HST 329
The making of
modern India
Introducing Dates
1498: Vasco- Da Gama Reaching India
1757: The beginning of the British Empire
1857: The end of the English East India
Company Rule and the introduction of the direct
rule by the British Crown.
1947: The departure of colonial rulers from the
Indian subcontinent and the birth of the
Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of
Meaning of Modern
1. Individual at the center of Society,
Economy and Polity
2. Rational Economic Human
3. Socially Conscious Individual Capable of
Making Choices in Life
4. Willingly enters into Contractual
Relationship with the State.
Modern Era as a Historical Epoch
Transition towards Democracy
Movements towards Industrialized Market
Driven Economy
Freedom to Make Social Choices
Rise of Individual as Agents of Change in
Human History
What is modern India?
A democratic political system struggling to accommodate contradictory pressures
from diverse political pressure groups and parties ranging from religious nationalists
to moderate ‘secular’ nationalists and Parliamentary Communists.
Insurgent activities in the peripheral regions with significant impact on the functioning
of state.
Highly diverse region with a very large population trying to achieve social synthesis.
A society marked by caste, class and gender inequity trying to address social
inequality through affirmative action.
Trying to build a socially inclusive society based on citizens’ rights.
Rich-Poor Nation trying to remove poverty through a combination of state and
market driven measures.
Mobilizing Resources to move the majority of labor force from agricultural to
industrial and service sectors of the economy.
India A Young Populous Nation
Although India occupies only 2.4% of the
world's land area, it supports over
17.5% of the world's population
numbering 1,166,079,217 persons (
CIA Fact Book July 2009) . Almost
40% of Indians are younger than 15
years of age. About 72% of the people
live in more than 638,000 villages, and
the remainder in more than 5,100
towns and 380 urban settlements
(Census of India,2001 ). A 1992 study
of India's population notes that India
has more people than all of Africa and
also more than North America and
South America together. Between
1947 and 1991, India's population
more than doubled.
India: The World’s Largest
India, a union of states, is
a Sovereign, Secular,
Democratic Republic with
a Parliamentary system of
Government. The Indian
polity is governed in terms
of a constitution which was
adopted by the
Constituent Assembly on
26 November 1949 and
came into force on 26
January 1950.
India: A Dynamic and Rapidly
Changing Economy
The economy of India is the tenth largest
in the world, with a GDP of US $1.16
trillion(2008). India was the second fastest
growing major economy in the world, with a
GDP growth rate of 9% at the end of the
first quarter of 2007–2008
. The country's economy is diverse and
encompasses agriculture, handicrafts,
industries and a multitude of services. By
2025 the Indian economy is projected to be
about 60 per cent the size of the US
economy. The transformation of global
economy into a tri-polar economy will be
complete by 2035, with the Indian economy
only a little smaller than the US economy
but larger than that of Western Europe.
The very nature of the economy classifies it
as a rich poor economy presided over by
top heavy state.
India a Land Of Diversity
The major official language of the Indian Union is
Hindi, which is the primary tongue of 30% of the
people. Besides Hindi, other official languages
include: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu,
Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi,
Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Sanskrit, and
Hindustani (a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken
widely throughout northern India). 700 dialects are
also spoken.
Religion Hindus 80,5 p.c, Muslims 13,4 p.c,
Christians 2,3 p.c, Sikhs 1,9 p.c, Buddhists 0,8 p.c,
Jains 0,4 p.c, Other religions & persuasions –
mainly tribal religions, but also including 69.601
Zoroastrian individuals – 0,6 p.c (according to
Census of India 2001). [Diversity]
India’s Caste System and affirmative action
India’s Gender Imbalance and measures to
undertake it
India’s Muslim Population and Social Conflicts.
India’s problems with neighbors.
How did it come into its present
The processes of State formation
extending over two thousand
Colonial Encounter 1757-1947.
Civil Rebellions and Nationalist
Movements from 1757 to 1947.
Nationalist Empire and Diverse
Groups of Indigenous ‘Tribal’
Economic, Social and Political
Transformations encompassing
complex societal pressures
emanating from diverse sources.
A glance at the syllabus
Conceptual approaches
Analysis of Events
Essay based Seminar Presentations
Three in-Class Exams
Participation in class discussions

HST 329 The making of modern India