A two-year period of political turmoil followed the general election of 1996. Several short-lived alliances shared power at the centre. The BJP formed a government briefly in 1996; it was followed by two comparatively long-lasting United Front coalitions, which depended on external support. In 1998, the BJP was able to form a successful coalition, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the NDA became the first non-Congress, coalition government to complete a five-year term. Again in the 2004 Indian general elections, no party won an absolute majority, but the Congress emerged as the largest single party, forming another successful coalition: the United Progressive Alliance (UPA). It had the support of left-leaning parties and MPs who opposed the BJP. The UPA returned to power in the 2009 general election with increased numbers, and it no longer required external support from India's communist parties. That year, Manmohan Singh became the first prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru in 1957 and 1962 to be re-elected to a consecutive five-year term. In the 2014 general election, the BJP became the first political party since 1984 to win a majority and govern without the support of other parties. The incumbent prime minister is Narendra Modi, a former chief minister of Gujarat. On 20 July 2017, Ram Nath Kovind was elected India's 14th president and took the oath of office on 25 July 2017.
On September 6, NOAA published an unsigned statement which supported Trump's initial claim that Alabama was a target of the storm and criticized the Birmingham NWS office for denying it. It was later revealed that NOAA had been ordered to issue such a statement by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and that he had been told by Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to get NOAA to support Trump's original statement that Alabama was threatened. This direct White House involvement raised questions about political influence over NOAA, and is under investigation by multiple agencies including NOAA's acting chief scientist, the inspector general of the Commerce Department, and the House of Representatives committee which oversees NOAA.More Info
On September 4 in the Oval Office, Trump displayed a modified version of the National Hurricane Center's August 29 diagram of Dorian's projected track. The modification was done with a black Sharpie marker to extend the cone of uncertainty of the hurricane's possible path into southern Alabama. Trump said he did not know how the map came to be modified. The incident resulted in the hashtag "Sharpiegate" trending on Twitter. Later the same day, Trump tweeted a map dated August 28, showing numerous projected paths of Dorian. Trump falsely asserted "almost all models" showed Dorian hitting Alabama, even though the map showed most predicted paths would not enter Alabama.More Info
In the early medieval era, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism put down roots on India's southern and western coasts.Muslim armies from Central Asia intermittently overran India's northern plains,eventually establishing the Delhi Sultanate, and drawing northern India into the cosmopolitan networks of medieval Islam.In the 15th century, the Vijayanagara Empire created a long-lasting composite Hindu culture in south India.In the Punjab, Sikhism emerged, rejecting institutionalised religion.The Mughal Empire, in 1526, ushered in two centuries of relative peace,leaving a legacy of luminous architecture.Gradually expanding rule of the British East India Company followed, turning India into a colonial economy, but also consolidating its sovereignty. British Crown rule began in 1858. The rights promised to Indians were granted slowly, but technological changes were introduced, and ideas of education, modernity and the public life took root.A pioneering and influential nationalist movement emerged, which was noted for nonviolent resistance and became the major factor in ending British rule. In 1947 the British Indian Empire was partitioned into two independent dominions, a Hindu-majority Dominion of India and a Muslim-majority Dominion of Pakistan, amid large-scale loss of life and an unprecedented migration.More Info
After the 10th century, Muslim Central Asian nomadic clans, using swift-horse cavalry and raising vast armies united by ethnicity and religion, repeatedly overran South Asia's north-western plains, leading eventually to the establishment of the Islamic Delhi Sultanate in 1206. The sultanate was to control much of North India and to make many forays into South India. Although at first disruptive for the Indian elites, the sultanate largely left its vast non-Muslim subject population to its own laws and customs. By repeatedly repulsing Mongol raiders in the 13th century, the sultanate saved India from the devastation visited on West and Central Asia, setting the scene for centuries of migration of fleeing soldiers, learned men, mystics, traders, artists, and artisans from that region into the subcontinent, thereby creating a syncretic Indo-Islamic culture in the north. The sultanate's raiding and weakening of the regional kingdoms of South India paved the way for the indigenous Vijayanagara Empire. Embracing a strong Shaivite tradition and building upon the military technology of the sultanate, the empire came to control much of peninsular India, and was to influence South Indian society for long afterwards.More Info
Many Indian species have descended from those of Gondwana, the southern supercontinent from which India separated more than 100 million years ago. India's subsequent collision with Eurasia set off a mass exchange of species. However, volcanism and climatic changes later caused the extinction of many endemic Indian forms. Still later, mammals entered India from Asia through two zoogeographical passes flanking the Himalayas. This had the effect of lowering endemism among India's mammals, which stands at 12.6%, contrasting with 45.8% among reptiles and 55.8% among amphibians. Notable endemics are the vulnerable hooded leaf monkey and the threatened Beddom's toad of the Western Ghats.More Info
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