India. When over 170 people were killed in attacks on a series of targets in central Bombay on November 26, it was the culmination of a year of repeated terrorist attacks. What gave the attacks in Bombay a special symbolic weight was that they were aimed at, among other things, two of the city’s most prestigious hotels, the largest railway station, a hospital and a Jewish center. Among the victims were 26 foreign nationals. For three days, the terrorists held hostages at the hotels and the Jewish Center before commandos could stop them.
The attacks had political consequences. Authorities were criticized for slow actions and for not responding to intelligence information about an imminent attack. The interior minister resigned and the government sent a sharp protest to Pakistan, from where the terrorists were said to have come. India did not threaten military intervention against the neighboring country, which promised to cooperate in the investigation, but provided a list of 20 terrorists who were required to be extradited. The multi-year peace process was temporarily canceled.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Click to see the meanings of 2-letter acronym and abbreviation of IN in general and in geography as India in particular.
Earlier, terror attacks had shaken the center of the tourist city of Jaipur in May, the IT center Bangalore and the big city of Ahmadabad in July, the capital New Delhi in September and the northeastern state of Assam in October. These acts and several minor assaults required well over 200 lives and injured many more people. In most cases, the attacks were blamed on Muslim extremists, but in some cases suspicions were also directed against militant Hindus.
Shortly before the attack in Assam, the state had been shaken by clashes between minority bodo and Muslim settlers from Bangladesh. About 50 people were killed and over 85,000 fled before the unrest stopped.
The bombings in Bombay were believed to be partly intended to disrupt the ongoing elections in Kashmir. There, unrest flared up during the summer to a more serious level than in several years. Muslims suspected that the local government’s decision to grant a Hindu foundation the right to a land area during a pilgrimage was an attempt to downplay the Muslim character of the state. Dozens of people were killed and hundreds injured in protests between protesters and police and the government was forced to retire. The November-December re-election was conducted without any more difficult inter-zone and led the Congress Party and the traditionally strong party National Conference to decide to co-rule.
In the state of Orissa on the east coast, the Christian minority suffered persecution following the murder of a Hindu leader. At least 20 people, most Christians, were killed and churches vandalized during the riots that lasted for several weeks.
The government, led by the Congress Party, was able to finalize the agreement with the US on nuclear cooperation in July, but the deal was carried out at the price of failing support in Parliament. Four Left parties, which criticized the approach to the United States, broke with the government and formed a new opposition alliance. The government passed a vote of confidence after receiving support from a regional socialist party. After the nuclear agreement was approved by the UN agency IAEA, India could also enter into an agreement with France on the purchase of nuclear reactors. Russia had already promised to build four nuclear reactors in India.
During the spring and summer, the rate of inflation increased rapidly, reaching almost 12 percent in July. The central bank raised its policy rate in installments, to a maximum of 9 percent at the end of July. When the global financial crisis hit during the autumn, a series of interest rate cuts followed, down to 6.5 percent in early December. The growth rate in the economy was also subdued and the forecast for 2008 was written down to about 7 percent, the lowest increase in several years.
India’s advancement as an economic and industrial power does not happen without social problems. The car company Tata in January presented a new model that, at a cost of 100,000 rupees, about SEK 17,000, would become the world’s cheapest passenger car. In October, however, the group was forced to scrap the plans at a plant in West Bengal following widespread protests against the development of agricultural land. The plans for an economic free zone in the state of Maharashtra also encountered compact opposition from local farmers. However, two major mining projects in Orissa were approved by the Supreme Court, despite protests from farmers, environmental movements and ethnic minorities who saw their living environment threatened.
The years of strong economic growth have not benefited India’s population fairly. In October, an alert report was issued by IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute) on serious malnutrition in large parts of the country. In the state of Madhya Pradesh in central I, the situation was described as difficult as in the worst affected African countries.
General information about India
Every Indian housewife has her own secret masala, or spice blend. Just as masala hides many aromas and flavors, India itself holds different worlds. It is the cornucopia and the jungle of opposites. India can never be exhausted, but after each trip you will find that something of this country of more than three million square kilometers and inhabited by more than a billion people has gone unexperienced and unseen. On the way to India, you will come across dozens of languages and cultures, overlapping histories and religions, immense poverty and incomprehensible wealth, the world of castes, cows in the streets, big cities, those Asian silicon valleys like Hyderabad and Bengaluru, and sluggish rural villages;
It is worth traveling to India because of its millennial culture but also because of its unique and varied nature. An oasis such as Ranthambore National Park has found refuge for a rare Bengal tiger, for example. Leopards, lip bears, ankle antelopes, and sambar and axis deer also belong to the Indian fauna.
Many travelers are attracted to Indian cuisine, while others travel to the country for wellness-related things like yoga and Ayurveda. These detective navigates to tropical lush South India and there to Kerala, Cochin and Alleppey. Between relaxing treatments, you can cruise among coconut groves and rice fields on kettuvallam houseboats in the Backwaters area formed by canals and small lagoons and sniff the scents of spice plants on the slopes of Periyar.
Most often you go to India on a tour of the Golden Triangle. The tops of the triangle are Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The federal capital of India, New Delhi, with its wide park streets, handsome government buildings and extensive garden-like neighborhoods, looks quite young, but in reality the city has a history of two thousand years behind it. Modern New Delhi was built by the British a hundred years ago. It became the glorious capital of the crown jewel of colonial rule – as India was named at the time – but its rulers changed as early as 1947 when India became independent. At the same time, Muslim-majority Pakistan seceded from India. Old Delhi with its narrow alleys, with its bustling bazaars and Friday Mosques and Red Fortress combining Islamic and Indian Mogul architecture, it’s like from another world. The history of the first Afghan conquerors, who arrived a thousand years ago, can once again be explored in the area of the Qutub minaret. The cremation sites of Mahatma Gandhi and Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, well-known leaders of India, are located in the beautiful valley of the Yamuna River.
According to Countryaah reports, the population of India in 2008 was 1,234,281,059, ranking number 2 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.470% yearly, and the population density was 415.1370 people per km2.