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Franz Higer parish trip 2018 INDIA. Diversity & splendor of another world

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1 Franz Higer parish trip 2018 INDIA Diversity & splendor of another world

2 Contents Foreword & Travel Program 3 India 4 Start of Travel: Travel Blessing 31 Air India 32 Delhi 34 Gandhi 48 Bahaitum 58 Akshardham - Temple 66 Holy Rivers / Monsoon 68 Thar Desert / Rajasthan 72 Jaipur 78 Abhaneri 88 Fatehpur Sikri 90 Mughals 93 Agra 96 ​​New Delhi Railway Station 105 Amritsar 108 Sikhism 122 Varanasi 128 Hinduism 136 Ganges 144 Sarnath 149 Buddhism 151 Street Photos 164 Flowers & Blossoms 166 Handicrafts & Shopping 168 Hotels 170 Group Photos 171 Capital State Head of State Head of Government Country data India भ रत गणर य (Hindi) Bharat Ganarajya Republic of India ( English) Republic of India Motto: Satyameva Jayate Sanskrit, Truth alone wins Official languages ​​of the Union: Hindi and English The constitution recognizes 21 additional languages, some of which serve as official languages ​​at regional level: New Delhi Parliamentary Federal Republic President Ram Nath Kovind Prime Minister Narendra Modi Area km² (Rank 7) Population (Rank 2) Population increase chs Population density Asamiya Bengali Bodo Dogri Gujarati Kannada Kashmiri Konkani Maithili Malayalam Marathi 1.19% annually = annually + 15 million inhabitants 407 inhabitants per km² Meitei Nepali Oriya Panjabi Santali Sanskrit Sindhi Tamil Telugu Urdu GDP billion US $ (2016) GDP / inhabitant 1723 US $ (2016) Imprint Review of the parish trip Hain from January 30th to February 11th 2018 with 11 participants to North India. Idea, layout and production: Franz Higer Hofstraße 40, 3123 Zagging This edition does not pursue any commercial use, but is only intended for the participants of the trip and anyone interested in parish trips. Any commercial or profit making use or use is currency Independence National Anthem National Day Time Zone 1 Indian Rupee = 100 Paise August 15, 1947 Jana Gana Mana January 26 (Republic Day) August 15 (Independence Day) October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti) UTC + 5 : 30 = CET + 4:30 2 in any form undesirable and prohibited without exception! Parish trip 2018: Internet North India.in

3 As a participant of a trip to India in February 2007 with the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Meister, I was able to experience the Golden Triangle of India (Delhi, Jaipur, Agra) and the Jim Corbett National Park on my first big trip abroad. Overwhelmed by the experiences and impressions, there was no question of having to visit India again! As early as 2015, I made the decision to give myself this trip for my birthday, which means that the travel time January / February 2018 was fixed and the preparation began. My wish to visit other very interesting and worth seeing places in India in addition to the cities I have already visited, began planning with my former travel guide from 2007, Dinesh (Dino) Sharma from the agency geccotours and again with Biblical Travel. This preparation resulted in an 18-day trip with a truly ideal schedule and program. Unfortunately, there were only a few interested parties, too few to be able to carry out this dream trip. As an alternative, there was a collaboration with a group tour of the VHS Urania Klosterneuburg, which had advertised a 12-day trip to India and also found too few participants. Due to the sudden death of their group leader, this trip was canceled and I took over this arrangement in its entirety. Fortunately, the associated change of date was also possible for those who had already registered, a few small additions optimized the program: Foreword & travel program Program (as carried out) Day 1: Wed., January 31st Transfer to the airport with travel blessing. Scheduled flight with Air India from Vienna to Delhi, the capital of India. Departure time: 10:45 p.m., flight time 6:35 a.m. Day 2: Thursday, February 1, arrival in Delhi at 10:20 a.m. Welcome by the local tour guide. Hotel occupancy for one night. In the afternoon start of sightseeing in Old Delhi: Red Fort, rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk Road (1.3 km) to Fetehpur Masjid. Dinner in a typical local restaurant (Lazzez Affairs). Day 3: Fri., February 2 In the morning, city tour of New Delhi, which is characterized by colonial architecture, with a view of boulevards, stroll into the government district. Then to Gandhi Smriti, that house of the industrial family Birla, where Mahatma Gandhi spent his last 144 days and where he was murdered in the garden. Continue to the Lotus Temple of the Baha'i with a visit. Then drive to Jaipur: check-in at the hotel for two nights. Day 4: Sat., February 3rd, past the Palace of the Winds to Amber Fort, ride on elephants to the magnificent fortress with a detailed tour. Then visit the city palace, famous for its collections of carpets and manuscripts, and the observatory from the 18th century, as well as some handicrafts (jewelry making, carpets), visit the Laksmi Birla Temple (interreligious Hindu temple made of white marble ). Day 5: Sun., February 4th, visit to a cow ashram, then drive to Abhaneri with a visit to the largest and deepest stepwell in India. Continue to the abandoned imperial city of Fatehpur Sikri, one of the most impressive testimonies of the Mughal empire: visit the palace complex made of red sandstone. Hotel occupancy for two nights in Agra. Day 6: Mon., February 5th Visit to the legendary Taj Mahal, the mausoleum that Shah Jahan built in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. In the afternoon visit of the huge Red Fort of Agra, an impressive complex of fortifications, palaces and mosques on the banks of the Yamuna. Day 7: Tuesday, February 6th. Early bus trip to Delhi with a visit to the Aksardham Temple, the largest Hindu temple in the world. In the late afternoon train ride with the Shatabdi Express to Amritsar (approx. 6 hours) with dinner on the train. Hotel occupancy for two nights. Day 8: Wed., February 7th Visit to the magnificent "Golden Temple" (Harmandir Sahib), the highest sanctuary of the Sikhs and the adjacent kitchen, where approx. People are fed every day. The nearby Jallianwala Bagh is reminiscent of the Amritsar massacre. In the afternoon drive to the Wagah border with the bizarre changing of the guard spectacle, when the gates between India and Pakistan are opened mirror-like by soldiers on both sides and the flags are brought down. After dinner, another visit to the Golden Temple for the impressive night ceremony with overwhelming photo opportunities. Day 9: Thursday, February 8, domestic flight via Delhi to Varanasi (Benares), the holiest city of the Hindus: hotel accommodation for two nights. Ride with rickshaws to the Ghats, ride by boat on the Ganges into the sunset, evening ceremony from the boat when the rites are performed by Brahmins at Dasaashwamedh Ghat. Day 10: Fri., February 9th In the early morning visit to the Ganges with a boat trip, where countless people take a ritual bath in the Ganges at sunrise at the Ghats. Walk through the old town, past many small temples, pilgrims and bazaar stands. After breakfast at the hotel, visit the Benares Hindu University and the Mother India Temple. Free time for shopping or relaxation in the hotel. Day 11: Sat., February 10th In the morning excursion to Sarnath, where Buddha is said to have given his first sermon: Visit to the ruins of the former monastery town, which is one of the most important pilgrimage sites of Buddhism today. Transfer to the airport and domestic flight to Delhi. Transfer to the hotel and check-in with a farewell dinner in the hotel. Day 12: Sun., February 11th After a late breakfast transfer to the airport and flight back from Delhi to Vienna. Bus transfer to the boarding points. Diversity & splendor of another world 3

