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Republic of India and Islamic Republic of Pakistan (1947 to present)

TimelineThe Story of India: Freedom [PBS]
Excellent annotated timeline with text, images, and video clips throughout.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1869-1948
Mahatma Gandhi [Manas: India and Its Neighbors]
An in-depth look at the life and legacy of Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948), by UCLA professor of history Vinay Lal.

Independent India [Manas: India and Its Neighbors]
An extensive look at the political history of India after its 1947 independence, by UCLA professor of history Vinay Lal.

Understanding Modern India [Asia Society]
"In this reading, the author introduces five themes that are central to understanding modern India... 1) its diversity, 2) the depth of culture, 3) a land of minorities, 4) its future depends on the interaction between two worlds: 5) in the cities and rural India, poverty, spirituality and modernity mix and coexist."

Pakistan: A Political History [Asia Society]
"When Pakistan became a country on August 14th, 1947, [it became] the largest Muslim state in the world. The creation of Pakistan was catalyst to the largest demographic movement in recorded history. Nearly seventeen million people-Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs-are reported to have moved in both directions between India and the two wings of Pakistan (the eastern wing is now Bangladesh)."

India-Pakistan Relations: A Fifty-Year History [Asia Society]
"Read about the turbulent fifty years between independence from the British Empire to present time, when the two great nations have nuclear arsenals pointed at each other. This essay also touches on Kashmir, U.S. and China's role in South Asia relations."

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India's Democracy

India's Democracy: Illusion or Reality? [PDF] [Education About Asia, Association for Asian Studies]
"For the last sixty years, since it gained independence in 1947, India has claimed the position of the world’s largest democracy. For almost as long, skeptics have seen India’s democracy as an Indian rope trick, an illusion in which the superstructure of democratic government—a parliament and prime minister, periodic elections, constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms—hides the reality of on-the-ground authoritarian rule by local landlords, bureaucracy, and party bosses, buttressed by a culture of caste-based inequality, and sustained by India’s continuing desperate poverty."

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The South Asian Diaspora

The Desi Diaspora [Asia Society]
"This essay describes the world events and many adversities that shaped overseas Indians' sense of unity and identity over the past two centuries."

Primary SourceEchoes of Freedom: South Asian Pioneers in California, 1899-1965 [The Library, University of California, Berkeley]
"The story of early Indian immigrants to California told through photographs, documents, and publications, drawn from the South/Southeast Asia Library's rich archive of material on South Asians in North America."

Sikh Community: Over 100 Years in the Pacific Northwest [The Wing Luke Asian Museum]
"Although Sikhs have been living in the United States and Canada for over a century, the general public understands little about the Sikh faith and the community's long-standing roots in the Pacific Northwest. The first Sikh immigrants arrived in this region in the late 1800s, working in lumber mills and constructing railroads." Five topics, with many images: 1) Sikhism (history); 2) Life in the Pacific Northwest; 3) Distinguished Community Leaders; 4) Mis-Identity; 5) Being Sikh in a Western World.

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Life in a Northern Indian Village

A Virtual Village [Wesleyan University]
An excellent teaching tool for exploring "the complex interfaces and interactions among North Indians and their social and cultural lives." With thematic essays, maps, photographs, interviews of villagers, a glossary of key terms, and a teaching guide.

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Traditional Arts, Northern India

The Artists of Nathadwara [South Asia Center, University of Washington]
"The small town of Nathadwara lies in Rajasthan's Aravalli hills, on the banks of the Banas River. ... The town is typical of this region of north India. ... Although Nathadwara may look like other Rajasthani towns, it is set apart by its importance as a great pilgrimage centre and as the home of a large community of traditional artists."

Find more art-related resources for South Asia, 20th Century
at OMuRAA (Online Museum Resources on Asian Art)

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© 2009 Asia for Educators, Columbia University