Republic of India
When the British Empire collapsed, two competing Indian nationalist movements emerged: the Indian National Congress led by Jawaharlal Nehru, and Azad Hind Fauj led by Subhas Chandra Bose. Both claimed themselves to be the true leader of the Indian people, and both accused the other of working with imperialist powers — Britain for the INC, and Japan for Azad Hind. Eventually, the conflict between the two exploded into outright civil war, turning the Second War of Independence from a war between Indians and the British, to a war between Indians and Indians.
After a period of active warfare, Nehru managed to broker a ceasefire with Bose. India was divided, but at least it was at peace. INC controlled western India from Balochistan to Orissa, while Azad Hind controlled the Bengal regions to the east. Under Nehru's social democratic leadership, the Republic of India became a multi-party democracy, but it is by no means a functional one. Even within the Republic of India, the country is deeply fractured and unstable. As political radicalism rises and political divisions worsen, darkness looms on the future of the Republic of India.
- Civil War: Facing unrest from all sides, India can quickly fall into a civil war between a right-wing faction led by Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, a left-wing faction led by Shripad Armit Dange, and a provisional central government led by Gulzarilal Nanda.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: India is in a lot of trouble. However, with good enough management, India can avoid collapsing into a civil war, democratically elect a moderate official, resolve sectarian tensions, and develop itself into a world power.
- Faction-Specific Endings: India is one of the few nations with paths for all ideologies, as befits a nation still establishing its identity.
- From Bad to Worse: India faces a lot of problems at the start of the game, and more problems continue piling up. There are protests from radical political factions, protests from minorities, Pakistanis demanding autonomy, and the myriad problems of the caste system. Then there are prospects of a famine striking the nation, the Japanese puppet of Azad Hind meddling in their affairs, and the German Civil War cutting German-Indian trade and causing economic trouble. Then Prime Minister Nehru dies, and the INC collapses. And then the Indian Civil War might break out if unrest goes uncontrolled. If the radicals take over in the aftermath of the war, things can get even worse.
- Realpolitik: India can work with all three superpowers and the Italian sub-power, as well as other smaller nations. Yes, they can even work with Japan, which means that India will have to give up their claims on Azad Hind's Bengal.
- Type Caste: The fate of the caste system forms a part of building a modern India, with options from strengthening it, to reforming it, to abolishing it by force.
A proponent of social democracy and Indian independence from the start, Nehru had a strong bond with Mahatma Gandhi, though his support for immediate independence worried the staunchly anti-fascist Nehru. And his worries were correct; England fell, and Japan established a puppet state in Bengal claiming legitimacy over all of India, leaving the Republic to pick up the pieces. It's also well known that the Indian National Congress is by no means united around Nehru or social democracy.
Liberal and conservative factions exist, both opposing the left-wing orientation of his government, and outside of that, communist and fascist groups are quickly riding upon a new wave of discontent with the government. Don't despair; if anyone can save India, it's Nehru, right?! Right?"
- Plot-Triggering Death: Nehru is basically the only person holding the entire post-war India together. Once he dies, all hell breaks loose.
- Emergency Authority: Indira can rise in power during the Civil War, building a strong state under the pretext of defense of democracy.
- I Am the Noun: Two of her focuses have the names "India is Indira" and "Indira is India", which were a real life pro-Gandhi proclamation coined by Dev Kant Barooah.
- Iron Lady: Indira is an authoritarian ruler who can come to power either when INC falls, or when civil war breaks out. If she stays, she can either rein herself in or go full despot and seize control of the government. Either way, she will assert India's position on the global stage, possibly even starting a nuclear program.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Like just about every other Indian leader, Indira wants to pull India out of its mountain of problems. To this end, she imposes an authoritarian rule over India (with Authoritarian Democrat or Despotic flavors) and actively builds India's power internationally.
Azad Hind Government
During World War II, Indian expatriates in Southeast Asia gathered together to found Azad Hind (Free India), an Indian nationalist provisional government with the goal of overthrowing the British rule of India. The group was led by Subhas Chandra Bose, a popular and radical former leader of the Indian National Congress, who left the Congress over political differences with the rest of INC leadership.
Supported by the Japanese, Azad Hind fought alongside Japanese troops against the British in the Asian theater. When the British pulled out of India however, Azad Hind found itself facing the Indian National Congress, who share their goals of Indian liberation but are fundamentally incompatible with them. Soon, war broke out between the two. Though Azad Hind eventually signed a ceasefire with the INC, they never let go of their pan-Indian dreams, and still claims all of India. Azad Hind now faces a complex situation, as they juggle between handling Japanese interests, local Bengali nationalism, and their own dreams of pan-Indian liberation.
