Located in the southern part of Asia, India is one of the largest and most heavily populated countries in the world. India borders the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh, Nepal, China, and Pakistan. India has fought with Pakistan over the ownership of the northern regions of Jammu and Kashmir. India also fought with China in 1962 over northeastern parts of Jammu and Kashmir.
Population: 1.2 billion (2013 est.)
Ethnic Groups: Indo-Aryan (72%), Dravidian (25%), Mongoloid and other (3%)
Languages: English, Hindi (national language), 14 official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Sanskrit. (In India, students must learn 3 languages at school - English, Language of the Province, and Hindi.)
Religions: Hindu (80.5%), Muslim (13.4%), Christian (2.3%), Sikh (1.9%), other (1.8%), unspecified (0.1%)
INDIANS IN TORONTO
In Canada: 962,665
In the GTA: 484,655
In the City of Toronto: 148,775
Primary Areas of Settlement in the GTA (Social Atlas):
Scarborough-Rouge River, Etobicoke North, Brampton, Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, southern part of Pickering, Ajax
India is a country of rich diversity. Its 28 Union States and 7 Union Territories are home to over one billion people who belong to more than 2,500 distinct people groups. The caste system includes four major divisions, approximately 4,700 castes, and approximately 25,000 subcastes. The caste system impacts life much more in rural areas than in cities. While caste-based discrimination is illegal, it continues to persist. The constitution provides Indians with full religious freedom. However, some state governments discriminate against religious minorities (for example, some have passed anti-conversion laws that deny state benefits to Christian converts who belong to low castes.) There is a great deal of religious diversity in India, and holidays of all major religious groups are celebrated.
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