preforms of the last two grasses grew in the savannas of the southern Deccan. Perhaps yams (Dioscorea) were also used, but tubers are notoriously difficult to detect. Other types of millet, such as Panicum sumatrense , Paspalum colona , Echinochloa colona and Setaria pumila , were perhaps only collected. There were also tree fruits such as jujubes (Ziziphus mauritiana) , amlas (Phyllanthus emblica) , almonds (Buchnania lanzan) , figs and probably wild cucumber plants ( Cucumis sp.). During the late Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods, crops of African origin such as black millet (sorghum) , pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) , pulp bean (Lablab purpureus) and black pea (Vigna unguilatica) began to emerge , and northern Indian crops such as wheat and barley were gradually adopted. The Neolithic of the Southern Deccan is divided into the following phases:
|Ashmond Tradition, Phase 1||2800-2200|
|Ashmond Tradition, Phase 2||2200-1800|
|Ashmond Tradition, Phase 3||1800-1000|
At the turn of the 2nd millennium BC Chr. Occurred millet ( Setaria italica ), millet ( Panicum miliaceum ) and hemp ( Cannabis sativus ), probably from China or Central Asia, on. In the early 2nd millennium BC In the Deccan, wheat, barley and legumes are grown.
The Bronze Age Indus Culture or Indus Civilization was one of the earliest urban civilizations, dating from around 2800–1800 BC. BC along the Indus in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent. It is also called the Harappa culture after the main excavation site on the Ravi River. It was one of the three earliest civilizations in the world, along with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. She already knew about town planning, maybe the script and architecture. In its heyday, the Indus culture probably numbered over five million individuals. In contrast to the other two advanced cultures in Egypt and Mesopotamia, the sources of the Harappa culture are very limited. Only about ten percent of their settlements have been excavated. Their writing has not been deciphered, nor is their disappearance from around 1900 BC. Clarified. It is not even clear whether it was really a font.
The Aryans who probably immigrated (from the north) brought them from around 1500 BC. Chr., The Vedic culture out as she mingled with the native tribes. These migratory movements were very slow. In the Middle Vedic period (approx. 1200–900 BC) the settlement took place in the Punjab and western Ganges and Yamuna valleys. The Vedic religion, which is characterized by sacrificial rituals and hymns to the gods, experienced its first heyday. In this phase, for example, the riksamhitas were created , which are songs of praise to the gods. The world of gods resembled the Indo-European world of gods. People ask the gods for wealth, gold and cattle. The way of life, which was still semi-nomadic at the beginning, gradually became sedentary. The word for Wagentreck ( grama ), for example, underwent a change in meaning and later means village.
In the late Vedic period (approx. 900–600 BC) the Aryans colonized the eastern Gangestal. A phase of urbanization and empire building began. Since approx. 600 BC There were about sixteen kingdoms, probably as a union of two or more tribes. During this phase, many cities developed where trade was carried out. Tamed elephants were also used in war technology. Rice production was intensified. In the 5th century, King Bimbisara laid the foundation for the future dominant position of the Magadha Empire .
The mythological legitimation for the caste system arose in the late Vedic period . At the top of the social hierarchy were the Brahmins (scribes, priests), followed by the warriors of Kshatriyas and the traders, craftsmen and farmers of Vaishyas . At the lower end of society were the members of the original population who lived as servants, shudras . However, it can be assumed that the stratification of society was not so pronounced in the Vedic period.
The end of the Vedic period (6th and 5th centuries BC) was a time of upheaval both politically and religiously. In Magadha, two founders of religions emerged whose teachings showed similarities with the Vedic belief system, such as the cycle of rebirths ( samsara ) and the law of action ( karma ), but offer a further development. According to tradition, Mahavira was the last of 24 so-called "ford preparers" to found Jainism , which goes back to ascetic traditions . Finally , Siddhartha Gautama , who was also born as the prince of a small principality, taught the “path of the middle”, Buddhism , as Buddha for 40 years .
