1)    A continent is a large unbroken land mass, distinguished from an island and peninsula.  India, owing to its geographical isolation by the Himalayas (that are formed by the collision between the Indian continental plate and Eurasian plate) and the cultural and racial differences from the Central Asia and China, should be regarded as a separate continent .  Countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Srilanka etc. which form part of the Indian continent, are not included in the discussion.

The Republic of India , a union of 28 states, is a sovereign, secular, democratic republic with a parliamentary system of Government. The Constitution of India declares, “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.”  This implies that the Indian Union covers all the states, now 28 in number.  The States of Indian Union are listed in Schedule I of the Constitution.  But the Indian parliament has the power to increase or decrease the area of any state or alter its name.  Though it looks like a federation of states like the US, it is not so.  The states in India, except Jammu and Kashmir, do not have their own constitution and have considerably less autonomy than the states in the United States.

The following is a list of the twenty-five Indian states with demographic details.
Area(sq. miles)
Density (persons/sq. mile) 
Official Language(Nationality)
Andhra Pradesh
Telugu (Telugu)
Arunachal Pradesh
Monpa, Aka, Miji, Sherdukpen, Nishi, Hill Miri, Tagin, Adi, Idu, Digaru, Miji, Khampti, Singpo, Tangsa, Nocte and Wancho, (not recognized by the constitution)
Assamese (Assamese)
Hindi (Bihari)
Chattisgar Hindi (Hindi)
Gujarati (Gujarathi)
Hindi (Hindi)
Himachal Pradesh
Hindi (Hindi)
Jammu & Kashmir
Kashmiri (Kashmiri)
Jharkhand Hindi (Hindi)
Kannada (Kannadiga)
Madhya Pradesh
Hindi (Hindi)
Marathi (Marathi)
English (Mizo)
English (Tribals)
Oriya (Oriya)
Punjabi (Punjabi)
Hindi and Nepali (Hindi and Nepali; and Lepcha, Limbu -not recognized by the constitution)
Tamil (Tamil)
 Manipuri and Bengali (Manipuri and Bengali; Kakbark- not recognized by the costitution), 
Uttaranchal Hindi (Hindi)
Uttar Pradesh
Hindi (Hindi)
West Bengal
Bengali (Bengali)

Source: K. M. Mammen,  Manorama Year Book 1997, Malayala Manorama Publications, Kerala, pp. 610-703

2)     Indian Languages: The 1961 and 1971 censuses had listed 1652 languages as mother tongues spoken in India, of which 33 languages are spoken by more than 100,000 people each, of which 18 are officially recognized languages by the constitution (77th amendment added three more to the original list of 15, in 1992): (1) Assamese, (2) bengali, (3) Gujarati, (4) Hindi, (5) Kannada, (6) Kashmiri, (7) Konkani, (8) Malayalam, (9) Manipuri, (10) Marathi, (11) Nepali, (12) Oriya, (13) Punjabi, (14) Sanskrit, (15) Tamil, (16) Telugu, (17) Urdu, (18) Sindhi.  Except Sindhi and Sanskrit, all other languages are supported by a state (supra). In addition, English (19th official language) is recognized as official and link language, until an Indian language takes its place and efforts to replace English by Hindi in the form of Hindi Propagation programs are well funded by central government.   Sahitya Academy (the National Academy of Letters) recognizes twenty two (22) languages, adding three more to the above 19 languages, viz., Dogri, Maithili, and Rajastani.  English has been used by Indians for literary and legislative expression for over 200 hundred years.  Thus, India shows diversity of cultures, languages and geographical features, like a continent rather than a country. Source: K. M. Mammen,  Manorama Year Book 1997, Malayala Manorama Publications, Kerala, pp.461-482.

