Events that changed the face of India

With 70 years gone by since India became independent, the nation has passed through several vicissitudes, accomplishments and mass movements. There have been many major events after independence which have moulded the face of India for good or bad. During the last seven decades, the country has witnessed several changes both in the political arena and social life. It overcame many hurdles and Indians earned global recognition in various fields.

On the 70th anniversary of a country which is a home to millions of people, My India brings 10 events which have a tremendous impact on our nation.

1962: India-China War

India was trying to get back up on its feet after around 200 years of colonial barbarism when it faced the atrocity of this war. Communist China took advantage of this situation and attacked unprepared India on October 20, 1962, in Ladakh with around 80,000 Chinese troops. This war left an unforgettable mark on both the nations and its effect can still be felt today.

1966: Green Revolution

Green Revolution was the adoption of advanced technology and methods such as fertilizers, hybrid seeds, pesticides and irrigation in the field of agriculture to meet the demands of the increasing population. It has led to an increase in food grain production.

1969: Nationalisation of Banks

The Government of India nationalised 14 major Indian commercial banks of the country on 19th July 1969 in view of the economic development of the country. These 14 commercial banks controlled 85 percent of the country’s deposits.

1971: India-Pakistan War

The India-Pakistan War was just a 13-day affair and resulted in the creation of Bangladesh from what was called East Pakistan. The Indian government supported the majority of Bangladeshi people. On December 16, 1971, the East Pakistan army surrendered to the Indian army, giving birth to the nation of Bangladesh. The creation of Bangladesh led to a change in India’s geopolitics for forever.

1975: Year of Emergency

The declaration of emergency on June 25, 1975, by then PM Indira Gandhi is often referred as the “darkest phase of independent India”. The Indian democracy was brought to an abrasive halt and every fundamental right that an Indian citizen cherished was suspended till March 21, 1977, when the country could finally breathe democracy again. The political leaders who protested against the Emergency went to jail and changed India’s political and social landscape forever.

1979: Implementation Of The Mandal Commission By VP Singh

This commission was formed on 1 January 1979 under Prime Minister Morarji Desai to uplift the socially and educationally backward classes to bring about structural changes in Indian society. The commission suggested reservation of 27% of the seats for the OBCs in educational institutions as well as in jobs. Many anti-reservation protests have taken place in the country ever since the Mandal Commission was implemented. Mandal commission continues to haunt India even after 29 years of its implementation.

1991: Liberalisation of Economy

The Union budget presented by then finance minister, Manmohan Singh on July 24, 1991, is the most significant budget in Indian politics. It paved the way for the economic reforms which liberalised the Indian economy. The economic liberalisation policy of 1991 aimed at making the Indian economy more service-oriented, reduction in import tariffs and taxes, deregulation of markets and expansion of the role of private and foreign investment. If the markets have not been opened up, India would never have become one of the rapidly growing economies in the world.

2005-Right to Information Act passed

2005 was a memorable year for the right to information in India because it saw the enactment of a national right to information law. With the enactment of this act, the citizens of India are empowered to ask for any kind of information from the State or the Central authorities. The Right to Information Act, 2005 helped in exposing some of the most vicious scams in the history of India. It is a strong tool for people of India to promote transparency and hold people accountable who are in power.

2009-Launching of Aadhaar

Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number issued by the Indian government that would capture all the details, including demographic and biometric information, of every resident Indian individual. It also serves as the basis for Know Your Customer (KYC) norms used by banks and financial institutions. It can be used as the sole identification proof when applying for other things.

2014: Narendra Modi Becoming The Prime Minister In 2014

After the announcement of Narendra Modi becoming the Prime Minister of India in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, two crucial records were broken at once in the history of Indian elections. Firstly, a political party other than the Congress had won with a majority of 282 seats in the Lok Sabha and secondly, India’s oldest political party, Indian National Congress was reduced to its all-time worst tally of 44 seats. The rise of Narendra Modi was a clear indication that a 125-year-old political party involved in India’s freedom struggle was in shambles.

2016-Demonetisation

On 8 November 2016, the Indian government announced the banning of Rs. 500/- and Rs. 1000/- notes. The intention behind demonetisation was to combat tax evasion by “black money” held outside the formal economic system. The country faced immense cash crunches during this period and people had to stand in long queues to exchange their bank notes. This act of government promoted digital transactions and was a significant step towards making India a cashless economy.

2017-Launching of the GST regime

The Goods and Service Tax (GST) is India’s biggest tax reform was launched on July 1, 2017, by President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at midnight at Parliament’s historic Central Hall. It is for the fourth time since Independence that an event was held there at midnight. The current tax rates have been replaced by the rates of GST and it will help in reshaping the country’s 2 trillion dollar economy.

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Events that changed the face of India
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Many post-independence events led to a change in the Indian system. Let's discuss these events in detail.