Indian nationalism

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Map of India.

Indian nationalism refers to the consciousness and expression of political, social, religious and ethnic influences that help mould Indian national consciousness.

Indian Nationalism describes the many underlying forces that moulded the Indian independence movement, and strongly continue to influence the politics of India, as well as being the heart of many contrasting ideologies that have caused ethnic and religious conflict in Indian society. It should be noted that Indian nationalism often imbibes the consciousness of Indians that prior to 1947, India embodied the broader Indian subcontinent and influenced a part of Asia, known as Greater India.

Contents
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1 National consciousness in India

• • •

o o o
2 Renaissance vision 3 Swaraj

1.1 Conception of nationhood 1.2 Ages of war and invasion 1.3 Foreign admiration

o o o o o o • • •

3.1 The Gandhian era 3.2 The INA

4 More than just "Indian" 4.1 Hindu Rashtra 4.2 The Qaum 4.3 The Khalsa 4.4 Ethnic nationalism

5 Nationalism and politics 6 Nationalism and military conflicts

o
7 New visions

6.1 The Kashmir issue

• • • •

o o o o
8 See also 9 Notes 10 References

7.1 India's Growth 7.2 Akhand Bharat 7.3 Trans-national expression 7.4 The world's largest democracy

11 External links

[edit] National consciousness in India
Main article: History of India The map of the Mughal Empire at its zenith ca. 1600

India has been unified under many emperors and governments in history. Ancient texts mention India under emperor Bharata and Akhand Bharat, these reigons roughly form the entities of modern day greater India and Indosphere. Ashokan India began from the eastern heart of modern India, stretched into modern Bangladesh, Pakistan and beyond, into Afghanistan. In addition, India has also been unified under a central government by empires, such as the Mughal empire and the British Raj.

[edit] Conception of nationhood

India's concept of nationhood is based not merely on territorial extent of its sovereignty. Nationalistic sentiments and expression encompass India's ancient history, as the birthplace of the Indus Valley Civilization, and of four major world religions - Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Indian nationalists see India stretching along these lines across the Indian subcontinent.

Chhattrapati Shivaji Raje Bhonsle, founder of the Maratha Confederacy

[edit] Ages of war and invasion

Extent of the Maratha Confederacy at its zenith ca. 1760 (shown here in yellow)

India today celebrates many kings and queens for combating foreign invasion and domination, such as Shivaji of the Maratha Empire, Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi, Kittur Chennamma, Maharana Pratap of Rajputana, Prithviraj Chauhan, who combated the Mahmud of Ghazni and Tipu Sultan who fought the British.

Liberal Muslim kings are also a part of Indian pride. Akbar was a powerful Mughal emperor who admired Hinduism, forged familial and political bonds with Hindu Rajput kings, and developed for the first time in medieval India an environment of religious freedom. Akbar undid most forms of religious discrimination, and invited the participation of wise Hindu ministers and kings, and even religious scholars in his court. In his reign, India was politically powerful, prosperous and its common people secure. Opposed to his example is Aurangzeb, who sponsored pogroms against the Sikhs and the Hindus, and re-imposed the jizya tax on non-Muslims, and enslaved them as dhimmis, he is more a part of Pakistani nationalism for his spread of Islam throughout India.

[edit] Foreign admiration

India has attracted many admirers from foreign nations. Chinese travelers and observers Hsien Tsang and Fa-hien attest to the prosperity and glory of India's ancient kingdoms. Their documentation of times in ancient India are a great source for nationalistic pride.

Annie Besant, C. F. Andrews, Madeleine Slade and A.G. Horniman were Europeans who advocated and worked for political freedom in India. Mrs. Besant led the Theosophical Society in its studies of Indian religious thinking. German historian and writer Max Muller was a pioneer in Indian historical research, tracing the roots of human civilization in India and the origins of its diverse culture and peoples. His work remains a major influence on the common understanding of India's ancient past.

In modern times, Chinese ambassador to the US, Hu Shih has commended India's cultural influence:

India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border. - Hu Shih[1][2]

Other notable people who have frequently praised India include Mark Twain, who has said:

India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.[3]

[edit] Renaissance vision
Swami Vivekananda is considered a major influence on Indian pride by his emphasis of the spiritual richness and beauty of Indian philosophy and religion.)