The classic age
Shortly after the invasion of Alexander the Great (326 BC), Chandragupta laid Maurya around 321 BC. The foundations for the first Indian empire. During the first great dynasty of India, the Maurya dynasty (320-185 BC), the empire expanded through conquests. Under King Ashoka (268–233 BC), the influence extended to southern India. The central administration with its official apparatus, however, only comprised the core area of the empire in the Ganges plain ; the southern part of the subcontinent (Dravidian states) is excluded. The capital was Pataliputra (today's Patna ). Ashoka, who professed Buddhism , founded a. a. with the conquest of Kalinga the first large empire on Indian soil and at the same time the first tolerance-based social welfare state of antiquity. Ashoka left behind numerous rock edicts , which is why this historical period is relatively well documented. The empire fell apart around 185 BC. In numerous individual states. The last representative of the Maurya dynasty was murdered by his general Pushyamitra Shunga , who then founded the Shunga dynasty.
Shunga, Shaka and Shatavahana
Around 250 to 100 BC Chr .: The Hellenistic Graeco-Bactrian Empire emerged as the successor to the Alexander trains in the north-western border area of Bactria and Gandhara (today: Afghanistan and Pakistan ) . There was a development of Buddhist art and culture. The empire disintegrated with the invasion of the Central Asian Scythians , called Shakas by the Indians .
In northern India ruled between 185 and 73 BC. The Shunga . They again preferred Brahmanism to Buddhism and cultivated Sanskrit . Funding Buddhist monasteries was probably too expensive for them. In the Deccan , the Shatavahana had established themselves and apparently withdrew Ashoka's rule. They ruled for four centuries, around 230 BC. BC to 199 AD, their heartland was the upper reaches of the Godavari around Nasik and Paithan . Around 180 BC Their king Satakarni also fought back the Shunga. The fourth Indian power next to Shunga, Shaka and Shatavahana was then the resurrected Kalinga .
Around 50 BC Chr .: The Iranian Parthians displace the Shakas, but are in turn defeated by the Kushana (originally Yüe-chi ), who establish a flourishing empire in Bactria and Gandhara. It reached its greatest power under King Kanishka (1st / 2nd century AD). Promotion and development of Buddhism (art schools of Mathura and Gandhara ) are among the cultural achievements. The Kushana empire fell into disrepair in the first half of the 3rd century and is still underestimated due to its non-Indian origins.
320–510: The Gupta dynasty ruled in northern India , while the Vakataka Empire held a prominent position in the Deccan . In the 5th century the Buddhist University of Nalanda was established , with over 10,000 students and allegedly 9 million books, it was the largest teaching facility in the ancient world. The Guptas promoted Buddhism and Hinduism. In the 5th and 6th centuries, the decline of the Gupta Empire took place due to the division of the empire and "Huns". The attackers, mentioned as Hunas in Indian sources, devastated northern India and ended the period of flourishing urban culture. In the more recent research it is assumed that these "Hunnish" attackers (apparently a group of the so-called Iranian Huns , who were not related to the Huns advancing into Eastern Europe in 375 ) were not, as is often assumed, the actual Hephthalites , but rather was the so-called Alchon group. The Alchon originally ruled in what is now Kabul and shifted their domain to India at the beginning of the 6th century. Toramana and Mihirakula are considered to be important rulers of the Indian Alchon ; the latter initiated a Buddhist persecution and after a severe defeat (probably in 528) withdrew to Kashmir. The rule of the Hunas collapsed in northern India as early as the middle of the 6th century, but their invasion had devastating consequences and was a factor in the collapse of the Gupta Empire.
Indian Middle Ages
Research defines an Indian Middle Ages differently. According to AK Majumdar, the Indian Middle Ages begin in the middle of the 8th century. According to Hermann Kulke, however, the Indian Middle Ages encompass the period from the fall of the Gupta Empire in the 6th century to the founding of the Delhi Sultanate in 1206.
Between 606 and 647, Harshavardhana ruled northern India. He is considered one of the last great patrons of Buddhism. His attempt to subjugate Central India failed: here the Chalukya and Pallava kings took turns.
Pratihara, Rashtrakuta, Pala
From the 8th to 10th centuries the Rashtrakuta in central India (approx. 752–973), the Pala in Bengal (approx. 750–1161) and the Pratihara (approx. 730–1036) in northeast India shared power. The Pratihara kings are the predecessors of the Rajput princes and, like them, also took over the defense against the Muslim invaders, e.g. B. Mahmud of Ghazna . All three parties fought constantly for the old capital of Harshas, Kannauj on the Ganges , where it came into the hands of the Pratiharas for a long time.
