India - Education
The school system consists of a five-year primary school and a five-year
superstructure. According to the Constitution, the state is obliged to provide
free and compulsory schooling up to and including the 14th year.
The superstructure part consists of a three-year lower and a two-year higher
stage with built-in vocational education. A significant drop-out rate, which is
steadily increasing throughout the school year, is also characteristic of the
compulsory part of the examination-based education system; thus, only 54%
completed the compulsory education in 1986. Many efforts have been made to
prevent this dropout, such as free school uniforms, meals and books, and the
improvement of buildings.
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According to official statistics (1990), 90% of primary school children
participate in education, while the same applies to only 50% of 11-13-year-olds
and 30% of 14-17-year-olds. Illiteracy is still prevalent; only in 1991 did the
proportion of literate people (52.9%) exceed the proportion of
illiterates. Participation in education, which is most frequent for boys, varies
greatly from state to state.
Higher education is offered partly at the approximately 200 universities and higher
education institutions, partly at a large number of more technical educational
In addition to the public school system, there are a number of private
schools and boarding schools based on the English model. Since 1986, especially
in educationally backward areas, schools for children with special abilities, Navodaya
Vidyalayas; one third of the places in the 280 schools (1990) are reserved
Responsibility for local planning and implementation of education is vested
in the individual Länder and must be done taking into account religion and
language as well as the centrally set framework for the education
system. India's teaching tradition is in many ways still rooted in the British
educational elitist educational traditions, but is also geared towards Indian
culture and identity.
One of the forerunners of a more national education system was Mahatma
Gandhi, whose post-independence initiatives in 1947 had a major impact on the
educational reforms of the following years. Education has since been part of the
five-year economic development plans in India. One result of this is the 1985
education reform, which provided for the development of national curricula with
a common core of subjects, reflecting Indian culture, equality and
democracy; local conditions can also be involved.
In addition to the formal education system, adult education is offered partly
through distance learning and partly through open universities, of which there
are seven (1996).
ETYMOLOGY: The name India comes via Latin from Greek India, from ancient Persian Hindu
'India, landed on the river Indus', corresponding to Sanskrit sindhu 'river'.
OFFICIAL NAME: Bharat (Hindi), Republic of India
CAPITAL CITY: New Delhi
POPULATION: 1,210,000,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 3,170,000 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): Hindi, English, a total of approximately 200 languages, some of which
are off. state languages, bengali, telugu, marathi, tamil and urdu
RELIGION: Hindus 80%, Muslims 14%, Christians 2%, Sikhs 2%, Buddhists 1%, Jainists and
CURRENCY CODE: INR
ENGLISH NAME: India
POPULATION COMPOSITION: indoariere 72%, dravider 25%, andre 3%
GDP PER residents: $ 586 (2007)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 63 years, women 64 years (2007)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.611
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION:
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .in
India, Hindi Bharat, Republic of South Asia; in terms of
population, the world's second largest country (after China).
Throughout history, foreign peoples have invaded India and contributed to the
cultural, linguistic, religious and political diversity that characterizes the
country. Two of the world's major religions originate from
India: Hinduism and Buddhism. The vast majority of Indians are Hindus (about
80%), while Muslims form a significant minority of approximately 100 mio.
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to establish themselves in
India; since followed French, but it was the British imperialists who, from
the mid-1700's. put the decisive mark on development and made India The Jewel
in the Crown, the jewel of the empire.
India has for many years experienced significant economic growth covering
most sectors. Agricultural production is rising, there are large grain stocks
and India is a net exporter of agricultural commodities. The industry is also
growing, especially the consumer goods industries. This is mainly due to demand
from the domestic market, where the rapidly growing middle class, 200-300
million. people, constitute a huge and increasing purchasing power. However,
much of the development has not reached India's poorest, and economic and social
inequalities remain high.
India - Constitution
India is a federal state. The 1950 Constitution is extensive and detailed and
builds in many respects on the Government of India Act of 1935, which
regulated the rule of British India; it establishes India's status as a
democratic and secular republic. In relation to 28 Länder, the State has all the
powers not expressly vested in the Länder. The state of Jammu and Kashmir,
however, occupies a special position due to extensive independent powers. The
seven territories of the Union are administered by the Federal Government.
Legislative power lies with the parliament, which has two chambers. The upper
house, Rajya Sabha, consists of a maximum of 250 members, 12 of whom
are appointed by the president, while the others are elected by the legislative
assemblies of each state. The powers of the upper house consist primarily of the
right of veto over proposals adopted in the lower house.
The House of Commons, Lok Sabha, has (2006) 545 members. The number
of members has been set up several times to keep pace with the growing
population. Two members are appointed by the President as representatives of the
Anglo-Indian population, the rest are elected by direct election of adults over
18 years of age. 79 seats are reserved for casteless, and 41 for tribal
people. The term of office is a maximum of five years, but may be extended in
the event that the President declares the country a state of emergency. The
lower house has the sole power to pass costly laws; it can overthrow the
government through a vote of no confidence and it can initiate the procedure
that leads to constitutional changes.
The constitution can be changed by 2/3 majority in
Parliament two chambers; 93 such changes have been made (2006).
The executive formally lies with the president, who is the head of state of
the country; he is elected for a five-year term by an electoral college composed
of the members of the two chambers of parliament and the legislative assemblies
of the states. The post is largely ceremonial, but the president can, among
other things. dissolve the House of Commons and declare one or more Länder in a
state of emergency; the latter, however, must be approved by both chambers
within two months. Incidentally, the President exercises his powers in
consultation with the Prime Minister, with whom the executive actually lies. The
Prime Minister is appointed by the President, but must come from a party or a
coalition with a majority in Parliament. The members of the government are
appointed by the President on the proposal of the Prime Minister. The government
is accountable to parliament.
The states are governed by governments, headed by a prime minister appointed
by the local legislature, elected for a five-year term by universal suffrage. In
addition, the central government is represented through a governor, whose role
at the local level is reminiscent of the role of the president in relation to
the central government. The state authorities issue and administer laws
concerning agriculture, the police, partly education and labor market
conditions, local taxes and duties, etc.
India - political parties
India's oldest and most widely branched party is the Congress Party, the
successor to the Indian National Congress (INC), which was founded in
1885. Today (2006) the party is the largest party in the House of Commons. After
independence in 1947, the party dominated Indian politics for four decades. Its
original secular left-wing policy was replaced in the 1970's by a pragmatic
populism and in the 1980's was turned in a liberal-conservative direction.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the second largest party in the
House of Commons (2006), represents right-wing Hindu nationalism and has
particular support in northern and western India. Janata Dal (JD) was
formed in 1980 as a secular center-left party, based on agrarian populism and
support from minority groups. The Samajwadi Janata Party was formed in
1990 as a split from the JD in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
The Communist Party of India (CPI) was split in 1964 and the Communist
Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) was formed. The two parties are strong in
the states of West Bengal and Kerala. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK),
formed in 1948, is a regional party in Tamil Nadu. It split in 1972 when All
India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) was formed. Telugu Desam
Party (TDT) is a regional party, formed in 1982 by a movie star in Andhra
Pradesh. Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), founded in 1985, is a regional party
in Assam. Shiv Sena, founded in 1966 in Bombay, is a regional Hindu
party in the state of Maharashtra. Akali Dal, founded in 1920, is the
main mouthpiece for the Sikhs in the state of Punjab.
India - Economy
After independence in 1947, India leaned close to the socialist model, which
entailed a high degree of state control of the economy according to
long-term five-year plans and a high degree of self-sufficiency, which was
sought to be promoted through trade protectionist initiatives. At the same time,
the Soviet Union took over the role of the country's most important political
support and trading partner.