3)    The people of India are largely the descendants of immigrants across the Himalayas.  It is still debated whether any native race evolved on Indian soil.  The population of India is derived from 5 main race groups:  1. Brachycephalic Nigroids, 2. Proto-Australoids or Austrics, 3. Dravidian or Mediterranian, 4. Mongoloids, and 5. Nordic Aryan.  It may be interesting to note that, even though, the people of India are divided into castes and religions, and strictly prohibited inter-caste and inter-religious marriages till the turn of this century, it is very difficult to define the present Indians into above categories, because of heavy mixing of races through miscegenation.
Brachycephalic (broad headed) Negroids from Africa were the oldest people that migrated to India.  These people are now found only in patches among the hill tribes of south India (Irulas, Kodars, Paniyans and Kurumbas) on the mainland.  But they survive in Andaman Islands, where they have retained their language, the Nicobarese.  They are an inconsequential element in the population of India.
The Austrics of India are a race of medium height, dark (and in some cases black) in complexion with long heads and rather flat noses but otherwise of regular features.  Miscegenation with the earlier Negroids may be the reason for the dark to black pigmentation of the skin and flat noses.  Austric tribes spread over the whole of India, Burma, Malaya and the islands of South East Asia.  The Austrics laid the foundation of Indian civilization.  They cultivated rice and vegetables and made sugar from sugarcane.  Their language has survived in the Kol or Munda speech or Mundari in Eastern and Central India.
Dravidians comprise three sub-types: Paleo-Mediterranean, the true Mediterranean and Oriental Mediterranean.  They appear to be people of same stock as the peoples of Asia Minor and Crete and the pre-Hellenic Aegeans of Greece.  They are reputed to have built the city civilization at Mohenjo-daro and Harappa and other Indus Valley cities.  The Dravidians must have spread to the whole of India, supplanting Austrics and Negritos alike. Now, they are mostly confined to South India, with their advanced languages.
Mongoloids of various types are confined to the north-eastern fringes of India, in Assam, Nagaland, Mizo, Garo and Jainti Hills.  Generally, they are people of yellow complexion, oblique eyes, high cheek bones, sparse hair and medium height.
Nordic Aryans were a branch of Indo-Iranians, who originally migrated from Central Asia, some 5000 years ago, had settled in Mesopotamia for some centuries, and then migrated to India between 2000 and 1500 BC.  Their first home in India was Punjab (Pakistan and India), from where they spread to the valley of the Ganga and beyond.  The Aryans became part of the highly civilized Indus Valley people who had big cities with fortification, brick structures, roads and sewage systems.   People of Indus Valley were essentially city people while the Indo-Iranians were pastoral.  Though it is not exactly known what happened to the Indus Valley Civilization on their encounter with Indo-Iranians, it may be safe to assume that they intermingled with the incoming Indo-Iranians, who adopted the Indus culture as their own, and represented by North Indians. Source: K. M. Mammen,  Manorama Year Book 1997, Malayala Manorama Publications, Kerala, pp. 455-456. See also:

4)    The caste system, a complex network of interdependent yet separated, heriditary, endogamous, occupationally specialized, and hierarchically ordered social groups, is the distinctive social institution of Indian continent, the origins of which are definitely from the tribal, religious and cultural differences between variuos groups.   Caste as an institution transcends the religion.  Brahmins, Muslims, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, Sikhs, Vaishnavites, Shaivites, Veera Shaivites, Shaktites, Christians, Secular humanists, and others in India are all subject to the overarching dictates of caste.  Attempts to break the caste system were made time and again from the days of Lord Buddha. Religions like Buddhism, Veera Shaivism, etc., succeeded momentarily, but the system always resurrected itself with vengeance.
There is no universal system of caste throughout India.  The belief that the Vedic varnashrama dharma was the “caste system in embryo,” seems to be flawed. One may argue that in any society, including European or modern American society, there are four underlying varnas (colors or divisions or groups), the four groups being, intellectuals and priests (Brahmin varna ), rulers and warriors (Kshatriya varna), agriculturists and business persons (Vaishya varna), and other workers (Shudra varna).  Without these four classes there is no society in this world.  Thus if the society is the God, his/her head is the intellectuals and priests, shoulders are the warriors and military, the trunk is the business and agricultural community and finally the legs are the workers who fulfil the basic needs of the society starting from the work in agricultural fields to the temple construction, without which society cannot go forward.  Anybody can become a Brahmin varna (intellectual group), but one has to be born into Brahmin caste to be a Brahmin caste. If there is a confusion it is because the word Brahmin has several meaning including the ultimate God, earthly God, intellectual, teacher, priest, Brahmin tribe/caste.  The caste system is different from the ideal vedik varna system.  Varna is hypothetical, whereas caste is real and plays a major role.