These centuries are considered the Indian Middle Ages. No major power was able to assert itself and military successes did not last. The power of kings was based on the number and reliability of the vassals , while their central administrations were weak and often only extended to the perimeter of the capital. Not only vassal kings, but also provincial governors had their own army and appointed their officials themselves. Their office was often inherited, so that new dynasties emerged from them. As in the European Middle Ages , the power of kings was only apparent despite great external successes.
The people of the Indian Middle Ages lived mostly in the countryside. A peculiarity of Indian empires like that of the Rashtrakuta and Chola were the self-sufficient village communities associated with them. In the villages and districts, councils from Mahattaras (i.e. the larger ones) carried out public works on roads and reservoirs, the judiciary and the temples. They were not appointed by the dynasty and were independent of the situation at court. When the tax collector came by, they had often already collected the taxes and then delivered them as a lump sum.
The court culture, architecture and Hindu philosophy were refined on the basis of already existing forms and knowledge, but did not produce anything new, so that one speaks of a solidification of the social structure or society. The landowners got as much out of the peasants as possible and also created economic monopolies. In the Indian Middle Ages, for example, the entire village population was often given away when land donations were made instead of fixed salaries due to a lack of money (little cash with a lack of long-distance trade).
Land donations to Brahmins took on a much larger scale in the 10th and 11th centuries. The kings hoped that this would also weaken the provincial governors and provide strong support for themselves.
Buddhism was pushed back further as it relied only on the upper classes. With the declining power of the kings, the maintenance of the Buddhist monasteries became too costly for the village communities and here the lack of support among the people, where the Brahmins dominated, took revenge . In addition, parts of his teachings and forms of expression were integrated into Hinduism by thinkers like Shankara .
The Chola Empire was one of the most important Indian kingdoms and is considered the most influential Hindu empire to date. It is attributed to the Tamils . Like the ancient Greeks and Romans, the Tamil Cholas knew how to exert far-reaching cultural influence on their neighbors. The heyday lasted from the 9th to the 13th century . The great conquerors from this dynasty were Rajaraja I (r. 985-1012 / 14) and his son Rajendra I (1012 / 14-44). Their most important rivals at that time were the aforementioned Chalukya (approx. 550–750 and 973–1190) and Pallava (575–897).
In the early 8th century, an Arab or Islamic conquest began in India. With a victory over the Rajputs Prithvirajas III. near Delhi in 1192 the Muslims under Muhammad von Ghur prevail in northern India. In 1199 they also dealt the death blow to Indian Buddhism with the destruction of Nalanda. In 1202 the Sena dynasty fell victim to a general of Muhammad in Bengal . The disaster was u. a. because the Indian warfare was the task of the warrior caste Kshatriya and not the task of the people, and was also subject to the knightly rules of the game of this caste. Professional soldiers , forced recruits and adventurers found themselves on the Hindu and Islamic sides, but the Hindus observed style and code of honor and had to reconcile the troops of many petty kings with their local traditions who did not know the devotion to a leader.
The conquest represented a deep turning point due to the differently shaped Islamic culture: For example, Muslims were and are not allowed to depict God in images, while with the Hindus it was a basis for temple design. The Muslims had one God, the Hindus many. The Sanskrit -literature was useless and fell into disrepair. Nevertheless, in the course of time there was an interaction between the two cultures: the Urdu language formed the basis of economic and administrative understanding, the architecture developed an Indo-Islamic style and thinkers like Kabir (1440–1518) tried to fuse Islam and Hinduism .
In 1206 the Muslims founded the Sultanate of Delhi , which at times ruled almost all of India and was decisively weakened in an attack by the Turkish-Mongolian conqueror Timur Lenk in 1398 , so that Hindu dynasties could regain influence ( Vijayanagar in southern India). The sultanate was internally not particularly stable, revolts of the governors and subjugated princes as well as attempts at overthrowing at court filled its history.
The Bahmani Sultanate was an Islamic state in central India and existed from its founding in 1345/47 until its collapse after 1489. Bahman Shah took over or defeated the remaining troops of the Delhi Sultan in the south and fought against its Hindu neighbors. The Bahmani Sultanate dissolved under the last Sultan Mahmud Shah IV (1482-1512). From it emerged the five Deccan sultanates Bijapur , Golkonda , Ahmadnagar , Bidar and Berar .
The rise of the Kingdom of Vijayanagar (lit .: City of Victory) in southern India began around 1336/46 and existed until 1565. It was named after a city of the same name and represented (in addition to the Kingdom of Orissa ) the again independent, Hindu India.