The core of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's political strategy in the 1950's
was to transform the poor agricultural land into a modern society with an equal
income distribution through a large-scale industrialization plan based on
domestic financing and ownership.
Scarcity of capital and an objective to increase the pace of development
policy led to the state taking over full responsibility for industrial
development in 1956, which led to direct control over the financial sector,
energy supply and heavy industry.
The market economy was further hampered through the widespread use of
production licenses in industry, and this led to a generally low productivity
due to unfavorable company sizes, use of outdated technology, overstaffing, etc.
Since the late 1970's, when it became clear that the economy was lagging
behind developments in other countries in South-East Asia, the Indian
development model has been the subject of a gradual rethinking. However, it was
not until after the collapse of the Soviet Union and alarming developments in
public budgets and the 1990-91 balance of payments that a major reform of
economic principles was undertaken in earnest at the instigation of the
International Monetary Fund.
This means, among other things, that private investment is opened up in areas
that were previously reserved for the public sector, e.g. infrastructure, the
steel industry and the oil and energy sector. Foreign investors are presented
with incentives to establish themselves in the country, production licenses are
gradually abolished, and the government has launched a controlled privatization
of the publicly owned companies.
The capital markets have also been liberalized, but there are major problems
associated with the privatization of the banking sector, which has built up
significant losses and provisions for lending to unprofitable companies under
socialist rule. India's integration into the world economy is being promoted
through trade liberalization through tariff reductions and other import
restrictive measures, and the currency, the rupee, has been made
freely exchangeable for trade purposes.
The process of liberalization and privatization is far from
complete; nevertheless, economic growth since 1994 has been above 7% per year
and by larger countries surpassed only by China. It is stimulated partly by the
consumption and level of education of the rapidly growing middle class,
including English skills, and partly by foreign investment.
The economy is versatile and also includes high-tech industries with great
expertise in nuclear power, oil drilling, satellite research, IT and a large
software export such as flagship.
Poverty has been reduced, both in absolute and especially relative terms, but
India remains a society with deep social and geographical contradictions; for
example, productivity in agriculture is generally one-sixth of the other
industries. In 2006, a comprehensive job creation program was launched for rural
areas, which will raise DKK 60 million. people out of poverty.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States and eventually
China have taken over the role of India's most important trading partners, and
at the same time trade with the OPEC countries has become more important as oil
imports have been reorganized. There is a significant trade deficit ($ 40
billion in 2005) and debt service is burdensome.
Denmark's exports to India in 2005 amounted to DKK 3.0 billion. DKK, while
imports from there amounted to 3.6 billion. kr.
India - social conditions
Living conditions in India are marked by huge class divisions. While a
strongly growing middle class of approximately 200 million people in the 1990's live in
conditions comparable to conditions in Western Europe, India also houses the
world's largest concentration of absolutely poor people, totaling over 400
million. according to the UN statement. The Indian government sets this figure
at 250 million.
Poverty is concentrated partly in the countryside of India's populous
northern and eastern states, and partly in the vast slums of big cities. In
addition, many poor people are still stuck in employment determined by their
place in the caste system.
Everyone below the official Indian poverty line is entitled to ration cards
giving access to the purchase of state-subsidized food. In the countryside, the
state has launched a large number of infrastructure projects, whereby farm
workers and small farmers can supplement their seasonal earnings.
However, underemployment and fluctuating earnings are still a major problem
both in agriculture and in the large informal urban economy. However, the
economic reforms of the 1990's have made employment in the expanding private
sector more attractive, while the cuts in the public sector have made employment
in the large state apparatus less lucrative and status-giving than before.
India (Trade Union Movement)
In the late 1800's. India's industrialization began as a textile and steel
industry took its first steps. With the rise of workers in railway construction
and in railway operations, approaches to an industrial working class
developed. However, this constituted a modest minority of the working
The first workers 'protection laws were not adopted on the basis of the
workers' own struggles, but were a demand from the British textile industry,
which assessed the emerging textile industry in India as distorting competition
due to low wages and long working hours.
Various attempts to organize the workers and organize strikes first led to a
lasting organizational formation in the first decade of the 1900's; however,
there were still weak organizations. Following an extensive strike movement, the
first national organization, the All India Trade Union Congress, was formed(AITUC)
in 1919-20. The first chairman of the organization was at the same time chairman
of the Indian National Independence Movement, the Congress Party. The Congress
Party had its strength in the bourgeois strata and had little understanding of
the needs of the industrial workers. However, as its membership grew, AITUC
quickly developed an independent line to defend the interests of workers. At the
time of its creation, the membership was 140,000, but as early as 1924 it had
risen to more than 250,000. Contributing to this was the newly formed Indian
Communist Party, the CPI, which, under the influence of the prominent communist
theorist Manabendra Nath Roy, emphasized the independent position of the labor
movement vis-à-vis bourgeois-national movements.
Directional struggles developed in the AITUC between different political
lines, mainly between the CPI, the Congress Party and a non-political, but
probably almost social democratic direction. During the 1920's and 1930's, the
directional struggles led to several divisions and new associations, in several
cases determined by which trade unions the Indian LO was to join. The political
contradictions were apparently overcome, among other things. on the basis of a
decision not to join professional internationals. However, the merger carried
out shortly before the outbreak of World War II was quickly replaced by new
divisions. The Congress party opposed participation in the war, which it
believed did not concern India. Roy, who had been excluded from the CPI, and his
supporters, however, clearly recognized the fascist threat and supported the
fight against it.
When India was divided into two independent states (India and Pakistan) in
1947, the Congress Party established its own LO, the Indian National Trade
Union Congress (INTUC). In 1948, the Socialist Party's Socialists left
AITUC and, together with Roy's supporters, formed their own LO, Hind Mazdoor
Sabha (HMS). However, the HSE did not succeed in becoming the comprehensive
third force in the trade union movement, as a fourth LO, the United Trade
Union Congress (UTUC), was established on the basis of regional and
political forces. These four organizations all had a political starting point,
while a LO formed in 1955, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), had its
origins in the Hindu philosophy of religion and did not recognize class-based
The split of the CPI from around the mid-1960's led to the creation of several
parties claiming the communist legacy. Each of these parties with often
different regional centers of gravity has set up national organizations,
including the Center of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) with the center of
gravity in West Bengal, where its parent party (CPI (M)) has ruled the state for
many years. The Socialist-Social Democratic HSE is not affiliated with a
political organization, as the Socialist Praja Socialist Party disbanded in the
1950's. HSE has conducted negotiations on cooperation with e.g. AITUC, which,
however, has not led to a merger. In the mid-1990's, it is reported that there
were 12 national organizations.
Information on membership numbers fluctuates considerably and often depending
on the political situation. The fragmentation has not promoted the professional
organization of the workers. The national organizations thus also do not include
all local trade unions. The organization is also complicated by the very
fluctuating workforce. The figures that are known are subject to uncertainty and
fluctuate a lot: Only approximately 10% of the workers have permanent jobs, the other
90% are loosely employed, often part-time workers. The Indian population is
growing fast, the country has over 1 billion. residents, and the labor force
is estimated to be around 35% of the total population. Almost 10% of the total
workforce is professionally organized. The contradictions between the national
organizations have if. some information weakened the trade union movement as a
whole, while other analyzes claim the opposite. However, it is certain that the
balance of power between the five largest national organizations has changed:
BMS has since the 1990's grown to become the largest, but has if. own information
only approximately 7.6 million members. Based on the four other organizations' own
information, INTUC is the second largest with 4.4 million, CITU has 3 million,
HSE 3.2 million. and AITUC 1.6
million. If. The Chief Labor Commissioners' report from 1994 was the
corresponding membership figures at that time 3.1 million, 2.7 million, 1.8
million, 1.5 million. and 923,000. The other organizations have less than DKK 1
million. members. In addition to the organizations mentioned, there are a number
of unions of public and private employees. The other organizations have less
than DKK 1 million. members. In addition to the organizations mentioned, there
are a number of unions of public and private employees. The other organizations
have less than DKK 1 million. members. In addition to the organizations
mentioned, there are a number of unions of public and private employees.
