India. In March, the Congress Party withdrew its support
for the United Front's minority government. It had taken
office in the spring of 1996 and, with the help of the
Congress Party, could have kept the Hindu Nationalist Indian
People's Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), out of
Congress leader Sitaram Kesri, however, misjudged the
possibility of obtaining a majority for his own government.
The crisis ended with the resignation of Prime Minister HD
Deve Gowda and replaced by Foreign Minister Inder Kumar
In May, the government presented a budget that reduced
both income and corporate taxes by 5-10% and reduced import
duties. In return, more citizens must start paying taxes;
today, the state receives tax from only 12 million out of
950 million residents.
Countryaah, the government was shaken again in June when Laloo Prasad
Yadav, head of government in the state of Bihar, was
indicted for embezzlement. Yadav was leader of the People's
Party, Janata Dal (JD), the most important party in the
central government. The scandal worsened when he put his
barely literate wife to rule Bihar.
In November, a report on the assassination of former
Prime Minister Ravij Gandhi was presented in 1991. The
Congress party demanded that the DMK be excluded from the
government, and when that did not happen, the Congress party
canceled the government. New elections were announced at the
beginning of 1998.
The continued flammability of the caste system was
illustrated by the rattles that shook Bombay in July, after
a statue of the low-throwing freedom fighter Bhimrao Ramji
Ambedkar was violated. In December, at least 60 low-caste
farmers in Bihar were killed by a high-caste landowner
militia. During the year, however, the low-key,
"untouchable", diplomat Kocheril Raman Narayanan was elected
by superior majority to the country's tenth president.
In Kashmir, the Swedish-built power plant in Uri was
completed in May. Construction work had been ongoing since
1989 at a cost of just over SEK 5 billion, of which SEK 1.3
billion was a gift from Sweden.
In the spring, Indian police said they had received
evidence that Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi was
one of the recipients of Bofors bribe money in the 1980s.
Through his close friendship with then Prime Minister
Rajiv Gandhi and his Italian-born wife Sonia, new suspicions
were directed at Gandhi. However, no evidence was presented
that Gandhi himself enriched.
1992 Hindu fundamentalism
Throughout 1992, a significant number of assaults took
place against the Muslim population perpetrated by Hindu
fundamentalists in the northern cities of Bombay and
Ayodhya. In the latter, a mosque had been erected in 1528,
and it was the same place Brahma according to. the Hindu
tradition had been born. In December, Lalrishan Advani - the
leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (PBJ) - ordered his
supporters to tear down the mosque. The clashes that
followed cost 1300 lives in several cities around the
country and also spread to Bangla Desh and Pakistan. In
1995, the Supreme Court dealt with the case of the existence
of a possible Hindu temple in Ayodhya, where the Babri
mosque had since been built. It was the one that had been
destroyed by Hindu fundamentalists in December 1992.
However, the members of the court unanimously decided to
refuse to comment in this case.
Prime Minister Rao's reform plans were put forward by
Finance Minister Man Mohan Singh and consisted in opening
the Indian market to foreign investment. The state should
gradually reduce its interference with the economy, allow
the local currency - rupiah - to float above the
dollar and finally remove import restrictions. They led
inflation to fall below 10% in 1995, to a reduction in the
budget deficit, while exports continued to rise since 1992.
The country's external debt is equivalent to 38% of its GDP
(60% in Denmark), and per share. capita income among the
country's 935 million inhabitants is among Asia's lowest.
Economic reforms led to protests from several sectors -
especially agriculture. The resistance to the presence of
multinational companies interested in the sale of
fertilizers and seed was particularly strong. During the
Green Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, the World Bank had
issued extensive loans for the purchase of genetically
engineered seed, while at the same time granting the farmers
a subsidy. The government now decided to follow the World
Bank's structural adjustment program, which included the
abolition of these subsidies. The association of farmers in
the state of Karnataka cited the protests, which since 1991
had also included direct actions against representatives of
At the International Conference on Farmers' Rights in the
Third World in Bangalore 3-4. In October 1993, the peasants
declared that "the seeds, plants, biological material and
wealth of the Third World are the people of the collective
intellectual property of the Third World". It was decided to
develop these rights to the system of private patents
favoring the introduction of monocultures, thus attacking
Despite a September 1993 earthquake that killed 10,000
people and the violence between the religious communities,
the government was optimistic at the start of 1994. But at
the same time, the differences between the states were
increasing. The northern state of Uttar Pradesh where 140
million people live showed a social development that was far
below the national average. At the same time, in 1995, the
male population exceeded the female by 1,000 males for every
882 females. At the same time, in the southern state of
Kerala, it was rare to see beggars. 90% of its population
can read and write, and the child mortality rate of 17 ‰ is
closer to Washington DC than to the rest of India, where it
is 79 ‰.