Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

83 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back


The geographic area of what is today Afghanistan, Iran, India and Pakistan.

Earliest evidence of Neolithic gatherings was found here.


The land beyond the Indus.

Gangetic Plain

A fertile region north of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, which housed many early Neolithic farming communities.

Indus Valley Civilization

3300 - 1300? BCE. One of three early civilizations of the Old World (Egypt & Mesopotamia), later known as the Harappan Culture. Located in the Indus valley with ~1000 cities. Well-developed commerce w/ timber, precious metals, ivory, etc. Declined abruptly around 1300 BCE for unclear reasons.

Vedic Culture

An Indo-European people and language (Sanskrit), who replaced the urban life of the Indus Valley Civilization and became farmers and nomads. More underdeveloped than their predecessors.

The Vedas

A collection of four texts in Sanskrit: supposedly inspired words from the divine, or the incarnation of God on earth. Preserved initially through oral tradition, they address many elements of life: rituals & customs, sex & sacrifice, prayer & benediction, etc.

Indian philosophies which cite the Veda as their primary source are termed orthodox; others, such as Jainism and Buddhism, are heterodox


The fourth Veda: it discusses meditation, spiritual knowledge, etc. and constitutes central elements to the study of Hinduism. Largely abstract accounts of love and philosophy
which were written over several centuries.

Aryan Culture

1000 - 500 BCE. Foundation of farming communities wherein cattle was the primary currency. Included early developments of the caste system (via Jatis). Women had equal rights & could remarry. Political scene was dominated by chieftains who claimed divine power, i.e. through horse sacrifice. Later years saw conflict amongst its principalities.


Religion that emphasizes austerity and monasticism as the route to salvation. It is open to all castes and promotes nonviolence towards all living things.

Founder was called Vardhamana.

King Ashoka

One of the most powerful emperors of India, and the last of the Mauryan dynasty. Following his bloody conquest of Kalinga country (on the Eastern coast), he renounced arms, embraced ahimsa, and promoted the moral teachings of Buddhism. Created massive trade routes. Remembered now as a philanthropic administrator.


Ruled from 1526 - 1530. Founder of the Mughal empire, used cavalry and muskets to defeat the Muslims. Contributed to the rise of Persian ethos in Indian subcontinent.


Grandson of Babur. After fighting for the throne in Delhi against Afghanis, he established a new nobility comprised of different Amirs, except for Afghanis. Developed a formal tax system through Zamidars. Married to a Hindu & supported orthodox Muslims but Hindus as well (established boats to Mecca & no cow slaughter).

Shah Jahan

Grandson of Akbar. His reign is considered one of the most prosperous ages of Indian civilization. A ruthless military commander & a more orthodox Muslim than Akbar. Built the Taj Mahal (although he was not very religiously tolerant) during the "Golden Age" of Mughal architecture.


Son of Shah Jahan. Imprisoned his ailing father and ruled for forty-nine years. Expanded the Mughal Empire to its greatest heights; changed the ideology of the Mughal Empire as a devout Muslim; imposed taxes on Hindus and forbade development of Hindu temples, shrines, etc. which created rifts between him and Marathas. His death marks the beginning of the end for the Mughal Empire.


A powerful military group from Western India which fought against Mughal empire, it later expanded along the coast. Religiously tolerant, but soon Brahman prime ministers began to take control; it split apart and became victims of new invading force -- Europe.


1. Experience superior to Dogma
2. Outward experience not as good as internal experience
3. God is supreme identity and human mind is limited
4. God is absolute, humans are limited and thus there is no personality for the divine
5. Multiplicity of god not an issue
6. Heresy is impossible, no proselytization possible
7. Doctrinal tolerance but internal social rigidity

The castes

Brahmins: priests, administrators

Kshatriyas: warriors

Vaishyas: businessmen, merchants

Sudras: farmers, working class

Dalits: untouchables, waste cleaners


Duty/virtue/righteousness to complete tasks, in accordance with cosmic order.

