Indians are the nations or citizens of India, the second-most populous nation in the world, containing 17.50% of the world’s population. “Indian” refers to nationality, rather than a particular ethnicity or language; the Indian nationality consists of dozens of indigenous regional ethnolinguistic groups, reflecting the rich and complex history of the country. Due to emigration, the Indian Diaspora is present throughout the World, notably in other parts of Asia, North America, the Caribbean, Oceania, and Africa.
The demonian Indian today applies to nationals of the Republic of India, although before the partition of Indian in 1947, nationals residing in the entirety of British India (including what is now Pakistan and Bangladesh) were known as Indians well. In Canada, the Caribbean, and the United States, the term Asian Indian, and East Indian is sometimes used to avoid confusion with First Nations in Canada, the Indigenous people of the Caribbean, and Native Americans in US, which are also commonly known as “Indian”.
Indians name “Bharata” has been used as a self-ascribed name by the people of the Indian subcontinent and the Republic of India. The designation “Bharata” appears in the official Sanskrit name of the country, Bharata Ganarajya. The name is derived from the ancient Vedic and Puranas, which refer to the land that comprises India as “Bharata Varsam” and uses this term to distinguish it from other Vargas or continents. The Bharatas were a Vedic tribe mentioned in the Rigveda, notably participating in the Battle of the Ten Kings. India is named after legendary Emperor Bharata who was a descendant of the Bharatas tribe, scion of Kuru Dynasty who unified the Indian subcontinent under one realm.
India is one of the world’s oldest civilizations. The Indian culture, often labeled as an amalgamation of several various cultures, spans across the Indian subcontinent and has been influenced and shaped a history that is several thousand years old. Throughout the history of India, Indian culture has been heavily influenced by Dharmic religions. They have been credited with shaping much of Indian philosophy, literature, architecture, art, and music. Greater India was the historical extent of Indian culture beyond the Indian subcontinent. This particularly concerns the spread of Hinduism, Buddhism, architecture, administration and the writing system.
India is the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, collectively known as Indian religions. Indian religions, also known as Dharmic religions are a major form of world religions along with Abrahamic ones. Today, Hinduism and Buddhism are the world’s third and fourth-largest religions respectively, with over 1 Billion followers.
Religious diversity and religious tolerance are both established in the country by the law and by custom; the Constitution of India has declared the right to freedom of religion to be a fundamental right.
Traditionally, Indian society is grouped according to their caste. It is a system in which social stratification within various social sections defined by thousands of endogamous heredity groups is often termed jati or caste. Within a jati, there exist exogamous groups known as gotras, the lineage or clan of individuals. Caste barriers have mostly broken down in cities but still exists in some form in rural areas. Indians
Hinduism is the majority in most states; Kashmir and Lakshadweep are Muslim majority; Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya are Christian majority; and Punjab is a Sikh majority with Hindus 37%. Although participants in the Indian census may choose to not declare their religion, there is no mechanism for a person to indicate that he/she does not adhere to any religion. Due to this limitation in the Indian census process, the data for persons not affiliated with any religion may not be accurate. Muslims are the largest religious minority. India is also home to the third-largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia and Pakistan.
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