The Republic of India is the second most populous country in the world, with a population of more than one billion. It is situated in South Asia and is the seventh-largest country by geographical area. India is home to most of the Indus Valley Civilization and has given birth to four major world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Sikhism is the youngest of these religions and the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak was born in Punjab which formed part of old pre-colonial India. Punjab, a northern state of India is where the majority of Sikhs live; an estimated 21 million Sikhs are to be found in this state.
Before partition in 1947, India extended into present-day Pakistan and Bangladesh. Before the period of Muslim rule, this territory is also called 'Bharat' by many of its citizens; other names also include: Hindustan, British India, etc.
India's population and its strategic importance has grown significantly in importance in the last two decades. Indian's economy is the fourth largest in the world with respect to the gross domestic product, measured in terms of purchasing power parity, and is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. As the world's largest liberal democracy, India has also emerged as an important regional power, possessing one of the world's largest military forces with a declared nuclear weapons capability. India also with its Chandrayaan Mission reached the moon and, worldwide economic downturn notwithstanding, has plans to put men into space as well. It is one of the world's leaders in numbers of satellites, of various types, orbiting the earth.
India constitutes most of the Indian subcontinent, and straddles many important and historic trade routes. It shares its borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh (both once part of India), the People's Republic of China, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, and Afghanistan. The country was a part of the British Empire before gaining independence in 1947.
Stone Age India
The first known Indian civilization, the starting point of its history, dates back to around 3000 BC. It was a civilization with high urban development. Two of its cities, Mohenjodaro and Harappa, in the Indus Valley (present-day Pakistan) represent the highest level of these settlements. They built massive temples, dedicated themselves to irrigated agriculture, and maintained an active commercial exchange with peoples of the Persian Gulf and Sumeria (Iraq).
When Aryans came to India
In the 16th century BCE, the Aryans (Indo-Europeans) came to India and subdued the local population. They introduced the horse, iron armour, and the Sanskrit language, the basis of most Indian languages. The cavalry warfare facilitated the rapid expansion of Aryan culture throughout northern India and allowed the emergence of great empires. The Aryans did not know writing but developed a rich tradition (they composed the hymns of the Vedas, great philosophical poems that are the heart of Hindu thought). The civilization they forged, which was later called Vedic, had its basis in a rigid caste system. The conquerors integrated the dominant nobility.
Teachings of Gautam Buddha and Mahavira
The 6th century BCE was one of the social and intellectual turmoil in India. The preaching of Gautama Buddha and Mahariva Jain began. The two great religions, Buddhism and Jainism, had a decisive influence on the formation of Indian culture. Buddhist monks later extended their faith to China, Japan, Korea, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia.
At the end of the 3rd century BC, Chandragupta Maurya unified northern India and formed the first vast Indian empire. The greatest of its emperors were Ashoka (286-231 BCE).
Golden age of Indian history
The golden age of Indian history begins with the Gupta Empire, which lasted two centuries (IV and V). The arts flourished, and scholarly works on mathematics, astronomy, and medicine were done successfully. It was around this time that the Kamasutra, a famous treatise on love, was written.
The invasion of the White Huns spelt the end of the Gupta Empire; North India broke up into various kingdoms and did not rejoin until the arrival of the Muslims.
Great rival dynasties such as the Cholas, Pandyas, and Pallavas emerged in the south (the latter created the Baroque-style Dravidian architecture).
Muslim invasion of India
The Muslim invasions that began in 700 significantly impacted Indian culture (language, clothing, architecture, and social values). In 1192 the Muslim power came to the area permanently. The most important Muslim empire was that of the Mughals, a Central Asian dynasty founded by Babur in the early 16th century. During Shahjehan's reign, the capital was moved to Delhi, and the Taj Mahal was built (around 1650).
In 1296 Ala-ud-din Khalji proclaimed himself the Sultan of Delhi. By 1311, all of India was found under the sultanate. To counter Muslim power, the Vijayanagara Empire, the kingdom of the Hindu alliance, was founded with the capital in Hampi. Over time, various uprisings divided the empire, and the Muslim sultanates formed a new coalition. In 1565 the sultanate coalition defeated the Vijayanagar army. As a result of this, power over the region passed to Muslim rulers. Then their kingdoms were annexed to the Mughal Empire (1529-1857).