India (Health Conditions)
Population growth fell to 1.9% in the early 1990's. This is mainly due to a
sharp fall in the number of children the individual woman gives birth to, and
thus offsets the simultaneous fall in mortality, which, however, remains
high. Life expectancy in 1994 was set at 61 years, slightly higher for women
than for men. Of 1,000 live-born children, 79 die before the one-year
anniversary (1994) against 137 in 1970; mortality is approximately 50% higher in rural
areas than in cities. Maternal mortality is also high at approximately fire pr. 1000
births. approximately 30% of all children have a birth weight of less than 2500 g. It
is estimated that children under the age of five have an average of 1.7 diarrhea
episodes per day. year. Without prompt treatment, diarrhea is life threatening
and also constitutes the most common cause of death in India. Childhood diarrhea
is frequent due to
India has a childhood vaccination program much like the Danish one, but it
also includes tuberculosis. Officially, the coverage is approximately 90%, but it
seems to be significantly lower. Diseases caused by a lack of Iron, vitamin
A and iodine are relatively common, and in 1995 malnutrition was reported in 69%
of preschool children.
Malaria is estimated to hit 15 million. Indians annually with approximately 20,000
deaths. In 1993, 450,000 new cases of leprosy were found, but with effective
medical treatment, 900,000 people could be declared cured the same
year. Tuberculosis is growing strongly in India with 1.6 million. cases in 1991,
ie a quarter of all cases in the world. The increase is expected to continue at
the same time as an increasing number of AIDS cases. In January 1995, 905 people
with AIDS were reported, of which approximately 90% also had tuberculosis. At this
time, it was estimated that 1.5 million. was infected with HIV. Hepatitis is
very common; it is estimated that 43 mill. are carriers of the virus that causes
type B. Cardiovascular disease, cancer and accidents are of increasing
importance, but there are no reliable figures for mortality.
The states have the main responsibility for organizing a public health
service. The public sector accounted for only 1.3% of the total 6% of GDP that
India spent on health care in 1994. Only 39% of the resources are used for
decentralized healthcare. In 1994, the country received a total of DKK 251
million. dollars in aid for health purposes, and Denmark has over the years been
a major donor. In 1992, India had 4.7 doctors and 6.8 hospital beds per 10,000
India - legal system
The British conquest of India led to a gradual change of the judicial system
towards an English-speaking system. Although independence led to an increasing
codification under the influence of Hindu and Islamic law, especially in the
fields of personal, family and inheritance law, in terms of language,
terminology, respect for precedent, etc., Indian law must still be considered
strongly influenced by common law.-the system. The Indian criminal law rules
(2006) are mainly based on the rules of the Penal Code of 1860, last revised in
1993, which is based on English criminal law adapted to Indian conditions. The
Indian judiciary is a unitary system without division into federal courts and
state courts; the Supreme Court of India is the appellate body of the High
Courts of each state. See also the Hindu legal family.
India is one of the regional superpowers of the world. The peacekeeping force
of the armed forces is (2006) at 1,325,000. The army (Bhāratīya Thalsēnā)
is 1,100,000, the navy (Bhartiya Nāu Senā) 55,000 and the air force
(Bhartiya Vāyu Senā) 170,000. The total reserves of the Armed Forces
are 1,155,000. All defenses are equipped with a mix of Western, Soviet and
locally produced equipment. The Indian industry can manufacture almost all types
of equipment, including nuclear weapons and medium-range missiles. The Armed
Forces' older equipment from the 1970's is quickly being replaced by completely
modern ones. The navy has the ambition to build a regionally dominant naval
force. The army is composed and trained for deployment in the variety of
plain, jungleand high mountains that mark the borders of the country. It also
has a key role to play in supporting the maintenance of internal
security. Internal security is initially handled by the security forces of
1,721,500, which has a reserve of 1,293,000.
India's inherited enemy is Pakistan, due to disagreement
over Kashmir province. In 1949, 1965 and in 1999 they were at war due to
Kashmir. In 1971, India was at war with Pakistan over the former East Pakistan
(Bangladesh) and in 1962, India was at war with China. India's armed forces
participate in several UN missions and intervened independently in the Sri
Lankan civil war of 1987-90.
India - mass media
Despite poverty and illiteracy, India has a well-developed and flourishing
press with many hundreds of dailies in over a hundred different languages and
dialects. The first newspaper, the Bengal Gazette, was founded in 1780 and was
published in English.
The most influential dailies are the reputable The Times of India (Grdl.
1838), The Indian Express (Grdl. 1953) and The Hindu (Grdl. 1878). Most
newspapers and magazines are small privately owned companies, but large
newspapers such as The Times of India and The Indian Express are owned by
influential financial families.
The country's religious, social and linguistic differences have made
conditions difficult for a national nationwide press. The English-speaking press
appeals especially to the well-educated middle class in the cities and has been
dominant even long after the country's independence; since 1990, however, the
Indian-language press has gained more and more ground, especially outside the
Thus, at the beginning of the 21st century, one of the largest dailies is
Dainik Jagran (Grdl. 1942), which is published in Hindi. The newspaper has a
circulation of more than DKK 3.5 million. (2016) and covers in particular
northern India. The number of magazines is also unusually large and includes the
respected news magazine India Today (Grdl. 1975). The two most important
national news agencies are The Press Trust of India (PTI, grdl. 1947) and United
News of India (UNI, grdl. 1961).
Apart from the state of emergency in the country in 1975-77, the print media
have had relatively free conditions and benefited from the freedom of the
press. In contrast, until the advent of satellite television in the early 1990's,
radio and television were tightly controlled by the state. The radio began
broadcasting permanently in 1927. All India Radio (AIR/Akashwani),
headquartered in New Delhi, is one of the largest radio networks in the world
and reaches most of the population. In 1976, Indian television was spun off as
an independent part of AIR under the name DoorDarshan.
State television covers all Indian states and reaches more than 90% of the
population. Door Darshan has several national channels and a number of
regional stations. Although more and more entertainment television is being
broadcast, radio and television are also playing an important role in the
educational and social development of the country. As part of the government's
curricula, there are e.g. set up common TV sets around schools and larger
In the wake of the liberalization of the television field in the early 1990's,
a number of commercial television stations emerged, and cable and satellite
television has spread explosively with a sea of channels.
India - architecture and visual arts
Indian art is closely linked to religion. Architecture, sculpture and
painting both serve religious purposes within the three religions that
originated on Indian soil: Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The Muslim conquests
of northern India and the later Mughal Empire added a new element to Indian
art. The Muslims brought with them new architectural forms and techniques, and
they erected monuments that are among the finest edifices in the world. Later,
much Indian art and architecture has been created with Western art as a model.
The remains of the Indus culture, which flourished approximately 3000-1800 BC, is
found in Pakistan - except for a few settlements in the Indian border areas. For
a very long period after the decay of the Indus culture, there are no
archaeological finds of artistic significance; palaces and fortifications, built
mainly of wood and clay, have been lost. The actual Indian art history begins
under the Maurya ruler Ashoka (approximately 268-approx. 233 BC), when the use of stone in
architecture took its beginning in earnest. Ashoka had 25 edicts carved into
rock walls and stone pillars, scattered throughout the Indian subcontinent. The
edict inscriptions are propaganda for Buddhism, to which Ashoka converted. The
columns consist of a smooth-polished trunk with capital provided with an abacus
with an animal figure.
