South Asia

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South Asia
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{{short description|Southern region of Asia}}{{use Indian English|date=May 2013}}{{Use dmy dates|date=July 2019}}

South Asia}} (1st)362.3abbr=on}}|GDP_nominal = $3.461 trillion (2018)|GDP_PPP = $12.752 trillion (2018)|GDP_per_capita = $1,908 (nominal) $7,029 (PPP)|HDI = {{Increase}}0.638 (medium)Indo-Aryan peoples>Indo-Aryan, Dravidian people, Sino-Tibetan languages>Sino-Tibetan, Austro-Asiatic people of South Asia, Iranian peoples>Iranian, etc.|religions = Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Other|demonym = South Asian|countries = {{collapsible listList of sovereign states and dependent territories in Asia>8 statesAfghanistan}}Bangladesh}}Bhutan}}India}}Maldives}}Nepal}}Pakistan}}Sri Lanka}}
}}|list_countries = |dependencies =
  • {{flag|British Indian Ocean Territory}}|unrecognized =|languages = {hide}collapsible list

| title = Official languages
| Bangla
| Dari
| Dzongkha
| English
| Hindi
| Maldivian
| Nepali
| Pashto
| Sinhala
| Urdu
{{collapsible list
| title = Other languages
| titlestyle = text-align:left;padding-right:4em;font-weight:normal;background-color:white;
| bullets = true
| Afro-Asiatic:
| Arabic
| Austroasiatic:
| Khasi
| Austronesian:
| Ja Basawa
| Dravidian:
| Beary
| Gondi
| Kannada
| Kodava
| Malayalam
| Tamil
| Telugu
| Tulu
| Indo-European:
| Asamiya
| Balochi
| Bhili
| Dogri
| Garhwali
| Gujarati
| Hindustani dialects
| Kashmiri
| Konkani
| Kumaoni
| Kutchi
| Lahnda
| Maithili
| Marathi
| Odia
| Punjabi
| Rangpuri
| Sanskrit
| Saraiki
| Satgaiya
| Sindhi
| Sylheti
| Sino-Tibetan:
| Tamang
| Turkic:
| Turkmen
| Uzbek
}}|time ={{collapsible list
| title = 5 time zones
| titlestyle = text-align:left;padding-right:4em;font-weight:normal;background-color:white;
| bullets = true
| (UTC+04:30):
| Afghanistan
| (UTC+05:00):
| Maldives
| Pakistan
| (UTC+05:30):
| India
| Sri Lanka
| (UTC+05:45):
| Nepal
| (UTC+06:00):
| Bangladesh
| Bhutan
}}|internet = .af, .bd, .bt, .in,.lk, .mv, .np, .pk
List of country calling codes>Zone 8 & 9|cities = {hide}collapsible list
| title = List
| titlestyle = text-align:left;padding-right:4em;font-weight:normal;background-color:white;
| bullets = true
| {{flagicon|India{edih} Ahmedabad
| {{flagicon|India}} Bangalore
| {{flagicon|India}} Chennai
| {{flagicon|Sri Lanka}} Colombo
| {{flagicon|India}} Delhi
| {{flagicon|Bangladesh}} Dhaka
| {{flagicon|India}} Hyderabad
| {{flagicon|Pakistan}} Karachi
| {{flagicon|India}} Kolkata
| {{flagicon|Pakistan}} Lahore
| {{flagicon|India}} Mumbai
| {{flagicon|India}} Pune
}}{{refn|group=note|Among the top 100 urban areas of the world by population.}}|m49 = 034 – Southern Asia142 – Asia001 – World|footnotes = }}South Asia, or Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan SAARC countries and, for some authorities, adjoining countries to the west and east. Topographically, it is dominated by the Indian Plate, which rises above sea level as Nepal and northern parts of India situated south of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. South Asia is bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean and on land (clockwise, from west) by West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia.The current territories of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka form South Asia.WEB, Afghanistan,weblink Regional and Country Profiles South Asia, Institute of Development Studies, 28 February 2019,weblink" title="">weblink 20 May 2017, live, ;WEB, Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings: Southern Asia,weblink United Nations Statistics Division, 31 January 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 17 April 2010, live, ;JOURNAL, Arnall, A, 24 September 2010, Adaptive Social Protection: Mapping the Evidence and Policy Context in the Agriculture Sector in South Asia,weblink Institute of Development Studies, 345, 31 January 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 15 June 2016, live, ;WEB, The World Bank,weblink 5 November 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 10 November 2015, live, ;WEB, Institute of Development Studies: Afghanistan,weblink 28 February 2019,weblink" title="">weblink 1 June 2017, live, ;WEB, Harvard South Asia Institute: "Afghanistan",weblink 5 November 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 17 November 2015, live, ;NEWS, Afghanistan,weblink BBC News, 2018-01-31, 21 July 2018,weblink 29 July 2018, live, ;WEB, The Brookings Institution,weblink 2001-11-30, 5 November 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 5 September 2015, live, ;WEB, South Asia, The World Factbook,weblink Central Intelligence Agency, 4 March 2015,weblink 2 April 2015, live,
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is an economic cooperation organisation in the region which was established in 1985 and includes all eight nations comprising South Asia.
WEB, SAARC Summit, SAARC,weblink SAARC Summit, 17 December 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 16 December 2013, live, South Asia covers about 5.2 million km2 (2 million mi2), which is 11.71% of the Asian continent or 3.5% of the world's land surface area. The population of South Asia is about 1.891 billion or about one fourth of the world's population, making it both the most populous and the most densely populated geographical region in the world.WEB,weblink South Asia Regional Overview, South Asian Regional Development Gateway,weblink" title="">weblink 21 November 2008, Overall, it accounts for about 39.49% of Asia's population, over 24% of the world's population, and is home to a vast array of people.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....""Asia" > Overview {{Webarchive|url= |date=1 May 2011 }}. 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.""Indian Subcontinent {{Webarchive|url= |date=21 January 2012 }}". 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."In 2010, South Asia had the world's largest population of Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. It alone accounted for 98.47% population of global Hindus and 90.5% of global Sikhs. It also has the largest population of Muslims in the Asia-Pacific region which forms one third global Muslim populationWEB,weblink live, Region: Asia-Pacific, 27 January 2011, Pew Research Center,weblink" title="">weblink 10 October 2017, 13 March 2016, WEB,weblink 10 Countries With the Largest Muslim Populations, 2010 and 2050, 2015-04-02, Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project, 2017-02-07,weblink" title="">weblink 4 May 2017, live, as well as over 35 million Christians and 25 million Buddhists.WEB,weblink Religion population totals in 2010 by Country, 2012, Pew Research Center,weblink" title="">weblink 9 December 2016,


