India in Post independence Era
The history of India dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization.
India has witnessed the influence of a numerous invaders throughout
its history. First were the Aryans, in ancient period. Their
influence is known as the Vedic period. India went through a lot of
socio – political changes in the following years. This period marks
the rise of religious leaders such as Mahavira and Buddha. A number
of dynasties ruled India for the next millennia. The Delhi
Sultanates established the Muslim rule in India. India was
introduced to the different types art and architecture in this era.
The following Mughal rulers added to those influences. In the 18th
century, the decline in the Mughal rule shifted the balance of power
to the British East India Company. In 1757, the British East India
Company established its authority in India as a political power with
the victory at Plassey and Buxar. The Great Mutiny of 1857 changed
the course of Indian history once again. The British Crown took over
the administration, until the India gained independence in 1947.
The post independence era can be divided into each decade,
-1947–1950: India gained its independence in August 15th, 1947. The
period was marked by tumultuous events, such as the partition, and
the first war Indo – Pak war broke out. The Constitution of India
came to effect on the 26th January 1950, and India became a
sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic.
-1950 – 1970: The first election was held in the year 1952, and the
Congress won with a large majority. Jawaharlal Nehru was elected
Prime Minister for a second term. He carried on with his socialistic
approach of administration. India experienced a lot of development
in this period. The incorporation of the IITs across India, complete
primary education drives, and others. He introduced reforms on
taxation, minimum wages, and nationalization of industries. Nehru
also played an important part in the Non Aligned Movement. The
States Reorganization Act of 1956 was passed on the recommendation
of the States Reorganization Commission. The state of
Gujarat, were created.
Goa was annexed from the Portuguese.
India also fought a short war with China in 1962, regarding the
Himalayan border. Following the death of Nehru in 1964, Lal Bahadur
Shastri became the Prime Minister of India. In 1965, India fought
the second Indo – Pak war. The Tashkent Agreement was signed
declaring the end of the war. The sudden death of Lal Bahadur
Shastri in Tashkent, led to the rise of Indira Gandhi as one of the
most prominent prime ministers of India.
- 1971 – 1980: In 1971, Indira Gandhi was re-elected with huge
majority. The third Indo – Pak war was fought regarding the
liberation of the East Pakistan, and formation of Bangladesh. In
this period the banks were nationalized, the introduction of the
economic and industrial reforms. India tested it first nuclear
weapon in 1974. This decade also experienced the introduction of
Green Revolution, with improved seed variety, better funding, and
Operation Flood for enhancing the milk production. These movements
made India self-sufficient in food production.
In 1975, President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed declared an emergency, on
the advice of Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Strikes and protests by the anti
Congress ripped the country, voicing out their dissent against the
dictatorship of Mrs. Gandhi. The emergency continued until the year
1977. In the election of 1977, the Congress lost it seat of power to
Janata Party, which was a coalition of anti congress parties.
-1980 – In 1980, the Mrs Gandhi came back to power with landslide
victory in the polls. She ordered the Operation Blue Star, to flush
out Sikh insurgents from the Golden Temple. She was assassinated in
October 1984. Rajiv Gandhi, the eldest son of Mrs. Gandhi, won the
next election with overwhelming majority. He was the youngest Prime
Minister India ever had. Rajiv Gandhi introduced a number of reforms
to boost up the development process. The reforms encouraged foreign
investments, decreased the government restrictions on overseas
currency, and decreased licensing. These reforms paved the way for
the rapid economic developments in the 90s. In his regime, sectors
like telecommunication and information technology experienced huge
expansions. The Janata Dal came to power for brief period in 1989,
under the leadership of V.P. Singh and later Chandra Shekhar.
- 1990 onwards: This decade was the turning point of the economic
conditions of India. In 1991, the Congress party came back to power,
under the leadership of P.V. Narshimha Rao. The economic policies of
1991, opened up the markets for international trade, ending the era
of economic protective polices.
The BJP emerged as the majority party in the 1996 elections, but the
government under the leadership of Prime Minister A.B.Vajpayee
lasted only for 13 days. After a brief period, BJP came back to
power in 1998. The second series of underground nuclear tests were
conducted by India in 1998. In 1999 after the failure of the
coalition, BJP was re elected and came to power in 1999 as the
National Democratic Alliance. India fought the
War, due to the infiltration of the Pakistan backed insurgents in
the Jammu and Kashmir
In 2004, the Congress party came back to power under the leadership
of Sonia Gandhi. Dr. Manmohan Singh was selected to be the Prime
Minister. He has continued with the economic development of India.
The nuclear agreement with the US has the potential to derail the
government as both the right wing and the left wing politicians
oppose the deal for differing reasons.
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