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© James V. Ebrecht 2011 South Asia India and Surrounding Countries.

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Presentation on theme: "© James V. Ebrecht 2011 South Asia India and Surrounding Countries."— Presentation transcript:

1 © James V. Ebrecht 2011 South Asia India and Surrounding Countries

2 Learning Objectives India dominates the region of South Asia as an emerging region in the world. India has transitioned from Socialism as an economic system to Capitalism. This continues to fuel its growth as an emerging region Not all parts of South Asia reflect the success of India Outsourcing to India was driven by America during the Y2K crisis © James V. Ebrecht 2011

3 South Asia © James V. Ebrecht 2011

4 Introduction Setting the boundaries –The “subcontinent,” a distinct landmass of Asia south of the Himalayan Mountains –Extensive cultural and religious diversity in the region –Second most populous region and growing, raising concerns about food production keeping pace –South Asia was a British colony for several centuries; independent since 1947 –India and Pakistan have sometimes had conflicts; both countries have nuclear weapons –One of the world’s poorest regions

5 South Asia’s Monsoon Climates Monsoon: distinct seasonal change of wind direction – Summer monsoon (June–October) brings rain and floods – Winter is dry Orographic rainfall: Precipitation from uplift and cooling of moist winds – Western Ghats and Himalayas – Rain-shadow effect: area of low rainfall on the leeward (or downwind) side of a mountain range FIGURE 12.6 Climate Map

6 Physical Subregions of South Asia Mountains of the north –Collision of Indian subcontinent with Asian landmass (still moving) Indus–Ganges–Brahmaputra lowlands Peninsular India –Deccan Plateau The southern islands FIGURE 12.1

7 Cultural Coherence and Diversity: A Common Heritage Undermined by Religious Rivalries India has been a secular state since independence in 1948 –Growth of Hindu nationalism from 1980s to 2000: movement promoting Hindu values as essential and exclusive fabric of Indian society –Pakistan’s Islamist insurgents gaining ground Origins of South Asian civilizations –Indus Valley civilization flourished 4,500 years ago, then vanished –By 800 BCE, a new civilization arose in Ganges Valley Hindu civilization –Hinduism: a complicated faith without a single, uniformly accepted system of belief –Sanskrit: sacred languages of Hinduism –Caste system: strict division of Hindus into ranked hereditary groups

8 Origins of South Asian Civilizations (cont.) The caste system –Regional variations, religious differences in acceptance of caste system; becoming weaker –“Affirmative action” for members of lower caste in India –Caste: complex social order Varna: ancient fourfold social hierarchy of the Hindu world Jati: refers to local hundreds of local endogamous groups Castes include Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, Sundras Scheduled castes or “untouchables” or Dalits

9 Religion FIGURE FIGURE Buddhist Monastery

10 FIGURE Geopolitical Issues FIGURE Former British Hill Station

11 Ethnic Conflicts in South Asia Kashmir –Under British rule, Kashmir ruled by a Hindu maharaja He joined this Muslim province to India Issues persist: –Many Kashmiris wish to join Pakistan –Some want to join India –Many others want an independent Kashmir The northeast fringe –Ethnic conflict in northeastern India India building 2,500-mile wall between itself and Bangladesh FIGURE India-Bangladeshi Fence

12 Ethnic Conflicts in South Asia (cont.) Sri Lanka –North dominated by Hindu Tamils (minority) and south by Buddhist Sinhalese (majority) –Sinhalese Buddhists favor a national government; Tamils desire political and cultural autonomy –Tamil Tigers (a rebel force) attacked Sri Lankan army in 1983 –May 2009: Sri Lanka killed Tamil leaders, defeating Tamil Tigers Peaceful now, but will it last? FIGURE Civil War in Sri Lanka

13 Conflicts in South Asia The Maoist challenge –Poverty, inequality, environmental degradation are encouraging Maoist rebels July 2009, rebels killed 23 police officers in Chhattisgarh Maoists gained strength in Nepal, causing its king to step down in 2008 –Nepal became a republic; the Maoist leader became prime minister, then stepped down; representation issues remain International and global geopolitics –Cold war between India and Pakistan Nuclear weapons raise the stakes Pakistan supported Taliban, now helps United States –Internal tensions, weak government remain FIGURE Border Tensions An Indian officer observes Kashmir.

14 South Asia Economic Issues © James V. Ebrecht 2011

15 The status of women –Both Hindu and Muslim traditions tend to limit women –In many regions of India, female literacy is far lower than that of male literacy –Gender imbalances result from “differential neglect” In poorer families, boys tend to receive better and more preferential treatment than girls Families provide dowry to ensure daughters’ marriages –Social position of women is improving –Bias against women is much less in south, especially in Kerala and Sri Lanka Social Development (cont.)

16 Summary Large, complex, densely populated Environmental degradation and instability remain problems Monsoon climate plays continuing role Population growth continues, creating challenges Complex cultural heritage includes language and religious diversity Geopolitical tensions remain Economic and social development continues


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