- /oot"euhr preuh daysh", -desh"/a state in N India: a former province of British India. 97,380,000; 113,409 sq. mi. (293,730 sq. km). Cap.: Lucknow. Formerly, United Provinces. Former official name, United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.
* * *State (pop., 2001 prelim.: 166,052,859), northern India.It is bordered by Nepal, the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Uttaranchal, and Delhi national capital territory and covers an area of 93,933 sq mi (243,286 sq km); its capital is Lucknow. The state, the most populous in the country, lies largely in the plains formed by the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. The region was the setting of two great Sanskrit epics, the Mahabharata and Ramayana, and the scene of the rise of Buddhism after the 6th century BC. It was ruled by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka in the mid-3rd century BC, the Gupta dynasty (с AD 320–с 425), and King Harsa (606–647). The Mughals gained control in the 16th century, at which time the city of Agra became a chief centre. The British arrived in the late 18th century; by the 1830s they held sway and eventually formed the North-West Provinces, to which Oudh was later annexed. The area was the main scene of the Indian Mutiny of 1857. The current province was formed in 1902 and became a state of India in 1947. In 2000 the northern portion of it was made into the state of Uttaranchal. Uttar Pradesh is India's largest silica-producing state, yet agriculture is by far its most important economic sector. Its noted tourist meccas are Agra and Varanasi.
* * *Introductionthe most populous state of India. Lying in north-central India, it is bordered by Nepal and the Indian state of Uttaranchal to the north, the Indian states of Haryāna and Rājasthān and the union territory of Delhi to the west, the state of Madhya Pradesh to the south, the state of Bihār to the east, and the states of Jharkhand and Chhatīsgaṛḥ to the southeast. Uttar Pradesh extends over 89,288 square miles (231,254 square km).On January 26, 1950, when India became a republic, the state was given its present name, Uttar Pradesh (literally, “Northern State”). Its capital is Lucknow. In November 2000 the state's northern, Himalayan, provinces were formed into the new state of Uttaranchal, with its capital at Dehra Dūn (Dehra Dun); the new state has a total area of 24,385 square miles (63,157 square km).Physical and human geographyThe landThe state can be divided into four physiographic regions: (1) the Himalayan region, (2) the submontane region between the Himalayas and the plains, (3) the central plains of the Ganges River and its tributaries (part of the Indo-Gangetic Plain), and (4) the southern uplands. The Himalayan region has a highly varied topography, with snow-covered peaks, deep canyons, roaring streams, and gigantic lakes. In the north are the Great Himalayas, which rise to more than 20,000 feet (6,000 metres) and include several prominent peaks, such as Nanda Devi (25,646 feet [7,817 metres]), Kāmet (25,446 feet [7,756 metres]), and Badarīnāth (23,418 feet [7,138 metres]). South of the Great Himalayas are two other Himalayan belts, the Lesser Himalayas and the Shiwālik Hills (Siwalik Range). Within the Shiwāliks are many famous hill resorts, such as Mussoorie, Naini Tāl, and Rānīkhet.The submontane region consists mostly of a narrow bed of gravel and alluvium called the Bhābar. Along its southern fringes the Bhābar blends into the Terāi area, a damp and marshy tract formerly characterized by thick forests and tall grasses. A significant portion of the Terāi region, however, has suffered deforestation.About three-fourths of the total area of Uttar Pradesh is within the Gangetic Plain (Indo-Gangetic Plain), which is composed of alluvial deposits brought down from the Himalayas by the Ganges River and its tributaries. Most of this area is a featureless, though fertile, plain varying in elevation from about 1,000 feet (300 metres) in the northwest to 190 feet (60 metres) in the extreme east.The southern uplands form part of the highly dissected and rugged Vindhya Range, which rises generally toward the southeast. The elevation of this region rarely exceeds 1,000 feet.The state is well drained by a number of rivers originating in either the Himalayas to the north or the Vindhya Range to the south. The Ganges and its main tributaries—the Yamuna, the Rāmganga, the Gomati, the Ghāghara, and the Gandak—are fed by the perpetual snows of the Himalayas. The Chambal, the Betwa, and the Ken, originating from the Vindhya Range, drain the southwestern part of the state before joining the Yamuna. The Son, also originating in the Vindhya Range, drains the southeastern part of the state and joins the Ganges beyond the state borders (in Bihār).SoilsAbout two-thirds of the area of Uttar Pradesh is covered by a deep layer of alluvium spread by the slow-moving rivers of the Ganges system. These extremely fertile alluvial soils range from sandy to clayey loam. The soils in the southern part of the state are generally mixed red and black or red-to-yellow. In