How many Biharis live in Gujarat

Wolfgang-Peter Zingel

INDIA - social structure

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

population: The population of India is ethnically, linguistically and religiously heterogeneous like that of no other country; all major religions in the world are represented. More than half of the world's scriptures are written on the subcontinent. In addition to the groups of Indo-Aryan origin, whose share - according to the classification of their languages ​​- is estimated at 72%, the Dravids (25%) make up the second significant group, the rest are Mongoloid peoples in the Himalayan region and Australoid peoples in the mountain regions. Ethnic, religious and linguistic differences in India often run parallel to social contrasts that can be found in e.g. T. unloaded bloody political conflicts.

languages: In India, 1,652 languages ​​were distinguished in 1961, seven of which are among the 20 most widely spoken languages ​​in the world; the constitution recognizes 18 "listed" (scheduled) national languages ​​(since 1992 also Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali), including Sanskrit, which is practically no longer spoken. The widespread English is not one of them, but it is lingua franca India and is used as an "associated" language in public life and as a commercial language. 24 languages ​​are spoken by more than a million people. In 1981 the main languages ​​had the following proportions: Hindi 39.9% (including Rajasthani and Bihari), Telugu 8.2%, Bengali 7.8%, Marathi 7.5%, Tamil 6.8%, Urdu 5.3% , Gujarati 5.0%, Kannada 4.1%, Malayalam 3.9%, Oriya 3.5%, Punjabi 2.8%, Assamese 1.6%. Hindi, which is mainly spoken in northern India, is the state language (in Dewanagari script).

Population statistics: The population is thought to have exceeded 950 million in 1997; in 2000 it will be 1 billion. In 1991 there were 846 million inhabitants: 51.9% men and 48.1% women; 36% of the population are younger than 15 years. Between 1981 and 1991 the population increased by 163 million or 24%, somewhat more slowly than in the previous decade. The annual population growth rate is expected to be 1.81% in the first half of the 1990s and drop to 1.65% in the second half. According to Indian data, infant mortality has fallen to 74 (1995) children who died in the first year of life per 1,000 live births; 33% of newborns (1990-94, UNDP) are underweight, one of the highest rates internationally.

Birth and death rates

Births per 1,000 inhabitants41,237,232,526,2
Deaths per 1,000 inh.19,015,011,48,9

age structure (% of the total population)

Under 15 years38,341,042,039,736,333,8
15-60 years58,553,352,054,957,759,1
over 60 years3,25,76,05,56,07,1

The life expectancy of a newborn increased from 32 years (1951) to 60.4 years for men and 61.2 years for women (1992/93); in other Asian countries, such as China and Sri Lanka, life expectancy is almost 10 years higher. There is a surplus of men: for every 1,000 men (1991) there are 927 women.

The population density grew from 178 inh. / Km2 (1971) to 257 in 1991. West Bengal is particularly densely populated with 766 inhabitants / km2 and Kerala with 746 inhabitants / km2, in Arunachal Pradesh there are only 10 inhabitants / km2. Urbanization is still low in international comparison: 26% of the population (1991) live in cities.

Social facilities

Social legislation: A striking feature of the Indian social order are the extreme contrasts between poverty and wealth. A striking feature of the Indian social order are the extreme contrasts between poverty and wealth. According to the planning commission, the proportion of Indians whose income does not reach the poverty line (corresponds to 2,400 Kcal) has fallen from 51.5% in 1972/73 to 19.0% (1993/94): 21.7% of the population in the country and 11.6% in the cities; these details are Tata Services according to but possibly in need of revision [SOI 1996-97: 200]. In the megacities, almost a third of the population lives in slums. The emerging middle class is estimated to be a tenth to a quarter of the population. However, it cannot be compared with that of Europe and it is far from having its purchasing power. According to the Indian National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) had around 44 million households in 1993/94, i.e. 28.2% of all households with 250 members, each with an income of over Rs 40,000 per year, which at that time - if you apply the official exchange rate - was less than DM 200 .00 per household per month; the group with more than Rs 500,000 a year made up only 1.4 million households (0.9%).

The World Bank found that in 1989-90 the top 10% of the population accounted for 27.1% of consumer spending; Applied to the situation in 1995, this would mean that around 90 million Indians together could generate US $ 45 billion in consumer spending (GDP in the order of US $ 250 billion, private consumption in 1992: 67% of GDP); per capita that would be US $ 500 per year.

