An Introduction to South Asia
Pakistan
Nepal
Pakistan
Maldives
Arunchal Pradesh, India
Sagamartha (Mt Everest), Nepal
Kabul,
Afghanistan
Kathmandu, Nepal
Bangladesh
Goa, India in monsoon
Bangladesh
Pakistan
Pakistan, NW Frontier
Bhutan
Kandahar,
Afghanistan
Nepal
Maldives
Dhaka,
Bangladesh
Kerala, India
Rajastan, India
Tamil Nadu, India
Bhutan
Population Density
South Asia has the
second largest
population of any region
in the world.
It has the fastest
growing population in
the world.
Compare pop. densities:
India 819 per sq mi
China 338 per sq mi
U.S. 75 per sq mi
The population density is greatest along the fertile Plains and Coastal
regions.
Comparative Statistics for Selected Countries in South Asia
% Arable
Land
Pop.
Density
/km
GDP PPP % Literate Life Exp.
Poverty
Rate
India
49%
392
$2,800
61%
70 yrs
25%
Pakistan
24%
199
$2,600
50%
65 yrs
24%
Nepal
16%
226
$1,700
49%
65 yrs
31%
Bangladesh
55%
1165
$1,500
43%
60 yrs
45%
Poverty is a tremendous problem in South Asia
Consider these indicators of poverty for the countries of South Asia
Demographics in South Asia
70% of South Asians live in rural areas, in villages, yet
South Asia has some of the world’s largest cities:
•Mumbai- 16 million
•Kolkatta- 13 million
•Delhi- 13 million
•Dhaka- 13 million
Reasons for migration to cities:
•Higher salaries
•Business opportunities
•Anonymity and individualism
•Rise in caste status
•Agricultural modernization (reduces rural incomes and
jobs)
•Population pressures
•Refugees of drought or flooding
More than one-third of India’s population is under the age
of 15 years old.
India’s natural increase rate: 1.5% (2009 est)
China’s natural increase rate: 0.6%
India’s population is expected to exceed China’s by 2020.
Kashmir: A Regional and Global Contested Space
Srinigar, Kashmir, Indian side
photo: Zaid Abraham
• 3 Wars Between Pakistan and India
in 50 years, 2 over Kashmir
•Most militarized space in the world
•80,000 dead over this conflict
•A regional problem gone global
Borat Lake, Gilgit, Pakistan-Controlled Kashmir photo: Ali Ahmed
Colonial History of the Region
Indian independence in 1947
Partition
Creation of Pakistan (East and
West)
Problem of the Princely States
Religious Geography
There are many
different world and
local religions
practiced in South
Asia.
Notice where Islam is
practiced.
In India there are 1600
languages spoken.
Religious Groups in India-Controlled Kashmir
REGION
Buddhist
Hindu
Muslim
Other
Kashmir
Valley
-
4%
95%
-
Jammu
-
66%
30%
4%
Ladakh
50%
-
46%
3%
Religious Groups in Pakistan-Controlled Kashmir
REGION
Buddhist
Hindu
Muslim
Other
Northern
Areas
-
-
99%
-
Azad
Jammu
and
Kashmir
-
-
99%
-
Source: BBC World News, Pakistani and Indian Census Data
1947-8 India and Pakistan
War in Kashmir results in
present division of 5
regions- 2 regions in
Pakistan, 3 in India
1965 2nd Indo-Pakistani
War
1971 3rd Indo-Pakistani
War, and creation of
Bangladesh
Map: BBC World News
1972 Simla Agreement
establishes Line of
Contol (LoC)
How Kashmir grew to a larger
regional issue, and eventually a
global issue:
1989 Kashmir Insurgency
1998 India and Pakistan hold
nuclear weapons tests
Sept 11 2001 and The Brink of War
at LoC
2003 Cease Fire at the LoC
Soldiers at Shakti nuclear
test site, India, 1998
Mumbai Bombings, Nov 26, 2008
163 people die from terrorist bombings
A Kashmir Connection?
Lashkar,
Regional History
and Islamist
Militarism
Taj Mahal Hotel
Photo: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters
Each year India adds 18 million people.
To accommodate this, each year India would have to add:
•127,000 new village schools
•373,000 new teachers (at 50 students per teacher)
•2.5 million new homes (with 7 people per home)
•4 million new jobs
•180 million new bushels of grain and vegetables
South Asia has been trying to reduce births since 1952.
India began its population programs in 1952.
mid-1960s: they opened camps for mass insertions of IUDs.
1970s: “Vasectomy camps”
10 million men were coerced into sterilized by vasectomies
during the “Emergency Drive” for family planning in the
1970s.
Backlash against family planning and distrust of gov’t
1998: the Indian government abandoned targets for
sterilizations and contraception. Focus on education.
Family planning poster from India
“Why only a boy?”
family planning poster
from India
How is it that population continues to boom even with declines
in fertility?
•Significant part of population is in early reproductive years
•Poor, rural, uneducated people see children as their only source
of wealth.
•Because there is little access to healthcare, infant mortality
rates are high (67/1,000 live births).
•View sons as more beneficial than daughters.
“May you be the mother of one hundred sons.”
2001:
India:
U.S.:
933 females for 1,000 males in India.
1038 females for 1,000 males.
The Social Problems of Caste and Gender
• Caste
• Purdah: Practice of concealing women from eyes of nonfamily men, especially during their reproductive years.
Bride Price: money and gifts paid to bride’s family at
marriage
Dowry: money and gifts paid to groom’s family at marriage
• Bride Burning and Female Infanticide
• Education and Status of Women
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