1966-1984 History of India 1991-2004

India 1984-1991

Foreign Policy : The Republic of India continued close cooperation with the USSR. Negotiations with the PR China aiming at improving mutual relations made some progress.
India suspected Pakistan of actively working on developing the nuclear bomb, and on providing refuge and training to the Sikh terrorists.
In 1987 India sent troops to Sri Lanka as peacekeepers; the rebel Tamils were declared violators, and the Indian forces turned against them. While the ensuing offensive succeeded in temporarily gaining a lot of ground, the objective of suppressing the rebellion was not achieved, and the Indian forces returned in 1990.
In 1988 India sent troops to the Maldives to help suppress a coup attempt by Sri Lankan Tamil mercenaries.

Domestic Policy : In 1984, upon the assassination of Indira Gandhi, her son Rajiv Gandhi succeeded. In 1985 the New Congress won general elections. An assassination attempt on Rajiv Gandhi failed in 1986. In 1987, a corruption scandal (Bofors Scandal) rocked the government. Arunachal Pradesh, Goa and Mizoram in 1987 were elevated to the status of state. In 1989, the Congress Party suffered an electoral defeat; Rajiv Gandhi was succeeded by a coalition government headed by Vishwanath Pratap Singh. The coalition disintegrated in 1991 and Rajiv Gandhi campaigned as the Congress Party candidate for president, when he was assassinated by a Tamil Tiger.

Relations between India's Ethnicities and Religious Communities : Following Operation Bluestar in 1984, Sikh separatists continued to be active, most notably in the Punjab, culminating in the assassination of Indira Gandhi; an agreement between the Indian government and Akali Dal, the appointment of a new governor for the Punjab and the suggestion of territorial adjustments was intended to deescalate the tension in 1985; the implementation of the agreement proved difficult (1986); terrorist acts of Sikh militants continued (assassination attempt on Rajiv Gandhi 1986).
In 1984, Hindu-Muslim riots broke out in Bhiwandi, Bombay and Hyderabad, in Gujarat in 1986, in Uttar Pradesh in 1987.
In 1986 Gurkhas in Darjeeling, West Bengal, began a campaign for a separate homeland; the conflict was settled by an agreement with the state government in 1988; a Gurkha Hill Council was established within West Bengal.
The Mizo insurgency in Mizoram was ended, the leader of the insurgency taking over as PM of Mizoram.
In 1989, campaigns for a separate Bodoland (in Assam) and for a separate Jharkhand (in Bihar) began.
Following the formation of the Janata Dal government in 1989, the Hindu extremist BJP campaigned (1990) for the construction of a Hindu temple on the spot where the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) was standing (the mosque was demolished by rioting Hindus in 1992); the campaign, in 1990, alienated India's Muslim population, causing riots in many parts of India, and even in Bangladesh.

Economic Policy : Rice production increased from 87.5 million metric tons in 1984 to 110.5 million metric tons in 1991 (IHS p.198).
The Sixth Five Year Plan ended in 1985, followed by the Seventh (1985-1990) and the Eighth (1990-1995).
Rajiv Gandhi pursued the economic opening of India, the technological modernization of which he strove for. Bangalore (Karnataka) developed into a computer software development center.
On December 3rd 1984, at a Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, where pesticides were produced, toxic gases leaked; the number of immediate fatalities in the city was estimated at 7,000; the death toll is estimated between 10,000 and 22,000.

Social History . In 1984 the population of India was estimated at 734.8 million, the census of 1991 counted 843.9 million. In 1987 India was hit by the worst drought in a century; Gujarat and Rajasthan were affected the most.

Biography of Rajiv Gandhi, from Doon Online
Chronology of the Bhopal Incident, from Bhopal.com
Five Year Plans, from Planning Commission, Government of India
Article Five Year Plans of India, Republic of India, History of India : Independent India, Naxalite, from Wikipedia
Political Sources on the Net : India
Global History of Currencies : India, by Bryan Taylor
Article Babri Mosque, from Wikipedia
Article Rajiv Gandhi, from Wikipedia
Article Bofors Scandal, from Wikipedia
Article Gorkhaland, from Wikipedia
Article Bhopal Disaster, from Wikipedia
Article 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots, from Wikipedia
CASCON Case KAS : Kashmir 1947-, by L.P. Bloomfield, L. Moulton
DOCUMENTS Historical Population Statistics : India, from Population Statistics, by J. Lahmeyer
World Statesmen : India, by Ben Cahoon
REFERENCE IHS : International Historical Statistics : Africa, Asia & Oceania 1750-2000, edited by B.R. Mitchell, Basingstoke : Palgrave MacMillan 4th ed. 2003
Paul R. Brass, The Politics of India since Independence, Cambridge : UP 1990 [G]
Article : India, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1985 pp.508-511, 701-702, 1986 pp.698-699, 1987 pp.473-475, 667-668, 1988 pp.431-432, 619-620, 1989 pp.431-432, 620-621, 1990 pp.448-450, 635-636, 1991 pp.430-432, 620-621 [G]
Article : India, in : The Statesman's Year-Book 1985-1986 pp.613-680, 1986-1987 pp.616-683, 1987-1988 pp.622-689, 1988-1989 pp.624-691, 1989-1990 pp.630-698, 1990-1991 pp.631-699, 1991-1992 pp.628-697 [G]
Article : India, in : Americana Annual 1988 pp.275-276, 1989 pp.273-276, 1990 pp.267-270, 1992 pp.276-278 [G]
Entry : India, in : The Commonwealth Yearbook 1989 pp.210-226 [G]

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First posted on May 23rd 2002, last revised on May 10th 2007

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