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Key Dates in the History of ModernIndia•1600 – home to large number of empires, states, andreligious traditions, incl. Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism•1600s – British East India Company arrives in India•1857 – Rebellion against the rule of the British East IndiaCompany•1858 – Britain asserts direct crown control over most India,and rules most of India through “Princely States” of localnobles•1915-1930s – Mohandas Gandhi becomes the leader of theIndian National Congress and leads protests against Britishrule–Other influential leaders are Jawaharlal Nehru and MuhammadAli Jinnah of the Muslim League
Key Dates in the History of ModernIndia•1947 – Independence and partition of India into India andPakistan•1948 – Mohandas Gandhi assassinated by Hindu fundamentalist•1950 – Constitution adopted•1964 – death of Nehru•1966 – Indira Gandhi (daughter of Nehru) becomes PM•1971 – India and Pakistan fight over East Pakistan, whichseparated from West Pakistan and became Bangladesh•1974 – India explodes a nuclear device•1975-1977 – Martial law under Indira Gandhi•1977 - INC loses power for the first time
Key Dates in the History of ModernIndia•1979 – Indira Gandhi returns as PM•1984 – Indira Gandhi assassinated by her Sikh bodyguard, riots andthe massacre of the members of the Sikh minority follow, RajivGandhi becomes PM•1989 – Protests in Kashmir, a Muslim majority area administered byIndia on the border between India and Pakistan•1991 – Rajiv Gandhi assassinated by militants seeking a separatehomeland for Sri Lankan Tamils and angry at India’s intervention inthe conflict•1991 – Pro-market reforms begin•1990s – tensions between Muslims and Hindus, as the Hindunationalist Bharatiya Janata Party comes to power•2000s – India’s economy booms, INC back in power•2014 – Narendra Modi of the BJP becomes PM
India’s Political Institutions•Federal representative democracy, parliamentary democracy•Federal system with 29 states and 7 union territories•Executive Branch – PM is the head of government and Presidentsholds ceremonial powers–PM – selected by Parliament–President – elected by electoral college of Parliament and state legislators for5-year term, and can be reelected•Legislative Branch – bicameral parliament–Lower chamber: Lok Sabha (House of the People), 550 members, FPTP–Upper chamber – Rajya Sabha (Council of States) – no more than 250members•Judicial Branch – Supreme Court of India (a chief justice + 17 judges,appointed by the president on the advice of PM)•Political Party System – Multiparty system, two major parties andcoalitions at national level: Indian Congress Party (United ProgressiveAlliance) and Bharatiya Janata Party (National Democratic Alliance)
India’s Political Culture and Institutions•The world’s largest democracy–Extremely diverse population–Largely free, fair, and regular local, state and nationalelections–High level of voter turnout–Independent judiciary–Freedom of the press•High degree of inequality and stratification–The caste system•Corruption•The challenge of ethnic diversity