File:South Asia UN.png|thumb|upright=1.5|United Nations Cartography|cartographic]] map of South Asia.United Nations Cartographic Centre {{Webarchive|url= |date=30 June 2017 }} Retrieved 18 June 2015
( However, the United Nations does not endorse any definitions or area boundaries.{{refn|group=note|According to the UN cartographic section website disclaimers, "DESIGNATIONS USED: The depiction and use of boundaries, geographic names and related data shown on maps and included in lists, tables, documents, and databases on this web site are not warranted to be error free nor do they necessarily imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations."}})
The total area of South Asia and its geographical extent is not clear cut as systemic and foreign policy orientations of its constituents are quite asymmetrical.BOOK, Ghosh, Partha Sarathy, 1989, Cooperation and Conflict in South Asia,weblink Technical Publications, 4–5, 978-81-85054-68-1, 12 August 2015,weblink 16 May 2016, live, Aside from the central region of South Asia, formerly part of the British Empire, there is a high degree of variation as to which other countries are included in South Asia.Bertram Hughes Farmer, An Introduction to South Asia, pages 1, Routledge, 1993, {{ISBN|0-415-05695-0}}BOOK, Jona Razzaque, Public Interest Environmental Litigation in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh,weblink 2004, Kluwer Law International, 978-90-411-2214-8, 3 with footnotes 1 and 2, 11 December 2016,weblink 7 October 2017, live, BOOK, Michael Mann, South Asia's Modern History: Thematic Perspectives,weblink 2014, Taylor & Francis, 978-1-317-62445-5, 13–15, Modern definitions of South Asia are consistent in including Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives as the constituent countries.WEB, The World Bank,weblink 5 November 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 10 November 2015, live, WEB, Institute of Development Studies: Afghanistan,weblink 28 February 2019,weblink" title="">weblink 1 June 2017, live, WEB, Harvard South Asia Institute: "Afghanistan",weblink 5 November 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 17 November 2015, live, NEWS, Afghanistan Country Profile,weblink BBC News, 21 July 2018,weblink 29 July 2018, live, WEB, The Brookings Institution,weblink 2001-11-30, 5 November 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 5 September 2015, live, WEB, CIA "The World Factbook",weblink 4 March 2015,weblink 2 April 2015, live,
Myanmar is included by some scholars in South Asia, but in Southeast Asia by others. Some do not include Afghanistan, others question whether Afghanistan should be considered a part of South Asia or the Middle East.BOOK, Keith Robbins, Transforming the World: Global Political History since World War II,weblink 2012, Palgrave Macmillan, 978-1-137-29656-6, 386, , Quote: "Some thought that Afghanistan was part of the Middle East and not South Asian at all".BOOK, Phillip Margulies, Nuclear Nonproliferation,weblink 2008, Infobase Publishing, 978-1-4381-0902-2, 63, , Quote: "Afghanistan, which lies to the northwest, is not technically a part of South Asia but is an important neighbor with close links and historical ties to Pakistan."
The current territories of Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, which were the core of the British Empire from 1857 to 1947, form the central region of South Asia, in addition to Afghanistan, which was a British protectorate until 1919, after the Second Anglo-Afghan war. The mountain countries of Nepal and Bhutan, and the island countries of Sri Lanka and Maldives are generally included as well. Myanmar (formerly Burma) is often added, and by various deviating definitions based on often substantially different reasons, the British Indian Ocean Territory and the Tibet Autonomous Region are included as well.BOOK, McLeod, John, 2002, The History of India,weblink Greenwood Publishing Group, 1, 978-0-313-31459-9, 19 July 2015,weblink 17 May 2016, live, Arthur Berriedale Keith, A Constitutional History of India: 1600–1935, pages 440–444, Methuen & Co, 1936"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."N.D. Arora, Political Science for Civil Services Main Examination, page 42:1, Tata McGraw-Hill Education, 2010, 9780070090941Stephen 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 {{Webarchive|url= |date=20 February 2012 }}.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."BOOK, Haggett, Peter, Encyclopedia of World Geography (Vol. 1), Marshall Cavendish, 2001, 2710, 978-0-7614-7289-6, The common concept of South Asia is largely inherited from the administrative boundaries of the British Raj,Navnita Chadha Behera, International Relations in South Asia: Search for an Alternative Paradigm, page 129, SAGE Publications India, 2008, {{ISBN|9788178298702}} with several exceptions. The Aden Colony, British Somaliland and Singapore, though administered at various times under the Raj, have not been proposed as any part of South Asia.United Nations, Yearbook of the United Nations, pages 297, Office of Public Information, 1947, United Nations Additionally Burma was administered as part of the Raj until 1937, but is now considered a part of Southeast Asia and is a member state of ASEAN. The 562 princely states that were protected by but not directly ruled by the Raj became administrative parts of South Asia upon joining Union of India or Dominion of Pakistan.Encyclopædia Britannica: A New Survey of Universal Knowledge (volume 4), pages 177, Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 1947Ian Copland, The Princes of pre-India in the Endgame of the British Empire: 1917–1947, pages 263, Cambridge University Press, 2002, {{ISBN|0-521-89436-0}}WEB, Ben Cahoon,weblink Pakistan Princely States,, 2010-08-23,weblink" title="">weblink 27 September 2007, live,
Geopolitically, it had formed the whole territory of Greater India,
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), a contiguous block of countries, started in 1985 with seven countries{{snd}}Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka{{snd}}and added Afghanistan as an eighth member in 2007.WEB,weblink SAARC: Afghanistan comes in from the cold, Sarkar, Sudeshna, 16 May 2007, Current Affairs – Security Watch, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, 6 April 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 14 June 2011, WEB,weblink South Asian Organisation for Regional Cooperation (official website), SAARC Secretariat, Kathmandu, Nepal., 6 April 2011,weblink" title="">weblink 16 December 2013, live, China and Myanmar have also applied for the status of full members of SAARC.Chatterjee Aneek, International Relations Today: Concepts and Applications, page 166, Pearson Education India, {{ISBN|9788131733752}}NEWS, 2 December 2014, SAARC Membership: India blocks China's entry for the time being,weblink The Economic Times, 17 March 2015,weblink 18 December 2018, live,
This bloc of countries include two independent countries that were not part of the British Raj – Nepal, and Bhutan. Afghanistan was a British protectorate from 1878 until 1919, after the Afghans lost to the British in the Second Anglo-Afghan war. The World Factbook, based on geo-politics, people, and economy defines South Asia as comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, British Indian Ocean Territory, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.WEB,weblink South Asia, 20 March 2015,weblink 2 April 2015, live, The South Asia Free Trade Agreement incorporated Afghanistan in 2011, and the World Bank grouping of countries in the region also includes all eight members comprising South Asia and SAARC as well,
South Asia: Data, Projects and Research {{Webarchive|url=,,pagePK:158889~piPK:146815~theSitePK:223547,00.html |date=16 July 2012 }}, The World BankWEB,weblink SAFTA Protocol, 20 March 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 15 March 2015, live, and the same goes for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).WEB, South Asia,weblink, 16 December 2016,weblink 20 December 2016, live, WEB, UNICEF ROSA,weblink, 16 December 2016,weblink 20 December 2016, live, {{anchor|Definition by South Asian Studies programs}} WEB, Cambridge Centre of South Asian Studies: Links to South And Southeast Asian resources,weblink 5 November 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 12 November 2015, dead, WEB, Cambridge South Asian Archive: Afghanistan,weblink WEB, Cambridge Centre of South Asian Studies: Library,weblink 5 November 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 13 November 2015, dead,
the Himalayan Kingdoms (Nepal, Bhutan, and SikkimGrolier Incorporated, The Encyclopedia Americana (volume 14), pages 201, Grolier, 1988, {{ISBN|0-7172-0119-8}}), and Burma (now Myanmar). It has since included Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, the Philippines and Hong Kong.
About Us {{Webarchive|url= |date=26 February 2009 }}, Centre for South Asian Studies, University of CambridgeThe Centres for South Asian Studies at both the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia include Tibet along with the eight members of SAARC in their research programs, but exclude the Maldives.CSAS {{Webarchive|url= |date=11 December 2007 }}, Centre for South Asian Studies, University of MichiganAbout Us {{Webarchive|url= |date=18 July 2011 }}, Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Virginia
The South Asian Studies Program of Rutgers University and the University of California, Berkeley Centre for South Asia Studies also include the Maldives.
South Asian Studies Program {{Webarchive|url= |date=12 December 2007 }}, Rutgers UniversityWEB,weblink Center for South Asia Studies: University of California, Berkeley,, 2012-08-19,weblink" title="">weblink 13 July 2012, dead, The South Asian Studies Program of Brandeis University defines the region as comprising "India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and in certain contexts Afghanistan, Burma, Maldives and Tibet".South Asian Studies {{Webarchive|url= |date=3 May 2007 }}, Brandeis University
The similar program of Columbia University includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in their study and excludes Burma.
South Asia Institute {{Webarchive|url= |date=11 September 2012 }}, Columbia University{{See also|Indology}}}}The United Nations Statistics Division's scheme of sub-regions include all eight members of the SAARC as part of Southern Asia, along with IranGeographical region and composition {{Webarchive|url= |date=13 July 2011 }}, Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings, United Nations
only for statistical purposes.WEB,weblink Standard Country or Area Codes for Statistical Use,, 2012-08-25,weblink 11 July 2017, live, Quote: "The assignment of countries or areas to specific groupings is for statistical convenience and does not imply any assumption regarding political or other affiliation of countries or territories by the United Nations." Population Information Network (POPIN) includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as part of South Asia. Maldives, in view of its characteristics, was admitted as a member Pacific POPIN subregional network only in principle.
Asia-Pacific POPIN Consultative Workshop Report {{Webarchive|url= |date=25 October 2012 }}, Asia-Pacific POPIN Bulletin, Vol. 7, No. 2 (1995), pages 7–11
The Hirschman–Herfindahl index of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific for the region includes only the original seven signatories of SAARC.
Mapping and Analysis of Agricultural Trade Liberalization in South Asia {{Webarchive|url= |date=19 March 2009 }}, Trade and Investment Division (TID), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the PacificThe British Indian Ocean Territory is connected to the region by a publication of Jane's for security considerations.Territories (British Indian Ocean Territory), Jane's Information Group The region may also include the disputed territory of Aksai Chin, which was part of the British Indian princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, but is now administered as part of the Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang.Dale Hoiberg and Indu Ramchandani, Students' Britannica India (vol. 1), page 45, Popular Prakashan, 2000, {{ISBN|978-0-85229-760-5}}The inclusion of Myanmar in South Asia is without consensus, with many considering it a part of Southeast Asia and others including it within South Asia. Afghanistan was of importance to the British colonial empire, especially after the Second Anglo-Afghan War over 1878–1880. Afghanistan remained a British protectorate until 1919, when a treaty with Vladimir Lenin included the granting of independence to Afghanistan. Following India's partition, Afghanistan has generally been included in South Asia, with some considering it a part of Southwest Asia. During the Soviet–Afghan War (1979–1989) American foreign policy considered Pakistan and Afghanistan in Southwest Asia, while others included it as a part of South Asia. There is no universal agreement among scholars on which countries should be included within South Asia.In the past, a lack of a coherent definition for South Asia resulted in not only a lack of academic studies, but also in a lack interest for such studies.Vernon Marston Hewitt, The international politics of South Asia, page xi, Manchester University Press, 1992, {{ISBN|0-7190-3392-6}} The confusion existed also because of the lack of a clear boundary – geographically, geopolitical, socio-culturally, economically or historically – between South Asia and other parts of Asia, especially the Middle East and Southeast Asia.Dallen J. Timothy and Gyan P. Nyaupane, Cultural Heritage and Tourism in the Developing World: A Regional Perspective, page 127, Routledge, 2009, {{ISBN|9781134002283}} Identification with a South Asian identity was also found to be significantly low among respondents in an older two-year survey across Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.Kishore C. Dash, Regionalism in South Asia, pages 172–175, Routledge, 2008, {{ISBN|0-415-43117-4}} However, modern definitions of South Asia are very consistent in including Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives as the constituent countries.{{See also|South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation|South Asian Free Trade Area}}

Indian subcontinent

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term "subcontinent" signifies a "subdivision of a continent which has a distinct geographical, political, or cultural identity" and also a "large land mass somewhat smaller than a continent".OED, subcontinent, 192528, OED, Indian subcontinent, 94389, Historians Catherine Asher and Cynthia Talbot state that the term "Indian subcontinent" describes a natural physical landmass in South Asia that has been relatively isolated from the rest of Eurasia.{{citation|last1=Asher|first1=Catherine B.|last2=Talbot|first2=Cynthia|title=India Before Europe|url=|date=2006-03-16|publisher=Cambridge University Press|isbn=978-0-521-80904-7|pp=5–8, 12–14, 51, 78–80|access-date=9 December 2016|archive-url=|archive-date=24 April 2016|url-status=live}} The Indian subcontinent is also a geological term referring to the land mass that drifted northeastwards from ancient Gondwana, colliding with the Eurasian plate nearly 55 million years ago, towards the end of Palaeocene. This geological region largely includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.BOOK, Robert Wynn Jones, Applications of Palaeontology: Techniques and Case Studies,weblink 2011, Cambridge University Press, 978-1-139-49920-0, 267–271, The use of the term Indian subcontinent began in the British Empire, and has been a term particularly common in its successors.John McLeod, The history of India {{Webarchive|url= |date=17 May 2016 }}, 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}}BOOK, Boniface, Brian G., Christopher P. Cooper, Worldwide Destinations: The Geography of Travel and Tourism, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2005,weblink 978-0-7506-5997-0, 19 July 2015,weblink 19 September 2015, live, 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}} This region has also been labelled as "India" (in its classical and pre-modern sense), "Greater India", or as South Asia.Sushil Mittal and Gene Thursby, Religions of South Asia: An Introduction, page 3, Routledge, 2006, {{ISBN|9781134593224}}Kathleen M. Baker and Graham P. Chapman, The Changing Geography of Asia, page 10, Routledge, 2002, {{ISBN|9781134933846}}According to anthropologist John R. Lukacs, "the Indian Subcontinent occupies the major landmass of South Asia",John R. Lukacs, The People of South Asia: the biological anthropology of India, Pakistan, and Nepal, page 59, Plenum Press, 1984, {{ISBN|9780306414077}} while the political science professor Tatu Vanhanen states, "the seven countries of South Asia constitute geographically a compact region around the Indian Subcontinent".Tatu Vanhanen, Prospects of Democracy: A Study of 172 Countries, page 144, Routledge, 1997, {{ISBN|9780415144063}} According to Chris Brewster, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan constitute the Indian subcontinent; with Afghanistan and Maldives included it is more commonly referred to as South Asia.Chris Brewster and Wolfgang Mayrhofe, Handbook of Research on Comparative Human Resource Management, page 576, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012, {{ISBN|9780857938718}} The geopolitical boundaries of Indian subcontinent, according to Dhavendra Kumar, include "India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and other small islands of the Indian Ocean".BOOK, Dhavendra Kumar, Genomics and Health in the Developing World,weblink 2012, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-537475-9, 889, 9 December 2016,weblink 21 February 2018, live, Maldives, the country consisting of a small archipelago southwest of the peninsula, is considered part of the Indian subcontinent.BOOK, Mariam Pirbhai, Mythologies of Migration, Vocabularies of Indenture: Novels of the South Asian Diaspora in Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia-Pacific,weblink 2009, University of Toronto Press, 978-0-8020-9964-8, 14, The terms "Indian subcontinent" and "South Asia" are sometimes used interchangeably. The South Asia term is particularly common when scholars or officials seek to differentiate this region from East Asia.Ronald B. Inden, Imagining India, page 51, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2000, {{ISBN|1850655200}}, Quote:"It is very common today in academic and official circles to speak of the Indian subcontinent as 'South Asia', thereby distinguishing it from an 'East Asia'." 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."Sugata Bose & Ayesha Jalal, Modern South Asia, pages 3, Routledge, 2004, {{ISBN|0415307872}}, Quote:"Indian subcontinent{{snd}}or South Asia{{snd}}as it has come to be known in more recent and neutral parlance" This "neutral" notion refers to the concerns of Pakistan and Bangladesh, particularly given the recurring conflicts between India and Pakistan, wherein the dominant placement of "India" as a prefix before the subcontinent might offend some political sentiments.There is no globally accepted definition on which countries are a part of South Asia or Indian subcontinent.BOOK, Ewan W. Anderson, Liam D. Anderson, An Atlas of Middle Eastern Affairs,weblink 2013, Routledge, 978-1-136-64862-5, 5, 9 December 2016,weblink 13 December 2018, live, , Quote: "To the east, Iran, as a Gulf state, offers a generally accepted limit to the Middle East. However, Afghanistan, also a Muslim state, is then left in isolation. It is not accepted as a part of Central Asia and it is clearly not part of the Indian subcontinent". While Afghanistan is not considered as a part of the Indian subcontinent, Afghanistan is often included in South Asia. Similarly, Myanmar is included by some scholars in South Asia but not in Indian subcontinent.