Five Pillars of Islam

1) Profession of faith

2) Prayer

3) Fasting

4) Tithes (zakat)

5) Hajj


Struggle against nonbelievers

*Greater Jihad = internal striving against sin


Islamic canonical law prescribing both religious and secular duties & retribution at times.

Jurisprudence is decided by KSIQ:


Sunna (Prophet's actions)

Isma (consensus of lawyers)

Qiyas (legal documents)

Subaltern History

In short, history from the perspective of the marginalized.

"Subaltern" refers to those who are beyond the hegemonic power structure. Its analysis questions preexisting forms of knowledge as constructive, history as written by winners. Attempts to reconstruct (or at least represent) narratives of the "Other" (marginalized)


The idea that power relations are implicated in the formation of knowledge & established by knowledge elites; that the narrative of alternate histories have been suppressed.

Three British Views on India

Evangelical (Grant, Corey): "The moral enhancement of the Indian people, an 'infant civilization,' must occur." Was never a dominant discourse.

Conservative (Burke, Metcalf): "Hindus are a developed people with whom the British should not interfere." Was cognizant of upper-caste mentalities.

Liberal (Mills, Bentham, Macaulay): "Hindus lack rationality, hence, the British will help cultivate and render them intelligent." Enlightened despotism in theory, but not in practice.

East India Company

Founded amidst British-Dutch tensions over the spice trade. Granted a royal monopoly by Elizabeth, after which it swiftly expanded and established major cities (Calcutta and Mumbai). Eventually began to conquer and govern parts of India, imposing British law and using the Zamidar system to collect taxes for the crown.

Poor oversight, however, led to its liquidation following the Govt. of India Act of 1858.


A term for British administrators who made a fortune in India.

Warren Hastings

First governor-general of India in 1773: he was released after 20 counts of corruption (evidence of the EIC's terrible political management).

Succeeded by Edmund Burke, then Lord Cornwallis.

Mutiny of 1857

A rebellion of sepoys -- Indians soldiers in service to the British crown -- started in Bengal against the Doctrine of Lapse, which reacquired principalities if they had no male successor.

There followed such a terrible response from the East India Company (i.e. the destruction of entire villages) that the crown was forced to reorganize British rule -- establishing the British Raj in its place.

British Raj

1857 - 1947

Indian Civil Service

Members of Indian society -- often, lawyers trained in Oxbridge -- who worked with the British Raj for political & economic advancement.

Govt. of India Act of 1858

1) Liquidated the British East India Company

2) Transferred its functions to the British crown

3) Established a Secretary of State of India

4) Established the Indian Civil Service

Princely States

A state protected by the crown but granted moderate internal autonomy

~600 of them during the British Raj

Sayyid Ahmad Kahn

Muslim educator and reformer: founded the first successful Muslim university (Aligarh, which opposed the partition of India) and supported the British raj.

Promoted Western-style education and religious pluralism at first, but later famously declared that Hindu-Muslim unity was impossible.

Thomas Macaulay

British Secretary of War. Played a major role in introducing English and western concepts to education in India. Prominent in the Indian education scene, he espoused a hierarchical view of nations as 'barbaric' or 'civilized' & promoted British-style education as belonging to the highest order (compared to India's 'barbarism').

Arya Samaj

A Hindu reform movement that embraces Veda ideals and denounces caste, untouchability, multiple gods, etc.

Founded by Saraswarti in 1875, it remains a relatively militant form of Hinduism.

Secular nationalism vs. communal nationalism

1) Polity wherein self-determination is regardless of race, religion or class


2) Polity wherein mobilization occurs along race, religion etc.

Indian National Congress

Was Gandhi's party (although he was never President) and the main driver behind the independence movement. The world's largest and oldest democratic political party. Founded in 1885 with the help of A. O. Hume, it paved the way for greater self-rule for educated Indians. Initially unopposed to British rule and attempted to get British-educated Indians into the Indian civil service and government. Later transitioned into main pro-independence party. Run by Nehru and Azad.