The Indian news magazine India Today (15.4.1995) reproduces a study by SL Rao from the NCAER: according to this, 12 million households with around 65 million members can be assigned to the westernized elite, 35 million households with 180 million members of the consumer-oriented class, 50 million families as well 275 million members of the social climbers, 20 million households with 150 million members of the aspiring and 40 million households with 200 million members of the impoverished; the last two groups do not reach the poverty line. The same source assigns households with an annual income of up to Rs 18,000 in 1992/93 to the lowest income bracket, households with Rs 18,001 to Rs 36,000 as the lower, Rs 36,001 to Rs 56,000 as the middle and Rs 56,001 to Rs 78,000 as the upper middle class ; Households with a higher income are assigned to the upper class. According to this classification, the middle class starts with a monthly income equivalent to less than 100 DM, the upper class would start at less than 400 DM. Reports of an urban middle class of 120 million with incomes in excess of US $ 2,500 a year or similar are unfounded.

The NCAER study for 1992/93 concludes from the existence of 120 million wristwatches, 75 million bicycles, 60 million portable radios and 30 million televisions to a class of 550 million consumers; The poor are also important consumers of soap, detergent, tea, lightbulbs, toothpaste and cosmetics.

138 million inhabitants or 16.5% of the population belong (1991) to the "listed" (scheduled) Box on; they are the so-called "untouchables". Another 68 million, or 8%, are tribal. There are a number of protective provisions for both groups, which are intended to guarantee them equal opportunities in politics, education and employment in the public service. The corresponding odds (reservations) are different for the Union and the Union states, including each other, and are based on the respective proportions of the population. Since the end of the 1980s they have become a political issue of the first order. For this purpose, the reports of the Mandal Commission named after its chairman were used, which had already submitted its recommendation to parliament in April 1982 to increase this reservation from 22.5% by 27% (according to a court decision, the reservations must remain below 50% overall ), for the "other backward classes" (other backward classes = OBC). The attempt to carry out these recommendations met with bitter resistance from the "high" castes (Brahmins, Rajputs and others) who traditionally constitute the educated bourgeoisie and hold a large part of all high positions in politics, education and public service; the agitation led to the overthrow of Prime Minister V. P. Singh (1990).

Attacks on members of the lower castes are on the rise, as are dowry deaths, Young wives burned for insufficient dowry, although public sector employees are not allowed to pay a dowry.

The responsibility for debt bondage (bonded labor) and their abolition has been with the Union states since 1976; by 1991 it was a quarter of a million; but debt bondage is still not eradicated.

Only some of the employees have a pension from one Provident Fund, into which employers and employees pay contributions in equal parts. The housing shortage is increasing from year to year, and not just in the cities; In the eighth five-year plan (1992-97), the government puts the number of missing dwellings for 1991 at 31 million, of which 21.2 million are in rural areas; for 2001 it expects these numbers to increase to 41 million and 30.8 million. In the four largest cities alone, 15 million live in slums (Slums), 40% of their population, in India as a whole (1990) 48.8 million. How many of them can be described as homeless is a question of definition; There are probably tens of thousands living in India's train stations. In 1996, 82% of the rural and 85% of the urban population were connected to the drinking water supply; 2.7% resp. 47.9% of the population had access to latrines (1992). Only some of the households have drinking water connections and latrines in the apartment, and communal facilities are often used.