The founders were the brothers Harihara and Bukka, who were possibly vassals of the Hoysala kings. Vijayanagar gained considerable power in southern India. There was also a very strong army towards the middle of the 15th century, which had over 35,000 horsemen and war elephants. In 1565 the kingdom was conquered by Muslim generals.
1526–1857: The empire of the Islamic Mughals ruled north and central India. It represents the high point of Islamic culture on this continent, represented by the Taj Mahal , the Red Fort in Agra , Humayun's tomb or Fatehpur Sikri . The fame of this empire spread to Europe.
The Mughals differed from the earlier Delhi Sultans with their administration oriented towards continuity, which was primarily the work of Akbar († 1605). He, his ministers and successors (with the exception of Aurangzeb ) strove to rule from a political and not a religious point of view, as had not been the case with the most powerful of the Delhi sultans. Akbar finally achieved a compromise between Hindus and Muslims. Accordingly, the Mughal Empire was also more stable.
The India of the 17th and 18th centuries had a progressive economic and financial organization. The production techniques in the karkhanas ( factories ) of the Mughal period were specialized; H. Craftsmen worked in groups on certain workpieces and work processes. As in Europe, there were government bonds to promote the economy. Hand-woven fabrics were sold in large numbers in Asia between Japan and East Africa. Only this bloom depended on the stability of the central state.
When the Mughal power collapsed under the devout Aurangzeb († 1707), the Marathas (1674-1818, founded by Shivaji ) in south-west India emerged. It was the last Indian great power before the colonization of India by the British and was not particularly well organized. Instead of a centralized Marathi state, a confederation of petty kings gradually emerged, held together by the authority of the Prime Minister, the Peshwa .
British East India Company
In the second half of the 18th century, the British expanded their sphere of influence after ousting the French and Portuguese. In 1757, after the Battle of Plassey , the troops of the British East India Company seized Bengal and plundered the Bengali treasury. Initially, the British under General Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive, only secured their commercial interests in Bengal ( India trade ) by interfering in the disputes of the Indian princes. But they soon proved to be ambitious and flexible rulers.
In 1769 Warren Hastings came to Bengal , in 1771 he became governor there and instructed his people to take over the administration. The company always hid behind the fictitiously maintained rule of the Bengal Nawab . Hastings and his successors linked Indian soldiers with European warfare and British trade profits with Indian taxes, fought the corruption that was equally widespread among Indians and British, concluded protection treaties and took over land after land.
The British East India Company monopolized the trade of Bengal. Bengali artisans were forcibly tied to the company's commercial agencies by requiring them to deliver their goods at a minimal price. Their tax burden increased sharply. The result was the famine from 1769 to 1770 , in which ten million Bengal residents died. From 1766 to 1799, the Mysore wars, the Mysore Sultanate , the most powerful state in South India, was eliminated as a power factor. The same happened to the Sikh Empire in the First and Second Sikh Wars from 1845 to 1849. In the First Anglo-Burmese War from 1824 to 1826, the East India Company gained control of northeast India, and in the two subsequent wars, 1852-1853 and 1885, was finally all of Burma gradually annexed by the British. In this way ever larger parts of India came under direct British rule and were exploited in a colonial manner. A long period began in India in which indigenous industries collapsed. At that time, up to 40 million Indians died of starvation.
Indian weaving as an industry was ruined, for example, by the start of machine production in Europe, the European market was closed, at the same time Great Britain introduced ready-made clothing in India. In 1835 domestic tariffs were abolished and domestic trade increased. The East India Company's privileges were abolished as early as 1813. But investments were kept within narrow limits, because the European and American markets were safer and had better logistical prerequisites. As countermeasures, the construction of a major road between Calcutta (Calcutta) and Delhi began in 1839 . Banks were set up, steamers were used on the rivers and in 1853 the construction of the first railway line began.
