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Welcome to India - A Land that stands for ‘Unity in Diversity’

Updated on August 15, 2015
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I, along with a strong 1.27 billion nation, take the honor of inviting all my hubbers for the Independence day celebrations....come do join hands with us. On this day, 15th Aug, 1947 India got freedom from the British Rule. The 69th Independence day is a National Festival, celebrated with great joy, splendor and respect for India, which is affectionately known as Bharat and Hindustan. On this happy occasion I would like to take you on a virtual journey of my beloved country, through the modes of celebrations to the essence of freedom struggle, from its past to the incredible present….come and explore the rich traditions and culture that instantly make you feel home.

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Independence Day Celebrations

On this auspicious day, Indians pay homage to their leaders and the freedom fighters who lend their valuable lives for the cause of Freedom. All the important Government buildings and offices are decorated with lights and tricolor flags. National, state and local government offices and banks remain closed.

On this august occasion the President of India delivers a speech "Address to the Nation", whereas the Prime Minister unfurls India's flag and delivers a speech at the Red Fort, situated in Delhi. Cultural programs organized in which representatives from all the states and union territories participate along with the taboo of representing the culture of their respective states. The Government also makes special arrangements for the display of their defense and cultural heritage. Thousands of people gather to witness the grandeur of display and cultural activities in Delhi.

In similar fashion all the States organize flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural programs by involving schools, organizations and institutions. On this joyous occasion, most of the people prefer to celebrate with the family and close friends, choose to go to picnic or visit a garden, watch movies or organize lunch or dinner for friends and relatives in resorts or restaurants. In almost all television channels, movies about freedom struggle and patriotism are broadcast.

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Freedom Struggle

The Independence struggle means a lot to every Indian. Infact, even after 158 years since the first known Independent struggle of 1857, we are still remind of its details. We have been taught and inspired about the sacrifices of our elders and about the unique struggle of people of all the faiths, caste and creed have contributed in the freedom struggle. This aspect even inspires us today to be united for the cause of the country, by making the respective religious beliefs and practices as an advantage. A slogan like Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Isayi…Aapas Main Hai Bhai Bhai…. The Hindus, Muslims, Sikh and the Christians are but brothers of each other…. rejuvenates and make us feel that we are a family. Not only one, there a plenty of slogans which were coined to infuse self-confidence and energize for the cause of a constructive struggle. They are still echoed in one or the other way….just have a glance at some of the soul refreshing slogans:

Refreshing Voices

  • 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan - Long Live Youth, Long Live Farmer': Lal Bahadur Shastri
  • 'Jai Hind' - Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose
  • 'Swaraj Mera Janamsiddha Adhikar Hai, Aur Main Ise Lekar Rahoonga - Independence is my birthright and I shall have it - coined by Kaka Baptista and adopted by Bal Gangadhar Tilak
  • 'Satyameva Jayathe - Truth alone will win - popularized by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya
  • 'Inquilab Zindabad - Long Live the Revolution - coined by Muslim Leader Hasrat Mohani that stands synonymous with Bhagat Singh
  • 'Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna, Ab Humare Dil Mein Hai' – We have an inbuilt desire in our heart to sacrifice everything . A patriotic poem by Bismil Azimabadi and used as a slogan by Ramprasad Bismil.
  • "If yet your blood does not rage, then it is water that flows in your veins. For what is the flush of youth, if it is not of service to the motherland." – Chandra Shekhar Azad
  • "Get up, we have no time to lose. Take up your arms! We shall carve our way through the enemy's ranks, or if God wills, we shall die a martyr's death. And in our last sleep, we shall kiss the road that will bring our Army to Delhi. The road to Delhi is the road to Freedom. Chalo Delhi (March to Delhi)." Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose
  • "Revolution is an inalienable right of mankind. Freedom is an imperishable birthright of all. Labor is the real sustainer of society, the sovereignty of the ultimate destiny of the workers," – Bhagat Singh

what do you like most about India

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India at a Glance

Now let us take a look at the world’s largest democracy, the information furnished here will give you a clear picture of its high profile:

