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Articles in South Asia

South Asia’s Human Development Progress

By Martin W. Lewis | July 15, 2022 |

One of my take-home messages for college geography students is that the world is probably both in worse shape and in better shape than they realize: in the geopolitical context of war and conflict, conditions are worse than might be expected from a casual reading of the news, whereas in regard to human development they are considerably better.

Human Development Discrepancies in (Greater) Punjab

By Martin W. Lewis | July 13, 2022 |

As can be seen on the map posted here, the HDI ranking of Indian Punjab is now significantly ahead of that of Pakistani Punjab.

Areas of Relatively High Human Development in Greater South Asia

By Martin W. Lewis | July 11, 2022 |

Today’s post continues the GeoCurrents series on the Human Development Index (HDI), focusing initially on greater South Asia. Here we look at areas with relatively high HDI figures.
For decades, the region’s highest human development levels have been found in the far south and southwest, specifically in the Indian states of Kerala and Goa and in Sri Lanka. All invested heavily …

Mapping the Human Development Index (HDI) in Greater South Asia

By Martin W. Lewis | July 7, 2022 |

Levels of social development as measured by the Human Development Index vary greatly across the various regions of South Asia. Particularly low HDI figures are found in India’s central Ganges Valley, in eastern and western Afghanistan, and in Pakistan’s province of Baluchistan.

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 …

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