A short journey
Narasimha Reddy
Red Indians, West Indians….
• So many different Indians!!
• Columbus went looking for India –Why?
• Found America
– Birth of Modern America linked to India!!!
• About 2.5 million Indians now in USA
– We have to prove Columbus Right!!
Some Facts
• Largest Democracy
– 1.1 Billion people – more than 70% rural
• Diverse population
– 25 States and 10 Union Territories
– Many Languages
• 22 officially recognized
• Unofficially in hundreds
– Many Religions
• Hinduism (82%), Islam(12%), Christianity(2%), Sikhism(2%),
Buddhism(1%), Jainism(0.4%)
– As diverse as Europe
• Prime Minister: Manmohan Singh (A sikh)
• Leader of the largest political party: Sonia
Gandhi (An Italian born Catholic)
• President: A woman
• Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh:
Rajasekhar Reddy (A converted Christian)
Some Facts
• Multi-party Parliamentary Democracy
– About 50 political parties
• Three branches
– Parliament
• Lower House –popular vote, every 5 years
• Upper House –elected by lower house and State Legislators,
elected for 6 years, with 1/3 elected every 2 years
– President
• Elected by Parliament and State Legislators
– Judiciary
• Lower courts presided by judges (no jury system)
Indian Flag
Saffron: Piety and Patriotism
White: Purity and Peace
Green: Prosperity
Wheel: Progress
Emblem on Indian currency
From the period of Ashoka
Stands for 24 hour justice
Protection in 4 directions
India: A brief History
• Indus Civilization: one of the oldest civilizations
– 5000 BC and before
• Didn’t invade other countries
• Many Invaders, most settled and mixed
• Muslims from Middle East
– Moghul Dynasty
• British Colony
– Came as Traders (East India Company)
• Independent since 15th August, 1947
India: Contributions
• Zero, Early Algebra, Decimal system, Early
Trigonometry,Yoga, Chess
• Gave birth to four religions: Hinduism, Buddhism,
Sikhism, Jainism
• Secular long before the West
– Jews have been living in India longer than in Europe
• Non-violence, Peaceful means
– Gandhi inspired many leaders elsewhere including Martin Luther
King, Nelson Mandela (South Africa)
• First University in Takshila in 700BC
• Sanskrit –considered the mother of all European
India: Economic Liberalization
• Started in early 1990s under severe
economic crunch
– $3 billion foreign currency reserves
• Economy is now resurgent
– About $300 billion in reserves now
• Economy largely driven by domestic
India: Economy numbers
• 5th Largest in Dollar-exchange terms at $1.5
trillion, 4th Largest in Purchasing parity terms
$5.21 trillion
– Per capita $1,089 or $4,542
• 4 in the top 25 richest people in the world:
– Lakshmi Mittal (Steel), Ambani brothers (Telecom,
Petrochemicals & others), Azim Premji (Software)
• Poverty rate: about 20%
• Growing Wealth, growing disparity
India: Other measures
• Life Expectancy: 64 (male), 67 (female)
• Population Density: 324 per
– Roughly 10 times that of USA
– Slightly lower than Japan
• Per-capita power consumption: 631 Kwh
– Roughly 1/20th of USA
• Grain consumption
– Roughly 1/5th of USA
• Meat consumption
– About 1/20th of USA
India/USA: Wealth Comparison
India and TAMU link
• In early 70s, food shortages
• Green Revolution
– Norman Borlag, now at TAMU
– Won Nobel Peace Prize
• Self-sufficient and exports food now
India in Images: Rich Culture
India: Architecture
India: Art
India in Images: Spanning many
centuries at once
India in Images: Rapidly Modernizing
India in Images: Changing Social
India in Images:
Traditional/Western attire
Bollywood Facts
• Produces twice as many movies as
• Popular in many parts of the World
– Asia, Africa, Middle East
– Europe and USA (Non Resident Indians -NRI)
• Movies now made with both Indian and
NRI themes
Non Resident Indians
• About 20 million worldwide
– USA: 2.5M, Canada: 800K, Middle East:
4.5M, UK:1.5M, Africa:3M, Malaysia:2.5M
• USA NRIs concentrated in few areas
– Own 35-40% of hotels/motels
– Roughly 1/3 of engineers in Silicon Valley
– Doctors
• NRIs send back roughly $25 billion to India
every year
A vibrant democracy
Resurgent economy
Secular with many religions
Diverse cultures and languages
Rapidly modernizing

India A short journey