4 India is a country in South Asia that covers most of the Indian subcontinent. India is a federal republic that is formed by 29 federal states and also includes seven federal territories. The proper name of the republic is Bharat Ganarajya (Hindi) and Republic of India (English) in the two nationally valid official languages. The modern democratic and secular Indian republic has existed since 1949 and the constitution of India has been in force since 1950. The Himalaya forms the natural northern border of India, in the south the Indian Ocean encloses the national territory. India borders with Pakistan, the Chinese Autonomous Region of Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar (Burma) and Bangladesh. Other neighboring states in the Indian Ocean are Sri Lanka and the Maldives. In terms of land area, India is the seventh largest country in the world. The area of ​​India has been civilized at least since the Bronze Age Indus civilization. With over 1.3 billion inhabitants (2016), the Indian state is the second most populous country in the world after the People's Republic of China (almost 1.4 billion) and thus the most populous democracy in the world. If population growth remains high, India could overtake China as early as 2020. However, due to progressive modernization, education, prosperity and urbanization, the birth rate is already falling. The capital of India is New Delhi, part of the metropolis Delhi; other metropolitan areas are also Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Pune. Despite constitutional freedom of religion, Indian society is determined by the religious hierarchical caste system. By far the largest religious group are the Hindus, followed by Muslims, Christians and the Sikhs, Buddhists and Jaina from India. According to the Human Development Index (HDI), India achieved the status of medium human development and ranked 131 out of 187 worldwide (2016, compared to the PRC ranked 90th). In economic terms, India is an emerging country and is one of the O5 and BRICS countries and the group of the twenty most important industrial and emerging countries (G20). Despite its still low per capita income, India is already the third largest or seventh largest economic power in the world (adjusted for purchasing power or nominal) and in 2015 it was the fastest growing economy in the G20 group for the first time. Origin of the name The name India is derived from the Indus river. Its name goes back to the Sanskrit word sindhu, meaning river, through the mediation of ancient Greek (Indos) and ancient Persian (Hinduš). The European sailors referred to all of South and Southeast Asia as India. Terms such as island India (Insulinde) and the state name Indonesia are evidence of this. During the colonial period, the name was gradually reduced to the present-day areas of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, in order to finally assume its current meaning when the Indian state was founded. The name Hindu and the name of the language Hindi are derived from the Persian-Islamic form Hind or Hindustan. The official name of India in most national languages ​​(e.g. Hindi Bhārat) comes from the Sanskrit name Bhārata, which means (land) of Bharata and refers to a mythical ruler. Geography & national nature Landscape structure India is the seventh largest country in the world with square kilometers. It stretches in a west-east direction from the 68th to the 4th parish trip 2018: North India

5 97th longitude east over about 3000 kilometers. From north to south, between the 8th and 37th degrees north, the extension is around 3200 kilometers. India borders on 6 states: * Pakistan (2912 km) * China (Tibet Autonomous Region; 3380 km) * Nepal (1690 km) * Bhutan (605 km) * Myanmar (1463 km) and * Bangladesh (4053 km) Limit length thus kilometers. Since the northern part of the disputed Kashmir has been under Pakistani control since 1949 (ceasefire after the Kashmir conflict), India no longer has a common border with Afghanistan. The country's coast is around 7,000 kilometers long. The natural border in the north and northeast forms the Himalaya, the highest mountain range in the world, which is separated from the Karakoram in the far northwest by the high valley of the Indus. To the south of the Himalayas are the broad, fertile river plains of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. In the west, the river country of the Ganges merges into the Thar desert, which is bordered by the Aravalli Mountains in the east and south. To the south of it lie the swamps of the Rann von Kachchh and the Kathiawar peninsula. Northeast India, including the Brahmaputra plain, is only connected by a narrow corridor between Bangladesh and Nepal or Bhutan with the rest of the country. The northeast region is shielded by the Patkai or Purvachal Mountains of Myanmar, which are up to 3800 meters high, and the Khasi Mountains of Bangladesh, which are almost 2000 meters high. The highlands of Dekkan occupy most of the Indian peninsula, which protrudes into the Indian Ocean in a wedge shape. The Vindhya and Satpura mountains shield the Deccan from the Ganges plain in the north. In the west it is bordered by the Western Ghats, which are up to 2,700 meters high, and in the east by the flatter Eastern Ghats. Both mountain ranges meet in the south, where the peninsula tapers to Cape Komorin. The Western Ghats drop steeply to the Konkan and Malabar coasts along the Arabian Sea. The Eastern Ghats merge into the wider eastern coastal plains on the Bay of Bengal. India also includes three island groups off the Indian subcontinent. Around 300 kilometers west of the Malabar coast are the coral atolls of Lakshadweep, which includes the archipelagos of the Laccadives and Amindives as well as the island of Minicoy. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands extend southeast of the peninsula, between 1,000 and 1,600 kilometers from the Indian mainland. The highest point in India is the mountain Kangchenjunga with a height of 8,586 meters. It is located in the far west of Sikkim; The border with Nepal runs over it. The highest mountain lying completely on Indian territory is the Nanda Devi with 7822 meters. The deepest point is the Kuttanad Depression on the Malabar Coast, two meters below sea level. Rivers and lakes Important rivers in India All major rivers in India have their source in one of the three main watersheds of the subcontinent: * in the Himalayas, * in the central Indian Vindhya and Satpura mountains or * in the Western Ghats. India's longest and most important river is the Ganges (Ganga), which has its source in the Himalayas. Its longest tributaries are the Yamuna and the Gomti; the Chambal is a tributary of the Yamuna. The Brahmaputra, which flows through the country in the northeast, unites with the Ganges and forms a huge delta in front of the confluence with the Bay of Bengal. India in the west has a share in this; The majority of the Ganges Delta lies on the territory of the neighboring state of Bangladesh. Almost a third of the area of ​​India belongs to the catchment area of ​​the Ganges and Brahmaputra. In the extreme north, the Indus crosses the state of Jammu and Kashmir in a south-east-north-west direction. The Dekkan highlands are drained by several major rivers. The Narmada and Tapti flow into the Arabian Sea, while Godavari, Krishna, Mahanadi and Kaveri flow into the Bay of Bengal. Despite its size, India has few large natural lakes. For the purpose of irrigation and electricity generation, some huge reservoirs were built across the country. The largest are the * Hirakud Reservoir (746 km²) in Odisha, the * Gandhi Reservoir (648 km²) in Madhya Pradesh and the * Govind-Ballabh-Pant Reservoir (465 km²) on the border between Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Diversity & splendor of another world 5