  • Country Name - Republic of India; Bharat Ganrajya.
  • Motto – Satya Meva Jayate (Truth alone triumph).
  • Area - 3.3 Million sq. km.
  • Population Estimated 2015 - 1,276.267 Million.
  • Religions - Out of the total population of 1,028 Million, Hindus constituted the majority with 80.5%, Muslims second at 13.4%, followed by Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and others.
  • Languages - There are 22 different languages that have been recognized by the Constitution of India, of which Hindi is an Official Language. Article 343(3) empowered Parliament to provide by law for continued use of English for official purposes
  • Government Type - Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic with a Parliamentary system of Government.
  • Capital – New Delhi
  • Administrative Divisions- 29 States & 7 Union Territories.
  • Independence - 15th August 1947 (From the British Colonial Rule)
  • Constitution of India - The Constitution of India came into force on 26th January 1950.
  • Location - The Indian peninsula is separated from mainland Asia by the Himalayas. The Country is surrounded by the Bay of Bengal in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west, and the Indian Ocean to the south.
  • Indian Standard Time - GMT + 05:30
  • Climate - The climate of India can broadly be classified as a tropical monsoon one. But, in spite of much of the northern part of India lying beyond the tropical zone, the entire country has a tropical climate marked by relatively high temperatures and dry winters. There are four seasons:
  1. Winter (December-February)
  2. Summer (March-June)
  3. South-west monsoon season (June-September)
  4. ost monsoon season (October-November)
  • Natural Resources - Coal, iron ore, manganese ore, mica, bauxite, petroleum, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, magnetite, limestone, arable land, dolomite, barites, kaolin, gypsum, apatite, phosphorite, steatite, fluorite, etc.
  • Legal System - The Constitution of India is the fountain source of the legal system in the Country.
  • Executive Branch - The President of India is the Head of the State, while the Prime Minister is the Head of the Government, and runs office with the support of the Council of Ministers who form the Cabinet Ministry.
  • Legislative Branch - The Indian Legislature comprises of the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) forming both the Houses of the Parliament.
  • The Judicial Branch - The Supreme Court of India is the apex body of the Indian legal system, followed by other High Courts and subordinate Courts.
  • National Days:
  1. 26th January (Republic Day)
  2. 15th August (Independence Day)
  3. 2nd October (Gandhi Jayanti; Mahatma Gandhi's Birthday)
  • National Symbols
  1. Flag – Tiranga
  2. Emblem – Samanth Lion Capital
  3. Anthem – Jana Gana Mana
  4. Song – Vande Mataram
  5. Currency – Indian Rupee
  6. Calender – Saka
  7. Animal – Tiger (land), Dolphin (River)
  8. Bird – Indian Peafowl
  9. Flower - Lotus
  10. Fruit - Mango
  11. Tree – Banyan
  12. River – Gnaga or Ganges

The Indian Flag

We Indian high very high regard for our national flag, respect and keeping always high has always been our priority. The National Flag of India has a significant message and connotations. It has three equal horizontal bands - the top band is of saffron (Kesari) color, the middle band is of white color and the bottom one green. The ratio of the flag's width to its length is two to three. A navy-blue wheel in the center of the white band represents the chakra. Its design is that of the wheel which appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. Its diameter approximates to the white band's width and it has 24 spokes.

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Indian Flag - colors meaning / symbolism

The Saffron stands for renunciation, disinterestedness, courage and sacrifice.

White stands for truth, peace and purity.

The Green represents prosperity, vibrance and life

The Ashoka Chakra at the center of the middle band in navy blue color stands for righteousness, progress and perpetuity. The twenty four spokes of the wheel represent the 24 hours of a day.

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The Cultural Diversity

India is unique in the sense it has an amazing cultural diversities, probably no such instances can be found in any parts of the world. India’s civilization is more than five thousand years old which can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilizations, as a result it has a multiple cultural origin.

