India, officially the Republic of India, is a sovereign country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the west, and the Bay of Bengal on the east, India has a coastline of over 7000 kilometres. It borders Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north-east; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east.
India may also refer to the Indian subcontinent.
Home to the Indus Valley civilization and a region of historic trade routes and vast empires, the Indian subcontinent was identified with its commercial and cultural wealth for much of its long history. Four major world religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism originated here, while Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism arrived in the first millennium CE and shaped the region's variegated culture. Gradually annexed by the British East India Company from the early eighteenth century and colonized by the United Kingdom from the mid-nineteenth century, India became an independent country in 1947.
Castes and other groups
India was according to the Indo-Aryan migration theory invaded/colonized by Indo-Europeans (Indo-Aryans) in ancient times. They established a caste system which is still holding. The four principal castes are: Brahmins or the priests, Kshatriyas or the martial race, Vaishyas or the merchants, and Sudras or the workers. There are also the Dalits or the "untouchables".
The Indo-Aryans were not the first invaders/colonizers. The Dravidians, associated with the Indus Valley civilization, were also invaders/colonizers who largely displaced earlier groups, who may have been related to the Australoids. Today, there are "tribals" who live in isolated areas and who are outside the caste system. The tribals may be the descendants of early groups who were never conquered by the Indo-Aryans (and perhaps not by the Dravidian invaders either).
Different castes/groups have been argued to differ on characteristics such as average IQ. See the "External links" section.
- ↑ How genetics is settling the Aryan migration debate http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/how-genetics-is-settling-the-aryan-migration-debate/article19090301.ece
- ↑ Bamshad, Michael; Kivisild T, Watkins WS, Dixon ME, Ricker CE, Rao BB, Naidu JM, Prasad BV, Reddy PG, Rasanayagam A, Papiha SS, Villems R, Redd AJ, Hammer MF, Nguyen SV, Carroll ML, Batzer MA, Jorde LB (June 2001). "Genetic Evidence on the Origins of Indian Caste Populations". Gnome Research 11 (6): 994–1004. doi:10.1101/gr.GR-1733RR. PMID 11381027. Retrieved on 2007-09-09.
- ↑ Hart, M. H. (2007). Understanding human history: An analysis including the effects of geography and differential evolution. Washington Summit Publishers.