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Some shows are easier to create than others. This program is definitely one of them. Today I’ll share my thoughts and new knowledge about the world’s second largest country and it biggest democracy....INDIA.
The land of Hindus, Muslims, Christians and other faiths living side by side... where coexistence is the better option for all. The land where the rights of women are still being fought and where basic essentials that we, in America completely take for granted are still a luxury for more than 53% of the Indian people.
It was an extraordinary trip for me that I am still savoring....still reflecting. And it was a trip that has me searching for new answers, new meaning, new relevance as I connect the dots between the Indians I now call my brothers and sisters..OVER THERE....and South Asian Indians I know and respect here in America.
This is only the beginning of my journey to India. It’s one that you won’t want to miss.
And we’ll also talk with award winning PR guru Terrie Williams and her continued advocacy for mental health issues in African American communities across the nation.
Source: US Department of State
Although India occupies only 2.4% of the world's land area, it supports over 15% of the world's population. Only China has a larger population. India's median age is 25, one of the youngest among large economies. About 70% live in more than 550,000 villages, and the remainder in more than 200 towns and cities. Over the thousands of years of its history, India has been invaded from the Iranian plateau, Central Asia, Arabia, Afghanistan, and the West; Indian people and culture have absorbed and modified these influences to produce a remarkable racial and cultural synthesis.
Religion, caste, and language are major determinants of social and political organization in India today. However, with more job opportunities in the private sector and better chances of upward social mobility, India has begun a quiet social transformation in this area. The government has recognized 18 official languages; Hindi, the national language, is the most widely spoken, although English is a national lingua franca. Although 81% of its people are Hindu, India also is the home of more than 138 million Muslims--one of the world's largest Muslim populations. The population also includes Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, and Parsis.
The Hindu caste system reflects Indian occupational and socially defined hierarchies. Ancient Sanskrit sources divide society into four major categories, priests (Brahmin), warriors (Ksha-triya), traders/artisans (Vaishya) and farmers/laborers (Shudra). Although these categories are understood throughout India, they describe reality only in the most general terms. They omit, for example, the tribal people and those outside the caste system formerly known as "untouchables”,or Dalits. In reality,
Indian society is divided into thousands of jatis--local, endogamous groups based on occupation--and organized hierarchically according to complex ideas of purity and pollution. Discrimination based on caste is officially illegal, but remains prevalent, especially in rural areas. Nevertheless, the government has made strong efforts to minimize the importance of caste through active affirmative action and social policies. Moreover, caste is often diluted if not subsumed in the economically prosperous and heterogeneous cities, where an increasing percentage of India's population lives. In the countryside, expanding education, land reform and economic opportunity through access to information, communication, transport, and credit are helping to lessen the harshest elements of the caste system.
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