Sunday, April 10, 2011

Timeline: India

Timeline: India

A chronology of key

India has been home to several ancient civilisations and empires, some dating back to more than 2,000 BC. Culture and

religions have flourished over the millennia, and foreign influence has ebbed and flowed.
India's Khajuraho Temple
Indian culture goes back thousands of years
1858 - India

comes under direct rule of the British crown after failed Indian mutiny.
1885 - Indian

National Congress founded as forum for emerging nationalist feeling.
1920-22 -

Nationalist figurehead Mahatma Gandhi launches anti-British civil disobedience campaign.
1942-43 -

Congress launches "Quit India" movement.
1947 - End of

British rule and partition of sub-continent into mainly Hindu India and Muslim-majority state of Pakistan.

Mahatma Gandhi: Revered as father of the nation
Mahatma Gandhi steered India to independence
1947-48 -

Hundreds of thousands die in widespread communal bloodshed after partition.
1948 - Mahatma

Gandhi assassinated by Hindu extremist.
1948 - War with

Pakistan over disputed territory of Kashmir.
1951-52 -

Congress Party wins first general elections under leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru.

1962 - India

loses brief border war with China.
1964 - Death of

Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Indian troops man machine gun during 1971 India-Pakistan War
India won 1971 conflict over East Pakistan independence
1965 - Second

war with Pakistan over Kashmir.
1966 - Indira

Gandhi becomes prime minister.
1971 - Third war

with Pakistan over creation of Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan.
1971 -

Twenty-year treaty of friendship signed with Soviet Union.
1974 - India

explodes first nuclear device in underground test.

1975 - Indira

Gandhi declares state of emergency after being found guilty of electoral malpractice.
1975-1977 -

Nearly 1,000 political opponents imprisoned and programme of compulsory birth control introduced.
1977 - Indira

Gandhi's Congress Party loses general elections.
1980 - Indira

Gandhi returns to power heading Congress party splinter group, Congress (Indira).
Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her bodyguards in 1984
1984 - Troops

storm Golden Temple - Sikhs' most holy shrine - to flush out Sikh militants pressing for self-rule.
1984 - Indira

Gandhi assassinated by Sikh bodyguards, following which her son, Rajiv, takes over.
1984 December -

Gas leak at Union Carbide pesticides plant in Bhopal. Thousands are killed immediately, many more subsequently die or are

left disabled.
1987 - India

deploys troops for peacekeeping operation in Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict.
1989 - Falling

public support leads to Congress defeat in general election.
1990 - Indian

troops withdrawn from Sri Lanka.
1990 - Muslim

separatist groups begin campaign of violence in Kashmir.
1991 - Rajiv

Gandhi assassinated by suicide bomber sympathetic to Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers.
1991 - Economic

reform programme begun by Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao.
1992 - Hindu

extremists demolish mosque in Ayodhya, triggering widespread Hindu-Muslim violence.
BJP to the fore
Rajiv Gandhi's coffin
Rajiv Gandhi was killed on the campaign trail
1996 - Congress

suffers worst ever electoral defeat as Hindu nationalist BJP emerges as largest single party.
1998 - BJP forms

coalition government under Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
1998 - India

carries out nuclear tests, leading to widespread international condemnation.
1999 February -

Vajpayee makes historic bus trip to Pakistan to meet Premier Nawaz Sharif and to sign bilateral Lahore peace

1999 May -

Tension in Kashmir leads to brief war with Pakistan-backed forces in the icy heights around Kargil in Indian-held

1999 October -

Cyclone devastates eastern state of Orissa, leaving at least 10,000 dead.
Population: 1

2000 May - India

marks the birth of its billionth citizen.
2000 - US

President Bill Clinton makes a groundbreaking visit to improve ties.
Agni II Missile - India Nuclear Warhead
India's Agni missiles have a 2,000 km range
2001 January -

Massive earthquakes hit the western state of Gujarat, leaving at least 30,000 dead.
2001 April - 16

Indian and three Bangladeshi soldiers are killed in border clashes.
A high-powered rocket is launched, propelling India into the club of countries able to fire big satellites deep into

2001 July -

Vajpayee meets Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in the first summit between the two neighbours in more than two years.

