History of South Asia

India and Pakistan have been involved in a lot of rivalry and were involved in four wars from the time they gained independence from Great Britain back in 1947 (Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, 2004, P.2). They are considered to be the largest and most powerful member states of the south Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC). The war between the two has held the economic and social development of this association on a standby. Both India and Pakistan has made a lot of contribution to United States of America. They have been found to be key contributors to both regional and global politics (Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, 2004, P.2). There has been improvements on the relations between the two especially as from April 2003 the prime ministers from the two countries offered each other an harm of friendship (Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, 2004, P.2). After this hand of friendship, many relationships between the two which had been cut were restored.
Due to the positive issues which the two countries can two together and have positive impacts on both regionally and globally, there is no need of them being rivals. Similarly it is not suitable to have two separate nations in India and Pakistan. Before independent, India was one. After is gained independent in 1947, it was divided in to two states. Some of them were Hindu India while the others were Muslim Pakistan. It is this division which caused the rivalry between the two as each of them blamed the other as their security threat. They fought different wars in 1947, 1965 and 1971.
Geographical location
India: it’s located in the southern direction of the Asia continent (capital city is New Delhi).The nation lies at 21oN and 78oE and its area stretch to 3,287,263 km2.The main official language is Hindu. It’s bordered by Indian Ocean to the south, the Arabian Sea to the west and Bengal Bay to the east. According to census results carried out in 2001, it had a population numbering 1.027 billion people(Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, 2004). The country has valleys, mountain ranges, dry plateaus and fertile plains.
Pakistan: Found in the Asia continent, its located at 30000’N and 70000E.It covers a mass area of 880,940 km2 and its capital city is Islamabad. It’s bordered by China to the north, India to the east and Iran to the west. The main official languages are Urdu and English. It’s characrerized by a population of more than 170 million people.
A look at the History of Asia
The history of Asia came with a lot of developments. There were a lot of migrations between 2500 and 1500 B.C of maritime South East Asia from Southern China to Southwards (Anonymous, 2011 p.4). Indians had a lot of influence on the people of South East Asia mainland. The Indians were the rulers and there was a lot of influence from Indian traders, adventures, teachers, priests and other religious leaders (Anonymous, 2011 p.4). There was coexistence between the Buddhists and Hinduism but at long last, the states in mainland mostly practiced Buddhist (Anonymous, 2011 p.4).
When discussing the history of Asia, one cannot ignore the concepts of sub continent history. A lot of Indian history has some aspects relating to its neighbour, the South Asia. Originally in the ancient world, people lived as one because both social and political boarders were fixed so people could cross over to their neighbors any time they want. The social and political boarders which were there that time though they were temporary, they do not any have any match to the boarders which are available today. Some of these boarders can be given an example which occurred during Indian’s Buddhist time and also during the Gupta period; there was a lot of cultural and political affiliation on the part of Afghanistan to the Northern India. Similarly, during the Islamic period, both Afghanistan and northern India majorly became under the rule of Lodhis and the Mughals. India and South Asia were very connected to each other and they dealt and interacted with each other in terms of trade and cultural aspects.
Developments in philosophy, science, technology and manufacturing occurred concurrently in both India and South Asia which is a sub continent. Due to this similarities and happenings which occurred almost the same time, it can be concluded that the history of India and that of South Asia are almost similar and have the same characteristics. Therefore when discussing the history of South Asia, it is crucial to look at political entities like subcontinent of India, and any other island associated with it. It also includes states of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and the island nations of Sri Lanka and Maldives.
How to Manage Conflicts between India and Pakistan with a Sole Objective of Stabilizing the South Asian Region
The inter-state conflicts between India and Pakistan can be solved if the World nations adhere to the Millennium Declaration (now the Millennium Development Goals) adopted at the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000. The Declaration proclaims that nations shall spare no effort to free people from the scourge of war, whether within or between states, which has claimed more than five million lives in the last decade.
The commitment to peace, security, disarmament, environment, democracy and human rights has to be implemented in this two warring nations. The first three elements, that is peace, security and disarmament are the major challenges between India and Pakistan. The message of the importance of peaceful co-existence between two neighboring nations has to be emphasized to their leaders and citizens. The negative impacts of war have to stressed so that there can immediate cease fire.
