60 years from Independence

Updated 26 January, 2015

Two more assassinations in India, both in the same dynastic Gandhi family (though unrelated to the Mahatma); eventually resulting in relative stability and prosperity.

From centrally-planned economy, through four border wars, oscillations in ruling party, to 2004 – Dr Manmohan Singh becomes Premier and economic reform in earnest, but little real impact.

·         1947-1990 – Series of Five-Year Plans loosely based on Soviet model of planned economy
·         1947-49 – 1st Indo-Pakistani War
·         1949 – India was 15th country to recognise the People’s Republic of China

·         1956 – Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai visits India and Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai slogan was coined, which means “Indians and Chinese are brothers”; and the Panch Sheel (5 principles) of co-existence was agreed

·         1959 – His Holiness the Dalai Lama escapes to India from Tibet

·         1962 – Indo-Chinese War started by China in frustration at lack of progress in settling border demarcation. To India’s shame, Chinese living in the border areas affected by the war were detained at Deoli, Rajasthan a camp set up by the British for Japanese prisoners but not used until then. Also, India defined ‘Chinese’ as anyone with at least one grandparent of Chinese ethnic origin, similar to the Nazi definition of a Jew! Even second and third generation migrants were treated as ‘undesirable’ aliens.

·         1964 – First prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru dies

·         1965 – 2nd Indo-Pakistani War
·         1966 — Prime-minister Lal Bahadur Shastri dies at Indo-Pakistan summit shortly after the
peace treaty is signed; Indira Gandhi, daughter of Nehru (no relative of the Mahatma), becomes Prime Minister
·         1971 – 3rd Indo-Pakistani War which started as a civil war in East Pakistan which escalated and India got involved and ended with the creation of Bangladesh.

·         1972 – The Simla Agreement is signed between Indira Gandhi (daughter of the first premier Jawaharlal Nehru, a Kashmiri Brahmin living in Allahabad, who married Feroz Gandhi, a Parsi also from Allahabad) and Zia A. Bhutto (who was later executed some say on false charges and father of Benazir Bhutto, who was later assassinated in her own country).

·         1975-77 – State of Emergency declared due to internal threats, mainly the rise of Sikh separatism.

·         1984 – Operation Bluestar launched against the separatist Sikhs hiding in the Golden 
Temple at Amritsar, subsequent assassination of Indira Gandhi, and violence against Sikhs.

·         1989 – National Congress Party loses general elections for first time.

·         1991 – Congress made comeback, but did not have mandate. Prime Minister P V Narismha Rao starts economic reforms.

Rajiv Gandhi, son of Indira, is assassinated by female suicide bomber connected with Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka.

·         1995 – The notorious Y2K (year 2,000) software fix creates boom for Indian programmers. Start of outsourcing IT to India.

·         1996 – National Congress Party loses again.

·         1999 – Kargill War between India and Pakistan.

·         2004 – National Congress Party regains power with decent majority and Dr Manmohan
Singh appointed as Prime minister.  Economic reform now in earnest.

·         2007 – 15 August India celebrates 60th anniversary of Independence.
·         2009 – National Congress Party retains power with large majority. Economic reform accelerates.

{Partly based on: Kamat’s potpourri}

      2014 May: BSP wins general elections and Narendra Modi becomes Prime Minister.  BSP and Modi are pro-business and anti central planning and bureaucracy.

English: Image of Narendra Modi at the World E...

English: Image of Narendra Modi at the World Economic Forum in India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)