Arrival of Europeans
The arrival of the Europeans started a crucial stage in the history of India. In 1687, the British East India Company settled in Bombay. Throughout the 18th century, its private army waged war against the French, defeated in 1784. From 1798 the company's troops, commanded by Richard Wellesley, undertook the systematic conquest of the Indian territory.
The British ruled India through the East India Company. The country became "the jewel of the British Crown". Its exploitation enabled the development of the nascent Industrial Revolution by supplying the British industry with cheap raw materials, capital, and a large captive market. The Indian economy was dismantled. The export of high-quality, handcrafted, and domestic fabrics, which were an obstacle to the expansion of the English textile industry, was abolished. The ruin of this industry brought about the massive impoverishment of the peasants. The land was reorganized under the cruel Zamindari system to facilitate the collection of taxes that enriched the British coffers. Peasants were forced to exchange their traditional agriculture for one of the export products (indigo, jute, coffee, and tea). This resulted in severe famines.
By 1820 Great Britain controlled almost all of India except Punjab, Kashmir, and Peshawar, ruled by its ally, Sikh Ranjit Singh. The British annexed those territories in 1849, after Singh's death. The "loyal allies" maintained nominal autonomy, allowing them to retain their courts, palaces, and privileges to satisfy European visitors.
Divide and rule: Colonial strategy to rule India
The colonialist slogan was "divide to reign": mercenaries were sent from one region to subdue another (as was the case with the Nepalese Gurkhas or the Punjab Sikhs). Religious differences were also used; for example, at the beginning of the 20th century, an electoral reform established that Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists could only vote for candidates of the same religion. During the colonial period, this manipulation generated countless social explosions.
The most important was the so-called sepoys (Indian soldiers in the service of England) rebellion of 1857-1858, which started as a protest in the barracks that later incorporated other demands, and became a nationwide protest. Hindus and Muslims united and even went so far as to propose the restoration of the Great Mughal Empire. At the end of the rebellion, the East India Company was dissolved. The country became a British domain ruled by a viceroy. Queen Victoria incorporated the title of Empress of India.
British blunder to Educate Indians and freedom struggle
The educational system designed to train the "natives" in the colonial administration did not precisely fulfill this purpose. Instead, it allowed the creation of an intellectual elite, familiar with European culture and thought. That intelligentsia came together, years later, in the Indian National Congress (1885), in which British liberals also participated, and which for a long time limited itself to proposing superficial changes to the British administration.
When Mohandas K. Gandhi, a lawyer educated in England, returned to India in 1915, the cause of independence became massive. Gandhi had participated in South Africa in the struggle against Apartheid. He had developed a non-violent agitation technique, which he called Satyagraha (moral domination). He was a devotee of Hinduism, tolerance, the brotherhood of all religions, and non-violence (Ahimsa). His association with the Indian National Congress, where the young Jawaharlal Nehru was a member, reinforced the most radical wing of that movement, especially after the Amritsar massacre (1919), in which a demonstration was shot down (380 dead and 1,200 wounded). According to English sources).
On Gandhi's initiative, Congress promoted the Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-1922) and Civil Disobedience Movement (1930). One of the most critical mobilizations was the Salt March. Gandhi led a group of his followers on a trip to the remote village of Dandi, to stock up on salt. The act was a symbolic violation of British law, which established a monopoly on collecting the vital mineral.
The campaign showed the effectiveness of the local opposition. The movement was authentically national; in length and depth, it included non-participation in elections or administrative bodies, non-attendance at English schools, non-violence, non-consumption of English products, and passive acceptance of the probable consequent criminal retaliation. Women were taking part in demonstrations for the first time, prisons were overflowing with prisoners who poured in and out without resistance, and the colonial authorities did not know what to do.
Rise of Mahatma (Gandhi)
Gandhi was then consecrated as Mahatma (Big Soul), in recognition of his leadership and became the obligatory interlocutor of the English, who at the end of the Second War had no other way out than to negotiate independence (1947).
