The INDIAN SUBCONTINENT or the SUBCONTINENT, also called the INDIAN CONTINENT, is a southern region of Asia , mostly situated on the Indian Plate and projecting southwards into the Indian Ocean from the Himalayas . Geologically , the Indian subcontinent is related to the land mass that rifted from Gondwana and merged with the Eurasian plate nearly 55 million years ago. Geographically , it is the peninsular region in south-central Asia delineated by the Himalayas in the north, the Hindu Kush in the west, and the Arakanese in the east. Politically, the Indian subcontinent usually includes Bangladesh , Bhutan , India , Maldives , Nepal , Pakistan and Sri Lanka .
Sometimes, the term South Asia is used interchangeably with Indian subcontinent. There is no consensus about which countries should be included in each.
* 1 Etymology * 2 Nomenclature
* 3 Definition
* 3.1 Geology * 3.2 Politics * 3.3 Disagreements
* 4 See also * 5 References
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". It is first attested in 1845 to refer to the North and South Americas , before they were regarded as separate continents. Its use to refer to the Indian subcontinent is seen from the early twentieth century. It was especially convenient for referring to the region comprising both British India and the princely states under British Paramountcy .
The term Indian subcontinent also has a geological significance. It was, like the various continents, a part of the supercontinent of Gondwana . A series of tectonic splits caused formation of various basins, each drifting in various directions. The geological region called "Greater India" once included Madagascar , Seychelles , Antarctica and Austrolasia along with the Indian subcontinent basin. As a geological term, Indian subcontinent has meant that region formed from the collision of the Indian basin with Eurasia nearly 55 million years ago, towards the end of Paleocene .
Main article: South Asia
Indian subcontinent has been a term particularly common in the
British Empire and its successors. The region, state Mittal and
Thursby, has also been labelled as
India (in its classical and
pre-modern sense), Greater
India , or as South
Asia . The
The terms "Indian subcontinent" and "South Asia" are sometimes used interchangeably. There is no globally accepted definition on which countries are a part of South Asia or Indian subcontinent.
Orthographic projection of Indian subcontinent
In dictionary entries, the term subcontinent signifies a large, distinguishable subdivision of a continent.
Geologically, the Indian subcontinent was first a part of so-called "Greater India", a region of Gondwana that drifted away from East Africa about 160 million years ago, around the Middle Jurassic period. The region experienced high volcanic activity and plate subdivisions, creating Madagascar, Seychelles, Antartica, Austrolasia and the Indian subcontinent basin. The Indian subcontinent drifted northeastwards, colliding with the Eurasian plate nearly 55 million years ago, towards the end of Paleocene. This geological region largely includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The zone where the Eurasian and Indian subcontinent plates meet remains one of the geologically active areas, prone to major earthquakes.
The English term "subcontinent" mainly continues to refer to the Indian subcontinent. Physiographically , it is a peninsular region in south-central Asia delineated by the Himalayas in the north, the Hindu Kush in the west, and the Arakanese in the east. It extends southward into the Indian Ocean with the Arabian Sea to the southwest and the Bay of Bengal to the southeast. Most of this region rests on the Indian Plate and is isolated from the rest of Asia by large mountain barriers.
NASA images of the Indian subcontinent during day and night.
Whether called the Indian subcontinent or South Asia, the definition of the geographical extent of this region varies. Geopolitically , it had formed the whole territory of Greater India , and it generally comprises the countries of India , Pakistan , and Bangladesh . Prior to 1947, most of the Indian subcontinent was part of British India . It generally includes Nepal , Bhutan , and the island country of Sri Lanka and may also include the island country of Maldives . According to anthropologist John R. Lukacs , "the Indian Subcontinent occupies the major landmass of South Asia", while the political science professor Tatu Vanhanen states, "the seven countries of South Asia constitute geographically a compact region around the Indian Subcontinent". 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". Maldives, the small archipelago southwest of the peninsula, is considered part of the Indian subcontinent.
Parts of Afghanistan are sometimes included in Indian subcontinent as, states Ira M. Lapidus – a professor of History, it is a boundary territory with parts in Central Asia and in Indian subcontinent. The socio-religious history of Afghanistan are related to the Turkish-influenced Central Asia and northwestern parts of the Indian subcontinent, now known as Pakistan. Others state Afghanistan being a part of Central Asia is not an accepted practice, and it is "clearly not part of the Indian subcontinent".
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. Given the passage difficulty through the Himalayas, the sociocultural, religious and political interaction of Indian subcontinent has largely been through the valleys of Afghanistan in its northwest, the valleys of Manipur in its east, and by maritime over sea. More difficult but historically important interaction has also occurred through passages pioneered by the Tibetans . These routes and interactions have led to the diffusion of Hinduism and Buddhism , for example, out of the Indian subcontinent into other parts of Asia, while Islam arrived into the Indian subcontinent through Afghanistan and to its coasts through the maritime routes.