the Himalayan and submontane regions, the soils range from gravelly to rich clayey and are mixed with fine sand and humus, producing thick growth of forests in some areas.The climate of Uttar Pradesh varies from moderately temperate in the Himalayan region to tropical monsoon in the central plains and southern upland regions. In the plains the average temperatures vary from 54.5–63.5 °F (12.5–17.5 °C) in January to 81.5–90.5 °F (27.5–32.5 °C) in May and June. The highest temperature recorded in the state was 121.8 °F (49.9 °C) at Gonda on May 8, 1958.Rainfall in the state ranges from 40–80 inches (1,000–2,000 mm) in the east to 24–40 inches (600–1,000 mm) in the west. About 90 percent of the rainfall occurs during the southwest monsoon, lasting from about June to September. With most of the rainfall concentrated during this four-month period, floods are a recurring problem and cause heavy damage to crops, life, and property, particularly in the eastern part of the state. Periodic failure of monsoons results in drought conditions and crop failure. In the Himalayan region, annual snowfall averaging 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 metres) is common between December and March.Plant and animal lifeForests are generally concentrated in the Himalayan region, the submontane region, and the southern uplands. In the Himalayan region, common species of trees include silver fir, spruce, deodar, and pine. Tropical deciduous forests of sal (an Indian hardwood) and tall grasses are abundant in the submontane region. The forests of the southern uplands consist mostly of scrub.With variegated topography and climate, the submontane region of the state is rich in animal life. In this region are tigers, leopards, elephants, wild boars, sloth bears, and crocodiles, as well as pigeons, doves, wild ducks, partridges, peafowl, blue jays, quail, and woodpeckers. Several species, such as lions from the Gangetic Plain and rhinoceros from the Tarai region, have become extinct. To preserve its wildlife, the state has established two national parks and several game sanctuaries. The Corbett National Park, in the Himalayan foothills (Kumaun Himalayas) about 150 miles (240 km) northeast of Delhi, is one of the showpieces of the state.The peopleUttar Pradesh is the most populous state in the Indian Union and has an overall population density of almost twice the national average. The Gangetic Plain (Indo-Gangetic Plain), which supports more than 70 percent of the state's population, has the state's highest population densities, with an average of more than 1,000 persons per square mile. In contrast, the density of population is generally less than half that in the southern uplands and less than 100 persons per square mile in the Himalayan region.Ethnic and linguistic compositionThe vast majority of the population belongs to the Aryo-Dravidian ethnic group; only a small minority, in the Himalayan region, displays Asiatic origins. Hindus (Hinduism) constitute more than 80 percent of the population, Muslims more than 15 percent, and other religious communities—including Sikhs, Christians, Jainas, and Buddhists—together less than 1 percent. Hindi (Hindi language) (the official language of the state) and Urdu (Urdu language) are the mother tongues of 85 and 15 percent of the people, respectively. Hindustani (Hindustani language), the spoken language of the people, contains the simple words of both languages and is widely understood in the state.Settlement patternsMore than 80 percent of the state's population lives in rural areas. The rural settlements are characterized by compact villages in the western part of the state, groupings of hamlets in the eastern part, and a combination of the two in the central part. A typical village in Uttar Pradesh is an assorted, shapeless cluster of mud huts with roofs made of thatch (such as straw) or clay tiles. Although such huts have few amenities of modern living, the process of modernization is evident in some villages near the cities. Cement-plastered homes, paved roads, electricity, and consumer goods, including radios and television sets, are transforming traditional village life.More than half of the urban population lives in cities with populations of more than 100,000. The five largest cities of Uttar Pradesh are Kānpur (Kanpur), Lucknow, Vārānasi (Varanasi), Āgra (Agra), and Allahābād (Allahabad). Kānpur, located in the central portion of the state, is the premier industrial city of Uttar Pradesh. Lucknow, the state capital, is located about 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Kānpur. Vārānasi, the most sacred city of the Hindus, is one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities. Allahābād (on the site of the ancient holy city of Prayāg), located at the confluence of the Ganges and the Yamuna, is another city sacred to the Hindus. Āgra, located in the southwestern part of the state, is the site of the Tāj Mahal, a mausoleum built by the Mughal emperor Shāh Jahān (ruled 1628–58) in memory of his wife; it is now the most famous tourist attraction in India.Demographic