My Country India Essay Wikipedia

India is a country where people from different cultures and religions live in harmony with each other. However, discrimination is done on the basis of a person’s gender, caste, creed, religion and economic status in many parts of the country. India of my dreams would be a place where there is no such discrimination. India has seen a lot of development in the field of science, technology, education as well as other spheres over the last few decades. I dream of India as a fully developed country that does not only excel in the aforementioned fields but also continues to keep its cultural heritage intact. Here are essays of varying lengths on ‘India of my dreams’ to help you with the topic in the school during exam or essay writing competition.

Essay on India of My Dreams

India of My Dreams Essay 1 (200 words)

India enjoys a rich cultural heritage. People belonging to various castes, creeds and religions live peacefully in this country. However, there are certain groups of people that try to incite people to serve their vested interests thereby hampering peace in the country. I dream of India that is devoid of such divisive tendencies. It should be a place where different ethnic groups live in perfect harmony with each other.

I also dream of India as being a nation where every citizen is educated. I want the people of my country to understand the importance of education and ensure that their children seek education rather than indulging in menial jobs at a tender age. Adults who have missed a chance to study during their childhood must also join adult education classes to seek education in order to find a better job for themselves.

I want the government to provide equal employment opportunities for all so that the youth get deserving jobs and contribute towards the growth of the nation. I want the country to become technologically advanced and see growth in all the sectors. Lastly, I want India to be a country where women are treated with respect and are given equal opportunities as men.

India of My Dreams Essay 2 (300 words)

India is a multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-religious society that has seen a steady progress in various spheres over the last century. I dream of India that progresses at an even greater pace and joins the list of the developed countries in no time. Here are the key areas that need attention in order to make it a better place:

  1. Education and Employment

I dream of India where every citizen is educated and is able to find a deserving employment opportunity. No one can stop the growth and development of a nation full of educated and talented individuals.

  1. Caste and Religious Issues

India of my dreams would be a place where people would not be discriminated on the basis of their caste or religion. This would go a long way in strengthening the nation.

  1. Industrial and Technological Growth

While India has seen both industrial and technological growth in the past few decades, it is still not at par with many other countries. I dream of India that advances technologically and sees a boom in every sector.

  1. Corruption

There is a lot of corruption in the country and its rate is only growing by the day. The common man is suffering at the hands of corrupt politicians who are only interested in fulfilling their own selfish motives. I dream of India that is free from corruption at all levels. It would be a place where the betterment of the country would be the sole agenda of the government.

  1. Gender Discrimination

It is sad to see how even after proving themselves in every sphere of life women are still considered to be inferior to men. I dream of India where there is no gender discrimination. It would be a place where men and women are treated as equals.

In short, India of my dreams would be a place where people feel happy and secure and enjoy good quality of life.

India of My Dreams Essay 3 (400 words)

India takes pride in being home to people belonging to different castes, creeds and religions. The country is known for its rich culture and unity in diversity. It has also seen a boom in various industries over the past few decades. However, we still have a long way to go. Here are some of the areas that we need to work on in order to make it an ideal nation:

  1. Poverty

There is a lot of economic disparity in the country. The rich here are becoming richer and the poor are becoming poorer by the day. I dream of India where wealth is equally distributed among the citizens.

  1. Education

Lack of education is one of the main hindrances in the growth of the nation. The government is making efforts to spread awareness about the importance of education. However, it should also take steps to ensure that each and every person in the country seeks education.

  1. Employment

There is a lack of good employment opportunities in the country. Even those who are well-qualified fail to get deserving jobs. The dissatisfaction level among the unemployed lot is high and they often take the road to crime. I dream of India that provides equal employment opportunities for all so that each one of us works for the growth and betterment of our country.

  1. Casteism

Casteism is another major issue that needs to be worked upon. India of my dreams would be a place where people are not discriminated based on their caste, creed or religion.

