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Saturday, 22 August 2015

India

RELIGION

India is home to almost 5,000 distinct ethnic groups, and every major religion in the world. The religion of Hinduism is the main faith followed by 81.0% of the Indian people. Other religions include Islam – 12.8%; Christianity – 2.9%; Sikhism – 1.9%; Buddhism – 0.8%

According to tradition, the Apostle Thomas reached Muziris, India in AD 52. He healed the sick and demon-possessed, and baptized several people, founding what today are known as Saint Thomas Christians or Nasranis. He finally died in Mylapore (now within the huge city of Chennai, formerly known as Madras) at the hands of hostile Brahmans. The traditional burial site atop St. Thomas Mount in Chennai has been venerated for at least 1500 years.

The ancient city of Quilon (now Kollam) was considered one of the four early entrepots in global sea trade during the 13th century, along with Alexandria and Cairo in Egypt, the Chinese city of Quanzhou, and Malacca in the Malaysian archipelago

The first Indian Catholic Diocese, was erected by Pope John XXII in Quilon on August 9, 1329. It was also the first Roman Catholic diocese in the whole of the Indies, with jurisdiction over modern Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, and Sri Lanka as well as modern India. The French-born Dominican missionary Jordanus was appointed the first Bishop.


The Battle of Talikota was fought between the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire and the Islamic sultanates of the Deccan on January 26, 1565. The Sultanates' armies had a much better prepared artillery division manned by mercenary gunners from Turkestan. At that time they were considered the best at artillery warfare, while the Vijayanagara forces depended on European mercenaries who were not as well trained.The result was the defeat of Vijayanagara Empire, which led to the subjugation, and eventual destruction of the last Hindu kingdom in India, and the consolidation of Islamic rule over much of the Indian subcontinent.

The "Malik-i-Maidan" (Master of the Field) cannon, stated to be the largest piece of cast bronze ordnance in the world, was utilized by the Deccan Sultanates during the confrontation at Talikota

William Carey is often called the Father of Modern Missions. But the first Protestant missionaries to Asia arrived almost a century before he did. By the time Carey established his mission community, there were thousands of Christians in a Pietist-led settlement in southern India.

Sati, the Hindu funeral custom of widows immolating themselves, was prohibited in part of British India in 1829 after years of campaigning by Ram Mohan Roy.

Manmohan Singh served as the 14th Prime Minister of India from 2004 to 2014. He was the first Sikh to be the country's prime minister.

HISTORY

India gets its name from the Greek word, Indus. It means "the people who live near the Indus River."

The national anthem of India, "Jana Gana Mana," was first sung on December 27, 1911 during the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress.



New Delhi became the capital of India in 1931. The new capital was inaugurated on February 13, 1931 by India's Viceroy Lord Irwin.

The 1931 series celebrated the inauguration of New Delhi as the seat of government. The one rupee stamp shows George V with the "Secretariat Building" and Dominion Columns

On August 15, 1947, India peacefully became free and independent from the British Empire.


The Constituent Assembly of India adopted Hindi as the Official Language of the Union on September 14, 1949. Hence, it is celebrated as Hindi Day. Hindi became the official language of India in 1965.

The Constitution of India came into force on January 26, 1950, forming a republic with Rajendra Prasad sworn in as its first President of India.

January 26th is observed as Republic Day in India. The main Republic Day celebration is held in the national capital, New Delhi, at the Rajpath before the President of India.

Indira Gandhi became India’s first female leader on January 19, 1966. She was the daughter of the country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. She was assassinated by her bodyguards in 1984.

Indira Gandhi 1977

FUN FACTS

India has the world's largest stock of privately hoarded gold. Personal holdings are estimated at 5,000 tons.

India has 122 major languages and 1599 other languages.

India has 29 languages with at least one million native speakers each.

Hindi is the fifth most spoken language in the world with about 258 million native speakers in 2001.

India's space agency made it to Mars on the first try in 2014, the first ever to do so.

India had no legislation regarding narcotics until 1985.

India has 53 urban agglomerations with a population of one million or more as of 2011 against 35 in 2001.

India’s population is expected to increase by 400 million by 2050 which will equal to the populations of the US and China combined.

Source Christianitytoday.com

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