Indian subcontinent

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Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent (orthographic projection).png
Area 4.4 million km2 (1.7 million mi²)
Population ~1.7 billion
Demonym Subcontinental

The Indian subcontinent or the subcontinent is the English term that denotes the southern region of Asia, mostly situated on the Indian Plate and projecting southwards into the Indian Ocean. Definitions of the extent of the Indian subcontinent differ but it usually includes the core lands of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh;[1] Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan are often included as well. The region includes a vast variety of other countries and is called by a number of other names including South Asia, a name that is increasingly getting more popular.[2][3][4]

Nomenclature[edit]

Main article: South Asia

The region has been variously labelled as "India" (in its pre-modern sense), the Indian Subcontinent (a term in particularly common use in the British Empire and its successors)[5] and South Asia.[4][6] Though the terms "Indian subcontinent" and "South Asia" are generally used interchangeably,[7] some academics hold that the term "South Asia" is the more common usage in Europe and North America.[8][9] According to historians Sugata Bose and Ayesha Jalal, the Indian Subcontinent has come to be known as South Asia "in more recent and neutral parlance."[2] Indologist Ronald B. Inden argues that the usage of the term "South Asia" is becoming more widespread since it clearly distinguishes the region from East Asia.[3]

The BBC, as well as some academic sources, refers to the region as the "Asian Subcontinent".[10][11] Some academics prefer to use the term South Asian Subcontinent.[12][13] A booklet published by the United States Department of State in 1959 includes Afghanistan, Ceylon (since 1972 Sri Lanka), India, Nepal, and Pakistan (including East Pakistan, since 1971 Bangladesh) as part of the "Subcontinent of South Asia".[14] Of all the variations the most recent – South Asia – has become the most widely used after being adopted by modern governments as the administrative classification. Many scholars also prefer the term.[4]

Scope[edit]

By dictionary entries, the term subcontinent signifies "having a certain geographical or political independence" from the rest of the continent, or "a vast and more or less self-contained subdivision of a continent."[15][16][17] The term also vaguely signifies "having a certain geographical or political independence" from the rest of the continent,[18]

The English term continues largely to refer to the Indian subcontinent,[19][20] Physiographically, it is a peninsular region in south-central Asia, rather resembling a diamond which is delineated by the Himalayas in the north, the Hindu Kush in the west, and the Arakanese in the east,[21] and extending southward into the Indian Ocean with the Arabian Sea to the southwest and the Bay of Bengal to the southeast.[1][22] Most of this region rests on the Indian Plate and is isolated from the rest of Asia by mountain barriers.[23][24]

The Indian Plate, while including most of region, forms a land mass which extends from the Himalayas into a portion of the basin under the Indian Ocean, including parts of South China and Eastern Indonesia, as well as Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges,[25][26][27] and extending up to but not including Ladakh, Kohistan, the Hindu Kush range and Balochistan.[28][29][30]

Definition[edit]

Whether called the Indian subcontinent or South Asia, the definition of the geographical extent of this region varies. Geopolitically, it had formed the whole territory of Greater India,[6][31] and now it generally comprises the countries of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.[1] Prior to 1947, the three nations were historically combined and constituted British India. It almost always also includes Nepal, Bhutan, and the island country of Sri Lanka and may also include Afghanistan and the island country of Maldives.[32] According to anthropologist John R. Lukacs, "The Indian Subcontinent occupies the major landmass of South Asia."[33] while according to political science professor Tatu Vanhanen, "The seven countries of South Asia constitute geographically a compact region around the Indian Subcontinent".[34]

Using a more expansive definition – counting India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives as the constituent countries – the Indian subcontinent covers about 4.4 million km² (1.7 million mi²), which is 10% of the Asian continent or 3.3% of the world's land surface area.[35][36] Overall, it accounts for about 45% of Asia's population (or over 25% of the world's population) and is home to a vast array of peoples.[35][37][36]