  1. Gender Discrimination

India of my dreams would be a place where women are given due respect and treated as being equal to men. It would be a place where women safety would be of utmost importance.

  1. Corruption

I dream of India as being a place free of corruption. It would be a place where the political leaders would be dedicated towards serving the countries rather than fulfilling their own selfish motifs.

  1. Technological Growth

India has seen a rapid growth in the field of technology. I want it to grow at an even greater pace and attain newer heights to make its place among the first-rate countries.

Conclusion

I dream of India where people of different castes, creeds, religions, ethnic groups and economic/ social status live in perfect harmony with each other. There should be a fair play and government must ensure equal employment opportunities for all its citizens.

India of My Dreams Essay 4 (500 words)

India of my dreams would be a country where freedom of equality is enjoyed in its true sense. It would be a place where no discrimination is done on the basis of a person’s caste, creed, religion or social/economic status. I also dream of it as a place that sees abundance of industrial and technological growth. Here are some of the areas that particularly require attention:

Women Empowerment

Though more and more women are stepping out of their homes and making a mark in different fields there is still a lot of discrimination against women in our country. From female foeticide to restricting women to household tasks, there are a lot of areas that need to be worked upon. Many non-profit organizations have come forward to promote women empowerment. However, we still have to work a lot on changing the mindset of the society. I dream of India that sees women as an asset not a liability. I want it to be a place where men and women are treated as equals.

Education

Though the government of India is making efforts to promote the significance of seeking education, many people in the country still don’t realize its importance. India of my dreams would be a place where education is made mandatory for all. The government must go a step further to ensure that no child in the country is devoid of education.

Employment Opportunities

Many qualified youths in the country fail to get good employment opportunities. The opportunities are either limited or do not pay enough to the deserving candidates. This is mainly because of weak industrial growth. There are certain other factors such as reservation that bar the deserving candidates from getting good opportunity. Many of the youths who fail to get good employment opportunities in India fly abroad and put their minds to work for the economic growth of other countries while others roam around unemployed.

Caste Discrimination

The country is still not completely free of discrimination on the basis of caste, creed and religion. It is sad to see how people belonging to the lower and weaker sections are even denied their basic rights in certain parts of the country. Besides, there are various fundamentalist and separatist groups that provoke people to propagate their religion and talk ill about the others. This often leads to unrest in the country. I dream of India where people are not discriminated based on their caste and religion.

Corruption

Corruption is one of the main reasons why India is unable to grow at the speed at which it should. Instead of making an effort to serve the country, the political leaders here are busy filling their own pockets. I dream of India where the ministers are dedicated wholly and solely towards the development of the country and its citizens.

Conclusion

India of my dreams would be a country that sees all its citizens as equal and does not discriminate them based on any criteria. I dream of a place where women are respected and are seen equal to men. I also want India to see advancements in the field of science, technology, agriculture and education in the times to come.


 

India of My Dreams Essay 5 (600 words)

India is a country where people belonging to different ethnic groups, castes and religions live amicably. It boasts of a rich, variegated cultural heritage. Though colonised for a long period of time, India has come a long way ever since its independence. It has seen a huge social and economic growth over the last couple of decades. However, there is a lot of economic and social disparity in the county. People are also looked down upon because of their caste and religious preferences in many parts of the country. India of my dreams would be a place where every citizen enjoys true freedom of equality.

Areas of Improvement

There are a number of areas that our country still needs to work upon in order to grow and develop further. Here is a look at the four key areas that require immediate attention:

  1. Education

Education is the building block for any nation. One of the major drawbacks in our country is that people still do not recognize the importance of education. Those living in poverty or below poverty line particularly overlook the importance of getting educated. They do not realise that lack of education is one of the main factors responsible for their poverty. The Government is taking steps to ensure that more and more people have access to education by way of promoting the right of free and compulsory education for children and also by opening adult education schools. India of my dreams would be a place where every citizen is educated and skilled.

  1. Gender Discrimination

Gender discrimination is another issue that needs to be worked upon. While women are becoming aware of their rights and are doing well in various fields, they still have to fight a number of odds in order to make their place in the society. The birth of a girl child is still considered a curse in many parts of the country. Girls are not encouraged to go for higher studies. Even those who are well-qualified are expected to look after their family post marriage rather than working outside. At work, the wages paid to women are lesser than that paid to the men and the list of discrimination goes on. I dream of India that is devoid of discrimination against women.

  1. Technological Advancement

While India has seen a lot of growth and advancement in the field of science and technology, it still requires working harder in this sphere. It is sad to see how genius minds from the country fly abroad to seek employment opportunities and contribute to the technological and industrial advancements of those countries rather than contributing to the development of their own country. I dream of India that offers good employment opportunities to deserving individuals and together all work towards the further technological advancement of the country.

  1. Crime Rate

The crime rate in India is growing by the day. Numerous cases of rape, robbery, dowry and murder are reported each day and many others go unnoticed/unreported. Lack of education, unemployment and poverty majorly attribute towards this. India of my dreams would be a country where the government is more sensitive towards the safety and security of the people. It would be a place free from all kinds of crime and exploitation.

Conclusion

India has seen a rapid industrial growth, technological advancement and progress in several other fields over the last few decades. However, there is still a lot of scope for improvement. India was once called the golden sparrow because of the prosperity it enjoyed. I want the country to attain that glory yet again. I do not want it to enjoy just economic richness but also become richer culturally and socially. All the citizens of the country must be treated equally and there should be no discrimination or injustice.

This article is about the Republic of India. For other uses, see India (disambiguation).

Republic of India

Bhārat Gaṇarājya

Motto: "Satyameva Jayate" (Sanskrit)
"Truth Alone Triumphs"

National song
"Vande Mataram" (Sanskrit)
"I Bow to Thee, Mother"[a][2]

Area controlled by India shown in dark green;
claimed but uncontrolled regions shown in light green.

CapitalNew Delhi
28°36.8′N77°12.5′E / 28.6133°N 77.2083°E / 28.6133; 77.2083
Largest cityMumbai
18°58′30″N72°49′33″E / 18.97500°N 72.82583°E / 18.97500; 72.82583
Official languages
Recognised regional languages
National languageNone[8][9][10]
Religion
DemonymIndian
GovernmentFederalparliamentary
constitutionalsocialist[12]
republic

• President

Ram Nath Kovind

• Vice-President

Venkaiah Naidu

• Prime Minister

Narendra Modi

• Chief Justice

Dipak Misra

• Lok Sabha Speaker

Sumitra Mahajan
LegislatureParliament of India

• Upper house

Rajya Sabha

• Lower house

Lok Sabha
Independence from the United Kingdom

• Dominion

15 August 1947

• Republic

26 January 1950
Area

• Total

3,287,263[5] km2 (1,269,219 sq mi)[d] (7th)

• Water (%)

9.6
Population

• 2016 estimate

1,324,171,354[13] (2nd)

• 2011 census

1,210,854,977[14][15] (2nd)

• Density

395.9/km2 (1,025.4/sq mi) (31st)
GDP (PPP)2018 estimate

• Total

$10.339 trillion[16] (3rd)

• Per capita

$7,749[16] (116th)
GDP (nominal)2018 estimate

• Total

$2.654 trillion[16] (5th)

• Per capita

$1,989[16] (133rd)
Gini (2013)33.9[17]
medium · 79th
HDI (2015) 0.624[18]
medium · 131st
CurrencyIndian rupee (₹) (INR)
Time zoneIST(UTC+05:30)
DST is not observed
Date formatDD-MM-YYYY
Drives on theleft
Calling code+91
ISO 3166 codeIN
Internet TLD.in

India, officially the Republic of India (Bhārat Gaṇarājya),[e] is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country (with over 1.2 billion people), and the most populous democracy in the world. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast. It shares land borders with Pakistan to the west;[f]China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Myanmar (Burma) and Bangladesh to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives. India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

The Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE — one of the world's earliest civilizations.[g] In the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Large scale urbanization occurred on the Ganges in the first millennium BCE leading to the Mahajanapadas, and Buddhism and Jainism arose. Early political consolidations took place under the Maurya and Gupta empires; the later peninsular Middle Kingdoms influenced cultures as far as Southeast Asia. In the medieval era, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam arrived, and Sikhism emerged, all adding to the region's diverse culture. Much of the north fell to the Delhi sultanate; the south was united under the Vijayanagara Empire. The country was unified in the 17th century by the Mughal Empire. In the 18th century, the subcontinent came under the Maratha Empire and in the 19th under the British East India Company, later shifting to British crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which later, under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance and led to India's independence in 1947.

In 2017, the Indian economy was the world's sixth largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity.[16] Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies and is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption, malnutrition, and inadequate public healthcare. A nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the second largest standing army in the world and ranks fifth in military expenditure among nations. India is a federal republic governed under a parliamentary system and consists of 29 states and 7 union territories. India is widely recognized for its wide cinema, rich cuisine and lush wildlife and vegetation. It is a pluralistic, multilingual and multi-ethnic society and is also home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats.

Etymology

Main article: Names for India

The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindu. The latter term stems from the Sanskrit word Sindhu, which was the historical local appellation for the Indus River. The ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi (Ἰνδοί), which translates as "The people of the Indus".

The geographical term Bharat (Bhārat, pronounced [ˈbʱaːrət̪] ( listen)), which is recognised by the Constitution of India as an official name for the country,[23] is used by many Indian languages in its variations. It is a modernisation of the historical name Bharatavarsha, which traditionally referred to the Indian subcontinent and gained increasing currency from the mid-19th century as a native name for India.[24][25] Scholars believe it to be named after the Vedic tribe of Bhāratas in the second millennium BCE.[26] It is also traditionally associated with the rule of the legendary emperor Bharata.[27] The Hindu text Skanda Purana states that the region was named "Bharat" after Bharata Chakravartin. Gaṇarājya (literally, people's State) is the Sanskrit/Hindi term for "republic" dating back to ancient times.[28][29][30]

Hindustan ([ɦɪnd̪ʊˈst̪aːn] ( listen)) is a Persian name for India dating back to the 3rd century BCE. It was introduced into India by the Mughals and widely used since then. Its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its entirety.[24][25] Currently, the name may refer to either the northern part of India or the entire country.

History

Main articles: History of India and History of the Republic of India

Ancient India

The earliest authenticated human remains in South Asia date to about 30,000 years ago. Nearly contemporaneous Mesolithic rock art sites have been found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, including at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh. Around 7000 BCE, one of the first known Neolithic settlements appeared on the subcontinent in Mehrgarh and other sites in the subcontinent. These gradually developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation, the first urban culture in South Asia; it flourished during 2500–1900 BCE in northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India. Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, Dholavira, and Kalibangan, and relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilisation engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade.

During the period 2000–500 BCE, in terms of culture, many regions of the subcontinent transitioned from the Chalcolithic to the Iron Age. The Vedas, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism, were composed during this period, and historians have analysed these to posit a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic Plain. Most historians also consider this period to have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent from the north-west. The caste system, which created a hierarchy of priests, warriors, and free peasants, but which excluded indigenous peoples by labeling their occupations impure, arose during this period. On the Deccan Plateau, archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of a chiefdom stage of political organisation. In South India, a progression to sedentary life is indicated by the large number of megalithic monuments dating from this period, as well as by nearby traces of agriculture, irrigation tanks, and craft traditions.

