17.31% of the world's population
|Regions with significant populations|
|India 1,210,193,422 (2011)|
|United Arab Emirates||1,500,000|
|South Africa||1,160,000|
|Hinduism · Atheism · Islam · Christianity · Sikhism · Buddhism · Jainism · Zoroastrianism · Judaism|
Indian people or Indians are citizens of India, the second most populous nation containing 17.50% of the world's population, and people of Indian heritage. The Indian nationality consists of many regional ethno-linguistic groups, reflecting the rich and complex history of India. The diaspora populations with Indian ancestry, as a result of emigration, are somewhat widespread most notably in Southeast Asia, South Africa, Australia, United Kingdom, Middle East, Trinidad and North America. Population estimates vary from a conservative 12 million to 20 million diaspora.
The Indian people established during ancient and medieval period some of the greatest Dynasties in South Asian history like the Maurya Empire, Satavahana dynasty, Gupta Empire, Rashtrakuta dynasty, Western Chalukya Empire, Chola Empire, Vijayanagara Empire and Maratha Empire. The first great Empire of the Indian people was the Maurya Empire which conquered the major part of South Asia in the 4th and 3rd century BC during the reign of the Indian Emperors Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka. The next great ancient Empire of the Indian people was the Gupta Empire. This period, witnessing a Hindu religious and intellectual resurgence, is known as the classical or "Golden Age of India". During this period, aspects of Indian civilization, administration, culture, and religion (Hinduism and Buddhism) spread to much of Asia, while kingdoms in southern India had maritime business links with the Roman Empire from around AD 77. The ancient Indian mathematicians Aryabhata, Bhāskara I and Brahmagupta invented the concept of zero and the decimal system during this period. During this period Indian cultural influence spread over many parts of Southeast Asia which led to the establishment of Indianized kingdoms in Southeast Asia.
During the early medieval period the great Rashtrakuta dynasty dominated the major part of the Indian subcontinent. from the 8th to 10th century and the Indian Emperor Amoghavarsha of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty was described by the Arab traveler Sulaiman as one of the 4 great Kings of the world. The medieval south Indian mathematician Mahāvīra (mathematician) lived in the Rashtrakuta dynasty and was the first Indian mathematician who separated astrology from mathematics and who wrote the earliest Indian text entirely devoted to mathematics. The greatest maritime Empire of the medieval Indians was the Chola dynasty. Under the great Indian Emperors Rajaraja Chola I and his successor Rajendra Chola I the Chola dynasty became a military, economic and cultural power in South Asia and South-East Asia. The power of the Chola empire was proclaimed to the eastern world by the expedition to the Ganges which Rajendra Chola I undertook and by the occupation of cities of the maritime empire of Srivijaya in Southeast Asia, as well as by the repeated embassies to China.
During the late medieval period the great Vijayanagara Empire dominated the major part of southern India from the 14th to 16th century and reached its peak during the reign of the south Indian Emperor Sri Krishnadevaraya The medieval Kerala school of astronomy and mathematics flourished during this period under such well known south Indian mathematicians as Madhava (c. 1340-1425) who made important contributions to Trigonometery and Calculus, and Nilakhanta (c. 1444-1545) who postulated on the orbitals of planets. The Indian Maratha people emerged in the 17th century and established the Maratha Empire under the reign of Shivaji Maharaj which became the dominant power in India in the 18th century.
India had a Mughal influence by the Muslim rulers. This had a marked influence in the Indian society.
According to a major 2009 study published by Reich et al. using over 500,000 biallelic autosomal markers, the modern Indian population is composed of two genetically divergent and heterogeneous populations, known as Ancestral North Indians (ANI) and Ancestral South Indians (ASI). ASI corresponds to the Dravidian-speaking population of southern India, whereas ANI corresponds to the Indo-Aryan-speaking population of northern India. Research by Moorjani et al., published in 2013, shows the two groups mixed extensively in the period from around 2100 BC to 100 AD, at which point a trend towards endogamy precluded any further mixing of the populations.
The Andamanese negritos are found on the Andaman Islands located on the southeastern side of the country. These speak a language known simply as Great Andamanese, a linguistic isolate not related to any known language. And finally, Austroasiatic languages are spoken by only tribals or Adivasis, who can be of either Australoid or Mongoloid racial stock.
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The caste system in India is a system of social stratification and severe social restrictions in which social classes are defined by thousands of endogamous hereditary groups, often termed jatis or castes. Within a jati, there exist exogamous groups known as gotras, the lineage or clan of an individual. In a handful of sub-castes such as Shakadvipi, endogamy within a gotra is permitted and alternative mechanisms of restricting endogamy are used (e.g. banning endogamy within a surname). Caste barriers have mostly broken down in large cities, though they persist in rural areas of the country, where 72% of India's population resides.