6 Geology Displacement of the Indian plate The theory of continental drift states that India belonged to the southern continent of Gondwana until the end of the Jurassic. In the Cretaceous period it tore off the continental clod of Antarctica and drifted across the entire Tethys Ocean towards the south of the Eurasian plate in an extremely short 50 million years. The meeting of the two continents took place around 43 to 64 million years ago at the beginning of the Paleogene. In the resulting joint crumple zone of these crustal movements, the Himalayas and neighboring mountain systems were postponed (unfolding of the former continental margins) and the highlands of Tibet were raised. Although individual parts of the crust have now welded together, the Indian plate is still moving north today, so that the Himalayas rise by a few millimeters every year, as do other folded mountain ranges on earth, of which it is one of the youngest. The river plains in front of it were created by sediment deposits in the Pleistocene. The rock formations of the Dekkan are more diverse. Most of the Proterozoic formations in the south and east, the volcanic Dekkan Trapp formed in the Cretaceous period in the west and north-west, and unformed cratons in the north-east and north, which are among the oldest parts of the earth's crust. Natural disasters India is repeatedly hit by various natural disasters, particularly floods that can occur throughout the country during the summer monsoon due to extreme amounts of rainfall. On the other hand, droughts often occur during the dry season or when there are no monsoons. Cyclones and the resulting tidal waves, especially on the east coast, often cost many lives and cause devastating damage. There is also an increased risk of earthquakes in some areas, namely in the Himalayas, the Northeast States, West Gujarat and the region around Mumbai. On December 26, 2004, a seaquake in the Indian Ocean caused a devastating tsunami that claimed 7,793 lives and wreaked havoc on the east coast and on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Climate With the exception of the mountain regions, northern and central India have a predominantly subtropical continental climate, while the southern and coastal regions have a more maritime tropical climate.In the north, for example, there are sometimes considerable temperature fluctuations over the course of the year. In the northern lowlands it is 10 to 15 C in December and January; In the hottest time between April and June, maximum temperatures of 40 to over 50 C are possible. In the south, on the other hand, it is hot all year round (relatively constant). The amount of precipitation throughout the country is significantly influenced by the Indian monsoon. The southwest or summer monsoon sets in in most parts of the country in June and brings heavy rainfall until September or October, depending on the region. Due to the very different topography, the distribution of precipitation is extremely uneven. The heaviest downpours are on the west coast, in the Western Ghats, on the slopes of the Himalayas and in northeast India. It is driest in the Thar. The northeast or winter monsoon winds coming from Central Asia between October and June hardly bring any moisture, so in most areas 80 to over 90 percent of the total annual rainfall falls during the summer months. Only the southeast receives rain even during the northeast monsoon as the air currents over the Bay of Bengal absorb moisture. 6 Parish trip 2018: North India

7 Vegetation According to the size of the country and the different climatic conditions in the individual parts of the country, India has a great variety of landscapes. The flora of India ranges from high mountain vegetation in the Himalayas to tropical rainforests in the south. Large parts of the original vegetation cover have been destroyed today; instead, India is predominantly characterized by cultivated landscapes. Only about a fifth of the country is still forested, although official information on this varies and also includes degraded areas and open forests. In the lower elevations of the Himalayas there are still extensive forests. Since the precipitation on the slopes of the mountains decreases from east to west, there are evergreen wet and rainforests in the eastern Himalayas, which become lighter and drier towards the west. Deciduous forests with oaks and chestnuts predominate; Rhododendrons are characteristic of the Eastern Himalayas. Conifers dominate at higher altitudes, especially cedars and pines. The steppe and desert-like high valleys in Ladakh and other parts of the western Inner Himalayas merge into the dry highlands of Tibet. The vegetation limit is around 5000 meters. The north-east, which is difficult to access, is partly still densely forested. Semi-evergreen wet forests there enable particularly high amounts of precipitation. By far the largest part of the Ganges plain, the Dekkan and the adjoining mountain ranges were formerly covered by monsoon forests; today there are only remnants of it, mostly in mountain regions. In contrast, the plains, which are used intensively for agriculture, are practically free of forests. Monsoon forests shed foliage during dry periods. Depending on the amount of precipitation and the length of the dry period, a distinction is made between wet and dry forests. Forests that receive between 1500 and 2000 millimeters of annual precipitation are usually referred to as deciduous wet forests. They prevail in the northeastern Deccan, Odisha and West Bengal as well as in the lee of the Western Ghats. With precipitation between 1000 and 1500 millimeters per year one speaks of deciduous dry forests; these dominate in India. Because of the thinner tree tops, monsoon forests have dense undergrowth. The characteristic tree species of the north is the sal, in the central and western Deccan highlands it is the teak tree and the south of the peninsula is characterized by sandalwood trees. Bamboo species are widespread. In the drier parts of India, such as Rajasthan, Gujarat, the western edge of the Ganges lowlands or the central Deccan, the medicinal, endemic neem trees grow. In the arid climate, open thorn forests have developed, which in the Thar desert change into semi-desert vegetation with isolated thorn bushes. In the humid Western Ghats there are still relatively large contiguous parts of the original, evergreen or semi-evergreen wet forests. They are characterized by the floor structure typical of tropical rainforests. Some of the tall tree species on the top floor shed their leaves depending on the season, while the species below are evergreen. Epiphytes such as orchids and ferns come in great variety. Mangroves, saltwater-resistant tidal forests, are only common on the east coast of India. The Sundarbans in the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta have the densest mangrove populations in the country. Further tidal forests are found in the mouth deltas of Mahanadi, Godavari and Krishna. Diversity & splendor of another world 7

