1915 Gandhi returns to India
Mohandas K. Gandhi was a lawyer, educated in England and with a thorough knowledge of the colonial methods used by the empire in South Africa. When he returned to India in 1915, he immediately understood the necessity of overcoming close Anglo-Indian cooperation. Gandhi sought to involve the Muslims in the struggle for self-government, worked for the reintroduction of the traditional Hindu education system and paid special attention to the popular mobilization. His association with the National Congress especially strengthened this movement’s most radical wing, where the young man, Jawaharlal Nehru, was also active. This was especially true after the 1919 massacre at Amritsar, when a demonstration was drowned in bullets by the British army. English sources killed 380 and wounded 1,200. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that IND stands for India.
At the initiative of Gandhi and in response to the massacre, the National Congress in 1920 launched a campaign that revealed the strength of the civil opposition. The movement had an authentic national character in distribution and depth. The campaign included a boycott of the colony institutions – a boycott of elections, administrative bodies and the English-based education system. It was based on a principle of non-violence, boycott of English goods and passive acceptance of possible punitive measures. In recognition of his leadership, Gandhi was exalted to Mahatma – the Great Spirit.
In 1930-34, a new campaign was carried out which, as a parole, had total independence and the fight against the state monopoly on salt. The campaign demonstrated Mahatma’s ability to combine a comprehensive political project with concrete demands – affecting all the poor – in such a way that they understood and supported them. The women participated massively for the first time in the demonstrations. The prisons were flooded with prisoners who did not object, and the authorities did not know their living advice. Gandhi came to stand in a natural negotiating position over the British, and after World War II, they had no other way but to quickly allow India to gain independence.
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1947 Independence.. and sharing
With the British retreat in 1947, the subcontinent was divided into two states. On the one hand, India itself and on the other Pakistan, formed to concentrate the Muslim population in one country into two regions: West and East Pakistan. India consisted of a myriad of ethnic, linguistic and cultural groups. Yet, in the anti-colonial struggle, they were able to develop a sense of national unity that the English were unable to strangle.
After independence, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, together with Sukarno, Nasser and Tito, devised the concept of political alliance freedom for the countries fighting for their independence and supremacy. At the same time, he developed a development policy based on the notion that industrialization would create prosperity. In a few decades, India made great technological advances that enabled it to put satellites into orbit and in 1974 to test an atomic bomb. It thus became the first nuclear power among the alliance-free countries. One can greatly discuss the appropriateness of such projects in a country that has not yet been able to solve the fundamental problems of the birth of its population.
Nehru died in 1966 and after a brief interlude in which Lal Bahadur Shastri was prime minister, Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi, was appointed to follow in his father’s footsteps as the country’s leader. After three years as prime minister and power struggle between her and another Congress party leader, Morarji Desai, she became the undisputed leader of the Congress Party in 1969. She herself presented herself as her father’s successor, as a socialist and leftist politician.
BJP politicians are freed from suspicions of incitement
A court in Lucknow in northern India frees about 30 BJP politicians from suspicions that they have incited Hindu activists to tear down the Babri Mosque, which led to a wave of violence between Muslims and Hindus resulting in more than 2,000 deaths. Among the freed BJP leaders are former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani and former party chairman Murli Manohar Joshi. In 1990, Lal Krishna Advani launched a campaign to build a Hindu temple on the site of the Babri Mosque. Opposition parties and Muslim groups accuse Advani of inciting Hindus to demolish the mosque, which took place on December 6, 1992.
Amnesty International’s bank accounts frozen
The New Delhi government has frozen Amnesty International’s bank accounts, forcing the human rights organization to “pause” its operations in India. Amnesty links what happened to the organization’s criticism of the deteriorating human rights situation in India under the Modi government (see Democracy and Rights). Amnesty accuses the Modi government of conducting a “witch hunt” on human rights organizations.
Six million corona infected
The number of inhabitants tested positive for the coronavirus exceeds six million. Around 90,000 new viral infections are confirmed every day in India.
Limited right to strike, improvements for the disorganized
Parliament adopts a number of new labor laws. Among other things, measures are being taken to make it more difficult for employees to strike, and easier for employers to hire and fire staff. Employees must inform employers of a planned strike no later than 14 days before it is to be held. The new laws also give around 400 million unorganized workers the right to life and accident insurance, maternity allowance and pension.
The Taj Mahal reopens
The famous Taj Mahal mausoleum in Agra is reopened to visitors as part of the government’s decision to restart the country’s economy following the shutdown in connection with the outbreak of the corona pandemic (see March 2020). Before the pandemic hit India, the Taj Mahal was visited by seven million tourists a year.