Ancient era

The history of core South Asia begins with evidence of human activity of Homo sapiens, as long as 75,000 years ago, or with earlier hominids including Homo erectus from about 500,000 years ago.G. Bongard-Levin, A History of India (Progress Publishers: Moscow, 1979) p. 11. The Indus Valley Civilization, which spread and flourished in the northwestern part of South Asia from c. 3300 to 1300 BCE in present-day Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, was the first major civilization in South Asia.Romila Thapar, A History of India (Penguin Books: New York, 1966) p. 23. A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture developed in the Mature Harappan period, from 2600 to 1900 BCE.Romila Thapar, A History of India, p. 24.The earliest prehistoric culture have roots in the mesolithic sites as evidenced by the rock paintings of Bhimbetka rock shelters dating to a period of 30,000 BCE or older,{{refn|group=note|{{harvnb|Doniger|2010|p=66}}: "Much of what we now call Hinduism may have had roots in cultures that thrived in South Asia long before the creation of textual evidence that we can decipher with any confidence. Remarkable cave paintings have been preserved from Mesolithic sites dating from c. 30,000 BCE in Bhimbetka, near present-day Bhopal, in the Vindhya Mountains in the province of Madhya Pradesh."}} as well as neolithic times.{{refn|group=note|{{harvnb|Jones|Ryan|2006|p=xvii}}: "Some practices of Hinduism must have originated in Neolithic times (c. 4000 BCE). The worship of certain plants and animals as sacred, for instance, could very likely have very great antiquity. The worship of goddesses, too, a part of Hinduism today, may be a feature that originated in the Neolithic."}} According to anthropologist Possehl, the Indus Valley Civilization provides a logical, if somewhat arbitrary, starting point for South Asian religions, but these links from the Indus religion to later-day South Asian traditions are subject to scholarly dispute.{{sfn|Possehl|2002|p=141–156}}File:Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma Adoring Kali LACMA M.80.101 (2 of 7).jpg|thumb|upright|The Trimurti is the trinity of supreme divinity in Hinduism, typically Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and ShivaShivaThe Vedic period, named after the Vedic religion of the Indo-Aryans,{{refn|group=note|Michaels: "They called themselves arya ("Aryans," literally "the hospitable," from the Vedic arya, "homey, the hospitable") but even in the Rgveda, arya denotes a cultural and linguistic boundary and not only a racial one."{{sfn|Michaels|2004|p=33}}}} lasted from c. 1900 to 500 BCE.{{sfn|Michaels|2004|p=32}}{{sfn|Witzel|1995|p=3-4}} The Indo-Aryans were pastoralists{{sfn|Witzel|1995}} who migrated into north-western India after the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization,{{sfn|Michaels|2004|p=33}}{{sfn|Flood|1996|p=30-35}} Linguistic and archaeological data show a cultural change after 1500 BCE,{{sfn|Michaels|2004|p=33}} with the linguistic and religious data clearly showing links with Indo-European languages and religion.{{sfn|Flood|1996|p=33}} By about 1200 BCE, the Vedic culture and agrarian lifestyle was established in the northwest and northern Gangetic plain of South Asia.{{sfn|Witzel|1995}}{{sfn|Samuel|2010|p=41-48}}{{sfn|Stein|2010|p=48-49}} Rudimentary state-forms appeared, of which the Kuru-Pañcāla union was the most influential.{{sfn|Witzel|1995|p=6}}{{sfn|Samuel|2010|p=51-53}} The first recorded state-level society in South Asia existed around 1000 BCE.{{sfn|Witzel|1995}} In this period, states Samuel, emerged the Brahmana and Aranyaka layers of Vedic texts, which merged into the earliest Upanishads.{{sfn|Samuel|2010|p=25}} These texts began to ask the meaning of a ritual, adding increasing levels of philosophical and metaphysical speculation,{{sfn|Samuel|2010|p=25}} or "Hindu synthesis".{{sfn|Hiltebeitel|2007|p=12}}Increasing urbanisation of India between 800 and 400 BCE, and possibly the spread of urban diseases, contributed to the rise of ascetic movements and of new ideas which challenged the orthodox Brahmanism.{{Sfn|Flood|1996||pp=81–82}} These ideas led to Sramana movements, of which Mahavira (c. 549–477 BCE), proponent of Jainism, and Buddha (c. 563-483), founder of Buddhism, were the most prominent icons.BOOK, Jacob Neusner, 2009, World Religions in America: An Introduction,weblink Westminster John Knox Press, 978-0-664-23320-4, 26 December 2016,weblink 18 April 2017, live, The Greek army led by Alexander the Great stayed in the Hindu Kush region of South Asia for several years and then later moved into the Indus valley region. Later, the Maurya Empire extended over much of South Asia in the 3rd century BCE. Buddhism spread beyond south Asia, through northwest into Central Asia. The Bamiyan Buddhas of Afghanistan and the edicts of AÅ›oka suggest that the Buddhist monks spread Buddhism (Dharma) in eastern provinces of the Seleucid Empire, and possibly even farther into West Asia.{{Sfn| Gombrich|2006|p=135}}{{Sfn|Trainor|2004|pp=103, 119}}BOOK, Jason Neelis, Early Buddhist Transmission and Trade Networks: Mobility and Exchange Within and Beyond the Northwestern Borderlands of South Asia,weblink 2010, BRILL Academic, 978-90-04-18159-5, 102–106, 26 December 2016,weblink 26 November 2016, live, The Theravada school spread south from India in the 3rd century BCE, to Sri Lanka, later to Southeast Asia.BOOK, John Guy, Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia,weblink 2014, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 978-1-58839-524-5, 9–11, 14–15, 19–20, 26 December 2016,weblink 23 December 2016, live, Buddhism, by the last centuries of the 1st millennium BCE, was prominent in the Himalayan region, Gandhara, Hindu Kush region and Bactria.BOOK, Jason Neelis, Early Buddhist Transmission and Trade Networks: Mobility and Exchange Within and Beyond the Northwestern Borderlands of South Asia,weblink 2010, BRILL Academic, 978-90-04-18159-5, 114–115, 144, 160–163, 170–176, 249–250, 26 December 2016,weblink 26 November 2016, live, Deborah Klimburg-Salter (1989), The Kingdom of Bamiyan: Buddhist art and culture of the Hindu Kush, Naples – Rome: Istituto Universitario Orientale & Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, {{ISBN|978-0877737650}} (Reprinted by Shambala)BOOK, Barbara Crossette, So Close to Heaven: The Vanishing Buddhist Kingdoms of the Himalayas,weblink 1996, Vintage, 978-0-679-74363-7, 84–85, From about 500 BCE through about 300 CE, the Vedic-Brahmanic synthesis or "Hindu synthesis" continued.{{sfn|Hiltebeitel|2007|p=12}} Classical Hindu and Sramanic (particularly Buddhist) ideas spread within South Asia, as well outside South Asia.BOOK, HJ Klimkeit, R Meserve, EE Karimov, C Shackle, Religions and religious movements, 2000, CE Boxworth, MS Asimov, History of Civilizations of Central Asia,weblink UNESCO, 79–80, 978-92-3-103654-5, {{sfn|Samuel|2010|pp=193–228, 339–353, specifically pp. 76–79 and 194–199}}BOOK, John Guy, Pierre Baptiste, Lawrence Becker, Bérénice Bellina, Robert L. Brown, Federico Carò, Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia,weblink 2014, Yale University Press, 10–11, 978-0-300-20437-7, 26 December 2016,weblink 18 April 2017, live, The Gupta Empire ruled over a large part of the region between 4th and 7th centuries, a period that saw the construction of major temples, monasteries and universities such as the Nalanda.{{sfn|Michell|1977|p=18, 40}}BOOK, Hartmut Scharfe, Handbook of Oriental Studies,weblink 2002, BRILL Academic, 978-90-04-12556-8, 144–153, 26 December 2016,weblink 26 November 2016, live, BOOK, Craig Lockard, Societies, Networks, and Transitions: Volume I: A Global History,weblink 2007, Houghton Mifflin, 978-0618386123, 188, 26 December 2016,weblink 26 November 2016, live, During this era, and through the 10th century, numerous cave monasteries and temples such as the Ajanta Caves, Badami cave temples and Ellora Caves were built in South Asia.BOOK, Walter M. Spink, Ajanta: History and Development, Volume 5: Cave by Cave,weblink 2005, BRILL Academic, 978-90-04-15644-9, 1–9, 15–16, 26 December 2016,weblink 29 June 2016, live, WEB,weblink Ellora Caves – UNESCO World Heritage Centre,, 26 December 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 9 December 2016, live, , Quote:"Ellora, with its uninterrupted sequence of monuments dating from A.D. 600 to 1000, brings the civilization of ancient India to life. Not only is the Ellora complex a unique artistic creation and a technological exploit but, with its sanctuaries devoted to Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, it illustrates the spirit of tolerance that was characteristic of ancient India."BOOK, Lisa Owen, Carving Devotion in the Jain Caves at Ellora,weblink 2012, BRILL Academic, 978-9004206298, 1–10, 26 December 2016,weblink 5 February 2017, live,