trendsThe population of Uttar Pradesh continues to grow at a high rate. Because of the high growth rate and a substantial reduction in infant mortality, there has been a significant increase in the proportion of young adults and children. Toward the end of the 19th century, dire poverty and the promise of better opportunities forced many in the state to migrate to distant lands, such as Natal (now KwaZulu/Natal, South Africa), Mauritius, Fiji, and the West Indies. In more recent years, migration from Uttar Pradesh has mainly been to other parts of the country, particularly to large cities such as Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay), and Delhi.The economyResourcesEconomically, Uttar Pradesh is one of the most underdeveloped states in the country. It is largely an agrarian state, and more than three-fourths of the working population is engaged in agricultural pursuits. The state lacks the mineral and energy resources important for industrialization. Silica, limestone, and coal are the only minerals that are found in considerable quantities in Uttar Pradesh; there are small reserves of gypsum, magnesite, phosphorite, and bauxite.Agriculture is the mainstay of the state's economy. The chief crops are rice, wheat, millet, barley, and sugarcane. Since the late 1960s, with the introduction of high-yielding varieties of seed for wheat and rice, greater availability of fertilizers, and increased use of irrigation, the state has become the largest producer of food grains in the country. Its farmers, however, still suffer from two major constraints: small, noneconomic landholdings and insufficient resources to invest in the technology, required for improved production. Most of the state's agricultural landholdings barely provide for the subsistence of the farmers. Livestock and dairy farming often provide a supplementary source of income, although the yield of milk is low.Forests in Uttar Pradesh provide timber for construction, firewood, and raw materials for a number of industrial products, including plywood, paper, and matches. Reforestation programs of the state government have resulted in some increase in forest area as well as in the availability of forest products for industrial uses.Textiles and sugar refining, both long-standing industries in Uttar Pradesh, employ nearly one-third of the state's total factory labour. Most of the mills, however, are old and inefficient. Other resource-based industries in Uttar Pradesh include vegetable oil, jute, and cement. The union (national) government has established a number of large factories that manufacture heavy equipment, machinery, steel, aircraft, telephone and electronics equipment, and fertilizers. An oil refinery at Mathura and the development of coal fields in the southeastern district of Mirzāpur are also major union government projects. The state government has promoted medium- and small-scale industries.Industries that contribute most to the state's exports include handicrafts, carpets, brassware, footwear, and leather and sporting goods. Carpets from Bhadohi and Mirzāpur are prized worldwide. Silks and brocades of Vārānasi, ornamental brassware from Morādābād, chickan (a type of embroidery) work from Lucknow, ebony work from Nagina, glassware from Fīrozābād, and carved woodwork from Sahāranpur also are important.Uttar Pradesh suffers from a chronic shortage of power. Installed capacity has greatly increased since 1951, but the gap between supply and demand has remained wide. Power is generated at the Obra-Rihand complex (in southeastern Uttar Pradesh), one of India's biggest thermal stations, at a number of hydroelectric power plants in various parts of the state, and at a nuclear power station in the western district of Bulandshahr (near Delhi).Tourism in the state has great potential, but much of it is untapped. The Himalayan region offers beautiful scenery, opportunities for mountaineering and trekking, and wildlife sanctuaries. Most of this region was once inaccessible, but it is now being opened up with the construction of roads, hotels, and the promotional activities of the government. Other places for tourism in Uttar Pradesh include such Hindu centres as Vārānasi, Allahābād (site of the ancient holy city Prayāg), Ayodhyā, Mathura-Vrindāvan, and Haridwār-Rishikesh; such Buddhist centres as Sārnāth, Kuśinagara, and Srāvastī (Sahet-Mahet); and such historic places as Āgra, Lucknow, and Kannauj.Although most of the state's cities and towns are connected by a vast network of roads and railways, the condition of the roads and bridges is generally poor, and the railway system suffers from two different gauges of track. Passenger trains are invariably crowded. Major cities in Uttar Pradesh are connected by air to Delhi and other large cities of India. The state's transportation system also includes the three inland waterways of the Ganges, Yamuna, and Ghāghara rivers.Administration and social conditionsUttar Pradesh has a parliamentary form of government consisting of an executive, legislative, and judicial branch. The executive branch consists of the governor, who