India History: The Intensification of Religious and Political Conflicts

In 1984 the problem of the Sikhs of Punjab exploded and Indira, to avoid an authentic secession, gave the order to flush out the rebels barricaded in the Golden Temple of Amritsar. To take revenge for the outrage, the Sikhs had Indira assassinated (October 31, 1984) on the doorstep. Her son Rajiv took over as prime minister and leader of the Congress Party, which, in the elections of December 1984, obtained an almost plebiscite victory. The work of modernization of Indian society, pursued by them through the renewal of the public administration and the improvement of the efficiency of the structures (including those of the Congress Party), in the economic field more specifically aimed at greater liberalization, clashed with strong internal resistance to the organisms touched. Economic difficulties and the growing turbulence of autonomist demonstrations as well as a resurgence of Hindu fundamentalism soon marked Rajiv’s descendant. According to aceinland, the Congress Party, which presented itself divided among itself in the 1989 elections, was clearly defeated. Following Gandhi’s resignation, the The post of prime minister was assumed by Vishwanath Pratap Singh (of the Janata Dal), who formed a minority government, the first in the history of the country, supported externally by the Front of the Left and by the Bharatiya Janata (Hindu sectarian right). Confirmed by the elections of February 1990 held in some states, Singh introduced more severe austerity measures and tried to start a process of internal pacification with the separatist movements, which instead intensified their activity causing numerous incidents. In October the Bharatiya Janata left the government causing the dissolution of the coalition.

After the brief interlude (November 1990-March 1991) that saw Chandra Shekar of the Janata Dal “S” at the helm of a coalition government with the external support of the Congress Party, the tensions, also stimulated by Hindu hegemonic tendencies, they reached such violence until, at the beginning of the new electoral campaign, they resulted in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi (21 May 1991), a source of disturbance and further confusion in the country. The Congress Party then relied on the leadership of Narasimha Rao, who soon after was elected prime minister. Rao, formed a single-color minority government, initiated an economic policy aimed at reducing statism by strengthening private initiative and foreign exchanges, and established closer relations with the West. In July 1992, another member of the Congress Party, Shankar Dayal Sharma, was elected to the presidency of the Republic. From the end of 1992, India became the scene of an endless spiral of violence between Hindu and Muslim faithful. In December 1992 the Ayodhya mosque was destroyed, an attack in which more than a thousand people lost their lives. From that moment new flares of bloody violence, caused by religious reasons, were recorded in various parts of the country with direct clashes between representatives of the two confessions, but also with attacks that caused numerous victims in Bombay and Calcutta (March 1993). The religious conflict was also compounded by the resumption of separatist tensions that led to the tragic fighting in Kashmir (April-November 1993). Such a picture of uncontrolled violence was also confirmed in the following years and Rao’s government managed to score a point in its favor only in Punjab (February 1993), substantially eradicating the Sikh organization. Rejecting the accusations of having abandoned a political line of support for the most disadvantaged classes, of having favored foreign investors and the rich bourgeoisie, Rao embarked on the path of economic recovery of the country.

