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Essay on “India: An Introduction” Complete Essay for Class 9, Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

India: An Introduction


India is a land of varied and rich cultural heritage though it social practices are not always admirable. Though a number of religions flourish in India’s tolerant social climate, four- fifths of the people  are Hindus. The social groups with which Hindus identity most strongly are their ‘jatis’, or castes. A caste is a hereditary group whose members inter- marry only among them. Each has its own origin myth, traditional occupation, rules relating to kinship, diet , and various forms of behavior. The way to achieve higher status in future incarnations is to accept one’s station in life and life accordingly. This is the path that may eventually lead to salvation, called ‘moksha’, freedom from the continuous round of rebirths.

Muslims, who constitute 11 per cent of the population, are the largest religious minority. The majority belong to the Sunnah branch of Isla, though the Shi’ah sect is well represented among Muslim trading groups of Gujarat. Sikhs, with 2.6 per cent of the population, are predominant in the state of Punjab. Their faith, which dates from the early  16th century, combines aspects of Hinduism, such as belief in reincarnation, with ideas borrowed from Islam, in they are recognizable by their distinctive beards and turbans. Sikhs professions and in government.

Households often consist of more than one married couple. A senior male usually heads these joint families; whose wife, mother, women and girls. Most villagers are farmers. The majority own some land, usually in scattered parcels, but a substantial number must rent all or part of the land they farm, either for cash or for an agreed- upon share of the harvest. Many families, especially among the scheduled castes, have no land at all, and both adults and children must sell their labour to the larger farmers.  

The simple tools used by most India farmers are generally made in the villages. Ploughs are wooden, with short iron tips. They furrow but do not turn the soil. Draft animals are mainly   oxen in the drier regions and water buffalo in the wetter, rice- growing areas. Both cattle and water buffalo are milked, but yields are low. Transport is still largely by oxcart or buffalo cart, though the use of trucks is gaining as a result of road improvement.

For entertainment men join their fellow caste members or those from castes at levels close to their own to pass the evening hours smoking and chatting women and chatting. Women and girls talk at the village well and may join groups to sing religious songs. Male youths sometimes form sports clubs or drama groups. Travelling storytellers, musicians, acrobats, and snake charmers relieve the drabness of life, as do weddings, religious celebrations, and trips to local fairs, and occasional religious pilgrimages.

India’s present constitution came into effect on Jan 26, 1950. At that time , the nation changed its status from a dominion to a federal republic, though it remained within the Commonwealth. A president, chosen by an electoral college, replaced the governor-general appointed by the British Crown. The President is the official chief of state, but the office is largely ceremonial.

The artistic and literary heritage of India is exceptionally rich. Probably most renowned are the country’s architectural masterpieces. These date from many different ages. The Kailasa Tample at Ellora was carved out of solid  rock in the 8th century. The enormous, elaborately sculptured Sun Temple at Konark dates from the 13 Century, and the Minakshi Temple in Madurai, with its striking outer towers and inner Hall of 1,000 Pillars, from the 16th century. The sublime Taj Mahal emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his favourite wife. Every major region and religious group of India has produced works of extraordinary merit. Hindu and jain tempes are usually richly embellished by sculpture. Because of the Islamic opposition to representative art, mosques are comparatively austere and rely for adornment largely on inlaid stone work, decorative tiles, geometric designs in stone, plaster, or wood , and ornate calligraphy.

Painting is relatively less developed, and much of the work od the past has fallen victim to weather  victim to weather. However, the well- preserved, sensuous cave paintiangs at Ajanta, dating from the 1st century BC to the 7 th century AD, demonstrate great technical proficiency at an early date. Altogether different is the lyric and romantic style of the various schools of miniature painting that flourished in the courts of the Mughals and the Rajput princes in the 16th and subsequent centuries. Modern painting inspired by both European and Far Eastern models, dance, and drama had reached their perfection the classical age itself but they are sadly neglected now. 


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