The castes in Andhra Pradesh can be divided into two distinct categories. Brahmin, Komati, Reddy, Kamma, Velama, Kapu, Nayudu, Relli, Mala, Madiga, Yeraka, Yanadi etc., castes are based on their tribal, cultural and religious differences, while the castes like Chakali (washerman), Kummari (potter), Kammari (smith), Kamsali (goldsmith), Mangali (barber) etc are based on their duties.  With a few exceptions like the Brahmin caste, all these castes are uniquely localized in Andhra Pradesh.  Each caste has a deity and distinct social formalities. The interaction between various castes is difficult because of these religious, cultural and tribal considerations.

If we look back into History:
Satavahana Dynasty (221BC-218AD) supported Brahman orthodoxy. The decline of Budhism and Jainism started with the first Satavahana ruler, Simukha,  a Jain initially and converted to Brahminism. Satakarni I was the champion of Vedic religion and performed Rajasuya and Ashwamedha sacrifices.

After Satavahana dynasty Andhra Pradesh was divided into several kingdoms, such as Ikshvakus, Brihatpalayanas, Anandas, Salankayanas, Pitrubhaktas, Matharas, Vasishtas etc.  Ikshwaku dynasti supported Budhism.  Chalukya dynasty (540-1075 AD) was a warrior tribe/caste dynasty and was Vaishnavite, but upheld tribal/caste differences and Vedic learning and supported Brahmins .  Vishnuvardhana was a staunch Vaishnavite and revived Aswamedha , but his queen was a devout Jain! Later kings of the dynasty converted to Shaivism.  Toward the end of the dynasty Virashaivism came to Andhra Pradesh from Karnataka.  Budhism totally declined because of lack of royal support.

Kakatiya Dynasty (1000-1323 AD) was an indigenous power that sprang from the local people (the so-called vedic fourth class, the Sudras). Jainism was prominent during 11th century but was wiped out by Shaivism during this period.  Reddy dynasty (1325-1424AD) was established by Kammas, Velamas, and Reddis, powerful non-Aryan tribes/castes.  Vijayanagara empire (1336-1678 AD), Vijayanagaram city as capital, was ruled by four dynasties in succession:1) Sangama, 2) Saluva, 3) Tuluva, and 4) Aravidu dynasties.  With threat of Islam (an alien religion and culture), various local religions/tribes/castes came together (christened by Islamic invaders as Hindus) to fight against Islam, during this period. The Vijayanagara rulers hailed from local peasant communities and  tried to perpetuate or protect the individual religious/tribal/caste identities.

Today, the society in India is categorized into four broad groups, viz., 1) Forward Communities (FC), 2) Backward Communities (BC), 3) Scheduled Castes (SC), and 4) Scheduled Tribes (ST).  This system was created after independence form British rule of the Indian continent.  Preferential quotas and reservations were established for BCs, SCs, and STs.  The Constitution of India endorses and enforces such discrimination.  This system reinforces the old caste system, while broadly categorizing them.  Here again, any caste can be included into FC community if one attains a certain social stature.  Similarly, if a caste proves to the government that their social and economic status is below that of FC, that caste may be either included into BC, SC, or ST, depending upon their social, economic and ethnic background.  Even today, the social interactions such as marriage and festivals are influenced by caste/tribe.  Inter-caste and inter-religious social intercourse is still not fully accepted.  One can see the power of caste over the society clearly in politics.

The caste/tribal identities of the Chief Minsisters of Andhra Pradesh since the formation of the state on 11-01-1956:
S.No. Name (First/given name Last/family name), Caste,  Date
1 Snjivareddy Neelam,   Reddi (FC),  1956, 62
2 Sanjivaiah Damodaram,  SC,  1960
3 Brahmanadareddy Kasu,  Reddi (Christian?),  1964
4 Venaktanarasimharao Pamulaparti, Niyogi Brahmin,  1971
5 Vengalarao Jalagam,   Velama (FC), 1973
6 Channareddy Marri,   Reddi (FC),  1978, 89
7 Anjaiah Tanguturi,   Reddi/Kapu(??) (BC),  1980
8 Venkatramreddy Bhavanam,  Reddi (FC),  1982
9 Vijayabhaskarareddy Kotla,  Reddi (FC),  1982
10 Tarakaramarao Nandamuri,  Kamma (FC), 1983, 84, 85
11 Bhaskararao Nadendla,  Kamma (FC),  1984 (corrected)
12 Janardhanareddy N.,   Reddi (Christian?) (FC),  1990
13 Vijayabhaskarareddy Kotla,  Reddi (FC)  1992
14 Chandrababunaidu Narra,  Kamma (FC) 1996

Kammas, Reddis, and Velamas belong to indigenous agricultural communities who are now classified as forward classes (FC).  As mentioned earlier, ancient Andhra rulers were mostly powerful local agricultural communities, who supported the caste/tribal/religious distinctions in the name of law and order in the society to protect the tribal/religious purity.

