India Society and Human Rights

Population and society

India, with more than 1.2 billion residents, is the second most populous country in the world. In 2030, Indians, half of whom are under the age of 25, could become 1.5 billion: the estimate takes into account the increase in life expectancy and the flows of labor attracted thanks to growth, but also of global warming, which it could cause natural disasters and migration phenomena from neighboring countries. Already in 2007, floods in Bangladesh forced 5 million refugees to irregularly cross the border with India. The great national census launched the previous year ended in 2011: it involved 2.5 million government officials and, for the first time since 1931, it took into account their caste. For India society, please check

The Indian population is decidedly heterogeneous by language (there are 18 official ones of the union and of the states), religion and class. About 68% live in rural areas and only 32% in urban centers. Cities are characterized by a high population density. There are more than 40 with over a million residents: seven have between 2 and 5 million, three between 5 and 10 million. Delhi and Mumbai are the two most populous cities in the world, with a population of between 15 and 20 million. In addition, more than 150 million Indians live in slums (shacks on the outskirts of large urban agglomerations) and 8 million homeless. The health system Indian is progressively improving; however, the public expenditure destined for this sector is equal to only 1.3% of the national GDP. Not surprisingly, infant mortality is still high. The spread of diseases depends on the inadequate hygienic conditions in which a large part of the population lives and on the contamination of water. Education is improving significantly, but 37% of the population over 15 is still illiterate. Indian universities, however, provide internationally recognized preparation and, in particular, specialize in engineering subjects. In this field, India has a high number of graduates: the annual rate is about double that of US graduates in the same disciplines.

Freedom and rights

Based on the Freedom in the World index drawn up by the NGO Freedom House, India is categorized as a free country, performing well in the categories of political rights and civil liberties. The transparency and efficiency of government action are compromised by widespread corruption and the intertwining of crime and politics. The 2014 elections, monitored by an Indian electoral commission, were ‘generally’ free, although there were allegations of spreading false news and manipulating poll data by newspapers and televisions linked to some candidates. The Constitution protects freedom of expression, but journalists are sometimes victims of intimidation and restrictions, particularly if they address issues considered to be national security. Internet access is free. Place of origin of religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, India is home to numerous religious communities: according to the 2001 census, Hindus are the majority (80.5%), followed by Muslims (13.4%), Christians (2.3%) and Sikhs (1.9%)). The subsequent 2011 census, however, does not report any indicators relating to belief. The Indian state professes to be secular and the Constitution provides for freedom of worship; however, there have been episodes of violence and discrimination which, in some cases, go unpunished. In India every year thousands of women are killed or are victims of domestic abuse; there are numerous cases of selective abortions to discard female daughters. In 2008, the government took measures to combat the phenomenon. The precarious balance between secularism and ancestral traditions is clear in the open diatribe on article 377 of the Indian penal code, which provided for life imprisonment for physical relations between two adults of the same sex. In 2009, the New Delhi High Court had decriminalized the crime, but the Supreme Court overturned the sentence in 2013, making homosexuality a crime again. On the other hand, in 2014 the Court, with a historic ruling, recognized a third gender for transsexuals.

India society