Like many Afghan dynasties, India had

Wolfgang-Peter Zingel

INDIA - timeline

Pre-colonial period - colonial period (1498) - independence (1947) - liberalization (1991)

3000 BC Chr.
Urban cultures of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa in the Indus Valley

1400 BC Chr.
Aryan immigration to Northwest India

272-231 BC Chr.
Buddhist emperor Ashoka (Maurya) ruled almost the entire subcontinent

A.D. 320-500
Gupta dynasty ruled northern India

711
Arab conquerors land in Sind

approx. 980-1250
Great empire of the Cholas in South India

1192-1526
Delhi Sultanate (Turkish-Afghan dynasties)

1498
Landing of Vasco da Gamas in Calicut

1526-1858
Mughal dynasty

1600 Foundation of the English East India Company

1757 Clive wins the Battle of Plassey and wins control of Bengal, becomes Governor-General, succeeding Warren Hastings

1857 "Mutiny", uprising of the sepoys and landowners

1858 India becomes part of the British Empire

1876 ​​Queen Victoria proclaimed the Empress of India

1885 Foundation of the Indian National Congress

1905 Partition of Bengal

1906 Foundation of the Muslim League

1909 Morley-Minto reforms

1916 Lucknow Pact between INC and Muslim League

1919 massacre in Jallianwallah Bagh, Amritsar

1920 Montague-Chelmsford reforms, dyarchy

1920-22 Non-Cooperation Movement, Khilafat Movement

1930-32 1st-3rd Round Table Conference, Civil Disobedience

1931 Ghandi-Irwin Pact, cessation of agitation

1935 Government of India Act

1937 INC wins elections

1940 ministerial resignations because Great Britain had declared India's entry into the war without consulting them

1942 "Quit India" campaign

1946 (May) Simla Conference (inconclusive)

1946 (Sept.) Indian interim cabinet under the direction of Nehru

1947 (February) Lord Mountbatten last viceroy of India

1947 (June) Adoption of the British India Plan (division into India and Pakistan) by INC and Muslim League

1947 (August 15) independence; bloody clashes between Hindus and Muslims in Panjab and Bengal

1948 (Jan. 30) murder of Mahatma Gandhi

1950 (January 26th) entry into force of the constitution; India Republic

1951 Joined the Colombo Pact

1951-52 First free elections

1952-54 incorporation of the French colonies

1956 restructuring of the national territory

1957 (Jan.) Incorporation of the occupied part of Kashmir

1961 (Dec) annexation of Portuguese Goa

1962 (Sept.-Nov.) Indo-Chinese border conflict

1965 (June) Conflict with Pakistan over the Rann von Kutch

1965 (Sept.) Fighting in Kashmir escalates into undeclared

1965 (November 20) cessation of fire

1966 (January 18) Indira Gandhi Prime Minister

1969 (23.11.) Split of the Congress Party by arbitration

1971 (March 21st) By August, almost 10 million people from East Pakistan are fleeing to India because of military action by the Pakistani government

1971 (August 9) Signing of a 20-year friendship treaty with the Soviet Union

1971 (December 4th-17th) War against Pakistan ends with Indian victory and independence of Bangladesh (March 19th, 1972 friendship treaty)

1972 (3.7.) After the Simla conference, agreement with Pakistan to end conflict and confrontation

1974 (May 16) First Indian nuclear weapon test (underground nuclear explosion)

1975 (April 26th) affiliation of Sikkim to the Indian Union

1975 (June 25th) Declaration of internal emergency, extensive special powers for the government, partly through constitutional amendments

1977 (January 20) Relaxation of the emergency regulations after the announcement of general election

1977 (March 16-20) Congress loses general election; Janata Party forms government under Morarji Desai

1977 (March 21st) Abolition of the internal emergency

1977 (March 27th) Abolition of the external emergency

1977 (4.6.) Storming of the golden temple of the Sikhs in Amritsar by government troops

1978 (May 15) Report of the Shah Commission proves abuse of office by the Congress government during the state of emergency

1979 (July 15) Prime Minister Desai resigns from office

1979 (July 25th) Charan Singh Prime Minister

1980 (9.1.) General election. Overwhelming victory of the Congress Party (I); Indira Gandhi Prime Minister again

1980 (23.6.) Sanjay Gandhi, son of I. Gandhi had a fatal accident, he was succeeded by Rajiv Gandhi as his mother's colleague

1982 (March 29th) House of Lords elections (1/3 of the seats). Congress (I) mostly victorious

1983 (5.1.) Defeat of Congress (I) in three state elections

1983 (28.1.) Resignation of the Gandhi cabinet, new formation on 29.1.

