Sunday, April 25, 2010

Story of India Assignment

Story of India
Indus Valley
1. Harappa contained items such as large bathing areas, and wells which were very advanced for their time. They also contained individual living quarters with houses and gathering buildings.
2. In terms of agriculture, monsoons can cause problems because they are so erratic. If they are expected to come on a certain day, but they are delayed, it can cause a draught, and have a large economic impact. In trade, the roads are very hard to maintain due to the heavy rainfall brought on by the monsoons.

The Ganges River
1. According to scriptures, the Ganges is not only mentioned multiple times, but the river itself is thought to be a Goddess and a tradition. The river is used as a cremation ground for many religious Hindus.
2. Karma is considered to be a spiritual law which is produced by words, thoughts, and actions. I think that the same way that Christian’s view people using the Lord’s name in vain is disrespectful; I would imagine that Hindu’s feel the same way about something like Karma.

Tamil Nadu
1. The British wanted Tamil Nadu for its important role in trade. The East India trading company found the area to be of particular value.
2. Tamil Nadu traded spices, cloth, and plants to Rome for coins, wine, and other items. They did not import nearly as much as they exported.

Edicts of Ashoka
4. The law of cause and effect is the most important teaching of Buddha to today’s world. Everything that we do has a reaction, and if more people considered this it would be wise.

3. Modern agriculture only survives today as such a large employer due to heavy government subsidies. That is the reason that the GDP output is so low. As we have read, India is quickly becoming the “back office” center of the world. Their economy is shifting from being agrarian in nature to being more technologically based. Agriculture is still a large need in the country, especially due to the number of people that need to be fed. I think that it might diminish some in economic output, but the production output will need to remain high.

2. Babur was a direct descendant of Timur, and of Genghis Khan, two influential leaders throughout history.
3. Throughout history, the Khyber Pass has been an important trade route, as well as being a strategic military position. The pass connects Pakistan and Afghanistan. Throughout history many conquerors have used the pass to wage war against India. Some of the most prominent include: Cyrus the Great, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Babur the Tiger, and many others. All were seeking conquest of India.

1. Allahabad means “City of God” and the fact that it still carries that name today indicates a level of spirituality. In 2001 marking the festival which happens every 144 years, Allahabad held a gathering of 60 million people, which made it the largest gathering in the world. This level of dedication is a clear indicator that the historical spirituality is alive and well no matter how modernized the society becomes.
4. After the Great Rebellion of 1857, the British had an excuse to dissolve the East India Trading Company, and take formal control of the subcontinent for itself. The queen named herself the Empress of India. The British government was now in charge of running India.

1. The secular constitution is important to the stability of India because of the incredibly diverse nature of the Indian democracy. While the majority tends to rule the country, if the constitution had been written strictly by the majority, there would be many other religions in the region which would be discriminated against (even more than they currently are), and many possibly banished from the country. The stability of the country would most certainly be threatened with a religion-based government. There is already so much religious violence, that any state-controlled version would cause major problems, as well as renouncement from the world-wide community.

Fatehpur Sikri
3. I do not think that a universal religion could work in modern day times. The intention is to unify people, but it usually has the opposite effect. People have so much history and culture and tradition tied to their religion that having to sacrifice any of it as part of a unified religion would never be accepted.

Science and Medicine
1. Yoga has become popular outside of India because it fits in to many people’s taste for something that is pure and natural. We have such a synthetic and manufactured world, that a chance for relax and exercise and meditation is very enticing to many people. It is a chance to slow down the fast paced life.

Performing Arts
1. Dance plays an important role in Indian Culture. It has roots in Religion, especially in religious ceremonies, and other events. It is also used with narrative forms, and as a part of mythology.

Taj Mahal
1. The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum which was built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal, the recently deceased wife of the ruler, Shah Jahan.
2. The giant dome in the center, as well as the tall minarets are the most impressive architectural elements of the Taj Mahal in my view.

Partition and Independence
1. After a long period of British rule, many in India surely felt that it would be a perfect chance to assert their religious culture within the government now that it was not being suppressed by the government. The Indian National Congress foresaw the problems which I talked about earlier as to why it would be a bad idea to allow this influence.
3. The Indian’s used WW2 as a chance for subversion against the British. The British first enlisted the help of the Indian’s in exchange for their independence, but that deal was never struck. The Indian’s then went to Japan for help. Although they picked the wrong side to support, they ultimately won their independence.