The Indian Union brought together a great diversity of ethnic, linguistic, and cultural groups, who initially had a conflictive relationship. The massacres that Gandhi, killed by a Hindu fanatic in 1948, succeeded in partially quelling by fasting, followed. The subcontinent was finally divided into two states; on the one hand, the Indian Union and Pakistan were created to nuclear the Muslim population in a single country (see Pakistan and Bangladesh). The Sikhs (2% of the population) who had an extensive list of martyrs for independence claimed an independent state in Punjab, which was not granted.
Division of India and the birth of Pakistan
The division of Pakistan and India led 562 principalities in 1947 to choose which State to belong to. The local government of Kashmir, with its majority Muslim population, tried to evade that responsibility. Still, an invasion by Pakistani tribes led it to turn to India, in exchange for military aid. After the Indo-Pakistani War of 1948-49, Kashmir was divided into two parts: Azad Kashmir (free Kashmir) passed to Pakistan, and the State of Jammu and Kashmir - of Muslim majority - was integrated to India.
After independence, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, together with Sukarno, Nasser and Tito, forged the concept of political non-alignment of countries fighting for full independence and sovereignty and developed a development policy based on the idea for his country. That industrialization would bring prosperity.
Technology post-independence in India
In a few decades, India achieved technological advances that allowed it to put satellites into orbit and detonate an atomic bomb in 1974, making it the first nuclear power of the Non-Aligned Movement. However, it failed to solve the power problems of His town.
The economic crisis of the early 1970s hit India heavily, dependent on oil imports. Industrial exports did not grow enough to offset the increase in import prices or the demand for food of a population that grew at a rate of 15 million per year. The crisis and popular resistance to mass sterilization campaigns led the government of Indira Gandhi (Nehru's daughter, who assumed the position of the prime minister on the death of her father in 1966) to declare a state of emergency in 1975 and to establish press censorship.
Trade liberalisation by Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi's government abandoned the traditional popular orientation of the Congress Party and accepted the World Bank's economic guidelines. With this decision, she lost popular support without fully obtaining the help of the business sectors (particularly those linked to foreign capital), which demanded even more significant concessions. The government was forced to call parliamentary elections in March 1977. The Congress Party suffered an overwhelming defeat and the Janata Party, a heterogeneous coalition, made up of splinter right-wing sectors of the Congress Party, the Socialist Party, led by the Union leader George Fernandes and the Congress for Democracy, led by Jagjivan Ram, former minister of Indira Gandhi.
There were no significant changes in non-alignment foreign policy during the mandate of the elderly Prime Minister Morarji Desai, who was unable to deliver on his promises of full employment and economic improvements.
Murder of Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi returned to power in January 1980. Her administration was characterized by a concentration of power and accusations of bureaucracy and state corruption. His image was deteriorating. In Punjab, the government faced increasing demands for autonomy from the Sikhs. Small groups of Sikh militants persecuted Hindus to drive them out of Punjab and create an absolute Sikh majority. The next step would be the division and formation of a separate "Khalistan". Indira accused "foreign forces" (Pakistan and the United States) of destabilizing the country.
Following the murder of Indira Gandhi at the hands of Sikh militants in 1984, thousands of these were victims of indiscriminate revanchism by Hindu paramilitary groups. Ignoring institutional and party formalities, Indira's son Rajiv was quickly promoted to the prime minister and leader of the Congress Party.
India after Rajiv Gandhi
The January 1985 elections gave him excellent support. Despite the apparent victory, regions like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Sikkim turned their backs on Gandhi.
The new prime minister appointed a conciliator as governor of Punjab, released the political prisoners and ordered that the militants of his party who had participated in the violence against the Sikhs be tried and punished, preparing the way for dialogue with the Akali Dal, the regional majority party of the Sikhs and other dissident groups. Supporters of Punjab's autonomy proposed that the Indian central government retain its responsibility for defense, foreign affairs, currency, mail, roads, and telecommunications. For its part, the local government would have greater autonomy than the other states of India.
India and the Sri Lankan conflict
In 1987 India intervened in the Sri Lankan conflict. She lobbied for a ceasefire between Singhalese and Tamils and sent troops for the signing of an agreement. Three years later, the Indian Peacekeeping Forces quietly withdrew.
