India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and it is bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast. It shares land borders with Pakistan to the west, China and Bhutan to the northeast, in the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Indias Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a border with Thailand. The Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE, in the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste, emerged in the first millennium BCE, early political consolidations took place under the Maurya and Gupta empires, the peninsular Middle Kingdoms influenced cultures as far as southeast Asia. In the medieval era, Zoroastrianism and Islam arrived, much of the north fell to the Delhi sultanate, the south was united under the Vijayanagara Empire.
The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal empire, in the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, and in the mid-19th under British crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which later, under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance, in 2015, the Indian economy was the worlds seventh largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the major economies and is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, malnutrition, a nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the third largest standing army in the world and ranks sixth in military expenditure among nations. India is a constitutional republic governed under a parliamentary system. It is a pluralistic and multi-ethnic society and is home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats. The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindu, the latter term stems from the Sanskrit word Sindhu, which was the historical local appellation for the Indus River.
The ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi, which translates as The people of the Indus, the geographical term Bharat, which is recognised by the Constitution of India as an official name for the country, is used by many Indian languages in its variations. Scholars believe it to be named after the Vedic tribe of Bharatas in the second millennium B. C. E and it is traditionally associated with the rule of the legendary emperor Bharata. Gaṇarājya is the Sanskrit/Hindi term for republic dating back to the ancient times, hindustan is a Persian name for India dating back to the 3rd century B. C. E. It was introduced into India by the Mughals and widely used since and its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its entirety
Devanagari, called Nagari, is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal. It is written left to right, has a strong preference for symmetrical rounded shapes within squared outlines. The Nagari script has roots in the ancient Brāhmī script family, the Nagari script was in regular use by the 7th century CE and it was fully developed by about the end of first millennium. Nagari has been the primus inter pares of the Indic scripts, the Devanagari script is used for classical Sanskrit texts. The Devanagari script is closely related to the Nandinagari script commonly found in ancient manuscripts of South India. Devanagari script has forty-seven primary characters, of which fourteen are vowels, the ancient Nagari script for Sanskrit had two additional consonantal characters. The script has no distinction similar to the capital and small letters of the Latin alphabet, generally the orthography of the script reflects the pronunciation of the language. Devanagari is part of the Brahmic family of scripts of India, Tibet and it is a descendant of the Gupta script, along with Siddham and Sharada.
Medieval inscriptions suggest widespread diffusion of the Nagari-related scripts, with biscripts presenting local script along with the adoption of Nagari scripts, the 7th-century Tibetan king Srong-tsan-gambo ordered that all foreign books be transcribed into the Tibetan language. Other closely related scripts such as Siddham Matrka was in use in Indonesia, Japan, Sharada remained in parallel use in Kashmir. Nāgarī is the Sanskrit feminine of Nāgara relating or belonging to a town or city and it is a phrasing with lipi as nāgarī lipi script relating to a city, or spoken in city. The use of the name devanāgarī is relatively recent, and the older term nāgarī is still common, the rapid spread of the term devanāgarī may be related to the almost exclusive use of this script to publish Sanskrit texts in print since the 1870s. As a Brahmic abugida, the principle of Devanagari is that each letter represents a consonant. This is usually written in Latin as a, though it is represented as in the International Phonetic Alphabet, the letter क is read ka, the two letters कन are kana, the three कनय are kanaya, etc.
This cancels the inherent vowel, so that from क्नय knaya is derived क्नय् knay, the halant is often used for consonant clusters when typesetting conjunct ligatures is not feasible. Consonant clusters are written with ligatures, for example, the three consonants क्, न्, and य्, when written consecutively without virāma form कनय, as shown above. Alternatively, they may be joined as clusters to form क्नय knaya, कन्य kanya and this system was originally created for use with the Middle Indo-Aryan languages, which have a very limited number of clusters. When applied to Sanskrit, however, it added a deal of complexity to the script
Hindi, or Modern Standard Hindi is a standardised and Sanskritised register of the Hindustani language. Along with the English language, Hindi written in the Devanagari script, is the language of the Government of India. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of the Republic of India, Hindi is the lingua franca of the so-called Hindi belt of India. Outside India, it is a language which is known as Fiji Hindi in Fiji, and is a recognised regional language in Mauritius and Tobago, Guyana. Hindi is the fourth most-spoken first language in the world, after Mandarin, apart from specialized vocabulary, Hindi is mutually intelligible with Standard Urdu, another recognized register of Hindustani. Part XVII of the Indian Constitution deals with Official Language, under Article 343, official language of the Union has been prescribed, which includes Hindi in Devanagari script and English. Gujarat High Court, in 2010, has observed that there was nothing on record to suggest that any provision has been made or order issued declaring Hindi as a language of India.