Allen Octavian Hume

British civil servant & founding member of the INC. He attended EIC's school in London, but he was outspoken against British treatment of Indians and called for the INC to push educated Indians into British civil service.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak

First popular leader of the independence movement. A strong advocate of self-rule through external means (as opposed to Gokhale).

Gopal Krishna Gokhale

Mentor to both Gandhi and Jinnah. A founding member of independence movement, he fought against partition of Bengal and believed in nonviolence and reform within existing govt. institutions. A president of the INC.

Jawaharlal Nehru

First and longest serving PM & president of the INC. The architect of the modern Indian nation-state as: sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic. Believed in aid of the poor and underprivileged (though very wealthy himself). Influenced by the Fabian Society when he studied at Oxford. Was responsible for a great deal of India's early history, including J&K and the planned economy.

Maulana Azad

An independence movement leader, and a Muslim-Indian scholar who promoted inter-religious unity and opposed Pakistan. Believed in both secularism and socialism. As Gandhi's student, he helped organize the Dandi March.

Later, as the first education minister of India, he founded the Indian Institute of Technology.

Sardar Patel

Independence movement leader (and barrister)

First Home Minister and Deputy PM of India

Tried to unite the princely states of India

Established the All India Services

Incredibly close to Gandhi

Khan Abdul Khan

"Frontier Gandhi"

Leader of the Pashtun region in Pakistan

Studied at Aligarh

Integrated men and women into his programs

Devout pacifist who opposed Partition

Famously said he had been thrown to the wolves when Partition occured

Subhas Chandra Bose

Independence movement leader

Became president of INC, but was opposed by Gandhi

Believed in violent resistance to British rule

Attempted during WWII to expel British rule with Japan's aid

Led the All India Forward Bloc (left-wing nationalist)

Muslim League

First political party of Pakistan (1906)

Initially aligned with Congress party, but always championed protection of Muslim liberties

Declared campaign for Pakistan at the Lahore Conference

Comprised mostly of Muslims from Aligarh, opposing radicalism of other Muslims in INC

Mohammed Ali Jinnah

Leader of Pakistan

Born into top of society & studied in London

Joined INC, then later president of Muslim League

Continuously rejected on his fourteen points that wanted safeguards for Muslim culture

Retreated from India to England, returned in 1940 and promoted Lahore conference


Handspun and handloom cloth, used as a political tactic by Gandhi against British tariffs on Indian goods

Swadeshi movement


Economic strategy to remove the British and improve India's economic conditions

Boycotting British goods & promoting domestic ones

Khilafat Movement

Pan-Islamic movement in reaction to the decline of the Ottoman Caliph

First movement that unified INC and ML, but some say it contributed to their subsequent fallout

Also Gandhi's first nonviolence movement

Amritsar Massacre (1919)

British soldiers (under Gen. Dyer's command) opened fire on unarmed gathering of men, women and children (protesting Rowlatt Acts, which extended oppressive wartime measures despite promises from the British to ease their rule). 1500 casualties.

Critical turning point for Indo-British relations

Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar

Architect of India's constitution

Born as untouchable, attended Columbia and LSE

Guaranteed wide range of civil liberties, esp. universal suffrage

Fought against Gandhi, who refused positive discrimination for dalits

Lord Irwin

Viceroy of India from 1926 - 1931

Ruled during the Simon Commission, civil disobedience movement and the round table conferences

Cooperative with Gandhi, his terms were seen as stable and balanced

Simon Commission

Commission to report on the working progress of the Indian constitution

No Indians were present: boycotted by the INC

Led to establishment of representative govt. in the provinces (Government of India Act of 1935), 1937 elections first held in provinces

Swarajya Party

Wanted greater self-government and political freedoms

Founded by INC members and other politicians who opposed Gandhi when he halted civil resistance after the Chauri Chaura incident (where protesters turned violent)

Round Table Conferences (1930 - 32)