Medieval era

File:Timur defeats the sultan of Delhi.jpg|thumb|upright|Turco-Mongol conqueror Timur defeats the Sultan of DelhiSultan of DelhiIslam came as a political power in the fringe of South Asia in 8th century CE when the Arab general Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh and Multan in southern Punjab in modern-day Pakistan.WEB,weblink History in Chronological Order, Government of Pakistan, 2008-01-09, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 July 2010, By 962 CE, Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms in South Asia were under a wave of raids from Muslim armies from Central Asia.See:
  • M. Reza Pirbha, Reconsidering Islam in a South Asian Context, {{ISBN|978-9004177581}}, Brill
  • The Islamic frontier in the east: Expansion into South Asia, Journal of South Asian Studies, 4(1), pp. 91–109
  • Sookoohy M., Bhadreswar – Oldest Islamic Monuments in India, {{ISBN|978-9004083417}}, Brill Academic; see discussion of earliest raids in Gujarat Among them was Mahmud of Ghazni, who raided and plundered kingdoms in north India from east of the Indus river to west of Yamuna river seventeen times between 997 and 1030. Mahmud of Ghazni raided the treasuries but retracted each time, only extending Islamic rule into western Punjab.T. A. Heathcote, The Military in British India: The Development of British Forces in South Asia:1600–1947, (Manchester University Press, 1995), pp 5–7Lionel Barnett (1999), {{Google books|LnoREHdzxt8C|Antiquities of India: An Account of the History and Culture of Ancient Hindustan|page=1}}, Atlantic pp. 73–79
The wave of raids on north Indian and western Indian kingdoms by Muslim warlords continued after Mahmud of Ghazni, plundering and looting these kingdoms.Richard Davis (1994), Three styles in looting India, History and Anthropology, 6(4), pp 293–317, {{doi|10.1080/02757206.1994.9960832}} The raids did not establish or extend permanent boundaries of their Islamic kingdoms. The Ghurid Sultan Mu'izz al-Din Muhammad began a systematic war of expansion into North India in 1173.Muhammad B. Sam Mu'izz Al-Din, T. W. Haig, Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol. VII, ed. C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W. P. Heinrichs and C. Pellat, (Brill, 1993) He sought to carve out a principality for himself by expanding the Islamic world.C.E. Bosworth, The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 5, ed. J. A. Boyle, John Andrew Boyle, (Cambridge University Press, 1968), pp 161–170 Mu'izz sought a Sunni Islamic kingdom of his own extending east of the Indus river, and he thus laid the foundation for the Muslim kingdom that became the Delhi Sultanate.Peter Jackson (2003), The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History, Cambridge University Press, {{ISBN|978-0521543293}}, pp 3–30 Some historians chronicle the Delhi Sultanate from 1192 due to the presence and geographical claims of Mu'izz al-Din in South Asia by that time.History of South Asia: A Chronological Outline {{Webarchive|url= |date=11 December 2013 }} Columbia University (2010)
The Delhi Sultanate covered varying parts of South Asia, and was ruled by a series of dynasties, called Mamluk, Khalji, Tughlaq, Sayyid and Lodi dynasties. Muhammad bin Tughlaq came to power in 1325, launched a war of expansion and the Delhi Sultanate reached it largest geographical reach over the South Asian region during his 26-year rule.
Muḥammad ibn Tughluq {{Webarchive|url= |date=27 April 2015 }} Encyclopædia Britannica
A Sunni Sultan, Muhammad bin Tughlaq persecuted non-Muslims such as Hindus, as well as non-Sunni Muslims such as Shia and Mahdi sects.Firoz Shah Tughlak, Futuhat-i Firoz Shahi – Autobiographical memoirs {{Webarchive|url= |date=19 October 2016 }}, Translated in 1871 by Elliot and Dawson, Volume 3 – The History of India, Cornell University Archives, pp 377–381Vincent A Smith, {{Google books|p2gxAQAAMAAJ|The Oxford History of India: From the Earliest Times to the End of 1911|page=217}}, Chapter 2, pp. 249–251, Oxford University PressAnnemarie Schimmel, Islam in the South Asian region, {{ISBN|978-9004061170}}, Brill Academic, pp 20–23
Revolts against the Delhi Sultanate sprang up in many parts of South Asia during the 14th century. After the death of Muhammad bin Tughlaq, the Bengal Sultanate came to power in 1352 CE, as the Delhi Sultanate began disintegrating. The Bengal Sultanate remained in power through the early 16th century. It was reconquered by the armies of the Mughal Empire. The state religion of the Bengal Sultanate was Islam, and the region under its rule, a region that ultimately emerged as the modern nation of Bangladesh, saw a growth of a syncretic form of Islam.BOOK, David Lewis, David Lewis (academic), Bangladesh: Politics, Economy and Civil Society,weblink 31 October 2011, Cambridge University Press, 44, 978-1-139-50257-3, In 1346 ... what became known as the Bengal Sultanate began and continued for almost two centuries., BOOK, Syed Ejaz Hussain, 2003, The Bengal Sultanate: Politics, Economy and Coins, A.D. 1205–1576,weblink Manohar, 978-81-7304-482-3, In the Deccan region, the Hindu kingdom Vijayanagara Empire came to power in 1336 and remained in power through the 16th century, after which it too was reconquered and absorbed into the Mughal Empire.BOOK, Kulke and Rothermund, Hermann and Dietmar, A History of India, 2004, 2004, Routledge (4th edition), 978-0-415-32919-4, 187–188, BOOK, Nilakanta Sastri, K. A., A history of South India from prehistoric times to the fall of Vijayanagar, 1955, reissued 2002, Indian Branch, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 978-0-19-560686-7, K. A. Nilakanta Sastri, 216, 239–250, About 1526, the Punjab governor Dawlat Khan Lodī reached out to the Mughal Babur and invited him to attack Delhi Sultanate. Babur defeated and killed Ibrahim Lodi in the Battle of Panipat in 1526. The death of Ibrahim Lodi ended the Delhi Sultanate, and the Mughal Empire replaced it.Lodi Dynasty {{Webarchive|url= |date=27 April 2015 }} Encyclopædia Britannica (2009)

Modern era

File:Emperor Shah Jahan and Prince Alamgir (Aurangzeb) in Mughal Court, 1650.jpg|thumb|Emperor Shah Jahan and Prince AurangzebAurangzebThe modern history period of South Asia, that is 16th-century onwards, witnessed the start of the Central Asian dynasty named the Mughals, with Turkish-Mongol roots and Sunni Islam theology. The first ruler was Babur, whose empire extended the northwest and Indo-Gangetic Plain regions of South Asia. The Deccan and northeastern region of the South Asia was largely under Hindu kings such as those of Vijayanagara Empire and Ahom kingdom,BOOK, Guptajit Pathak, Assam's history and its graphics,weblink 2008, Mittal, 978-81-8324-251-6, 124, with some regions such as parts of modern Telangana and Andhra Pradesh under local Sultanates such as the Shia Islamic rulers of Golconda Sultanate.BOOK, C. E. Bosworth, C. E. Bosworth, New Islamic Dynasties,weblink 2014, Edinburgh University Press, 978-0-7486-9648-2, 179–180, File:British Indian Empire 1909 Imperial Gazetteer of India.jpg|thumb|British Indian Empire in 1909. British India is shaded pink, the princely stateprincely stateThe Mughal Empire continued its wars of expansion after Babur's death. With the fall of the Rajput kingdoms and Vijayanagara, its boundaries encompassed almost the entirety of the Indian subcontinent.BOOK, József Böröcz, The European Union and Global Social Change, 21, Routledge,weblink 26 June 2017, 9781135255800, 2009-09-10, The Mughal Empire was marked by a period of artistic exchanges and a Central Asian and South Asian architecture synthesis, with remarkable buildings such as the Taj Mahal.BOOK, Catherine Blanshard Asher, Architecture of Mughal India,weblink 1992, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-26728-1, 1–2, 27 December 2016,weblink 18 May 2016, live, At its height, the empire was the world's largest economy, worth almost 25% of global GDP, more than the entirety of Western Europe.Maddison, Angus (2003): Development Centre Studies The World Economy Historical Statistics: Historical Statistics, OECD Publishing, {{ISBN|9264104143}}, pages 259–261BOOK, Developing cultures: case studies, Lawrence Harrison (academic), Lawrence E. Harrison, Peter L. Berger, Routledge, 2006, 158,weblink 9780415952798, 28 March 2019,weblink 28 March 2019, live, However, this time also marked an extended period of religious persecution.BOOK, John F. Richards, John F. Richards, The Mughal Empire,weblink 1995, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-56603-2, 97–101, 27 December 2016,weblink 29 May 2016, live, Two of the religious leaders of Sikhism, Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur were arrested under orders of the Mughal emperors, asked to convert to Islam, and executed when they refused.Pashaura Singh (2005), Understanding the Martyrdom of Guru Arjan {{Webarchive|url= |date=3 March 2016 }}, Journal of Punjab Studies, 12(1), pages 29–62; Quote (p. 29): "most of the Sikh scholars have vehemently presented this event as the first of the long series of religious persecutions that Sikhs suffered at the hands of Mughal authorities.";BOOK, Pashaura Singh, Life and Work of Guru Arjan: History, Memory, and Biography in the Sikh Tradition,weblink 2006, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-567921-2, 23, 217–218, 27 December 2016,weblink 30 March 2017, live, BOOK, Chris Seiple, The Routledge handbook of religion and security, Routledge, New York, 2013, 978-0-415-66744-9, 96, BOOK, Pashaura Singh and Louis Fenech, The Oxford handbook of Sikh studies, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 2014, 978-0-19-969930-8, 236–238, 442–445, Religious taxes on non-Muslims called jizya were imposed. Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh temples were desecrated. However, not all Muslim rulers persecuted non-Muslims. Akbar, a Mughal ruler for example, sought religious tolerance and abolished jizya.BOOK, Annemarie Schimmel, Annemarie Schimmel, Burzine K. Waghmar, The Empire of the Great Mughals: History, Art and Culture,weblink 2004, Reaktion, 978-1-86189-185-3, 35, 115–121, 27 December 2016,weblink 2 January 2017, live, BOOK, Matthew White, Matthew White (historian), 2011, The Great Big Book of Horrible Things, W. W. Norton, 234, 978-0-393-08192-3, The Mughals traditionally had been tolerant of Hinduism ... Aurangzeb, however ... prohibited Hindus from riding horses or litters. He reintroduced the head tax non-Muslims had to pay. Aurangzeb relentlessly destroyed Hindu temples all across India., The Great Big Book of Horrible Things, The Oxford History of India {{Webarchive|url= |date=26 March 2016 }}, Oxford University Press, page 437BOOK, John Bowman, Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture,weblink 2005, Columbia University Press, 978-0-231-50004-3, 282–284, In Aurangzeb's time, almost all of South Asia was claimed by the Mughal Empire.Through Aurangzeb's Islamic Sharia based rule, South Asia reached its zenith, becoming the world's largest economy and biggest manufacturing power, estimated over 25% of world GDP, a value higher than China's and the entire Western Europe's one.The economic developments on South Asia waved the period of proto-industrialization.BOOK, The Ashgate Companion to the History of Textile Workers, 1650–2000, Lex Heerma van Voss, Els Hiemstra-Kuperus, Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk, The Long Globalization and Textile Producers in India, Ashgate Publishing, 2010, 255,weblink After the death of Aurangzeb and the collapse of the Mughal Empire, which marks the beginning of modern India, in the early 18th century, it provided opportunities for the Marathas, Sikhs, Mysoreans and Nawabs of Bengal to exercise control over large regions of the Indian subcontinent.BOOK, A History of State and Religion in India, Ian Copland, Ian Mabbett, Asim Roy, Kate Brittlebank, Adam Bowles, 161, 3, Routledge, 2012, History of Mysore Under Hyder Ali and Tippoo Sultan by Joseph Michaud p. 143Maritime trading between South Asia and European merchants began after the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama returned to Europe. British, French, Portuguese colonial interests struck treaties with these rulers, and established their trading ports. In northwest South Asia, a large region was consolidated into the Sikh Empire by Ranjit Singh.BOOK, J. S. Grewal, J. S. Grewal, 1990, The Sikhs of the Punjab, Cambridge University Press, The New Cambridge History of India, II.3, 99,103, 978-0-521-26884-4, In 1799, a process of unification was started by Ranjit Singh virtually to establish an empire ... Before his death in 1839 Rajit Singh's authority over all the conquered and subordinated territories between the river Satlej and the mountain ranges of Ladakh, Karakoram, Hindukush and Sulaiman was recognized., BOOK, Patwant Singh, Empire of the Sikhs: The Life and Times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh,weblink 2008, Peter Owen, 978-0-7206-1323-0, 113–124, After the defeat of the Nawab of Bengal and Tipu Sultan and his French allies, the British Empire expanded their interests till the Hindu Kush region. In the east, the Bengal region was split into Muslim East Bengal and Hindu West Bengal, by the colonial British empire, in early 1900s, a split that was reversed. However, after the World War II, at the eve of India's independence, the region was split again into East Pakistan and West Bengal. East Pakistan became Bangladesh in 1971.BOOK, Debjani Sengupta, The Partition of Bengal: Fragile Borders and New Identities,weblink 2015, Cambridge University Press, 978-1-316-67387-4, 16–19, BOOK, Bashabi Fraser, Bengal Partition Stories: An Unclosed Chapter,weblink 2008, Anthem, 978-1-84331-299-4, 7–16,


{{further|Geography of India|Geography of Pakistan|Geography of Afghanistan|Geography of Bangladesh|Geography of Bhutan|Geography of Sri Lanka|Geography of Nepal|Geography of the Maldives}}File:Himalaya-formation.gif|thumb|upright|left|The Indian peninsula, and the Himalayas on the northeast, is the result of the collision of the Indian Plate with the Eurasian Plate through tectonic activity between 20 and 50 million years ago.]]According to Saul Cohen, early colonial era strategists treated South Asia with East Asia, but in reality the South Asia region excluding Afghanistan is a distinct geopolitical region separated from other nearby geostrategic realms, one that is geographically diverse.Saul Bernard Cohen, Geopolitics of the world system, pages 304–305, Rowman & Littlefield, 2003, {{ISBN|0-8476-9907-2}} The region is home to a variety of geographical features, such as glaciers, rainforests, valleys, deserts, and grasslands that are typical of much larger continents. It is surrounded by three water bodies{{snd}}the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea{{snd}}and has acutely varied climate zones. The tip of the Indian Peninsula had the highest quality pearls.Xinru, Liu, "The Silk Road in World History" (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 40.


