India Human Geography
THE DEMOGRAPHIC DEVELOPMENT
Over the centuries, a complex ethnic overlap has thus come about which, according to some interpretations, is at the origin of castes, which, however, are also explained in relation to the traditional hierarchical organization of the Hindu world, with the professional specializations and the tasks that it entails with its various activities. Although the Constitution has abolished traditional castes and the government seeks to limit the power of numerous religious sects, Hinduism plays a vital role in this predominantly peasant country. This is due to the fact that the religion of the Indoari has established itself in the historical process as an element of affirmation of Indian civilization. There are also religious minorities, the most important of which are represented by Muslims, Christians, Sikhs of Punjab, Buddhists, Parsis, mostly wealthy traders from Mahārāshtra., who live in cities. This ethnic and religious mosaic, which is then broken up further into hundreds of fragments, explains the complexity of India and can reveal how, despite centuries of history in which it has also seen periods of political unification, the country has not been able to find its ” fusion point”. Colonialism, with the exchanges and activities it has promoted, has acted as a stimulus, in the modern sense, for the life of India, but at the same time it has raised new social problems, imposing a territorial organization of its own, exaggerating in an exaggerated way l ‘ urbanism, population growth, all problems that plague India today.
According to 800zipcodes, the demographic is one of the most serious: at the 2011 census India counted 1,210,569,573 residents, a very high figure both in an absolute sense (the second in the world after that of China), and in relation to the extension of the territory, from the moment that India appears to host, in just over 2% of the earth’s surface, about one sixth of the entire world population. The growth process during the twentieth century was dizzying. The first census of 1901 had recorded 238 million residents; they did not increase by much over the next twenty years; indeed they decreased between 1911 and 1921 and still in 1931 the population did not touch 280 million. The very strong increases began in the 1940s; thus in 1941 there were 318.5 million, in 1951 ca. 360, in 1961 over 439 million. This rapid demographic increase was fundamentally due to the reduction in the mortality rate, which until the first decades of the century. XX was determined by frequent famines and recurrent epidemic diseases such as smallpox, plague, cholera, malaria, which helped to maintain that “balance of misery”, with which, albeit in a cruel way, developments were contained demographic. The improvement in sanitation conditions triggered the demographic explosion, the result of a substantially high birth rate, but no longer counterbalanced by an equally high mortality, the annual rate of which has gradually decreased over the years. Correspondingly the natural demographic increase has gradually increased since the beginning of the twentieth century.
The gravity of the demographic problem in a country of limited resources (or not adequately exploited) was felt by the same Gandhi; the problem was addressed under the Nehru regime, during which neo-Malthusianism was theorized which prompted the government to establish, in 1965, the first birth control centers under the direction of the Ministry of Health. Despite the anti-demographic policies adopted for years with commitment by the government, population growth is very sustained (the natural demographic increase was 12.8 ‰ in 2012), both due to the still high birth rate (20, 7 ‰ in 2012) and due to the decrease in the mortality rate (7.9 ‰ in 2012). The high demographic pressure of certain regions already existed at the end of the century. XIX and, favored by the possibilities allowed by colonialism, had provoked an emigration towards other lands, especially towards those facing the Indian Ocean. In many cases it was a slave labor hoard, like the one that brought thousands of Indians to the sugar cane plantations of the Mauritius Islands and East Africa; other migratory currents headed for Myanmar, Malaysia, Fiji, even the Antilles. It is estimated that there are about five million Indians abroad, including nearly one million in the United Kingdom; the migratory balance continues to be negative, but India is also a destination for international migrations from less developed countries, as well as for refugee flows from neighboring countries (from Pakistan, after the proclamation of independence, from Tibet, from Sri Lanka). The average population density is 383 residents / km², a high value even for such a vast country; but nevertheless it does not say of the very high concentrations of certain areas. The highest concentrations are found in the lower Gangetic plain, in the Bengal delta, in a part of Assam and in Kerala. Less populated areas, in addition to the arid areas of Rajasthan, are the Himalayan valleys, especially eastern, the northeastern Deccan and inland Gujarat. The economic and demographic imbalances from side to side fueled the first internal migrations in the twentieth century; the most conspicuous, however, were those directed towards the cities. Urbanization has reached very high rates in India, exalted at the time of the division between India and Pakistan, almost nine million refugees centering on the outskirts of large cities such as Calcutta. The urban areas of Mumbai and Ahmadabad, in the west of the country, are among the areas of greatest immigration. This migratory flow towards the cities has significantly increased the rate of urbanization: if in 1961 just 8% of the population resided in the city, this proportion was close to 31.6% in 2012. However, India remains a country with deep agricultural and rural roots, with a rural density index among the highest in the world, which reaches the highest values especially along the river valleys and the coast.