8 Wildlife Thanks to the diversity of its landscapes, there is an extremely diverse fauna to be found in India. It is estimated that there are around 350 species of mammals, 1200 birds, 400 reptiles and 200 amphibians. However, many species only occur in retreat areas such as forests, swamps, mountain and hill countries. In addition, more than 2500 species of fish live in Indian waters. India's largest species of mammal is the Indian elephant, which is probably best known alongside the Bengal tiger. The tiger was threatened with extinction for a long time, but the establishment of tiger sanctuaries enabled the populations to recover. Yet there are only a few thousand specimens in the wild. In addition to the tiger, there are other big cats living in India, including leopards and lions. The latter can only be found in the Gir National Park in Gujarat, the last refuge of the Asiatic lion. The rare snow leopard lives in the high mountain regions of the Himalayas. The best known and most widespread of the smaller carnivores is the mongoose. The Indian rhinoceros only live in swamp and jungle areas in Assam, especially in the Kaziranga National Park. In contrast, artifacts are widespread. These include wild boars, muntjacs, sambars, axis deer, pig deer, barasinghas, water buffalo, gaur and several species of antelope. The equine species are represented by the kiang in the Himalayas and the khur, a subspecies of the Asiatic donkey, in the semi-desert of Gujarat. Monkeys are also common in India. Rhesus monkeys are sacred to Hindus, must not be molested and have therefore even spread in cities. In the south of the country it is being replaced by the somewhat smaller Indian hat monkey. The Hanuman langurs, which are common throughout India, are also considered sacred. There are also other species of langur and macaques. Some Indian half donkeys still live in the arid regions of the northwest, mainly in the Dhrangadhra game reserve in the Kleiner Rann of Kachchh. In the humid east of the country, on the other hand, there are species of the tropical rainforest, such as the white-browed gibbon and the clouded leopard. Mammals also worth mentioning are the red dogs, striped hyenas, Bengal foxes, which mainly inhabit grasslands, and sloth bears, which prefer dense forests. The Ganges dolphin is occasionally found in the Ganges, Brahmaputra and their tributaries. India's bird life is extremely diverse with over 1200 indigenous species more than in all of Europe. In addition, there are countless migratory birds from North Asia in winter. The peacock is considered the national bird and is widespread. Pigeons, crows, weaver birds, woodpeckers, pittas, drongos, parakeets, nectar birds and orioles are also common. Storks, herons, cranes, ibises and kingfishers live in wetlands. Among the birds of prey, Egyptian and Bengal vultures were the most common. While the latter was still ubiquitous in the 1980s, it has been inadvertently almost completely eradicated by a veterinary drug along with two closely related species. Around half of all reptile species native to India are snakes such as the spectacled snake, the king cobra and the tiger python. Marsh crocodiles can also be found in wetlands. The shy, fish-eating gharial is very rare. A special feature is the chameleon in South India and Sri Lanka, which is otherwise absent in South Asia. Environmental protection India has extensive environmental protection legislation, but in many cases it is poorly implemented. Almost five percent of the country's area is designated as nature reserves, the number of which amounts to almost 600, including 92 national parks. Water scarcity is one of India's greatest environmental problems. Dams and artificial irrigation systems are intended to ensure the water supply in dry areas. Excessive irrigation is one of the main reasons for the falling water table in many places; in addition, an estimated 60 percent of the agr. Usable areas affected by soil erosion, salinization or waterlogging. In addition, there is deforestation, excessive irrigation and fertilization. The water supply situation for many households in rural areas has improved since the early 1980s; nevertheless, only a few households have sewage disposal. Polluted water is a major contributor to the development and spread of infectious diseases; only 16 percent of India's residents have access to sanitation. NGOs and government agencies are trying to improve the situation. Air pollution is very high, especially in the Indian metropolises. Factories, small industry, power plants (including numerous coal-fired power plants), traffic and private households emit numerous air pollutants, including large amounts of fine dust. According to WHO, Delhi was the dirtiest city in the world in terms of air quality in 2014. Calcutta was the first city to open a metro network in 1984, and Delhi followed in 2002. Mumbai and Chennai have a comparatively well-developed train network. Trucks, buses, diesel locomotives, auto rickshaws, private cars, motorcycles and mopeds all contribute to air pollution. The number of cars per 1000 inhabitants is considered to be very low. The CO2 emissions have risen sharply in the past; The causes were, among other things, population growth, advancing industrialization and increasing traffic. In 2015, India was the country with the third largest greenhouse gas emissions in the world; it emitted 1.6 tons per capita. India signed the Paris Agreement on October 2, 2016. The inadequate technical facilities often lead to avoidable impairments. In 1984, the pesticide factory of the American Union Carbide (UCC) in Bhopal emitted highly toxic gases. Within days, 7,000 people died of long-term effects, and thousands suffered chronic health problems. 8 Parish trip 2018: North India

9 History Prehistory and Classical Age The Indus Valley civilization, mostly located in what is now Pakistan, was one of the early advanced cultures in the world, with its own script, the Indus script, which has not yet been deciphered. Around 2500 BC There were planned cities like Harappa, with a sewer system, seaports and baths, while it is believed that conditions in southern India were even less developed. Further to the east, there are other archaeological complexes such as the so-called copper hoard culture. From 1700 BC For reasons unknown up to now, the Indus civilization began to decay. A very important period for the further development of India was the Vedic period (around 1500 to 500 BC), during which the foundations of today's culture were created. Far less is known about political developments than about religious and philosophical developments. Towards the end of the Vedic period, the Upanishads were created, which in many ways form the basis of the religions Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism that originated in India. During this time, urbanization in the Ganges plain and the rise of regional kingdoms such as Magadha fall. From the 6th century BC Buddhism developed, which for around 500 years, alongside Hinduism, was the main intellectual movement in India. In the 4th century BC With the Maurya Empire, a major Indian empire emerged for the first time in BC, which under Ashoka ruled almost the entire subcontinent. After numerous campaigns of conquest, Ashoka turned to Buddhism, which he sought to spread in his own country and as far as Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. In the 3rd century BC BC Prakrit and Tamil Sangam literature flourished in southern India. During this time, the 3 Tamil dynasties Chola, Pandya and Chera ruled southern India. After Ashoka's death, the Maurya empire gradually split up again into countless small states, which the Gupta could only reunite into a large empire in northern India in the 4th century AD. With Buddhism, India exerted a significant cultural influence on the entire area of ​​Central and East Asia. The spread of Hinduism and Buddhism through Indochina to what is now Indonesia shaped the history and culture of these countries. The last great patron of Buddhism in India is Harshavardhana, whose rule in northern India in the 7th century marked the transition to the Indian Middle Ages. Indian Middle Ages and Mughal times Arab conquests in the 8th century brought Islam to northwest India. When the Arabs tried to advance into Gujarat and beyond, they were defeated by the Indian King Vikramaditya II of the Western Chalukya dynasty. From the 8th century to the 10th century, the three dynasties Rashtrakuta, Pala and Pratihara ruled over a large part of India and fought among themselves for supremacy in northern India. The Chola and Chalukya dynasties ruled southern India from the 10th century to the 12th century. However, the dominance of Muslim states in the north and the Islamization of larger parts of the population there did not occur until the invasions of Central Asian Islamic powers from the 12th century. The Sultanate of Delhi even briefly expanded its power to the south, but its cultural influence remained limited to the north. The Mongol invasion of 1398 weakened the sultanate, so that the Hindu regional empires strengthened again. The Muslim rulers were only able to recover in the 16th century with the establishment of the Mughal Empire, which became the determining force in the north for around 200 years and which lasted until 1857. Outstanding rulers such as Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb not only extended the borders of the empire to the Deccan, but also created a functioning administration and state and promoted the arts. The philosophical education was also high and came from the competing schools in Delhi and Lucknow. While Delhi particularly called for a return to the early Islamic teachings, logic, law and philosophy, especially Aristotelianism, were taught in Lucknow. Hindu kingdoms only existed in southern India during their time, for example in Vijayanagar. In the late 17th century the Hindu Maratha Empire was founded, which overran the Mughal Empire in the 18th century and conquered a large part of northern India. Weakened by the attacks of the Marathas, the empire was considerably destabilized after Aurangzeb's death. The decline in internal security and the poor networking between the center and the provinces resulted in political decentralization, which in turn went hand in hand with economic reorientation. Regional markets were strengthened and a new social group of successful traders emerged. It also shaped India intellectually: the call for social equality became loud. They maintained close contact with Europe and stood in stark contrast to the hierarchical-elitist herbaristocracy of the country. Thus, the 18th century in India became a time of upheaval, in which regional rulers, European trading powers and the weakened Mughal vied for supremacy over the country. European colonial rule and independence movement After Vasco da Gama discovered the sea route to India in 1498, Portugal began to conquer smaller coastal bases in 1505 (cf. Portuguese India). From 1756 onwards, the British East India Company subjugated large parts of India from its port bases in Calcutta (today: Kolkata), Madras (today: Chennai) and Bombay (today: Mumbai). The pre-existing influence of the European colonial powers Portugal, Netherlands and France was largely eliminated by it. Loyal princes retained states with limited sovereignty such as Hyderabad, Bhopal, Mysore or Kashmir. In 1857/58 parts of the population of northern India rose up in the Sepoy revolt against the rule of the East Indies - diversity & splendor of another world 9