File:Indian subcontinent.JPG|thumb|right|While South Asia had never been a coherent geopolitical region, it has a distinct geographical identity]]The boundaries of South Asia vary based on how the region is defined. South Asia's northern, eastern, and western boundaries vary based on definitions used, while the Indian Ocean is the southern periphery. Most of this region rests on the Indian Plate and is isolated from the rest of Asia by mountain barriers."Asia" > Geology and Geography {{Webarchive|url= |date=23 February 2012 }}. 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 Peninsula) is isolated from the rest of Asia by great mountain barriers.""Asia" > Geologic history – Tectonic framework {{Webarchive|url= |date=1 May 2011 }}. 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 Plate 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."
Much of the region consists of a peninsula in south-central Asia, rather resembling a diamond which is delineated by the Himalayas on the north, the Hindu Kush in the west, and the Arakanese in the east,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 peninsula, hemmed in by the Himalayas on the north, the Hindu Khush in the west and the Arakanese in the east." and which extends southward into the Indian Ocean with the Arabian Sea to the southwest and the Bay of Bengal to the southeast.
According to Robert M. Cutler – a scholar of Political Science at Carleton University, the terms South Asia, Southwest Asia and Central Asia are distinct, but the confusion and disagreements have arisen due to the geopolitical movement to enlarge these regions into Greater South Asia, Greater Southwest Asia and Greater Central Asia. The frontier of Greater South Asia, states Cutler, between 2001–2006 has been geopolitically extended to eastern Iran and western Afghanistan in the west, and in the north to northeastern Iran, northern Afghanistan, and southern Uzbekistan.BOOK, Robert M. Cutler, Mehdi Amineh, The Greater Middle East in Global Politics: Social Science Perspectives on the Changing Geography of the World Politics,weblink 2007, BRILL, 978-90-474-2209-9, xv, 112,

Indian plate

Most of this region is resting on the Indian Plate, the northerly portion of the Indo-Australian Plate, separated from the rest of the Eurasian Plate. The Indian Plate includes most of South Asia, forming 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 Kunlun and Karakoram ranges,Sinvhal, Understanding Earthquake Disasters, page 52, Tata McGraw-Hill Education, 2010, {{ISBN|978-0-07-014456-9}}Harsh K. Gupta, Disaster management, page 85, Universities Press, 2003, {{ISBN|978-81-7371-456-6}} and extending up to but not including Ladakh, Kohistan, the Hindu Kush range and Balochistan.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}}Srikrishna Prapnnachari, Concepts in Frame Design, page 152, Srikrishna Prapnnachari, {{ISBN|978-99929-52-21-4}}A. M. Celâl Şengör, Tectonic evolution of the Tethyan Region, Springer, 1989, {{ISBN|978-0-7923-0067-0}} It may be noted that geophysically the Yarlung Tsangpo River in Tibet is situated at the outside of the border of the regional structure, while the Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan are situated inside that border.Valentin Semenovich Burtman & Peter Hale Molnar, Geological and Geophysical Evidence for Deep Subduction of Continental Crust Beneath the Pamir, page 10, Geological Society of America, 1993, {{ISBN|0-8137-2281-0}}It was once a small continent before colliding with the Eurasian Plate about 50–55 million years ago and giving birth to the Himalayan range and the Tibetan plateau. It is the peninsular region south of the Himalayas and Kuen Lun mountain ranges and east of the Indus River and the Iranian Plateau, extending southward into the Indian Ocean between the Arabian Sea (to the southwest) and the Bay of Bengal (to the southeast).


File:South Asia map of Köppen climate classification.svg|thumb|upright=1.75|right|South Asia's Köppen climate classification mapJOURNAL, Peel, M. C., Finlayson, B. L., McMahon, T. A., 2007, Updated world map of the Köppen–Geiger climate classification, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 5, 1633–1644, 10.5194/hess-11-1633-2007,weblink 1027-5606, 18 November 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 10 February 2017, live, (direct: Final Revised Paper {{Webarchive|url= |date=3 February 2012 }})
is based on native vegetation, temperature, precipitation and their seasonality.
{{columns-list|colwidth=12em|{{legend|#0000FE|(Af) Tropical rainforest}}{{legend|#0077FF|(Am) Tropical monsoon}}{{legend|#46A9FA|(Aw) Tropical savanna, wet & dry}}{{legend|#FE0000|(BWh) Hot desert}}{{legend|#FE9695|(BWk) Cold desert}}{{legend|#F5A301|(BSh) Hot semi arid}}{{legend|#FFDB63|(BSk) Cold semi arid}}{{legend|#FFFF00|(Csa) Mediterranean, dry, hot summer}}{{legend|#C6FF4E|(Cfa) Subtropical, humid}}{{legend|#96FF96|(Cwa) Subtropical, humid summer, dry winter}}{{legend|#63C764|(Cwb) Subtropical highland, dry winter}}{{legend|#FF00FE|(Dsa) Continental, hot summer}}{{legend|#C600C7|(Dsb) Continental, warm summer}}{{legend|#5A77DB|(Dwb) Continental, dry winter}}{{legend|#4C51B5|(Dwc) Continental Subarctic, dry winter}}}}]]The climate of this vast region varies considerably from area to area from tropical monsoon in the south to temperate in the north. The variety is influenced by not only the altitude, but also by factors such as proximity to the sea coast and the seasonal impact of the monsoons. Southern parts are mostly hot in summers and receive rain during monsoon periods. The northern belt of Indo-Gangetic plains also is hot in summer, but cooler in winter. The mountainous north is colder and receives snowfall at higher altitudes of Himalayan ranges.As the Himalayas block the north-Asian bitter cold winds, the temperatures are considerably moderate in the plains down below. For most part, the climate of the region is called the Monsoon climate, which keeps the region humid during summer and dry during winter, and favours the cultivation of jute, tea, rice, and various vegetables in this region.South Asia is largely divided into four broad climate zones:John E. Olive, The Encyclopedia of World Climatology, page 115-117, Springer, 2005, {{ISBN|9781402032646}} Maximum relative humidity of over 80% has been recorded in Khasi and Jaintia Hills and Sri Lanka, while the area adjustment to Pakistan and western India records lower than 20%–30%. Climate of South Asia is largely characterized by monsoons. South Asia depends critically on monsoon rainfall.Peter D. Tyson, Global-Regional Linkages in the Earth System, page 83, Springer, 2002, {{ISBN|9783540424031}} Two monsoon systems exist in the region:Peter D. Tyson, Global-Regional Linkages in the Earth System, page 76, Springer, 2002, {{ISBN|9783540424031}}
  • The summer monsoon: Wind blows from southwest to most of parts of the region. It accounts for 70%–90% of the annual precipitation.
  • The winter monsoon: Wind blows from northeast. Dominant in Sri Lanka and Maldives.
The warmest period of the year precedes the monsoon season (March to mid June). In the summer the low pressures are centered over the Indus-Gangetic Plain and high wind from the Indian Ocean blows towards the center. The monsoons are second coolest season of the year because of high humidity and cloud covering. But, at the beginning of June the jetstreams vanish above the Tibetan Plateau, low pressure over the Indus Valley deepens and the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) moves in. The change is violent. Moderately vigorous monsoon depressions form in the Bay of Bengal and make landfall from June to September.

Land and water area

{{See also|Exclusive economic zone|Indian Ocean}}This list includes dependent territories within their sovereign states (including uninhabited territories), but does not include claims on Antarctica. EEZ+TIA is exclusive economic zone (EEZ) plus total internal area (TIA) which includes land and internal waters.{| class="sortable wikitable" style="text-align: center"!Rank!!Country!!Area!!EEZ!!Shelf!!EEZ+TIA{{IND}}3,287,2632,305,143402,9965,592,406{{PAK}}881,913290,00051,3831,117,911{{AFG}}652,86400652,864{{BAN}}147,57086,39266,438230,390{{NEP}}147,18100147,181{{SRI}}65,610532,61932,453598,229{{BHU}}38,3940038,394{{MDV}}298923,32234,538923,622!colspan=2|Total||5,221,093||4,137,476||587,808||9,300,997 style"background:#ececec;"">

Regional groups of countries{| class"wikitable sortable" style"background:#ececec;"

! Name of country/region, with flag! Area(km2)! Population! Population density(per km2)! Capital or Secretariat! Currency! Countries included! Official languages! Coat of Arms| Core Definition (above) of South Asia 5,220,460 1,726,907,000 330.79| {{n/a}}| {{n/a}}| Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka| {{n/a}}| {{n/a}}UN subregion>UNSD of South Asia 6,778,083 1,702,000,000 270.77| {{n/a}}| {{n/a}}| Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka| {{n/a}}| {{n/a}}South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation>SAARC 4,637,469 1,626,000,000 350.6| Kathmandu| {{n/a}}| Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka| English| {{n/a}}| BBIN 3,499,559 1,465,236,000 418.69| {{n/a}}| {{n/a}}| Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal| {{n/a}}| {{n/a}}| SASEC 3,565,467 1,485,909,931 416.75| {{n/a}}| {{n/a}}| Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives| {{n/a}}| {{n/a}}

Demographics and population projections

The population of South Asia is about 1.749 billion which makes it the most populated region in the world.United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2014). World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision, custom data acquired via website.weblink {{Webarchive|url= |date=4 April 2013 }}
It is socially very mixed, consisting of many language groups and religions, and social practices in one region that are vastly different from those in another.BOOK, Baten, Jörg, A History of the Global Economy. From 1500 to the Present., 2016, Cambridge University Press, 249, 9781107507180,

Largest urban areas

South Asia is home to some of the most populated cities in the world. Dhaka, Delhi, Mumbai and Karachi are four of the world's largest megacities.{|class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align:left"!Rank!City!State/Province!Country!PopulationWEB,weblink Demographia World Urban Areas, Cox, Wendell, January 2015, Demographia, 26 November 2015,weblink 24 June 2013, live, !Area (km2)!Density (/km2)!Classification1DelhiNational Capital Region (India)>National Capital Region{{Country|12,100|Capital region2DhakaDhaka Division>Bangladesh}}20,283,55236043,500|Capital city3MumbaiMaharashtra>India}}20,185,06454632,400|Megacity4KarachiSindh>Pakistan}}20,431,84894523,400|Metropolis5KolkataWest Bengal>{{Country|12,200|Megacity6LahorePunjab, Pakistan>Punjab{{Country|12,700|Megacity7BengaluruKarnataka>India}}10,248,0001,1168,400|Megacity8ChennaiTamil Nadu>India}}9,714,00037525,900|Metropolis9HyderabadTelangana>India}}8,754,00097110,000|Metropolis10AhmedabadGujarat>India}}7,186,00046420,600|Metropolis


