The Empire of India, commonly referred to as India, is a large nation situated on the Indian subcontinent. It is amongst the ten largest countries in the world, and with about 1.35 billion inhabitants, has the largest population of any country in the world following Sino-Japan. India is bordered by Sino-Japan to the North, Burma to the East, and Russia to the West. The Brazilian colony of Goa is situated on India's Western coast, and the Icelandic outposts Tranquibar and Matara are situated in the Western and Ceylonese coasts respectively.
Home of some of the world's oldest civilisations, India has a long history of empires and riches. Gradually becoming a British colony under the control of the British East India Company in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Company ruled India as an independent nation until 1830. In that year, a series of protests and minor rebellions forced the Board of Directors to act, and the Empire of India came into being, giving native Indians much more power over the nation's governance.
India has a large economy, and was a founding member of the FN - having a seat in the Chambre des Superpuissants.
India has been populated by humans for roughly 30,000 years and is often credited as the cradle of civilisation. Many empires rose and fell across the continent.
The history of the modern state of India can be said to have begun in 1773, when the British East India Company established their first foothold in India. The company had been chartered by Queen Elizabeth in 1600 and given a monopoly over English trade with the East Indies. With trade came money and power, and the Company began exercising power over the princely states of India. After a war with the Nawab of Bengal, the company acquired control over large tracts of Northern India. More wars against the Princely states and the Maratha Empire led to the expansion of the company's territorial holdings. These wars were fought by the armies of the Presidencies (provinces), which the company were allowed to keep under the terms of the Charter. Alliances were signed with many Princely states which racognised the Company as overlord.
In 1813, after the fall of Britain to Napoleon, the Company was put in an interesting position. The Governor-General, the Lord Minto, refused to surrender the colony to the French, and, with the support of the Board of Directors, continued to govern the colony as it had been as a British colony. Thousands of immigrants arrived from occupied Britain over over the following two decades, and the vast majority of them joined the civil service or the military.
In 1827, a large popular movement sprang up, calling for greater Indian participation in the governance of the nation. Little notice was taken of the protests until May, when native Sepoy units began to mutiny and join the protestors. Afraid that a full-blown rebellion could break out, the Governor-General and the Board of Directors voted to establish a new nation, the Empire of India. The Queen of Saint Helena (who had technically remained the head of state after 1813) was declared Empress of India, and a parliament was set up with all property-owning male Indians allowed to vote and stand for election. The Princely states would remain in control of their internal affairs, whilst acknowledging the Empress as their hegemon. Empress Charlotte arrived in Calcutta in December of that year, and on the 1st of January 1830 signed the Constitution of the Empire.
In the decades following the establishment of the Empire, millions of Britons immigrated to India. Driven by this population boom, India industrialised rapidly from that point, with thousands of miles of railways begin laid, hundreds of factories opening up and compulsory education laws begin enacted.
At the same time, India continued expanding its borders. The Himalayan kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan were accepted as member-kingdoms in 1863, followed by Tibet in 1897. The Sumatran presidency also expanded, to such an extent that in 1930 Sumatra and the Malay peninsula were granted independent dominion status as the Kingdom of Sumatra and Malaysia.
India was a major combatant in the Asia-Pacific War, with major fighting occurring on its borders with Sino-Japan and Burma. Tibet was lost to the Sino-Japanese early on in the war, and it has remained under Sino-Japanese occupation ever since. The country was able to recover reasonably quickly from the war, although it left a deep psychological scar in the nation. India developed nuclear weapons in the mid 1950s, and went through great economic and military growth. Today, India is a major exporter and many analysts predict that its economy will eclipse that of Sino-Japan by 2030.
The head of state of India is the Empress, currently Elizabeth. The role of the Empress is mainly ceremonial, but they do perform important constitutional duties, such as signing bills into law, commissioning army officers and distributing honours and decorations. They also hold the power to dissolve the parliament in the event of a constitutional crisis, but that power has never been used.
The Parliament of India is the nation's legislative body. The lower house, the Imperial Assembly, is made up of representatives elected by a borough. There are 601 seats in the parliament. The party with the majority of seats in the lower house will be asked by the Emperor to form a government, or to form a coalition government with other parties. The leader of the majority party is the Prime Minister, and he or she serves as the head of government. The Prime Minister and other senior ministers form the Indian Privy Council. The Privy Council advises the monarch on matters of importance.
