Indian History: as and when it happened!
5000 Years Ago, Indus Valley Civilization:
Indian subcontinent has a history which dates back to more than 5000 years back. Its origins lie on the banks of the river Indus and thus came to be known as the Indus Valley Civilization. The roots of numerous ideas and philosophies can still be traced back to India.
Soon after the Indus Valley Civilization laid down the foundation of India and Indian history, the Dravidians came in as the inhabitants of this civilization which was called the Harappan culture and flourished for 1000 years. Gradually, Aryan tribes started infiltrating from Afghanistan and Central Asia, around 1500 B.C. They occupied the whole of the northern parts of India up to the Vindhya Hills. Thus the Dravidians were urged to move to the southern parts of India. The Aryans brought new ideas, new technology and new gods with them and this became an important era in the history of India. The Aryan tribe started expanding and was grouped into sixteen kingdoms, of which Kosala and Magadha were the most powerful ones in the 5th century B.C.
Around 500 BC, Invasion by Persians followed by Maurya Dynasty:
The next great invasion was around 500 BC by the Persian kings Cyrus and Darius. They conquered the Indus valley but then India went through times of speculation and indefiniteness. Then in 327 BC India again came into light due to the invasions of Alexander the great, from Macedonia. Although, he was not able to extend his powers into India.
After the Greek power receded there was a phase of uncertainty and that was when Indian history's first imperial dynasty, the Maurya Dynasty came into power. Founded by Chandragupta Maurya, this dynasty reached its height under King Ashoka. He has given many historical monuments and inscriptions. But after his death there came no other kings as powerful as him and so there was chaos again fragmenting India into smaller kingdom.
1000 AD, Decline of Chandragupta & rise in Muslim Invasions:
It was during this time that Chandragupta II became the unifying force in northern India. India is said to have enjoyed its golden period during this time – under the Gupta dynasty. Though not as big as the Mauryan Empire, it saw huge developments in the field of art and architecture, the highlight being the Ajanta and Ellora caves. There was confusion again after the Gupta Dynasty and many regional powers rose until the Muslim invasions in 1000 AD.
Indian History, in the meantime, also saw the rise of some powerful kingdoms like the Satavahanas, kalingas and Vakatakas in the southern part of India. Later the dynasties like Cholas, Pandyas, Cheras, Chalukyas and Pallavas came into prominence.
The political instability gave opportunity to the Muslim invaders who raided the North India successfully under Mahmud of Ghazni. The next invasion was by Mahmud of Ghauri who established foreign rule in India. Many of the famous dynasties like the Slave Dynasty, Khilji Dynasty, Tughlaq Dynasty, Saiyyid and Lodhi, Bahmani Dynasty, and Others came after that.
16th Century, Decline of the Mughal Dynasty:
In the 16th century, Indian history saw the Mughal dynasty getting established by Babur, which lasted for 200 magnificent years. Some of the important rulers during this period were Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb. This period saw an amalgamation of Indian, Persian and Central Asian influences in the field of art and architecture. Though brief, the era saw a golden age of art and literature for the whole of Indian subcontinent. Many monuments like the forts, palaces, gates, buildings, mosques, gardens were built during this period, the most notable being the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. During this period India saw the most efficient administration.
As the Mughal Empire faded out, other foreign invasions started from the 15th century. India was a country rich with spices and minerals and so was made the target for invasions and colonization - starting with the arrival of Vasco da Gama in Goa. Later came the trading post by the East India Company in Gujrat. Gradually East India Company established trading posts in various other cities like Madras, Calcutta and Bombay. This commercial link later turned into administrative control. The French also established themselves in a few parts. There were continuous struggle between British and French emperors for establishing supremacy. Eventually, the victory in the battle of Plassey established the dominance of British in the subcontinent.
18th Century in Indian History, Britisher's Arrive:
The East India Company slowly overtook the commands of entire India, and the first war of Indian independence took place in 1857 after which India was taken over by the British government who ruled India for three hundred years, with the help of local rulers. Gradually the people of India felt the need for independence and many socio-religious movements inspired patriotism amongst the masses and the struggle for independence became a national movement.
People like Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, Subhash Chandra Bosh, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sardar Ballabh Bhai Patel, Sarojini Naidu, Chander Shekhar Azad were the pioneers of the movement. Mahatma Gandhi and his teachings of truth and non-violence paved way for eventual ousting of the British. He worked with Jawaharlal Nehru to campaign against British rule. The struggle turned fruitful when the British decided to quit India.
Mid 19th Century, India achieves freedom:
But much damage was done by then, because many Muslims felt that an independent India meant a Hindu dominated India. This led to the demand of a separate Muslim region – Pakistan. On 15th august 1947, India was declared completely independent after 350 long years of struggle and turmoil. Pakistan was also created which included Bangladesh, again a place with Muslim majority.
Then on 26th January, 1950 India adopted a new constitution and became a republic. Since then India has worked hard to achieve heights in justice, media and bureaucracy.
Today India has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Rapid growth in the fields of science, eductaion and technology has seen Indian's occupying important positions through out the world. From Indra Noori as head of Pepsi Co to Amrtya Sen winning booker prizes in Literature, from Lakhsmi Mittal featuring among the richest persons in the world to providng a substantial workforce to most of the countries, we Indian's are now truly reaching towards our goal of making India a super power.