|Established|| August 15, 1947|
|Disbanded|| Still Active |
|Last Modified||Gerald Farinas May 13, 2004 10:43am|
|Description||Republic of India |
A former British colony with the British monarch having reigned with the title of Emperor of India, India today is the largest democracy in the world. The nation is in Southern Asia bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan. It is slightly more than one-third the size of the United States. Its people primarily speak English (the official language of the government) and Hindi (the national language). Over 80% of Indians are Hindu and 12% Muslim.
With its capital in New Delhi, India is comprised of 28 states and 7 union territories. Governance takes the form of a parliamentary federal republic led by a President elected by an electoral college. The head of government is the Prime Minister and his or her Council of Ministers. Legislation is the jurisdiction of the bicameral parliament (Sansad) consisting of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and the People's Assembly (Lok Sabha).
India's struggle for independence from British colonial rule is often studied worldwide with an emphasis on the nonviolent nature of the revolution, led by Mohandas Ghandi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Independence finally came in 1947. India was then separated into secular India and a separate Muslim state called Pakistan. In 1971, war broke out between the two states leading to the creation of the separate nations of Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan). Today, conflict between India and Pakistan over the territory of Kashmir continues. Adding to the volatility of the conflict, both India and Pakistan are world nuclear powers.