The United Provinces of India was a former British colony in the Indian subcontinent. In 1971 it became a full member of the Imperial Federation of Britain. It is bordered by Persia to the west; Sikkim, Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north; and Siam and the United Republics of China to the east. India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Indonesia in the Indian Ocean.
Home to the Indus Valley Civilisation and a region of historic trade routes and vast empires, the Indian subcontinent was identified with its commercial and cultural wealth for much of its long history. Four major religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism originated here, while Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam arrived in the first millennium CE and shaped the region's diverse culture. Gradually annexed by the British East India Company from the early eighteenth century and colonised by the United Kingdom from the mid-nineteenth century.
India made several unsuccessful attempts for independence, including a widespread non-violent resistance led by Mahatma Gandhi whose death in 1948 brought an end to the movement. It was not, however, until the growing influence of the Imperial Federation of Britain that the United Kingdom began allowing nations without a large white population from gaining dominion status and later membership into the IFB. In 1970, representatives from India officially applied to become a full member in the IFB, with all the rights that would entail. There was some dispute about India's application, including a motion to split the colony between the Hindu and Muslim dominated areas by Muslim activist Muhammad Ali Jinnah. That motion, however, was defeated and India was accepted as a full member into the IFB.
Despite the defeat of the motion to split India into separate states, India has experienced high levels of religious violence between Hindus and Muslims. The Indian government has instituted harsh penalties, against offenders on both sides, to deter such activity. By the 1980s, a growing religious toleration came over the country, but at the expense of civil liberties. Meanwhile, the province of Bengal, or the "sick man of India", suffered through famines, natural disasters and widespread poverty, draining the Indian economy.
India soon grew to become an important member of the IFB. With its large economy it was able to exert a large amount of influence on the other members of the Federation.
India has the third largest economy among the members of the IF, behind only the UK and Canada. Current predictions have India surpassing Canada in the 2010s. Despite this it still suffers from high levels of poverty, illiteracy, disease, and malnutrition.