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The Rajs demise was partially a result of its remarkable success. It had gained control of the country by viewing it as a source of profit. Infrastructure had been developed, administration established, and an entire structure of governance erected. India had become a profitable venture, and the British were loath to allow the Indian population any power in a system that they viewed as their own accomplishment. The Indians didn't appreciate this much, and as the 20th century dawned there were increasing movements towards self-rule. Along with the desire for independence, tensions between Hindus and Muslims had also been developing over the years.

The Muslims had always been a minority, and the prospect of an exclusively Hindu government made them wary of independence; they were as inclined to mistrust Hindu rule as they wee to resist the Raj. In 1915 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi came onto the scene, calling for unity between the two groups in an astonishing display of leadership that would eventually lead the country to independence. The profound impact Gandhi had on India and his ability to gain independence through a totally non-violent mass movement made him on of the most remarkable leaders the world has ever known.

He led by example, wearing homespun clothes to weaken the British textile industry and orchestrating a march to the sea, where demonstrators proceeded to make their own salt in protest against the British monopoly. Indians gave him the name Mahatma, of Great Soul. The British promised that they would leave India by 1947.

The Partition of India Independence came at great cost. While Gandhi was leading a largely Hindu movement, Mohammed Ali Jinnah was fronting a Muslim one through a group called the Muslim League. Jinnah advocated the division of India into two separate states: Muslim and Hindu, and he was able to achieve his goal.

When the British left, they created the separate states of Pakistan and Bangladesh (known at that time as East Pakistan), and violence erupted when stranded Muslim and Hindu minorities in the areas fled in opposite directions. Within a few weeks, half a million people had died in the course of the greatest migration of human beings in the world's history. The aging Gandhi vowed to fast until the violence stopped, which it did when his health was seriously threatened. At the same time, the British returned and helped restore order. Excepting Kashmir, which is still a disputed area (and currently unsafe for tourists) the division reached stability. Independent India India's early years since independence were marked by disunity and intermittent periods of virtual chaos.

In 1948 on the eve of independence, a Hindu fanatic assassinated Gandhi. His close associate Jawarhalal Nehru became India's first Prime Minister. Nehru was a successful leader, steering the young nation through a period of peace that was contrasted by the rule of Lal Bahadur Shastri, who fought Pakistan after it invaded two regions of India. Shastri died in 1966 after only 20 months on power, and Nehru's daughter, Indira Gandhi, succeeded him. Although India's political climate remains divisive, the country has attained apparent stability in recent years.

Today, India seems poised to realize its potential as an international economic power. Did you find this article useful? For more useful tips, hints, guide and points to ponder pertaining to traveling, do please browse at our websites.

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