Article 343 of the Indian constitution states The official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script, the form of numerals to be used for the official purposes of the Union shall be the international form of Indian numerals. It was envisioned that Hindi would become the working language of the Union Government by 1965. Each may designate a co-official language, in Uttar Pradesh, for instance, depending on the formation in power. Similarly, Hindi is accorded the status of language in the following Union Territories, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu. National-language status for Hindi is a long-debated theme, an Indian court clarified that Hindi is not the national language of India because the constitution does not mention it as such. Outside Asia, Hindi is a language in Fiji as per the 1997 Constitution of Fiji. It is spoken by 380,000 people in Fiji, Hindi is spoken by a large population of Madheshis of Nepal. Hindi is quite easy to understand for some Pakistanis, who speak Urdu, apart from this, Hindi is spoken by the large Indian diaspora which hails from, or has its origin from the Hindi Belt of India.
Like other Indo-Aryan languages, Hindi is considered to be a descendant of an early form of Sanskrit, through Sauraseni Prakrit. It has been influenced by Dravidian languages, Turkic languages, Arabic, Hindi emerged as Apabhramsha, a degenerated form of Prakrit, in the 7th century A. D. By the 10th century A. D. it became stable, Braj Bhasha, Awadhi, Khari Boli etc. are the dialects of Hindi
Guyana, officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, is a sovereign state on the northern mainland of South America. It is, included in the Caribbean Region due to its cultural, historical. Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the south and southwest, Suriname to the east, with 215,000 square kilometres, Guyana is the fourth-smallest country on mainland South America after Uruguay and French Guiana. The region known as the Guianas consists of the large landmass north of the Amazon River. Originally inhabited by indigenous groups, Guyana was settled by the Dutch before coming under British control in the late 18th century. It was governed as British Guiana, with mostly a plantation style economy until the 1950s and it gained independence in 1966, and officially became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970. The legacy of British rule is reflected in the political administration and diverse population, which includes Indian, Amerindian. Guyana is the only South American nation in which English is the official language, the majority of the population, speak Guyanese Creole, an English-based creole language, as a first language.
In addition to being part of the Anglophone Caribbean, Guyana is one of the few Caribbean countries that is not an island in the West Indies, CARICOM, of which Guyana is a member, is headquartered in Guyanas capital and largest city, Georgetown. In 2008, the joined the Union of South American Nations as a founding member. The name Guyana is derived from Guiana, the name for the region that formerly included Guyana, French Guiana. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Guyana is derived from an Indigenous Amerindian language, there are nine indigenous tribes residing in Guyana, the Wai Wai, Patamona, Kalina, Pemon and Warao. Historically the Lokono and Kalina tribes dominated Guyana, although Christopher Columbus sighted Guyana during his third voyage, the Dutch were the first to establish colonies, Essequibo and Demerara. After the British assumed control in 1796, the Dutch formally ceded the area in 1814, in 1831 the three separate colonies became a single British colony known as British Guiana.
Since its Independence in 1824 Venezuela has claimed the area of land to the west of the Essequibo River, in 1899 an international tribunal ruled the land belonged to Great Britain. Guyana achieved independence from the United Kingdom on 26 May 1966 and became a republic on 23 February 1970, the US State Department and the US Central Intelligence Agency, along with the British government, played a strong role in influencing political control in Guyana during this time. The American government supported Forbes Burnham during the years of independence because Cheddi Jagan was identified as a Marxist. In 1978, Guyana received international notice when 918 members of the American cult, Peoples Temple, most of the suicides were by Americans and not Guyanese
Mauritius, officially the Republic of Mauritius, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometres off the southeast coast of the African continent. The country includes the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues, and the outer islands, the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues form part of the Mascarene Islands, along with nearby Réunion, a French overseas department. The area of the country is 2,040 km², the capital and largest city is Port Louis. Mauritius was a British colonial possession from 1810 to 1968, the year of its independence, the government uses English as the main language. The sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago is disputed between Mauritius and the United Kingdom, the UK excised the archipelago from Mauritian territory in 1965, three years prior to Mauritian independence. The UK gradually depopulated the archipelagos indigenous population and leased its biggest island, Diego Garcia, access to the archipelago is prohibited to casual tourists, the media, and its former inhabitants.
