|Location of India|
|Official languages||Hindi, Sanskrit, English, Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Khasi, Konkani, Malayalam, Maithili, Manipuri, Marathi, Mizo, Nepali, Oriya language, Punjabi, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. Other languages not used in official contexts are also under the laws of preservation.|
|Formation of Republic||1856|
|Currency||Indian Rupee (INR)|
|Our Timeline Equivalent|| India*, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives.|
*The whole regions of Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh are both fully included in ATL India. The Cultural Preservation Areas of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are loosely overseen and protected by ATL India but are not part of ATL India.
India (Hindi: भारत Bhārat), officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the largest country by geographical area, the most populous country, and the largest liberal democracy in the world. Its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is also the highest in the world, though not per capita.
Home to the Indus Valley Civilisation, and a centre of important trade routes and vast empires, India has long played a major role in human history. Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism all have their origins in India. India officially became a republic in 1856. The country's cultures, population, wildlife, geographical terrain and climate system are among the most diverse in the world.
India has an incredibly long history, and in fact has one of the oldest civilizations, namely the "Indus Valley Civilization", dating back to around 3300 BCE. After that was the Vedic Civilization, during which the Vedic (or Dharmic) religions got their start. The empire built by the Maurya Dynasty under Emperor Ashoka the Great united most of modern Southern Asia except the Dravidian kingdoms in the south. The Chola, Chera, and Pandyan kingdoms came into dominance in the south, and heavily influenced Southeast Asia, while the Maurya dynasty influenced Central Asia, West Asia, and Southeastern Europe (including Greece). All the dynasties, including the Mauryan dynasty influenced Sri Lanka. Over time, the South Indian (or Dravidian) kingdoms consolidated into one Dravidian kingdom. Eventually, the successors of the Maurya Dynasty reached a long-lasting peace with the Dravidians. The northern empire came to be known as Arya, and the southern empire, Dravidia. Interestingly, India is a country that has been consolidated more by alliances than military victories. There have been some clashes that have erupted between (and within) the two main groups throughout history (not the least of which was in 1921), but their relations have mostly been peaceful.
In 1856, a republic was formed with the consent of both the Aryans and Dravidians. This was both to make their combined nation stronger (especially to fend off any would-be colonialists), and also because the Aryans and Dravidians had enjoyed peace for so long that they felt like part of a single nation, despite the overwhelming ethnic differences between the myriad of groups in the new nation. By 1921, many Dravidians felt that their culture was being overrun by that of the Aryans. They looked at places like Europe and noticed that most ethnic groups had their own countries, and felt that this was preferable than being run by a central government, and looking up to leaders who couldn't even speak their language. Because of this, there were riots in early 1921. Aryans and Dravidians living away from their homelands feared for their safety and started migrating to be with their ethnic brethren. To this situation, Mohandas Gandhi, already the liberator of South Africa, stepped up. His diplomacy is perhaps the reason that a civil war did not erupt, and he almost definitely was the only person who could hold the country together. Gandhi stressed nonviolence, and this resonated with most Indians. By the end of the year, a new constitution was hammered out, which included far more rights for minorities (which were, in effect, everyone) and guaranteed a semi-autonomous status for most sub-states. (Soon afterwards, Gujarat declared itself a completely vegetarian sub-state, the first political unit (at least lasting to the present day) to ever declare a full ban on meat of all kinds.)
Before the 1940s, India had a well-trained army but sought not to use it. However, the treatment of vegetarians by the Japanese prompted the Indian government to issue an ultimatum to stop persecution under its control or else. Japan answered that it had no intention of listening to any other government. Thus, in 1941, India entered the Pan-Global War. It was one of the three nations (along with Great Britain and British Pacifica) to defeat Japan and end the war.
Since the Pan-Global War, India's economy has boomed. With homegrown researchers finding cures for diseases that had plagued India previously, the nation quickly increased its living standards. Next came research into birth control. This was first used to help the country battle a high birth rate, and then exported so that other countries could do the same.
In 2006, India became the second nation after Sundarapore to become completely vegetarian. By this time, the majority of states in India had already passed laws banning meat. And, in fact, much of India had wanted to ban meat nation-wide much earlier, but there were some protestations made by lawmakers from Kerala, Goa, and other areas that didn't want fish to be included in the ban. It was feared that such half-measures would be regretted in the future, so it was waited until support was gained throughout most of these areas before implementing the ban, while in certain areas of the Lakshadweep and Giravaaru archipelagos, the ban still does not apply to subsistence fishing.
India is located in South Asia and takes up the Indian subcontinent, up to and including some of the Himilaya mountain range. India borders five other countries: Bactria to its west, Tocharia, Tibet, and Bhutan to its north, and Burma to its east. Directly south is Sri Lanka.
India's climate ranges from tropical wet to desert to tundra and icecap, depending on where one is. Each year, there is a monsoon season.
India has the highest percentage of vegetarians in the world, which stands at 99% in 2006. On May 14th, 2006, India became the second country in the world (after Sundarapore) to outlaw all meat products. Formal plans had been considered as early as August 25th, 1978, but were placed on hold because of the fear that protests would break out among minorities that the government said it would protect. However, after a long process of promoting the idea across the nation, the law came into effect. Though legally obliged to be so inside India, even outside India, approximately 99% of Indians are vegetarian. (This seems to be correct, as 98% claimed to be vegetarians before the law went into effect.)
