Global Studies is a unique series designed to provide comprehensive background information and selected world press articles on the regions and countries of the world. Each Global Studies volume includes an annotated listing of World Wide Web sites and is now supported by an online Instructor's Resource Guide. Visit our website for more information: www.mhhe.com/globalstudies.com.
Global Studies: India and South Asia
Using Global Studies: India and South Asia
Selected World Wide Web Sites
U.S. Statistics and Map
Canada Statistics and Map
India and South Asia Regional Map
Five Images of South Asia
India (Republic of India)
Afghanistan (Islamic Republic of Afghanistan)
Bangladesh (People's Republic of Bangladesh)
Bhutan (Kingdom of Bhutan)
Maldives (Republic of Maldives)
Nepal (Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal)
Pakistan (Islamic Republic of Pakistan)
Sri Lanka (Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka)
India's Central Asian Struggle, Sreeram Chaulia, The International Indian, June 2008
The Central Asian region has remained strategically important for the entire world for a long period of time. It was a significant place during thirteenth century when Mongolia's Changez Khan attacked and controlled this area. It was from here that Mongol descendent Babar invaded India and started the Mughal dynasty rule in India. As recent as a nineteenth century, Britain and Russia had an intense rivalry over this region, was geopolitically very precious for both of them. The region has not lost its prize location even today, as it is situated between China, Russia, and Southwest Asia.
Does India Seek the Largest Nuclear Arsenal Possible? Ashley J. Tellis, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2006
This article talks about the U.S.-Indian nuclear cooperation initiative agreed to by President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. This cooperation has been criticized by several political parties and individuals for various reasons. It is not evident that India is thinking of building any large-scale nuclear arsenal.
The Problem Is in Pakistan, Not Kashmir, Sushant K. Singh, Pragati: The India National Interest Review, December 2008
What the army seeks and what Pakistan needs are totally different. This situation of the army with the people of Pakistan is the source of many flawed policies. It is being suggested that the Kashmir is no longer a major center of geopolitical instability in South Asian region. The perception is that because of the situation in Afghanistan, the region is gradually becoming more an epicenter of instability.
The Elusive National Counter-Terrorism Policy, Ajit Kumar Doval, Pragati: The India National Interest Review, December 2008
Those in power must develop a political vision in which security takes precedence over short-term political gains. This calls for a bipartisan approach so that the national interest does not become politically unaffordable. In the present situation of multiparty coalition government in India, some people feel that national counter-terrorism policy is not being formulated properly. The response to any terrorist act is generally reactive rather than taking solid measures to prevent it from happening.
Imagining India: Ideas for the New Century, Vir Sanghvi, Hindustan Times, December 22, 2008
The main theme of this article is to emphasize those nations, societies, and civilizations are shaped by ideas. Despite the fact that India itself is an idea, Indians are reluctant to delve into the world of ideas. The review highlights the point that although India's soul lies in her villages, with the change of time people have started accepting the entrance of urbanism in the India scene.
Eight Top Managers Convicted over Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster, James Lamont, Financial Times (London, England, Asia Edition), June 8, 2010
This article tells the story of the December 2-3, 1984, gas leak at The Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal that killed 8,000-15,000 persons and left 500,000 suffering from toxic aftereffects. The process of the pursuit of justice is very slow. There is evidence of people still dying from the effects of gas leak. Many organizations have pleaded for monetary compensations to the families of the victims but they still remain uncompensated.
A Harvest of Water, Sara Corbett, National Geographic, November 2009
This article recounts the story of harvesting the monsoon rains on the Deccan Plateau in India. Monsoon rains are very seasonal and sometimes unpredictable, both from the quantitative and also from the timing points of view. The monsoon rain is vital to the Indian farmers, although everybody is affected by the monsoon to varying degrees. A woman farmer in the village of Satichiwadi in Maharashtra state explicitly depicts this picture in the following words, "When it (the monsoon) comes, we have everything. When it doesn't, we have nothing."
The Loom of Youth, James Lamont, Financial Times (London, England, Asia Edition), May 11, 2010
In India a group of liberal-minded young political leaders is encouraging international entrepreneurs to invest in India. More than 70 percent of the population of 1.2 billion is under 35 years of age. This is considered by many as an advantage for India as opposed to many western countries in terms of future human resources. The article also lists more than half a dozen leaders, including ministers and members of parliament, in the present central government.
On Using the Final Argument, Harsh V. Pant, Pragati: The India National Interest Review, December 2008
According to the author of this article, India has always been a nation of great ambition. Simultaneously, he raises a question about the purpose behind the ambition for India's rise. He is skeptical whether the political elite of India understand the implications of this. In order to protect her interests, the country has to stay in step with world events.
Pakistan, the State That Has Refused to Fail, David Pilling, Financial Times, (London, England, Asia Edition), October 21, 2010
People say that Pakistan has survived by cashing out donors. The Taliban, in the recent past, had occupied the Swat valley not very far from the capital city of Islamabad. Soon after the United States intervened, Pakistani troops attacked the footholds of Taliban, resulting in the killing of a number of militants. A very large number of refugees also had to be dislocated. In spite of these mishaps, Pakistan has survived. Some say that Pakistan is a failed state or at least a failing state. The article's contention is that one should at least say that "it is the state that refuses to fail."
US-Pakistan Relations: The Geostrategic and Geopolitical Factors, Jehangir Khan, Canadian Social Science, April 30, 2010
The relations between the United States and Pakistan have a very tumultuous history, spread over nearly six decades. This paper surveys various aspects of this relationship. The geopolitical and geo-strategic importance of Pakistan has been the pivot of such relation-ships.