In the late Vedic period, around the 6th century BCE, the small states and chiefdoms of the Ganges Plain and the north-western regions had consolidated into 16 major oligarchies and monarchies that were known as the mahajanapadas. The emerging urbanisation gave rise to non-Vedic religious movements, two of which became independent religions. Jainism came into prominence during the life of its exemplar, Mahavira. Buddhism, based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, attracted followers from all social classes excepting the middle class; chronicling the life of the Buddha was central to the beginnings of recorded history in India. In an age of increasing urban wealth, both religions held up renunciation as an ideal, and both established long-lasting monastic traditions. Politically, by the 3rd century BCE, the kingdom of Magadha had annexed or reduced other states to emerge as the Mauryan Empire. The empire was once thought to have controlled most of the subcontinent excepting the far south, but its core regions are now thought to have been separated by large autonomous areas. The Mauryan kings are known as much for their empire-building and determined management of public life as for Ashoka's renunciation of militarism and far-flung advocacy of the Buddhist dhamma.

The Sangam literature of the Tamil language reveals that, between 200 BCE and 200 CE, the southern peninsula was being ruled by the Cheras, the Cholas, and the Pandyas, dynasties that traded extensively with the Roman Empire and with West and South-East Asia. In North India, Hinduism asserted patriarchal control within the family, leading to increased subordination of women. By the 4th and 5th centuries, the Gupta Empire had created in the greater Ganges Plain a complex system of administration and taxation that became a model for later Indian kingdoms. Under the Guptas, a renewed Hinduism based on devotion rather than the management of ritual began to assert itself. The renewal was reflected in a flowering of sculpture and architecture, which found patrons among an urban elite.Classical Sanskrit literature flowered as well, and Indian science, astronomy, medicine, and mathematics made significant advances.

Medieval India

The Indian early medieval age, 600 CE to 1200 CE, is defined by regional kingdoms and cultural diversity. When Harsha of Kannauj, who ruled much of the Indo-Gangetic Plain from 606 to 647 CE, attempted to expand southwards, he was defeated by the Chalukya ruler of the Deccan. When his successor attempted to expand eastwards, he was defeated by the Pala king of Bengal. When the Chalukyas attempted to expand southwards, they were defeated by the Pallavas from farther south, who in turn were opposed by the Pandyas and the Cholas from still farther south. No ruler of this period was able to create an empire and consistently control lands much beyond his core region. During this time, pastoral peoples whose land had been cleared to make way for the growing agricultural economy were accommodated within caste society, as were new non-traditional ruling classes. The caste system consequently began to show regional differences.

In the 6th and 7th centuries, the first devotional hymns were created in the Tamil language. They were imitated all over India and led to both the resurgence of Hinduism and the development of all modern languages of the subcontinent. Indian royalty, big and small, and the temples they patronised, drew citizens in great numbers to the capital cities, which became economic hubs as well. Temple towns of various sizes began to appear everywhere as India underwent another urbanisation. By the 8th and 9th centuries, the effects were felt in South-East Asia, as South Indian culture and political systems were exported to lands that became part of modern-day Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, and Java. Indian merchants, scholars, and sometimes armies were involved in this transmission; South-East Asians took the initiative as well, with many sojourning in Indian seminaries and translating Buddhist and Hindu texts into their languages.

After the 10th century, Muslim Central Asian nomadic clans, using swift-horse cavalry and raising vast armies united by ethnicity and religion, repeatedly overran South Asia's north-western plains, leading eventually to the establishment of the Islamic Delhi Sultanate in 1206. The sultanate was to control much of North India and to make many forays into South India. Although at first disruptive for the Indian elites, the sultanate largely left its vast non-Muslim subject population to its own laws and customs. By repeatedly repulsing Mongol raiders in the 13th century, the sultanate saved India from the devastation visited on West and Central Asia, setting the scene for centuries of migration of fleeing soldiers, learned men, mystics, traders, artists, and artisans from that region into the subcontinent, thereby creating a syncretic Indo-Islamic culture in the north. The sultanate's raiding and weakening of the regional kingdoms of South India paved the way for the indigenous Vijayanagara Empire. Embracing a strong Shaivite tradition and building upon the military technology of the sultanate, the empire came to control much of peninsular India, and was to influence South Indian society for long afterwards.