- 99% Vegetarian (100% inside continental India*)
- 49% Lacto Vegetarian
- 27% Vegan Vegetarian
- 22% Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian
- 01% Ovo Vegetarian
- 01% Non-Vegetarian (0% inside continental India*)
*To be precise, more than 99% of India is vegetarian, while special allowances are made for populations on the Lakshadweep Islands SAR and the Giravaru/Maldives Islands SAR (where residents can fish using traditional methods). Also, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which are not an Indian possession but are loosely overseen and protected by India, do not have any meat bans.
India is a very ethnically diverse nations, although unlike places such as New England and Sundarapore, almost every Indian's cultural origin is from inside the area - thus, it is multi-ethnic but not very international in terms of demographics. Still, encompassing a whole subcontinent and more, from small, low-lying islands to some of the highest peaks in the world, India has at least as much ethnic and geographic diversity as whole continents like Europe.
India is quite a religious country, compared to most other developed nations. However, unlike some places, India's religious people are very tolerant of other faiths. This is one reason why India is still together and hasn't split up into separate entities. Religious majorities vary greatly depending on the area. When asked for their primary religion, this is what Indians professed to be (as of 2006):
- 52% Hindus
- 20% Jains
- 15% Freethinkers* (including atheists and agnostics)
- 07% Buddhists (mostly Mahayana)
- 03% Sikhs
- 01% Muslims
- 02% others (Cathars, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Ahmadis, Baha'ís, etc)
* Note that many Freethinkers take part in at least some religious practices because of tradition.
India is home to a wealth of languages and is home to two major linguistic families: Indo-Aryan (spoken by about 70% of the population) and Dravidian (spoken by about 24%). Other languages spoken in India come from the Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman linguistic families. The Indian constitution recognises 23 official languages. Hindi and Tamil are used by the Union Government of India for official purposes, and are the two languages that serve as the lingua francas of Northern (Aryan) India and Southern (Dravidian) India, respectively. Sanskrit and Tamil enjoy classical language status in India. The number of dialects in India is as high as 1,652.
There are so many Indian dishes, just like there are so many Italian or Chinese dishes. Generally, northerners are fond of naan to go with gravy-like curry (not generally referred to as "curry" in India). Southerners often eat off of banana leaves. Popular dishes are the dosa (a very thin, crisp crepe), rice, and more liquid curry. A "thali" or plate, often consists of small metal bowls of curries, as well as a heap of rice. Of course, this is a gross generalization.
Most of the nation is connected by a series of high-speed, electrified (and often magnetic levitation, or "maglev") train lines, which whisk passengers off to other cities rapidly. However, the expressway system is also one of the most modern and efficient in the world. Inside cities are multiple commuter train lines, which make getting around easy even if you don't own a car. Buses also ply various routes within and between cities.
India spends large amounts of money on environmental preservation initiatives both in India and across the world. India is the only nation that has both lions and tigers native to it. Approximately 38% of India is specified as an Environmental Protection Area, which is admirable considering its large population. Indians also protect the environment through family planning. The "no more than three kids" rule, originally instituted in Jonggwo, has become enshrined in India, and its population of 193 million people is relatively stable, though slightly decreasing (with the 2010 estimate being 192 million people)
Most Indians live in apartments in the nation's cities. Most apartments are rather densely packed around a train station, though apartment façades are still often lavishly detailed and grounds well landscaped. However, there is a substantial rural population engaged in agriculture, who live in farmhouses, as well as some people who live in houses scattered around urban, suburban, and rural areas.
India is known for its amazing architecture, which is as graceful and detailed now as it ever was in its history. An example of this is the new Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple  in Delhi, built between 2000 and 2005, and exhibiting the most intricate craftsmanship of any building completed recently, or in any time period, for that matter. The Akshardham in Delhi became the most-visited building in 2006, as millions of people from around India and the world poured in to see it. The influence from this temple is beginning to be seen in Western art, as many plans for new buildings across Europe and Asia seem to have Indian motifs. Of course, the Akshardham is merely a large and recent example of Indian architectural expertise which shows no signs of dying out.
India is currently the world leader in stone-cutting and sculpture, and recently, exporting detailed pieces of buildings (to be fit together like a puzzle later) has become a major industry. Indian artisans have shown that they are capable of producing anything from classic Indian and Chinese to Baroque and Gothic styles.
The military of India is quite advanced. The armed forces of India include the Republic of India Army (RIA), the Republic of India Navy (RIN), and the Republic of India Air Force (RIAF), collectively known as the Republic of India Military Forces (RIMF).
In 2006, India became the second country in modern times (the sub-state of Gujarat being the first political unit in 1921) to declare a ban on possessing (including carrying, storing, selling, and consuming) meat. (At the time of the declaration, approximately 98% of the Indian population was already vegetarian.) Like with Sundarapore, implementation was in stages.
Though much information has been changed or created from scratch, Wikipedia was quoted in a few places.