is aided and advised by the Council of Ministers, headed by a chief minister. The legislature consists of two houses: the Legislative Council (Vidhān Parishad), which is a permanent body with one-third of its members retiring every two years, and the Legislative Assembly (Vidhān Sabhā), whose members are elected for a six-year term. The judiciary consists of a High Court, headed by a chief justice. The state's High Court is located at Allahābād, but there is also a bench at Lucknow, the state capital. Below the state level there are 13 administrative divisions, as well as 63 districts for local administration.The state has some 20 universities, more than 400 affiliated colleges, a number of medical colleges, and several institutes for specialized studies and research. Although there has been a virtual explosion since the 1950s in the number of schools and students enrolled at all levels, only one-third of the state's population is literate. Hindi is the medium of instruction at the primary school level (English is used at some private schools), Hindi and English are required courses for high school students, and English is generally the medium of instruction at the university level.Health and welfareHealth care in the state is provided by a number of hospitals and clinics, as well as by private practitioners of allopathic (modern Western), homeopathic, Āyurvedic (traditional Hindu), and Unānī (traditional Muslim) medicine. Except in a few major hospitals, the care provided at the state's hospitals and clinics is generally poor.A significant proportion of the state's population is in Scheduled Castes and Tribes (lower-caste Hindus and “untouchables”). Since independence many union and state welfare programs have provided improved opportunities in education, employment, and political representation to these people.Cultural lifeUttar Pradesh is the springhead of the ancient civilization of the Hindus. A substantial portion of the Vedic literature had its origin in the area's many hermitages, as did the great Indian epics the Rāmāyaṇa and the Mahābhārata (which includes the Bhagavadgītā [Sanskrit: “Song of God”]). Sculptures and architecture of the Buddhist-Hindu period (c. 600 BC to AD 1200) have contributed greatly to the Indian cultural heritage. Since 1947 the emblem of the government of India has been based on the four-lion capital of a pillar (located at Sārnāth near Vārānasi) left by the Mauryan emperor Aśoka.Architecture, paintings, music, dance, and two languages (Hindi and Urdu) all flourished during the Mughal period (1526–1761). Paintings of the period were generally portraits or illustrations of religious and historic texts. Although musical instruments have been mentioned in ancient Sanskrit literature and music is known to have flourished in the Gupta Period (c. 320–540), much of the musical tradition in Uttar Pradesh also was developed during the period. The musicians Tānsen and Baiju Bāwra, employed in the court of the Mughal emperor Akbar, are still well known in the state and throughout India. The sitar (a stringed instrument of the lute family) and the tabla (consisting of two small drums), the two most popular instruments of Indian music, were developed in the region during this period. The kathak classical dance style, which originated in Uttar Pradesh in the 18th century as a devotional dance in the temples of Vrindāran and Mathura, is the most popular form of classical dance in northern India. There are also local songs and dances of the countryside, and the most popular of the folksongs are seasonal.Uttar Pradesh is the birthplace of Hindi, India's official language. Although various vernacular forms of the language developed over the centuries, literary Hindi (like present-day Urdu) did not take its present form of Khaṛī Bolī (Hindustani) until the 19th century. Bhartendu Harishchandra (1850–85) of Vārānasi was one of the first major writers to use this form of Hindi as a literary medium.Cultural institutionsAmong the prominent art museums in Uttar Pradesh are the State Museum at Lucknow, the Archaeological Museum at Mathura, the Sārnāth Museum specializing in Buddhist antiquities, the Bharat Kala Bharan at Vārānasi, and the Municipal Museum at Allahābād. Colleges of arts and Hindustani music at Lucknow and the Prayāg Sangeet Samiti at Allahābād have contributed immensely to the development of the fine arts and of classical music in the country. The Nagri Prachārni Sabha, the Hindī Sahitya Sammelan, and the Hindustani Academy have been instrumental in the development of Hindi literature. Recently the state government has set up an Urdu Academy for the preservation and enrichment of Urdu literature.Festivals and holidaysMost of the festivals and holidays in the state are tied to the Hindu calendar. Some of the important Hindu festivals and holidays celebrated in Uttar Pradesh include Dussehra, celebrating the victory of Rāma over Rāvaṇa, the symbol of evil on earth; Dīwālī (Diwali), a festival of lights devoted to Lakṣmī, the goddess of wealth; Śivarātrī, a day devoted to the worship of the god Śiva (Shiva); Holī (Holi), the most colourful festival of the Hindus; and Janmāṣṭamī, celebrating the birthday of the god Krishna. Muḥarram, commemorating the martyrdom of the hero al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿĀli; Ramadan (Ramaḍān), a month devoted to fasting; and the canonical festivals of ʿīd are some of the important religious occasions for Muslims in Uttar Pradesh. Buddha Purnim'ā, Mahāvīra Jayantī, Gurū Nanak's birthday, and Christmas are important to Buddhists, Jainas, Sikhs, and Christians, respectively, but are celebrated by people of all faiths. More than 2,000 fairs are held annually in the state. The largest fair of India, the Kumbh Mela, held at Allahābād and Haridwār every 12 years, attracts millions of people.HistoryThe history of Uttar Pradesh can be divided into five periods: (1) prehistory and mythology (up to c. 600 BC), (2) the Buddhist-Hindu (Brahmanic) period (c. 600 BC to c. AD 1200), (3) the Muslim period (c. 1200 to c. 1775), (4) the British period (c. 1775 to 1947), and (5) the postindependence period (1947 to the present). Because of its position in the heart of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, it has often been the focal point in the history of all of northern India.Prehistory and mythology (myth)archaeology is beginning to shed new light on the early civilization of Uttar Pradesh. The remains of several human skeletons, found in the southern district of Pratāpgarh, have been dated to about 10,000 BC. Knowledge of the area prior to the 7th century BC has largely been gained through Vedic literature and the two great Indian epics, the Rāmāyaṇa and the Mahābhārata (Mahabharata), which describe the Gangetic Plain within Uttar Pradesh. The scene of the Mahābhārata is the area around Hastināpur in the western part of the state, while the Rāmāyaṇa is set in eastern Uttar Pradesh in and around Ayodhyā, the birthplace of Rāma (an incarnation of the god Vishnu and the hero of the story). Two other fountainheads of mythology in the state are the area around Vrindāvan and Mathura, where Krishna (another incarnation of Vishnu) was born; and the Himalayan region, known to Hindus as the home of the god Śiva.A systematic history of India and the area of Uttar Pradesh dates to the end of the 7th century BC, when 16 mahājanapadas (great states) in northern India were contending for supremacy. Of these, 7 fell entirely within the present-day boundaries of Uttar Pradesh. The Buddha preached his first sermon at Sārnāth near Vārānasi and founded a religion that spread not only across India but also to many distant lands, such as China and Japan. The Buddha is said to have attained parinirvāṇa (freedom of spirit brought about by release from the body) at Kuśinagara, located in the eastern district of Deoria. From the 5th century BC to the 6th century AD, Uttar Pradesh was mostly under the control of powers centred outside of its present boundaries, first at Magadha in present-day Bihār and later at Ujjain in present-day Madhya Pradesh. Among the great kings of this period who ruled over the state were Candra Gupta (reigned c. 325 or 321–297 BC) and Aśoka (c. 268 or 265–238), both Mauryan emperors, and Samudra Gupta (c. AD 330–380) and Candra Gupta II (c. 380–415; identified by some scholars as Vikramāditya). Another of its famous rulers was Harṣa (reigned 606–647); from his capital at Kānyakubja (near modern Kannauj), he was able to control the whole of Uttar Pradesh, as well as parts of Bihār, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, and Rājasthān.During this period Buddhist and Hindu (Brahmanic) culture flourished side by side. Sculptures and architecture symbolic of Buddhist art reached its zenith during the reign of Aśoka; Hindu art saw its greatest development during the Gupta Period (c. 320–540). After the death of Harṣa in about 647, there was a gradual downfall of Buddhism accompanied by a revival of Hinduism. The chief architect of this revival, Śaṅkara, born in southern India, visited Vārānasi, traveled through the plains of Uttar Pradesh, and established a famous temple at Badrīnāth in the Himalayas. The Śaṅkara temple is considered by Hindus as the fourth and last math (centre of Hindu culture).The Muslim periodAlthough Muslim incursions into the area occurred as early as AD 1000–1030, Muslim rule over northern India was not established until the last decade of the 12th century, when Muḥammad of Ghūr defeated the Gāhaḍavālas (who occupied much of Uttar Pradesh) and other competing dynasties. For nearly 600 years Uttar Pradesh, like much of India, was ruled by one Muslim dynasty or another, each centred in or near Delhi.In 1526 Bābur defeated Sultan Ibrāhim Lodī of Delhi and laid the foundation of the most successful of the Muslim dynasties, the Mughals, whose empire dominated the subcontinent for more than 200 years. The greatest extent of the empire came under Akbar (reigned 1556–1605), who constructed a grand new capital, Fatehpur Sīkri, near Āgra. His grandson, Shāh Jahān (reigned 1628–58), built at Āgra one of the world's greatest architectural achievements, the Tāj