The geographic diversity is evident that it has a spanning area of 3,287,263 square kilometers, which includes lush green landscapes, dry desert areas, forests, snowy Himalayas, a long coast, fertile plains.

The religious diversity is apparent by the fact that every major religion has strong bases in India. The major religion of India, Hinduism originated here. With regard to Christianity some people claim Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) meditated in India during his early days of Prophecy. Buddhism originated here, so was the case of Sikhism and Jainism. The Zoroastrians, the Jews are living in India since 600 B.C. Islam is India's and the world's second largest religion. This religious diversity makes India to be an abode of multiple cultural and plural societies; where, from clothing attire to food habits, the customs and traditions greatly varies.

Now after 69 years of independence India boasts as a land of multi culture and multi religious society. One can witness a great diversity in our traditions, manners, habits, tastes and customs, which does not confine to a particular region rather the country as a whole depicts varied shades of customs and traditions. We speak different languages and follow different religions yet we are all Indians and portray through our individual and collective identities the ideals of 'Unity in Diversity'.

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The Indian Constitution

We have the longest constitution in the world with 448 Articles, 12 Schedules and 94 amendments. Here its inside world:

“India, also known as Bharat, is a Union of States. It is a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic with a parliamentary system of government. The Republic is governed in terms of the Constitution of India, which was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November, 1949 and came into force on 26th January, 1950. The Constitution provides for a Parliamentary form of government, which is federal in structure with certain unitary features. The constitutional head of the Executive of the Union is the President. As per Article 79 of the Constitution of India, the council of the Parliament of the Union consists of the President and two Houses known as the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and the House of the People (Lok Sabha). Article 74(1) of the Constitution provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as its head to aid and advise the President, who shall exercise his/her functions in accordance with the advice. The real executive power is thus vested in the Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as its head.

The Constitution of India begins with a Preamble, which describes the nature of the Indian State and the objectives it is committed to secure. K.M. Munshi describes the Preamble as the political horoscope of the constitution. Thakur Dass Bhargawa says Preamble is the most precious part and the soul of the constitution.

The Preamble reads:

We, the People of India having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic and to secure to all its citizens;

  • Justice, social, economic, political;
  • Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
  • Equality of status and opportunity; and to promote among them all;

Fraternity, assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation. (source: http://india.gov.in/my-government/constitution-india)

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Interesting Facts About India

Let us delve with some interesting facts about India:

  • India is the world's largest, oldest, continuous civilization.
  • India is the world's largest democracy.
  • India never invaded any country in her last 1000 years of history.
  • India invented the number system. Zero was invented by Aryabhatta.
  • There are 300,000 active mosques in India, more than in any other country, including the Muslim world
  • India has the second largest pool of Scientist and Engineers in the World.
  • India is the largest English speaking nation in the world.
  • India is the only country other than the US and Japan, to have built a super computer indigenously.
  • India has the largest number of Post Offices in the world
  • One of the largest employers in the world is the Indian Railways, employing over a million people.
  • The Baily Bridge is the highest bridge in the world. It is located in the Ladakh valley between the Dras and Suru rivers in the Himalayan Mountains. It was built by the Indian Army in August 1982,
  • The Vishnu Temple in the city of Tirupathi built in the 10th century, is the world's largest religious pilgrimage destination, an average of 30,000 visitors donates $6 million (US) to the temple every day.
  • Martial Arts were first created in India, and later spread to Asia by Buddhist missionaries.
  • Yoga has its origins in India and has existed for over 5,000 years.
  • The name 'India' is derived from the River Indus, the valleys around which were the home of the early settlers. The Aryan worshippers referred to the river Indus as the Sindhu.
  • The Persian invaders converted it into Hindu. The name 'Hindustan' combines Sindhu and Hindu and thus refers to the land of the Hindus.
  • Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus are studies, which originated in India.
  • The world's highest cricket ground is in Chail, Himachal Pradesh. Built in 1893 after leveling a hilltop, this cricket pitch is 2444 meters above sea level
  • Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to mankind. The Father of Medicine, Charaka, consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago.
  • India exports software to 90 countries.