Floods Leave Zardari Marooned from People, Matthew Green and Farhan Bokhari, Financial Times (London, England), August 14, 2010
A sense of alienation is growing between ordinary Pakistanis and the leaders of the country. The populace is angry with the government and fears that the authorities will steal charities received from foreign countries for the flood relief. Mr. Zardari asserts that the dominance of the military in public and political life has been subdued, and the democracy has prevailed. But the military's major role in distributing the relief materials proves the contrary.
Another Restoration of Democracy, Plaban Mahmud, Pragati: The India National Interest Review, December 2008
The Awami League leaders are confident about their future prospects. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is in disarray, and there is a chance that Jamaat-e-Islami will move the coalition to the far right. It is postulated that some local intellectuals along with foreign individuals played an important role in staging the bloodless coup in Bangladesh.
Sovereignty and Statelessness in the Border Enclaves of India and Bangladesh, Reece Jones, Political Geography, August 2009
This paper examines the 198 political enclaves along the northern section of the border between India and Bangladesh. The enclaves are a remnant of the partition of British India in 1947 and are effectively stateless spaces because most are small and located several kilo-meters within their host country, which has prevented any administrative contact with their home country. The enclaves provide an important situation for studying a relationship between their existence and their cultural, economic, and political behavior.
Nepal Hits Back at Foreign Intervention, James Lamont and Prateek Pradhan, The Financial Times (London, England), May 17, 2010
Nepal's prime minister has resisted the international pressure to form a coalition government with the opposition. International concern increased when a general strike called by Maoists brought the capital and other areas to a standstill. Although Nepal has opted for democracy, it has to work at it to solidify this political system.
Last Footfall in Nepal, Ethan Todras-Whitehill, The New York Times, March 21, 2010
This article provides a vivid description of the Annapurna Circuit Trek, a most popular tourist trek in Nepal. The majority of trekking in Nepal starts in Kathmandu. By 2012, a road will replace the path, destroying the long trekking experience and, according to many, will "place the last nail in the coffin of what was once the greatest trek on earth."
Crackdown Provokes Fears for Sri Lanka's Democracy, Lydia Polgreen, The New York Times, February 17, 2010
This article discusses how the concentration of power in the hands of a few people related to each other threatens Sri Lanka's democracy. In the spring of 2009, the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa defeated the Tamil Tigers, whose terrorist activities had kept the country in upheaval for several decades. As a reward, the people of Sri Lanka gave him a landslide victory in general elections.
Muslim Geographies and the Politics of Purification in Sri Lanka after the 2004 Tsunami, Shahul Hasbullah and Benedikt Korf, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, July 2009
This paper reflects observation, informal talks with key figures and interviews in the immediate aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. It also maps out three trajectories of the continued politics of purification following the tsunami.
Bhutan, Borders, and Bliss, David A. Andelman, World Policy Journal, Spring 2010
Until two years ago, Bhutan was officially one of the world's last absolute monarchies. Culturally, Bhutan is an example of a nation that is greatly influenced by its geography as a landlocked country cradled in the Himalayas. Buddhism, the monarchy, and happiness (an actual measure of national success--GNH or Gross National Happiness) is the glue that holds this nation together. The key will be to learn, survive and prosper, rather than absorbed by larger and more prosperous neighbors.
Remote Bhutan Aims to Draw Investors to the Himalayas, Patrick Barta, The Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2010.
This article discusses problems of development in land-locked Bhutan. The government of Bhutan is vigorously trying to develop various projects in an effort to become an active player in the global economy. However, a fast-forward move into commercialism raises some concerns with some of Bhutan's government officials and people.
A Look at America's New Hope: The Afghan Tribes, Ruhullah Khapalwak and David Rohde, The New York Times, January 31, 2010
To help beat the Taliban, the United States is seeking alliances with Afghan tribes. Various tribes have lived in Afghanistan for thousands of years, originating in various regions and areas of Afghanistan and flourishing along the family and kinship lines. Tribes in Afghanistan play a vital role in the politics of Afghanistan. In the past, the British tried to take advantage of the Afghan tribes to subdue the influence of Russia. But the author of this article feels that dependency on tribal help is not a solid answer and Americas should be aware of that.
Afghans' Distrust of Officials Poses Threat to Military Successes, Alissa J. Rubin, The New York Times, May 13, 2010
This paper discusses multiple strategies to deal with Afghanistan's complex terrain and an array of enemies. It points out difficulties for the American military, discusses that the insurgency has diffused to several new places, especially the north and northwest sections of the country, but also notes that some areas have also shown signs of peace. The author of this paper feels that, at the time of writing, although about a year has gone by since the war strategy for Afghanistan has been adopted; the hardest fighting is still ahead. The most challenging area is not the battlefield rather lies in the weakness of and lack of support for government of Afghanistan itself as well as the difficulties with dealing with the volatility of the tribes and their unknown and changing loyal-ties.
The Maldives: Kingdom of a Thousand Isles, Andrew Forbes with Kevin Bishop, Hong Kong: Airphoto International Ltd., 2004
This article presents a vivid description of the marine and land environment of the Maldives, whose main economic sector is tour-ism. The total land area of Maldives is less than 115 square miles, and the country consists of more than 1000 islands. The coral reef system of Maldives is world famous for its beauty. Maldives is also very famous for variety of colorful fish. Maldives is not rich in plant life.
Theorising 'Small' and 'Micro' State Behaviour Using the Maldives, Bhutan and Nepal, Amalendu Misra, Contemporary South Asia, June 2004
This paper examines the normative justification of "small" and "micro" state behavior. It adopts a comparative approach for the consistent elaboration of the analysis concentrating on Bhutan, Nepal, and the Maldives. By cross-examining various developmental theories, it also asks whether there is any basis for the theory that "small states are generally backward" and destined to remain so. The paper concludes with an assessment of the place and context of small state in a globalized world.
Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations