The Republic of India

India under J. Nehru and in the first reign of Indira Gandhi (1947-77): J. Nehru , who had already been appointed Prime Minister by the Viceroy in 1946, took over the leadership of the Indian state.

As a result of border disputes with Pakistan and the resettlement of around 8.4 million people between the two countries, over 1 million people were killed in unrest. With a fasting action, Gandhi coerced(Murdered in 1948) put an end to bloody riots in Calcutta. According to agooddir, the claims of both India and Pakistan to Kashmir established a permanent political conflict between the two countries, which also led to military conflicts (first in 1947/48; fixing of an armistice line, “Line of Control”). While most of the 566 princes had joined the new Indian state without major resistance, Indian troops in 1948 forced the Nisam of Hyderabad to renounce its rule by force of arms. With the constitution of 1950, India became the »Indian Union«, a republic organized according to federal principles. In 1956–60, the national borders were redefined based on linguistic aspects. During the Nehru government the territories of French India after negotiations with France until 1954 it was able to insert into Indian territory, in 1961 troops marched into Portuguese India because Portugal refused to give up its Indian possessions.

Domestically, the Indian Union developed under the premises of a parliamentary democracy. At the national level as well as in most states, the INC was the undisputed by far the strongest political force until the 1970s. During this time he appointed both the presidents (1950–62 R. Prasad , 1962–67 S. Radhakrishnan , 1969–74 V. V. Giri and 1974–77 F. A. Ahmed) and the prime ministers (until 1964 Nehru , 1964–66 L. B. Shastri , 1966-77 Indira Gandhi). A socialist party split off from the INC in 1948. The Indian CP, the v. a. had grown strongly during the Second World War, divided into a pro-Soviet and a pro-Chinese group in the 1960s (strongly represented in Kerala and West Bengal). In addition, religious-Hindu and language-related ethnic parties emerged.

Determined by basic socialist ideas, Nehru and his successors in office, especially his daughter Indira Gandhi , tried to remedy India’s economic underdevelopment (e.g. building up a heavy industry) and the social hardship accompanied by explosive population growth within the framework of five-year plans. a. to fight in the countryside. With the nationalization of the banks (1969), Indira Gandhi intensified the socialist course, but split the INC. In the elections of 1971, the “new” Indian National Congress led by her won a major election, v. a. because she had succeeded in giving the election a plebiscitary character. The challenge of her re-election as a member of the Indian House of Commons (1971), which was judicially decided in her favor, but politically was intended to serve her opponents as a means of overthrowing her, caused her to declare a state of emergency in 1975, to rule the country with dictatorial powers, arrest most of the opposition politicians and postpone the 1976 elections. When she unexpectedly scheduled elections in 1977, she suffered a heavy defeat. Your party gave up its leading position to the Janata Party.

In terms of foreign policy, Nehru initiated a policy of “non-alignment” in order to secure the independence of his country, v. a. in the face of the East-West conflict, to preserve; he linked this maxim with the idea of ​​the coexistence of states with different social systems. Together with Indonesia (President Sukarno), Egypt (President G. Abd el-Nasser) and Yugoslavia (President Tito), India developed into one of the leading countries in the Third World. a. at the Bandung Conference (1955) and in the movement of the non-aligned states flowed. Since the Indian national movement saw its struggle for independence in India at the same time as a struggle for national self-determination of all dependent peoples, the independent India campaigned for the decolonization of the nations living in colonial dependence on European powers. After initial reluctance, a “good understanding” with China developed on the basis of the five principles (“pancha shila”) of coexistence enshrined in the Treaty on Tibetan Border Traffic (1954). At the Bandung Conference, the Nehru government, China (Prime Minister Zhou Enlai) to commit to these principles again. In contrast to his distant, conflict-free relationship with the United States, which had been providing armaments aid to Pakistan since 1954, Nehru established a friendly relationship between his country and the USSR.

When India became more dependent on economic aid from the western industrialized countries from around 1957/58, relations with the USA improved. The tensions between China and India, on the other hand, grew in the face of Chinese territorial claims along the common border. In the course of the invasion of Chinese armed forces in the disputed border area (especially in the Ladakh area), India suffered a military defeat in 1962. The western world of states, especially the USA, provided military aid in return, as did the USSR. After the war with Pakistan over Kashmir (1965), both powers renounced further use of force in 1966.

In the first phase of Indira Gandhi’s reign (1966–77), which in principle adhered to the policy of “non-alignment” in international relations, India’s achievement of regional supremacy in South Asia took precedence over Nehru’s globally oriented mediation policy. Strengthened by the friendship treaty with the USSR (1971), India forced East Pakistan to become independent as Bangladesh in a war against Pakistan in the same year. In 1975 Sikkim was incorporated into the Indian Union as a federal state.

Janata Party-Interregnum (1977-82) and the return of Indira Gandhi to power (1982-84): After the Janata Party’s electoral victory, M. R. Desai took over the leadership of the country as Prime Minister in 1977 and put government activity back into the framework of parliamentary-democracy Norms. However, as a result of heavy wing fighting within the government camp, his government lost its parliamentary base in the following years. In 1979 Desai resigned. The decline of the Janata Party and the dispute between its leaders favored the rise of Indira Gandhi. In a process of splitting the Congress party that was again significantly influenced by her, she took over the leadership of the wing she ruled, which as INC (I) or “Congress (I)” (I for Indira) won a two-thirds majority in parliament in the 1980 general election. After the term of office of President Neelam Sanjiva Reddy (* 1913, † 1996; 1977–82) G. Z. Singh his successor (until 1987). Militant separatist movements and religious-ethnic tensions also resulted in an unstable domestic political situation in the 1980s and 1990s. In Punjab in particular, there were repeated violent clashes with the Sikhs who were striving for state autonomy. This conflict reached its climax with the occupation of the Golden Temple of Amritsar (national shrine of the Sikhs) in June 1984; shortly thereafter, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards (October 31, 1984).