Indian uprising of 1857
The Indian uprising of 1857 was directed against British colonial rule over the Indian subcontinent. The uprising was mostly confined to the upper Gangestal and central India. The centers of the uprising were Uttar Pradesh , Bihar , the north of Madhya Pradesh and the region around Delhi . The beginning of the Indian uprising of 1857 is usually dated May 10, 1857, the day on which sepoys mutinied openly against their British officers and on the same day there were murders of British officers and civilians. The mutinous troops moved to Delhi, which was already largely in the hands of the rebels the next day. In Delhi there were also massacres of British and Eurasians, as well as of Indians who had converted to Christianity. Not only sepoys but also parts of the Indian civilian population were involved in these massacres. In the weeks and months that followed, the uprising spread across northern India. Individual British garrisons such as Kanpur defended themselves over several weeks against a superior force of insurgent troops, sometimes with the help of loyal sepoys. The murders in India were taken by British troops as a justification for a warfare that contemporaries already considered inappropriately cruel and ethically dubious. Lakshmibai , Rani von Jhansi, plays a special role in Indian historiography . The Indian princess joined the uprising reluctantly and only decided to actively support it when she saw it as the only way to secure her family's claim to power. She fell in battle against British troops in March 1858. The uprising had largely been decided in favor of the British in the course of 1858. However, there were still individual disputes in 1859, so that the Indian uprising did not end until this year according to general understanding. After the crackdown, the Government of India Act 1858 dissolved the East India Company and made British India a formal crown colony .
The external trigger of the uprising is generally considered to be the introduction of the Enfield rifle , whose cartridge cases, according to a rumor widespread among the British-Indian armed forces, were treated with a mixture of beef tallow and lard. The use of these cartridges represented a violation of their religious duties for both devout Hindus and Muslims. The real causes are the social and economic policies pursued by the British East India Company, through which large parts of the Indian population lost land rights, employment opportunities and influence. the increasing efforts in the 19th century to Christianize India and the annexation of Indian princely states through the application of the Doctrine of Lapse . There is no consensus in historiography as to which of these factors is of particular importance.
Empire of India
From 1876 to 1880 Lord Lytton was Governor General and Viceroy of India . On January 1, 1877, Queen Victoria of Great Britain accepted the title of "Empress of India". At that time - 1876–1878 - it is estimated that between 5.5 and 29 million Indians were starving.
The Empire of India in personal union with Great Britain comprised today's India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and existed until 1947. In 1866 Burma was also occupied by Great Britain and annexed to British India (until 1937).
In 1885, Hindus and Muslims jointly founded the Indian National Congress ; he advocated the independence of India. Because of the growing influence of the Hindus in the INC, the rival Muslim League was founded in 1906 . In 1916 the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League jointly drafted a declaration calling for Indian independence. This was answered by the British government in August 1917 with a political declaration of intent to allow India a gradual transition to self-government.
Striving for independence after the First World War
After the First World War , in which 1.3 million soldiers of the Indian Army fought on the British side, India, which remained under British rule, was one of the founding members of the League of Nations .
Under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948) there was active but non-violent resistance to British rule in the interwar period. Gandhi had supported the campaign to maintain the caliphate in 1919/1920 , which led to the delimitation of the then rather secular Muslim League with Ali Jinnah at its head.
At that time, within the Indian National Congress, especially under the leadership of Subhash Chandra Bose in the late 1930s, there were disputes over the use of force against British rule. In 1935, the Government of India Act (1935) initiated elections to provincial parliaments, which the Indian National Congress won in seven out of eleven provinces in 1937. In the same year Burma was elevated to an independent crown colony .
Second World War
Although the Indian public did not sympathize at all with the Nazis and welcomed Britain's attitude towards Germany , India's leading political forces declared that they would only go to war if India were to gain independence in return. However, at the outbreak of World War II, the British Governor General declared a state of war between the Indian Empire and Germany without consulting Indian politicians. At the beginning of the war India had an army of around 200,000 men, at the end of the war 2.5 million volunteers had volunteered: the largest volunteer army in World War II. In the beginning, Indian soldiers were mainly used in Africa. When they invaded Italy, they made up the third largest contingent of troops. Furthermore, they provided large troop units for the fight in Burma. But Indians also fought on the side of the Germans. Subhash Chandra Bose had fled to Europe and founded a 3,500-strong contingent of Indian prisoners of war, the Indian Legion, fighting with the Wehrmacht . However, it was hardly used and was captured and handed over to India in 1945 with almost no loss. The soldiers were initially to be charged with high treason , but the charges were dropped due to protests from the Indian population. Subhash Chandra Bose had already gone to Japan in 1943 and founded the Indian National Army there, which initially consisted of 40,000 Indians, some of them British prisoners of war. When Japan attacked Burma, the Indian National Army fought on the side of the Japanese army , otherwise it was practically not used. At the same time as Japan, the Indian National Army surrendered. According to official figures, a total of 24,338 Indian soldiers were killed, 64,354 were wounded and 11,754 were missing during the war. An estimated two million Indian civilians died of starvation due to the war-related food shortage.