10 company. After the uprising was put down, it was dissolved and India was placed under direct control of Great Britain. From 1877 (until 1947) the British monarchs also carried the title Empress of India or Emperor of India (Emperor (in) of India), the Indian National Congress (Congress Party) was founded in Bombay. Initially, he did not demand India's independence, but merely more political say for the local population. Its members were predominantly Hindus and Parsees. The Muslim upper class kept their distance, as their spokesman Sayyid Ahmad Khan feared that the introduction of the majority principle would force them out of the administration. Instead, the Muslim League was founded in 1906 to represent the interests of Muslims. The broadest possible division of politics into religious groups was v. a. This is based on the fact that in the 19th and 20th centuries, uniform religions (Hinduism, Islam,) with specific content and fixed external boundaries developed from different faith communities with flowing transitions.In the search for a unifying idea in a colony with many different peoples, faith offered itself as a connecting (always existing) authority. Nevertheless, there was not only religious nationalism, and this too could be very different in its claim to absoluteness. During the First World War, the vast majority of the population behaved loyally. Annoyed that the British were involved in the division of the Ottoman Empire, many Muslims now joined the independence movement. In the Second World War, India took part on the side of Great Britain with an initially strong volunteer army, which grew to over two million soldiers in the course of the war. At the end of the war, more than 1,000 Indian soldiers had died, more than two million people were missing and two million people had starved to death (see Bengal Famine in 1943). On the other hand, there were also efforts, mainly driven by Subhash Chandra Bose, to fight for the freedom of India with an Indian volunteer army in alliance with the Axis powers against the British colonial power. The non-violent resistance to British colonial rule, especially under Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, led to independence in 1947. At the same time, the colonial power decreed the division of the colony of British India, which encompasses almost the entire Indian subcontinent, into two states, the secular Indian Union and the smaller Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The British thus fulfilled the demands of the Muslim League and its leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah, which had been growing louder since the 1930s, for a separate nation-state with a Muslim majority. Developments since independence The partition led to one of the largest displacement and refugee movements in history. About 10 million Hindus and Sikhs were displaced from Pakistan, about 7 million Muslims from India to one million people perished. The princely states bound to the British by protection treaties had already declared their accession to the Indian Union before independence. Only two stood seriously in the way of the integration process of the principalities. The Muslim ruler of the almost exclusively Hindu Hyderabad was brought down by an invasion of Indian troops. In Kashmir, the Maharajah, himself a Hindu with a predominantly Muslim population, delayed his decision. After Muslim fighters invaded his country, he finally decided to join India, which then occupied most of the former principality. Pakistan considered accession to be illegal, which led to the First Indo-Pakistani War for Kashmir (1947-1949). Since then, the Kashmir conflict has been simmering in the border region, which also resulted in the Second Indo-Pakistani War in 1965 and the Kargil War in 1999. On November 26, 1949, India joined the Commonwealth of Nations and on January 26, 1950, the constitution drawn up mainly by Bhimrao Ambedkar, through which India became a republic, came into force. In 1962, border disputes led to a brief war with the People's Republic of China, the so-called Indo-Chinese Border War. Indian support for an independence movement in what was then East Pakistan led to a third war between India and Pakistan in 1971, with the subsequent partition of Pakistan and the founding of the new, also Islamic state of Bangladesh. Even after the States Reorganization Act of 1956, discussions about the territorial reorganization of the states continued. Domestically, under Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister 1947 to 1964, and then until the beginning of the 1970s, the Congress Party determined the young, independent democracy. At best, opposition parties could exert their influence at the state or local level. Only when Nehru's daughter Indira Gandhi, who became Prime Minister in 1966, centralized the party and tried to expand her own position of power, did the opposition succeed in forming at the federal level. A court in Allahabad found Indira guilty of some irregularities in the 1971 elections in 1975. Instead of following the demands of her political opponents to resign, she declared a state of emergency and ruled by decree until 1977. Fundamental democratic rights such as freedom of the press and freedom of assembly were severely restricted. The growing dissatisfaction of the population with the de facto dictatorial regime was expressed in 1977 in a clear electoral defeat by Indira Gandhi. For the first time between 1977 and 1979, it was not the congress party, but a 10 parish trip 2018: North India

11 coalition led by the Janata Party the government of India. In the 1980 elections, Indira Gandhi managed to return to power. During her second term of office, the conflict in Punjab came to a head, where Sikhist separatists were calling for a state of their own. When militant Sikhs holed up in the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Indira Gandhi ordered Operation Blue Star in 1984. Indian troops stormed the temple and ended its occupation. Thereupon bloody riots broke out, culminating in the murder of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. Her son Rajiv Gandhi took over the business of government, but was not able to effectively implement the reform projects he had planned. A bribery scandal in connection with the Swedish armaments company Bofors damaged his reputation to such an extent that the opposition won a clear victory over Gandhi's congress party in 1989. After a two-year hiatus, however, she came back to power from 1991 to 1996. The government of P. V. Narasimha Rao initiated the economic opening and foreign policy reorientation of the country, which had been socialist since Nehru. The reform program included the privatization of state-owned companies, the lifting of trade restrictions, the removal of bureaucratic barriers to investment and tax cuts. The economic reforms were continued by later governments. Hindu nationalism has experienced a significant boom since the 1980s. The dispute over the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh), which was built in place of an important Hindu temple, developed into one of the determining domestic political issues: Hindu extremists destroyed the Muslim place of worship, which led to serious riots in large parts of the country. The political arm of the Hindu nationalists, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led a government coalition between 1998 and 2004 and, with Atal Bihari Vajpayee, it was surprisingly subject to the newly established Congress Party under Sonia Gandhi. The widow of Rajiv Gandhi, who was murdered during the election campaign in 1991, resigned from the office of Prime Minister after protests by the opposition because of her Italian descent. Instead, Manmohan Singh took over this position, who as finance minister under Rao had played a key role in shaping the economic liberalization of India. In the 2009 election, the Congress party was able to increase its majority and Singh remained Prime Minister until 2014. In the 2014 election, the opposition BJP achieved a landslide victory and its top candidate Narendra Modi was elected Prime Minister. Today, the fundamental problems of India, despite the clear economic upswing, are still widespread poverty and severe overpopulation, increasing environmental pollution and ethnic and religious conflicts between Hindus and Muslims. In addition, there is the ongoing dispute with Pakistan over the Kashmir region. The Indian-Pakistani conflict is particularly explosive due to the fact that both states are nuclear powers. India first carried out a nuclear test in 1974. Pakistan responded to further nuclear weapon tests in 1998 with its own nuclear tests. In recent years there has been a rapprochement between India and Pakistan. Prisoner exchanges took place and connections were opened in the Kashmir region. Terrorism and Ethnic Conflicts Since 1986, various groups in the predominantly Muslim Kashmir have been using violent means to fight for the independence of their region or to join Pakistan (Kashmir conflict). Attacks are repeatedly carried out in the region on institutions of the Indian state, for example in October 2001 on the regional parliament of Jammu and Kashmir in Srinagar, on the armed forces stationed in Kashmir or against Hindu villagers and pilgrims. Population Demography According to the 2011 census, the population of India is India, after the PR China, the most populous country in the world. The population density is 407 inhabitants km² (Germany: 231). Nevertheless, the population is extremely unevenly distributed. It is mainly concentrated in fertile areas such as the Gangetic Plain, West Bengal and Kerala, while the Himalayas, the mountainous regions of the northeast and drier regions in Rajasthan and the Deccan have only a low population density. In Bihar, for example, an average of 1,106 people live in one square kilometer, while in Arunachal Pradesh there are only 17. On May 11, 2000 India's population officially exceeded the billion mark. While India had 250 million inhabitants from 1920 it took 47 years to double the population, from 1967 to 2000 it was only 33 years. Population growth has slowed only slightly in the last few decades and is currently 1.19% per year, which corresponds to an annual population increase of 15 million people. This means that India is currently recording the greatest absolute growth of all countries in the world. However, the relative growth is only slightly above the world average. It is estimated that India's population growth will hardly slow down in the next few decades, and India will have replaced the People's Republic of China as the most populous country on earth by 2025. The population growth is not explained by an increased birth rate, but by the increased lifespan in recent decades. This is due, among other things, to an improvement in health care. In terms of mortality, India had already caught up with Germany in 1991 (10 per 1000); for 2006 it is estimated at 8.18 per 1000. The birth rate, however, remained high (1991: 30 per 1000). Diversity & splendor of another world 11