India's foreign policy remained faithful to non-alignment, but some internal changes were announced. Rajiv Gandhi promised the private sector to lift restrictions on imports and the purchase of international technology.
When Kashmir burned
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated in March 1990 due to Pakistani support for the autonomous Kashmir movements. In November, confrontations between Hindus and Muslims flared up, amid a worsening economic crisis. Prime Minister Singh was replaced by Chandra Shekhar, also from the Janata Dal party.
Murder of Rajiv Gandhi
An electoral campaign that claimed more than 280 lives preceded the May 1991 parliamentary elections. The elections were suspended for the murder of Rajiv Gandhi, the victim of an attack by the Tamil liberation movement. A week later, Narasimha Rao was named Gandhi's successor as leader of the Congress Party. The elections, which turned out to be the bloodiest in the history of independent India, continued in June, and the Congress Party won the majority.
Liberalization under Finance Minister Manmohan Singh
The new government announced a drastic turn towards liberalism, changing the economic policy practiced since independence. Prime Minister Rao opened the Indian market to foreign investment, reduced state intervention, made the rupee freely convertible against the dollar, and lifted import controls.
The liberalization process of the economy started in 1992 and deepened, damaging the population's economic, social, and cultural rights. The presence of the State in health, education, electrical energy has begun to disappear in favor of private companies. The situation is particularly serious with water, a resource that traditionally belonged to the community, in a country where a third of the territory is prone to drought.
Protests against economic reforms
Economic reforms sparked protests from various sectors, most notably agriculture. The resistance against the0 presence of multinational companies interested in commercializing fertilizers and seeds was extreme. As part of the "green revolution" of capital-intensive agriculture during the 1960s and 1970s, the World Bank had made extensive loans to purchase genetically engineered seeds. At the same time, the government provided subsidies to farmers. The government decided to eliminate these subsidies according to the directives of the World Bank. The Karnataka State Farmers Association - which brings together 10 million peasants - led the rural protest, which since 1991 has taken direct action against representatives of multinational companies.
At the International Conference on Third World Farmers' Rights, held in Bangalore in October 1993, farmers declared that "the seeds, plants, material and biological wealth of the Third World are part of the Collective Intellectual Property of the peoples of the Third World. They pledged to develop these rights against the private patent system that favors the introduction of monocultures, threatening biodiversity.
1992: Hindu-Muslim clashes
During 1992, numerous acts of violence by Hindu fundamentalists against the Islamic population were recorded in the cities of Bombay and Ayodhya. The inter-community clashes, caused by the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, left around 1,300 dead, and the conflict spread to neighboring countries, such as Pakistan and Bangladesh.
1994 agreements with China
In 1994, India and China signed agreements to reduce the number of military personnel stationed in the 4,000 km. Common border and encourage commercial exchange. Meanwhile, Pakistan closed its consulate in Bombay following the worsening of relations between New Delhi and Islamabad, following statements by former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that his country had atomic weapons.
During 1995 Prime Minister Narasimha Rao changed his ministerial cabinet three times. The elections carried out in the different states showed a growing weakening of the Congress Party. The economic stability and assistance schemes announced by Rao, which included a school feeding plan for 110 million children and the construction of 10 million rural houses, did not stop the decline in popularity. Rao resigned in May 1996, after his party's defeat in the general election.
Rise of the Bhartiya Janta Party
The BJP (Bharatiya Janata, Hindu nationalist) failed to obtain the necessary parliamentary majority to rule. A political crisis prompted the assumption and resignation of two other prime ministers (Atal Bihari Vajpayee, HD Deve Gowda). Almost a month after Gowda's fall, Inder Kumar Gujral of the United Front was appointed prime minister. In July, KR Narayanan was elected President.
Gujral had to resign in November when an official commission revealed alleged links between a ruling coalition party, Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (DMK), and Sri Lankan Tamil guerrillas implicated in the death of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
The BJP triumphed in the February 1998 parliamentary elections, and Atal Bihari Vajpayee was appointed prime minister. In May, a series of nuclear tests by India increased tension with Pakistan. They gave India a pretext to carry out comparable nuclear tests that same month.
