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South Asia is located in the southern region of Asia and is made up of seven countries: Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan, all of which are Himalayan Kingdoms (Watt, 2005). De Blij and Muller, on the other hand, classified only five regions as constituting South Asia. Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka are the five regions that make up South Asia, according to De Blij and Muller. South Asia has abundant natural water resources, particularly in Nepal and Bhutan due to the existence of several glaciers (Brar, 1999). Furthermore, South Asia has a temperate climate with frigid winters, hot summers, and unpredictable rainfall (Brar, 1999). This paper presents the various reasons for De Blij and Muller’s recognition of the five specific regions as constituting South Asia, and how it influences the need also to recognize sub-regions, particularly India.
One of the reasons behind the recognition of the five regions as constituting South Asia is that they have a common culture, heritage, and civilization that bring about their cooperation and unity (Cons & Sanyal, 2013). Additionally, the five regions have a high likelihood of creating both economic and social development in the region, which could establish an integrated market. They, therefore, have a potential of lifting the people's living standards by eliminating illiteracy, poverty, and creating employment, which are the common problems faced the South Asian States (Cons & Sanyal). Besides, De Blij and Muller believed that the five regions have a high probability of embracing regional cooperation despite the political differences that exist among them.
De Blij and Muller also considered the ethical and cultural commonalities among the five regions and viewed them as having a unified civilizational tradition. They, therefore, recognized the five regions as having common historical and cultural ties (Watt, 2005). The Himalayas also contributed significantly to the recognition of the five regions as constituting South Asia. The Himalayas separate South Asia from the Eastern part of Asia along the border of Tibet’s autonomous region in China, and they form the world’s highest mountains, as well as the most dominant physical features in the South Asia’s northern rim (Brar, 1999). All the five recognized regions share the Himalayas, and that forms one of the major factors considered in their recognition (Brar, 1999).
The recognition of the five regions also took into consideration the consciousness that the five regions constitute an independent world and share the objectives of economic prosperity, social justice, and peace (Cons & Sanyal, 2013). Besides, De Blij and Muller viewed the five regions as having a high likelihood of fostering good neighborhood, mutual understanding, as well as meaningful social-political cooperation. Other characteristics shared by the five regions such as territorial integrity, sovereign equality, non-interference in internal affairs, and political independence also form part of the reasons for their recognition as the five regions constituting South Asia (Cons and Sanyal, 2013).
The different reasons for the recognition of five regions as constituting South Asia influence the need to also recognize other sub-regions such as India in various ways. India has a common culture, heritage, and civilization with the five recognized regions and embraces political, economic, and social cooperation with them. Additionally, India shares the Himalayas with the five recognized regions and stands as the only country that shares its borders with all the five recognized regions. India also embraces territorial integrity, sovereign equality, non-interference in internal affairs, and political independence. Besides, India has both cultural and historical ties with the five regions recognized by De Blij and Muller. India therefore greatly qualifies for recognition as part of the regions constituting South Asia.
Brar, B. (1999). South Asia: A Region of States or a Region of Regions. South Asian Survey, 6(1), 89-98. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/097152319900600110
Cons, J., & Sanyal, R. (2013). Geographies at the margins: borders in South Asia–an introduction. Political Geography, 35, 5-13. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2013.06.001
Watt, C. (2005). Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy, 2nd ed. Comparative Studies Of South Asia, Africa And The Middle East, 25(3), 690-691. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/1089201x-25-3-690
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