(File:South Asian Language Families.jpg|thumb|right|Ethno-linguistic distribution map of South Asia.)There are numerous languages in South Asia. The spoken languages of the region are largely based on geography and shared across religious boundaries, but the written script is sharply divided by religious boundaries. In particular, Muslims of South Asia such as in Afghanistan and Pakistan use the Arabic alphabet and Persian Nastaliq. Till 1971, Muslim Bangladesh (then known as East Pakistan) too mandated only the Nastaliq script, but thereafter has adopted regional scripts and particularly Bengali. Non-Muslims of South Asia, and some Muslims in India, on the other hand use their traditional ancient heritage scripts such as those derived from Brahmi script for Indo-European languages and non-Brahmi scripts for Dravidian languages and others.BOOK, Braj B. Kachru, Yamuna Kachru, S. N. Sridhar, Language in South Asia,weblink 2008, Cambridge University Press, 978-1-139-46550-2, 122–127, 419–423, 27 December 2016,weblink 18 January 2017, live, The Nagari script has been the primus inter pares of the traditional South Asian scripts.BOOK, George Cardona, Dhanesh Jain, 2003, The Indo-Aryan Languages, Routledge, 75–77, 978-0-415-77294-5, The Devanagari script is used for over 120 South Asian languages,Devanagari (Nagari) {{Webarchive|url= |date=2 July 2017 }}, Script Features and Description, SIL International (2013), United States
including Hindi,
Hindi {{Webarchive|url= |date=28 May 2012 }}, Omniglot Encyclopedia of Writing Systems and Languages
Marathi, Nepali, Pali, Konkani, Bodo, Sindhi and Maithili among other languages and dialects, making it one of the most used and adopted writing systems in the world.WEB,weblink Devanagari script, Omniglot, David Templin, 5 April 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 1 April 2015, live, The Devanagari script is also used for classical Sanskrit texts.
The largest spoken language in this region is Hindi, followed by Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati and Punjabi. In the modern era, new syncretic languages developed in the region such as Urdu that is used by Muslim community of northern south Asia (particularly Pakistan and northern states of India).Shamsur Rahman Faruqi (2008), Urdu Literary Culture: The Syncretic Tradition {{Webarchive|url= |date=26 October 2012 }}, Shibli Academy, Azamgarh
The Punjabi language spans three religions: Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism. The spoken language is similar, but it is written in three scripts. The Sikh use Gurmukhi alphabet, Muslim Punjabis in Pakistan use the Nastaliq script, while Hindu Punjabis in India use the Gurmukhi or Nāgarī script. The Gurmukhi and Nagari scripts are distinct but close in their structure, but the Persian Nastaliq script is very different.BOOK, Peter T. Daniels, William Bright, The World's Writing Systems,weblink 1996, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-507993-7, 395,
English, with British spelling, is commonly used in urban areas and is a major economic lingua franca of South Asia.BOOK, Braj B. Kachru, Yamuna Kachru, S. N. Sridhar, Language in South Asia,weblink 2008, Cambridge University Press, 978-1-139-46550-2, 391–394, 27 December 2016,weblink 18 January 2017, live,


File:Prevailing world religions map.png|thumb|upright=1.25|A map of major denominations and religions of the world ]]In 2010, South Asia had the world's largest population of Hindus, Jains and Sikhs, about 510 million Muslims, as well as over 25 million Buddhists and 35 million Christians. Hindus make up about 68 percent or about 900 million and Muslims at 31 percent or 510 million of the overall South Asia population,WEB,weblink Region: South Asia, 1 January 2017, 2011-01-27,weblink" title="">weblink 29 December 2016, live, while Buddhists, Jains, Christians and Sikhs constitute most of the rest. The Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs and Christians are concentrated in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, while the Muslims are concentrated in Afghanistan (99%), Bangladesh (90%), Pakistan (96%) and Maldives (100%).Indian religions are the religions that originated in the India; namely Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism.Adams, C. J., Classification of religions: Geographical {{Webarchive|url= |date=14 December 2007 }}, Encyclopædia Britannica, 2007. Accessed: 15 July 2010; Quote: "Indian religions, including early Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism, and sometimes also Theravāda Buddhism and the Hindu- and Buddhist-inspired religions of South and Southeast Asia". The Indian religions are distinct yet share terminology, concepts, goals and ideas, and from South Asia spread into East Asia and southeast Asia. Early Christianity and Islam were introduced into coastal regions of South Asia by merchants who settled among the local populations. Later Sindh, Balochistan, and parts of the Punjab region saw conquest by the Arab caliphates along with an influx of Muslims from Persia and Central Asia, which resulted in spread of both Shia and Sunni Islam in parts of northwestern region of South Asia. Subsequently, under the influence of Muslim rulers of the Islamic sultanates and the Mughal Empire, Islam spread in South Asia.Alberts, Irving, T., . D. R. M. (2013). Intercultural Exchange in Southeast Asia: History and Society in the Early Modern World (International Library of Historical Studies). I.B. Tauris.BOOK, Lisa Balabanlilar, Imperial Identity in Mughal Empire: Memory and Dynastic Politics in Early Modern Central Asia,weblink 2012, I.B. Tauris, 978-1-84885-726-1, 1–2, 7–10, 27 December 2016,weblink 10 June 2016, live, About one-third of the Muslims are from South Asia.BOOK,weblink South Asian Religions: Tradition and Today, Pechilis, Karen, Raj, Selva J., 1 January 2013, Routledge, 9780415448512, en, WEB,weblink 10 Countries With the Largest Muslim Populations, 2010 and 2050, 2 April 2015, Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project, 7 February 2017,weblink" title="">weblink 7 February 2017, live, NEWS,weblink How South Asia Will Save Global Islam, Diplomat, Akhilesh Pillalamarri, The, The Diplomat, 7 February 2017, en-US,weblink" title="">weblink 8 February 2017, live, {{Further|Religion in Afghanistan|Religion in Bangladesh|Religion in Bhutan|Religion in India|Religion in Nepal|Religion in Pakistan|Religion in Sri Lanka}}{| class="wikitable sortable"! rowspan = "2" | Country! rowspan = "2" | State religion! colspan = "9" | Religious population as a percentage of total population! Ahmadiyya! Budhhism! Christianity by country! Hinduism! Islam! Kiratism! Sikhism by country! Others! Year reportedAFG}} Afghanistan| Islam| -| -| -| -Islam in Afghanistan>99.7%| -| -| 0.3%PUBLISHER=CIA ARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20170920072213/HTTPS://WWW.CIA.GOV/LIBRARY/PUBLICATIONS/THE-WORLD-FACTBOOK/GEOS/AF.HTML#PEOPLE URL-STATUS=LIVE, BGD}} Bangladesh| IslamAhmadiyya in Bangladesh>0.06%Buddhism in Bangladesh>0.6%Christianity in Bangladesh>0.4%Hinduism in Bangladesh>9.5%Islam in Bangladesh>89.5%| -Sikhism in Bangladesh>~0.0%| -LANGUAGE=BN PUBLISHER=US DEPARTMENT OF STATES ACCESS-DATE=16 OCTOBER 2019, BHU}} Bhutan| Budhhism| -Buddhism in Bhutan>74.8%Christianity in Bhutan>0.5%Hinduism in Bhutan>22.6%Islam in Bhutan>0.1%| -| -| 2%PUBLISHER=CIA ARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20101228202246/HTTPS://WWW.CIA.GOV/LIBRARY/PUBLICATIONS/THE-WORLD-FACTBOOK/GEOS/BT.HTML URL-STATUS=LIVE, Pew Research Center – Global Religious Landscape 2010 – religious composition by country {{Webarchiveweblink >date=13 December 2016 }}.IND}} India| None| -Buddhism in India>0.7%Christianity in India>2.3%Hinduism in India>79.8%Islam in India>14.2%| -Sikhism in India>1.7%| 1.3%PUBLISHER=OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR GENERAL & CENSUS COMMISSIONER URL-STATUS=DEAD ARCHIVEDATE=25 AUGUST 2015, Ahmadiyyas are considered a sect of Islam in India. Other minorities are 0.4 Jains and 0.23% irreligious population.Maldives}} Maldives| Sunni Islam| -| -| -| -Islam in Maldives>100%| -| -| -PUBLISHER=MALDIVES ARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20070928220750/HTTP://WWW.THEMALDIVES.COM/MALDIVES/MALDIVES_RELIGION.HTM URL-STATUS=LIVE, HTTP://WWW.LAW.EMORY.EDU/IFL/LEGAL/MALDIVES.HTM >TITLE=MALDIVES DATE=1920-02-21 ARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20130211221153/HTTP://WWW.LAW.EMORY.EDU/IFL/LEGAL/MALDIVES.HTM URL-STATUS=LIVE, Maldives – Religion {{Webarchive|url= |date=7 December 2010 }}, countrystudies.usNEP}} Nepal| None| -Buddhism in Nepal>9%Christianity in Nepal>1.3%Hinduism in Nepal>81.3%Islam in Nepal>4.4%| 3%| -| 0.8%PUBLISHER=CENTRAL BUREAU OF STATISTICSPAGE=23ACCESSDATE=16 OCTOBER 2019, PAK}} Pakistan| IslamAhmadiyya in Pakistan>0.22%| -Christianity in Pakistan>1.59%Hinduism in Pakistan>1.85%Islam in Pakistan>96.28%| -| -| 0.07%DATE=URL=HTTP://WWW.PBS.GOV.PK/SITES/DEFAULT/FILES//TABLES/POPULATION%20BY%20RELIGION.PDFVOLUME=VIA=, Sri Lanka}} Sri Lanka| None| -Buddhism in Sri Lanka>70.2%Christianity in Sri Lanka>6.2%Hinduism in Sri Lanka>12.6%Islam in Sri Lanka>9.7%| -| -| 1.4%PUBLISHER=DEPARTMENT OF CENSUS AND STATISTIC, 16 October 2019,

Population projections

{{See also|List of countries by past and future population|Demographic Transition}}Population of South Asian countries in 1950, 1975, 2000, 2025, 2050, 2075 and 2100 projection from the United Nations has been displayed in table. The given population projections are based on medium fertility index. With India and Bangladesh approaching replacement rates fast, population growth in South Asia is facing steep decline and may turn negative in mid 21st century.{| class="sortable wikitable" style="text-align: center"!rowspan="2"|Rank!!rowspan="2"|Country!!colspan="7"|Population (in thousands)!1950!!1975!!2000!!2025!!2050!!2075!!2100{{IND}}376,325623,1031,056,5761,445,0121,639,1761,609,0411,450,421{{PAK}}37,54266,817142,344242,234338,013394,265403,103{{BAN}}37,89570,066127,658170,937192,568181,282151,393{{AFG}}7,75212,68920,78043,53264,68376,19974,938{{NEP}}8,48313,42023,94131,75735,32431,81823,708{{SRI}}7,97113,75518,77821,78021,81419,19415,275{{BHU}}177348591811905845686{{MDV}}74136279522586564490!colspan=2|Total||476,220||800,335||1,390,946||1,958,046||2,293,069||2,313,27||2,120,014


{{Further|Economy of Afghanistan|Economy of Bangladesh|Economy of India|Economy of Nepal|Economy of Pakistan|Economy of Sri Lanka}}File:SAARC.PNG|thumb|right|upright=1.25|Countries under the South Asian Free Trade AreaSouth Asian Free Trade AreaIndia is the largest and fastest growing economy in the region (US$2.957 trillion) and makes up almost 80% of the South Asian economy; it is the world's 6th largest in nominal terms and 3rd largest by purchasing power adjusted exchange rates (US$10.385 trillion).WEB,weblink Report for Selected Countries and Subjects, IMF,, Outlook Database, October 2018 India is the only member of powerful G-20 major economies and BRICS from the region. It is the fastest growing major economy in the world and one of the world's fastest registering a growth of 7.3% in FY 2014–15.Followed by Bangladesh, which has a GDP of ($314.656 billion) and a GDP per capita of $1888 which is 4th in the region. It has the fastest GDP growth rate in Asia. It is one of the emerging and growth-leading economies of the world and It is also listed among the Next Eleven countries. It is also one of the fastest growing middle-income countries. It has the world's 39th largest GDP in nominal terms and is the 29th largest by purchasing power adjusted exchange rates ($829.272 billion). Bangladesh's economic growth crossed 7% in fiscal 2015–2016 after almost a decade in the region of 6%, It's expected to grow by 8.13% in 2019–2020.Followed by Pakistan, It has an economy of ($314 billion) and ranks 5th in GDP per capita in the region.WEB,weblink Welcome to WorldBank Group, World Bank, 2010-08-23,weblink 16 July 2012, live, Then by Sri Lanka which has the 2nd highest per capita and is the 4th largest economy in the region. According to a World Bank report in 2015, driven by a strong expansion in India, coupled with favorable oil prices, from the last quarter of 2014 South Asia become the fastest-growing region in the worldWEB,weblink South Asia, now the fastest-growing region in the world, could take greater advantage of cheap oil to reform energy pricing, 16 April 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 17 April 2015, live, The Major Market stock exchanges in the region are Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) with market Capitalization of $2.298 trillion (11th largest in the world), National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) with market capitalization of $2.273 trillion (12th largest in the world), Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) and Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) with market capitalization of $72 billion.WEB,weblink Company Profile, Pakistan Stock Exchange, 30 June 2018,weblink 30 June 2018, live, Economic data is sourced from the International Monetary Fund, current as of April 2017, and is given in US dollars.WEB,weblink Report for Selected Countries and Subjects,, 7 November 2017,weblink" title="">weblink 10 October 2017, live, {| class="wikitable sortable" style="background:#ececec;"!Country!Currency!Population(2016)WEB,weblink Country Comparison :: Population, CIA, July 2012, 2 September 2012,weblink 27 September 2011, live, !Nominal GDP(2017)!GDP per capita(2017)!GDP growth(2017)WEB,weblink World Economic Outlook (April 2017) – Real GDP growth, IMF, 2017-08-26,weblink" title="">weblink 26 August 2017, live, !Inflation(2017)WEB,weblink World Economic Outlook (April 2017) – Inflation rate, average consumer prices, IMF, 2017-08-26,weblink" title="">weblink 26 August 2017, live, Afghanistan }}؋ Afghan afghani>AfghaniAfghanistan}}|$21.657 billion|$601|3%|6%Bangladesh}}৳ Bangladeshi taka>Bangladeshi TakaBangladesh}}|$314.656 billion|$1,888|7.7%|5.44%Bhutan}}Nu. Bhutanese ngultrum>NgultrumBhutan}}|$2.31 billion|$3,215|5.9%|4.1%India}}₹ Indian rupee>Indian RupeeIndia}}|$2.971 trillion|$2,198|7.0%|4.8%Maldives}}ރ Maldivian rufiyaa>RufiyaaMaldives}}|$4.825 billion|$14,501|4.1%|2.5%Nepal}}रु Nepalese rupee>RupeeNepal}}|$27 billion|$919|7.7%|6.2%Pakistan}}₨ Pakistani rupee>Pakistani RupeePakistan}}|$278.019 billion|$1,357|5.2%|4.3%Sri Lanka}}රු/ரூ Sri Lankan rupee>RupeeSri Lanka}}|$92.504 billion|$4,265|3.0%|5.8%">