The meeting ends without a breakthrough or even a joint statement because of differences over Kashmir.
2001 July -

Vajpayee's BJP party declines his offer to resign over a number of political scandals and the apparent failure of his talks

with Pakistani President Musharraf.
2001 September -

US lifts sanctions which it imposed against India and Pakistan after they staged nuclear tests in 1998. The move is seen as a

reward for their support for the US-led anti-terror campaign.
Kashmir tensions

Pakistani-Indian summit: Musharraf and Vajpayee meet but fail to achieve a breakthrough
Kashmir differences scuppered Vajpayee-Musharraf meeting in 2001
2001 October -

India fires on Pakistani military posts in the heaviest firing along the dividing line of control in Kashmir for almost a

2001 December -

Suicide squad attacks parliament in New Delhi, killing several police. The five gunmen die in the assault.
2001 December -

India imposes sanctions against Pakistan, to force it to take action against two Kashmir militant groups blamed for the

suicide attack on parliament. Pakistan retaliates with similar sanctions, and bans the groups in January.
2001 December -

India, Pakistan mass troops on common border amid mounting fears of a looming war.
2002 January -

India successfully test-fires a nuclear-capable ballistic missile - the Agni - off its eastern coast.
2002 February -

Inter-religious bloodshed breaks out after 59 Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya are killed in a train fire in Godhra,

Gujarat. More than 1,000 people, mainly Muslims, die in subsequent riots. (Police and officials blamed the fire on a Muslim

mob; a 2005 government investigation said it was an accident.)
Armed police guard parliament in New Delhi following 13th December suicide attacks
PM said parliament attack was "warning to the nation"
2002 May -

Pakistan test-fires three medium-range surface-to-surface Ghauri missiles, which are capable of carrying nuclear

War of words between Indian and Pakistani leaders intensifies. Actual war seems imminent.
2002 June - UK,

US urge their citizens to leave India and Pakistan, while maintaining diplomatic offensive to avert war.
2002 July -

Retired scientist and architect of India's missile programme APJ Abdul Kalam is elected president.
2003 August - At

least 50 people are killed in two simultaneous bomb blasts in Bombay.

2003 November -

India matches Pakistan's declaration of a Kashmir ceasefire.
2003 December -

India, Pakistan agree to resume direct air links and to allow overflights.
Atal Behari VajpayeeEx-PM pointed to peace process, economic growth as successes
2004 January -

Groundbreaking meeting held between government and moderate Kashmir separatists.
Atal Behari Vajpayee2004 May -

Surprise victory for Congress Party in general elections. Manmohan Singh is sworn in as prime minister.
2004 September -

India, along with Brazil, Germany and Japan, launches an application for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
2004 November -

India begins to withdraw some of its troops from Kashmir.
Asian tsunami
2004 December -

Thousands are killed when tidal waves, caused by a powerful undersea earthquake off the Indonesian coast, devastate coastal

communities in the south and in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
2005 7 April -

Bus services, the first in 60 years, operate between Srinagar in Indian-administered Kashmir and Muzaffarabad in

Pakistani-administered Kashmir.
Worker outside stock exchange building, Mumbai
Stock exchange, Mumbai: Symbol of economic prowess
2005 July - More

than 1,000 people are killed in floods and landslides caused by monsoon rains in Mumbai (Bombay) and Maharashtra

2005 8 October -

An earthquake, with its epicentre in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, kills more than 1,000 people in Indian-administered

29 October - Bombs kill 62 people in Delhi. A little-known Kashmiri group says it is behind the attacks.
2006 February -

India's largest-ever rural jobs scheme is launched, aimed at lifting around 60 million families out of poverty.
Nuclear deal
2006 March - US

and India sign a nuclear agreement during a visit by US President George W Bush. The US gives India access to civilian

nuclear technology while India agrees to greater scrutiny for its nuclear programme.
Farmers carry wheat bundles, Allahabad, India
Some two thirds of Indians make a living from agriculture
7 March - 14 people are killed by bomb blasts in the Hindu pilgrimage city of Varanasi.
2006 May -

Suspected Islamic militants kill 35 Hindus in the worst attacks in Indian-administered Kashmir for several months.
2006 11 July -

More than 180 people are killed in bomb attacks on rush-hour trains in Mumbai. Investigators blame Islamic militants based in

2006 8 September

- Explosions outside a mosque in the western town of Malegaon kill at least 31 people.
2006 November -

Hu Jintao makes the first visit to India by a Chinese president in a decade.
2006 December -

US President George W Bush approves a controversial law allowing India to buy US nuclear reactors and fuel for the first time

in 30 years.
Train attack
2007 18 February

- 68 passengers, most of them Pakistanis, are killed by bomb blasts and a blaze on a train travelling from New Delhi to the