The classical period in the 300-500's, also called the Gupta
period, is a milestone in Indian art. Gupta art managed to fully
manage the legacy of former art schools. The harmoniously proportioned bodies
characterize the sculptures of the period. Many of the deities of Hinduism
acquired their iconographic distinctiveness, and the Hindu temple assumed a form
that stylistically became the norm for North Indian temple architecture.
In religious art, architecture and sculpture are inextricably linked. A
statue of a deity or a holy person serves as an object of worship, the reliefs
often depict edifying or mythological scenes, and as pure decorative art in the
shrines, plants and animals are favored relief motifs.
In early Indian art, Buddhist edifices are often adorned with scenes from the
Jataka tales, which are accounts of the Buddha's past earthly existences, such
as as a king, minister, merchant or an animal. The Buddha himself is not made in
human form, he is only present in the ornaments in symbolic form; the wheel, for
example, is a symbol of the initiation of the doctrine. The first statues of
Buddha in human form date from around 100-teKr., Produced in the two art centers
Gandhara and Mathura. The Hellenistic influenced Gandhara art, which
accompanied Buddhism to Central Asia, had no bearing on the development of art
in India itself. The Mathura School, on the other hand, did so, producing pure
images of all Indian religions in pure Indian style. In Amaravati, a third
Indian art school flourished during the same period. The Amaravati style formed
the basis of the Buddha figure's design in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. The
Jataka motifs became rarer in the relief decoration, and more emphasis was now
placed on depicting important events in the Buddha's life, such as his birth,
his life in the palace, his asceticism, and his first sermon. New iconographic
forms emerged in Mahayana Buddhism. Here other Buddhas, such as Amitabha,
Variocayana and not least the Bodhisattvas, play a major role.
With the development of the tantric directions within both Hinduism and
Buddhism, religious art was given new motifs. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas were
embraced with their female counterpart, their shakti. Simultaneously
with the appearance of the Buddha statue around 100-teKr. Mahavira, the founder
of Jainism, was portrayed in human form. The 24 tirthankaras ("spiritual
leaders") led by Mahavira are the central figures in the temples of Jainism. The
statues, usually naked, are soon standing, soon seated with crossed legs.
The most important deities of Hinduism, Vishnu, Shiva and Durga, appear in
plastic form in the first centuries AD. They are usually provided with more than
two arms. Shiva was already worshiped in its symbolic form as the linga or
phallus before the birth of Christ. In the time after 200-teKr. the Hindu
pantheon was given new gods in visual form, and the gods were now each provided
with their own "riding animal" (vahana) as a characteristic
attribute. Vishnus vahana is the mythical bird Garuda, Shivas a bull and the
goddess Durgas a lion.
India. Among the Indian architects who in the latter half of the 1900-t. has
made a name for himself internationally, Balkrishna Doshi (b. 1927) occupies a
central place. He is inspired by Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, who have both
erected buildings in India, and he seeks to reconcile the ideals of modernism
with Indian cultural tradition and climate. Here is Doshi's studio in Ahmadabad,
The different religions and cultures of India have each left their mark on
the architecture. The most widespread monument in Buddhism is the stupa. Originally,
the stupas were burial mounds for the earthly remains of Buddha and his
disciples. Later, the symbols of the Buddha were entered into in nirvana; they
can also be perceived as monumental depictions of the cosmos. Ashoka built many
stupas, but most have been lost or heavily rebuilt. The two most famous of the
oldest stupas are located in Bharhut (begun around 200 BC) and in Sanchi (approximately
100-BC-200-BC). Other Buddhist building types are caitya (temple)
and vihara(monks' residence). The caitya usually contains a
smaller stupa or a Buddha figure set up in the background of the temple
hall. Vihara encompasses monastic cells that surround an open space intended for
common religious activities. The oldest preserved monasteries and temples have
been carved into rock walls, beginning approximately 100-200 BC and continued to
approximately 650 AD They are found in Bhaja, Karli and Ellora; most famous are
the 29 rock caves in Ajanta.
Many of the early well-preserved Hindu temples are also carved into rock
walls, Kailasa Temple in Ellora (700-t.) And the contemporary Shiva temples
in Elephanta. The oldest preserved Hindu stone temples from the
400-700's. (Aihole and Badami) follow a simple floor plan with the shrine itself
at the center. This ground plan is more or less repeated in the later Hindu
temple architecture. The temple is perceived as a reflection of the cosmos,
where the temple tower represents the world mountain Meru, which is the center
of the Universe. North and South India show clear style difference in temple
architecture. The temple towers, shikhara, in the northern
style are tall with a rounded contour, while the southern towers, vimana,
are lower and pyramidal. In northern India, the temple tower is the dominant
element; in the South Indian temple architecture, the pyramid-like entrance
portals, gopura, gradually overshadowed the temple tower
itself. With the Muslim invasion waves in the 1000's. the temple tradition in
northern india was interrupted while the temple architecture in south india
continued its development. Famous temples in the northern style are the
Lingaraja Temple (1000-t.) In Bhubaneswar, the temples in Khajuraho
(900-1000-t.) And Konarak (1200-t.) And the Jagannatha Temple (approximately 1100) in
Puri. Among the numerous South Indian temples, the coastal temple from
approximately 700 in Mahabalipuram, Shiva Temple (1000-t.) In Tanjore, Minakshi Temple
(1600-t.) In Madurai and Hoyshalesvara Temple (1100-t.) In Halebid.
There is no independent Jainist building style. The Jainas have used local
architectural forms, adapted to their own rituals. Characteristic are large
temple complexes on sacred mountain peaks, paid for by wealthy benefactors,
merchants and ministers. On Mount Abu in Rajasthan, in 1031, the first of a
long line of white marble temples was erected.
Islam.The Muslim conquests in the 1000's and 1100's. brought
about great upheavals for the Indian religions in the form of persecution,
destruction of shrines and burning of manuscripts. The hardest hit was the
already weakened Buddhism - after 1200 there are only a few traces of it in
India itself. Islamic rule, however, had a positive impact on Indian art and
architecture. The Muslims introduced new types of buildings such as mosques,
tombstones, palaces and fortresses. The Islamic shrines are not adorned with
statues - figures are only allowed in private chambers. The mosques are adorned
with calligraphy, geometric patterns and stylized leaf ornaments. One of the
oldest Islamic buildings is the Quwwat ul-Islam Mosque in Delhi-Lalkot, built in
1193 from materials from nearly 30 destroyed Hindu and Jain temples.
A new era began in 1526 with the conquests of Genghis Khan's descendant Babur
in India, which formed the beginning of the Mughal Empire, which flourished in
1556-1707. Akbar, who ruled 1556-1605, was open to the Indian
traditions. Islamic and Indian elements formed a common style, for example in
Akbar's tomb in Sikandra and the palaces in Fatehpur Sikri. Under Akbar, red
sandstone was the main building material, while his successors largely used
white marble; a highlight is the famous tomb of the Taj Mahal in Agra, built by
Shah Jahan 1630-48 in pure Mughal style without Indian elements.
Western influence. Several European colonial powers, including Denmark,
have left their mark on architecture in parts of India, but it was especially
Britain that added new forms to the country. British architecture primarily
influenced major cities such as Calcutta, Mumbai and Chennai. The new capital of
Delhi, New Delhi, built 1912-31, had Edwin Lutyens as chief architect; he built
the mighty presidential palace (1913-31). Later, prominent modernist
architects from the West created monumental building complexes in India. Le
Corbusier has planned the joint capital of Haryana and Punjab, Chandigarh,
and has designed several of its buildings, and Louis Kahn has worked in
Ahmadabad, where Le Corbusier has also made projects.