Healthcare: Undernourishment and malnutrition, inadequate drinking water supply, inadequate hygienic conditions, high pollution in the air and noise are detrimental to health, so that diseases (especially in children) are often fatal. Specific diseases result from a lack of vitamins and minerals (blindness, anemia). A vegetarian diet does not automatically mean - as is often assumed - protein deficiency and malnutrition, as long as the need is covered by other means, such as legumes. Legumes, however, have not experienced the increases in area productivity that cereals have and are often replaced by market crops (cash crops) be replaced. To this extent there is a close connection between agricultural production, income distribution and health. In addition to deficiency diseases, the poor hygienic conditions encourage parasite infestation and infections. Post-monsoon floods often lead to epidemics - not infrequently from diseases that were thought to be eradicated: in 1994 there were cases of bubonic plague in Maharashtra after the earthquake; In Surat (Gujarat) fatal cases of pneumonic plague occurred, triggering mass exodus of hundreds of thousands. The fact that there was no major plague epidemic could be due to the massive use of antibiotics; but it does not seem to have been clarified yet whether it was not another pathogen with a similar course of the disease. There are 3 million people suffering from leprosy, of which 15 to 20% are contagious. 12 million people are blind. Kala-Azar is endemic to West Bengal and Bihar; Japanese encephalitis occurs occasionally - with a mortality rate of 30% to 45%. In 1986 the Indian government started a program to contain the immune deficiency disease AIDS. In 1979 smallpox cases were registered again; Malaria is on the rise because the mosquitoes have become resistant to the insecticides and natural enemies such as z. B. frogs, have fallen victim to export in large numbers; In 1991 there were 1.8 million diseases. Common causes of death are diarrhea, cancer, respiratory diseases and heart disease, especially among urban populations.

Medical staff: Indian doctors count e.g. T. to the top of the world; this is especially true for transplants, which are controversial because of the widespread organ trade; the Indian government intervened here in 1995 to regulate it. However, top-class medicine is only available to very few, and even normal medical care is limited to a few quarters of large cities. In the country, medical care is far less than the number of doctors (1 doctor per 2,460 inhabitants) suggests. There are also far fewer (registered) nurses than (registered) doctors. In 1991 there was 1 hospital bed for every 1,316 population; two thirds of the beds are in state hospitals. At the 171 medical faculties (1988-89) 14,700 people started studying medicine each year, many of whom emigrated after completing their studies. The number of trained nurses in 1989 was 207,783. Each year, 7,266 nurses and around 6,000 auxiliary nurses are trained as midwives at 286 nursing schools. To combat the most common diseases, rapid training of medical assistants has begun, the number of which in 1987 was 110,190. The Indian government promotes traditional healing systems such as Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Amchi, Tibetan medicine, natural medicine, yoga and homeopathy. In this context, it has taken steps to improve the quality of education and research, the development of medicinal plants, the setting of pharmacological standards and the testing of medicines. Traditional medicine plays an important role in general health care.

Law: The Anglo-Indian legislation built up over the last two centuries - with certain adjustments to today's conditions - still forms the basis of case law. By declaring the external emergency in 1971 in connection with the Bangladesh crisis, the internal emergency in 1975 and a series of constitutional changes, the basic rights of the citizen were severely restricted; With the lifting of the internal emergency on March 21, 1977 and the external one on March 27, 1977, these were largely restored, and the constitutional changes were gradually reversed in 1978. After her re-election in January 1980, Indira Gandhi extended the powers of the executive again, but in contrast to her previous term of office, not through constitutional amendments.

Following the riots in Punjab, the Punjab and Chandigarh were declared unrest areas by presidential decrees on October 7, 1983 and the security forces ordered to shoot people without warning; the right to inviolability of the home was also abolished. As an amendment to the National Security Act of 1980, the presidential decree of April 5, 1984, which came into force immediately, extended all deadlines to the detriment of those arrested.

Another presidential decree of July 14, 1984, later adopted as law, authorized the central government to turn certain areas (excluding Kashmir) into unrest areas for 6 months (terrorist-affected area) and to set up special courts there, whose judges are also appointed by the central government with the consent of the higher court concerned. On May 23, 1995, the notorious Exceptional Law to Combat Terrorism (TADA) expired.

On July 23, 1984, the Punjab was declared a unrest area again. Although Rajiv Gandhi tried to solve the problem after his election victory in 1984, in 1985 he was forced to let Delhi administer the state directly. In 1992 a parliament was elected again; since then the situation has eased somewhat.

