India at 72: Turning points of Independent India

Incredible India, Incredible Journey, 72th Independence day, Goods and Services Tax, GST, Demonetisation, Mars Orbiter Mission
India at 72: Turning points of Independent India

India completes 72 years of Independence. In over seven decades. The country has seen many ups and downs as it embarked on its journey of growth and development.

It doesn’t seem so long back when Pandit Nehru hoisted the flag on August 15th, in 1947 to the present when PM Modi will address from the Red Fort.

Things have changed a lot for India in a way that no one had ever imagined before Independence. Yet, one question still remains, what exactly has changed in India?

The answer lies in history itself. Certain situations and events that prompted India to write its own future course.

NewsMobile brings to you, this ‘road travelled’ by India in a nutshell:

India-China war

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Indo-China war in 1962 was one of the first and the biggest blow to Independent India, which led to a massive loss for the nation.

The aftermath of the war saw sweeping changes made to the Indian military to prepare it for similar conflicts in the future. In turn, it also placed pressure on the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who was viewed responsible for failing to anticipate the Chinese attack.

1,383 Indians were killed, 1,696 went missing and nearly 4,000 were captured by the Chinese during the war.

Bhakra Dam

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Elevated as a temple of modern India by the then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, construction of the Bhakra-Nangal multipurpose dam was started by pouring the first bucket of concrete on November 18, 1955, and was completed on October 22, 1963. One of the largest all concrete dams in the world laid out on River Sutlej, the Bhakra dam, other than generating electricity, ushered in the Green Revolution. It helped the nation achieve food self-sufficiency; a no means feat for a country as large as India.

ALSO READ: Inside India’s presidential abode

Indo-Pak war 1965

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The Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 was a culmination of clashes that took place between April 1965 and September 1965 between Pakistan and India.

This war started after Pakistan launched Operation Gibraltar, which was designed to infiltrate forces into Jammu and Kashmir to precipitate an insurgency against rule by India.

In light of the failure of the Sino-Indian War, the outcome of the 1965 war was viewed as a “politico-strategic” victory in India. The Indian premier, Lal Bahadur Shastri, was hailed as a national hero in India.

Indo-Pak war 1971

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The Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 was a direct military confrontation between India and Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.

Lasting for just 13 days, it is considered to be one of the shortest wars in history.
The war stripped Pakistan, with nearly one-third of its army in captivity, clearly established India’s military dominance of the subcontinent.
In spite of the magnitude of the victory, India was surprisingly restrained in its reaction. Mostly, Indian leaders seemed pleased by the relative ease with which they had accomplished their goals—the establishment of Bangladesh and the prospect of an early return to their homeland of the 10 million Bengali refugees who were the cause of the war. In announcing the Pakistani surrender, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared in the Indian Parliament:

“Dacca is now the free capital of a free country. We hail the people of Bangladesh in their hour of triumph. All nations who value the human spirit will recognize it as a significant milestone in man’s quest for liberty.”

Emergency (1975-77)

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“The Emergency” refers to a 21-month period in 1975–77 when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi unilaterally had a state of emergency declared across the country.

Invoking article 352 of the Indian Constitution, Gandhi granted herself extraordinary powers and launched a massive crackdown on civil liberties and political opposition. The Government used police forces across the country to place thousands of protesters and strike leaders under preventive detention. Vijayaraje Scindia, Jay Prakash Narayan, Raj Narayan, Morarji Desai, Charan Singh, Jivatram Kripalani, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani, Satyendra Narayan Sinha and other protest leaders were immediately arrested.
It was considered as the ‘darkest period of the Indian Democracy.’

The move by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi led to the defeat of Congress in 1977 general election and India got its first Non-Congress government with Janata Party and Morarji Desai became the Prime Minister.

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Anti-Sikh riots

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The assassination of India’s then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, by two of her Sikh Bodyguards (Satwant Singh and Beant Singh) on 31st October 1984 in the aftermath of Operation Blue Star gave rise to “1984 Anti Sikh Riots.”

