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Lal Bahadur Shastri became India's second prime minister, and upon his death was succeeded by Nehru's daughter Indira Gandhi, who remained in power until 1977 when, for the first time, the Congress lost in parliamentary elections to the opposition Janata party.Indira's loss was largely due to the increasingly authoritarian tactics she had adopted before she was voted out of power.
Economic liberalization, however, has caused widening discrepancies between the wealthy and the poor in India.The British hoped that this political party would serve to quell growing resistance to British rule by co-opting some of India's most politically aware and educated individuals into working within the bounds of British rule.Instead, the Indian National Congress became the vehicle through which Indians coordinated their struggle for freedom from British rule.An indigenous independence movement spearheaded by men like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru—later free India's first prime minister—gained strength in the early twentieth century.India's movement for independence was marked by nonviolence as hundreds of thousands of Indians responded to Mahatma Gandhi's call for satyagraha, which means to be steadfast in truth.Second in population only to China, India is home to around 900 million people of diverse ethnicity, religion, and language. Approximately 12 percent are Muslims, while smaller minorities include Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and Zoroastrians.
While official Indian languages include Hindi, which is spoken by about 30 percent of the population, and English, hundreds of dialects are also spoken in India.The British army existed to maintain internal order and control uprisings against the colonizing government by the Indian people.In 1885 the British sanctioned the formation of the Indian National Congress, of which an offshoot, the Congress party, remains one of India's most important political parties.The party has found widespread support in some areas of India and in some sections of the Asian Indian community in the United States and Europe.Thus far, however, the government has functioned within the parameters of India's democratic institutions.India's capital is the modern city of New Delhi in northern India, and its flag is the "tricolor," which boasts three equal stripes of orange, white, and green.