1983 (Febr.) Rajiv Gandhi one of the five General Secretaries of Congress (I)

1984 (April) House of Lords elections (1/3 of the seats), Congress (I) increases the number of seats to 153 seats, 10 mandates with a 2/3 majority

1984 (October 31st) Prime Minister Indira Gandhi murdered by Sikh bodyguards

1984 (2.11.) Rajiv Gandhi sworn in as Prime Minister, also chairman of the Congress (I) party

1984 (November 4th) Transitional Cabinet formed

1984 (3.12.) Poison gas disaster in Bhopal kills over 3,000 people, thousands go blind and have lung damage. Caused by: Branch of the US chemical multinational "Union Carbide"

1984 (December 24th and 27th) Congress (I) wins a three-quarters majority in the lower house

1984 (December 31) formation of the cabinet

1985 (2./5.3.) Absolute majority for the Congress Party (I) in parliamentary elections in eight out of eleven states. Serious defeats, on the other hand, in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Sikkim

1987 (July 29th) Signing of the "Indo-Lanka Accord" by Rajiv Gandhi and President Jayawardene of Sri Lanka. One day later, Indian troops (IPKF) land in Jaffna (Sri Lanka)

1987 (25.10.) IPKF conquers Jaffna

1988 (30.1) After a dispute over the successor to Prime Minister M. G. Ramachandran, Tamil Nadu is placed under "President's Rule"

1988 (3.4.) The borders with Pakistan are closed because of support for the Sikhs

1988 (May 18) security forces storm the Golden Temple of the Sikhs in Amritsar

1988 (September 17) merger of several opposition parties to form the National Front

1988 (December 29th) During a summit conference of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in Pakistan, India and Pakistan conclude an agreement on the renunciation of attacks on the other country's nuclear facilities

1989 (January 22) In elections in Tamil Nadu, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Congress Party, wins only in third place

1989 (March 24th) India breaks road connections with Nepal (dispute over transit conditions), détente in June 1990

1989 (May 25) India successfully tests the first medium-range missile

1989 (16./17.7.) With Rajiv Gandhi, an Indian head of government officially visits Pakistan for the first time since 1960

1989 (September 18) Agreement with Sri Lanka on the withdrawal of Indian troops (IPKF); End of withdrawal on March 24, 1990

1989 (Sept.) Prime Minister Faruq Abdullah introduces press censorship in Kashmir

1989 (November 9th) BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and Shiv Sena start a movement in Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) to build a Hindu temple on the site of the Babri Mosque

1989 (22-26 November) In parliamentary elections the Congress Party (INC) suffers heavy losses and loses the absolute majority (only 195 seats)

1989 (December 6th) formation of a minority government under V. P. Singh (Janata Dal / JD)

1989 (December 8th) kidnapping of relatives of officials by Kashmiri extremists begins; Kashmir State Assembly dissolved

1990 (20.1.) Escalation of the unrest in Kashmir after the dissolution of the state parliament and previous resignation of Prime Minister Abdullah (National Conference)

1990 (Feb. 27) In state elections, the congress in North India loses, the power base shifts to the south

1990 (April) Cabinet reshuffle, number of ministers almost doubled to 40, support for the democracy movement in Nepal, solution of transit problems

1990 (1.8.) Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal dismissed for intimidation and corruption

1990 (Aug.) V. P. Singh announces the implementation of the recommendations of the Mandal Commission (quotas for further lower castes in the public service and for university places); Restlessness in middle and higher castes

1990 (30.10.) Attempt to lay the foundation stone for the Hindu temple in Ayodhya prevented by the arrest of leading members of the BJP, including L. K. Advani

1990 (November 7th) vote of no confidence against V. P. Singh; After the split of the JD, Chandra Shekar takes over the government on November 10, 1990 with the approval of the Congress Party (minority cabinet)

1991 (28.2.) Richard von Weizsäcker comes to India as the first Federal President since 1962

1991 (March 6th) Chandra Shekar announces resignation of his government after a dispute with the Congress Party

1991 (May 21) Rajiv Gandhi murdered in Sriperumpudur (Tamil Nadu); Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) from Sri Lanka are officially held responsible for the crime on May 20th, 1992

1991 (June 13th) USA suspends economic aid and sales of military goods to India because of its nuclear program

1991 (June 15) Parliamentary elections started on May 20, 1990 completed: Congress party under P. V. Narasimha Rao 227 seats

1991 (June 21st) New government P.V. Narasimha Rao sworn in; Introduction of economic liberalization

1991 (September 6th) Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao visits Germany; first trip abroad after taking office; Another visit on February 2nd, 1994

1991 (10.9.) Passing of a law freezing the status of all controversial religious sanctuaries except for the Babri Mosque

1991 (September 26th) The government includes the recommendations of the Mandal Commission in its program

1991 (November 8th) The German Development Aid Minister Spranger announces a 25% cut in aid for India due to excessive rearmament

1991 (December 11th) China's Prime Minister Li Peng visits India (first visit to India by a head of government of the PRC since 1960)

1992 (6.1.) India and Sri Lanka decide to return all Sri Lankan refugees from Tamil Nadu