Main article: South Asia
The geopolitical definition and the use of terms such as Indian subcontinent, South Asian subcontinent and South Asia is a contested topic.
* ^ "World Population Prospects". _United Nations: Population Division_. 2017. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Robert Wynn Jones (2011). _Applications of Palaeontology: Techniques and Case Studies_. Cambridge University Press. pp. 267–271. ISBN 978-1-139-49920-0 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Baker, Kathleen M.; Chapman, Graham P. (11 March 2002), _The Changing Geography of Asia_, Routledge, pp. 10–, ISBN 978-1-134-93384-6 , This greater India is well defined in terms of topography; it is the Indian sub-continent, hemmed in by the Himalayas on the north, the Hindu Khush in the west and the Arakanese in the east. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ "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 into three countries named Bangladesh , India and Pakistan ." * ^ _A_ _B_ Dhavendra Kumar (2012). _Genomics and Health in the Developing World_. Oxford University Press. p. 889. ISBN 978-0-19-537475-9 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Mariam Pirbhai (2009). _Mythologies of Migration, Vocabularies of Indenture: Novels of the South Asian Diaspora in Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia-Pacific_. University of Toronto Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-8020-9964-8 .
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ John McLeod, _The history of India_, 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
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being_, pages 209, Taylor Christopher P. Cooper (2005). _Worldwide
destinations: the geography of travel and tourism_.
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Affairs_. Routledge. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-136-64862-5 . , 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".
* ^ _A_ _B_ Michael Mann (2014). _South Asia’s Modern History:
Thematic Perspectives_. Taylor & Francis. pp. 13–15. ISBN
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Jona Razzaque (2004). _Public Interest
Environmental Litigation in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh_. Kluwer
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* ^ "subcontinent". _
Oxford English Dictionary _ (3rd ed.). Oxford
University Press . September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library
* ^ "Indian subcontinent". _
Oxford English Dictionary _ (3rd ed.).
Oxford University Press . September 2005. (Subscription or UK public
library membership required.)
* ^ _A_ _B_ Hinsbergen, D. J. J. van; Lippert, P. C.; Dupont-Nivet,
G.; McQuarrie, N.; Doubrovine; et al. (2012). "Greater
hypothesis and a two-stage Cenozoic collision between
India and Asia".
_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_. 109 (20):
7659–7664, for geologic
Indian subcontinent see Figure 1. doi
:10.1073/pnas.1117262109 . CS1 maint: Explicit use of et al. (link )
* ^ _A_ _B_ Sushil Mittal and Gene Thursby, _Religions of South
Asia: An Introduction_, page 3, Routledge, 2006, ISBN 9781134593224
* ^ _A_ _B_ Kathleen M. Baker and Graham P. Chapman, _The Changing
Geography of Asia_, page 10, Routledge, 2002, ISBN 9781134933846
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* ^ John McLeod, _The history of India_, page 1, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, ISBN 0-313-31459-4 Stephen 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 Haggett, Peter (2001). _Encyclopedia of World Geography (Vol. 1)_. Marshall Cavendish. p. 2710. ISBN 0-7614-7289-4 . * ^ John R. Lukacs, _The People of South Asia: the biological anthropology of India, Pakistan, and Nepal_, page 59, Plenum Press, 1984, ISBN 9780306414077 * ^ Tatu Vanhanen, _Prospects of Democracy: A Study of 172 Countries_, page 144, Routledge, 1997, ISBN 9780415144063 * ^ Ira M. Lapidus (2014). _A History of Islamic Societies_. Cambridge University Press. pp. 269, 698–699. ISBN 978-0-521-51430-9 .
* ^ Louis D Hayes (2014). _The Islamic State in the Post-Modern World: The Political Experience of Pakistan_. Ashgate. pp. 55–56. ISBN 978-1-4724-1262-1 . ; Robert Wuthnow (2013). _The Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion_. Routledge. pp. 11–. ISBN 978-1-136-28493-9 . * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Asher, Catherine B.; Talbot, Cynthia (2006-03-16), _ India Before Europe_, Cambridge University Press, pp. 5–8, 12–14, 51, 78–80, ISBN 978-0-521-80904-7 * ^ John L. Esposito; Emad El-Din Shahin (2016). _The Oxford Handbook of Islam and Politics_. Oxford University Press. pp. 453–456. ISBN 978-0-19-063193-2 .
* ^ Akhilesh Pillalamarri, South Asia or India: An Old Debate Resurfaces in California, The Diplomat, 24 May 2016; Ahmed, Mukhtar (2014), _Ancient Pakistan – An Archaeological History: Volume II: A Prelude to Civilization_, Foursome, p. 14, ISBN 978-1-4959-4130-6
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