The earliest examples of paintings of significance are the Buddhist
murals from the 400's-600's. in the cave temples of Ajanta, showing episodes from
the life of the Buddha or illustrating the Jataka tales. The oldest Hindu
painting is a mural in a cave temple in Badami from 578. Illumination of
manuscripts has a long tradition in India. According to the literary sources,
illuminated manuscripts already existed in the first centuries AD. The oldest
preserved are Buddhist religious palm leaf manuscripts from around 1000-t
.; also numerous Jainist illuminated manuscripts from the 1200's. is
preserved. From the end of the 1300's. paper became more common, and this meant
that the artists were no longer bound by the narrow, elongated format of the
palm leaf. In the late 1400's. and in the early 1500-t.
Illuminated Islamic manuscripts produced during the Delhi Sultanate
(1206-1526) show a clear dependence on contemporary Persian painting
schools. Under Akbar, in whom the art of painting in the latter half of the
1500's. had a generous benefactor, an independent Islamic-Indian style developed
within the miniature painting, the mogul or mughal painting, which
illustrated imperial biographies and Persian poetry. Also the great Hindu
epics Mahabharata and Ramayana, which were translated into Persian, were richly
illustrated in the Mughal style. Under Akbar's son Jahangir (1605-27), portrait
In the 1500's. a direction arose within the Indian painting art,
the Rajput painting, which had its basis in the domestic traditions and
developed in interaction with the contemporary Mughal painting. Since the
beginning of 1600-t. In several smaller, Hindu principalities, various Rajput
painting schools have emerged that can be divided into two main groups: the
Rajasthan painting and the Pahari painting. The most important representatives
of the Rajasthani painting are the Bundi and Mewar schools; notable are also the
Marwar and Kishangarh schools. The most important schools of the Paharimaler are
the Basholi, Kangra and Gulerskolen.
In colonial times, traditional Indian art languished. Only in the
villages did folk art live on. During colonial times, many Indian artists
performed company-painting in a European style. In the late 1800's. and in the
early 1900-t. the art of painting experienced a renaissance. In particular, the
Bengali school with members of the Tagore family as forerunners are
highlighted. They wanted to free themselves from Western influence, seeking
inspiration in purely Indian styles, such as the cave paintings in Ajanta and
the miniature painting. Important names in recent Indian painting are Jamini Roy
(1886-1972) and Amrita Sher-Gil (1913-41).
India - literature
Indian literature is overwhelming. The oldest literary memorials date from
approximately 1500-1200 BC, and the literary languages range from Old Indian to
Middle Indian to the many New Indian languages and dialects, both Indo-Aryan
and Dravidian. In addition, there is considerable literature in English.
The oldest strata in Indian literature are literary texts of a religious
nature. They reflect the great changes in the structure of society that took
place in ancient India. The starting point is the Vedic religion, which the
Aryan tribes brought with them when they settled in the northwestern regions of
India more than three thousand years ago.
The core of Vedic literature is the four Vedas. The most
important of them is Rigveda, whose oldest parts
probably date from 1500-1200 BC. In Rigveda's more than a thousand hymns, the
Aryan poetic priests praise the mighty gods and sing their deeds, or they invoke
the gods for assistance and help. Attached to the individual Vedic collections
are a number of ritualistic prose works, the Brahmana texts,
which interpret the complicated sacrificial acts of the Vedic religion. The last
categories of Vedic texts are the Aranyakas and the Upanishads,
which contain sacrificial mysticism and religious views of an esoteric and
philosophical nature. An extensive literature group, the so-called sutral
literature , arose around the Vedic texts. It consists of
handbooks that, in the form of aphorisms or very short rules (see sutra),
deal with various special sciences, such as phonetics, grammar and ritual, for
the use of the priests.
In the Late Vedic period approximately 600-500 BC society was characterized by
political, social and religious upheavals, which conditioned the rise of
Hinduism. The Vedic religion fell into the background, and the Vedic texts lost
their significance, although they are - at least in theory - also authoritative
writings in Hinduism. The religious texts that gained importance in Hinduism are
the texts that appeared in early Hinduism and the texts that were eventually
created in the various ranks of the various Hindu directions. The text category
that is closest to Vedic literature is the dharmashastra works,
which deals with the religious and social duties of the various classes of
society, the duties of the king, the administration of justice, and politics. Manuscripts(Manus
lovbog), which in its surviving form possibly dates from 100-teKr., Is the most
significant work of this category. An extensive text group, the Puranas,
who have been created between 300 and 1300 AD, enjoy great
While the Vedic texts reflect the dominant role of the clergy in society, the
two mighty epics: Mahabharata and Ramayana bear witness
to a changed social structure. Here it is the monarchy and the warriors that
come to the fore. The core of Mahabharata, which has been formed over
a long period between approximately 300 BC and 300 AD, is the story of a family
feud. In this course of action, stories about gods and heroes are
intertwined. One of the inserted passages is the famous scholarly Bhagavadgita (Song
of the Exalted). Ramayana with the divine hero Rama as the main
character has possibly got its final form approximately 100 AD In addition to Mahabharata and Ramayana are
the most extensive works of poetry produced in Indian territory, they belong to
our most important sources of Hindu mythology.
Narrative literature was a favorite genre in ancient India. At an
early age, fables and fairy tales were gathered to serve religious
purposes. However, there are also fable and fairy tale collections that are
intended to provide instruction in, for example, political science, or that have
been compiled with fun and diversion in mind. The most famous Indian fable
collection is Pancatantra, possibly dating from the
first centuries AD. The work has had a major impact on this literary genre
in Europe. A later adaptation of Pancatantra is Hitopadesha. One
of the most famous fairy tale collections is Shukasaptati (The Parrot's
The Indians have from the earliest times had an urge to put their spiritual
pursuits into system. This tendency gave birth to the mentioned manuals for the
use of the priests of the Vedic religion. In the classical period, there have
been schools that systematically dealt with all branches of science, such as
grammar, poetics, law, philosophy, politics, erotica (well known in this
connection is Kamasutra by Vatsyayana) and the natural
One of the prerequisites for classical art poetry in Sanskrit is
fixed norms for the language itself. The grammarian who was most important for
the codification of classical Sanskrit is Panini (approximately 500 BC),
who in his grammar thoroughly analyzes all aspects of the language using an
ingenious formula system. The art of poetry was of course also the subject of
analysis. The most famous theorists are Bhamaha (600-t.), Dandin (600-700-t.)
And Anandavardhana (approximately 850). Two key concepts in classical
aesthetics are rasa (eg 'taste', here 'mood') and alamkara('jewelry'). Rasa
is the term for a series of moods that must be evoked in the reader or spectator
to enable him to empathize with the emotions expressed in a poem or a drama. The
"jewelry" or figures of a stylistic-rhetorical nature that give a work of poetry
beauty are described in the smallest detail in the theoretical works. Some of
the most important figures are: upama (comparison), rupaka (metaphor), atishayokti (hyperbole)
and shlesha (puns).
The Indians consider Ramayana to be their first art epic (kavya). Perhaps
not wrongly, as in Ramayana several of the stylistic figures that mean so much
in later art poetry are used. The first epic of significance is the Buddhist
poet Ashvaghosha (approximately 150). The greatest poet of the classical
period is Kalidasa (approximately 400). He is famous as an epic, lyricist
and playwright. His poetry is characterized by a restrained use of the stylistic
means. The many epic poets after Kalidasa place excessive emphasis on following
the theorists to the letter - to the detriment of the poetic unfoldment. Great
epics after Kalidasa are Kumaradasa and Bhattiwho lived about
600-t. The Rama legend underlies the action in their epic poems. From the same
period, Bharavi and Magha originate, both of
which use substances from the Mahabharata.
