India — January 2007

Sociopolitical Situation

Recent political events have underlined the fact that India is passing through a time of painful transition in its global policies. After the signing of the recent initial nuclear weapons agreement with the US administration, Indian politics are drawing global attention. The government now finds itself in amidst crucial criticism and questioning regarding the signing of final agreements with the US administration.

India is the world’s second most populous country and one of the most developed political societies in the world. Despite several growth-orientated policies adopted by the government, widening economic, regional and gender disparities are posing challenges. Women disrupted the recent parliament session demanding introduction of a “women reservation bill.” The government promised that the next session of parliament will discuss it.

Terrorist and insurgent activities are posing threats to the social fabric and the steady progress of various developmental activities throughout India. Poverty, socioeconomic deprivation, various forms of entrenched backwardness, illiteracy, communalism, corruption and criminalization of politics have led to cynicism from time to time.

Health wise, the recent past in India has not been very satisfying. Contagious, infectious and waterborne diseases such as Denki-fever and Chikun Gunya took away many lives in various part of the country. Non-communicable diseases such as cancer, blindness, mental illness, hypertension, diabetes and HIV/AIDS are also on the rise. In India about 75% of health infrastructure, medical manpower and other health resources are concentrated in urban areas, where only 27% of the population lives.

Religious Situation

Various attempts by terrorist organizations to disrupt religious harmony were spoiled by the security personnel in India. Even after the recent serial train bomb blasts in Mumbai, people maintained harmony and demonstrated a high degree of peace and friendship in the society. A few isolated cases of Hindu fanaticism have been observed in the southern state of Karnataka lately. Apart from these malignant and unsuccessful attempts by the enemies of the country, presently, the religiously diverse people of India live in harmony.

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