This chapter provides a brief historical background and a description of major events in India. It also provides basic political, economic, and social data arranged in the following categories: polity, economy, population, purchasing power parities, life expectancy, ethnic groups, capital, political rights, civil liberties, and status. The chapter discusses the progress and decline of political rights and civil liberties in India. Under Article 370 of India's 1950 constitution and a 1952 accord, the territory received substantial autonomy. However, New Delhi began annulling the autonomy guarantees in 1953, and in 1957 formally annexed the two-thirds of Jammu and Kashmir under its control. By the mid-1990s, the Indian army had greatly weakened the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and other indigenous groups and had secured most large Kashmir Valley towns and villages. India has never held a referendum on Kashmiri self-determination as called for in a 1948 UN resolution. The state's residents can nominally change the local administration through elections.