From the times of Buddha there were attempts to dismantle the caste system, but the caste system was always revived by the kings who converted to Sanatana Dharma or new religions like Vaishnavism or Shaivism. The castes were revised several times by religious conversions.  Brahmins of darker complexion may be considered such upward revision of dark skinned non-Aryan local priests and thereby creating new Brahmin sub-castes. Inter-subcaste marriages among Brahmins, though not appreciated, are taking place nowadays.

As mentioned earlier,  the Indian Constitution revised and defined the caste system into four new categories. The law provides strict penalties for those who try to convert into any lower caste to gain benefits. By law, the caste is determined at the birth.  Thus, labeling and separation of the society into well-defined castes has been perfected by the secular government, and caste politics continue to be the rule of the game! The Vedic Varnashrama Dharma is reinvigorated into a new Phoenix of four heads and hundreds of colors once again and will live so long as the preferntial quotas/affirmative action for preferred classes exists.

Even in the North America, the Telugu nationality is divided along the lines of caste, e.g., the Telugu Association of North America is dominated by Kamma caste where as the American Telugu Association is dominated by Reddy caste.

For more on caste see also: ref. 18; Mark Galanter, Law and Society in Modern India, Oxford University Press, New York, 1994, pp. 103-141; Robert W. Stern, Changing India, Cambridge University Press, New York, p.43 and pp. 52-83. Karen Isaksen Leonard, The South Asian Americans, Greenwood Press, Westport, p. 95.

5)    The word ‘Hinduism’ encompasses numerous independent religions of Indian origin. Hinduism is derived  from the word Hindu, which is a Persian name for those people who live near and beyond the river Indus or Sindhu, who didn’t practice Islam or Christianity or Judaism and meant as such irreligious.  The alternate word used for Hindu by Muslims was “kafir or non-believer.”   The European word for Hindu is Indu or Indi or Indian, which ultimately gained popularity because of the British colonization. Even though the origin is same for both words Hindu and Indian, the former refers to religion and the later refers to citizenship.

The Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary defines Hinduism as the common religion of India, based upon the original Aryan settlers as expounded and evolved in the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavadgita, etc having an extremely diversified character with many schools of philosophy and theology, many popular cults, and a large pantheon symbolizing the many attributes of a single god.  But this definition is not completely correct, because it gives an idea that there was a Hinduism in the beginning which diversified to the present Hinduism just like the Christianity diversified and evolved to the present state of many sects.  The fact is that Hinduism includes religions like Brahminism, Sikhism, Jainism, Budhism, Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Veerashaivism, Shaktism, Tantrism etc., which are vastly different from each other.  The Brahminism is still independent from the local religions.  A Brahmin is a twice-born worshipper of the Sun God (Savitar) and not all Hindus are twice born!

There is a vast literature developed by Brahmins to interrelate various religions by marrying different Gods and Goddesses in mythology.  This was possible because the king was considered the incarnation of God and his conquests and marriages were given religious color and included in mythology to reduce the tensions between various religions that had to live together.  Even a cursory reading of Puranas (mythology) explains how various religions fought with each other and reconciled to each other.  For example, in Ramayana (Raamaayana), Lord Rama (Raama) is a North Indian Aryan king of Ayodhya and was the incarnation of Vishnu.  He invades and fights a bitter war and kills Ravana (Raavana), the mighty king of Sri Lanka, who is a worshipper of Lord Shiva.  In Vaishnavite mythology (Srimad-Bhaagavata), Lord Vishnu reincarnates several times to protect Aryans and Brahmins and kills the demons, Lord Shiva’s worshippers, who defy the supremacy of Lord Vishnu and the rule of Aryan Kings and Brahmins.  Rama, Krishna, Narasimha etc. are popular Shri Vishnu incarnations.