See Also: Arya Samaj, Brahmo Samaj, Ramakrishna Mission

A new generation of Western-educated Indians sought to end practices and traditions that were responsible in their view for India's economic backwardness, social depravation and political disunity. Laying out the first definitive national vision, this generation sought to promote Western-style scientific education and democracy.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy sought to fight suttee and illiteracy. He founded the Presidency College in Bengal, and inspired the foundation of the Brahmo Samaj, as a Hindu reform society seeking to remove the ills of untouchability and casteism, as well as brahmin domination and dogmas. Syed Ahmed Khan promoted Western-style education in Muslim society, seeking to uplift Muslims in the economic and political life of British India. He founded the Aligarh Muslim University, then called the Anglo-Oriental College.

At the same time, Indian religious leaders like Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo emphasized the spiritual richness of Hinduism and Indian philosophy. Vivekananda asserted that the West could greatly help solve India's problems of entrenched poverty and encourage economic progress, while India could bring spiritual and cultural wealth to Western societies. Dayananda Saraswati formed the Arya Samaj to combat social evils within Hindu society, and increase the pride and purity of Hindu worship, returning to the Vedas and worship of God, not lesser deities

[edit] Swaraj
Main Articles: Indian Independence Movement, Indian rebellion of 1857, Indian National Congress - Freedom Era

The flag adopted in 1931 by the Congress and used by the Provisional Government of Free India during the Second World War.

In the Indian rebellion of 1857, Indian soldiers and regional kings fought the forces allied with the British Empire in different parts of India. The war arose from the racist viewpoint and disregard the British exhibited to Indian religious traditions, and the desire for Indians to retain religious purity and freedom regardless of war or violence as its expense. There were also kingdoms and peoples, such Holkar, Scindia and the Sikhs, and Indian soldiers who supported the British. This event laid the foundation not only for a nationwide expression, but also future nationalism and conflict on religious and ethnic terms.

The Indian desire for complete freedom, or Swaraj, was born with Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who looked to the glories of Indian history and heritage, and condemned the racist and imperialistic discrimination of common Indians, who were not permitted a voice in the affairs of their own country. Tilak and his followers were the first to express the desire for complete independence, an idea that did not catch on until after World War I, when the British attempted to exert totalitarian power with the Rowlatt Acts of 1919. When the Amritsar Massacre of hundreds of unarmed and innocent civilians by British forces took place in the same year, the Indian public was outraged and most of India's political leaders turned against the British. The Bengal famine of 1943, regarded by some as a genocide of the ethnic Bengalis sponsored by the British Crown, further led to growing discontent between Indians and the British.

[edit] The Gandhian era

Main Articles: Gandhism, Satyagraha

Nationalists on the Salt March.

Quit India procession view at Bangalore.

Mohandas Gandhi pioneered the art of Satyagraha, typified with a strict adherence to ahimsa (non-violence), and civil disobedience. This permitted common individuals to engage the British in revolution, without employing violence or other distasteful means. Gandhi's equally strict adherence to democracy, religious and ethnic equality and brotherhood, as well as activist rejection of caste-based discrimination and untouchability united people across these demographic lines for the first time in India's history. The masses could participate in India's freedom struggle for the first time, and the membership of the Congress grew over tens of millions by the 1930s. In addition, Gandhi's victories in the Champaran and Kheda Satyagraha in 1918-19, gave confidence to a rising younger generation of Indians that the British hegemony could be defeated. National leaders like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Azad, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, Rajendra Prasad and Badshah Khan brought together generations of Indians across regions and demographics, and provided a strong leadership base giving the country political direction.

[edit] The INA

Main Articles: Indian National Army, Arzi Hukumate Azad Hind

While Gandhi's leadership attracted the vast majority of Indians, Subhas Chandra Bose led a forceful initiative of military revolution when he formed the Indian National Army in the early 1940s, out of Indian POWs and indentured workers in South East Asia in World War II, with the help of the Japanese. Just as Gandhi had brought Indians together for peaceful, mass revolution, Bose united Hindus, Muslims and different ethic groups in a military outfit aimed at liberating Indian territory from British control.

The INA engaged the British Indian forces in Assam, Nagaland and parts of Bengal, but were overwhelmed by the better equipped enemy, the treacherous forest and mountainous environments, as well as lacklustre aid from the Japanese Army. Many thousands were killed and thousands others surrendered. Bose was killed in 1945 when flying in a Japanese plane, which crashed over the Taiwan Strait. However, the INA's military assault on British rule occurred concurrently with the Quit India movement, and electrified many Indians with the audacity of their effort and bravery.