How women's empowerment was stalled
A bill to reserve one-third of parliamentary seats for Indian women was boycotted in parliament during July 1998. Opponents of the law, led by two socialist parties, staged a protest outside the parliamentary compound, and procedures were interrupted continuously. According to these opponents, the proposal lost ground by not providing quotas for women from the lowest castes. The central defenders of this law were the ruling party and the main opposition force, the Indian National Congress Party, which coincided for the first time.
Fall of BJP Government in 1999
The government coalition collapsed in April 1999. The Tamil party AIADMK forced two of its ministers to resign after Prime Minister Vajpayee opposed that Defense Minister George Fernandes was deposed and investigated for dismissing the Naval Commander of India. , Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat.
Kargil War with Pakistan
New armed clashes with Pakistan erupted in June when Pakistani forces crossed the line of control set by the United Nations. About a thousand people died during the fighting. The international organization, Human Rights Watch, denounced severe human rights violations on both sides of the border by officials from both governments. The Indian security forces were accused of carrying out summary executions, rapes, and torture.
In October, after five electoral days, the BJP returned to remain in the government. Despite the victory of his coalition, this election also marked a retreat of the BJP in favor of the left and regional parties. More than half of the legislative seats were outside the control of the two great national parties (the BJP and the Congress Party, which suffered the worst defeat in history).
Battle for control of food supplies
The battle for control of food supplies around the world gave a legal victory to the underprivileged in a lawsuit over the rights to basmati rice that has been taking place on the Indian continent for centuries. The result of the "rice battle," as it was known, began in 1997, when the RiceTech company patented what it called "Kasmati," a variant of basmati produced in the United States. In May 2001, the United States Patent Office rejected RiceTech's application; Had the contrary ruling been given, the act would have ended the export of Indian rice to the United States and that Asian farmers would end up paying intellectual property rights of their old crops.
The aftermath of the Kargil War
In July 2001, Vajpayee met with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf at the first summit between the two neighbors in more than two years. The meeting ended without resolving the dispute over Kashmir. Foreign Minister Singh accused Pakistan of having prevented an agreement by insisting on making the Kashmir issue the center of the talks instead of advancing on other bilateral issues. For its part, the Pakistani delegation replied that the root of the problems was in the fact that Indian officials insisted on changing the text of an agreement already approved by the leaders of both countries.
In September, after the attacks on New York and Washington, USA. It lifted the sanctions it had imposed on India and Pakistan after the nuclear tests that both countries carried out three years ago. The uprising was a "prize" for the support both countries provided to Washington in its global war on terror.
Attack on Indian Parliament
In October 2001, Kashmir was again the center of a conflict between Pakistan and India after Indian troops opened fire on a Pakistani military post. Several Indian police officers were killed when a Pakistani suicide squad attacked parliament in New Delhi. Both nuclear-armed countries, fearing a new war, reinforced their military positions along the border. In early 2002, India successfully tested the Agni, a nuclear missile.
In June 2002, while Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes stated that Indian troops would remain on the border for as long as necessary, incursions into Kashmir had been markedly reduced due to intervention by the US, Russia other countries.
The New Water Policy approved in 2002 established as objective the stimulation of private participation in the sector. The Radius Water Limited Corporation received the Sheonath River Concession (Durg region), the primary source for irrigation, fishing, cleaning, and drinking. The company prohibited fishing, diversion of water for irrigation, and established the sale of water to residents.
2002 Gujrat riots
In February 2002, a wave of violence against Muslims, which lasted for three months, won Gujarat. More than 2,000 people were killed, and there was particular cruelty to the women who were raped in the series before being burned alive. The rebels looted and burned homes, workshops, and mosques, and drove out some 15,000 Muslims. According to an Amnesty International report, the government and the state police did not take measures to protect civilians but instead conspired with the aggressors. The 21 individuals accused of the murder of 14 people who were burned alive in a Baroda establishment known as Best Bakery were acquitted. After the trial, several witnesses stated that they lied because they had been threatened with death.