- Anti-Villain: Azad Hind as it currently stands wants to liberate India under Bose's own brand of socialism. Bose certainly has good intentions, but their ties to Imperial Japan makes their claims of overthrowing Imperial rule dubious, and Bose's rule is quite flawed in many ways. Still, depending on the circumstances, they can either become far worse than the Republic of India, or actually become better than the Republic of India (or whatever monstrosity that emerges from the Indian Civil War).
- Arch-Enemy: Azad Hind is an irreconcilable rival to the Republic of India to the west, since both states claim to be the sole legitimate government of the Indian people.
- Hollywood Atheist: Azad Hind has enacted State Atheism laws by the start, which serve as an excuse for oppression of religious communities in the state, most prominently Muslims.
- Private Military Contractors: Unable to gain a sustainable pay from the state as a result of economic decline, many Azad Hind troops became mercenaries. By 1962, much of the Azad Hind military are contracted by other powers.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Azad Hind starts off being overall morally ambiguous, but they can easily head down a villainous path by going with Mohan Singh and having him deal with Bengali nationalism through outright genocide.
Subhas Chandra Bose
- Token Good Teammate: Lakshmi Sahgal is a "jingoistic social democrat"; she wants to reconcile with the Bengal nationalists, support trade unions, and ditch the Japanese while still being a pro-military pan-Indian nationalist.
- Enemy Mine: Singh can establish an alliance with Bal Thackeray's Shiv Sena, a Hindu nationalist group that has little to do with Singh's own aspirations, but appears to him as an useful ally against the rising threat of the Bengali nationalism.
- Final Solution: Faced with growing Bengali nationalism, Mohan Singh can take some... "radical" solutions to root out the problem once and for all.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: A relatively obscure officer of the collaborationist Indian National Army and member of the Indian parliament after the war, Mohan Singh was elevated in TNO as one of the most enthusiastic pro-Japanese and oppressive (towards the Bengali Muslim population, at least) leaders of Azad Hind.
- Horrible Judge of Character: He thinks that Japan is "a glowing light of anti-Imperialism in Asia", which they're clearly not.
P. V. Narasimha Rao
- Internal Reformist: Rao supports economic liberalization, minority emancipation, and a repeal of state atheism laws.
The Indian successor state formed by the right-wing faction in the Indian Civil War (provisionally named "Indian State" during the war), led by radical nationalist guru Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar.
- A Lighter Shade of Black: A Hindustan led by the authoritarian BJS or the populist RSS is generally unpleasant, but doesn't even come close to the nastiness of the religiously fundamentalist Hindustan under Golwalkar and the god-knows-what Hindustan under Devi.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Everything associated with Hindustan uses the color of saffron, an Indian nationalist color. Their flag is nothing but saffron. RSS can establish a "cult of color" focused entirely on saffron. Golwalkar's secret police is called the Saffron Battalion.
- Defector from Decadence: When Hindustan forms, a lot of radical Hindu nationalists from Azad Hind (including Savitri Devi, Subbier Appudarai Ayer, and John Thivy), disillusioned with Azad Hind's Japanese reliance and non-adherence to Hinduist governance, attempt to migrate to Hindustan, seeing it as the more pure nationalist India of the two. Hindustan can either welcome them or block them.
- Interservice Rivalry: As the Civil War ends, the conflict between the civilian government of Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS, Indian People's Union), the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS, National Volunteer Organisation) paramilitaries, and Golwalkar begins. The future of Hindustan will be dependent on the outcome of this new internal conflict.
- Putting on the Reich: Hindustan is India's Fascist route. The belief of Hindutva, which gained more nationalistic elements in TNO, becomes the analogue for Fascism in India. Even moreso if Savitri Devi takes charge, as she literally synthesizes Hinduism with Nazism.
- State Sec: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a paramilitary organization consisting of millions of men, who are fierce in battle. For their ferocity, they can't stay idle during peacetime for too long and cause enough problems for the government and population, like arbitrary attacks on peaceful towns and villages. Depending on future decisions for Hindustan, the RSS can either be purged by the BJS or Golwalkar or they take the charge.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: BJS's Hindustan can reluctantly collaborate with America.
