In this chapter the continental nature of the Indian Union, the social structure, the government, the
Constitution, the judicial and legal systems are briefly explained. The purpose of this section is to acquaint the reader with the political and cultural situation in India for a better appreciation of the problems faced by the largest democracy in the world.


India is a geographic term, like Europe. The Indian Continent 1  is a vast region of people of many languages2, many groups of people3 of widely disparate customs, and a multitude of castes.4

The Indian continent has many varied but related religions which are collectively dubbed "Hinduism.5"  Hinduism, as it is known and interpreted today, is a mixture of independent religions which fought among  themselves and came to understand and respect each other.  Hindu is a synonym for Indu/Indi, which is derived from the Sindhu located in Pakistan.

The idea of an Indian nationality or Indian nation6 is very recent.  Before the British came to Indian continent, large parts of the continent were occasionally brought under the control of one region or another, but all of the empires eventually fragmented into independent kingdoms. The Mughal Dynasty (1526-1707) was the last pre-British empire in the North extending from Afghanistan to Myanmar (Burma) borders, and from Kashmir to Andhra borders. The Mughal Dynasty could not conquer coastal Andhra, Chennai (Madras) and Myanmar. British India included Myanmar, coastal Andhra and Chennai, but not Afghanistan, Hyderabad, Kashmir and some other princely states. The present India does not include Myanmar, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh or Nepal.

A nationality is a group of people having a common origin, tradition, and language and capable of forming or actually constituting a nation-state. For example, the Telugu nationality in the state of Andhra Pradesh7, where 71 million people (1998 estimate) of a distinct culture and language called Telugu or Andhra live.  Andhra Pradesh is one of the twenty-five states in the Indian Union. The Telugus with a recorded history of more than 2,000 years are distinct from the rest of India. Telugu language belongs to Dravidian group of languages, which has no relationship with the Indo-European languages of North India. The fact that Andhra Pradesh is not a sovereign state does not reduce Andhra/Telugu nationality to a nonentity. Thus, the present Indian Union is a multinational continental state.

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