Situation in the Country


Capital: New Delhi
Area: 3,287,782 km ²
Population: 1,156,897,766
Ethnic groups: The main ethnic groups can be divided into two, although there are numerous nuances determined by their fusion: the Aryan (tall and fair-skinned) and Dravidian (short stature and dark skin). The North is dominated by the Aryan branches while the South by the Dravidian.
Religion: Hindu (80, 3%), Muslim (11%).
Infant mortality rate: 64.9 deaths per thousand (Italy 5.7 per thousand)
Life expectancy: 70 years on
Literacy: 61%
Population below poverty line: 35%

India is one of the largest and most populous countries in the world, the seventh if one considers the extension as it has an area of more than 3 million sq. km. The country is bordered to the east by Myanmar to the north-east by Nepal, Pakistan to the west and to the north with China. The territory can be divided into three main areas: the mountainous barrier of the Himalayas in the north; the intermediate zone, one of the most densely populated parts of the world including flood plains formed by the river Ganges; Finally, the peninsular part of the Deccan, reaching the Indian Ocean, where the shores of Bay of Bengal are the most cultivated and populated. India, with a population of over one billion inhabitants and a density of 274 inhabitants / square kilometer is the second country in the world after China. 76% of the population lives in rural areas, while the rest is concentrated in large urban centers in the capital New Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta.

In 1500 began the first commercial contacts with the European world that have paved the way for future colonial campaigns of 1800's. Father's homeland is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, known as Mahatma ("great soul"). India was a British colony but due to the movement of peaceful civil disobedience, which began in 1919, just under the leadership of Gandhi, India embarks on a journey that led in 1947, two years after the end of World War II, to the independence from England.

Democracy and planning were the founding principles of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India. During the nehruvian age it was of central importance the strategy of non-alignment which basically was implemented in this way: India, along with 29 other African and Asian countries, did not share the view of the world represented by the two opposing blocs: the Soviet Union and the U.S. 

After independence, struggles take place due to religion, caste and successive uprisings in various parts of the country, which fortunately did not lead to any violent conflict thanks to tolerance and constitutional reforms. In India, however, there have always been various separatist movements, because of the different ethnic groups that live there, and this has led over the years to many wars in the region, such as that with China in 1962, which suffered severe losses, or that for the current unresolved issue of Kashmir with Pakistan, its neighbour and nuclear-armed as India itself is.

Another important safety issue in India is represented by terrorism, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir, in north-east India and recently also in big cities like Delhi and Mumbai. The attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001 remains the most serious attack.

India therefore stands out as a country of great contrasts, with 60% of the population (caste "low") still engaged in agriculture, with a rather low per capita income, despite today expected to lie in tenth place as an industrial power mainly due to the variety and abundance of natural resources and skilled labour. The "outcasts" are, however, several, about 130 million, in conditions of great insecurity and social discrimination.

Child labour is widespread and takes three to four million children in brick kilns and one million in carpet farms between India and Pakistan. Another dramatically evident plague is discrimination against women that occurs very early, especially among the poorer classes, with the frequent practice of infanticide of girls, if this has not already be done with selective abortion. This practice can be traced back to the dowry that  every family should ensure to girls and therefore constitutes an unsustainable spending for families in the most precarious conditions. A recent survey also shows that the illiterate are about half the adult population, and among these, 62% are women.

In recent years there have been very significant steps to achieve food self-sufficiency; however the problem of land tenure for small farmers remains and all the new issues that the Western economy is causing in a society torn between modernity and ancient tradition.



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