The two countries are ever striving to outdo each other in terms of military investments. This is done at the expense of more important needs like clean water sanitation. According to the 2006 report by the United Nations Development Programme, Pakistan spent forty-seven times more on its military than it spent on water and sanitation leaving 1.8 million to die each because of diarrhea. Similarly, India has been identified as the second largest importer of arms in the world behind China. For peace to prosper there has to be a reversal of this arms race in the region, especially in India and Pakistan. The back stops with European countries that are the manufacturers of the arms which India and Pakistan consume.
European countries and America have to discontinue taking sides in the India-Pakistan conflicts. These foreign countries are guilty of facilitating the wars between the two Asian nations by providing military assistance and technology. Sweden is the greatest fanner of the conflicts because it sells lethal arms to both nations.
Poor living standards in the South Asia region have also contributed to the conflicts. More than 44% of the world’s poor are found here with more than four hundred and fifty million people living below the poverty line. The solution lies in growing the South Asian economy at 10% or above per annum in order to reduce poverty. There also has to be policy interventions to ensure better income distribution which can come from employment growth. Gender equity has also to be considered by reconsidering the condition of the female adult and child.
Literacy levels in both countries and the South Asian region in general where the rate of illiteracy is 45%. Health status must also be improved. A healthy and educated South Asian population will be less violent and will be better placed to appreciate their diversity.
In conclusion, therefore, the conflict between India and Pakistan has to solved by giving more precedence to achievement of the Millenium Development Goals. Peace in the region will bring much good tidings to the Asian region. This include the likelihood of India becoming the second largest economy in the world after the latter overtakes the U.S. finally, cooperation between India and Pakistan in areas of common interest such energy will go a long way in resolving the perennial conflicts. It is possible to have a peaceful prosperous Asia.
The co-existence of nations in the south –Asian region has not been a very peaceful one. Countries such as India and Pakistan are constantly in disagreements over boundary issues and cross boarder funding of terrorist activities between the two countries.
India is categorized among the major economic power house of the south Asia continent. However, the continuous disputes with India have failed to be resolved since both countries have nuclear capabilities.
To resolve the conflict between the two countries, it’s been established that India has to surrender some territories that it controls though they do not rightful belong it India as they were formerly part of Pakistan. Another issue that keeps promoting animosity between the two countries can be traced back to the times when both India and Pakistan were colonies of Britain. The British partitioned India based on religious sectarianism into small units for political reasons. This positioned Pakistan at an advantage to emerge as a unified political power in the region.
The struggle for supremacy in south Asia is between India and Pakistan. However, India is better positioned economically as it boosts of a larger market for its products at international markets as compared to its rival Pakistan. In ensuring India does not emerge as the sole economic and political power house of south Asia, Pakistan is applying different strategies geared towards this does not happen. In order to achieve this, Pakistan has employed an antagonistic approach to Hinduism which is the major religion in India. The move gets backing from some Muslim countries, Asian countries and western powers pg 125. The main objective of applying the approach is to create conflict between the two countries so as to weaken the economy of India.
Although Pakistan has been applying an aggressive approach towards India, its has suffered more. The 1971 conflict between the two countries lead to Pakistan losing some of its territory that emerged as an independent state i.e. Bangladesh. The move weakened Pakistan and appeared to be a blessing to India.
The region of contention between the two countries is Kashmir. Neither India nor Pakistan can claim to be in full control of the region as cross boarder conflicts cannot give room for either of the countries to seize control of the zone. The conflict between the two countries has translated to large percentage of their budgetary allocations being spent on military developments and purchase of weaponry at the expense of other economic activities.
The instability that characterizes the major economic power houses of South Asia is a factor that does not only affect India and Pakistan rather it destabilizes the whole region. South Asia region is well endowed with resources which if well utilized can position the region as one of the major trading block in the world. To achieve this, it’s necessary for India and Pakistan which are considered to be the causers of the instability to engage in dialogue in order to resolve the contentious issues that have continued to heighten tension between the two countries.
The conflict that exists between India and Pakistan can be argued in many quotas to be fuelled by the governments rather than the common citizens. Despite the heightened tensions, the common citizen’s of Pakistan and India have been conducting their businesses regardless of tension.
India and Pakistan are definitely bound to live together as corporate neighbors, and they can never be separated. This is also propelled by the fact that they share a common Geo-Political position between them. Furthermore, the two brothers were born out of the furnace of animosity and there are more common features between the two brothers.
