India is the second most populous country in the world after China. Language, religion, and caste are major determinants of social and political organisation within the highly diverse Indian population today. The biggest metropolitan settlements are in Mumbai Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.
Although 80.5 percent of the people are Hindus, India is also home to the third largest population of Muslims in the world, 13.4 percent. Other smaller religious minorities include Christians (2.33 percent), Sikhs (1.84 percent), Buddhists (0.76 percent), Jains (0.40 percent). India is home to two major linguistic families, those of the Indo-Aryan and Dravidian-derived languages. The Indian constitution recognizes 23 official languages. Hindi along with English, is used by the Central Government for official purposes. The number of mother tongues in India is as high as 1,652. Indians join their hands (palms together) and bow slightly in front of the other person, and say “Namaste” (Sanskrit for “I salute the divine in thee”)