South Asia, Overview Essay

Submitted By iwhs2014
Words: 445
Pages: 2

South Asia was once a fabled land of immense wealth and riches. From around the sixteenth century onwards, Europeans gained massive amounts of wealth from commerce in this mystical realm. Around the nineteenth century, the world began to view this realm as a center of poverty and exploitation. Even after India’s independence from Britain in 1947, India and its surrounding countries remained among the world’s poorest. Today, India is once again at the forefront of commerce and economic prosperity. It is the world’s most populous region. Two major countries in this realm- India and Pakistan, find themselves constantly shrouded in conflict. Both countries are nuclear capable, and India has an ever growing navy- making this realm a new geopolitical arena. South Asia is clearly defined physiographically- marked by mountains, deserts, and the Indian Ocean. Famous rivers such as the Ganges provided a perfect place for civilization to bloom- the Ganges river alone has been supporting large population clusters for thousands and thousands of years. Here, both Hinduism and Buddhism were founded. South Asia covers only 3 percent of the Earth’s land but houses upwards of 26 percent of the world’s population. Many economic activities persist here- Outsourcing in the US has led to a major economic boom for India and the surrounding countries. Many still survive off of traditional activities such as farming. For these people, dependence on the annual monsoon cycle is a major point to survival. South Asia is still predominantly rural with hundreds of thousands of small villages; however, some of the world’s largest countries are here. Earthquakes and Tsunamis are common here due to the tectonic activity on the Indian Plate. Many mountain ranges came to be from this relatively small area of land- the Kush and Karakorams all