Music played between the two countries is a binding factor and one may not separate the two nations. It is characterized with knowing no barriers as well as understanding no language between the two countries. For instance, when the music is playing it consumes the two nations like a little child. The two nations, or rather, brothers share a common music heritage. Musicians from the two neighbors share a common ground through connecting to the local people in both nations. This is also depicted by the love experienced within the people towards listening to music from both nations.
It is also imperative to state that Hindustani is a classical music and traditional dance that is experienced in both India and Pakistan; hence one cannot be in a position to spot the difference. The music and dance is enjoyable by all and it is deeply rooted in history. Each of the movement illustrated in Hindustani classical music is witnessed in both countries. In both countries, worship rituals can be described as involving dances that dates back to more than a hundred years ago. Dance and music in both nations is considered as an art. India and Pakistan are definitely bound to associate together with the two dance forms of Kathakali and Odissi being seen as a worship song. Both dances within Pakistan and India are seen during the Dance Festival of Konark in the month of November.
The Wagah Drill
This is often referred to as the Berlin Wall in the Asian continent. In this border there is always a retreat each evening which is called the lowering of the flags. This event has been in practice since the early 1950’s. Both soldiers, from the Pakistan Rangers to the Border Security Force of India participate in the parade. The purpose of both parades is to imitate the anger as well as the pride of the Cockerel. There are colorful turbans illustrated by both troops. The interaction is even raised with the official within the ranks associating with each other through visiting the offices in either side. The situation witnessed in the border parades suggests the relationship that has existed between India and Pakistan. The Wagah border had been a goods centre where the porters enhanced trade between the two countries.
Furthermore, there have been candle lightning ceremonies that happened on August 14-15 and which the citizens of both nations participated in it. This was an opportunity for both nations and their citizens to reconcile the once flourishing relationship between the two nations. There have also been wake up calls from the multitude for the re-opening of the Wagah border so as to uplift the status of trade.
Transportation between both nations
The transportation system illustrated in both nations was set up purposely for tourism and commercial purposes. The link in transportation dates back in the early 1940’s. Furthermore, in 1977 the two countries initiated the Samjhauta Express which is a link between the Indian City of Attari and the City of Lahore in Pakistan. Before the partition of India in 1947, citizens of both countries were enjoying a common transportation link.
The migrants that migrated to Pakistan due to the war were more educated and this was witnessed in Karachi. This indicates that India was for a while deprived of the educated class of people. The migration deprived India the chance to positively develop in the earlier day by being deprived the sharp intellects of the educated class.
Willingness to join the other
Junagadh is a city as well as a municipal corporation and its leader is more than able willing to join Pakistan while on the other hand, the ruler of Muslim majority, Kashmir is willing to join India. Kashmir has been the source of dispute over a long time and signs that the rule of the majority was willing to join India were a sign that a relationship was in the offing.
European Influence
The pre-colonial era as well as the colonial period had an impact on India and Pakistan and how they participated in the social order. The Kantian logic of friendship had a deep of internationalization as far as cultural knowledge of the two countries is concerned. It is also imperative to state that ritual ceremonies of both countries impacted on the good neighborliness which is still treasured to the present day. The colonial era was marked by bringing the people of India and Pakistan to a common knowledge of each other’s presence in eth given region. This influenced the thinking among members that they were originally from one nation and not two as it is now.
The Arrival and Integration of Islam on the Sub-Continent
Muslims arrival at the coat of Malabar in the seventh century was the beginning of unification between India and Pakistan. The integration of the Muslims in the coast gave rise to some popular beliefs and customs. This system was rooted in the pre-Islamic past which was characterized with a strong belief and unison of the people living there.
The territories of India and Pakistan are endowed with large and small oases which are as well surrounded by howling waters and sands. This influenced the people living in this area to congregate together in irrigation. This as a result led to the success of the agrarian and their survival.
Turkish Invasion
The Delhi Sultanate was established in India as a result of the invasion by the Turks. This was observed as the point of leadership of India and Pakistan and this serves to indicate why the region was deeply rooted in the Deccan Sultanates. The missionaries and the surfs also brought forth a message of reconciliation which saw the region firmly established in the teachings bestowed upon them by the messengers.