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Top 10 Places of Tourist Interest

India is a land of exploration, every state and union territory has its own cultural heritage. To be very precise I would like to present top ten tourist places of India, selected randomly:

1. Delhi

Delhi, Capital of India has many attractions like Mosques, Forts, Castles and other monuments that reveal India’s rich cultural history.

2. Taj Mahal - Agra

Agra is an abode for the Taj Mahal. It's India's most iconic monument of love and a must see historical attraction. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz.

3. Udaipur

Udaipur an important city of Rajasthan is famous for its lakes and palaces. It attracts you so much so you can’t prevent yourself getting immerse in a regal splendor.

4. Goa

India's famous beach destination. Goa attracts visitors with loads of natural attractions and entertainments. The state also provides a perfect blend of history, nature, culture, and other adventure activities.

5. Kashmir

Kashmir, known as Heaven on Earth and once of the most beautiful places in the world. An important tourist attraction in Himalayan Ranges has many things to offer.

6. Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari, lies at the bottom of India is popular for its spectacular and unique sunrise and sunset. The confluence of three ocean bodies – the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea – makes the sunrise and sunset even more spectacular.

7. Kerala Backwaters

One of the most fascinating tourist attractions in India. An excursion in a houseboat along the palm-fringed Kerala backwaters is so unique, serene and relaxing. Added to it the lush green landscape and diverse wildlife provides the life time experience.

8. Darjeeling

Darjeeling ,Known for its natural splendor and clean fresh mountain air, the destination’s best gift to the visitors is the dawn of a new day. One can have a glimpse of the world famous mountain peaks like the snowcapped Everest, Kabru, Kanchenjunga, Jannu and other peaks slowly emerge from slumber to start a new day.

9. Ajanta & Ellora Caves

The Ajanta and Ellora caves are of immense recognition in India. The huge caves have been carved into hillside rock. Situated near Aurangabad, in northern Maharashtra, these caves are simply an act of admiration many generations have spent their lives to make it a reality. It’s not possible to describe their grandeur through words.

10. Mysore

Mysore an important city in the southern region of Karnataka is an important tourist place. It has many tourist attractions like Mysore Palace, Brindavan Gardens, Tipu Sultan Palace, Churches and Temples and Mosques of historic repute. The city is famous for its 10 days Dasara festival, which takes place in the month of October every year.

For more places of attraction and tourism related information, please visit:

http://india.gov.in/india-glance/profile

http://www.incredibleindia.org/en/

if given a day which places do you visit in India

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Respectful Homage

A country with such a diversity and huge population now occupies an important place and earned enormous reputation in the world, its advancement in different fields, in particular development in the field of science and technology, testifies the fact. We do face problems like other countries, but the democratic and secular values and “welfare state” nature of India has always put forth loads of opportunities to strive for the betterment of individuals and the society. On this auspicious Day I pay my respectful homage to all those heroes who have sacrificed their lives and those who have lent their valuable contributions to ensure an Independent India.

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The Lessons Learnt

The freedom struggle taught us that unity among the citizens and their constructive efforts are the true essence of a great country. The sustainable development rests on a healthy mindset and mutual cooperation of the people. Whereas for those who are at the helm of affairs, its mandatory for them to ensure true progress and development by encouraging fullest utilization of the potentials of the people without any prejudices and discriminations.

The united efforts of our ancestors have taught us valuable principles of a dignified life and the secret behind the rise of the nation. True, united we stand and divided we fall. It’s our responsibility to strive hard to make our country proud and set an example of love, humanity, mutual cooperation and communal harmony, so that the coming generations can advance the cause and bring laurels to the beloved country - India.

© 15th August, 2015 – Muhammad Abdullah Javed (m abdullah javed)

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