The Upper House of the Indian Parliament is the Imperial Council. It is made up of appointed representatives of the Presidencies and the Princely States. Each presidency is given three seats, and the larger of the princely states are allotted two seats each. The remaining princely states are jointly allotted six seats. Members of the Council are appointed either by the Governor of the presidency or the monarch of the princely state or states, both on the advice of their state assemblies. The empire's four main religions groups: Hindus, Christians, Muslims, and Sikhs, are allotted two representatives each, a practice inherited from the Lords Spiritual of the old British Parliament.
Administrative DivisionsThere are two types of administrative divisions in India: the Presidencies, which are directly controlled by the Empress; and the Princely states, which have their own monarchs under the Empress.
Since Sumatra and Malaya were made an independent kingdom in 1930, there have been eight Presidencies in the Empire:
- Bengal Presidency
- Madras Presidency
- Bombay Presidency
- Ceylon Presidency
- Sindh Presidency
- North-Western presidency
- Assam Presidency
Each presidency is administered by a Governor, who is indirectly elected by the populace. He or she is assisted by a directly elected Presidency Assembly, which passes legislation on matters affecting the state, and any other matters the Imperial Government devolves to it.
There are also many Princely states, which, although in the past enjoyed great autonomy on internal affairs, today are Presidencies in all but name. Eight of these states are answerable directly to the Crown:
- Nizam of Hyderabad
- Kingdom of Mysore
These states are responsible for the same matters the Presidencies are. The Princely states are headed by the Prince or Princess, who serves effectively as governor for life. He or she is assisted by a State Parliament, again directly elected by the state's population. These states technically maintain their own armies, but in reality, they are merely regiments of the Imperial Army.
There are also hundreds of much smaller princely states, which are grouped into four Agencies: Rajputana, Central India, Orissa, and Gujarat. The states of each Agency are jointly responsible for the internal affairs of the agency, and each contributes funds to it. Each agency has its own Agency Council, made up of elected representatives from the member states, and chaired by the Agent, who is appointed by the Crown.
India maintains a large, professional army and a powerful navy. Overall, its armed forces are the third largest in the world, but is slated to grow to become the second largest on the planet after France by the end of the decade. The Indian Armed Forces have a prestigious history and are much respected all around the world. The armed forces have fought in many confrontations around the world, with the most recent having been in the British Spring.
The Imperial Army is the fourth largest army in the world. It includes the "Princely Armies" (an individual "army" actually being a division in the Imperial Army), and is approximately one and a half million men strong, with about the same number in reserves. Traditionally, the army had generally recruited from "native Indians" and thus became a matter of great pride for them as they comprised the largest section of the military. This has somewhat changed in the last few decades, however the army remains a matter of great honour for brown Indians.
The Imperial Navy is the second largest navy in the world, second only to France. Operating around 460 ships with 500,000 personnel (?), the navy traditionally recruited from "white Indians", continuing the traditions of the Royal Navy and preserving the knowledge which had pre-Fall Britain on the path to a global colonial empire and greatness. Although not being able to produce more ships than other nations in its early days, the Imperial Navy chose instead to focus on quality; generally acknowleged as having the best-trained crews in the world. This tradition continues into the modern day, which has lead to the Imperial Navy being regarded as having the most professional crews on its ships. In recent decades, the navy too has become more diverse, but holds pride in hearts of many white Indians for being the successor to the Royal Navy.
The Imperial Air Force is the second/third (will have to see which one) largest in the world. It operates around 1400 aircraft and 130,000 personnel (?).
The Imperial Armed Forces also includes an Imperial Strategic Missile Command, which is responsible for India's nuclear weapons. Written and verbal authority from the Empress is required by law before any launch of nuclear weapons, and the government maintains a strict policy of the second-strike doctrine.
India is a member of the Coalition, and as such, maintains close ties with Brazil. India has very close alliances with the other members of the Britannic Commonwealth, as the Empress of India is also simultaneously the Queen of St Helena, Van Diemen's Land, Sumatra, and Britain. Those countries co-operate very closely in military and economic matters.