Mauritius claims sovereignty over Tromelin Island from France, the people of Mauritius are multiethnic, multi-religious and multilingual. The islands government is modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system. Along with the other Mascarene Islands, Mauritius is known for its flora and fauna. The island is known as the only known home of the dodo. Mauritius is the country in Africa where Hinduism is the largest religion. The first historical evidence of the existence of an island now known as Mauritius is on a map produced by the Italian cartographer Alberto Cantino in 1502. From this, it appears that Mauritius was first named Dina Arobi around 975 by Arab sailors, in 1507 Portuguese sailors visited the uninhabited island. The island appears with a Portuguese name Cirne on early Portuguese maps, another Portuguese sailor, Dom Pedro Mascarenhas, gave the name Mascarenes to the Archipelago. In 1598 a Dutch squadron under Admiral Wybrand van Warwyck landed at Grand Port and named the island Mauritius, in honour of Prince Maurice van Nassau, the island became a French colony and was renamed Isle de France.
On 3 December 1810 the French surrendered the island to Great Britain during the Napoleonic Wars, under British rule, the islands name reverted to Mauritius /məˈrɪʃəs/. Mauritius is known as Maurice and Île Maurice in French. The island of Mauritius was uninhabited before its first recorded visit during the Middle Ages by Arab sailors, in 1507 Portuguese sailors came to the uninhabited island and established a visiting base
Uttarakhand, officially the State of Uttarakhand, formerly known as Uttaranchal, is a state in the northern part of India. It is often referred to as the Devbhumi due to many Hindu temples, Uttarakhand is known for its natural beauty of the Himalayas, the Bhabhar and the Terai. On 9 November 2000, Uttarakhand became the 27th state of the Republic of India, being created from the Himalayan, the state is divided into two divisions and Kumaon, with a total of 13 districts. The interim capital of Uttarakhand is Dehradun, the largest city in the region, the High Court of the state is in Nainital. Archaeological evidence supports the existence of humans in the region since prehistoric times, the region formed a part of the Kuru and the Panchal kingdoms during the Vedic age of Ancient India. Among the first major dynasties of Kumaon were the Kunindas in the 2nd century BCE who practised a form of Shaivism. Ashokan edicts at Kalsi show the presence of Buddhism in this region. During the medieval period, the region was consolidated under the Kumaon Kingdom, in 1816, most of modern Uttarakhand was ceded to the British as part of the Treaty of Sugauli.
The natives of the state are generally called Uttarakhandi, or more specifically either Garhwali or Kumaoni by their region of origin, according to the 2011 Census of India, Uttarakhand has a population of 10,116,752, making it the 19th most populous state in India. Uttarakhands name is derived from the Sanskrit words uttara meaning north, the name finds mention in early Hindu scriptures as the combined region of Kedarkhand and Manaskhand. Uttarakhand was the ancient Puranic term for the stretch of the Indian Himalayas. Chosen for its allegedly less separatist connotations, the name change generated enormous controversy among many activists for a separate state who saw it as a political act, the name Uttarakhand remained popular in the region, even while Uttaranchal was promulgated through official usage. In August 2006, Union Cabinet of India assented to the demands of the Uttaranchal state assembly, legislation to that effect was passed by the Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly in October 2006, and the Union Cabinet brought in the bill in the winter session of Parliament.
The bill was passed by Parliament and signed into law by President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam in December 2006, and since January 1,2007 the state has been known as Uttarakhand. Ancient rock paintings, rock shelters, paleolithic stone tools, there are archaeological remains which show the existence of early Vedic practices in the area. The Pauravas, Kunindas, Gurjara-Pratihara, Raikas, Chands, Parmars or Panwars, at that time, present-day Uttarakhand served as a habitat for Rishis and Sadhus. It is believed that the sage Vyasa scripted the Hindu epic Mahabharata in the state, among the first major dynasties of Garhwal and Kumaon were the Kunindas in the 2nd century BCE who practised an early form of Shaivism and traded salt with Western Tibet. It is evident from the Ashokan edict at Kalsi in Western Garhwal that Buddhism made inroads in this region, folk shamanic practices deviating from Hindu orthodoxy persisted here
Suriname, officially known as the Republic of Suriname, is a sovereign state on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America. It is bordered by French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, at just under 165,000 square kilometers, it is the smallest country in South America. Suriname has a population of approximately 566,000, most of live on the countrys north coast, in and around the capital and largest city. Long inhabited by cultures of indigenous tribes, Suriname was explored and contested by European powers before coming under Dutch rule in the late 17th century. In 1954, the country one of the constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its indigenous peoples have been active in claiming land rights and working to preserve their traditional lands. Suriname is considered to be a culturally Caribbean country, and is a member of the Caribbean Community, while Dutch is the official language of government, business and education, Sranan, an English-based creole language, is a widely used lingua franca.
