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History of India

By finalsweekstress Dec 11, 2013 1916 Words
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Vedas: Ancient texts which contemporary Indians harp back to and take as definitive accounts. They are written in Sanskrit and are one of the oldest written texts in this language and oldest scripture of Hinduism. It was composed around 1500 BCE. The Vedas contain hymns, incantations, and spiritual knowledge and wisdom. It is not clear who exactly wrote the Vedas some assume that the Vedas were taught by the Gods to the sages and eventually written down by Indo-Aryans.

Indus Valley Civilization: Earliest traces of civilization in the Indian subcontinent are to be found in places along, or close, to the Indus River. The dates aren’t very clear but the civilization existed around 3300–1500 BCE. The Indus Valley people were most likely Dravidians, who may have been pushed down into south India when the Aryans, with their more advanced military technology, commenced their migrations to India around 2,000 BCE. Excavations conducted in the ancient cities of Mohenjodaro and Harappa point to a highly complex civilization, they had road, sewage systems and gathering centers. These cities were urban and were not very agricultural. The Indus Valley Civilization offers first evidence of literacy in Indian history. 1700 BC Indus Valley Civilization declines.

Akbar: Akbar was a Mughal Emperor and succeeded Humayan, the previous Mughal Emperor in the Mughal Dynasty in India. He lived from 1542-1605. He was a Muslim himself who changed the relationship between Hindus and Muslims. Akbar enjoyed mixing with the people of India and attended gatherings without the presence of courtiers. He promoted religious tolerance by inviting leaders of all religions around the world to his palace. From the talks with these religious men he realized that there could not be any type of sovereign religion. We also see that he was not against Hinduism because he had several men that were appointed to high positions in his empire. These acts made him well liked by both Muslims and Hindus and allowed for the collaboration of the two religions. He enlarged the Mughal Empire extending all throughout the Indian subcontinent. Akbar’s son Dara soon follows in the same religious views as his father.

Arabian Sea: Region of the Indian Ocean surrounded by Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia/Persia, and Africa and was also once called Erythraean Sea. There was a lot of trading going on between these countries. Indian iron was imported as well as steel, and cotton cloth. From Persia wine and dates were imported. The trading partners of Rome stretch from the Egyptian ports on the Red Sea across the Indian Ocean to India. Trading has existed between 1st and 3rd centuries AD.

Sepoy Mutiny: Uprising amongst Indian sepoys in regiments of East India Company’s Bengal Army in Meerut in 1857. This spread to other parts in India like Punjab and Bihar. The rebellion posed a considerable threat to Company power in that region. The Mutiny was a result of various grievances of British cultural policies such as severity of revenue assessments, degradation of landed and princely elites. The sepoys were dissatisfied with pay and limited opportunity for promotion. However the flashpoint was reached when the soldiers were asked to bite off the paper cartridges for their rifles, which they believed were greased with animal fat, namely beef and pork. This was, and is, against the religious beliefs of Hindus and Muslims, respectively.

Dadabhai Naoroji- was an Indian political and social leader. He argued that Britain did not know the needs and wants of India and its natives. He argued that a few pros of British rule were the abolition of sati and education. The cons: Brits didn’t allow Indians to hold position of higher administration in their own country and they had no voice in legislation and imposition and disbursement of taxes. He was a Member of Parliament in U.K. House of Commons. He lived from 1825-1917. He fought for the natives of India to have equal opportunity for employment and a voice in their own country.

Bangladesh: The Partition of Bengal in 1947, part of the Partition of India, was a religiously based partition that divided the British Indian province of Bengal between India and Pakistan. Predominantly Hindu West Bengal became a province of India, and predominantly Muslim East Bengal, now Bangladesh became a province of Pakistan. However, East Bengal soon became its own independent state called Bangladesh in 1971 because they country wanted its own sovereign nation due to many grievances and being exploited economically from West Pakistan. The partition is looked down upon as a mistake in Taslima’s poem Broken Bengal because a lot of uprooting occurred.

Partition of India- Is partition of India from the British Indian Empire and occurred in Aug. 14, 1947 and marks division between colonial and postcolonial history. India gained independence from British rule in India for nearly 350 years. Pakistan had also become its own separate country at the same time. This is important historically because India was finally able to self-govern but left India and Pakistan in problems because riots broke out.

Pakistan: After partition Pakistan picks up military dictatorship. The country gained its independence from India in 1947 as well. Pakistan is an independent nation for Muslims and is an Islamic Republic. Jinnah is first governor of Pakistan. After partition violence broke out and many Muslims fled to Pakistan and Hindus and Sikhs who were still living in what would be Pakistan fled to India. Pakistan still remains a country where Muslims are a majority.