[edit] More than just "Indian"
See Also: Demographics of India

Indian nationalism is as much a diverse blend of nationalistic sentiments as its people are ethnically and religiously diverse. Thus the most influential undercurrents are more than just Indian in nature. The most controversial and emotionally-charged fiber in the fabric of Indian nationalism is religion. Religion forms a major, and in many cases, the central element of Indian life. Ethnic communities are diverse in terms of linguistics, social traditions and history across India.

[edit] Hindu Rashtra

Main article: Hindu nationalism K.B.Hedgewar was the founder of the RSS, the largest public organization in India and the foundation of Hindu nationalism.

An important influence upon Hindu consciousness arises from the time of Islamic empires in India, during which many Hindu temples were destroyed and Hindus forcibly converted to Islam, and thousands killed by Muslim invaders. Entering the 20th century, Hindus formed over 75% of the population and thus unsurprisingly the backbone and platform of the nationalist movement. Modern Hindu thinking desired to unite Hindu society across the boundaries of caste, lingustic groups and ethnicity. In 1925, K.B. Hedgewar founded the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in Nagpur, Maharashtra, which grew into the largest civil organization in the country, and more potent, mainstream base of Hindu nationalism. The main purpose of the RSS was to unite Hindu society, with its cadets from across the caste and ethnic spectrum working to alleviate Hindus from poverty and ignorance, as well as working for social and economic development.

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar coined the term Hindutva for his ideology that described India as a Hindu Rashtra, a Hindu nation. This ideology has become the cornerstone of the political and religious agendas of modern Hindu nationalist bodies like the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Hindutva political demands include revoking Article 370 of the Constitution that grants a special semi-autonomous status to the Muslim-majority state of Kashmir, adopting a uniform civil code, thus ending a special legal framework for Muslims. These particular demands are based upon ending laws that Hindu nationalists consider as offering special treatment to Muslims. Demands like banning cow slaughter and building a Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya reflect in Hindu passions to assert cultural nationalism and a reversion of the destruction of Hindu temples by Muslim invaders.

[edit] The Qaum

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Maulana Azad strongly favored a united India.

Main Article: Indian Muslim nationalism

In 1906-1907, the All India Muslim League was founded, created due to the suspicion of Muslim intellectuals and religious leaders with the Indian National Congress, which was perceived as dominated by Hindu membership and opinions. However, Mahatma Gandhi's leadership attracted a wide array of Muslims to the freedom struggle and the Congress Party. The Aligarh Muslim University and the Jamia Millia Islamia stand apart - the former was averse to the freedom struggle, while the JMI was founded to promote Muslim education and consciousness upon nationalistic and Gandhian values and thought.

While prominent Muslims like Allama Iqbal and Muhammad Ali Jinnah embraced the notion that Hindus and Muslims were distinct nations, other major leaders like Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari, Maulana Azad, Badshah Khan, Hakim Ajmal Khan strongly backed the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian freedom struggle, opposing any notion of Muslim separatism. This school of Muslim nationalism did not enjoy much support in the provinces of Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and Bengal, where the Muslim League enjoyed extensive political power, and where Pakistan was ultimately formed. India's firm foundations of constitutional and popular secularism has brought prosperity, security and prominence to Indian Muslims who remained in India after partition. Zakir Hussain, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed and A.P.J. Abdul Kalam were all Muslims, and holders of the Presidency of the Republic. Actors Shah Rukh Khan, Naseeruddin Shah, Aamir Khan, music legends Zakir Hussain, Amjad Ali Khan and cricketers Syed Kirmani,Irfan Pathan,Zaheer Khan, Mushtaq Ali and Mohammad Azharuddin are icons to the Indian public.

Most Muslims staunchly defend their identity as Indians when questioned in sensitive times. Some Indian Muslim families maintain and establish familial relations with Pakistani and Bangladeshi families, separated by partition. Some Muslim religious leaders have called for a Muslim political party to protect the rights and interests of the Indian Muslim community. The embrace of rigid forms of Islam in Muslim religious schools and mosques across India has created an atmosphere of cultural alienation in some parts of the country.