The most important lyricists after Kalidasa are Bhartrihari (600-t.), Amaru (700-t.)
And Bilhana (1000-t.). Jayadeva (1100-t.) Occupies
a special position. His poem Gitagovinda is a cross between poetry and
The classical art novels in Sanskrit are prose works that are
stylistically closely related to the epic art poems. The content of
them, however, is mostly taken from the fairy tale literature, not - as in the
epic poems - from the religious tradition. The most important novelists are the
theorist Dandin, Subandhu (600-700-t.) And Bana (600-t.).
The genres of classical Indian drama, character gallery,
action sequences, etc. is extensively dealt with in the dramaturgical works. The
best known textbook is Bharatas Bharatiya-natyashastra, which in its
present form probably dates from the 500-t. Significant playwrights are: Bhasa (300-h.
Or earlier), Kalidasa (approximately 400-h.), Harsha (600-h.)
And Bhavabhuti (600-700-h.).
Middle Indian literature
The Middle Indian languages include Pali (Old Prakrit) and the other
Prakrit languages. The Theravada Buddhists' large collection of canonical texts
(Tripitaka) and the accompanying commentaries are written in
Pali. The sacred writings of the Jainas are handed down on ardhamagadhi. They
have spawned an extensive commentary literature on both prakrit and
Sanskrit. The practice languages developed in line with Sanskrit into literary
art languages. An early example is Sattasai, a lyric anthology of
Maharashtri from around the 1st century AD. The anthology is attributed to the
South Indian king and poet Hala. In classical drama, prakrit plays a major
role. The king, ministers and Brahmins speak Sanskrit, while men from the lower
social classes and all women speak prakrit; an exception, however, are women
with a high education, eg courtesans, they speak Sanskrit.
Literature in New Indian languages
Two major language families, the Indo-European and the Dravidian, are
dominant in India. The branch of the Indo-European language family that occurs
in India is called the Indo-European. The last phase in the Indo-Aryan language
development from Sanskrit over Middle Indian is the modern Indo-Aryan languages,
which include 14 major regional main languages, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Panjabi, Marathi and Gujarati. The
New Indo-Aryan languages have only managed to assert themselves as independent
literary languages after the 1000's. due to the role of Sanskrit as a leading
literary language in northern and central India.
The Dravidian languages: Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam
are spoken in South India. Tamil has an independent literary tradition
dating back to the first centuries AD, whereas the earliest works of poetry in
Kannada and Telugu (800-1000-t.) Are influenced by literary models in Sanskrit,
after the Aryan cultural influence from the north had seriously asserted itself
in South India.
High productivity in all literary genres today characterizes all New Indian
regional languages. In general, it is clear that these literatures are indebted
to classical Indian poetry. However, there are other factors that have left
their mark on many aspects of New Indian poetry from the early stages all the
way up to the present: the Islamic conquest of the late 1100's, Christian
missionary work, and British supremacy. There were religious poets who sought to
unite Hinduism and Islam, and the early Urdu literature is largely Islamic in
style and choice of motifs. However, it was especially the encounter with
Western culture that brought in new motives. To the traditional religious,
mythological and erotic motifs were added national and social.
Early Bengali literature is permeated by a poem with the love of the
divine Krishna and the shepherd girl Radha as the main motif. In the Krishna
cult, the sensual and the religious merged. Candidas from the 1400's. is a worthy
representative of this genre. The social and religious reformer Ram
Mohan Roy began in the 1800's. a new era in Bengali literature with its
modern prose style. Bankim Chandra Chatterji took full
advantage of the new style artistically in her novels, created after Western
role models. Rabindranath Tagore, who is the most significant
modern Bengali writer, has managed to elevate the universal above the especially
Indian who permeates his poetry. Bengali poets from modern times are
Jibanananda Das (1899-1954) and Bishnu De (1909-82). As a representative of
the prose literature of Bengali in the 1900's. should be mentioned Bibhutibhusan
Hindi includes several languages and dialects. In particular,
awadhi, braj and khari boli have asserted themselves as literary languages. The
oldest Hindu poetry is panegyric poetry. The most famous of the ancient heroic poems is Prithiraj
Rasau by the court poet Cand Bardai (d. 1192). As was the case in much
older Indian poetry, religious literature also spawned in Hindi poetic works of
very high quality. Here, two religious writers come to the fore: Kabir (approximately
1440-1518), who wanted to unite Hinduism and Islam into one doctrine, and Tulsidas (1532-1623),
who created the masterpiece Ramcaritmanas, a Rama legend.
The link between old and new in Hindu literature is Harishcandra
(1850-85). He should be highlighted as an innovator of the prose style of khari
boli (a kind of "rigshindi"). Premcand became the first Hindu
prose writer to gain international fame with his socially critical
novels. Several literary currents prevailed in Hindu literature in the first
half of the 1900's. A "romantic movement" (chayavada) had Suryakant
Tripathi "Nirala" (1896-1961) and Sumitranandan Pant (1900-77) as
pioneers. Another direction, pragativada ("the progressives"), arose
under the influence of Marxist thoughts with Yashpal (1907-76) and Nagarjun
(1911-98) as typical representatives. SH Vatsyayan"Ajneya" is
often characterized as an "experimentalist" with a distinctly individualistic
attitude. It is difficult to place many of the recent Hindu writers; this
applies, for example, to Raghuvir Sahay (1929-90).
Urdu, spoken in both India and Pakistan, is a form of Western
Hindi, but Urdu is written in Persian-Arabic letters and the language is filled
with Persian loanwords. The greatest of the older primitive poets is Wali
(1668-1744), who in his poems has Islamic mysticism and erotic motifs as
themes. MAK Khalib, a master of the language, was the most
important Urdu writer of the 1800's, beginning his career writing short stories. Muhammad
Iqbal is considered to be the founder of modern Urdu literature. His
poetry, which glorifies Islamic culture, enjoys great prestige in Islamic
circles. The literary Urdu traditions are carried on today in Pakistan.
The other Indo-Aryan languages, Gujarati, Marathi, Panjabi,
etc., follow much the same pattern as the mentioned languages with a classical
literature and a modern literature that partly follows a traditional line and is
partly influenced by Western literary currents (modernism, socialism etc.). The
oldest Gujarati literature is Jainist texts (1100-1300-t.). In the
West, gujarati is primarily known as Gandhi's mother tongue, which he used in
many of his political writings. Marathi literature is famous for its
religious classics: Jnaneshvar (1200's), Namdev (1300's) and Tukaram (1600's). Much
of the Sikhs' religious literature is written onpanjabi, b.a. part
of their sacred book Adi Granth (however, the majority of the
hymns are in Hindi).
Large amounts of literature have been produced in all the Dravidian
languages, but Tamil literature is the one that excels in the greatest
originality. The oldest Tamil works we know are collections of panegyric-erotic
poems. The most significant classical work in Tamil is undoubtedly Silappatikaram,
a great epic, written between the 100's and 400's. A favorite genre is the
didactic aphorism literature, whose most prestigious collection is Tirukkural (approximately
400-t.). 800-1200-t. was the time of the great Hindu hymn poets. After
900-t. began an intense influence from Sanskrit literature.
The first truly modern Tamil writers are Subramanya Bharati (1882-1921) and
VVS Aiyar (1881-1925). In recent times we meet Ka Naa Subramanyam (1912-89) as
an excellent novelist and novelist.
One of the first Indians to use English as a literary language was the social
and religious reformer Ram Mohan Roy. Rabindrantah Tagore also used English in
his poetry. His English version of Gitanjali won him the Nobel
Prize in 1913.