1992 (January 29) India establishes full diplomatic relations with Israel

1992 (February 19) In elections in Panjab only 21% of the eligible population take part, Congress party wins

1992 (March 16) India and the USA decide on joint naval maneuvers

1992 (May 14th) LTTE banned in India

1992 (May 29) ignition of an Agni missile

1992 (June 16) The left-wing unions called for a strike against the new liberal economic policy

1992 (July 25th) Shankar Dayal Sharma (Congress Party; previously Vice President) new Indian President

1992 July India and China resume border trade, which had been interrupted for 30 years

1992 (December 6th) Storming and destruction of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya by Hindu fundamentalists; Riots in different parts of the country; L.K. Advani arrested again

1992 (December 10th) Central government bans the fundamentalist organizations RSS, VHP, ISS, Bajrang Dal and Jamaat-e-Islam (bans later partly repealed)

1993 (January 4th-13th) Riots between Hindus and Muslims in Bombay, several hundred dead

1993 (28.1.) Indo-Russian Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation

1993 (March 12) Bomb attacks in Bombay, over 300 dead

1993 (6.9.) Visit of Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao to China; on 7.9.1993 agreement on the respect of the current borders and on a reduction of the border troops

1993 (Nov.) parliamentary elections in North India; Defeat of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, there victory of the representatives of the lower castes and the casteless

1993 (December 30th) Government of P.V. Narasimha Rao gains parliamentary majority for the first time

1994 (Sept.) For the first time in 28 years, the plague rages again in India, especially in Maharashtra and Gujarat; several hundred dead

1994 (December 5th) conclusion of the parliamentary elections in four Union states; Defeats of the Congress Party in their previous strongholds of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka

1994 (December 24th) Minister of Social Affairs Arjun Singh leaves the cabinet in a dispute with Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao (expulsion from the Congress Party on February 8th, 1995)

1995 (12.3.) Conclusion of the parliamentary elections in five union states: the Congress Party loses the leadership in Maharashtra for the first time since 1947, there Manohar Joshi (Shiv Sena) becomes head of government on 19.3.1995

1995 (1.5.) Bombay is officially called Mumbai (after the Hindu goddess Mumba Devi)

1995 (9.5.) Shrine of the Kashmiri patron saint Sheikh Nur Uddin in Charar-i-Sharif near Srinagar destroyed during skirmishes between Indian troops and militant Muslims

1995 (May 19) Congress dissidents around Narain Dutt Tiwari split the party

1995 (June 3rd / 4th) coalition of the lower castes and the casteless collapses in Uttar Pradesh; Ms. Mayawati (Bahujan Samaj Party / BSP) becomes the first casteless head of government of a Union state

1996 (May 10th) Government of P. V. Narasimha Rao resigns after the Congress Party only achieved third place in the elections for the National Assembly

1996 (May 16) Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee (BJP) sworn in; without a parliamentary majority, he resigns after 13 days

1996 (1.6.) H. D. Dewe Gowda Prime Minister of a coalition of the United Front (UF)

1996 (9/21) P. V. Narasimha Rao resigns as President of the Congress Party; Sitaram Kesri will be his successor at the beginning of November

1997 (9.2.) Congress party loses elections in Panjab, Sikh party Akali Dal wins

1997 (April 21st) Indian Kumar Gujral Prime Minister of a new minority government of the United Front after the Congress Party on March 30th. Predecessor Dewe Gowda had withdrawn support

1997 (July 5) split in the People's Party (Janata Dal / JD); The parliamentary group around the previous party leader Laloo Prasad Yadav forms the National People's Party (Rashtriya Janata Dal); on July 30th Yadav resigns as head of government in Bihar against the backdrop of India's biggest corruption scandal

1997 (July 14-16) With the election of Dr. Kocheril Raman Narayan (INC), until then Vice President, a so-called Untouchable is elected President of India for the first time (took office: July 25, 1997)

1997 (August 15) India celebrates the 50th anniversary of its independence: heads of state and government describe corruption and criminalization as the greatest dangers for democracy

1997 (13.9.) With a state act in Calcutta, the official India says goodbye to the on 5.9. deceased Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mother Theresa

1997 (October 12th) The British Queen Elizabeth II comes on a six-day state visit to India; on October 14th Controversial visit to the Golden Temple of the Sikhs in Amritsar (Punjab)

1997 (November 28th) Congress Party withdraws support from the Gujral government; Gujral then resigns (dissolution of the House of Commons on December 4th)

1998 (January 26) 26 death sentences against those involved in the murder of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on May 21, 1991; the court speaks of a plot by the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam)

1998 (February 16) start of the new elections for the Indian University; BJP proves to be the strongest force again, but without an absolute majority



A shortened version appears in: Munzinger-Archiv / IH-Länder aktuell, Ravensburg. 15-16 / 98: Social affairs and culture


Comments, corrections, additions, questions to: [email protected]


Further information on India: economy, social structure, modern literature
Back to the main page of W.-P. Zingel