The reconciliation is achieved by 1) the conversion of the demons to Vaishnavism, e.g., Prahlada accepts Vaishnavism and helps Narasimha (Lord Vishnu) in killing his own Shaivite father, the king of black skinned demons and establishes rule of Dharma (law and order), and 2) by incorporating local dominant tribe/caste into the pantheon, e.g., dark skinned Krishna belongs to north Indian Yadava caste/tribe, who fights the hegemony of Indra, the God of Aryans.  Thus Brahmins were very flexible in terms of names and forms of Gods since they beleived the ultimate God is the same and praised the God with million names and forms, while maintaining their caste/tribe purity.

One can see the hatred toward Brahmins in South India even today.  The caste conflicts in India include the religious/tribal/cultural differences.  Bitter rivalry (tribal) between various castes still exists, but the religious part of the conflict is overshadowed by the conflict with an alien religion Islam for over thousand years, which helped the Hinduism to consolidate in an unprecedented way.

Though there is no conflict anymore within Indian religions, every state has a dominant God different from the rest, e.g., Andhra Pradesh-Lord Venkateswara/Sreenivaasa, Tamilnadu-Murugan, Kerala-Ayyappa, Maharashtra-Ganapathi, West Bengal-Kali/Durga and so on. For more on Hinduism or Indian Religions see: S. Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, Oxford University Press, New York, 1923; Jonathan Z. Smith (ed.), The Harper Collins Dictionary of Religion, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 1995. Nirad C. Chaudhuri, Hinduism- A Religion To Live By, Oxford University Press, New York, 1996; Hermann Kulke and Dietmer Rothermund, A History of India, Routledge, New York, 1996, pp. 138-161.

6)    Separating the nationalist ideal from the demand for independent sovereign statehood and acknowledging the multinational and continental nature of the Indian Union might allow nationalism to retain its alliance with democratic ideals and play a role in preserving the Indian Union,  in which the cross-national cooperation on a variety of economic ecological, strategic questions cannot be ignored.

At present, in India there is an ongoing effort to impose a single Indian nationality for the benefit of unity and integrity of India.  There has been an attempt over the past 50 years to develop Hindi as a common language and as the only national language. Hindi gained constitutional validity as National language, through a Presidential vote. When there was a tie and the constituent assembly could not reach a consensus the then President, being a Hindi, voted for it. Ordinarily, the president should vote for the status quo, but here the president exercised his power to promote his mother tongue.  The government of India, based on that constitutional blunder, proclaims Hindi as National Language and mandates a compulsory learning of Hindi in all those non-Hindi speaking states, which is followed in all states except in Tamilnadu and Jammu-Kashmir.  Thus, in Andhra Pradesh, High school students are burdened with learning three languages- Hindi, English and Telugu. Though, it is good to learn many languages, forced teaching of any language is nothing but acculturation.  It should be the voluntary learning, where the schools provide a choice of various languages.  English has gained such voluntary adoration. Now in India many rich parents consider it prestigious to send their children to English medium schools, despite the best efforts of the central government to discourage English and encourage Hindi, and a constitutional direction to eliminate English as official link language by 1965.

7)    Andhra Pradesh (AP) is the fifth largest state in India, both in area and population.  AP is strategically situated in the south central India and forms a major link between north and south of India. The present Andhra Pradesh is the first state formed purely on linguistic basis in India, on November 1, 1956..  The state can be devided into three regions based on language, culture and history, viz., Andhra (part of British Madras State), Telangana (part of independent Hyderabad State), and Rayalaseema.  There are vast differences between these three regions in terms of economy also.  Though the word Andhra denotes a major and dominant Telugu dialect of coastal Andhra, it is equally applicable to the people and language of whole of Andhra Pradesh.  Since the formation of the state in 1956 based on language, there have been movements for the division of the state into separate states for the protection of independent cultures and dialects from being dominated by economically dominant and more literate coastal Andhras.

AP has a widely diversified agricultural base with a variety of cash crops. It is surplus in food grain and is the granary of the south.  Agricultural sector accounts for 50% of the State’s income and provides livelihood for 70% of the population.  There are 828 medium and large scale industries with a capital investment of Rs 1,17,63,00,00,000 (~$ 3.36 billion).  It has 14 universities, namely, Andhra University, Agricultural University, Open University, University of Hyderabad, Jawaharlal Nehru Technology University, Osmania University, Nagarjuna University, Srikrishna Devaraya Univesrity,  Sri padmavathi Mahila Viswa Vidyalayam, Telugu University, University of Health Science, and Kakatiya University.  AP has Council of Scientific and Industrial Research laboratories and National Institutes, such as Central Institute of English and Foreign languages, National Institute of Nutrition, Centre for Cellular, Molecular Biology, National Geographical Research Institute, Indian Institute of Chemical Sciences, etc.

