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Society & Culture - India Teamwork OP 02
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Teamwork Oral Presentation
By Inmaculada (01 Intro), Sonia (02 History), Carlos (03 Gandhi),
Adela (04 Spirituality), Montse (05 Taj Mahal), Diana (06 Women),
Encarna (07 Microcredits), Irene (08 Food), Miguel MM (09 Music 1), Tere (10 Music 2), Esther (11 Movie Industry)
Y5C, 2006-07

History from the 17th century to nowadays
by Sonia

At the beginning of the 17th century, The British East India Company was given the right to a monopoly to trade with India. While the company’s main objective was to get spices from Indonesia (East Indies), they needed goods to trade for spices. The good they wanted was cotton, and they got it from India.

In that time the different Indian states were controlled by different countries: English, French, Portuguese… but after many battles among them, finally, at the end of the 18th century, Britain got the complete control, and an English Lord was named British governor of India.

The East India Company created the sepoy army, that was formed by Indians who had been trained by British as soldiers.

In the 19th century, little by little, the British were annexing more Indian territory, and consequently the social situation began to change. The British began to offend the Hindu population of India. They made English - instead of Persian - the official language. They prohibited suttee (in which Hindu widows threw themselves on their husband’s funeral pyres) and infanticide. They also allowed Hindu widows to remarry. Due to all of this, Indian discontent grew more and more, and in 1857 the sepoys mutinied. The mutiny was harsly crushed by the British, the sepoys were brutally killed.

India 19th c

Bristish and Indians that had lived together until then, started to live more separately, and the British kept the Indians isolated.

In 1876, Queen Victoria declared herself Empress of India. A few years earlier the Suez Chanel was completed, reducing the time to go to India from 3 months to 3 weeks, so that women began to come to India, and the British developed their own society in India, separate from the native society. A large number of factories, railroads, hospitals, schools, and roads were built.

In the late years of the 19th century, nationalist movements start to crop up. Muslim and Hindu leaders made a pacific protest, and the Bristish response was that around 20,000 women, children and men were shot. This massacre made Mahatma Gandhi and other leaders to give up all cooperation with the British, boycoting all British goods, schools, etc. From then on, Muslims and Hindus were to take separate paths. Fifty years later, the Bristish Parliament passed an act establishing the Hindu majority country of India, and the Muslim majority country of Pakistan. Both countries became independent, ending thus the Bristish imperial rule of India.

British India 1945 India 1971
1945 1971

After that, Pakistan was divided into two parts: West Pakistan, which is called today Pakistan, and East Pakistan, now an independent state called Bangladesh. In India, a liberal democracy was adopted as a political system. Since its independence, India has transformed hugely. It has passed from 400 million people to a billion people.

Currently it is the largest democracy in the world. It is a country with a large diversity of cultures, religions, languages, castes, nationalities and identities, a variety which that causes many political an internal problems. But for the time being, the Indian democracy survives.

India Today