12 and is gradually decreasing (2016: 19.3 per 1000). The fertility rate decreased from 5.2 children per woman (1971) to 3.6 (1991); in 2013 it was 2.3. The average age of the Indian population in 2015 was 26.7 years, while the average life expectancy for men was 66.2 years (in 1971 it was only 44 years) and for women 69.1 years (in 1971 it was only 46 years). In Germany, for comparison, it is 78 years for men and 83 years for women. A third of the population is younger than 15 years. India is also one of the countries in which there are significantly more men: According to the 2011 census, there are 943 women for every 1,000 men. This surplus of men is destabilizing in some regions of the country. Over the past thirty years, 60 percent of India's urbanization has been driven by natural population growth (in the cities). Immigration (from rural areas) contributed to one fifth of urban population growth. Another fifth of the growth is evenly distributed between the formation of new cities through statistical reclassification and the expansion of borders or sprawls. India now has 46 cities with more than one million inhabitants. The Mumbai metropolitan area alone now has over 18 million inhabitants, a larger population than all of Australia. Nevertheless, the urban population is a minority with a share of the total population of only 31.2 percent (2011 census). With economic development, India's urbanization is advancing rapidly and the urban population of India is growing by almost 10 million annually. Almost all economic output is generated in the cities of India, at the same time the formation of slums is a major problem in India's cities. In Mumbai's Dharavi slum, an estimated 1 million people live in a confined space under catastrophic conditions, making it the largest slum in the world. Urbanization in India is much less planned than z. B. in China and an estimated 30% of the urban population lives in unplanned dwellings and slums, a total of over 90 million people. An estimated 25 million Indian citizens and persons of Indian origin (Non-resident Indians and Persons of Indian Origin) live abroad. While English-speaking western countries such as the USA, Great Britain and Canada primarily attract well-trained skilled workers, in the Gulf States (especially the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia), many Indians are employed as cheap labor, and less often in higher positions. During the British colonial era, Indians were recruited to work in other colonies, so many people of Indian descent live in Malaysia, South Africa, Mauritius, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji, Guyana and Singapore. As a rule, they are citizens of the respective country. Remittances from foreign children to their relatives in India represent an important economic factor. Ethnic composition India is a multi-ethnic state whose ethnic diversity is easily comparable to that of the entire European continent. About 72 percent of the population are Indo-Aryans. 25 percent are Dravids who live mainly in southern India. Other ethnic groups account for 3 percent, especially the Tibeto-Burmese, Munda and Mon-Khmer peoples in the Himalayan region as well as the northeast and East Indies. 8.6 percent of the population belong to the indigenous tribal population, who call themselves Adivasi, even though they are ethnically highly heterogeneous. The Indian constitution recognizes more than 600 tribes as so-called Scheduled Tribes. They are mostly outside the Hindu caste system and, despite existing protective laws, are severely socially disadvantaged. The Adivasi have high proportions of the population in the northeast region (especially in Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Sikkim) as well as in the eastern and central Indian states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh. Due to social discrimination, radical left groups such as the Maoist Naxalites enjoy strong support from parts of the Adivasi. In addition, there are separatist movements of various peoples, such as the Mongolian Naga, Mizo and Bodo, but also the Indo-Aryan Assamese in northeast India, where tensions between the native population and immigrant Bengali, mostly illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, create additional potential for conflict. The number of illegally immigrated Bangladeshis in India is estimated at up to 20 million. The Tibetans in exile living around India, who have fled their homeland since the Chinese occupation of Tibet in the 1950s, are officially recognized as refugees and have a residence permit. Furthermore, Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka live on Indian territory. Languages ​​and Scripts The Language Families of India Well over 100 different languages ​​are spoken in India, which belong to four different language families. In addition to the two national official languages ​​Hindi and English, the Indian constitution recognizes 21 languages. Most of these languages ​​are used in the states, in 12 Parish Trip 2018: North India