Early modern India

In the early 16th century, northern India, being then under mainly Muslim rulers, fell again to the superior mobility and firepower of a new generation of Central Asian warriors. The resulting Mughal Empire did not stamp out the local societies it came to rule, but rather balanced and pacified them through new administrative practices and diverse and inclusive ruling elites, leading to more systematic, centralised, and uniform rule. Eschewing tribal bonds and Islamic identity, especially under Akbar, the Mughals united their far-flung realms through loyalty, expressed through a Persianised culture, to an emperor who had near-divine status. The Mughal state's economic policies, deriving most revenues from agriculture and mandating that taxes be paid in the well-regulated silver currency, caused peasants and artisans to enter larger markets. The relative peace maintained by the empire during much of the 17th century was a factor in India's economic expansion, resulting in greater patronage of painting, literary forms, textiles, and architecture. Newly coherent social groups in northern and western India, such as the Marathas, the Rajputs, and the Sikhs, gained military and governing ambitions during Mughal rule, which, through collaboration or adversity, gave them both recognition and military experience. Expanding commerce during Mughal rule gave rise to new Indian commercial and political elites along the coasts of southern and eastern India. As the empire disintegrated, many among these elites were able to seek and control their own affairs.

By the early 18th century, with the lines between commercial and political dominance being increasingly blurred, a number of European trading companies, including the English East India Company, had established coastal outposts. The East India Company's control of the seas, greater resources, and more advanced military training and technology led it to increasingly flex its military muscle and caused it to become attractive to a portion of the Indian elite; these factors were crucial in allowing the company to gain control over the Bengal region by 1765 and sideline the other European companies. Its further access to the riches of Bengal and the subsequent increased strength and size of its army enabled it to annex or subdue most of India by the 1820s. India was then no longer exporting manufactured goods as it long had, but was instead supplying the British Empire with raw materials, and many historians consider this to be the onset of India's colonial period. By this time, with its economic power severely curtailed by the British parliament and effectively having been made an arm of British administration, the company began to more consciously enter non-economic arenas such as education, social reform, and culture.

Modern India

Historians consider India's modern age to have begun sometime between 1848 and 1885. The appointment in 1848 of Lord Dalhousie as Governor General of the East India Company set the stage for changes essential to a modern state. These included the consolidation and demarcation of sovereignty, the surveillance of the population, and the education of citizens. Technological changes—among them, railways, canals, and the telegraph—were introduced not long after their introduction in Europe. However, disaffection with the company also grew during this time, and set off the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Fed by diverse resentments and perceptions, including invasive British-style social reforms, harsh land taxes, and summary treatment of some rich landowners and princes, the rebellion rocked many regions of northern and central India and shook the foundations of Company rule. Although the rebellion was suppressed by 1858, it led to the dissolution of the East India Company and to the direct administration of India by the British government. Proclaiming a unitary state and a gradual but limited British-style parliamentary system, the new rulers also protected princes and landed gentry as a feudal safeguard against future unrest. In the decades following, public life gradually emerged all over India, leading eventually to the founding of the Indian National Congress in 1885.[102]

The rush of technology and the commercialisation of agriculture in the second half of the 19th century was marked by economic setbacks—many small farmers became dependent on the whims of far-away markets. There was an increase in the number of large-scale famines, and, despite the risks of infrastructure development borne by Indian taxpayers, little industrial employment was generated for Indians. There were also salutary effects: commercial cropping, especially in the newly canalled Punjab, led to increased food production for internal consumption. The railway network provided critical famine relief, notably reduced the cost of moving goods, and helped nascent Indian-owned industry.

