English is still a problem for Indians

India - a global player

What is the first thing you think of when you think of India? Curry, saris, holy cows or Bollywood films?
The image of India is very diverse. The greatest democracy in the world today is one emerging economic nation(emerging global player). India has a very high social diversity(diversity). But the country is also characterized by great contrasts and faces enormous challenges in terms of poverty reduction, the education system and infrastructure.

First, check out the movie Mumbai (formerly Bombay), one of the largest metropolises in India, to:

India's society

With more than 1.3 billion people India is one of the most populous countries in the world and is about to overtake China with its population growth. Despite an area of ​​around 3.3 million square kilometers, the country is relatively densely populated. The Indian people (population) is with one Average age of 25 years very young. Life expectancy is currently around 67 years (compared to 79 years in Germany).

Most people still live in the countryside, although many Indians move to the cities for work. In India there are more than 50 megacities(megacities). The largest cities include India's capital New Delhi and the metropolises Hyderabad, Mumbai and Calcutta.

Caste system (caste system)

The hierarchical categorization of people in different castes has shaped the social life of India for centuries and left deep marks, even if they were officially abolished in 1947 with the independence of India. So it is usually still a tradition that Indians only marry within one caste. Many marriages are still going on arranged(arranged marriage). The social mix begins in the big cities, especially in the middle ranks, but the extremes of the caste order “Brahmins” and the lowest class “The Untouchables” are still very rigid.

Image: iStockphoto.com (holgs)

Women in india

Perhaps you have also heard from the media about the violent crimes against women in recent years, which shed light on the Discrimination(discrimination) thrown by women in India. Girls and women are traditionally the man subordinate(inferior) and are considered the property of men. Disadvantage starts from birth. Large families in particular are more likely to invest in the schooling of their sons than their daughters. When getting married, girls become a burden, because despite the prohibitions it is still the custom for the bride to be a very tall one dowry(dowry) must bring into the marriage. Every year around half a million female fetuses are specifically aborted. Domestic violence(domestic violence), sexual harassment(sexual harassment) and rape are far too often part of the everyday life of women, which the police and the judiciary often file with impunity. Especially in the metropolises, however, there are more and more women who defy the traditional image, have a good education and do a qualified job.

Image: UNICEF Germany

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A look at history

India looks back on a long history. There was already in ancient times trade(trade) between the Roman Empire and India. Roman gold and silver were exchanged for spices, pearls and silk. In the 17th century the Dutch, British and French established important trading posts on the coasts. The British were with that East Indian trading company(East Indian Trading Company) strongly represented. In 1858 the British took control of India. India became a British colony. The area also included present-day Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar and called itself Indian empire(Indian Empire)that was ruled by the British Crown.

India's quest for independence

At the beginning of the 20th century, the votes were after independence(independence) from Great Britain louder. The Indians were aware of their rich cultural history and no longer wanted to be ruled by the Europeans. One man played a prominent role in this: Mahatma Gandhi. You have certainly come across this name. Gandhi was not only a very important person for independence, he also stands for it today nonviolent resistance(peaceful protest) and reconciliation(reconciliation) and has shown alternatives to war. Gandhi cleverly managed to mobilize the Indians to protest. India gained independence in 1947.

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi was born in India in 1869. He studied law in London and returned to India as a lawyer in 1914, where he led a campaign for independence. For this he had to go to prison from 1922-1924. But this didn't stop him from continuing. As early as 1930 he gathered the masses behind him in his non-violent protest. Convinced of a self-determined India, he called for independence to support the British in World War II. Unfortunately, when it gained independence, he could not prevent India from splitting into two states: India, which was influenced by Hinduism, and Muslim Pakistan. Violent clashes (riots) between Hindus and Muslims claimed nearly a million victims. Gandhi campaigned for the reconciliation of both religious groups, but failed with his non-violent protest. In 1948 he was murdered (assasinated).

Image: ullstein bild (Lineair / MinBuZa)

Politics in India

India is the largest country with one basic democratic order(democracy) with regular elections, political parties and fundamental rights enshrined in constitutional law. Despite widespread poverty and cultural diversity, it has been in India since independence(independence) 1947 succeeded in building a solid democratic system.

At the head of the country is the president(president), who as head of state is supposed to symbolize the unity and diversity of the Indian nation. His term of office is five years. But not the president, but him prime minister(prime minister) The Indian Parliament consists of the House of Representatives (Lok Sabha, Lower House), the Chamber of States (Rajya Sabha, Upper House) and the President. The Lok Sabha corresponds to the German Bundestag and currently consists of 545 members. The legislative period is five years.

So far there are only two in India Parties(political parties) with national reach - the Congress party(Indian National Congress) and the Hindu nationalist Indian People's Party BJP(Bharatiya Janata Party). All others are predominantly represented in certain regions.

The successes of Indian democracy lie in the inclusion of the Minorities(minorities) and disadvantaged groups. But governments face major social challenges like that Job creation(provide new jobs)fighting the corruption(corruption) as well as the expansion of the education and health system in rural regions.

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Culture and Religion in India

India has a high cultural(cultural), religious(religious) and linguistic variety(speech diversity) on. Even though there are many conflicts, India has managed to strike a balance between the different cultures and hold the country together.

It will several hundred languages spoken in India. 22 of them are official languages(official languages), with Hindi and English being the most important.

With regard to religions, there are Hindus, among others (Hindus), Muslims, Christians, Jews, Sikhs and Buddhists together. The religious groups know each other well. However, marrying across denominations and castes is still not welcome and accepted. The Hinduists represent the largest group with 80%. For the Hindu is the Ganges, the longest river in India, the holiest river on earth. Also the cows are the Hindus holy(sacred).

The cinema plays an important role in the cultural life in India. For some years now, film productions from India have also been known beyond the country's borders. Bollywood is not only the largest film center(film industry) in India but one of the largest in the world. But that shouldn't hide the fact that there is a lively film scene in India beyond Bollywood. Films are often made in the regionally spoken languages ​​instead of Hindi or English.

The economic development of India

India is about to come up with high growth rates(economic growth) to develop into an economic global player in the past few years. It was not always so. However, not all Indians are benefiting from the upswing.

India's economy was dated for a long time World market(world market) largely decoupled. Only with the opening of the country to the world market and the relaxation of many regulations did the economy change. More parts of the economy are still state-owned than in other industrialized countries, but some areas have developed very dynamically with the liberalization(liberalization). This includes the IT sector(IT industry), which has experienced a boom in the past few decades and employs more than three million Indians. In view of the low labor costs, many foreign IT companies have settled in India.

Despite the economic growth, large parts of the population continue to live in poverty(poverty). The inequality(inequality) between rich and poor is very large. The rural poor migrates to the cities(to migrate). In the past few years, around 30 percent of the 1.2 billion Indians looking for work have moved from the countryside to the cities.

With the increasing industrialization(industrialization) and urbanization(urbanization) the environmental impact also increases. Air pollution, toxic industrial waste, masses of household waste and water pollution are detrimental to the environment and human health.

Image: fotolia.com (Arcurs, Yuri)