1945–1949 - Partition of India
After the end of the war, the hostilities between Hindus and Muslims escalated and finally Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi, the leaders of the Indian National Congress, agreed to the division of India with the separation of the Muslim territories in the form of a new political entity "Pakistan", like that of the Muslim- League was called for. In 1947, almost simultaneously, Pakistan and India became independent as Dominions within the British Commonwealth. The border line between the two states was drawn up by the British official Cyril Radcliffe and literally only presented to the public at the last minute before the act of partition. This was followed by outbreaks of violence and precipitous mass movements of refugees from Hindus from Pakistan and Muslims from India, in which more than a million people lost their lives. Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead by a fanatical Hindu on January 30, 1948.
Little by little, the Indian princely states joined either India or Pakistan - not always voluntarily. The Nizam of Hyderabad was trying to preserve the independence of his country, but took secret links with Pakistan. He suppressed pro-Indian movements of the Hindu majority in his country, which is why India occupied the state of Hyderabad in a surprising military action in September 1948 and incorporated it into its national territory. The small kingdom of Sikkim in the Himalayas initially remained independent after the failure of a referendum on unification with the Indian Union.
In Kashmir, Muslim irregulars tried to force the annexation to Pakistan, which is why the Hindu Maharaja called India for help and declared that his predominantly Muslim principality would be annexed to India. The conflict over Kashmir ultimately led to the First Indo-Pakistani War , which ended in 1949 with the de facto division of Kashmir under the mediation of the United Nations.
Head of state of India initially remained King George VI. of Great Britain. The king's representative and governor general was the last viceroy, Louis Mountbatten , for a transitional phase until 1948, after which C. Rajagopalachari was the first native Indian to hold this office until the republic was proclaimed in 1950. The office of the first head of government was taken over by Jawaharlal Nehru , who was commissioned by Gandhi .
The dissolution of the princely states
The decision of the British Parliament ( Indian Independence Act ) to give India and Pakistan independence as Dominions was given the Royal Assent on July 18, 1947 . The Indian princely states , which had previously been under the British protectorate , became fully sovereign on August 15, 1947 (midnight). The princes could decide whether and which of the new states they wanted to join. By August 17, all but two ( Hyderabad and Kashmir ) declared their willingness to join and transferred responsibility for foreign affairs, defense and communication, for which the British protecting power - or the viceroy - had previously been responsible, to the new states. The smaller princely states united to form federations . Almost all princely states formally declared full affiliation with India or Pakistan by 1949.
The constitution of the Republic of India of January 26, 1950 provided for three categories of states, which were designated by the letters A, B, C according to the appendices in the constitution:
- A States: The former British provinces , ruled by elected governors .
- B-States: Former princely states or associations of princely states, ruled by Rajpramukhs ( Maharajas or other princes recognized by the President ). The B states were Hyderabad , Saurashtra , Mysore , Travancore , Madhya Bharat , Vindhya Pradesh , Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU) and Rajasthan .
- C-States: Former British provinces or princely states, ruled by a governor appointed by the central government. C states were Ajmer , Bhopal , Coorg , Delhi , Himachal Pradesh , Bilaspur , Kachchh , Manipur , Tripura and later also Vindhya Pradesh .
On November 1, 1956, with the entry into force of the States Reorganization Act , this regulation was repealed, all states were equalized, and the princes were deposed. They received appanages to compensate , but these were abolished in 1971.
Republic of India
On November 26, 1949, India constituted itself as a republic . The first president was Rajendra Prasad (1950–1962), on January 26, 1950 the first Indian constitution came into force. Although the British monarch was no longer head of state, India remained part of the Commonwealth .
In 1950 there was a treaty with the Kingdom of Sikkim, according to which India took responsibility for defense, foreign policy, telecommunications and other matters, which increasingly led to Sikkim losing its "international personality" and from 1965 onwards it became a kingdom associated with India .
The first national parliamentary elections were held from October 1951 to February 1952 and brought the Congress Party under Jawaharlal Nehru a three-quarters majority of the parliamentary seats.