Agricultural History in South Asia
Agriculture in India : In India, the early forms of farming that entailed the husbandry of plants and taming crops and animals dates back to the 9000BC.When the people started rendering settled life, they started becoming innovative in agricultural as they developed new equipment and other far much better farming methods (Christie, 1998). Due to the monsoons that occurred biannually, the trend of harvesting crops biannually started. It was due that time that Indians regarded the plants and animals as they backbone of surviving and they started not only adoring them but also adorning them. At the world historical time that is referred to as the middle ages, naturally flowing water was tapped and diverted into irrigation waterways. The first initial crops that were tamed were barley, wheat and jujube but cotton followed later. Rice originated and was cultivated in the regional areas of Kashmir and Harrapan. As by 2BC.Among other fruits that were domesticated were peas, sesame, mangos and muskmelon. A helical trail places the origin of sugarcane in South Asia. The first animals to be domesticated were goats, elephants and sheep. The method of storing the surplus harvest in granaries was invented.
Agriculture in ancient Pakistan: Like its South Asia counterpart, India, the first animals to be tamed were goats and sheep. Similar to India the ancient Pakistan started with wheat and barley husbandry. Later on the Middle Ages, other plants that were domesticated included dates, jujubes, and einkorn and emmer wheat. Similarly to India, the surplus harvests were stored in granaries. The ancient Pakistanis started irrigating their farming fields at around 3000 BC at a period that is referred to as, the Indus Valley Civilization. Present research place Pakistan as in the caliber of the global largest producer and exporter of farm produce inclusive of sugarcane, wheat, onion mango, cotton, chickpea, and oranges among others.
Sports History in South Asia
Sports in India: Due to what the Hinduism aptly describes as dehvada, sports in India were an epitome of self-realization. Therefore, self rescue was realized via what they Hinduism terms kaya sadhana of which can be described as bodily aptness. The earliest forms of sports were practices at around 2000BC with the discovery of toran and chakra that are pegged to have been in handy during the Indus Valley civilization. The bodily aptness customs were steamed by religious rites. The areas that were anticipated to be participated in the ancient India were athletics, throwing arrows (archery), hunting expeditions, fights, swimming among others. There were also animal fights among them ram-fighting, quail-fighting and fights that entailed cocks. There were traditional games such as chaturang .Some modern games such as chess, polo, Judo, karate, ludo (Snakes and Ladders) have their origins in India. Other games that have their origin in India are poker, blackjack and baccarat.
Historical sports in Pakistan: the recreational games practiced in Pakistan are similar to those that were played in ancient India. The reason behind this similarity is that India and Pakistan was one block of a country (and the traditional games were spread after the Indus Valley Civilization before they came to be split later by the British administration. However, there was one specific kind of game that was dominant in Pakistan only: dice (Bose, S et al, 2004). This revelation came after archaeologists discovered a gargantuan piece of dice that had twenty faces. The dice that was found is estimated be played at a city that is estimated to be over four millennia old. In the recent past, Pakistan has basked in the limelight for being the champions of cricket. This game can be traced to Pakistan. Other games that fall into this category of Pakistan games include: Larroo, Kissa Kali Kali, Angay, Gangay, Cheendro, Teeki, Maya, Katcha Gotey and Karkhai. Other present games that are played in Pakistan include: squash, hockey, polo, baseball, billiards and snooker, kaying and canoeing, boxing, bridge, and Frisbee.
Historical Politics in South Asia
Politics in India: ever since the time immemorial India was divided under castes (social status).Dating back to the Verda era, the Indian evidence that supports the claim that it was ruled by an administration that was not based on monarchy, there is to have a dozen republican strategies that were in dominant during the Buddha era that is pegged to have been around 600 BC to 200 AD. There were kings of wars who controlled India. At around 300BC, there was the introduction of Mauryan Empire that commandeered India with an administration based on hierarchy in south and d north India. Gutpa Empire was introduced at around 400AD which administrated using a decentralized government that used area and local officer’s .There a form of government based on republic principles in North West India. There the geographical borders that were referred to as janapadas that were commanded by a population that were warriors. At around 4BC,a huge potion of India was ruled by an emperor, Ashoka. In 11BC, North India was commanded by dynasties whom ranged from Tughlaqs and Lodhis by were later toppled by the Mughyal empire.
