Sunday, 30 October 2011

"Interesting Facts About India"

A friend sends me the following "Interesting facts about India":

The Official Figure of Mother Tongues Spoken in India is 1,683, of which an estimated 850 are in daily use. However, only 21 are officially recognized languages in India, namely :
01. Assamese,
02. Bengali
03 Bodo
04. Dogri
05. Gujarati
06. Kannada
07. Kashmiri
08. Konkani
09. Malayalam
10. Maithili
11. Manipuri or Meithei
12. Marathi
13. Nepali
14. Oriya
15. Punjabi
16. Sanskrit
17. Santali
18. Sindhi
19. Tamil
20. Telugu
21. Urdu

• The famous board game, called Chess, was invented in India.
• In India's 100,000 years of history, it has never invaded any other country.
• India is the 7th largest country in the world, the largest democracy and one of the oldest civilizations.
• India was one of the richest countries in the world before the British invasion in 17th century.
• The value of "pi" used in mathematics was first calculated by the Indian mathematician Budhayana in 6th century.
• India is one of the largest exporter of computer software products. It exports software to over 90 countries.
• India originated Yoga about 5,000 years ago.
• India has the most number of mosques. It has 300,000 mosques which is much more than the Muslim world.
• Christians and Jews have been living in India since 52 A.D. and 200 B.C. respectively.
Unusual Facts About India
• India has the highest bridge in the world . It is called Bailey Bridge and is located in Ladakh between the Dras and Suru rivers in the Himalayas.
• Before 1986, India was the only place in the world where Diamonds could be found.
• The world's first University was established in India . The University was established in 700 B.C. at the place of Taxila.
• The biggest and the largest employer in the world is Indian Railways which employs over a million people.
• India has the biggest cricket ground in the world. It is located in the northern state of India called Himachal Pradesh. The cricket ground is 2444 meters above the sea level and was built in 1893.
• Most important studies of Mathematics like calculus, trigonometry and algebra were originated in India.
• Taj Mahal which is among the seven wonders of the world is in India. Taj Mahal was built over a long period of 11 years.
• India has the most number of post offices in the world.
Funny Facts About India
1. There where no plastic bags in India before 1985?
2. Over 1000 elephants were used during the construction of the Taj Mahal?
3. The mobile users of India grows every month with about 2.5 million people?
4. There are over 1500 software companies in Bangalore India?
5. The number of births that occur in India each year is higher than the entire population of Australia?
6. The word mongoose comes from India?
7. The airline company Air Deccan was the first low-cost flight company in India
8. About 50% of the residents in India are under 25 years old
9. Indian Railways transport about five billion passengers annually
10. The longest station name on the Indian Railways is Venkatanarasimharajuvariapeta
11. The only country in the world that has a Bill of Rights for Cows is India
12. India is the world's largest mango producer
13. Hockey is the National Game of India
14. In India nearly 1200 species of birds can be found
15. Indians go out to the cinema about 3 billion times a year
16. India has about 800 dialects and 15 major Languages
17. Algebra, Calculus, and Trigonometry comes from India
18. India has health laughing clubs where people get together and laugh
19. India is the largest tea producer in the world
20. The biggest ant in India is about an inch
21. India used sugar before any other country
22. 4 major religions has India as birthplace Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism
23. India buys more gold than any other country
24. Curry powder gets its yellow color from a spice, turmeric
25. The number system and decimal system was invented in India
26. Before 1896 India was the only diamonds producing country in the world
27. Films made in Bollywood are often seen by people in South Africa
28. India is home to about 200 million cows
29. India is the world's number one producer of vegetarian cheese
30. The first bathrooms is said to have been built in India about 4500 years ago
31. India is the second most populated country in the world
32. Shampoo is derived word from Hindi

I responded to him as follows:

Dear ...

Interesting indeed - though, like most such compilations occasionally inaccurate or tendentious. For example, the list of languages entirely ignores the most important regional language Hindi (which is, with English, one of our two "official languages"), presumably the compiler of this list did not want Hindi to be included in the list of Indian regional languages - and did not want to put Hindi on the same level as English! Or consider:"In India's 100,000 years of history, it has never invaded any other country". First, India does not HAVE a history of 100,000 years (in fact, our historical records were badly preserved and actually distorted since we deliberately started suppressing and mythifying our past. Second, of the historical records we do have, whether or not we invaded any other country is a matter of how we define "India". What is currently "India" is a creation of the British in 1947, and whether or not we invaded Tibet to start the Indo-Chinese war, invaded Kashmir, and invaded what was then East Pakistan to create what is now Bangladesh, are matters of opinion (I still have not been able to make my mind up about them - it depends on what facts one considers how important). What is certain is that we invaded the independent states of Hyderabad, Goa, and so on, immediately or soon after independence.... Finally, we may or may not ever have invaded "any other country" but we have a most shameful record of internal violence against our own people through the invention of the cruel doctrine of untouchability and the wicked theory of Karma - and, if we forget that, then our record is not entirely without blemish in the matter of our treatment of "Indian Kashmiris", Nagas, Mizos, Tribals, Sikhs, Muslims, Christians and Buddhists since Independence. This is not to say that I am ashamed of my country. Rather, I am proud of many positive things in our country. But pride in our country needs to be balanced by honest recognition of the wrongs that we have done and are still doing, some of them deliberately, and some without realising it.

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