Suriname is the territory outside Europe where Dutch is spoken by a majority of the population. The people of Suriname are among the most diverse in the world, spanning a multitude of ethnic and linguistic groups. This area was occupied by cultures of indigenous peoples long before European contact, remnants of which can be found in petroglyph sites at Werehpai. The name Suriname may derive from a Taino indigenous people called Surinen, British settlers, who founded the first European colony at Marshalls Creek along the Suriname River, spelled the name as Surinam. When the territory was taken over by the Dutch, it part of a group of colonies known as Dutch Guiana. The official spelling of the countrys English name was changed from Surinam to Suriname in January 1978, a notable example is Surinames national airline, Surinam Airways. The older English name is reflected in the English pronunciation, /ˈsʊrᵻnæm/ or /ˈsʊrᵻnɑːm/, in Dutch, the official language of Suriname, the pronunciation is, with the main stress on the third syllable and a schwa terminal vowel.
Indigenous settlement of Suriname dates back to 3,000 BC, the largest tribes were the Arawak, a nomadic coastal tribe that lived from hunting and fishing. They were the first inhabitants in the area, the Carib settled in the area and conquered the Arawak by using their superior sailing ships. They settled in Galibi at the mouth of the Marowijne River, while the larger Arawak and Carib tribes lived along the coast and savanna, smaller groups of indigenous peoples lived in the inland rainforest, such as the Akurio, Trió, and Wayana. Beginning in the 16th century, French and English explorers visited the area, a century later and English settlers established plantation colonies along the many rivers in the fertile Guiana plains
Uttar Pradesh, abbreviated as UP, is the most populous state in the Republic of India as well as the most populous country subdivision in the world. The state, located in the region of the Indian subcontinent, has over 200 million inhabitants. It was created on 1 April 1937 as the United Provinces during British rule, Lucknow is the capital city of Uttar Pradesh. Ghaziabad, Bhadohi, Moradabad, Aligarh, Sonbhadra, on 9 November 2000, a new state, was carved out from the Himalayan hill region of Uttar Pradesh. It covers 243,290 square kilometres, equal to 7. 33% of the area of India. Hindi is the official and most widely spoken language in its 75 districts, Uttar Pradesh is the third largest Indian state by economy, with a GDP of ₹9,763 billion. Agriculture and service industries are the largest parts of the states economy, the service sector comprises travel and tourism, hotel industry, real estate and financial consultancies. Uttar Pradesh was home to powerful empires of ancient and medieval India, the two major rivers of the state, the Ganges and Yamuna, join at Allahabad and flow as the Ganges further east.
Modern human hunter-gatherers have been in Uttar Pradesh since between around 85,000 and 72,000 years ago, the kingdom of Kosala, in the Mahajanapada era, was located within the regional boundaries of modern-day Uttar Pradesh. According to Hindu legend, the divine king Rama of the Ramayana epic reigned in Ayodhya, the aftermath of the Mahabharata yuddh is believed to have taken place in the area between the Upper Doab and Delhi, during the reign of the Pandava king Yudhishthira. The kingdom of the Kurus corresponds to the Black and Red Ware and Painted Gray Ware culture, most of the invaders of south India passed through the Gangetic plains of what is today Uttar Pradesh. Control over this region was of importance to the power and stability of all of Indias major empires, including the Maurya, Gupta. Following the Huns invasions that broke the Gupta empire, the Ganges-Yamuna Doab saw the rise of Kannauj, during the reign of Harshavardhana, the Kannauj empire reached its zenith. It spanned from Punjab in the north and Gujarat in the west to Bengal in the east and it included parts of central India, north of the Narmada River and it encompassed the entire Indo-Gangetic plain.
Many communities in parts of India claim descent from the migrants of Kannauj. Kannauj was several times invaded by the south Indian Rashtrakuta Dynasty, in the Mughal era, Uttar Pradesh became the heartland of the empire. Mughal emperors Babur and Humayun ruled from Delhi, in 1540 an Afghan, Sher Shah Suri, took over the reins of Uttar Pradesh after defeating the Mughal king Humanyun. Sher Shah and his son Islam Shah ruled Uttar Pradesh from their capital at Gwalior, after the death of Islam Shah Suri, his prime minister Hemu became the de facto ruler of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and the western parts of Bengal
Urdu is a persianized standard register of the Hindustani language. It is the language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is one of the 22 official languages recognized in the Constitution of India, Rampur and Lucknow are noted Urdu-speaking cities of India. Urdu is historically associated with the Muslims of the northern Indian subcontinent, apart from specialized vocabulary, Urdu is mutually intelligible with Standard Hindi, another recognized register of Hindustani. Urdu, like Hindi, is a form of Hindustani, Urdu developed under the influence of the Persian and Arabic languages, both of which have contributed a significant amount of vocabulary to formal speech. Around 99% of Urdu verbs have their roots in Sanskrit and Prakrit, Urdu words originating from Chagatai and Arabic were borrowed through Persian and hence are Persianized versions of the original words. For instance, the Arabic ta marbuta changes to he or te, contrary to popular belief, Urdu did not borrow from the Turkish language, but from Chagatai.