Operation Blue Star was the Indian Army’s assault on the Holy Golden Temple in Amritsar headed by Indira Gandhi herself. The riots were a series of pogroms against Sikhs in India by Anti Sikh mobs.

Operation Blue Star (3-8 June 1984) was initiated by Gandhi in order to establish control over the Golden Temple and remove Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, his armed followers and other Sikh separatists who were stockpiling weapons.

Operation Blue Star turned out to be successful, but its consequence lead to assassination of Iron Woman of India. As a result anti-sikh riots were erupted in the northern region of India, especially in areas around the national capital. A total of 2,800 deaths were reported in the act.

India welcomes liberalisation

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It was the year 1991, after dissolution of Soviet Russia and India facing economic crises, then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, along with his finance minister Manmohan Singh, initiated the economic liberalisation of 1991.

The reforms did away with the Licence Raj, reduced tariffs and interest rates and ended many public monopolies, allowing automatic approval of foreign direct investment in many sectors.

This has been accompanied by increases in life expectancy, literacy rates and food security, although urban residents have benefited more than rural residents.

Kargil war

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Kargil war was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir along the Line of Control (LOC). In India, the conflict is also referred to as Operation Vijay which was the name of the Indian operation to clear the Kargil sector.

The cause of the war was the infiltration of Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants into positions on the Indian side of the LOC, which serves as the de facto border between the two states.

The Indian army launched its final attacks in the last week of July; as soon as the Drass sub-sector had been cleared of Pakistani forces, the fighting ceased on July 26. The day has since been marked as Kargil Vijay Diwas in India.

Kargil war was one of the biggest war achievements for India under the leadership of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

From the end of the war until February 2000, the Indian stock market rose by more than 30%. The Indian government severed ties with Pakistan and increased defence preparedness. India increased its defence budget as it sought to acquire more state of the art equipment.

India becomes polio free nation

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In 1995, following the Polio Eradication Initiative of World Health Organization (1988), India launched Pulse Polio Immunisation Program along with Universal Immunisation Program aiming 100% coverage.

After January 13, 2011 no polio case has been reported in India. Only in 2009, the country accounted for half of the world’s polio cases but for more than two years, no case has been reported from anywhere in the country. It remains one of India’s sweetest success stories.

Mars Orbiter Mission

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In 2014, India touched a benchmark after setting a record for reaching Planet Mars in the first attempt through its Mars Orbiter Mission.

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan is a space probe orbiting Mars since 24 September, 2014. It was launched on 5 November, 2013 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

After a 298-day of its launch, it was successfully inserted into Mars orbit on 24 September, 2014, which created a benchmark for Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

India suffered, India was questioned, India developed; in 68 years of independence, India saw almost everything and time will not stop. So let’s join our hands and pave the path to a better India.

Demonetisation

On 8 November 2016, the Government of India announced the demonetisation of all ₹500 and ₹1,000 bank notes. The government claimed that the action would curtail the shadow economy and crack down on the use of illicit and counterfeit cash to fund illegal activity and terrorism. The sudden nature of the announcement—and the prolonged cash shortages in the weeks that followed—created significant disruption throughout the economy, threatening economic output.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation in an unscheduled live televised address at 20:00(IST) on November 8. In the announcement, PM Modi declared that use of all ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes would be invalid past midnight, and announced the issuance of new ₹500 and ₹2000 banknotes in exchange for the old banknotes.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

The biggest tax reform since Independence, Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an indirect tax which was introduced in India on 1 July 2017 and was applicable throughout India which replaced multiple cascading taxes levied by the central and state governments.

The GST is governed by a GST Council and its Chairman is the Finance Minister of India. Under GST, goods and services are taxed at the following rates, 0%, 5%, 12% ,18% and 28%. There is a special rate of 0.25% on rough precious and semi-precious stones and 3% on gold.

Let’s join hands and pave the path for a better India.

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