- Villain Team-Up: RSS's India can join up with Azad Hind or even the Co-Prosperity Sphere, seeing as Hindustan and Azad Hind now have aligned pan-Indian interests. Alternatively, they can antagonize Azad Hind and Japan and declare their own Greater India.
Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar
- Cult: The fascist government of guru Madhav Golwalkar ultimately takes this form, should he manage to purge his enemies and retain power.
- The Fundamentalist: India under Golwalkar enforces intense traditionalist doctrines. Golwalkar will enforce the caste system, militarize Hinduism, and incite hatred against anything that's not traditionalism and Hinduism.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: The real RSS and the BJS never became pseudofascist (and never took over the whole of India militarily), and Golwalkar in reality never became the fundamentalist leader he can become in TNO, although he was enamoured of Hitler and Nazi Germany.
- The Purge: To take power, Golwalkar must purge both the RSS and the BJS.
- Secret Police: Golwalkar in power can establish a new secret police called the KeBata (Kesar Bataaliyan; The Saffron Battalions) to "elegantly" eradicate the dissenters.
- Mighty Whitey: Portrays herself as one, being born a White European who adopts a Hindu name after converting to Hinduism, and attempting to synthesize her Nazi beliefs with Hinduism, deposing of Golwalkar to take control of Hindustan for herself. Of course, the part of the Mighty Whitey helping to solve the problems of the natives is averted HARD.
- Outside-Context Problem: Savitri Devi isn't even Indian; she's a European Nazi follower who converted to Hinduism and adopted a Hindu name due to her Nazi-Hindu synthesis beliefs. Despite this, she can come to power and depose Golwalkar, and is described by the creators as being even worse than Golwalkar.
People's Republic of India
The Indian successor state formed by the left-wing faction in the Indian Civil War (provisionally named "Provisional Government of India" during the war), led by Indian communist Shripad Amrit Dange.
- Arcadia: The "Agricultural Miracle" of the Raoists is capable of making India into this, minimizing the influence of urbanization and centering society around well-educated village democracies.
- Allohistorical Allusion: A faction named the "Raoists" believe in a form of Communism based upon the revolutionary potential of the rural working class. And even if they fail to achieve their goals through peaceful means, Raoists can launch a Cultural Revolution.
- We ARE Struggling Together: The left-wing organizations are internally divided between many different factions, including the libertarian socialist JP faction (named after and led by Jayprakash Narayan), the Marxists, the Raoist Telanganites (led by Chandra Rajeswara Rao), and the revolutionary-nationalist-altruist Sundarite faction. Dange is the only one keeping all the different factions from falling apart.
Shripad Amrit Dange
Chandra Rajeswara Rao
- Call to Agriculture: Rao and his supporters believe that urbanization is essentially bourgeois and immoral and they will try to achieve a rural socialist utopia and almost complete deurbanization.
Pakistan secedes from India when the Indian Civil War begins.
A radical Islamic fundamentalist force that spawns in Indian Balochistan and Sindh, desiring to liberate the Muslims from the Hindus and build a new Islamic state.
- The Fundamentalist: The Mujahideen are Islamic fundamentalists, and they plan to wipe out the Hindus from Islamic land completely.
- South Asian Terrorists: Being a Jihadist militant group in Pakistan, it is a given.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: The Mujahideen are seen as heroic liberators of the Muslims by their supporters, and villainous terrorists by their enemies.
Mahmud Ahmed used to be just another Muslim child born in India. But one day, he received a mission from Allah himself: liberate the Muslims of India in a great struggle against the Hindu. The young Ahmed disappeared into the mountains, and had now come back to complete his mission. Nicknamed al-Azad, "the Free", Ahmed plans burn down the oppressive and filthy Hindu state and build a new Islamic state on its ashes. Ahmed and his Mujahideen will destroy the Hindu kafirs and realize the glory of Allah through their endless Jihad.
- Draft Dodging: Ahmed avoided the compulsory service in the Indian army so he wouldn't have to serve among the Hindu ranks.
- Mission from God: Ahmed claims that he was given an ayah from Allah and that the Greatest himself destined him to lead the holy war to cleanse the Hindu infidels from Pakistan at all cost.
- Young and in Charge: Assuming that Mahmud is still born in 1944 as in real life, then that makes him just a little over 18 by 1962, five years younger than even Valery Sablin.
- Puppet State: At the start of the game, Bhutan is a complete puppet of Azad Hind.