[edit] The Khalsa

See Also: Sikhism, Khalsa

The religious and cultural pride of the Sikhs, mainly based in the state of Punjab has played an important role in the history of medieval and modern India. Sikh forces combated Muslim armies and rescued themselves and Hindus in Kashmir from religious pogroms. The Sikh Empire of Maharaja Ranjit Singh was one of the first to openly challenge and weaken the Mughals, while asserting their own glory in the Punjab. Today, Sikhs form a major proportion of officers and soldiers in the Indian military services, and Punjab is one of the most economically progressive states in the country, known as the breadbasket of India. Sikh political leaders like Master Tara Singh were responsible for politically leading Sikhs during the Partition of India, and uniting them after millions of Sikhs were displaced from Pakistan. Tara Singh and the SGPC led the demand for a Sikh-majority state in Indian Punjab, which was granted in 1966. While Sikhs pride themselves for their patriotism and a great military tradition, many other Indians feared that demands of such nature would give rise to political separatism.

Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale led a small extremist group demanding independence for Sikh-majority Punjab in the early 1980s. It was responsible for committing acts of terrorism, but when it was violently crushed during Operation Bluestar in 1984, within the sanctions of the Golden Temple, thousands of militants, civilians and Army soldiers were killed. Sikhs viewed this as a desecration and insult of the holiest Sikh shrine. These led to the assassination of the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by two of her Sikh bodyguards. When over 5,000 Sikhs were killed in riots perpetrated in Delhi after the assassination, many millions of Sikhs in India and across the world were estranged from the Indian mainstream for some time. While the negative effects of this period and events have been greatly healed over two decades, there remains some suspicion and bitterness.

[edit] Ethnic nationalism

See Also: Demographics of India, Aryan Invasion Theory, Out of India theory, Dalit, Caste

Post-independence India has had to deal head-on with nationalist expression based on regions, states, linguistic groups and ethnic, racial origins. Starting with secessionist tendencies in the Periyar and Anna led Tamil Nadu, in the lead up to and soon after independence, India has seen various manifestations of ethnic nationalism. The Assam guerilla movement led by the ULFA, and the Punjab Khalistan movement of the 1980s represent the more violent end of the spectrum. The rise of ethnic nationalistic sentiments took place as peoples of various regions, linguistic groups and racial origins sought to discover their place within the wider expression of Indian national consciousness. Some states like Assam deplored the fact that the revenue obtained from the export of tea grown in Assam ended up benefiting other states more than it did the Assamese people, and that it received lesser proportion of Government aid than did larger, more populated states.

Similarly, Tamil linguistic nationalism arose after politicians began pushing for Hindi to be adopted as the national language. Many Tamils felt that Tamil, one of the oldest languages of India and with a rich tradition of literature of its own, would be demoted into a second-level tongue and be pushed into extinction by making of Hindi as the lingua franca of India. Many non-Hindi speaking states have resented the adoption of Hindi, and regional languages are thus given official status for the respective state governments.

But ethnic nationalism also ranges all the way back to 3000 BC, when the Indus Valley Civilization flourished in western India, and the Indo-Aryans first introduced themselves to the subcontinent. Some believe that Indo-Aryans, the aryas, pushed Dravidians (the Dasyus) south. It is even today a matter of debate whether it is true that the Aryans invaded India, as per the widely-debated Aryan Invasion Theory, or if they were actually indigenous peoples of India and spread Out of India. The latter possibility is actively championed by Hindu nationalists in politics, seeking to amend the history curriculum in state-sponsored textbooks. At the same time, many Dravidian and Dalit politicians describe the Aryans as foreign and racist, and equate possible Aryan wars with indigenous peoples as ethnic cleansing. The conflict of modern day Indo-Aryans with the darker-skinned, South-based Dravidian peoples, although more subtle and less important to many, still plays an interesting and indirect role in the progress and problems of India. However, this division of "Aryans" and "Dravidians" is played up only by corrupt politicians and few colonial-era historians of today.

[edit] Nationalism and politics
See Also: Politics of India

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi led India to victory in 1971 against Pakistan, imposed the Indian Emergency, led it to become a nuclear power state in 1974 and is blamed for the Khalistan insurgency and Operation Bluestar - a controversial blend of nationalism and hard politics.