Andhra society is one of the ancient societies of India. One can encounter several tales about Andhras in epics like Mahabharatam and Ramayanam, in great puranas, and Budhdhist Jataka Tales. This confirms the ancient nature of Andhra society.  According to Mahabharata, Sahadeva (one of the five of the Pandava clan) defeated the kingdoms of Pandya, Dravida, Odhra, Kerala, Andhra, and Kalinga while performing the Rajasooya yajna ( a ritual performed by an emperor by sending a sacred horse followed by a huge army to protect the horse and to defeat any one who does not accept the suzerainty by obstructing the passage of the horse through his/her kingdom). Later Andhras supported the Kauravas during the battle between Kauravas and Pandavas.  Aitreya Brahmanam, written in 1000 BC, tells us that Andhras lived on the south side of Vindhya.

Except for a few short periods in the history, Telugus maintained their independence and sovereignty, until they joined the Indian Union. Source: INF www <> and P. R. Rao, History and Culture of Andhra Pradesh; Romilla Thapar, A History of India.

8)    Romilla Thapar, A History of India, 1, pp109-137; Hermann Kulke and Dietmer Rothermund, A History of India, Routledge, New York, 1996, pp. 40-48,  and ref. 3.

9)    P. R. Rao, History and Culture of Andhra Pradesh, p92; Romilla Thapar, A History of India, 2, pp. 331-336.

10)    K. M. Mathew(ed.), Manorama Year Book, 1997, pp. 535-543; Government of India www<>; J. C. Johari,  The Indian Democracy- Our Constitution, Learners Press, New Delhi, 1995.

11)     Usually in Telugu, the family name is written first and then the given name.  The family name is known as house name (inti peru) and the given name is known simply as peru (name). ‘Rao (Raa Wu)’ is simply a title similar to Mr. or Sir and is a suffix for many Telugu given names and it is not in itself a name.  Telugu names are long when written in Roman script and are abbreviated for convenience when written in English.  Even though Telugu compound words always should be written together as one word, just like compound English words, this form of breaking a compound name into several and abbreviating it became very popular as English became popular.  Many Telugus confuse and donot follow a any standard.  When they write North Inidan names like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, they abreviate in the European way as A. B. Vajpayee by abbreviating the given name, while abreviating teh Telugu names in the opposite way as in P. V. N. Rao, where the last/family name is Pamulaparti, much to the confusion of the whole world including Telugus.  This has resulted in misunderstanding of Telugu names.  Several Telugus who migrated to other States in the Inidan Union and outside the Indian Union have chosen their family names to be 'Rao,' due to this confusion.

Pamulaparti Venkatanarasimharao (P.V.N. Rao) is the first Telugu Brahmin to become Prime Minister of modern India.  He is popularly known as PV.  He is a scholar, polyglot, journalist and a politician.  He was the Prime Minister of India from 1991 to 1996, and was responsible for the economic liberalization.

12) (a)     Mark Galanter, Law and Society in Modern India, Oxford University Press, New York, 1994, pp. 15-99.

    (b)    Robert W. Stern, Changing India, Cambridge University Press,New York, p.43 and pp. 165-179; See for a general account of status of women according to shariat in Islam world wide: Weibke Walther, “Women In Islam,” Princeton, 1981.  In India, Muslim clergy and leaders are not really interested in the uplift of Muslims.  The politics of religion is the rule of the game.  So, the Shariat,  with all its medieval personal laws, remains in force in India, e.g., a Muslim man is allowed to have four wives, and he can divorce by simply pronouncing ‘talaq’ three times,  while some Muslim countries are modernizing their laws, changing according to the times respecting women’s rights.  No secular or Hindu leader will dare to suggest changes in Muslim personal law in India.  No Muslim leader is willing to suggest changes in the Muslim personal law against the wishes of Muslim clergy and uneducated population.