After World War I, in which approximately one million Indians served, a new period began. It was marked by British reforms but also repressive legislations, by more strident Indian calls for self-rule, and by the beginnings of a nonviolent movement of non-co-operation, of which Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi would become the leader and enduring symbol. During the 1930s, slow legislative reform was enacted by the British; the Indian National Congress won victories in the resulting elections. The next decade was beset with crises: Indian participation in World War II, the Congress's final push for non-co-operation, and an upsurge of Muslim nationalism. All were capped by the advent of independence in 1947, but tempered by the partition of India into two states: India and Pakistan.

Vital to India's self-image as an independent nation was its constitution, completed in 1950, which put in place a secular and democratic republic. It has remained a democracy with civil liberties, an active Supreme Court, and a largely independent press. Economic liberalisation, which was begun in the 1990s, has created a large urban middle class, transformed India into one of the world's fastest-growing economies, and increased its geopolitical clout. Indian movies, music, and spiritual teachings play an increasing role in global culture. Yet, India is also shaped by seemingly unyielding poverty, both rural and urban; by religious and caste-related violence; by Maoist-inspired Naxalite insurgencies; and by separatism in Jammu and Kashmir and in Northeast India. It has unresolved territorial disputes with China and with Pakistan. The India–Pakistan nuclear rivalry came to a head in 1998. India's sustained democratic freedoms are unique among the world's newer nations; however, in spite of its recent economic successes, freedom from want for its disadvantaged population remains a goal yet to be achieved.

Geography

Main article: Geography of India

India comprises the bulk of the Indian subcontinent, lying atop the Indian tectonic plate, and part of the Indo-Australian Plate. India's defining geological processes began 75 million years ago when the Indian plate, then part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, began a north-eastward drift caused by seafloor spreading to its south-west, and later, south and south-east. Simultaneously, the vast Tethynoceanic crust, to its northeast, began to subduct under the Eurasian plate. These dual processes, driven by convection in the Earth's mantle, both created the Indian Ocean and caused the Indian continental crust eventually to under-thrust Eurasia and to uplift the Himalayas. Immediately south of the emerging Himalayas, plate movement created a vast trough that rapidly filled with river-borne sediment and now constitutes the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Cut off from the plain by the ancient Aravalli Range lies the Thar Desert.

The original Indian plate survives as peninsular India, the oldest and geologically most stable part of India. It extends as far north as the Satpura and Vindhya ranges in central India. These parallel chains run from the Arabian Sea coast in Gujarat in the west to the coal-rich Chota Nagpur Plateau in Jharkhand in the east. To the south, the remaining peninsular landmass, the Deccan Plateau, is flanked on the west and east by coastal ranges known as the Western and Eastern Ghats; the plateau contains the country's oldest rock formations, some over one billion years old. Constituted in such fashion, India lies to the north of the equator between 6° 44' and 35° 30' north latitude[h] and 68° 7' and 97° 25' east longitude.[128]

India's coastline measures 7,517 kilometres (4,700 mi) in length; of this distance, 5,423 kilometres (3,400 mi) belong to peninsular India and 2,094 kilometres (1,300 mi) to the Andaman, Nicobar, and Lakshadweep island chains. According to the Indian naval hydrographic charts, the mainland coastline consists of the following: 43% sandy beaches; 11% rocky shores, including cliffs; and 46% mudflats or marshy shores.

Major Himalayan-origin rivers that substantially flow through India include the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, both of which drain into the Bay of Bengal. Important tributaries of the Ganges include the Yamuna and the Kosi; the latter's extremely low gradient often leads to severe floods and course changes. Major peninsular rivers, whose steeper gradients prevent their waters from flooding, include the Godavari, the Mahanadi, the Kaveri, and the Krishna, which also drain into the Bay of Bengal; and the Narmada and the Tapti, which drain into the Arabian Sea. Coastal features include the marshy

Writing the will and testament of the Mughal king court in Persian, 1590–1595
A topographic map of India

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