13 which they are spoken by a majority of the population, also as official languages. English is the language of administration, teaching and business. Of the constitutional languages, 15 belong to the Indo-Aryan, four to the Dravidian (Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam), two to the Tibetan Burmese or Sino-Tibetan language family (Bodo, Meitei) and one each to the Austro-Asian (Santali) and Germanic (English). Recently there have been attempts to revive the use of Sanskrit. Sanskrit is a classic language that is no longer used as a first or mother tongue. It has a similar status in India as Latin is in Europe. It is also one of the officially recognized constitutional languages, but is not used anywhere as an official language. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has made Sanskrit the third of the languages ​​taught to be compulsory in the schools it regulates. A decision is made every 15 years about maintaining the status of English as the official language. English is still considered a prestige language and is only spoken fluently by a privileged minority of the population. When people from different language communities meet, they speak either Hindi or English in the north, and one of the Dravidian languages ​​or English in the south. Most languages ​​have different writing systems. While a common script is used for Hindi, Marathi, Nepali, Konkani and Sanskrit (Devanagari), Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Gujarati, Oriya, Punjabi and Santali are each characterized by their own script. Another script (Bengali script) is used for Bengali, Asamiya and Meitei. Urdu is written in Arabic script, Kashmiri and Sindhi are written in Arabic script or Devanagari. Religions Four of the major religions emerged in India: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.Islam came into the country as a result of trade and conquests by the Mughal Empire, Christianity through early proselytizing in the first century and then through colonialism, Zoroastrianism (Parsism) due to immigration. India therefore offers an extraordinarily rich religious landscape. Although Buddhism was the preferred religion for centuries, Hinduism never died out and was able to maintain its position as the dominant religion in the long term. In the Middle Ages, Indian traders and sailors brought Hinduism to Indonesia and Malaysia. Although India is still a Hindu-influenced country, India has the third largest Muslim population in the world (around 140 million) after Indonesia and Pakistan, and the second largest number of Shiites after Iran. According to the 2011 census, the religions are distributed as follows: 79.8% Hindus, 14.2% Muslims, 2.3% Christians, 1.7% Sikhs, 0.7% Buddhists, 0.4% Jainas and 0.7% % others (for example traditional Adivasi religions, Baha'i or Parsees). A total of 0.2% of Indians stated no religious affiliation in the census or stated that they were not a religion. The roots of Hinduism lie in the Veda (literally: knowledge), religious texts, the oldest layer of which dates back to around 1200 BC. Is dated. However, the term Hinduism did not become common practice until the 19th century. It connects many currents with similar beliefs and histories, which particularly agree in the teachings of karma, the cycle of rebirths (samsara) and the pursuit of salvation. He knows no single religious founder, no uniform creed and no central religious authority. The main popular directions are Shaivism, Vishnuism and Shaktism. In addition, the Indian folk religion is regionally and locally widespread. Religious teachers (gurus) and priests are very important for personal belief. The Adivasi (natives) often resisted the missionary attempts of the major religions and sometimes kept their own religion. The indigenous peoples of India have some things in common with Hinduism, such as a belief in reincarnation, an external variety of gods, and a type of caste system. It is not uncommon for local or tribal deities to be simply integrated into the Hindu pantheon, an approach that has historically contributed to the spread of Hinduism. Especially today there is a strong tendency towards Hinduisation (Sanskritisation in Indology), social customs of the Hindus and their forms of religious practice are being adopted. Today Buddhism is especially popular as Neo-Buddhism among the untouchable castes, especially in Maharashtra (Bauddha), which relate to this diversity and splendor of another world 13

14 ways trying to escape caste system discrimination. This movement was brought into being by the lawyer Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (), who himself belonged to an untouchable caste. There are also smaller groups of Tibetan Buddhists in the Himalayan regions of Ladakh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh as well as the Tibetan exile community in Dharamsala, the seat of the incumbent Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile. The Parsees, who mainly live in Mumbai today, form a small, predominantly wealthy and influential community (such as people). Not least because of their pronounced social commitment, they play an important role in Indian society despite the small population. In Europe they are known for their burial practices. The Jainas are also often wealthy as they are predominantly merchants and traders due to their beliefs that forbid the killing of living beings. Parsis and Jainas mostly belong to the middle and upper classes. The majority of Indian Muslims are Sunni, and there are more than 20 million Shiites in India. In addition, there are smaller denominations within Islam: Dar ul-Ulum in Deoband in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, to which the Afghan Taliban, among others, refer, albeit in a radically abbreviated interpretation, is more fundamentalist. The situation of Muslims in India is difficult. They are poorer and less educated, and they are underrepresented in politics and civil service. It should be noted, however, that the former President of India, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, was a Muslim. The number of Muslims in India is growing faster than the rest of the population. The Sikhs are mainly native to northwest India (Punjab). Their position in society is shaped by their success, especially in the military field, but also in political life. Former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a Sikh. The Thomas Christians in Kerala trace their origins back to the apostle Thomas: An apostle of Jesus, Thomas, is said to have come to India in 53 AD and founded several Christian communities there along the southern Malabar coast. Portuguese missionaries introduced Roman Catholicism in the late 15th century and spread it along the west coast, for example in Goa, so that Roman Catholics now make up the largest proportion of India's Christian population. Although the British showed little interest in proselytizing, many tribal peoples in the northeast (Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh) converted to the Anglican Church or other Protestant denominations. More recently, members of untouchable castes and Adivasi have also converted to Christianity in order to escape the injustice of the caste system. When India gained its independence, there were also around around Jews living in India. After 1948, however, most of them left their homeland for Israel. Today the number of Jews remaining in India is estimated at 5,000 to 6,000, the majority of whom live in Mumbai. Religious conflicts Secularism, the separation of state and religion, is one of the most essential principles of the Indian state and is anchored in its constitution. For centuries, different faiths have mostly co-existed peacefully. Nevertheless, there are sometimes regionally limited, religiously motivated disputes. During the partition of India in 1947 and the Bangladesh war in 1971, there were massive riots between Hindus and Muslims. Riots between followers of the two faiths break out again and again in India. One point of conflict is still Kashmir, the predominantly Muslim population of which, in some cases, violently advocates independence or annexation to Pakistan. They have been fueled since the late 1980s by burgeoning Hindu nationalism (Hindutva) and Islamic fundamentalism. One of the high points of the clashes was the storming and destruction of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) by extremist Hindus in December 1992, as the Islamic place of worship was once built on the site of an important Hindu temple that was to mark the birthplace of Ramah . The political situation in Kashmir has cost lives since 1989 due to the activities of Islamist terrorists over civilians. Conflicts also arose with other religions. The demands of Sikhist separatists for an independent Sikh state called Khalistan culminated in the storming of the Golden Temple in Amritsar by Indian troops in 1984 and the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her own Sikh bodyguards. In total, more than 3,000 Sikhs were killed. There have been pogroms against Christians in some states. In 2008, for example, at least 59 Christians were killed in religiously motivated unrest in Orissa. In its answer to a parliamentary question on December 4, 2008, the German government names the following extent of violence against Christians in Orissa (Odisha): 81 Christians have died, people are in refugee camps, others are hidden in houses in the woods , 236 churches and 36 other church facilities were destroyed. 14 Parish trip 2018: North India

