India. The government resigned in April after losing a
vote of confidence in a single vote triggered by the
coalition of All-India party Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
(AIADMK) leaving the coalition. New elections were announced
after the Congress Party, All India Congress Committe (I),
failed to form a new government.
The relationship with Pakistan seemed to improve at the
beginning of the year. In the spring, however, clashes
increased along the standstill line in Kashmir. India sent
30,000 soldiers to the area when it was discovered that more
than 1,000 men, many of whom were said to belong to the
Pakistani army, had invaded Indian soil. Only after nearly
two months of fighting, including air strikes, did India
start to drive out the invaders. Pakistan's
commander-in-chief admitted that "aggressive patrol
operations" were taking place on Indian territory. US
pressure accelerated the Pakistani retreat. More than 1,000
men from each side were believed to have been killed in the
conflict, whose peril was underlined by both countries'
nuclear weapons holdings and that both had tried new
medium-range robots in April.
Countryaah official website, the border conflict was followed by increased guerrilla
activity in Kashmir. During the fall, suicide attacks were
carried out against the state government office and military
headquarters. In August, Indian flights shot down a
Pakistani reconnaissance plane across the border of the
state of Gujarat and all 16 on board were killed.
The strong patriotism that led to the border conflict
favored the expedition government dominated by the Indian
People's Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in the
fall election. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee could
also point out that the government's way of dealing with the
crisis improved the country's relations with the major
powers, which were damaged by the nuclear explosions in
1998. The economy also favored the BJP government. Inflation
was only 8% and on the way down, growth was estimated at 7%
and the state's tax revenue had increased by 13% since 1998.
The monsoon rains were good and there was room for increased
private consumption. The National Democratic Alliance,
consisting of the BJP and 23 smaller parties, got 298 of the
545 seats and the BJP became the single largest party with
182 seats. The Congress Party, damaged by an internal
conflict over party leader Sonia Gandhi's Italian
background, made his worst choice with only 113 seats.
However, Sonia Gandhi was elected with the highest margin of
victory of all candidates.
In November, the Pope visited India, which was
characterized by Hindu irritation over a supposedly
increased Christian missionary activity. In the state of
Orissa, an Australian missionary and his two sons were
murdered in January and a Catholic priest in September. The
year also saw a worsening conflict in the state of Bihar
between landowner militia and low-caste rural workers.
Several massacres on farm workers were followed by revenge
attacks by Maoist-inspired guerrillas against landowners.
The strongest cyclone that hit India in decades caused
devastation in Orissa in October. About 10,000 people were
killed and the infrastructure suffered severe damage.
In the autumn, the legal aftermath of the Bofors affair
began, the bribery scandal surrounding the Swedish company's
order for field hobbies in 1986. The then Bofors chief
Martin Ardbo and the company's current management were
called to stand trial but stayed at home.
An Indian airliner was hijacked on Christmas Eve on the
way from Kathmandu in Nepal to New Delhi. For a whole week,
the plane remained standing at Qandahar airport in
Afghanistan, where the hijackers demanded that Kashmiri
guerrilla members be released from Indian prisons. During
the final hours of the year, hostages were released, after
the Indian government released three prisoners. A man in
hostage was killed the first day.
In December, former President Shanker Dayal Sharma passed
away at the age of 81. He was Head of State 1992-97.
India has also strengthened its relations with other
regional heavyweights in the Third World. This is especially
true of South Africa and Brazil. In April 2006, India also
hosted an Indian-African Summit, attended by leaders from 15
Singh's economic reforms and the opening of the country's
borders ensured high economic growth in the middle of the
decade. In 2007, the Indian economy grew by 9% - the second
largest growth in the world after China.
A November 2008 terror attack against Mombay cost 171
lives and 300 injured. The attack worsened relations with
Pakistan when the terrorists came from there, which was
initially categorically denied by the Pakistani government.
The Lashkar-e-Taiba group was responsible for the attack,
but also Hindu groups have carried out terrorist actions in
The April-May 2009 parliamentary elections were a victory
for the Congress party, rising almost 4% to 37.2%. The party
could therefore continue in government. The Hindu BJP went
back almost 5% to 24.6%, while the largest Communist Party
CPI (M) went back 1% to 21.2%.
Prominent social activist Anna Hazare launched a hunger
strike on April 5, 2011, to put pressure on the government
to pass a new law to combat widespread corruption in the
country. The hunger strike received great attention and
support, both inside and outside India. Already four days
later, 74-year-old Hazare was able to quell the hunger
strike after parliament passed the new anti-corruption law.
On August 16, he would resume the hunger strike because of
the government's unwillingness to enforce the provisions of
the law, but this time he and several hundred supporters
were arrested in New Delhi. The arrest sparked protests
across the country.
The BRICS countries met in April 2011 for the 3rd BRICS
summit in China. The countries put pressure on China to make
it import more processed goods from the other countries.
pharmaceutical products from India. There was a focus on
increased trade between the BRICS countries. The summit also
agreed to condemn NATO's bombing of Libya, allegedly carried
out under the UN mandate. BRICS supports a Security Council
reform, so that India, Brazil and South Africa also become
permanent members of the Security Council. India joined the
Council in January 2011 for the two-year period 2011-12.
Clashes with Maoist groups continued in 2011 in
Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The Indian
Supreme Court handed down an important ruling in July when
it ordered the state-backed Salwa Judum militia in
Chhattisgarh dissolved. Since 2005, 3,000 had been killed in
the state of Chhattisgarh and 25,000 displaced. The militia
accounted for a significant portion of human rights
violations in the state. The ceasefire and peace talks
between Maoists and West Bengal authorities collapsed in
November when the Maoist leader in the state, Koteshwar
“Kishenji” Rao was killed.
Terrorism-related violence dropped drastically in 2011
compared to previous years. However, 3 bombs went off in
Mumbai in May and in September a bomb killed 15 outside the
Delhi High Court.
In February 2012, a bomb attack was carried out against
an Israeli diplomatic car in New Delhi, India. The wife of
the embassy military attaché was slightly injured. On the
same day, a bomb 200m was discovered from the Israeli
embassy in Tblisi, Georgia, and the next day, 4 were injured
by bomb material that jumped prematurely in Bangkok.
Observers pointed to Iran as the likely backer of the
attacks, even though the country denied this and condemned
them as terrorist acts. The attacks were seen as revenge for
the previous years' killing of Iranian nuclear physicists,
which Israel was believed to be behind. One month later,
Israeli police arrested Indian journalist Syed Mohammed
Kazmi, who worked for an Iranian news organization, and
charged him with the attack. In July, Indian police
concluded that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard was
ultimately behind the attack.