Simon Commission recommended that constitutional reforms be discussed

First conference lacked Indian presence (as Congress members were imprisoned), but second did after Gandhi-Irwin Pact promised it

Gandhi-Irwin Pact

1) Discontinuation of civil disobedience

2) Release of imprisoned protestors

3) Removal of salt tax

4) Participation in the second round table conference

Salt March

Inception of civil disobedience movement

Strike against tax on salt

Gandhi (along with 80,000 Indians) arrested when he raided a saltworks

This is why he was imprisoned during first round table conference

V. D. Savarkar

Indian revolutionary who developed Hindu nationalist political ideology; its central icon

Promoted dismantling of castes & reconversion of converted Hindus

Though he claimed Hindu unity and various philosophies like Humanism and Universalism, his policies were ultimately divisive in their attempts to establish Hindu exclusivity

Cripps' Mission

1942 attempt by British govt. to secure Indian support in WWII

Promised dominion status and a chance to secede later from the commonwealth

In response, Gandhi and Congress demanded immediate self-gov in exchange for support, and began planning the Quit India Movement

Quit India Movement

Civil disobedience movement launched in 1942 following Gandhi's call for immediate self-rule. Nearly all of the Congress leadership were arrested less than 24 hours from the speech, and many spent the rest of WWII in jail. This suspended the Congress' presence from Indian politics for 3 years, during which the ML and Jinnah cooperated heavily w/ British govt. and furthered the campaign for Pakistan.

Calcutta Riots

ML announced "Direct Action Day" to show Muslim resistance against a Hindu-majority India

>4000 deceased, ~100,000 left homeless in 72 hours

Resolved through Gandhi's fast

Lord Mountbatten

Last viceroy of the British Indian Empire & first Governor-General of India

Believed a united India was impossible and preferred a brief transition from British rule

Helped princely states accede to either Pakistan or India

Some believe his quick partition style led to massive killings during it

Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action in India is the world's oldest version of the policy. It was instated to provide quotas in government jobs, elected roles, university places, etc. to those from lower castes (OBCs) and scheduled tribes. The system has resulted in a successful representation of society in the bureaucracy and government but has badly affected meritocracy and functioning of the system, as it has been added to and expanded consistently since its inclusion in the 1950 constitution. Perhaps a good experiment gone too far.

"Affirmative Action: the rise of the lower caste in the south: participation of lower caste Hindus in the south is amazing because did not have a large upper nationalism Oxbridge class that ruled politics like in the north. Led to scheduling of much more services in the south than in the north but had no negative affect on the efficiency of the bureaucracy except that many Brahmins have left, it also has helped lead to the social horizontal integration with some lower caste members leading the charge

contextualize that all groups will grow with the right atmosphere and essentialism that some people don’t have the right attitude to move up in the social strata, instead should liberalize the economy so more jobs appear and each job is less important, more emphasis on primary and secondary education not to higher university (right to education law), instead of quotas it is better to create an OBC bourgeoisie through the state, contracts for the OBC companies"

Indira Gandhi

The 3rd and 6th, 2nd longest serving and only female PM of India. Not related in any way to Mahatma Gandhi. Daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru. Was a major, overwhelming figure within the Congress party both because of her father and her own considerable political acumen and grit. Had 2 stints as PM, from 1966-1977 and from 1980-1984. Won a war against Pakistan over Bangladeshi independence in 1971. Was found guilty of electoral malpractice in the 1971 election by the Supreme Court. Instituted a 2 year State of Emergency to suppress protests and arrested most of the political opposition. She was assassinated in 1984 by her own bodyguards after she ordered the Army to storm a holy Sikh temple in Amritsar.

Article 356

Special emergency powers for the federal government to assume the activities of individual states; Nehru used it twice, Indira Gandhi twenty times


Attempt by lower castes to adopt and imitate the lifestyles of the Brahmans: dietary habits, dress, social and religious customs, other vedas etc.