13)    Frank H. Foster and Robert L. Shook, Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1993, pp. 3-23; W. R.  Cornish,  Intellectual Property: Patents, Copyright, Trade Marks and Allied Rights, Universal Book Traders,  New Delhi, 1995, pp. 3-14.

14)    V. Malik, Law for Cenemas, Videos and Computer Programmes, Eastern Book Company, Lucknow, 1995;  S. K. Chowdhary and H. K. Saharay, Law of Trade Marks Copyright Patents and Designs, Kamal Law House, Calcutta, 1996.

15)     US doubts India’s Ability to Enforce Copyright Act, Business Line (The Hindu), September 04, 1997.

16)    NASSKIT  To Spot Software Piracy, Business Line (The Hindu), August 08, 1997.

17)    Sidney Moss, Charles Dickens’ Quarrel with America, 1984;  James Boyle, Shamans, Software and Spleens, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1996, pp. 3.

18)    Nehru-Khan-Gandhi Dynasty: Jawaharlal Nehru was the first prime minister of modern India, and he ruled the country from 1947 to 1964.  He was born on 14th November 1889, to Motilal and Swarup Rani Nehru.  The family belonged to a Kashmiri Brahmin tribe called ‘Pundit.’ However, Jawaharlal Nehru proudly announced in public that he was educated in the West, had an Islamic upbringing and that he was a Hindu only by an accident.

Indira Gandhi, daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, became prime minister of India in 1966. Mrs. Gandhi was born on November 19, 1917 to Jawaharlal and Kamala Nehru.  She was named Indira Priyadarshini Nehru. She fell in love and decided to marry Feroze Khan, a family friend. Feroze Khan’s father, Nawab Khan, was a Muslim, and mother was a Persian Muslim.  Jawaharlal Nehru did not approve of the inter-caste marriage for political reasons.  If Indira Nehru were to marry a Muslim she would loose the possibility of becoming the heir to the future Nehru dynasty.  At this juncture, Mahatma Gandhi intervened and adopted Feroze Khan, gave him his last name (family name/caste name) and got the name of Feroz Khan changed to Feroz Gandhi by an affidavit in England. Thus, Feroze Khan became Feroze Gandhi.  Though Mahatma belonged to Bania/Gandhi caste (a business tribe) the proposal was acceptable to Nehru for political reasons. Indira Nehru married Feroze (Khan) Gandhi in 1942 and became Indira Gandhi, which helped her politically as daughter of Nehru (the first Prime Minister of the Indian Union) and daughter–in-law of Gandhi (the father of the nation) securing her place in the future Nehru-Gandhi dynasty (based on    Another story is that Feroz had a Parsi father whose surname was "GHANDI" not "GANDHI". That was made clear by an advertisement in a major English newspaper of Allahabad. It was Mahatma Gandhi who suggested to Nehru that Feroze's surname be spelt as "GANDHI" instead of the original "GHANDI". An RSS columnist wrote that "Ghandi's" mother was a Muslim, and since an offspring takes on the religion of its mother, Feroz ought to be considered a Muslim. (According to Mr. Arvind Lavakare in a personal communication to me). (see ref. 3 for an account on caste in India).

She ruled the country from 1966 to 1984, except for a short period from 1977 to 1980. 

Rajiv Roberto (Khan) Gandhi was born to Indira (Khan) Gandhi and Feroze (Khan) Gandhi. He converted to Christianity to marry Catholic Italian Sonia Maino (based on He became prime minister in 1984 after Indira was assassinated by her own bodyguards.  He ruled the country for 5 years from 1984 to 1989.  The Nehru- (Khan)-Gandhi dynasty ended as Sonia, declined to accept the power, after Rajiv was assassinated in 1991. (The non-charismatic leaders of Congress (I) party handed over the reins of the party to Sonia, who is now willing to lead the Indian Union).

The Nehru-Khan-Gandhi dynasty and the veneration and worship of Catholic Italian Sonia Maino (Khan) Gandhi by the Congress party as well as Hindu masses throughout India can be considered as great examples of Indian secularism.

19)    S. S. Marathe, Regulation and Development - India’s Policy Experience of Controls over Industry, New Delhi, Sage, 1986, p. 24.

20)    Indian Investment Center, Partners in Progress 1960-1985, Silver Jubilee Brochure, 1985.

21)    V. R. Panchamukhi, Trade Policies of India - A Quantitative Analysis, New Delhi, Concept Publishing, 1978, p. 37.