Interim government (1996–98) and the rise of the Hindu party BJP (1998–2004): In January 1996 the indictment against several top politicians escalated into the largest corruption affair in India (so-called “hawala affair”, in the 1988–91 involving around 115 politicians) and senior officials are said to have been paid around 650 million rupees, including charges against Rao in September 1996). In the elections to the House of Commons in April / May 1996, the INC (I) suffered its worst defeat to date (only 140 of 543 direct mandates); The BJP emerged from the elections as the strongest party. The minority government of A. B. Vajpayee, sworn in on May 16, 1996(BJP) resigned on May 28, 1996, as they could not unite a parliamentary majority; Prime Minister was then Haradanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda (born 1933, JD) attached to the tip of a June 1996 center-left coalition appeared. After the fall of the Gowda government, which lost a vote of confidence in the lower house on April 11, 1997, Inder Kumar Gujral (* 1919, † 2012; JD) became prime minister of a minority government that same month. In July 1997, K. R. Narayanan was the first member of the Dalits to assume the office of President.

In the elections in February / March 1998, which were accompanied by bloody riots, the BJP became the strongest force; the BJP politician Vajpayee took over the office of prime minister again. Under the slogan “Swadeshi” (the aim “that India is built up by the Indians”), known from the Indian struggle for freedom, his government introduced a nationalistically accentuated economic and security policy.

In May 1998 (24 years after an initial nuclear test in 1974) India surprisingly carried out five massive atomic bomb tests. After the BJP had already announced such tests in its election manifesto, Vajpayee only emphasized when he took office that India wanted to keep the “nuclear option” open. The demonstrative demonstration of Pakistani medium-range missiles of North Korean origin in April 1998 prompted the Indian government to act; Pakistan followed suit a few weeks later with its own series of tests. Sanctions were then imposed on both states. Vajpayeewho obviously trusted the doctrine of mutual deterrence, now wanted to meet Pakistan with a “diplomatic offensive” and took a bus trip to Lahore in February 1999 to meet his Pakistani counterpart M. M. Nawaz Sharif. At that time, however, the Pakistani general P. Musharraf was already preparing an attack on Indian positions in the region around Kargil (Kashmir) on the “Line of Control”, which hit India by surprise in May 1999. However, Vajpayee showed upwhose government was overthrown in April 1999 by a vote of no confidence and which remained in office until the new elections held in the autumn. The Indian positions were successfully defended without the Indian troops themselves crossing the “Line of Control”. As a result, the BJP and its coalition partners received a stable majority in the new elections in September / October 1999, while the Congress party achieved its worst election result to date (only 112 of the 545 parliamentary seats). The administration still led by Vajpayee tried particularly hard to maintain good relations with the United States and was successful in doing so (in March 2000 visit by President B. Clintonin India). The new world position of India was also underlined by the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin in October 2000. After India renewed the friendship treaty with it from 1971 shortly before the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, this was replaced by a treaty with Russia in 1993 (until identical to the assistance clause contained in the previous agreement). During Putin’s visit, this contract was supplemented by a declaration of a “strategic partnership”, further arms deliveries were agreed and the common fight against terrorism was emphasized (with reference to Kashmir and Chechnya).

The political situation in Jammu and Kashmir remained tense during Vajpayee’s second term in office. Farooq Abdullah , who became prime minister again in 1996, held this post until 2002, and his son Omar Abdullah was in VajpayeesGovernment Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but clashes between the Indian armed forces and the rebels continued. In November 2000 the Indian government unilaterally declared a ceasefire, which it lifted again in May 2001. After an Indian-Pakistani summit in Agra from July 14 to 16, 2001 failed to bring about any decisive rapprochement on the Kashmir issue, it escalated again when terrorists carried out a suicide attack on the Union parliament in New Delhi on December 13, 2001 perpetrated and India blamed Islamist organizations operating from Pakistan for this (troop masses and new skirmishes on the Indian-Pakistani border). India, which joined the international anti-terrorist coalition after the terrorist attacks on the USA in September 2001. 9. 2001 lifting of the American sanctions of 1998), demanded to settle the conflict from Pakistan an end to the support of the Islamist underground movements in Jammu and Kashmir as well as a consequent action against terrorist forces and their cross-border activities. After another bloody rebel attack on an Indian military station in Kashmir in May 2002, the conflict reached a new climax (overshadowed by the nuclear hazard potential of India and Pakistan). In spring 2003, however, the two states signaled their readiness to improve their relations (including the appointment of an Indian and a Pakistani ambassador in May 2003 to resume diplomatic relations).

During a cabinet reshuffle, Prime Minister Vajpayee appointed Interior Minister L. K. Advani to the newly created office of Deputy Prime Minister in early July 2002. Also in July 2002, the Muslim scientist A. P. J. A. Kalam , the pioneer of the Indian missile and nuclear weapons program, was elected President.

The Republic of India

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