Must have had land to do this (?)
Horizontal vs. Vertical Mobility

1) Mobilize different members of your class to defend political rights

2) Enlist the aid of a higher caste member to move up the social ladder

Differential Mobility

"political party for mobilization so it would break caste or bring them down with votes"

Mandal Commission

Established in 1979 to identify the socially backward, address the question of seat reservations and quotas against the caste system.

Enabled affirmative action practice, as lower castes were given rights to certain portion of govt. jobs and universities

Rajiv Gandhi

7th PM of India; elder son of Indira Gandhi

Was reluctantly brought into politics by his mother, was originally a pilot. Appointed PM the day of his mother's assassination. Began dismantling the license raj in 1984, and focussed on Indian higher education. Improved the relationship with the US, specifically in terms of scientific and economic cooperation. Was Congress President from 1985 to 1991, when he too was assassinated.

Babri Masjid (Mosque)

Constructed by Babur; debated whether it was built atop Rama's birthplace

Destroyed in 1992 by Hindu nationalists

Sparked religious riots all over the country

At least 2,000 dead

RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh)

Right-wing, Hindu nationalist volunteer organization

Fairly extremist and paramilitary

Possibly involved in Gandhi's assassination

Formed mostly by upper-caste Brahmins

Thought to be formed to propagate Hindutva ideology (Savarkar).

The BJP is the political cousin of the RSS and Modi was a young RSS cadet.

Secularism (differing definitions)

USA: institutional separation of politics and religion, though some overlap may occur ("God bless America)

France: complete separation of church and state

India: equidistance from each religion, religiosity with embedded tolerance

Operation Blue Star

A military operation ordered by Indira to remove Sikh separatists from the GoldenTemple in Amritsar.

Considerable deaths & many historical artifacts were seized

Leading to Sikh riots and ensuing massacres

Many soldiers mutinied & Sikhs in govt. resigned

Indira was later assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards

2002 Gujarat Riots

Massive intercommunal killings following the burning of a train in Godhra, in which 58 Hindu pilgrims died. Some scholars classify it as a pogrom, noting its highly organized nature as illustrative of premeditation.

Narendra Modi (Chief Minister at time) is criticized for permitting the violence to transpire.

Hindu Rate of Growth

A derogatory term that denotes the low growth rates (~3.5% per annum) of the Indian economy from 1950s to 1980s, which was largely a result of its closed & planned economy (i.e. the License Raj); initially connoted that "Hindu" fatalism and contentedness was responsible for stagnant growth.

Following liberalization, India's economy has been growing rapidly.

License Raj

A borrowed term from the British Raj, it refers to the elaborate system of permits, regulations and accompanying red tape required to do business in India between 1947 and 1990. So called because it was the new 'supreme authority' in India, so extreme and confusing were the regulations. Its dismemberment in the late 80s and 90s was one of the major factors behind an accelerated Indian growth rate.


The pursuit of short, steady reforms over extended periods of time (as opposed to the Soviet Union's "Big Push" method)

..."where the growth is being led in services, not manufacturing, there is tension b/w democracy and markets?"


The reconciliation of contrary beliefs, via the melding of practices from various religions, cultures or schools of thought

i.e. the Taj Mahal, or Akbar's consolidated religion


An umbrella term for a heterogeneous set of ethnic and tribal groups considered the aboriginal population of India

"Scheduled Tribes"

Green Revolution

Refers to India's agricultural self-sufficiency. It began in the early 1970s after American agronomist Dr. Borlaug introduced high-yielding varieties of seeds & irrigation and chemical fertilizer use increased.

There was a surplus of food for the next two decades, but the revolution has peaked and production now declines.

Fabian Socialism

After independence from Britain, Nehru’s Fabian ideas committed India to an economy in which the state owned, operated and controlled means of production, in particular key heavy industrial sectors such as steel & telecommunications.

Private activity, property rights and entrepreneurship were discouraged or regulated through permits, nationalization of economic activity and high taxes were encouraged.