Judicial system: In the judiciary, the Supreme Court is (Supreme Court) last appeal instance for certain categories of judgments of the higher courts (High court) of the states and of judgments of lower instances released by higher courts for final appeal. After the revocation (December 1978) of the 42nd constitutional amendment, which restricts these powers, the Supreme Court can again rule on the legality of constitutional amendments and laws; Accordingly, the higher courts examine the constitutionality of laws of the respective state and are the last or penultimate appellate instance for the judgments of subordinate instances, depending on the category. In the primary jurisprudence they usually negotiate as a jury in criminal cases. Subordinate instance are the Courts of Session(such as district courts) and Courts of Magistrates (such as peace courts), including at village level Panchayat-Dishes. The executive has exerted a subtle influence on the judiciary; by executive ordinance, judges of the higher courts can also be transferred against their will; when the President of the Republic appoints judges of the higher courts, the council of the higher court of the relevant higher court only has the same rank as that of the governor of the Union state.

religion: According to its constitution, India is a secular state (preamble: "sovereign socialist secular democratic republic") in which freedom of thought, expression and belief, faithfulness and worship ("belief, faith, and worship") is guaranteed are; no one may be discriminated against on the basis of their religion (Art. 15). The vast majority of the population are Hindus: according to the 1991 census, 83%; 10.9% were Muslims (mainly Sunnis), 2.4% Christians (more than half Catholics), 1.9% Sikhs, 0.7% Buddhists and 0.5% Jainas, plus 120,000 Parsees, several Baha'i and one small Jewish community.

The caste system still determines to a large extent economic and social life (see also under social institutions).Political disputes often have a religious background; religious tensions are not necessarily the (sole) reason; they are fueled by the various factions: this applies to the riots in Punjab and Kashmir, but also to the Hindu-Muslim clashes; In 1989 the clashes over the "Babri-Masjid-Ram-Janmabhumi", a shrine in Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) claimed by Muslims and Hindus, increased; on December 6, 1992, Hindu fundamentalists stormed the mosque and destroyed it; In the days that followed, several hundred people were killed in riots; the government (temporarily) banned five radical religious organizations: three Hindu (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh(RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VTP), Bajrang Dal) and two Muslim (ISS, Jamaat-e-Islam).

Popular education: The education policy is formulated jointly by the central government and the Union states; the central government is responsible for the coordination and supervision of the 13 "central" universities and the promotion of economically weaker groups in society. School administration is a matter for the Union states.

Although Article 45 of the Constitution stipulates that all children aged 6-14 must attend school, there are no corresponding laws in 10 federal states. Attending school at the lower primary level (grades 1-5) is free of charge in state schools, but attending the subsequent upper primary level (grades 6-8) is not in three EU states. The development of a uniform school system is made more difficult by the variety of languages ​​and religions as well as by caste membership. The 1991 census showed that 47.89% of Indians over the age of 15 are illiterate (63.83% in the 1981 census; 83.4% in 1951). The absolute number of illiterate people rose from 302 million in 1981 to 324 million in 1991. Above all, women, the rural population, the so-called untouchables and the tribal population still have a long way to go. On the other hand, almost complete literacy was achieved in the state of Kerala: 94% of the male and 86% of the female population, aged 7 and over, were able to read and write in 1991, compared with 52% and 23% in Bihar.

Most secondary schools have implemented the so-called 3-language scheme, according to which, in addition to the respective regional language English and in South India Hindi, in North India a South Indian language is taught.

The conversion of the education system to 10 + 2 + 3 years decided in 1968 has not been carried out by all Union states.

schools: School attendance has increased in recent years and is now (1995-96) sometimes "over 100%": the number of pupils is greater than the number of children of the corresponding age, because some children are not sent to school until later. In primary schools (grades 1-5) it is 104%, in girls it is 93%; in middle school (grades 6-8) it is 68% and 55%.

Schools and school attendance 1995/96

Facilities1,000 students
Elementary schools590.421109.734
Middle schools171.21641.041
High schools98.13424.889

Universities: In 1992/93 there were 5,334 general education (general) Colleges, 989 professional (professional) Colleges and 207 universities; they had in the academic year 1992-93 (graduate and above) 4.8 million students. The technical and scientific institutions educate about a fifth of the students: from 1988-89 the 1,085 technical universities (engineering and technical colleges) 491,679 students attending 3,736 engineering schools (engineering and technical schools) 368,205, the 128 medical colleges (medical colleges) 13,062 (information incomplete) and the 43 dental universities 1,664. The number of universities and students is in any case a multiple of the 50s and 60s; the trend is increasing.

Adult education: Adult education aims mainly to literate the rural population. Above all, the government hopes that community television will have a broad impact as a teaching medium. A special program for (women's) literacy in several states since 1988 has been extremely successful in Kerala, but hardly in Rajasthan.

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