Freer market for the farmers
Adopts new controversial agricultural laws which mean that the Indian system, in which all farmers sell their goods at fixed prices regulated by the state, is complemented by a free market where farmers sell their goods to whomever they want (including private players) and at prices determined by the market;. The bills come from the BJP government, which believes they will increase farmers’ incomes and encourage them to invest in and modernize their farms. The laws provoke strong backlash from the opposition, which warns that the private sector will have too much influence and that many small farmers will not be able to compete. The decision is preceded by several days of massive peasant protests in Punjab, Haryana and West Bengal, among other places. The minister responsible for food production is also resigning in protest of the laws she believes will hit hard against farmers in her Punjab constituency. Eight opposition MPs have been suspended after holding a sit-in in parliament.
Five million corona infected
The total number of confirmed cases of Indians infected with the coronavirus exceeds five million. Every day, more than 90,000 inhabitants are tested positive for the coronavirus. No other country in the world has such a rapid spread of infection. In total, just over 82,000 have died with covid-19 in the country and every day around 1,300 Indians die with confirmed covid-19. The growing spread of infection is taking place at the same time as the government is opening up India for economic reasons after shutdowns (India’s economy shrank by a quarter during the first quarter of 2020). Despite the fact that around one million inhabitants are tested every day, the number of people in the dark is still estimated to be high.
India and China promise to resolve border disputes
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar have agreed on several measures to try to reduce tensions at the common border in the Himalayas. A few days earlier, border posts from both countries are said to have fired at each other, which is the first time gunfire has occurred in several decades. Skirmishes have been reported since June when troops from the countries met in a major clash (see June 2020). In August, a Tibetan soldier in the Indian Army died after triggering a landmine at the border.
Second most corona infected in the world
India surpasses Brazil in the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus, taking second place after the United States. India has now registered 4.2 million coronavirus infections since the pandemic broke out. Brazil has 4.1 million and the United States 6.2 million. More than 90,000 Indians are infected with the coronavirus every day (most in the world) and over 1,000 per day die with covid-19. A total of just over 71,640 covid-19 deaths have been confirmed in India, compared with just over 126,200 in Brazil and 188,540 in the United States. Despite these figures, India continues to reopen society for economic reasons. The subway in New Delhi, for example, is starting to close again after being closed for six months.
New clashes between India and China in Ladakh
An Indian government soldier of Tibetan origin is killed in one of two clashes that take place within 48 hours at the disputed border between India and China in Ladakh in the Himalayas. According to the Tibetan government in exile in India, there are many soldiers of Tibetan origin in the Indian army in the area. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed on June 15 in clashes with Chinese soldiers in the same area (see June 2020).
More restrictions will be removed
Indian authorities continue to ease restrictions imposed by the corona pandemic. Crowds of 100 people are now allowed in culture, entertainment, sports and politics, if everyone present wears a mouth guard. Subway traffic in major cities is gradually being phased out again. The decisions are made despite the fact that India is the country in the world with the fastest spread of infection. The reason is the economic crisis and the high unemployment caused by the restrictions. Millions of Indians have lost their jobs since March when the restrictions were first introduced. India has 3.5 million confirmed cases of coronary heart disease and more than 62,000 covid-19 deaths. The spread of the infection was initially worst in megacities such as Bombay and Delhi, but now the coronavirus is starting to spread rapidly even in smaller cities and in the countryside.
Most new coronary infections in the world
India is the country in the world where the coronavirus spreads the fastest (around 70,000 confirmed cases per day). After crossing the two million mark on 7 August and the 2.5 million mark on 15 August, the country now notes just over 3.1 million confirmed corona-infected inhabitants. It is still the third most in the world, but India is soon expected to overtake Brazil, which has the second most after the United States. The death toll in covid-19 in India is 57,542, the fourth highest in the world after the United States, Brazil and Mexico.
The Rama Temple in Ayodhya is being rebuilt
Prime Minister Modi is taking the first step in rebuilding the Hindu Rama Temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The temple was built on the site where Hindu nationalists tore down the Babrimos Mosque in 1992, leading to a wave of religiously motivated violence in India (see Modern History). A ruling by the Supreme Court in November 2019 made it possible for the Modi government to have the frame temple rebuilt, which Hindus believe stood on the site before the Babrimos Mosque was built.
The country’s GDP is shrinking markedly
India’s GDP shrank by 23.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same period the year before. The reason is the economic crisis that followed the closure of the country in connection with the corona pandemic.