Mahal (Taj Mahal) (a mausoleum constructed in memory of his wife, who died in childbirth); Shāh Jahān built several other architecturally important buildings in Āgra as well as in Delhi.The Mughal Empire (Mughal Dynasty), centred in Uttar Pradesh, promoted the development of a new composite culture. Akbar, its greatest exponent, employed in his court men preeminent in architecture, literature, painting, and music, irrespective of their caste or creed. The conflict between Hinduism and Islām led to the growth of several new sects seeking a common meeting ground between these two religions and between the various castes of India. Rāmānanda (Ramananda) (c. 1400–70), a Brahman and founder of the bhakti (devotional) sect, which claimed that salvation was not dependent on one's sex or caste; and Kabīr (1440–1518), who preached the essential unity of all religions, focused their fight against religious intolerance in Uttar Pradesh. The downfall of the Mughals in the 18th century led to the shifting of the centre of this composite culture from Delhi to Lucknow, the seat of the nawab of Avadh (Ayodhyā), where art, literature, music, and poetry flourished in an atmosphere of communal harmony.The British (British Empire) periodThe area of present-day Uttar Pradesh was gradually acquired by the East India Company (a British trading company) over a period of about 75 years. Territories wrested from a number of northern Indian dynasties—the nawabs in 1775, 1798, and 1801, the Sindias of Gwalior in 1803, and the Gurkhas in 1816—were first placed within the Bengal Presidency, but in 1833 they were separated to form the North-Western Provinces (initially called the Āgra Presidency). The kingdom of Avadh, annexed by the company in 1856, was united with the North-Western Provinces in 1877 under the name United Provinces of Āgra and Oudh (with borders almost identical with present-day Uttar Pradesh); in 1902 the name was changed to the United Provinces of Āgra and Oudh.The great mutiny and revolt against the East India Company in 1857–59 was largely confined to the North-Western Provinces. Sparked by a mutiny of soldiers at Meerut on May 10, 1857, the revolt spread within months to more than 25 cities. In 1858, with the revolt virtually crushed, administration of the North-Western Provinces and the rest of British India were transferred from the East India Company to the British crown.With the rise of Indian nationalism beginning in the late 1880s, the United Provinces stood at the forefront of the movement for independence. It gave India many of the most important nationalist political leaders, such as Motilal Nehru, Madan Mohan Malaviya, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Purushottamdas Tandon. Mahatma Gandhi's noncooperation movement, designed to shake the foundations of the British Empire in India, spread throughout the United Provinces, but mob violence in the village of Chauri Chaura (in the eastern part of the provinces) caused Gandhi to temporarily suspend the movement. The United Provinces was also a centre of Muslim League politics.During the British period, there was extensive development of railways, canals, and means of communications within the provinces. The British also promoted the growth of modern education, and a number of colleges and universities—such as the University of Lucknow (founded 1921)—were established.Postindependence periodIn 1947 the United Provinces became one of the administrative units of the newly independent Dominion of India. Two years later the autonomous states of Tehri-Garhwal and Rampur, both within its borders, were incorporated into the United Provinces. With the adoption of a new Indian constitution in 1950, the United Provinces was renamed Uttar Pradesh and became a constituent state of the new Indian Union.Since independence, the state has maintained a dominant role within India. It has given the country several prime ministers, including Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter, Indira Gandhi, as well as prominent leaders of national opposition (minority) parties, such as Acharya Narendra Dev, one of the founders of the Praja Socialist Party, and Atal Behari Vajpeyi of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh and Bharatiya Janatā Party. State politics, however, have tended to be fractious, and seldom has any chief minister completed a five-year term.Raj B. MathurAdditional ReadingM.B. Mathur, Uttar Pradesh, rev. ed. (1981), is a comprehensive account of the state, covering its land and the people. Y.D. Vaishnava "Ashoka" (Yamunādatta Vaishṇav), Himalayan Districts of Uttar Pradesh (1983), provides general coverage of history and places of interest in this region. A good description of the state government is found in Pushpa Sharma, Working of Parliamentary Democracy in India: With Special Reference to Uttar Pradesh, 1967–85 (1986). Dhirendra K. Vajpeyi, Modernization and Social Change in India (1979), provides an understanding of political and social conditions in postindependence Uttar Pradesh.Raj B. Mathur
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