In Pakistan: the Portuguese are dated to have reached in India at around 1500 and it was followed by Britain later followed and the latter introduced the legal and administrative in the aim of brain-washing the Indians with exotic principles and knowledge from the West (Christie, 1998). It was the politics triggered by the two colonizers that lead to the splitting of the larger India into the present day India and Pakistan. There isn’t much political history in Pakistan that dates before than 1947 when it got partitioned from India. However, the country has been ravaged by internal wars and nuclear-weapons controversies. There have been dispute between India and Pakistan: Kargil Operation that has led to two wars between the two nations. Even though there have been several military coups in Pakistan, the country is governed by a democratic administration. There have been political executions like that of former president, Bhutto by General Zia who was at the helm of leadership and other political parties bans.
The scholarly view of India and Pakistan as one nation
The scholar’s view is that after the Second World War, all the British country was left with no resources thus there was the need to retain the country as one nation. The Lord of Mountbatten is quoted as having said, “we lose India, we lose the power in the world.” Khan Abdul is reported to have been on the front line in opposing the concept of having two countries since his vision was an Indian nation that had both Hindus and Muslims. Uninterested in the partition of the two countries, Khan Abdul is quoted as having told Mahatma Gandhi point blank
Scholarly of India and Pakistan as two countries,”…you have put us in the mouth of Wolves.”
Some scholars viewed that since the larger India was made of Muslim majority in a country with mixed-up religions, it would be a welcome sign as each religion would dominate its own region.

India and Pakistan are definitely bound to live together. The paper has illustrated how both nations had integrated together under the influence of the colonial era and how the separation in 1947 resulted in a massive divide of the two communities. It is however imperative to state that the two nations still perform several activities that are in common. For instance, both still observe traditional songs and dances which were depicting their ritual ceremonies. Furthermore the cultural background still defines the two country’s as sharing a common denominator in terms of politics, sports, agriculture and even social and cultural setting. The paper has also illustrated the true picture on how both nations, lying within a distance of each other can still be firmly integrated into a common environment where they share the produce of the land. Transportation is the other element that the two nations enjoy sharing with each other and though the links were influenced by eth separation in the late 1940’s people still feel that the ties should be renewed once more. It is apparent that both citizens, despite the war over Kashmir, still feel that they should be bonded together.
South Asia is comprised of two countries: India and Pakistan. Before India and Pakistan and India were partitioned in 1947 by Britain, they were one block of country, the larger India. The two countries developed greatly during the Indus Valley Civilization. Agriculture is the main economic activity with sugarcane having originated there. Subsequent wars have ravaged the two countries. The major wars occurred in 1947, 1965 and 1971.It’s approximated that 45% of the population of South Asia live below the poverty line.
With its capital city New Delhi and the official language Hindu; India is bordered by Indian Ocean to the south, Arabian Sea to the west and Bengal Bay to the east. By 2001, India has a population of 1.027 billion.
Pakistani capital city is Islamabad. It shares a border with China to the north, India to the east and Iran to the west. The main official languages are Urdu and English. It has a population of 170 million citizens. Both countries share similar ancestry though in India, the dominant religion is Hinduism while in Pakistan is Islam. Critics point out that the poor living standards contribute to the frequent conflicts and both have nuclear weapons abilities.
However, some things bring together the two countries as brothers such as dances conducted when praying and music. The two countries are also bound together by games some of which have infiltrated to the outside world like: karate, judo, polo, chess, Larroo, Angay, Gangay among others.
The affairs of the two countries are greatly influenced and fuelled by the outside world. Europeans countries like Britain and the U.S are among them. On the other side, Sweden fuels and reaps hugely from the conflicts by supplying weapons. Some of the reasons are that after the World War II, Britain was left with no resources.
Anonymous. (2011). A Short History of South East Asia. Retrieved on May 24, 2011 from http://aero-comlab.stanford.edu/jameson/world_history/A_Short_History_of_South_East_Asia1.pdf
Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. (2004). India-Pakistan Relations: Breaking With the Past? Retrieved on May 24, 2011 from http://www.apcss.org/Publications/SAS/AsiaBilateralRelations/India-PakistanRelationsWirsing.pdf
Bose, S et al. (2004). Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy. London:
Christie, J.C. (1998). A modern history of Southeast Asia: decolonization, nationalism and separatism. New York: I.B. Tauris
McLeod, D. (2008). India and Pakistan: friends, rivals or enemies? Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.
Ludden, E.D. (1999). An agrarian history of South Asia, Part 4, Volume 4. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hoek, D.V.W et al. (1992). Ritual, state, an history in South Asia: essays in honor of J.C. Heesterman. BRILL
Schimmel, A. (1982). Islam in India and Pakistan. BRILL.

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