On November 1, 1954, France returned the last areas under French rule ( French India ) to the Indian Union ( Pondicherry , Chandannagar , Karaikal , Mahé and Yanam ). After years of discussion about the internal administrative boundaries, which were still largely based on those of the colonial era, the state of Andhra was formed from parts of the state of Madras in 1953 . It was the first newly formed federal state to be formed according to ethnic-language criteria. Three years later, in 1956, the states of southern India in particular were territorially reorganized according to ethnic and linguistic criteria in the States Reorganization Act . The number of federal states decreased from 27 to 14 (with 6 union territories).
In terms of foreign policy, India distinguished itself as a leading power among the non-aligned states under Prime Minister Nehru and was one of the organizers of the Bandung Conference in 1955. India maintained close ties with the Soviet Union . In terms of economic policy, the governments of the Congress Party under Nehru and his successors pushed the industrialization of the country forward. The economy was directed in a dirigistic-planned economy way and the country was sealed off from the world market by high customs barriers.
India granted political asylum to the Dalai Lama , head of the Tibetans , in 1959 . He formed a Tibetan government in exile in Dharmshala ( Himachal Pradesh ) . The Sino-Indian relationship, which had previously been burdened by border disputes, deteriorated significantly as a result. With the occupation and annexation of Portuguese India ( Goa , Damão and Diu ), the last colonies on Indian soil were eliminated in December 1961.
On October 20, 1962, the Indo-Chinese border war began without a declaration of war . The Chinese People's Liberation Army penetrated Indian territory in the area of the so-called North-East Frontier Agency and in Jammu and Kashmir . After the armistice of November 21, 1962, some of the Chinese troops withdrew behind the previous borders, but continued to occupy the Aksai Chin territory, which, according to the Indian interpretation, belonged to India .
In 1962 the internationally respected philosopher S. Radhakrishnan became Indian President.
After Nehru's death in 1964, Lal Bahadur Shastri became the new Prime Minister. During his tenure, the Second Indo-Pakistani War broke out in August / September 1965 , caused by Pakistan's attempt to unleash an uprising against India in Kashmir. The short but intense war ended after a month with a truce that confirmed previous ownership. Prime Minister Shastri died unexpectedly on January 11, 1966 at the Tashkent Conference. Jawaharlal Nehru's daughter Indira Gandhi then took over the government as Prime Minister on January 24, 1966. She came increasingly into conflict with the old power elite in the Congress party, who pushed for her removal. At the instigation of Indira Gandhi, the large private banks were nationalized and the previous pension payments to the former ruling princes were discontinued. In 1969, the Congress party was finally split into a larger, Indira Gandhi-supporting wing Congress (R) and a smaller Congress (O) . However, the 1971 parliamentary election was impressively won by Congress (R) and Indira Gandhi was confirmed as Prime Minister. India intervened in the Civil War in East Pakistan in December 1971 in favor of an independent Bangladesh , resulting in a third Indo-Pakistani war .
After political unrest in the Kingdom of Sikkim, the government of Indira Gandhi intervened in 1975 to restore order, allegedly following a request from the Sikkim Council of Ministers. However, the situation was used by India to annex the small kingdom. After another referendum on unification with India on April 14, 1975, the Choygal (King) was deposed by the Indian authorities and Sikkim's accession to the Indian Union was announced. On April 26, 1975, Sikkim became the 22nd state of the Indian Union.
The second reign of Indira Gandhi was marked by social-revolutionary unrest, so that the Prime Minister declared a national emergency in 1975, restricted democratic rights and ruled almost dictatorially for 22 months. In the elections held in March 1977, however, she and her Congress party suffered a devastating defeat. The winner of the election was the Janata Party , which had only recently been founded through the merger of various opposition parties and which subsequently formed the government. The Janata Party government did not last long, however, but disintegrated due to internal disputes, so that an early election took place in 1980 , which Indira Gandhi's Congress Party won with a two-thirds majority.
Members of the Sikh religion rebelled in Amritsar on July 19, 1982, calling for an independent Sikh state in Punjab to fight the government. When the conflict escalated further and groups in Punjab tried to found a Sikh state of Khalistan , Indira Gandhi stormed the Golden Temple in Amritsar, where Sikhs had holed up, in June 1984 . In retaliation, she was murdered on October 31, 1984 by two of her Sikh bodyguards. Their murder in turn sparked nationwide pogroms against Sikhs.
Since 1979, the state of the carried mainly by student organizations was Assam Assam movement active, struggled especially against the perceived alienation of millions of Bengali immigrants from Bangladesh and significantly affected the public order for many years.
Under Indira Gandhi's son Rajiv Gandhi , who succeeded her in office, liberalization of the economy was introduced in India. Due to his unsteady style of government and the failure to keep promises (for example to the rebelling Sikhs), Rajiv Gandhi lost the great trust that the electorate initially placed in him. There were also allegations of corruption, particularly in connection with the Bofors scandal . Rajiv Gandhi lost power in the parliamentary elections in November 1989 and VP Singh of the newly founded Janata Dal took over the office of prime minister.
New elections had to take place as early as 1991 . On May 21, 1991, Rajiv Gandhi was killed in a suicide bombing by a Tamil bomber connected to the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) at an election rally in southern India . After the election, PV Narasimha Rao formed a minority government of the Congress Party. The Rao government , which remained in office until 1996, implemented important economic reforms. These opened and liberalized the Indian market. In 1992 there were nationwide riots after a Hindu mob instigated by Hindu nationalists destroyed the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya . the subsequent riots between Hindus and Muslims resulted in hundreds of deaths, especially in the city of Bombay (today: Mumbai).
The state of Jammu and Kashmir had also been in a state of emergency since 1989. Militant mujahideen from Afghanistan had invaded the country across the green border and had sparked a pogrom-like mood against the Hindu minority in Kashmir, as a result of which more than a hundred thousand Hindus fled Kashmir . The Indian security forces responded with appropriate draconian countermeasures, often with the civilian population being the victims.
In the 1996 parliamentary elections there was again no clear majority, which is why short-lived Janata Dal minority governments were formed. In 1997, KR Narayanan was the first caste-less person ( Dalit ) to assume the highest office in the state as president. 1998 and 1999 re-elected and a multiparty coalition under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee ( BJP ) came into office. In 1999 there was also a new undeclared border war in the high mountains of Kashmir with Pakistan ( Kargil War ).
There were further economic reforms under Vajpayee. Vajpayee also initiated renewed atomic bomb tests to reassert India's status as a nuclear power.
In 2002 and 2003, India faced war against Pakistan because of its continued support for Muslim rebels in Kashmir.
After an attack on a train with Hindu pilgrims in 2002, there were riots against Muslims in Gujarat , which the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fought only half-heartedly. This discredited the entire BJP-led Vajpayee government among moderate Hindus. The BJP's Shining India (“Shining India”) election campaign , which was intended to highlight the government's economic and political successes, also failed because it did not match the subjective perceptions of large sections of the population.
In the parliamentary elections of May 2004 , the opposition Congress Party under Sonia Gandhi achieved an unexpected victory. Sonia Gandhi, wife of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was murdered in 1991, and Congress party leader, resigned from office as head of government. The new Prime Minister was Manmohan Singh on May 22, 2004 - the first member of the Sikh religion in the office of Prime Minister.
As a result of the tsunami after the earthquake in the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004 off Sumatra, at least 12,407 people died in southeast India (confirmed as of June 24, 2005, possibly even over 16,000). In 2005, India was granted observer status with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization at the same time as Pakistan and Iran
In the 2009 election , the ruling multi-party coalition led by the Congress Party was able to expand its majority and Manmohan Singh was confirmed in office as Prime Minister. In the decade between 2003 and 2012, India experienced sustained high economic growth averaging 7–8% annually. In the second half of the legislative period from 2009, however, the weaknesses of the government led by Singh, who is now almost 80 years old, became more and more apparent. These included insufficient investment in infrastructure, insufficient investment in education and an inefficient bureaucracy. Several parties left the government, causing it to lose its parliamentary majority and become dependent on the left-wing parties (communists, etc.) who blocked further economic reforms. On the opposition side, the BJP top candidate Narendra Modi styled himself as a dynamic modernizer. In the 2014 parliamentary elections , the BJP, led by Modi, was able to win an absolute majority of the constituencies in a landslide victory (" Modi wave ") and has since provided the government with Narendra Modi as prime minister.
In 2019 the country suffered another heat wave . Following a citizenship reform enacted in December 2019, which grants religiously persecuted refugees, with the exception of Muslims, faster asylum in India, there were strong protests by the Muslim population of India in the same month and at the beginning of 2020 .
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