Urdu and Turkish borrowed from Arabic and Persian, hence the similarity in pronunciation of many Urdu, Arabic influence in the region began with the late first-millennium Arab invasion of India in the 7th century. The Persian language was introduced into the subcontinent a few centuries by various Persianized Central Asian Turkic and Afghan dynasties including that of the Delhi Sultanate. With the advent of the British Raj, Persian was no longer the language of administration but Hindustani, still written in the Persian script, the name Urdu was first used by the poet Ghulam Hamadani Mushafi around 1780. From the 13th century until the end of the 18th century Urdu was commonly known as Hindi, the language was known by various other names such as Hindavi and Dehlavi. The communal nature of the language lasted until it replaced Persian as the language in 1837 and was made co-official. Urdu was promoted in British India by British policies to counter the previous emphasis on Persian and this triggered a Brahman backlash in northwestern India, which argued that the language should be written in the native Devanagari script.
At independence, Pakistan established a highly Persianized literary form of Urdu as its national language, English has exerted a heavy influence on both as a co-official language. Owing to interaction with other languages, Urdu has become localized wherever it is spoken, the Urdu spoken in India can be distinguished into many dialects like Dakhni of South India, and Khariboli of the Punjab region since recent times. Because of Urdus similarity to Hindi, speakers of the two languages can understand one another if both sides refrain from using specialized vocabulary. The syntax and the vocabulary are essentially identical. Thus linguists usually count them as one language and contend that they are considered as two different languages for socio-political reasons
A significant diaspora population of Bhojpuris can be found in the Caribbean, South Africa, and Mauritius
Madhya Pradesh is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal and the largest city is Indore, nicknamed the heart of India due to its geographical location in India, Madhya Pradesh is the second-largest state in the country by area. With over 75 million inhabitants, it is the fifth-largest state in India by population and it borders the states of Uttar Pradesh to the northeast, Chhattisgarh to the southeast, Maharashtra to the south, Gujarat to the west, and Rajasthan to the northwest. Its total area is 308,252 km², the region was ruled by the major dynasties of India. By the early 18th century, the region was divided into small kingdoms which were captured by the British and incorporated into Central Provinces and Berar. This state was the largest in India by area until 2000, in recent years, the states GDP growth has been above the national average. Rich in mineral resources, MP has the largest reserves of diamond, more than 30% of its area is under forest cover. Its tourism industry has seen growth, with the state topping the National Tourism Awards in 2010–11.
Isolated remains of Homo erectus found in Hathnora in the Narmada Valley indicate that Madhya Pradesh might have been inhabited in the Middle Pleistocene era, painted pottery dated to the mesolithic period has been found in the Bhimbetka rock shelters. Chalcolithic sites belonging to Kayatha culture and Malwa culture have been discovered in the part of the state. The city of Ujjain arose as a centre in the region. It served as the capital of the Avanti kingdom, other kingdoms mentioned in ancient epics — Malava, Karusha and Nishada — have been identified with parts of Madhya Pradesh. Chandragupta Maurya united northern India around 320 BCE, establishing the Mauryan Empire, ashoka the greatest of Mauryan rulers brought the region under firmer control. After the decline of the Maurya empire, the region was contested among the Sakas, the Kushanas, the Satavahanas, the Greek Ambassador to the court of the Shunga king Bhagabhadra erected the Heliodorus pillar near Vidisha. Ujjain emerged as the predominant commercial centre of western India from the first century BCE, the Satavahana dynasty of the northern Deccan and the Saka dynasty of the Western Satraps fought for the control of Madhya Pradesh during the 1st to 3rd centuries CE.
The Satavahana king Gautamiputra Satakarni inflicted a defeat upon the Saka rulers and conquered parts of Malwa. Subsequently, the region came under the control of the Gupta empire in the 4th and 5th centuries, and their southern neighbours, the attacks of the Hephthalites or White Huns brought about the collapse of the Gupta empire, which broke up into smaller states. The king Yasodharman of Malwa defeated the Huns in 528, ending their expansion, Harsha ruled the northern parts of the state