15 Social According to the World Bank, 44% of the population of India now have less than one US dollar a day to spend. Even if the nutritional situation has improved significantly since the 1970s, more than a quarter of the population is still too poor to be able to afford adequate nutrition. Undernourishment and malnutrition such as a lack of vitamins is a widespread problem, especially in rural areas, where the proportion of the poor is particularly high. The regional breakdown of the problem can be clearly seen in the hunger index for India, the state of Madhya Pradesh is particularly striking, 46% of the children in India were malnourished, according to UNICEF, 2.1 million children in India die before the fifth every year Age. Child labor is mainly done in rural areas, as many farming families do not have enough income to survive. Heavily indebted farmers often not only have to sell their arable land, but also pledge their services to the landlords. This phenomenon, known as debt bondage, is still one of the greatest obstacles in the fight against poverty. It is estimated that farmers have committed suicide because of high levels of debt. The poor living conditions in rural areas cause many people to move to the cities (urbanization). The sprawling metropolises of the country are hardly able to provide enough jobs for the immigrants. The result is high unemployment and underemployment. Almost a third of the population of the megacities live in slums. Dharavi in ​​Mumbai is the largest slum in Asia with more than a million people. According to the 2011 census, 16.6% of the Indian population are counted among the so-called Untouchables (Scheduled Castes), 8.6% belong to the Indian tribal population (Adivasi, officially Scheduled Tribes). Since both groups are exposed to severe social disadvantage, the Indian constitution provides for their promotion in the form of quotas. Through this positive discrimination, up to 50% of the places in universities, vocational institutions and parliaments are reserved for the scheduled castes (members of the lower castes). The caste question occupies a highly explosive position in Indian domestic politics. An expansion of the quotas to lower castes at the suggestion of the controversial Mandal Commission provoked violent protests from members of higher castes in 1990 and led to the overthrow of Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh. Inadequate school education and advice on reproductive health issues meant that the number of people infected with HIV rose rapidly from the 1980s and 1990s 49 years ago the virus. The number of infected people is third in the world behind South Africa and Nigeria. In the years after 2002 there was a decrease in the percentage of infected people, 0.45% of the adult Indian population were infected, in 2007 it was 0.34% and 29%. The transmission routes of the HI virus for 2009/10 are given as 87.1 percent between heterosexuals. The widespread unprotected sex with prostitutes is mainly responsible for this. Transmission from mother to child is 5.4% and between homosexuals 1.5%. Drug addicts account for 1.5% of the total number of transmission cases. Position of women In the patriarchal Indian society, women are still disadvantaged despite the legal equality of men and women. Traditionally, women were given a dowry to help them build their own household at the wedding. Today a trousseau, although it has been forbidden by law since 1961, is required of the bride's parents for purely economic reasons. In some cases it exceeds the annual income of the bride's family. Occasionally, so-called dowry murders occur when the bride's relatives are unable to meet the high demands. The problem of dowry contributes to a not inconsiderable extent to the fact that girls are usually viewed less than boys or even considered undesirable. In fact, far more female fetuses are aborted than males. According to the 2011 census, there are only 919 girls for every 1,000 boys among the zero to six-year-olds, the rate was 927. The practice of demanding dowry also promotes exploitative working conditions such as the Sumangali principle, as poor parents willingly give their daughters to recruiters in the hope of a dowry they have earned themselves. In the Global Gender Gap Report 2017, which measures equality between men and women in a society, India ranks 108th out of 144 countries. Politics and State According to the Constitution of 1950 India is a parliamentary democracy. India is the largest democracy in the world by number of citizens. The Indian Parliament is the legislative power and consists of two chambers: the Lower House (Lok Sabha) and the Upper House (Rajya Sabha). The lower house is elected for five years according to the principle of majority voting. Every citizen who has reached the age of 18 is entitled to vote. The House of Lords is the representation of the states at the national level. Its members are elected by the parliaments of the states. In the 2016 Democracy Index of the British magazine The Economist, India ranks 32nd out of 167 countries and is therefore considered a flawed democracy. In the country report Freedom in the World 2017 by the US non-governmental organization Freedom House, the country's political system is rated as free. However, according to the report, there are civil rights issues in India and some areas such as For example, in the Indian part of Kashmir, freedom of expression and basic democratic rights are inadequately guaranteed. Diversity & splendor of another world 15

16 Political parties The country's party landscape is extremely diverse. Many parties are limited to certain states, but the need to form coalitions continues to arise. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was a coalition that at the beginning of its reign in 1998 consisted of 13 parties (led by the BJP). The President as head of state is elected for a five-year term by a committee of federal and state representatives. Pranab Mukherjee has held the office since 2012. The constitution provides that states can be placed under President s rule if the country is considered ungovernable. This has been the case in several states in the past. However, the office of president is predominantly characterized by ceremonial or representative tasks; political power rests with the prime minister. Usually the Prime Minister gives advice to the President, which is usually followed. Most recently, Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao had all four BJP state governments removed from office after the unrest in Ayodhya in 1993 and the countries placed under President s rule. The president is also the chief commander in chief of the armed forces. The head of government in the 29 states and in two of the seven Union territories is the chief minister, who is elected by the parliament of the respective area. Legal system Since there is a separation of powers in India, the judiciary is strictly separated from the legislative and executive branches. The country's supreme court is the Supreme Court in New Delhi, with 26 judges appointed by the President. It is chaired by the Chief Justice of India. Disputes between states and the central government fall under its jurisdiction. It is also the highest court of appeal in the country. Subordinate to the Supreme Court are 21 high courts of the states. From the third legal level (district level), a distinction is made between civil and criminal courts. Civil litigation in the Metropolitan Districts falls under the jurisdiction of the City Civil Courts, which correspond to the District Courts of the rural districts. The Sessions Courts are responsible for criminal law in urban and rural districts. There are also special courts for special areas such as family and commercial law. The jurisdiction of simple disputes of the lowest level takes place in the Panchayati Rajs of the villages (Gram Panchayat). As a result of British legal practice during the colonial era, common law is still widely used in India today, which is based not only on laws, but to a large extent on authoritative judgments by high courts in precedent cases. The language of the court is English, but the lower levels can also be used in the respective regional official language. A special feature in otherwise secular India is its legislation in family and inheritance law, which maintains its own regulations for Hindus (also applies to Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists) and Muslims. Domestic policy During the struggle for independence, the National Congress was formed, which was supposed to end the colonial rule of the British. After independence in 1947, the Congress Party became the strongest party and formed the first government under Jawaharlal Nehru. Until the mid-1990s, the Congress Party dominated the country's politics, mostly under the leadership of the Nehru Gandhi family, with only two brief interruptions. It was only in connection with the planned rebuilding of the Ram Janmabhumi Temple in place of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, Indian People's Party, symbol: lotus blossom) was able to gain broad support with nationalist slogans.This culminated in the march on Ayodhya and the demolition of the mosque, which led to riots and attacks across the country, especially against Muslims, with many deaths. The polarizing and pro-Hindu politics of the BJP is dominated by the Hindu nationalist Hindutva movement, which also with the participation of paramilitary groups such as the National Volunteer Corps (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, RSS for short), the Hinduization of India and, in its extreme excesses, the expulsion of Muslims and Christian population. From 1998 to 2004, the BJP provided the government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who is considered to be more moderate, as prime minister. After an attack on a train with pilgrims in 2002, massacres began in Gujarat, which the BJP ruling there only fought half-heartedly. These unrest then probably caused many moderate Hindus to rethink their thinking, especially as the vision of a Shining India (Radiant India) upheld by the Indian People's Party, which has not benefited from the boom of the last few years, is rather skeptical about the ambitious goals be let. In the 2004 general election, the opposition Congress Party under Sonia Gandhi achieved an unexpected victory. Surprisingly for her party coalition, she refused to take on the post of prime minister herself, so Manmohan Singh was sworn in as prime minister on May 22, 2004. In the parliamentary elections in 2009, the party coalition of the United Progressive Alliance, led by the Indian National Congress, was able to significantly expand its parliamentary support, so that Manmohan Singh was re-elected Prime Minister. In the 2014 election, Narendra Modi was elected Prime Minister, and his Bharatiya Janata Party won 31 percent of the vote by a large margin. 16 Parish trip 2018: North India

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