India gained independence from Britain in 1947, resulting in the division of the subcontinent into the secular state of India and the smaller, Muslim state of Pakistan. A third war between the two countries in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh.
India continues to be troubled by its ongoing dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir, massive overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and ethnic and religious strife.
India is predominantly Hindu. Freedom of religion is enshrined in the constitution but a rise in Hindutva extremism resulted in a campaign against Muslims and Christians in the 1990s.
Christians in India are unequally spread, with 70% living in the south of the country.
- Region: South Asia
- Capital: New Delhi
- Population: 1.34 billion
- Area: 3,287,263 km2
- Religions: Hindu 81.1%, Muslim 13.2%
- Languages: Hindi and English (official), with hundreds of other languages in use