Health and nutrition{| class"wikitable"

! colspan="2"|!Afghanistan|| Bangladesh|| Bhutan || India || Maldives || Nepal || Pakistan || Sri Lanka Population undernourished (2015)HTTP://WWW.FAO.ORG/3/A-I4624E.PDF>TITLE=UNARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20150924011158/HTTP://WWW.FAO.ORG/3/A-I4624E.PDFURL-STATUS=LIVE, | 22%Population below poverty line (CIA Factbook)HTTPS://WWW.CIA.GOV/LIBRARY/PUBLICATIONS/THE-WORLD-FACTBOOK/FIELDS/2046.HTML>TITLE=THE WORLD FACTBOOK — CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCYACCESS-DATE=23 AUGUST 2016ARCHIVE-DATE=9 NOVEMBER 2015, live, | 8.9%According to WHO, South Asia is home to two out of the three countries in the world still affected by polio, Pakistan and Afghanistan, with 306 & 28 polio cases registered in 2014 respectively.WEB,weblink GPEI, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 July 2015, Attempts to eradicate polio have been badly hit by opposition from militants in both countries, who say the program is cover to spy on their operations. Their attacks on immunization teams have claimed 78 lives since December 2012.NEWS,weblink Lost — The battle against polio, Haider, Sajjad, Khan, Shameen, Dawn, 31 December 2014, 4 June 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 5 June 2015, live, According to the World Bank's 2011 report, based on 2005 ICP PPP, about 24.6% of the South Asian population falls below the international poverty line of $1.25/day.WEB,weblink Poverty & Equity Data Portal,, 6 June 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 15 February 2015, live, Afghanistan and Bangladesh rank the highest, with 30.6% and 43.3% of their respective populations below the poverty line. Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka have the lowest number of people below the poverty line, with 2.4%, 1.5% and 4.1% respectively. India has lifted the most people in the region above the poverty line between 2008 and 2011, around 140 million. As of 2011, 21.9% of India's population lives below the poverty line, compared to 41.6% in 2005.NEWS,weblink The World Bank on India’s poverty, Manas, Chakravarty, Live Mint, 13 October 2014, 6 June 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 23 June 2015, live, WEB,weblink India – Data,, 6 June 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 19 June 2015, live, The World Bank estimates that India is one of the highest ranking countries in the world for the number of children suffering from malnutrition. The prevalence of underweight children in India is among the highest in the world, and is nearly double that of Sub Saharan Africa with dire consequences for mobility, mortality, productivity and economic growth.WEB,weblink World Bank Report, 2009-03-13, The World Bank, 2009, World Bank Report on Malnutrition in India,weblink" title="">weblink 18 December 2008, live, According to the World Bank, 70% of the South Asian population and about 75% of South Asia's poor live in rural areas and most rely on agriculture for their livelihoodWEB,weblink Agriculture in South Asia, World Bank, 21 February 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 6 July 2008, live, according to the UN's Food and Agricultural Organisation. In 2015, approximately 281 million people in the region were malnourished. The report says that Nepal reached both the WFS target as well as MDG and is moving towards bringing down the number of undernourished people to less than 5% of the population. Bangladesh reached the MDG target with the National Food Policy framework{{snd}}with only 16.5% of the population undernourished. In India, the malnourished comprise just over 15 percent of the population. While the number of malnourished people in neighborhood has shown a decline over the last 25 years, the number of under-nourished in Pakistan displays an upward trend. There were 28.7 million hungry in Pakistan in the 1990s{{snd}}a number that has steadily increased to 41.3 million in 2015 with 22% of the population malnourished. Approximately 194.6 million people are undernourished in India, which accounts for the highest number of people suffering from hunger in any single country.NEWS,weblink India home to world's largest number of hungry people: report, Dawn, 29 May 2015, 4 June 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 4 June 2015, live, The 2006 report stated "the low status of women in South Asian countries and their lack of nutritional knowledge are important determinants of high prevalence of underweight children in the region". Corruption and the lack of initiative on the part of the government has been one of the major problems associated with nutrition in India. Illiteracy in villages has been found to be one of the major issues that need more government attention. The report mentioned that although there has been a reduction in malnutrition due to the Green Revolution in South Asia, there is concern that South Asia has "inadequate feeding and caring practices for young children".NEWS,weblink 'Hunger critical' in South Asia, BBC News, 2006-10-13, 2010-01-04, Geeta, Pandey,weblink" title="">weblink 12 January 2009, live,

General statistical data

Below is the latest general statistical data for South Asian nations. Their total population, area and GDPs have been cited along with their shares of percentage of this attribute of total South Asia in bracket. Republic of India accounts for most of landmass, population and GDP and hence, heavily influences average of South Asian development attributes. Sri Lanka and Maldives are leaders in the region in terms of Human Development Index and GDP per capita while Afghanistan scores lowest in terms of both the attributes in the region.{| class="wikitable sortable" style="background:#ececec;"!CountryWEB,weblink Field Listing :: Names, CIA, 28 July 2011,weblink 1 July 2017, live, WEB,weblink UNGEGN List of Country Names, United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names, 2007, 28 July 2011,weblink" title="">weblink 28 July 2011, live, WEB,weblink List of countries, territories and currencies, Europa, 9 August 2011, 10 August 2011,weblink" title="">weblink 7 August 2011, live, ! CapitalWEB,weblink Field Listing :: Capital, CIA, 3 August 2011,weblink 29 June 2011, live, WEB,weblink UNGEGN World Geographical Names, United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names, 29 July 2011, 3 August 2011,weblink" title="">weblink 1 August 2011, live, !Area(km2) (%Share)WEB,weblink Field Listing :: Area, CIA, 7 August 2011,weblink 28 July 2012, live, !Population in thousands(2019) (%Share)WEB, World Population prospects – Population division,weblink 16 July 2019, United Nations,weblink 5 February 2019, live, WEB, Overall total population,weblink xlsx, 16 July 2019, United Nations, !Density(per km2)!Nominal GDP (in millions) (2019) (%Share)WEB,weblink World Economic Outlook (April 2017) – Nominal GDP, IMF, 2017-08-26,weblink" title="">weblink 14 June 2018, live, WEB, World Economic Outlook (April 2019) – GDP, current prices – IMF,weblink 16 July 2019, International Monetary Fund,weblink 22 July 2019, live, WEB, "World Economic League Table 2019",weblink 16 July 2019,weblink 22 June 2019, live, !GDP per capita(2019)WEB,weblink World Economic Outlook (April 2017) – Nominal GDP per capita, IMF, 2017-08-26,weblink" title="">weblink 12 July 2018, live, !GDP (PPP) (in millions) (2019) (%Share)!GDP (PPP) per capita (2019)!HDI(2017)WEB,weblink {{!, Human Development Reports||access-date=2017-08-26|archive-url=|archive-date=1 September 2017|url-status=live}}{{Country>Afghanistan}}|Kabul|652,230 (12.7%)|38,042 (2.07%)|58.3$19,990 (0.54%)|$577$76,714 (0.55%)|$2,101|{{Increase}}0.498 (low){{Country>Bangladesh}}|Dhaka|147,570 (2.87%)|163,046 (8.88%)|1,104.9$314,656 (8.49%)|$1,925$829,270 (5.92%)|$4,992|{{Increase}}0.608 (medium){{Country>Bhutan}}|Thimphu|38,394 (0.75%)|763 (0.04%)|19.8$2,840 (0.07%)|$3,672$9,310 (0.066%)|$10,193|{{Increase}}0.612 (medium){{Country>India}}|New Delhi|3,287,263 (64.02%)|1,366,418 (74.45%)|415.6$2,971,996 (80.19%)|$2,198$11436,697 (81.68%)|$8,484|{{Increase}}0.640 (medium){{Country>Maldives}}|Malé|298 (0.006%)|531 (0.03%)|1,781.8$5,749 (0.16%)|$13,875$6,708 (0.048%)|$21,320|{{Increase}}0.717 (high){{Country>Nepal}}|Kathmandu|147,181 (2.87%)|28,609 (1.56%)|194.3$28,922 (0.78%)|$934$87,472 (0.62%)|$2,984|{{Increase}}0.574 (medium){{Country>Pakistan}}|Islamabad|796,095 (15.5%)|216,565 (11.8%)|245.8$278,019 (7.74%)|$1,357$1,235,663 (8.82%)|$5,839|{{Increase}}0.562 (medium){{Country>Sri Lanka}}|Colombo|65,610 (1.28%)|21,324 (1.62%)|325$84,164 (2.27%)|$4,336$319,791 (2.28%)|$14,680|{{Increase}}0.770 (high)!colspan=2|South Asia||5,134,641 (100%)||1,835,297 (100%)||357.4||$3,706,337 (100%)||$2,019||$14,001, 625 (100%)||$7,629||{{Increase}}0.638 (medium)

