A river in what is now Pakistan. Two ancient cities were unearthed by the river- Harappa and Mohenjo Daro in the 1920s.
One of two ancient cities that was unearthed by the Indus river in the 1920s. The other was Mohenjo Daro. It had declined by 1500 because of climatic changes.
One of two ancient cities that was unearthed by the Indus river in the 1920s. The other was Harappa. It had declined by 1500 because of climatic changes.
Beginning around 1500 BC, waves of Aryan immigrants from Iran invaded northern India, encountering little resistance from the indigenous people of the Indus valley. The Aryan simple nomadic lifestyle evolved as they absorbed many of the customs, beliefs, and cultures of the more sophisticated people they conquered.
The priests who passed down down oral Sanskrit poetry about the history of the Aryan period. They were high up in the caste system.
An ancient language of India in which the Vedas was written. It became the basis upon which many other languages were created, such as English.
A series of hymns that were passed down from generation to generation orally before being put to writing. They are composed in Sanskrit and are one of the Hindu texts.
One of two Indian epics, also a religious text, provides information about the period of intermingling of cultures. The other epic is Ramayana.
One of two Indian epics, also a religious text, provides information about the period of intermingling of cultures. The other epic is Mahabharata.
A central Hindu concept that states that all human beings have an immortal soul that passes through many lifetimes of suffering until it is liberated from the cycle of rebirth and reunited with the divine.
A central Hindu concept that states that the moral quality of one's actions in this life determines the conditions of the next life.
A central Hindu concept that states that good deeds are determined by the duties of one's social conditions.
Originally, it was a functional division of society into four classes, based on occupation. Untouchables were outside the system and subject to strict codes regarding physical contact and ceremonial purity.
founded by Kshatriya prince Siddhartha Gautama. It rejected caste social division and instead wanted the equality of all people.
founded by a Kshatriyan, Mahavira, rejected caste social division and instead wanted the equality of all people.
A Jainist concept of nonviolence, made a lasting impression on Hindu thought. It encouraged Hindus to adopt vegetarianism and would play a central role in Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy during India's independence struggle of the twentieth century.
Unified the people of the Gangetic and Indus valleys under imperial administration. It was itself a synthesis drawing on Persian influences. The idea of divine monarchy, solar cults, reverence for fire, and the Mauryan imperial organization all bear the Persian imprint.
An Indian emperor of the Mauryan Empire who was devoted to spreading Buddhism across Asia and was also devoted to the concept of ahimsa.
The most influential text in the Hindu religion. First imparted the doctrine of inclusiveness and tolerance for all faiths, which is at the root of the Indian ability to embrace alternative viewpoints and pursue apparently conflicting courses with equanimity.
During this vibrant and creative period, Hinduism was honed and refined to its modern shape. The major contemporary deities, including the mother goddess, were adopted, and image worship became common practice as numerous temples were constructed throughout India to house the many gods and goddesses.
A Muslim Empire that was started by Babur, and reached it's height under Akbar. It was also a period of time in which the Muslim and Indian cultures were synthesized.
Emerged in reaction to orthodox Islam (outside of India at first), cultivated a determination to know God through seclusion, meditation, and the study of metaphysics. Sufi ideas were attractive to Hindus, and the tombs of Sufi saints became places of worship for both communities.
A religion developed by Nanak, who opposed the caste system. His new religion was monotheistic and was a blend between Hindu and Islam.
A language that was a blend of Hindi, Persian, and Arabic. It was developed during the Hindu-Persian synthesis. It was also a major literary language.
British East India Company
A military supremist government started by Robert Clive, ruling over India as the Raj. They dominated India for two centuries, and modernized India. It also introduced English as a language to the Indian people. It was taken out of power when India was made a part of the British Empire
The practice of widows throwing themselves on their husband's funeral pyres. Ram Mohan Roy sought to reform many Hindu practices, suttee being one of them.
Sepoy Rebellion of 1857
A rebellion by Hindus and Muslim soldiers against the British over refusing to break dietary laws. The British won. It had three major consequences: the British East India Company was removed from power and India was made a part of the British Empire; Britain abandoned it's liberal agenda; and the war gave birth to the Indian Nationalist Movement.
Indian National Congress
A major political Indian party. It was formed in 1885 by Indian intellectuals who were dedicated to fighting for greater rights for Indians under the Raj. They later called for Indian independence.
Gopal Gokhale represented the moderate faction of Congress, who believed that Indians had to reform their society before they could govern it. He advocated equal treatment of all men and women.
home rule by the Indians, but most often used to refer to Gandhi's concept of Indian Independence. It meant independence from the British for Gandhi.
A political party formed in 1906 to represent the minority Muslim viewpoint. By the 1940s the League was championing the cause of separatism and the demand for a separate Muslim state in Pakistan.
Amritsar Massacre of 1919
British general R. E. H. Dyer ordered the murder and maiming of sixteen hundred people who were peacefully protesting the Rowlatt Acts. Dyer justified his actions, saying it was "the least amount of firing which would produce the necessary moral and widespread effect it was my duty to produce... throughout the Punjab".
Nehru was the first prime minister of India and advocated a strong secular democratic state to guide an economic and social revolution designed to put an end to poverty. Nehru wanted a socialist government that followed Gandhian principles. He was partners with Gandhi during the fight for Independence.
A western-educated Indian who used the idea of nonviolent noncooperation/disobedience to root the English out of India. He was an advocate for Indian independence, and was assassinated by a Hindu extremist.
A series of campaigns by Ghandi of non-violent resistance to the British regime. The campaigns were based on satya, meaning truth, which came from the ancient Hindu Vedic literature, and ahimsa, or nonviolence, drawn from the Jain, Buddhist, and later Hindu religions.
The rule of the Hindu god-king Rama. He was called upon by Gandhi, who was drawing from ancient Hindu stories.
Mohammed Ali Jinnah
A western-educated lawyer who, after the actions of Hindu extremists, called upon the independence of Indian Muslims. This lead to the creation of the state of Pakistan.
A country that used to be part of India. It was partitioned by the British when Hindu-Muslim relations became tense and there was threat of civil war. Jinnah was the main advocate of partitioning India into India and Pakistan.
The daughter of Nehru, who became prime minister. She abused her power in office and ignored her father's ideals. She ordered a state of emergency to imprison her political foes after being accused of using illegal campaigning practices. She was assassinated in 1984.
The son of Indira, he was unable to restore his grandfather's vision of India and continued his mother's work of personalizing and corrupting their power. His and his mother's efforts had made Congress a stagnant party. He was assassinated in 1991.