Meredith Munro & Shannon Morgan
China's One Child Policy
The One Child policy is a rule that restricts Han Chinese families in urban area to only one child. This rule was implemented in 1979 by Deng Xiaoping to control China’s population growth. Approximately 35.9% of China’s population is subject to this policy and from 1980 to 2000 and estimated 250 million births have been prevented. Parents with multiple children are not given the same benefits as parents of one child. Families that follow the policy are rewarded with higher wages, better schooling and employment, and preferential treatment in obtaining governmental assistance and loans. Families who violate the policy are subject to fines, employment termination, and difficulty in obtaining governmental assistance. Even though this policy is highly controversial, it has decreased China’s population growth and benefited their economy. The National Population and Family Planning Commission plans for this policy to be in place for at least another decade. However, China is being pressured to withdraw the policy because of the “nation's shrinking pool of workers, adding to a chorus of opponents who say the policy will have long-lasting effects on the country's economic stability.” (Wall Street Journal)
Exceptions to the policy:
· Families in rural areas may apply for a second child.
· If the first child is a female, has a physical disability, mental illness or mental retardation families may apply for a second child.
· Wealthy families can pay to have multiple children.
· Minorities and immigrants are not included in the policy.
· If I child was born in another country and is not an Chinese citizen, they do not count as the one child.
China's Economic Influence
China has grown economically over time because they implemented reform policies and they opened up their economy for the public in 1979. Their average growth rate in GDP (gross domestic product) has increased about 10% in 33 years, which is good for China and has allowed them to create a more significant role for themselves in the world today. Though China was actually one of the biggest economic nations, it has not always been. There was a period when China was not doing well, but thanks to the new policies they were able to quickly revive their falling economy.
The Caste System
A caste is a social class to which a person belongs by birth. Within a caste, most people may share an occupation, belong to the same religious group or have the same level of wealth. The term caste is most commonly referring to the closed groups into which the people of India are divided. Aryan religious leaders and scholars called Brahmans developed a system for ranking the castes. It consisted of four ranked categories called varnas, which means “colors”. The top varna was white and was made up of Brahmans. The next varna was red and included Kshatriyas (rulers, nobles, and warriors). Then came the yellow varna, Vaisyas. People in this varna were involved in banking and other kinds of business. The black varna was next, the people were called Sudras (artisans and laborers). Aside from the four varnas developed by the Brahmans, there was also a fifth category – “The untouchables”. About a fifth of India's people belong to untouchable castes. There have been many attempts to eliminate the caste system, however they have not been successful. India’s 1950 Constitution outlaws untouchability and grants equal status to all peoples. But caste prejudice remains an important factor interfering with India’s social integration and economic progress. Urbanization and democratic government has also led to changes in the caste system. Many people see the caste system as racist because of prejudice towards other classes; however Hindus believe the caste system is religious. Over the years it seems that the caste system has gone from religious to racist.
Unlike most other religions, Hinduism has no single founder, no single scripture, and no commonly agreed set of teachings. Because of this, people often refer to Hinduism as 'a way of life' or 'a family of religions' instead of a single religion. The term 'Hindu' was comes from the river of the northwest, the Sindhu. About 80% of the Indian population regard themselves as Hindu. Most Hindus believe in a Supreme God, whose qualities and forms are represented by the multitude of beings which come from him. Hindus believe that existence is a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, controlled by Karma. They believe that the soul passes through a cycle of successive lives and its next incarnation is always dependent on how the previous life was lived. The soul will be reincarnated again and again until it reaches Nirvana. The primary Hindu texts are the Vedas and books based on the Vedas. Veda is a Sanskrit word that means 'knowledge'. These scriptures do not mention the word 'Hindu' but many scriptures discuss dharma, which can be rendered as 'code of conduct', 'law', or 'duty'
The Kashmir conflict has been going on since 1947, and has resulted in thousands of deaths. Kashmir is located between India and Pakistan, and both countries are fighting for the land. India controls 43% of Kashmir, while Pakistan controls 37%. There have been three wars in which India and Pakistan fought over the land; in 1947, 1965, and 1999. As many as 100,000 Kashmir people were killed in the wars. Since then both countries have calmed down a little. The people that live in Kashmir have protested, but nothing has been done.
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