The political identity of the Indian National Congress, India's largest political party and one which controlled government for over 45 years, is reliant on the connection to Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, and the Nehru-Gandhi family which has controlled the Congress since independence. The Congress Party's fortunes up till the 1970s were single-handedly propelled by its legacy as the flagship of India's Independence Movement, and the core platform of the party today evokes that past strongly, considering itself to be the guardian of India's freedom, democracy and unity. Muslims have remained loyal voters of the Congress Party, seen as defender of Nehruvian secularism. Small religious parties have arisen, and Muslim frustrations with communal violence and the aggressive attitudes of Hindu nationalists might lead to the development of a party solely on Islamic religious lines. In contrast, the Bharatiya Janata Party employs a more aggressively nationalistic expression. The BJP seeks to defend the culture and heritage of India and the majority of its people, the Hindu population. It ties nationalism with the aggressive defence of India's borders and interests against archrivals China and Pakistan, with the defence of the majority's right to be a majority. The party's fortunes arose primarily in the 1990s, with the frustration of the people with over 40 years of Congress domination, corruption, sycophant leaders and lack of direction.

Ethnic nationalist parties include the Shiromani Akali Dal, which is closely identified with the creation of a Sikh-majority state in Punjab and includes many Sikh religious leaders in its organization. In Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena uses the legacy of the independent Maratha kingdom under heroes like Shivaji to stir up support, and has adopted Hindutva as well. In Assam, the Asom Gana Parishad is a more state-focused party, arising after the frustration of the ULFA as a benevolent expression of Assamese nationalism. In Tamil Nadu came the first of such parties, the DMK. Today the DMK stands for a collection of parties, with the DMK, the AIADMK, the PMK and the MDMK. Caste-based politics invite the participation of the Bahujan Samaj Party and the party of Laloo Prasad Yadav, who build upon the support of poor low-caste and dalit Hindus in the northern, and most populated states of India like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Almost every Indian state has a regional party devoted solely to the culture of the native people. Unlike the Akali Dal and the AGP, these mostly cannot be called nationalist, as they use regionalism as a strategy to garner votes, building on the frustration of common people with official status and the centralization of government institutions in India.

[edit] Nationalism and military conflicts
See Also: Indo-Pakistani Wars, Military History of India

The Indian Army, over a million troops strong, is the 3rd largest army in the world

India has a long military histoy, establishing empires such as the Chola Empire, Gupta Empire, Magadhan Empire, Maratha Empire, Mauryan Empire, Mogul Empire and Vijayanagara Empire.

During the modern times, Indian armed forces have pursued both objectives of national importance and operations for the UN Peacekeeping Forces. Indian armed forces have achieved goals like destroying most tanks in a post World War II battle theatre during battle of Asal Uttar, taking the maximum number of post World War II prisoners of war during the Bangladesh Liberation War and capturing the world's highest battlefield, the Siachen glacier. Military history, both past and present, serves as a source of nationalist sentiment in India.

[edit] The Kashmir issue

Main Article: History of the Kashmir conflict

The Kashmir question stands as a perpetual roadblock to the rise of India's economic and political power. While the Indian government is prepared to respond to attempts by other countries to seize areas currently controlled by India, it is openly questionable whether India's people would support an offensive operation to take areas that are not currently controlled by India. And as both China and Pakistan have nuclear weapons, this possibility has become even more remote.

The building of stronger commercial and culture relations may possibly point to both India and Pakistan coming closer a solution, which might involve partitioning Kashmir along the Line of Control. The military solution has weakened in practicality and popular imagination ever since the end of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 in 1971 and the signing of the Shimla Agreement.

[edit] New visions

India's economy has rapidly expanded since 1991, and it boasts a huge skilled labor resource pool that has deeply influenced the rise of technology-based industries in India and across the world. Pictured here is the Tidel Park in Chennai, one of the largest software parks in India.

A wide-spread economic boom and industrial expansion, a rising Indian middle-class and a whole new generation of young Indians hold interesting potentials to the changing expression of nationalism in India, and for Indians around the world. What issues and attitudes these new Indians hold important are considerably different from what their forefathers in the 19th and 20th centuries held as important or inviolable.