The great Indo-English novel art first gained momentum around 1930 with Mulk
Raj Anand's socially critical novels. Raja Rao (1908-2006) experimented
with language in his often philosophical novels. In All about H. Hatterr (1948),
GV Desani (1909-2000) also plays with language and style to achieve comic
effects. RK Narayan's novels and short stories are imbued with a
warm humor, while Bhabani Bhattacharya with great empathy has
portrayed contemporary social conflicts. Indo-English literature is rich in
female writers, the most significant of whom are Kamala Markandaya, Ruth
Prawer Jhabvala and Anita Desai.
With his novel Midnight Children (1981), Salman Rushdie unleashed a
wave of Indo-English novels among the younger generation of writers. Most famous
is his The Satanic Verses, which in 1989 led Ayatollah
Khomeini to pronounce the death sentence on him.
In the 1980's and 1990's, significant novels were published by the author
Shashi Deshpande, Amitav Ghosh and Vikram Seth with A
Suitable Boy (1993, da. An Appropriate Young Man, 1996). Arundhati
Roy created in 1997 sensation with his debut novel The God of Small
Things (since. The Small Things god, same year), which also was
released in numerous countries. Outstanding Indo-English poets are Nissim
Ezekiel and Kamala Das (1934-2009). There is not much Indo-English
drama, but two playwrights should be mentioned: Asif Currimbhoy (b. 1928) and
Prapat Sharma (b. 1939).
India - theater and dance
the origins of Sanskrit drama are not known, but it can be assumed that it
has taken elements such as dialogue, parody, song, dance and recitation from the
four Vedas, the various rituals and the temple narrators. A highly developed
theater tradition is found approximately 200 BC as prescribed in Bharata's great
dramaturgical writing Natyashastra, in which stage
conventions, drama and role types, dance technique and music are carefully
described. Some of these dramas have been handed down, the most famous of which
are Kalidasa's Sakuntala, The King and the Dancer and
the Messenger (approximately 400-t.) And The Clay Chariot (approximately 100-375), which is
attributed to Shudraka. The Sanskrit drama was a "Gesamtkunstwerk" with dialogue
on verse and prose, music, song, dance and mime.
The tradition was interrupted by the Muslim invasions in the 1100's, but one
still finds its structure and content in both folk and classical forms, and the
most important element, the rasa theory, permeates the classical arts,
through bhava, mood, rasa is created, the essence of a feeling whose highest
expression is shringara, love. This essence is transmitted from the performer
to the spectator, who thereby achieves the highest enjoyment.
There are eight classic dance drama forms: bharata
natyam, kathak, mohini attam and odissi, which are solo forms,
and kathakali, kuchipudi, chhau and manipuri, which use several actors. Each
form has developed its local distinctiveness, but common is the close connection
to Hinduism, where dance is a sacrifice to God. Common features are also the
deep knee bend, the rhythmic stamping of the feet, the gestures, the dramatic
expressiveness of the face and eyes as well as the dance's close connection with
the music. Kathakali has developed a distinguished literary drama tradition and
a richly varied mimetic acting technique.
Each state has its own folk theater and dance forms, ritual dances,
puppet theater and shadow plays. Most famous are yakshagana from Karnataka
and jatra from Bengal; they are performed outdoors and use all the elements of
the theater, often modern lighting effects, to capture people's attention. The
pieces draw their action from mythology, history or contemporary themes and have
many different role types.
During the British colonial era, a more European-oriented theatrical
tradition developed in several places in India, which resulted in translations
and adaptations of European plays, new adaptations of Sanskrit dramas, and new
drama inspired by folk forms and in the late 1800's. not least national,
political and social themes. The experimental theater developed especially
through the many amateur groups, while the professional theater concentrated on
box office successes. In the 1900's. the main western playwrights have been
translated and played. Since the 1970's, there has been a significant interaction
between theater people from the West and India.
India - music
Indian music includes both classical and religious traditions, as well as a
wide range of local folk music genres and popular music, including film
music. Within classical music, a distinction is made between the Hindustani tradition
in northern India and, among other things, Pakistan and Afghanistan and the Karnatian tradition
in South India and Sri Lanka.
Two conditions must be met in order to speak of classical Indian music:
firstly, it must keep the traditions alive, and secondly, the performers must
belong to a school, gharana, which goes back many generations; in
India this is called guru-shisya-parampara, i.e. master-student
In recent times, the master teaching is on the return. Many young musicians
have studied at music schools or at universities in India.
Indian sources often claim that the origins of Indian classical music (shastriya
sangit) should be sought in the recitation of Rigveda (approximately 1200
BC) and later of Samaveda and Yajurveda (approximately 1000-700 BC). The
recitation of these hymns, however, was not performed by actual musicians.
One of the world's oldest musical theoretical and dramaturgical works, Natyashastra (now
form around the 500's AD) by Bharata, deals with music theory, metrics, general
aesthetics, instrumental music, poetry and dance. It contains chapters on each
of the four types of instruments, stringed instruments, wind instruments,
cymbals and drums, as well as on playing technique and forms of accompaniment.
The next significant work is Brihaddeshi (700-800's) by
Matanga. Here the metaphysical theories from the tantra yoga are discussed,
and in addition the concept of raga is used for the first time. It
describes how the human body has special "energy pathways" (nadi)
that can be affected through meditation, physical exercises or sound effects.
In addition, the theory of the two types of sound is described: the ordinary,
audible sound, ahat nad, and the cosmic sound, anahat nad. Of
later books on music should be mentioned Sangita Ratnakara (13th
century) by Sarngadeva, which for many both North and South Indian theorists is
the final work of the classical period and is considered with great reverence
despite the fact that in practice it is quite incomprehensible today.
The division of classical Indian music into the northern and southern
traditions was a result of the musical influences brought about by the Islamic
invasion of northern India from the 11th century.
The Muslims brought with them both instruments and a music system which was
gradually mixed with the North Indian classical music; this is in our time the
most famous outside of India.
In the Hindu religion (in South India), music is associated with the temples
and is perceived as one of the paths to self-realization; in connection with
temple music, the two forms of the Indian oboe (nagasvaram in the
south and shanai in the north) are often accompanied by
drums. Nowadays, religious utility music is heard over the speakers of temple
South Indian music found its theoretical form in the 18th century on the
basis of Venkata Makhin's rules of the scales; they resulted in the melakarta system
with the 72 scales used today. The great composer Tyagaraja (1767-1817) used all
72 scales, which strengthened the melakarta system. In South Indian music
performance, ragam, tanam, pallavi and critique are the names
of the classical main forms.
For the Islamic religion, music does not have the same significance as for
the Hindus, which is why song and games were secularized in northern India. Here
the music was cultivated as the entertainment of the upper class by the princely
courts. Musicians were employed not as individuals, but as artist dynasties (gharanas)
that were generously paid for generation after generation.
The big name in the North Indian tradition was Tan Sen (approximately 1500-89). He sang
in dhrupad style and was one of the great moguls Akbar's so-called
"nine jewels". In 1597, Akbar's court writer Abu'l Fazl wrote the chronicle Akbarnama,
which mentions many singers and instrumentalists at court. Several living
musicians can trace their lineage back to Tan Sen.
The Mughal period became a period in which the many styles known today were
developed. The Dhrupad style was the old, strict singing style, which
was further developed into khyal (Persian 'fantasy').
From this arose the slightly romantic style of thumri, which was
the pop music of the time. From the thumri tradition, a wide range of
lighter genres developed, including ghazal and qawalli. The
former in particular has formed the basis of virtually all commercial pop music,
not least film music; pop and film music has also recorded many features from
Absolute oscillation numbers are not known in Indian music; this means that
the root tones may have different pitches. In Natyashastra the
microtonal intervals, shruti, are mentioned, of which there
were 22 in one octave; however, their exact location is not known today. One
most often talks about "more or less elevated or diminished" tones,
possibly. expressed in relation to a known raga. There is a strongly developed
system of ornaments of the individual tones; it includes partly sliding tones (meend),
partly vibratos (gamaka).