The 1901 census of India recorded 1646 distinct caste groups, which increased to 4147 in 1931. The oft-criticised The People of India project that began in the 1990s and relied heavily on Raj ethnographies, recorded 4635 castes. Every major religion is represented, as are four major families of languages (Indo-Aryan – a branch of the larger Indo-European language group –, Dravidian, Austroasiatic, and Tibeto-Burman) as well as a language isolate (the Nihali language spoken in parts of Maharashtra).
India is the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, collectively known as Indian religions. Indian religions, also known as Dharmic religions are a major form of world religions along with Abrahamic ones. Today, Hinduism and Buddhism are the world's third- and fourth-largest religions respectively, with over 2 billion followers altogether, and possibly as many as 2.5 or 2.6 billion followers. India is also the birthplace for the Jain, Lingayat, and Ahmadiyya faiths.
India is one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world, with some of the most deeply religious societies and cultures. Religion still plays a central and definitive role in the life of most of its people.
The religion of 80.5% of the people is Hinduism. Islam is practiced by around 13% of all Indians. Sikhism, Jainism and especially Buddhism are influential not only in India but across the world. Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Judaism and the Bahá'í Faith are also influential but their numbers are smaller. Despite the strong role of religion in Indian life, atheism and agnostics also have visible influence along with a self-ascribed tolerance to other people.
Hinduism is the majority in most states; Kashmir and Lakshadweep are Muslim majority; Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya are Christian majority; Punjab is a Sikh majority with Hindus 37%. It is to be noted that while participants in the Indian census may choose to not declare their religion, there is no mechanism for a person to indicate that he/she does not adhere to any religion. Due to this limitation in the Indian census process, the data for persons not affiliated with any religion may not be accurate. India contains the majority of the world's Hindus, Zoroastrians, Sikhs, Jains and Bahá'í. India is also home to the third-largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia and Pakistan. Muslims are the largest religious minority.
|Other religions & persuasions||6,639,626||0.6%|
|Religion not stated||727,588||0.1%|
Music and dance
The music of India includes multiple varieties of folk, popular, pop, classical music and R&B. India's classical music tradition, including Carnatic and Hindustani music, has a history spanning millennia and, developed over several eras, it remains fundamental to the lives of Indians today as sources of spiritual inspiration, cultural expression and pure entertainment. India is made up of several dozen ethnic groups, speaking their own languages and dialects, having very distinct cultural traditions.
Four best-known hindu deities, Shiva, Kali, Ganesha and Krishna, are typically represented dancing. There are hundreds of Indian folk dances such as Bhangra, Garba and special dances observed in regional festivals. India offers a number of classical Indian dance forms, each of which can be traced to different parts of the country. The presentation of Indian dance styles in film, Bollywood, has exposed the range of dance in India to a global audience.
Bharat Mata (Hindi, from Sanskrit भारत माता, Bhārata Mātā), Mother India, or Bhāratāmbā (from अंबा ambā 'mother') is the national personification of India as a mother goddess. She is usually depicted as a woman clad in an orange or saffron sari holding a flag, and sometimes accompanied by a lion.
The image of Bharat Mata formed with the Indian independence movement of the late 19th century. A play by Kiran Chandra Bandyopadhyay, Bhārat Mātā, was first performed in 1873.
The British Indian community has grown to number almost 1.5 million. In the 2011 UK Census, 1,451,862 respondents classified themselves of Indian ethnicity, representing 2.3 per cent of the total UK population (not including those of mixed ethnic backgrounds). The majority of these people (1,395,702) were resident in England, with smaller numbers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. People born in India are the UK's largest foreign-born population, totalling an estimated 734,000 in 2013.
There are over 1 million Indian people in Canada, the majority of which live in Greater Toronto and Vancouver. Nearly 4% of the total Canadian population is of Indian ancestry, a figure higher than both the United States and Britain.
More than a million people of Indian descent live in South Africa, concentrated around the city of Durban.
About 40,000 people of Indian origin live in Tanzania mostly in the urban areas.
According to the American Community Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau, the Indian American population in the United States grew from almost 1.67 million in 2000 to 3.1 million in 2010 which comprises as the third-largest Asian American community in the United States after Chinese Americans and Filipino Americans.
- Lists of people from India by state
- South Asian ethnic groups
- Ethnic groups in Asia
- Category:Indian castes
- Category:Indian caste system
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