Pakistani city of Lahore.
India's Chandrayaan-1 moon probe being prepared for launch
India's space programme exemplifies its economic and technical ambition
2007 February -

India and Pakistan sign an agreement aimed at reducing the risk of accidental nuclear war.
2007 March -

Maoist rebels in Chhattisgarh state kill more than 50 policemen in a dawn attack.
2007 April -

India's first commercial space rocket is launched, carrying an Italian satellite.
2007 May - At

least nine people are killed in a bomb explosion at the main mosque in Hyderabad. Several others are killed in subsequent

2007 May -

Government announces its strongest economic growth figures for 20 years - 9.4% in the year to March.
2007 July -

India says the number of its people with HIV or AIDS is about half of earlier official tallies. Health ministry figures put

the total at between 2 million and 3.1 million cases, compared with previous estimates of more than 5 million.
First woman

2007 July -

Pratibha Patil becomes first woman to be elected president of India.
Taj Mahal hotel in flames during Mumbai attacks Dec 2008
The 2008 Mumbai attacks shocked the world and soured ties with Pakistan
2008 July -

Congress-led governing coalition survives vote of confidence brought after left-wing parties withdraw their support over

controversial nuclear cooperation deal with US. After the vote, several left-wing and regional parties form new alliance to

oppose government, saying it has been tainted by corruption.
2008 July -

Series of explosions kills 49 in Ahmedabad, in Gujarat state. The little-known group Indian Mujahideen claims

2008 October -

Following approval by the US Congress, President George W Bush signs into law a nuclear deal with India, which ends a

three-decade ban on US nuclear trade with Delhi.
India successfully launches its first mission to the moon, the unmanned lunar probe Chandrayaan-1.
Mumbai attacks
2008 November -

Nearly 200 people are killed and hundreds injured in a series of co-ordinated attacks by gunmen on the main tourist and

business area of India's financial capital Mumbai. India blames militants from Pakistan for the attacks and demands that

Islamabad take strong action against those responsible.
2008 December -

India announces "pause" in peace process with Pakistan. Indian cricket team cancels planned tour of Pakistan.
2009 February -

India and Russia sign deals worth $700m, according to which Moscow will supply uranium to Delhi.
Maoists train at a camp in Jharkhand, March 2010
Maoist rebels are active across much of western India
Insurgents thought to number 10,000-20,000
More than 6,000 people killed
Rebels thought to control 600 districts in 2010
2009 April -

Trial of sole surviving suspect in Mumbai attacks begins.
2009 May -

Resounding general election victory gives governing Congress-led alliance of PM Manmohan Singh an enhanced position in

parliament, only 11 seats short of an absolute majority.
2009 July -

Pakistani, Indian premiers pledge to work together to fight terror irrespective of progress on improving broader ties.
A Dehli court rules that homosexual intercourse between consenting adults is not criminal, overturning a 148-year-old

colonial law.
2009 December -

The federal government says it will allow a new state, called Telangana, to be carved out of part of the southern state of

Andhra Pradesh. Violent protests both for and against the new state break out.
2010 February -

Bomb explosion in a restaurant popular with tourists in Pune, in the western state of Maharashtra, kills 16 people, sparking

security fears.
2010 May - The

solve surviving gunman of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Ajmal Amir Qasab, is convicted of murder, waging war on India and

possessing explosives.
2010 June - A

court in Bhopal sentences eight Indians to two years each in jail for "death by negligence" over the 1984 Union Carbide gas

plant leak. Thousands died in this, the world's worst industrial accident.
2010 September -

Allahabad High Court rules that disputed holy site of Ayodhya should be divided between Hindus and Muslims; the destruction

of a mosque on the site by Hindu extremists in 1992 led to rioting in which about 2,000 people died.
2010 October -

Delhi Commonwealth Games go ahead despite widespread criticism of the state of the facilities and claims of poor

2011 February -

Prime Minister Singh denies he is a lame duck leader and vows to carry on in office after a run of debilitating scandals,

including a parliamentary decision to investigate a costly telecoms deal.
2011 March -

Results of 2011 census put India's population at 1.21bn, an increase of 181 million over ten years.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute says India overtakes China to become the world's largest importer of

arms. Sipri says India accounted for 9% of all weapons imports in 2006-2010.
India and Pakistan agree to continue talks to normalise relations as their prime ministers meet at the World Cup cricket

match between the two countries in Mohali, India.

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