The concept of raga is common to the two great traditions. The word raga
is derived from ranj, meaning 'to color'. The word cannot be
translated by a single Western concept; it denotes a musical structure that
highlights particular tone steps and tonal movements within a scale. Each raga
has its own special mood (bhava) and emotion (rasa) that
the musician adheres to throughout his performance. A musician usually begins
with an alap (introduction), a free improvisation, where the individual
notes are combined according to the structure of the raga. Alap can be followed
by jor and jhala being played in a free pulsating rhythm.
The individual tones in a raga have different weights or meanings. The most
important note after the root note sa is called vadi ("the
dominant", ie the most played note); in a quintessence or a quartz distance from
vadi is found samvadi. Indian ragas have traditionally been played at
special times of the day or year in which they belonged; Among other things, the
location of vadi and samvadi determines this time division. After the end of
alap, jor and jhala, a composition is played in a certain tala (rhythm
Each number has two different aspects: partly the length of the individual
beats (matra), which can usually be in three tempi (vilambit,
slow, madhya, medium, or drut, fast), partly the
distribution of stressed and unstressed beats within the rhythm cycle. The first
stroke, sam, is the beginning stroke and the most strongly stressed
stroke. Secondary stressed strokes are called tali.
Indian music is modal; this means that all notes in the melodic sequence are
in harmony with a fixed root note. There is only a single melody line that is
accompanied by the drone instrument tanpura and possibly. a drum. The
song has traditionally been considered the most important form of music.
The latest time
In the 20th century, instrumental music has experienced a significant
boom. This is partly due to the strong financial support that has been given to
national art since India's independence, including classical music, and partly
to the interest that Indian music became the subject of in Europe and the United
States, especially in the late 1960's, when The Beatles and other popular groups
tried to use Indian instruments and invited Indian musicians to play on their
records. Especially the sitar, which Ravi Shankar has performed in large
parts of the world, was very popular among pop musicians.
In the 1980's and 1990's, it is especially the drum tabla that has
fascinated the West; the big name in that regard is Zakir Hussein. The influence
of film music, which is the most popular genre among the Indian youth, far
exceeds the Western influence on large parts of the Asian music market.
Various types of Indian music are eagerly cultivated outside the country’s
borders. In the United States, Canada, Britain, and other European countries,
classical Indian music thrives; especially in the three countries mentioned,
there is also great activity in popular music, the modernization of the
folk music genre bhangra, developed among young people with Indian
India - film
India is today the world's largest film producing nation. The film medium was
introduced in 1913 by the pioneer DG Phalke (1870-1944), who aroused the
interest of the Indians with the mythological drama Raja Harishchandra (ie
King Harishchandra); as early as the 1920's, over 100 films were produced
In addition to the so-called mythological genre, genres such as the
social, a contemporary-related, romantic melodrama, and the stunt,
inspired by Douglas Fairbanks ' adventure film, also flourished. Then came the devotional genre's
saint portraits such as Saint Tukaram (1937) and the historical genre's
opulent blockbusters such as Sikander (1940, ie Alexander the Great).
Despite the language differences between India's many regions, the potential
of sound film was obvious when Ardeshir Irani (1886-1969) with Alam Ara (1931,
ie The Beauty of the World) introduced the now indispensable song and dance
Indian production companies, such as Prabhat in Bombay (Mumbai) and New
Theaters in Calcutta (Kolkata), imitated the American study system but lacked
legislation and capital. The industry was increasingly tempted by opportunism
and unification, and the popular Hindi film, the all-India film, with
its unique blend of East and West, myth and fashion, triumphed over India.
PC Baruas (1903-51) Devdas (1935) - re-recorded in 2002 - was the
prototype of a large number of socials who in a sentimental and
singable way thematized the societal problems due to arranged marriages, the
caste system, etc.
The genre reached its peak in 1957 with Mehboob Khan's (1906-64) Mother
India. To ensure the moral standard, the Central Board of Film Censors was
established in 1951 with branches in the three major film centers of Bombay,
Calcutta and Madras (Chennai). That same year, the king of Hindi film for three
decades, Raj Kapoor (1924-88), presented his Chaplinic hero in Awaara (i.e.
The Bengali film, which like India had been split in two in 1947, once again
became the hearth of Indian film art when Satyajit Ray debuted in 1955 with the
first part of the mournful trilogy about Apu, Pather Panchali (The
Song of the Road).
The government agency Film Finance Corporation (from 1980 National Film
Development Corporation, NFCD) began in 1969 with the controversial comedy Bhuvan
Shome, directed by Mrinal Sen (1923-2018), to sponsor "parallel" films,
which then also gained a foothold in other regions.
In the 1970's, the NFCD's film school in Puna was behind a number of fine
directorial debuts by, for example, Mani Kaul (1944-2011) and Kumar Shahani (b.
1940), who were influenced by the French director Robert Bresson.
Shyam Benegal (b. 1934), who combined professionalism with political bite in
films such as Ankur/The Seedling (1973) and Manthan/The
Churning (1975), devoted himself since the nation's history in, for
example, The Making of the Mahatma (1996). Mira Nair also had worldwide
success with her feature film debut Salaam Bombay! (1988).
The hindi films produced mainly in Mumbai are often referred to by the common
name Bollywood. Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu produces equally popular
Tamil films, so-called Kollywood films.
With films such as Roja/The Rose (1992) and Dil se/From the
Heart (1998), director Mani Ratnam (b. 1956) stands as one of the most
important representatives of the Kollywood film.
Where the so-called curry westerns of the 1970's, such as Sholay/Flames
of the Sun (1975), were inspired by American action films, the Hindu films
of the 1980's and 1990's rather had the Western music video as a model. And it is
precisely the connectedness of the music and film industry that can explain the
still high production figure (800-900 films annually), which seems to ignore the
threat from cable TV and video.
Indian cuisine reflects the country's extent over several climate and growth
zones as well as the diversity of Indian society. Hindus and Sikhs do not eat
beef, Brahmins are strictly vegetarian and do not use strong spices, while
Muslims follow halal rules, which prohibits pork. Common to all Indian
food, however, is that more and stronger spices are used than in Western
food; the further south, the stronger.
In northern India, unleavened, flat wheat bread (naan and chapati) is
usually eaten; in South India, cooked rice lays the groundwork and vegetarian
dishes are widespread. All varieties of fruits and vegetables are used, from
potatoes over lentils to eggplant, tamarind and okra, a tropical legume. The
most common meat dishes are chicken and goat meat, in the coastal signs
seafood. Meat is especially cooked for spicy stews and stews. Meat marinated in
spicy brine and fried over an open fire in the round, domed tandoori oven is
widespread in northern India.
Spices are what characterize Indian food in our eyes. The seasoning takes
place both by additives during the preparation of the food and by
strong pickles, chutneys and raitas, which accompany it when serving. Chili is
a solid ingredient, as well as turmeric, which gives the spice mixtures the
typical yellow color. Curry as we know it is not found in India but is mixed and
adapted to the individual dish. An Indian curry is a sauce in which
pieces of meat or vegetables are cooked.
Indian desserts, which cooked on the basis of milk, is usually very
sweet - balsamic after a spicy meal.
Indian food is traditionally eaten with the fingers, but especially in the
cities, cutlery has gained ground. All main courses are served and eaten at
There are many commonalities between Indian and Pakistani cuisine. North
Indian cuisine in particular is making its mark in Pakistani cuisine.