In January 2003, the Gujarat government, which had dealt with the February 2002 massacre, comfortably won the election.
In 2003, 29 people were sentenced to death. The exact number of executions carried out is unknown as the government does not disclose information on the death penalty application. In March, the enactment of the POTA (terrorism prevention law) extended the implementation of this penalty to acts of "terrorism" that resulted in someone's death. In November, parliament and the central government favored extending the sentence to crimes of rape.
President Abdul Kalam
Most political parties, including the Congress Party and the governing coalition, supported the candidacy of Abdul Kalam, a scientist. He was vital in the program to turn India into nuclear power for the President. Upon taking office in July, Kalam, known as "the missile man," became the country's third Muslim President.
Kashmiri separatist groups called for a boycott of the October 2002 parliamentary elections. For security reasons, the polls were held in four stages. After three decades of an uninterrupted mandate from the Jammu and Kashmir National Congress Party, 44% of the electorate participated in the elections and gave victory to the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and the Congress Party. The leader of the PDP, the Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, was established as prime minister.
How Manmohan Singh became the Prime Minister?
After winning the 2004 elections, the leader of the Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi - widow of Rajiv - rejected the prime minister's position. Former Finance Minister Manmohan Singh, a Sikh, became the first non-Hindu to take over as prime minister.
Together with Brazil, Germany, and Japan, India formed a group of countries that lobbied at the UN to boost their nominations as permanent members of this body's Security Council in September. In November, the withdrawal of part of the Indian troops in Kashmir began.
The waters swallowed more than 2,000 km of India's southern coast in December. The states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala were affected by a massive tsunami (tsunami) that affected South Asia. Behind Indonesia, India was the most affected country. According to official figures, there were 7,000 dead, and more than 130,000 people were left homeless.
Nuclear Agreement with the United States of America
The government had to approve, in March 2005, a patent law following the requirements of the World Trade Organization that would regulate, for the first time, the country's pharmaceutical production, one of the largest in the world.
After 30 years of sanctions against India and two years of negotiations, the United States signed, in July 2007, a civil cooperation nuclear cooperation agreement. According to New Delhi, the country had "no reason to increase its nuclear weapons."
After a dirty campaign riddled with personal attacks, Prathiba Patil, a candidate for the Congress Party, defeated the vice president and leader of the opposition BJP, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. She became the country's first female President. Despite her deep religious faith, Patil embodied secularism. A constant concern had marked her political performance for social affairs and the welfare of the lower castes.
Digital India Program
Digital India is a campaign launched by the Government of India in order to ensure the Government's services are made available to citizens electronically by improved online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity or making the country digitally empowered in the field of technology. The initiative includes plans to connect rural areas with high-speed internet networks. Digital India consists of three core components: the development of secure and stable digital infrastructure, delivering government services digitally, and universal digital literacy.
Launched on 1 July 2015, by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it is both enabler and beneficiary of other key Government of India schemes, such as BharatNet, Make in India, Startup India and Standup India, industrial corridors, Bharatmala, Sagarmala
As of 31 December 2018, India had a population of 130 crore people (1.3 billion), 123 crores (1.23 billion) Aadhaar digital biometric identity cards, 121 crore s(1.21 billion) mobile phones, 44.6 crore s(446 million) smartphones, 56 crore s(560 million) internet users up from 481 million people (35% of the country's total population) in December 2017, and 51 per cent growth in e-commerce.
Digitalization in India
India is currently in its seventh decade of liberty, on a tide of significant alterations, transformations which could cause unprecedented growth and growth across all industries. Studies show that over the last two decades, India's GDP has climbed higher than predicted, in the process attracting countless citizens into a new league called the emerging middle class. While the finance ministry announced that the last budget for the present authorities, speculations are rife concerning the elements which will influence the elections 2019. The significant push agriculture has obtained major newsprint. But, funding 2018 has also climbed the feasibility of the Digital India program to Rs 3,073 crore having a clear focus on accelerating the speed of digitization procedure in the nation.
- Wikipedia article on India.
- Wikivoyage article on India.
- Official website of the government of India
- Digital India Wikipedia Page
- The Success of Digital India
- History of India by Digital Indian
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