22)    Technology development - Research and Development Plan for Electronics and Communications, Part 2: Computers and Control Systems,” IPAG Journal, 1, 4, January 1974, New Delhi, P. 426.

23)    Government of India, Report of Electronics Committee, Bhabha Committee, Mumbai (Bombay), February 1966, p. 10.

24)    Ahluwalia, The Role of Policy in Industrial Development, p. 13

25)    Government of India, Report of Electronics Committee, Bhabha Committee, Mumbai (Bombay) February 1966, p. 111.

26)    C. Subrahmanian, India and the Computer- A study of Planned Development, Oxford University Press, 1992, pp. 2-3.

27)    Hans-Peter Brunner, India’s Computer Industry: Policy, Industry Structure, and Technological Change, Ph.D. Dissertation, UMCP, 1990, p. 87.

28)    GOI, Department of Electronics, Responsibilities of Electronic Commission, Electronic Information and Planning, 3, No. 6, 1976, pp. 478-79.

29)    J. M. Grieco, Between Dependency and Autonomy: India’s Experience with the International Computer Industry, Berkley, Univ. of California Press, p. 98.

30)    Government of India, Department of Electronics, Annual Reports, 1973-4, New Delhi, 1974, p. 34.

31)    J. M. Grieco, Between Dependency and Autonomy: India’s Experience with the International Computer Industry, Berkley, Univ. of California Press, p. 21.

32)    Ahluwalia, Industrial Growth in India, pp. 155-157.

33)    Hans-Peter Brunner, India’s Computer Industry: Policy, Industry Structure, and Technological Change, Ph.D. Dissertation, UMCP, 1990, p. 83.

34)    C. Subrahmanian, India and the Computer- A study of Planned Development, 1992, pp. 1-37.

35)    GOI, Department of Electronics, The Electronics Plan 1978-1983, Electronic Information and Planning 6, no1, Oct. 1978, pp. 120-34; “18 Units Licensed to make Minicomputers,’ Economic Times, 3 Nov. 179, p. 1.

36)    GOI, Department of Electronics, Electronics Information and Planning 11, no 6, March 1984, pp. 286-287.

37)    C. Subrahmanian, India and the Computer- A study of Planned Development, 1992, pp. 1-37 and pp. 65-66.

38)    Paul Krugman, Is Free Trade Passe´? J. of Economic Perspectives, 1, no. 2 (1987), pp. 134-38;  Hpack and L. E. Westphal, “Industrial Strategy and Technological Change: Theory versus Reality,”  J. of Development Economics, 22 (1986), pp. 87-128.

39)    Hans-Peter Brunner, “India’s Computer Industry: Policy, Industry Structure, and Technological Change,” Ph.D. Dissertation, UMCP, 1990, pp.96-9.

40)    Clive Crook, A Survey of India, The Economist, May 4, 1991.

41)    C. Subrahmanian, India and the Computer- A study of Planned Development, 1992, p 310.

42)    Big Bytes, Business Line (The Hindu), June 12, 1997.

43)    Government of India www<>

44)    Jawaharlal Nehru’s speech at the constituent assembly, New Delhi, on August 14, 1947; reprinted in Gopal, 1983, pp. 76-7.

45)    For the past fifty years there was no change in the ruling party, except for a negligible short period.  Though the power has changed hands in the last elections, the government is still controlled by Congress (I) party.  It resembles ‘one party rule’ in the erstwhile communist USSR.

46)    Building A Reliable S And T Database, editorial, The Hindu, November 4, 1995.

47)    Personal experience.  See for more on preferential discrimination: Mark Galanteer, Law and Society in Modern India, Oxford University Press, New York, 1994, pp. 185-233; Robert W. Stern, Changing India, Cambridge University Press,New York, p.43 and pp. 78-83.

48)    Hans-Peter Brunner, India’s Computer Industry: Policy, Industry Structure, and Technological Change, Ph.D. Dissertation, UMCP, 1990, pp. 1-58.

49)    K. M. Mathew (ed), Manorama Year Book,  1997, pp. 610-685.

50)    Berta Gomez, Global Software Piracy Continues To Rise, Says New Survey, United States Information Agency (USIA), 1997,  at USIA www <>

51)    Wisner Allays Fear Over Super 301, Business Line (The Hindu), May 29, 1997.

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