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Articles in South Asia

Caste Controversies Slides

By Martin W. Lewis | May 15, 2016 | One Comment

Dear Readers,
The slides from my recent lecture on caste controversies in India and on a related controversy about teaching Indian/South Asian history in California are available at the link below:
Caste Controversies in India
 
 
 

India: Milk in the Northwest; Meat in the Northeast

By Martin W. Lewis | February 8, 2016 | One Comment

But milk drinking and the consumption of other dairy products is by no means uniformly distributed across India. Instead, as the maps posted here indicate, the country has a strong longitudinal gradient in this regard.

The Lost World of the Sago Eaters

By Martin W. Lewis | November 4, 2015 | 6 Comments

The previous GeoCurrents post mentioned the Manusela people of the Indonesian island of Seram, who evidently incorporate elements of Hinduism, animism, and Christianity in their religious beliefs and practices. The Manusuela rely on the sago palm for their dietary staple, as do many other peoples of eastern Indonesia and the lowlands of Papua New Guinea. (I am referring here to …

Third Africa-India Forum Summit: Meeting of the Lions

By Martin W. Lewis | October 30, 2015 |

Although I will continue writing on Scolbert08’s map of world religion next week, I can’t resist taking a brief detour to consider the Third Africa-India Forum Summit, which is coming to an end today in New Delhi. Regarded as India’s largest diplomatic endeavor in its history, the summit was attended by 40 leaders of African states. I am particularly struck …

Religious Complexity in Northeastern South Asia

By Martin W. Lewis | October 29, 2015 | 3 Comments

Northeastern South Asia has one of the world’s most complex religious environments, and such complexity is captured nicely in Scolbert08’s amazing map of world religions. To illustrate this, I have posted a detail from this map of this region, both in annotated and non-annotated form, along with a smaller version of the same map juxtaposed with other maps of the …

Final Maps on “Geopolitical Anomalies”

By Martin W. Lewis | April 5, 2015 | One Comment

This post merely contains some of the additional maps that I prepared for my March 31 lecture on the history and geography of current global events. These maps, like those in the two preceding posts, focus on geopolitical irregularities and anomalies in a region of the world that might be called the “Greater Middle East” (for lack of a better …

Geopolitical Anomalies in the “Greater Middle East,” Part 2

By Martin W. Lewis | April 4, 2015 | 3 Comments

(note: The introduction to this post is found in the post of April 1)
Thus far we have examined a number of geopolitical anomalies in a sizable region of the world centered on Saudi Arabia. We have not yet looked at the most serious challenge to the standard model, however, that of state collapse. Other important issues remain to be considered …

Mapping the Global Distribution of Information at Oxford

By Martin W. Lewis | November 28, 2014 |

A variety of interesting and informative maps and other visualizations of global information flow can be found at the website called Information Geographies put out by the Oxford Internet Institute. The goal of the larger project is to:

[P]roduce a comprehensive atlas of contemporary information and Internet geographies, that will draw on four years of focused research conducted at the Oxford …

Religion, Caste, and Electoral Geography in the Indian State of Kerala

By Martin W. Lewis | May 29, 2014 | 2 Comments

As mentioned in a previous GeoCurrents post, India’s southwestern state of Kerala, noted for its high levels of social development, exhibited markedly different patterns in the 2014 election from most other parts of the country. In Kerala, parties on the far left did quite well, as did the center-left Indian National Congress, whereas the center-right BJP performed quite poorly, as …

The 2014 Indian Election in Kerala and Bihar

By Martin W. Lewis | May 23, 2014 |

On the 2014 electoral map of India, two states stand out due to their division among many competing parties: Bihar in lower Ganges Valley and Kerala in the southwest. Intriguingly, these states represent the extremes of Indian social development. Bihar has long been noted as the poorest, least educated and most corrupt state in India, although it has made considerable—and …

Industry, Insurgency, and Illumination in India

By Martin W. Lewis | May 14, 2014 | 7 Comments

The “nightlight” map of Burma posted in the previous GeoCurrents article reveals an interesting contrast with northeastern India. Although India’s far northeastern region is generally considered one of the least developed and most insurgency beset parts of the country, it is well illuminated when contrasted with neighboring Burma. To highlight this contrast, I have taken a detail from Google’s Earthbuilder …

Does Pakistan Claim Junagadh in the Indian State of Gujarat?

By Martin W. Lewis | April 22, 2014 | 9 Comments

India and Pakistan’s territorial conflict over Kashmir (“Jammu and Kashmir” officially) is well known, as are the complications that it creates for cartographers. Maps produced in India must portray all of the disputed area as Indian land, while Pakistani maps show it as part of Pakistan. Outside observers who try to remain impartial usually divide these two countries at the …

India and Indonesia: Pronounced Differences in Electoral Geography

By Martin W. Lewis | April 18, 2014 | One Comment

As India and Indonesia, the world’s largest and third largest democracies respectively, carry out their complex 2014 national elections, it is worthwhile to compare their political and electoral developments since independence. Although the two countries have much in common, they have taken a markedly different direction in political ideology and electoral geography. In India today, two major and several minor …

Telangana, Again

By Martin W. Lewis | August 1, 2013 | 2 Comments

The very first GeoCurrents article, posted on December 20, 2009, examined the possibility that the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh would be divided in two, with a new state of Telangana emerging from its northwestern districts. Little has been done to advance the issue for the past four years—until this week. But India’s ruling Congress Party has now given its …

Television and Fertility in India: Response to Critics

By Martin W. Lewis | May 16, 2013 | 8 Comments

(Note to readers: My recent blog post on television and fertility in India has attracted some attention, including a detailed critique on the blog Challenging Civilization. This post is my response to this critique.)
First, I would like to thank Tom Smith at Challenging Civilization for taking the time write a thoughtful critique of my blog post on television and fertility …

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