Know Your Neighbor: India

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Post-independence politics and conflict have given way to stereotyping and misconceptions. Unlike India, Pakistan has access to Bollywood movies and so Pakistanis have comparatively more knowledge about Indians than vice versa yet there are still stereotypes. Like Indians, Pakistanis have constructed homogeneous, fixed and opposing images about people across the border. Most Pakistanis imagine India as a Hindu nation where everyone is Hindu, speaks Hindi, are vegetarian and has homogeneous views on all issues and most importantly, about Pakistan and Pakistanis (All Indians hate anything Pakistani and does not want peace).  The biased and political media, the main source of information about India, has also helped sustained this image.

This section is a platform wherein India represents itself. This section provides resources to provide a basic introduction to India – about it’s nationhood, politics, society, culture, media and daily life. It is designed to be a compass, not map. It only lists some keys to enable you to begin your exploration on India.

How India Represents Itself (National Symbols)

National Flag


The National Flag is popularly known as Tiranga which means ‘three colours’ in Hindi. The top saffron colour indicates the strength and courage of the country. The white middle band indicates peace and truth with the Dharma Chakra. The green shows the fertility, growth and auspiciousness of the land. At the center of the white band, is a wheel with 24 spokes in navy blue colour that indicates the Dharma Chakra (the wheel of law).

National emblem


The National emblem is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka (An ancient Buddhist King). In the National emblem only three lions are visible and the fourth one is hidden from the view. All the lions are mounted on an abacus. At the center of the abacus, there is a Chakra which symbolizes the Dharma Chakra (the wheel of law).

There is a bull, a galloping horse, an elephant and a lion, separated by intervening wheels over a bell shaped lotus. The words “Satyameva Jayate” (truth alone triumphs) have been inscribed in Devanagari script.

National Anthem

The National Anthem of India is Jana Gana Mana. It was originally composed in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore and was adopted in its Hindi version by the Constituent Assembly as the National Anthem of India on 24 January 1950.

Jana Gana Mana Adhinaayak Jaya Hay,
Bhaarat Bhaagya Vidhaataa
Panjaab Sindhu Gujarat Maraatha,
Draavid Utkal Banga
Vindhya Himaachal Yamuna Ganga,
Uchchhal Jaladhi Taranga
Tav Shubh Naamey Jaagey,
Tav Shubh Aashish Maange
Gaahey Tav Jayagaathaa
Jana Gana Mangal Daayak,
Jaya Hey Bhaarat Bhaagya Vidhaataa
Jaya Hey, Jaya Hay, Jaya Hay,
Jaya Jaya Jaya, Jaya Hay…

Watch on Youtube (With English Translation)

“Tryst With Destiny” – First Speech by the First Prime Minister of Independent India

The “Tryst With Destiny” Speech was delivered by the First Prime Minister of India Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru on the eve of India’s Independence. Hear the Speech

Access News of India from India

There are 82,237 registered newspapers in India. There are national, regional and local newspapers. There are newspapers in different languages. Here are some of the leading national newspapers of India. 

Experience India through Celluloid

Here are some critically-acclaimed Indian movies:

  • Mother India (1957)
  • Pather Panchali (1995)
  • Bombay (1995)
  • Hazaron Khwahaishein Aisi (2003)
  • Black (2005)
  • Water (2005)
  • Dor (2006)
  • A Wednesday (2008)
  • Chak De India (2007)
  • Rang De Basanti (2006)
  • PK (2014)
  • Manjhi (2015)

Understand India through Literature

Here are some critically-acclaimed Indian English novels:

  • A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
  • City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi by William Dalrymple
  • Nine Lives by William Dalrymple
  • The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond
  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  • The Great Indian Novel by Shashi Tharoor
  • The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
  • The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh
  • The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
  • Train To Pakistan by Khushwant Singh

*All Photos are from Internet

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