Further information: Greater India and SAARC

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Indian subcontinent". New Oxford Dictionary of English (ISBN 0-19-860441-6) New York: Oxford University Press, 2001; p. 929: "the part of Asia south of the Himalayas which forms a peninsula extending into the Indian Ocean, between the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Historically forming the whole territory of Greater India, the region is now divided between India, Pakistan and Bangladesh."
  2. ^ a b Sugata Bose & Ayesha Jalal, Modern South Asia, pages 3, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 0415307872
  3. ^ a b Ronald B. Inden, Imagining India, page 51, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2000, ISBN 1850655200
  4. ^ a b c Sushil Mittal and Gene Thursby, Religions of South Asia: An Introduction, page 3, Routledge, 2006, ISBN 9781134593224
  5. ^ John McLeod, The history of India, page 1, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, ISBN 0-313-31459-4
    Milton Walter Meyer, South Asia: A Short History of the Subcontinent, pages 1, Adams Littlefield, 1976, ISBN 0-8226-0034-X
    Jim Norwine & Alfonso González, The Third World: states of mind and being, pages 209, Taylor & Francis, 1988, ISBN 0-04-910121-8
    Boniface, Brian G.; Christopher P. Cooper (2005). Worldwide destinations: the geography of travel and tourism. Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 978-0-7506-5997-0. 
    Judith Schott & Alix Henley, Culture, Religion, and Childbearing in a Multiracial Society, pages 274, Elsevier Health Sciences, 1996, ISBN 0-7506-2050-1
    Raj S. Bhopal, Ethnicity, race, and health in multicultural societies, pages 33, Oxford University Press, 2007, ISBN 0-19-856817-7
    Lucian W. Pye & Mary W. Pye, Asian Power and Politics, pages 133, Harvard University Press, 1985, ISBN 0-674-04979-9
    Mark Juergensmeyer, The Oxford handbook of global religions, pages 465, Oxford University Press US, 2006, ISBN 0-19-513798-1
    Sugata Bose & Ayesha Jalal, Modern South Asia, pages 3, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 0-415-30787-2
  6. ^ a b Kathleen M. Baker and Graham P. Chapman, The Changing Geography of Asia, page 10, Routledge, 2002, ISBN 9781134933846
  7. ^ John McLeod, The history of India, page 1, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, ISBN 0-313-31459-4
    Milton Walter Meyer, South Asia: A Short History of the Subcontinent, pages 1, Adams Littlefield, 1976, ISBN 0-8226-0034-X
    Jim Norwine & Alfonso González, The Third World: states of mind and being, pages 209, Taylor & Francis, 1988, ISBN 0-04-910121-8
    Boniface, Brian G.; Christopher P. Cooper (2005). Worldwide destinations: the geography of travel and tourism. Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 978-0-7506-5997-0. 
    Judith Schott & Alix Henley, Culture, Religion, and Childbearing in a Multiracial Society, pages 274, Elsevier Health Sciences, 1996, ISBN 0-7506-2050-1
    Raj S. Bhopal, Ethnicity, race, and health in multicultural societies, pages 33, Oxford University Press, 2007, ISBN 0-19-856817-7
    Lucian W. Pye & Mary W. Pye, Asian Power and Politics, pages 133, Harvard University Press, 1985, ISBN 0-674-04979-9
    Mark Juergensmeyer, The Oxford handbook of global religions, pages 465, Oxford University Press US, 2006, ISBN 0-19-513798-1
    Sugata Bose & Ayesha Jalal, Modern South Asia, pages 3, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 0-415-30787-2
    Shiv R. Jhawar, Building a Noble World, page 39, Noble World Foundation, 2004, ISBN 9780974919706
    Erika Lee and Judy Yung, Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America, page xxiii, Oxford University Press, 2010, ISBN 9780199752799
  8. ^ Judith Schott & Alix Henley, Culture, Religion, and Childbearing in a Multiracial Society, pages 274, Elsevier Health Sciences, 1996, ISBN 0750620501
  9. ^ Raj S. Bhopal, Ethnicity, race, and health in multicultural societies, pages 33, Oxford University Press, 2007, ISBN 0198568177
  10. ^ Lizzie Crouch and Paula McGrath, "Humanity's global battle with mosquitoes", Health check, BBC World Service
  11. ^ K. Alan Kronstadt, Terrorist Attacks in Mumbai, India, and Implications for U. S. Interests, page 7, Diane Publishing, 2011, ISBN 9781437929539
  12. ^ Aijazuddin Ahmad, Geography of the South Asian Subcontinent: A Critical Approach, page 17, Concept Publishing Company, 2009, ISBN 9788180695681
  13. ^ Ayesha Jalal, Partisans of Allah: Jihad in South Asia, page xiii, Harvard University Press, 2009, ISBN 9780674039070
  14. ^ Superintendent of Documents, United States Government Printing Office, The Subcontinent of South Asia: Afghanistan, Ceylon, India, Nepal and Pakistan, United States Department of State, Public Services Division, 1959
  15. ^ Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, Merriam-Webster, 2002. Retrieved 11 March 2007
  16. ^ Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. 2002. Merriam-Webster. retrieved 11 March 2007.