Arya Samaj: Society of Nobles”) vigorous reform sect of modern Hinduism, founded in 1875 by Dayananda Sarasvati, whose aim was to reestablish the Vedas, the earliest Hindu scriptures, as revealed truth. He rejected all later accretions to the Vedas as degenerate but, in his own interpretation, included much post-Vedic thought, such as the doctrines of karman (effect of past deeds) and of rebirth. The Arya Samaj opposes idolatry, animal sacrifice, ancestor worship, a caste system based on birth rather than on merit, untouchability, child marriage, pilgrimages, priestly craft, and temple offerings. It upholds the infallibility of the Vedas, the doctrines of karman and rebirth, the sanctity of the cow the importance of the individual sacraments (samskaras), the efficacy of Vedic oblations to the fire, and programs of social reform. It has worked to further female education and intercaste marriages, has built missions, orphanages, and homes for widows, and has undertaken famine relief and medical work. It also established a network of schools and colleges. From its beginning it was an important factor in the growth of nationalism. Urge Hindus to protest against cow slaughter. Dalits: is a designation for a group of people traditionally regarded as untouchable.[5] Dalits are a mixed population, consisting of numerous social groups from all over India; they speak a variety of languages and practice a multitude of religions. While discrimination based on caste has been prohibited and untouchability abolished under the Constitution of India,[9] discrimination and prejudice against Dalits in South Asia remains.[10][11][12] Since its independence in 1947, India has implemented an affirmative policy of reservation, the scope of which was further expanded in 1974, to set aside and provide jobs and education opportunities to Dalits. Building dam in Narmada displaced a lot of Dalits where a lot of the lived and farmed in 1980s. Caste: form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a lifestyle which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy and customary social interaction and exclusion based on cultural notions of purity and pollution. (Practiced in ancient Hindu societies at first) initially laid out by Brahman priests to exploit large majority of lower caste farmers and laborers. The mythical varna system is not current caste system and where the top ranking: brahman, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, with the fifth as the untouchable (mixed varna) and these people dealt as outcasts. India’s government provides certain benefits to members in scheduled castes and tribes where they have access to gov. jobs. Untouchability is abolished in 1950 in constitution. Laws of Manu: 200 BCE- 200CE. Explain the creation of the world. It explains the duties of men and women. An example: Women are to be guarded at all times by their father then husband. If you don’t follow it then you are not fulfilling your duties properly. It deals with civic issues. Showed how men and women and should act. This 'revealed scripture' presents the norms of domestic, social, and religious life in India (circa 500 BC) under the Brahmin influence, and is fundamental to the understanding of ancient Indian society. It is a discourse given by Manu, who is assumed to be ancestor/progenitor of mankind. Became a standard reference point for how duties would be laid out. Sati: Started 400 BC. A social funeral practiced in Indian communities. Women who burn themselves on their husband’s funeral. This allows her family to attain honor and some families persuade widows to do it to get her land and property that was her husbands. Ram Mohan Roy was advocate for abolition of Sati. Believes that the religious texts that promote sati are exaggerated. Women practice because society believed that they are not capable of divine knowledge and must participate in concremation because it is a work performed for sake of future reward which Upanishad and Gita have declared to be contemptible. It was abolished in 18th century by Roy and Bentik to modernize India. English East India Company: Company began as trade soon led to the monopoly on the import of spices and other goods by the British in India. Company founded in 1600 and left in 1874. Trade of goods included: cotton, silk, indigo, tea, and opium. First supported regional kingdoms and defeated Mughal and Bengal emperors. Received grant to collect tax and revenue from Bengal. Maximized profits by focusing and collecting money from cash crops and increasing system. Queen Victoria that Brit gov. will rule and removes E.I.C.’s control over the Indian nation. After revolt in 1857 (sepoy mutiny) E.I.C. lost control of posessions and leading to failure in governance, which led the Crown to take control. Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan: 1817-1898. Promote modern Western education, especially science and literature, among India's Muslims. Adopting new system of education does not mean renunciation of Islam it means protection. Truth of Islam will arise if its followers are educated. Believed in promotion of teaching objective facts straying away from superstition that is often involved with religion. Relieved tension between Muslims and Brits by promoting education and allowed more Muslim intellectuals to go forth and study objective truths and participate in education. Communalism: 1880s to 1900s on. Groups are being identified b religious identity/caste not by language, defined by similar cultural and social agendas. This is the result from cow protection because it created division between Hindu and Muslim communities. Hindus wanted to protect cows and Muslims consumed beef and they often butchered cows as a result. Communal rights increased as well as riots. Communalism throughout years creates groups of that identify themselves as Hindu or Muslim nationalists which later resulted in Pakistan. Mohandas Gandhi: 1869-1948. Became active in Indian Nationalist movement in 1920 and until he died. 1930 Salt March. He was an Indian Nationalist lawyer who believed in passive resistance and satyagraha. He is important historically because he introduced mass nationalism against the British colonialism and believed in abolishing untouchablity. Led India to independence in 1947. His passive resistance led the British and the rest of the world to see the Brits as bullies, it was a peaceful method to achieving independence. B.R. Ambedkar:

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