India. The Indian economy continued its strong growth. For the financial year up to and including March 2006, GDP increased by 8.4% and for the period July-September the rate of increase was 9.3%. This gave the government the opportunity to present a budget with major investments in education, health care, infrastructure and rural development. Well aware that the previous right-wing government was convicted in 2004 for underestimating the rural problems, the government guaranteed 100 days of work per year for one person per household. About SEK 26 billion was committed to support debt-ridden farmers in four states. The government signed agreements with private companies to take over the operation of major airports in Delhi and Bombay.
In July, until the privatization of state-owned enterprises was suspended, after an important regional party threatened to leave the coalition government in protest of the planned sale of a state-owned power company.
According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in India include Independence Day (August 15) and New Year (January 1). The ruling Congress Party Chairman Sonia Gandhi left Parliament after criticizing her for sitting at another high government post. After also leaving the second assignment, she quickly resumed the parliamentary seat by gaining over 80% of the vote in the general election in the family’s traditional constituency in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
In elections to state assemblies, there was mixed results for the Congress Party. It lost to communist-led alliances in West Bengal and Kerala and was forced to reign in Tamil Nadu and Assam.
In October, Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee was appointed Foreign Minister. The post had been vacant for almost a year since the representative resigned following corruption charges.
At a March I visit by US President George W. Bush, the agreement on civil nuclear cooperation was signed when India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Washington in 2005. It was until November before the US Senate approved the agreement, as India has not signed the Non-Proliferation Agreement (NPT). In return, India open their nuclear power plants for inspection.
At a visit by China’s President Hu Jintao in November, the countries pledged to double trade exchanges until 2010. The peace process between I and Pakistan was temporarily suspended after 200 people were killed and over 700 injured in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks on commuter trains and railway stations in Bombay on July 11. India openly accused the Pakistani military intelligence service of taking part in the attacks together with Indian extremists. It was not until late autumn that contacts at government level were resumed.
In March, about 20 people were killed in two blasts shortly after each other in the Hindu pilgrimage city of Varanasi.
In September, at least 37 people were killed and hundreds injured in a blast attack at a Muslim burial ground in the state of Maharashtra in western India. In neighboring Gujarat, 12 people were sentenced to life imprisonment for multiple murders during the anti-Muslim riots in 2002 when more than 1,000 people were killed.
A Bombay special court found 100 people guilty of participating in a series of blast attacks in 1993, when 257 people were killed.
In the state of Chattisgarh in central India, a Maoist guerrilla uprising required a large number of human lives.
In Assam in the northeast, the government began indirect negotiations with the separatist guerrilla ULFA after several blast attacks. The army canceled all operations while negotiations with people nominated by the guerrillas were ongoing. However, the negotiations soon ended, and after new blasts, the army sent reinforcements in November. In Assam and the other Northeast states, separatist uprisings have been going on for decades.
In November, the Nanavati-Mehta Commission reported to the Gujarat Parliament on the 2002 massacre that had cost about 2,000 lives – most Muslims. The report was kept secret. The authorities have thus continued to throw smoke over the events and the authorities’ own responsibility – including Prime Minister Modi’s share in the responsibility for the massacre.
At the same time as the government, on paper, advocated a rapid spread of the Internet, it also tightened freedom of expression. Journalists, human rights defenders and activists who criticized major government projects were subjected to state arrests and harassment.
Both police and soldiers traditionally enjoy an extensive impunity for their criminal activities. It was therefore unusual when a military court in November sentenced 5 soldiers, including 2 officers to life imprisonment for in 2010, for murdering 3 innocent villagers.
Modi participated in Moscow in May 2015 in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazism. The anniversary of the victory over Nazism was boycotted by the US and the EU.
In the second half of 2015, India embarked on a major modernization of the infrastructure. 1000 new diesel locomotives were ordered and a contract to build the country’s first high-speed railway signed – from Mombay to Ahmedabad. A modernization of the country’s main roads was also initiated, as well as a plan for modernized freight on its rivers.
In August, the government signed a peace agreement with the National Socialist Council (NSCM) of Nagalan. The deal ended the 60-year uprising in the state.
Military spending increased by 11% in 2015.
Armed groups, not only in Jammu and Kashmir, but also in the northeastern states of Assam, Manipur and Meghalaya, and the central states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Maharashtra, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh as well as Punjab carried out a large number of human rights violations such as extortion, abduction and murder. In Jammu & Kashmir, the government put the state in an emergency after a group had attacked a military facility. The government used the state of emergency to commit a wide range of human rights violations to the civilian population. At the same time, tension with neighboring Pakistan increased.
The weakest groups in society, the homeless and the tribal, continued to be subject to systematic crimes. In 2016, 45,000 crimes were committed against homeless people and 11,000 against tribal people. Often by Hindu fundamentalists attached to BJP. In January 2016, the homeless student Rohith Vemula committed suicide. It led to nationwide protests and discussion of the discrimination and violence ceaselessly exposed at the universities. In March, police arrested students and staff of the University of Hyderabad, where Vemula had been studying. In July, extensive demonstrations broke out in Una, Gujarat, after 4 castles had been whipped publicly by a self-guided guard after cutting the skins of a dead cow. A work that is traditionally reserved for castles.
Self-appointed guard guards to protect (the holy) cows harassed and attacked people in several states: Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. In March 2016, the bodies of two Muslim cattle traders were found hanging in a tree in Jharkhand. In June, members of a security guard in Haryana forced two Muslim men suspected of carrying beef to eat colourte. In August, a woman in Haryana reported that she and her cousin had been mass-raped by a group of men who accused them of eating beef.
Africans continued to face racist harassment, discrimination and violence in a wide range of cities. In February 2016, a woman from Tanzania was undressed and beaten by a mob in Bengaluru, Karnataka. In May, a man from the Democratic Republic of Congo was beaten to death by a group of men in New Delhi.