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Emerging India

April 19, 2002 • Volume 12, Issue 15
Can it remain an open and tolerant society?
By David Masci

Introduction

An anti-Muslim activist brandishes an iron bar during sectarian fighting between Hindus and Muslims in February in the northern Indian state of Gujarat. More than 800 people — mostly Muslims — died in the violence.  (AFP Photo/Sebastian D'Souza)
An anti-Muslim activist brandishes an iron bar during sectarian fighting between Hindus and Muslims in February in the northern Indian state of Gujarat. More than 800 people — mostly Muslims — died in the violence. (AFP Photo/Sebastian D'Souza)

With more than a billion people, India is the world's second-most-populous country and its largest democracy. Sweeping economic reforms and the development of high-tech industries in recent years have given the nation new optimism for the future. But poverty, food shortages and violence between Hindus and Muslims continue to plague India, and some observers even fear the country's hallowed tradition of pluralism and secular government is at risk. Another flashpoint is the Muslim-majority province of Kashmir, where a separatist movement is supported by Pakistan, India's hostile, nuclear-armed neighbor. Meanwhile, India, also a nuclear power, is seeking a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, an effort that is coinciding with a warming in U.S.-India relations, due in part to India's support for the U.S. war on terrorism.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
India
May 2007  India Rising
Apr. 19, 2002  Emerging India
Jun. 11, 1976  India Under Authoritarian Rule
Feb. 17, 1971  India 1971: Strained Democracy
Jan. 18, 1967  India's Election and Economic Prospects
Nov. 03, 1965  Kashmir Question
Oct. 24, 1962  India-China Border War
Jan. 31, 1962  India's Election and Political Progress
Oct. 21, 1959  India, China, Tibet
Apr. 29, 1959  India's Hard Years
Apr. 30, 1958  Kashmir Conflict
Jun. 10, 1954  Neutral India
Jul. 18, 1951  Relations with India
Mar. 13, 1946  Freedom for India
Nov. 24, 1942  India and the War
Mar. 28, 1930  The Political Crisis in India
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Arms Control and Disarmament
Regional Political Affairs: East Asia and the Pacific
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