Governance and politics

Systems of government

{{See also|List of legislatures in South Asia|List of countries by system of government}}{| class="wikitable sortable" style="background:#ececec;"! Country! Capital! Forms of government! Head of state! Head of government! Legislature! Official language! width=90px | Coat of arms / National Emblems {{Country|Afghanistan}}| KabulUnitary state>Unitary presidential Islamic republicPresidentHouse of Elders (Afghanistan)>House of Elders,House of the PeoplePashto, Dari language>Dari (File:Emblem of Afghanistan.svgEmblem of Afghanistan) {{Country|Bangladesh}}| DhakaUnitary state>Unitary Parliamentary system Republic>constitutional republicPresident of Bangladesh>PresidentPrime Minister of Bangladesh>Prime Minister| Jatiya SangsadBengali language>Bengali, English (File:Coat of arms of Bangladesh.svgCoat of arms of Bangladesh)Bhutan}}| ThimphuUnitary state>Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchyDruk Gyalpo>KingList of Prime Ministers of Bhutan>Prime MinisterNational Council (Bhutan)>National Council,National AssemblyDzongkha language>Dzongkha (File:Bhutan emblem.svgEmblem of Bhutan)India}}| New DelhiFederal republic>Federal parliamentary constitutional republicPresident of India>PresidentPrime Minister of India>Prime Minister| Rajya Sabha,Lok Sabha| Hindi, English (File:Emblem of India.svgEmblem of India)Maldives}}| MaléUnitary state>Unitary presidential constitutional republicPresident| People's MajlisMaldivian language>Maldivian (File:Emblem of Maldives.svgEmblem of Maldives)Nepal}}| KathmanduFederal republic>Federal parliamentary constitutional republicPresident of Nepal>PresidentList of Prime Ministers of Nepal>Prime MinisterNational Assembly (Nepal)>National Assembly,House of RepresentativesNepali language>Nepali (File:Emblem of Nepal.svgCoat of arms of Nepal)Pakistan}}| IslamabadFederal republic>Federal parliamentary Islamic republicPresident of Pakistan>PresidentPrime Minister of Pakistan>Prime MinisterSenate of Pakistan>Senate,National Assembly| Urdu, English (File:Coat of arms of Pakistan.svgCoat of arms of Pakistan)Sri Lanka}}| ColomboUnitary state>Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republicPresident of Sri Lanka>PresidentPrime Minister of Sri Lanka>Prime MinisterParliament of Sri Lanka>ParliamentSinhala language>Sinhala, Tamil, English (File:Coat of arms of Sri Lanka.svgCoat of arms of Sri Lanka)
Countries and territories from extended definitions{| class="wikitable sortable" style="background:#ececec;"
! Country or region! Capital! Administrative division type! Head of government! Area (km2)! Population! Official language! width=90px | Coat of armsBritish Indian Ocean Territory}} British Indian Ocean Territory| Diego Garcia| British Overseas TerritoryCommissioner for the British Indian Ocean Territory>Commissioner|54,400|2,500| English (File:Coat of arms of the British Indian Ocean Territory (Shield).svg|50px)Myanmar}}| NaypyidawUnitary state>Unitary Parliamentary system Republic>constitutional republicState Counsellor of Myanmar>State Counsellor|676,578|51,486,253Burmese language>Burmese (File:State seal of Myanmar.svg|50px)China}} Tibet Autonomous Region| Lhasa| Autonomous Region of ChinaList of modern political leaders of Tibet#TAR Government Chairmen>Chairman|1,228,400|3,180,000Standard Tibetan>Tibetan, Mandarin (File:National Emblem of the People's Republic of China.svg|50px)India is a secular federative parliamentary republic with premier as head of government. With most populous functional democracy in worldWEB,weblink India: world's largest democracy, BBC Learning Zone Class Clips,weblink" title="">weblink 2011-01-14, and world's longest written constitutionNEWS,weblink Celebrate the supreme law, Krithika, R., 21 January 2016, The Hindu, 24 July 2018, N. Ram, 0971-751X, 13119119, BOOK, India's Constitution, Pylee, Moolamattom Varkey, R. Chand & Company, 1994, 978-8121904032, 5th rev. and enl., New Delhi, 3, 35022507, NEWS,weblink Which country has the world's shortest written constitution?, Nix, Elizabeth, 9 August 2016, History (U.S. TV network), History, 24 July 2018, A&E Networks, , India has been stably sustaining the political system it adopted in 1950 with no regime change except that by a democratic election. India's sustained democratic freedoms are unique among the world's newer establishments. Since the formation of its republic abolishing British law, it has remained a democracy with civil liberties, an active Supreme Court, and a largely independent press.{{sfn|Metcalf|Metcalf|2006|p = 304}} India leads region in democracy index. It has a multi-party system in its internal regional politics{{sfn|Burnell|Calvert|1999|p = 125}} whereas alternative transfer of powers to alliances of Indian left-wing and right-wing political parties in national government provide it with characteristics of a two-party state.WEB, Political Parties in India,weblink, 7 August 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 7 July 2015, India has been facing notable internal religious conflicts and separatism however consistently becoming more and more stable with time.Foundation of Pakistan lies in Pakistan movement started in colonial India based on Islamic nationalism. Pakistan is a federal parliamentary Islamic republic and was world's first country to adopt Islamic republic system to modify its republican status under its otherwise secular constitution in 1956. Pakistan's governance is one of the most conflicted in the world. The military rule and the unstable government in Pakistan has become a concern for the South Asian region. Out of 22 appointed Pakistani Prime ministers, none has been able to complete a full term in office.WEB, No One Has Ever Completed a Term as Pakistan’s PM,weblink July 25, 2018, October 18, 2019, Foreign Policy,, The nature of Pakistani politics can be characterized as a multi-party system.Bangladesh is a unitary parliamentary republic. Law of Bangladesh defines it as both IslamicWEB,weblink 2A. The state religion, 18 March 2015, as well as secular.WEB,weblink 12., The nature of Bangladeshi politics can be characterized as a multi-party system.Afghanistan has been a unitary presidential Islamic republic since 2004. Afghanistan has been suffering from one of most unstable regimes on earth as a result of multiple foreign invasions, civil wars, revolutions and terrorist groups. Persisting instability for decades have left country's economy stagnated and torn and Afghanistan remains one of most poor and least developed countries on planet.The unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic of Sri Lanka is oldest sustained democracy in Asia. Tensions between Sinhalese and Tamils led to Sri Lankan civil war that undermined country's stability for more than two and a half decade.NEWS, LTTE defeated; Sri Lanka liberated from terror, 18 May 2009,weblink Ministry of Defence, 19 October 2019, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 21 May 2009, dmy, Sri Lanka however, has been leading region in HDI with per capita GDP well ahead of India and Bangladesh. Nepal was last Hindu state in world before becoming a secular democratic republic in 2008. The country has been ranked among world's poorest in terms of GDP per capita but has made considerable progress in development indicators outpacing many other South Asian states. Bhutan is a Buddhist state with a constitutional monarchy. The country has been ranked as least corrupt and peaceful with most economic freedom in the region in 2016. Myanmar's politics is dominated by a military Junta, which has sidelined the democratic forces led by Aung San Suu Kyi. Maldives is a unitary presidential republic day with Sunni Islam strictly as state religion.

Regional politics

India,WEB,weblink The EU's External Relations,, 2010-08-23, WEB, Vikram Aditya,weblink Foreign Policy: Seizing The Initiative And Maintaining The Momentum, 26 May 2014, The Indian Republic, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2014-06-06, WEB, Gautam Mukherjee,weblink Why invitation to SAARC countries is Modi’s masterstroke, 27 May 2014, Niti Central, 2014-06-06, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 7 June 2014, Pakistan,BOOK, Barry Buzan, The United States and the great powers: world politics in the twenty-first century,weblink 27 December 2011, 2004, Polity, 978-0-7456-3374-9, 71, 99,weblink" title="">weblink 21 May 2013, live, WEB, Hussein Solomon, South African Foreign Policy and Middle Power Leadership,weblink 27 December 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 24 June 2002, and Bangladesh are the dominant political powers in the region. India is by far the largest country in the area covering around three-fourths the land area of the South Asian region.{{citation needed|date=October 2013}} India has the largest population of around three times the combined population of the 6 other countries in the region.WEB,weblink Area and Population of Countries (mid-2006 estimates), Infoplease, 2010-08-23,weblink" title="">weblink 17 January 2009, live, India is also the world's largest democracy which exceeds to the whole Pakistan's Federal budget of $42 billion for 2018-19 greatly.NEWS, Here is all you want to know about Budget 2018-19,weblink 9 September 2018, The News International, 28 April 2018, Bangladesh is a unitary state and parliamentary democracy.WEB, The world factbook-Bangladesh,weblink CIA, 6 June 2014,weblink 20 July 2015, live,
Bangladesh also stands out as one of the few Muslim-majority democracies. "It is a moderate and generally secular and tolerant — though sometimes this is getting stretched at the moment — alternative to violent extremism in a very troubled part of the world", said Dan Mozena, the U.S. ambassador to Bangladesh. Although Bangladesh's legal code is secular, more citizens are embracing a conservative version of Islam, with some pushing for sharia law, analysts say. Experts say that the rise in conservatism reflects the influence of foreign-financed Islamic charities and the more austere version of Islam brought home by migrant workers in Persian Gulf countries.NEWS, Gowen, Annie, Bangladesh's political unrest threatens economic gains, democracy,weblink The Washington Post, 6 June 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 2 July 2014, live,
Diplomacy among the countries of South Asia has been mainly driven by populist politics, with the centre-stage taken by India-Pakistan conflict ever since their independence in 1947, and then the creation of Bangladesh under tense circumstances in 1971. During the height of Cold war, the elite political leaders of Pakistan aligned with the US, while India played crucial role in forming the Non-Aligned Movement and while maintaining goodwill relations with the USSR.Pakistan's governance is one of the most conflicted in the region. The military rule and the unstable government in Pakistan has become a concern for the South Asian region. In Nepal, the governance has struggled to come in the side of democracy and it only showed signs in the recent past, basically in the 21st century, to support the democratic system. The political situation in Sri Lanka has been dominated by an increasingly assertive Sinhalese nationalism, and the emergence of a Tamil separatist movement under LTTE, which was suppressed in May 2009. Myanmar's politics is dominated by a military Junta, which has sidelined the democratic forces led by Aung San Suu Kyi.{| class="wikitable"|+ Governance and education index rankings of South Asian countries! colspan="2"|!Afghanistan|| Bangladesh|| Bhutan || India || Maldives || Nepal || Pakistan || Sri Lanka Inequality-adjusted HDI (2016)HTTP://HDR.UNDP.ORG/EN/COMPOSITE/IHDI>TITLE={{!, Human Development Reportsaccess-date=2017-08-26weblink>archive-date=29 January 2016|url-status=live}} (global ranking of 187)| 65 Corruption Perception Index (2016)HTTPS://WWW.TRANSPARENCY.ORG/NEWS/FEATURE/CORRUPTION_PERCEPTIONS_INDEX_2016>TITLE=CORRUPTION PERCEPTIONS INDEX 2016FIRST=TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONALACCESS-DATE=2017-08-26ARCHIVE-DATE=25 JANUARY 2017, live, (global ranking of 168)| 95 The Worldwide GovernanceIndicators (2015)HTTP://INFO.WORLDBANK.ORG/GOVERNANCE/WGI/#REPORTS>TITLE=WORLDWIDE GOVERNANCE INDICATORSWEBSITE=WORLD BANKARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20140705084108/HTTP://INFO.WORLDBANK.ORG/GOVERNANCE/WGI/#REPORTSURL-STATUS=LIVE, | Government Effectiveness| 53%| Political stability and absenceof violence/terrorism| 47%| Rule of law| 60%| Voice and accountability| 36%List of countries by percentage of population living in poverty (2011)HTTP://DATA.WORLDBANK.ORG/INDICATOR/SI.POV.NAHC?LOCATIONS=CO&VIEW=MAP&YEAR_HIGH_DESC=TRUEwebsite=data.worldbank.orgarchive-url=}}| 8.9%Primary School EnrollmentHTTP://DATA.WORLDBANK.ORG/INDICATOR/SE.PRM.NENR>TITLE=SCHOOL ENROLLMENT, PRIMARY (% NET) {{!, Dataaccess-date=2017-08-26weblink>archive-date=1 July 2015|url-status=live}}|98%Secondary School EnrollmentHTTP://DATA.WORLDBANK.ORG/INDICATOR/SE.SEC.ENRR/COUNTRIES>TITLE=GROSS ENROLMENT RATIO, SECONDARY, BOTH SEXES (%) – DATAACCESS-DATE=3 JUNE 2015ARCHIVE-DATE=16 MAY 2015, live, |96%

See also







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External links

{{Commons}} {{-}}{{Geographic location|Centre = South Asia|North = Central Asia, East Asia|Northeast = East Asia|East = South East Asia|Southeast = Bay of BengalIndian Ocean|South = Indian Ocean|Southwest = Arabian Sea|West = Middle East|Northwest = Central AsiaMiddle East}}{{Regions of Asia}}{{GeoSouthAsia}}{{Authority control}}

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