As the first Sikh elected to India's highest office, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has helped change the face of…okay, just so we don't get too ahead of ourselves here, we should probably explain what a Sikh is.
So, a Sikh practices Sikhism, which is a monotheistic religion that is based on the teachings of Guru Nanek Dev Ji and was founded in 15th-century Punjab. That probably raises more questions than it answers. Anyway, before we get into all that, we should say right now that Sikhism has nothing to do with Islam. They're completely different faiths. Got it?
Oh, right, just to be clear, Punjab is a geographical region on the border of India and Pakistan, which includes both the Indian state of Punjab and the Pakistani province of Punjab. We might get back to that later, but first let's explain that Guru Nanek Dev Ji's major philosophy was that God is formless but can be found manifest in all religions. It's actually a bit more complicated than that, but for our purposes here, that should suffice.
(Monotheism, by the way, is the belief in one singular God. If you already know what monotheism is, please don't be insulted. We just want to make sure everyone's on the same page here.)
Okay, here we go: In India, 80 percent of the population is Hindu, and, you know what, let's talk about India before we get into any of that. India is the second-most populous country, behind China, and is also the world's largest democracy. Just real fast, democracy is a form of representative government where power is derived from citizens; one could argue that many so-called democracies are actually republics, but that's neither here nor there.
Actually, why don't we slow down for a second and get back to India. India is a country in South Asia, and Asia is the world's most populous continent. A continent is one of seven large landmasses on Earth, which is where we all live and is also the third planet in the solar system. Our solar system is composed of a sun and eight planets, or nine, depending on whom you ask, and is located in the Milky Way galaxy. Galaxies are massive, gravitationally bound systems of stars, gas, and dust that combine to form the universe, which is the totality of everything in existence.
Okay, where were we? Ah, yes, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was important this year.