To the now unstoppable decline ofRao’s leadership reflected a flare-up of political violence that manifested itself in numerous attacks in various parts of the country. Weakened internally and less and less rooted in society, the premier’s partyvainly tried to revive it in the general elections that took place between April and May 1996. But the electorate’s disaffection was confirmed beyond expectations because Congress I was clearly beaten not only by Bharatya Janata, but also by the Third Front, a ‘ alliance in which numerous left and center-left formations had found themselves. The winning Hindu sectarian right, however, failed to form a parliamentary majority and President Shankar Dayal Sharma appointed DH Deve Godwa, a Third Front exponent and leader, prime ministerof the Karnata party, which could form an executive supported externally by Congress I. The latter however, in March 1997, removed its support from the premier who, having lost the confidence of Parliament, had to leave the office to Inder Kumar Guiral. The new prime minister reopened dialogue with Pakistan, with which he reached an agreement for the opening of both commercial and economic negotiations, as well as on the burning problem of the political structure of Kashmir. One month later Kocheri Raman Narayanana was elected president of the Republic who, in February 1998, due to a further government crisis, had to call early elections: the victory went to the Hindu Nationalist Party (Bharatiya Janata Party) whose leader, Atal Behari Vajpayee, assumed the post of prime minister. In May 1998, India completed some nuclear tests in the desert of the state of Rajastan; the arms race, unleashed by the Hindu nationalist government, seriously undermined regional stability and rekindled conflicts with Pakistan, inducing this country, shortly thereafter, to respond to the Indian atomic challenge with other nuclear tests. In July 1999, after months of harsh armed clashes, the two countries reached an agreement for the reduction of military activity in Kashmir, but the hijacking of an Indian Airbus by Islamic extremists (December 1999) and the explosion of a bomb in January 2000 in Srinangar, in a territory controlled by India, as well as a series of clashes and attacks that caused dozens of deaths in the district of Ahmadab in 2002 reignited the conflict. In the legislative elections of the end of 1999, despite the advance of the Congress Party, the victory of the nationalists of Vajpayee was reconfirmed, while in July 2002 the new president of the Republic was elected, the Muslim scientist Abdul Kalam, father of the Indian atomic bomb. The 2004 legislative elections were won by the Congress Party, led by Sonia Gandhi, which won 219 seats against 186 in Vajpayee’s Bharatiya Janata Party; despite the success achieved, Sonia Gandhi refused the post of prime minister, which was conferred on Manmohan Singh, an economist.

In July negotiations began with Pakistan, relating to the conflict in Kashmir, and the two countries decided to re-establish normal diplomatic relations. Internally, the government launched a new economic policy, blocking privatization and expanding social spending in the care and education sectors. in December the south-eastern coasts were devastated by a violent tsunami caused by an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra causing thousands of vitteme. In 2005 the government launched the Bharat Nirman, a vast program for the years 2005-2009 which aimed to provide villages without drinking water, electricity and telephone, to build thousands of low-cost houses, to prepare works to irrigate the countryside and connect more than 38,000 small rural communities through roads. In 2006 the government signed a historic agreement with the US that ended the nuclear embargo, which dates back to 1974, as the United States pledged to supply India with its civilian nuclear technology and India. agreed to separate civilian nuclear programs from military ones and to allow IAEA inspections. In the same year, the law that prohibited work for minors under the age of 14 came into force. Meanwhile, armed clashes in Kashmir were decreasing, but entico-religious tensions in Assam, Bihar and Manipur were increasing, while in Chhattisgarh the Maoist guerrillas revived. In 2006, relations with the People’s Republic of China also improved and the Nathu La pass, closed in 1962, was reopened. Following the elections won with great consensus by his coalition, in July 2007 the Parliament elected Pratibha Patil to the presidency of the Republic. 72-year-old lawyer, she is the first woman to hold the highest institutional office in the Indian Union. The Progressive United Alliance, led by Sonia Gandhi’s Congress Party, won the 2009 legislative elections, defeating the National Democratic Alliance, led by the nationalist Bharatiya party. Manmohan Singh was reconfirmed prime minister. Meanwhile, episodes of violence at the hands of Maoist rebels intensified, spread in different areas of the country. In July 2012, the new president of the republic was elected by Parliament: the Bengali Pranab Kumar Mukherjee. In 2014, the political elections won by the Indian People’s Party, the BJP, took place (282 seats out of 543). Narendra Modi was elected prime minister. In 2014, the political elections won by the Indian People’s Party, the BJP, took place (282 seats out of 543). Narendra Modi was elected prime minister. In 2014, the political elections won by the Indian People’s Party, the BJP, took place (282 seats out of 543). Narendra Modi was elected prime minister.

India History - The Intensification of Religious and Political Conflicts

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