Republic of India

India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the west, and the Bay of Bengal on the east, India has a coastline of 7,517 kilometres (4,700 mi). It is bordered by Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east.

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  • For India, the consequences of Pakistan’s engagement on the issue of Kashmir were to be profoundly harmful, for they linked fatally with a breakdown of trust and good governance in the Kashmir valley itself. After India and Pakistan went to war for the first time in 1947–48, it would have been logical to partition the giant kingdom of Kashmir into its constituent parts, with the Muslim areas going to Pakistan and Buddhist Ladakh and Hindu Jammu going to India. Instead, both sides retained what territory they had at the end of the fighting, and the State of Jammu and Kashmir was given a temporary special position in the Indian Constitution. This laid down serious problems for the future, making Kashmir appear uniquely disconnected from the rest of India. As the decades went by, New Delhi started to erode or ignore the special status. Before he died in 1964, Jawaharlal Nehru narrowly missed reaching a final settlement of the issue with Pakistan’s government and the Kashmiri leader, Sheikh Abdullah.

    Patrick FrenchIndia

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