[edit] India's Growth

See Also: Foreign relations of India; India as an emerging superpower

Many young Indians envisage that by 2020, the Indian economy would be strong enough for India to command a formidable position in world affairs, given that India is already the world's largest democracy, a nuclear power, with the 3rd largest military services in the world and a population exceeding 1 billion. It is one of the few nations that have been considered by media as possible future superpower. It currently meets many of the characteristics of a superpower to the extent that it is labelled an emerging superpower and great power. This growth is a source of pride and nationalism amongst young Indians who foresee living in an advanced Indian society. President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam released a book India 2020, outlining the necessary policies to promote India's social, economic and scientific advancement. India has conducted a major diplomatic campaign to obtain a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council with veto powers. In recent years India and the United States have increased their influence. Some believe that the United States would prefer India over China as a new global power.

Emanating from Cold War times suspicions and close ties with Russia, portions of the Indian public perceive the United States as an arrogant superpower. The Indian government criticized the U.S. for what it saw as attempts to impose the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty upon all nations despite its eventual rejection by American politicians themselves. India also perceives the U.S. economic and military aid to Pakistan as fueling its rival's aggressive designs, and criticizes the U.S. for ignoring Pakistan's long-standing aid to terrorism in Kashmir. Indian public opinion also sees its neighbor China, the most populated nation in the world as its biggest competitor in economic, political and military influence, and the leadership of Asia. The continuing territorial dispute over Aksai Chin and China's military aid to Pakistan contributes to bringing a serious military aspect to this rivalry. However, India and China have created strategic partnerships over energy and oil, and are pursuing extensive trade relations that have created a positive atmosphere. The United States have been increasingly acceptive of India's power and the stepping stones have been laid for a positive relationship with the United States as well.

[edit] Akhand Bharat

It is the vision of many nationalists to one-day see the reversal of the Partition of India, and the reunification of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh into one nation. While the idea of a wide-scale war, and employing violence to force this re-unification is distasteful to all save the most hardcore, and that even hardline Hindu nationalists see the reversal to pre-1947 boundaries as impossible (especially due to the vast proportional majority enjoyed by Muslims in the populations of both Pakistan and Bangladesh), it remains the dream of

many[POV] mainstream Indians, Hindus and Muslims. And while Akhand Bharat is a term used only by Hindu nationalists, many young Indians and some Pakistanis have envisaged a possible loose constitutional union in the future, such as Lal Krishna Advani, the senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Support for a reversal of partition exists in some intellectual circles in Pakistan, who view partition as a great loss for the Muslim community being divided into three nations, rather than utilizing the opportunities and power presented by a united population of 400 million in one, united country. The South Asia Free Trade Agreement and the possible success of the peace process over Kashmir may make this dream feasible one-day in the distant future, which today remains too fantastic to contemplate practically.

See also: Undivided India

[edit] Trans-national expression

Films like Chak De India have revived patriotism among the Indian youth. Main article: Non-resident Indian and Person of Indian Origin

The large expatriate Indian communities in the United States, Western Europe, South East Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Australia have played a role in Indian nationalism as long ago as the Ghadar Party and as recently as the Californian Hindu textbook controversy. As the Indian government's own Singhvi commission notes, "the sun never sets on the Indian diaspora." Yet the cultural transmission model is rapidly transforming from a one-way street, in which the Motherland gives and the diaspora receives, to a twoway street, in which the diaspora is as confidently Indian, sometimes more so, than India itself. Bollystan ("Bolly-" for Bollywood, and "Stan", the Urdu suffix for "land" comprise this term) is a neologism which recognizes this changing balance of power between the home country and its diaspora. Technology has enabled the diaspora to manufacture "Indian-ness" as competently as their home-bound relatives through film, dance, music and even religious practices. These externally produced symbols of Indian-ness have in many ways become the primary representation of India in the West and around the world. The term was first used by Parag Khanna, when he guest edited the UK's ethnic lifestyle magazine Another Generation in Fall 2004 (www.anothergeneration-mag.com). The entire issue was based on the theme of Bollystan, This was subsequently then used in an article in The Globalist.[4] The London-based Foreign Policy Centre think-tank has also recognized Bollystan as a form of "diasporic diplomacy".[5] In the January/February 2005 issue of Foreign Policy magazine, Mitra Kalita of the Washington Post writes, "Finally there is a name for where I live: Bollystan."[6]

[edit] The world's largest democracy

Indians take pride in freedom and democracy reaching to the very grassroots of Indian nation, the noisy Indian political elections are enthusiastically followed by leigons of voters across rural India with the Indian media covering some of the largest political exercises in human history