  17. ^ Oxford English Dictionary 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, 1989
  18. ^ Oxfordrd English Dictionary 2nd edition. 1989. Oxford University Press.
  19. ^ The history of India – By John McLeod
  20. ^ Milton Walter Meyer, South Asia: A Short History of the Subcontinent, pages 1, Adams Littlefield, 1976, ISBN 0-8226-0034-X
  21. ^ Chapman, Graham P. & Baker, Kathleen M., eds. The changing geography of Asia. (ISBN 0-203-03862-2) New York: Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2002; p. 10: "This greater India is well defined in terms of topography; it is the Indian sub-continent, hemmed in by the Himalayas on the north, the Hindu Khush in the west and the Arakanese in the east."
  22. ^ John McLeod, The history of India, page 1, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, ISBN 0-313-31459-4
  23. ^ "Asia"> Geology and Geography. The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Columbia University Press, 2003: "Asia can be divided into six regions, each possessing distinctive physical, cultural, economic and political characteristics... South Asia (Afghanistan and the nations of the Indian subcontinent) is isolated from the rest of Asia by great mountain barriers."
  24. ^ "Asia" > Geologic history - Tectonic framework. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 2009: "The paleotectonic evolution of Asia terminated some 50 million years ago as a result of the collision of the Indian subcontinent with Eurasia. Asia’s subsequent neotectonic development has largely disrupted the continent’s preexisting fabric. The first-order neotectonic units of Asia are Stable Asia, the Arabian and Indian cratons, the Alpide plate boundary zone (along which the Arabian and Indian platforms have collided with the Eurasian continental plate), and the island arcs and marginal basins."
  25. ^ Sinvhal, Understanding Earthquake Disasters, page 52, Tata McGraw-Hill Education, 2010, ISBN 978-0-07-014456-9
  26. ^ Harsh K. Gupta, Disaster management, page 85, Universities Press, 2003, ISBN 978-81-7371-456-6
  27. ^ James R. Heirtzler, Indian ocean geology and biostratigraphy, page American Geophysical Union, 1977, ISBN 978-0-87590-208-1
  28. ^ M. Asif Khan, Tectonics of the Nanga Parbat syntaxis and the Western Himalaya, page 375, Geological Society of London, 2000, ISBN 978-1-86239-061-4
  29. ^ Srikrishna Prapnnachari, Concepts in Frame Design, page 152, Srikrishna Prapnnachari, ISBN 978-99929-52-21-4
  30. ^ A. M. Celâl Şengör, Tectonic evolution of the Tethyan Region, Springer, 1989, ISBN 978-0-7923-0067-0
  31. ^ Sushil Mittal and Gene Thursby, Religions of South Asia: An Introduction, page 3, Routledge, 2006, ISBN 9781134593224
  32. ^ John McLeod, The history of India, page 1, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, ISBN 0-313-31459-4
    Stephen Adolphe Wurm, Peter Mühlhäusler & Darrell T. Tryon, Atlas of languages of intercultural communication in the Pacific, Asia, and the Americas, pages 787, International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies, Published by Walter de Gruyter, 1996, ISBN 3-11-013417-9
    "Indian subcontinent" > Geology and Geography.
    The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Columbia University Press, 2003: "region, S central Asia, comprising the countries of Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh and the Himalayan states of Nepal, and Bhutan. Sri Lanka, an island off the southeastern tip of the Indian peninsula, is often considered a part of the subcontinent."
    Haggett, Peter (2001). Encyclopedia of World Geography (Vol. 1). Marshall Cavendish. p. 2710. ISBN 0-7614-7289-4. 
  33. ^ John R. Lukacs, The People of South Asia: the biological anthropology of India, Pakistan, and Nepal, page 59, Plenum Press, 1984, ISBN 9780306414077
  34. ^ Tatu Vanhanen, Prospects of Democracy: A Study of 172 Countries, page 144, Routledge, 1997, ISBN 9780415144063
  35. ^ a b Desai, Praful B. 2002. Cancer control efforts in the Indian subcontinent. Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology. 32 (Supplement 1): S13-S16. "The Indian subcontinent in South Asia occupies 2.4% of the world land mass and is home to 16.5% of the world population...."
  36. ^ a b "Indian Subcontinent". Encyclopedia of Modern Asia. Macmillan Reference USA (Gale Group), 2006: "The area is divided between five major nation-states, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and includes as well the two small nations of Bhutan and the Maldives Republic... The total area can be estimated at 4.4 million square kilometres, or exactly 10 percent of the land surface of Asia... In 2000, the total population was about 22 percent of the world's population and 34 percent of the population of Asia."
  37. ^ "Asia" > Overview. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 2009: "The Indian subcontinent is home to a vast diversity of peoples, most of whom speak languages from the Indo-Aryan subgroup of the Indo-European family."