Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

Top Ten Things to Know About India in the Twenty-First Century

Indian Elections Are a Sight to Behold Every Indian federal election breaks its previous record as the world’s larg­est electoral exercise. In the 2019 such election, about 900 million Indians were eligible to vote. Sixty-seven percent of them showed up at the voting booth, a percentage higher than in most democracies, including the US. Indians take their elections quite seriously. The Election Commission, enjoying a high level of public trust where such trust is generally hard to...

Feature Article

Top Ten Things to Know About India in the Twenty-First Century

India is Like Europe, But Also Not Like Europe Most Americans have heard of India, but might struggle to describe it. A suitable analogy would be the European Union. The EU is composed of a mosaic of twenty-seven countries that have some things in common, for example, proximity and climate, as well as institutions such as parliament and a currency; but also some dissimilarities, such as language and food. European countries come in all sizes, from Lichtenstein to Germany. In­dia, simil...

Feature Article

Top Ten Things to Know about India in the Twenty-First Century

The defeat of Indian forces by the Chinese in 1962 ushered in a phase after which India tended to be cowed by the growing economic and political might of China. Sino–Indian Relations The first thing to know about India in the twenty-first century relates to the future of Sino–Indian relations. The relationship between India and China has undergone three main phases since the middle of the twen­ty-first century. The first phase may be described in hindsight as a roman­tic phas...

Feature Article

Understanding South Asia’s Religious Art

There are many ways to talk about the art of India (here, India is a short­hand for the South Asian subcontinent). From a serene stone sculpture of a meditating Buddha to the dynamic image of Dancing Shiva in bronze, to cosmic symbolism of soaring temples covered in sensuous celes­tial bodies built in stone to the perfect architecture of Taj Mahal, to colorful paintings of heroes and heroines of love stories and myths to intricate carvings on ivory, to stunning hand-woven or embroidered textil...

Feature Article

Top Ten Things to Know About India in the Twenty-First Century

Population India’s population of 1.3 billion is the world’s second-largest. It has one of the youngest populations of the world. Half the population is aged be­low twenty-five, while around 65 percent is aged under thirty-five. This demographic portends well for the country, which will have a relatively young workforce in the coming decades. Another unusual aspect of In­dia’s demographics is that there are unusually more males than females: 943 females to 1,000 males. Some exper...

EAA Interview, Resources

Eurasia and Teaching World History: A Short Conversation with Professor Xinru Liu

XINRU LIU (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) is Professor Emeritus of early Indian History and World History at the College of New Jersey. She is the author of Ancient India and Ancient China, Trade, and Religious Exchanges, AD 1–600; Silk and Religion, an Exploration of Material Life and the Thought of People, AD 600–1200; Connections across Eurasia, Transportation, Communication, and Cultural Exchange on the Silk Roads, coauthored with Lynda Norene Shaffer; A Social History of Ancient India...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Teaching about the Colonial India State and Society with Six Acres and a Third

Six Acres and a Third is an English translation of Fakir Mohan Senapati’s 1902 Odia novel Chha Mana Atha Guntha, a humorous satire set in early nineteenth-century British India. It tells the story of an exploitative moneylender called Ramachandra Mangaraj, who uses the colonial legal system to usurp the properties of people in his rural community, before being ruined by it himself.

Feature Article

Religion in History: Manjhan’s Madhumalati and the Construction of Indo-Islam

In today’s geopolitical environment, teaching South Asia can be somewhat of a sticky wicket, particularly when it comes to religion and communalism. Each time I discuss Hindu–Muslim relations in an introductory course on South Asia or in a 100-level world history class, I run up against a whole host of preconceived notions on religion in the non-Western world. Worse yet, most students are unaware that our modern understanding of religion can’t be projected backward. However, a properly con...

Feature Article

On the Difference Between Hinduism and Hindutva

H induism is the name given to the most ancient and persistent religion on the Indian subcontinent, and Hindutva is the name by which the ideology of the Hindu right, represented by the political party Bharatiya Janata Party, or Indian People’s Party (BJP), is known. It is also the ideology of the cultural body known as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or National Volunteer Core (RSS), which was founded in 1925 and with which the BJP has strong links. Ever since the rise of the BJP on the Indian p...

Feature Article

Poetry, Prose, and Political Science

I’ve never read poetry in a political science class before. I have frequently cited this statement as my favorite student evaluation comment ever. I don’t even remember clearly if the statement was meant positively (I think it was!)—but I certainly took it that way. I have long used selected prose and poetry in introductory (first- and second-year) college-level political science classes focused on India or South Asia to convey certain themes and arguments to students. Using literatur...

Feature Article

Asia, Power, and Robes of Honor

More than three decades ago, my wife and I ventured overland from Istanbul to Delhi. At Herat, on the western border of Afghanistan, my wife met a group of women—a matriarch, her daughters, and daughters-in-law. Although they shared no common language, my wife accompanied them over several days while they bought and sold in the markets. The matriarch liked my wife and on the day we left insisted that she accept her old, black, beautiful, fully embroidered cloak. The women showed her how to dra...

EAA Interview, Feature Article

Boom Country? An Interview with Alan Rosling

Alan Rosling is an entrepreneur and strategic adviser who has had a deep engagement with India over the past thirty-five years. He is co-founder of ECube, an investment manager dedicated to raising standards of environmental social and governance compliance. He cofounded Kiran Energy after leaving the Tata Group, where he was the first non-Indian Executive Director of Tata Sons (the holding company of the Tata Group), charged with internationalization of the company. His earlier career included ...

Feature Article

Inspiration in India for a New Generation of Entrepreneurs

Business schools everywhere are looking to inspire budding new entrepreneurs. Always in question: Can entrepreneurship be taught, or must it spring from practical experience? Alan Rosling is convinced that practical experience of successful entrepreneurs can inform the education of others through his book, Boom Country? The New Wave of Indian Enterprise. Rosling’s book is also potentially useful for instructors and students who are interested in understanding important factors influencing entr...

Feature Article

The Story of Indian Business: The Great Transition into the New Millennium

Indian entrepreneurship, innovation, and business firms have gone through a plethora of changes, particularly in the last three decades. The most significant change is the result of national government policies that had the effect of moving away from postcolonial Nehruvian socialism and creating a climate for more economic freedom for entrepreneurs and private businesses. The 1990s was the watershed decade for these revolutionary changes. Indian business suddenly took off with a new outburst of ...

Feature Article

China’s “National Champions”: Alibaba, Tencent, and Huawei

Before reading this article, maybe you checked your Apple iPhone or Google Android phone for today’s weather or the news or caught up on some email. Maybe you logged onto Facebook and caught up with your friends or shopped for things on Amazon. Maybe after some intense study reading the pages of EAA, you plan to unwind by watching some movies on Netflix or playing some Fortnite on your gaming console. The work of American tech giants like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook is an essential ...

Online Supplement

The Ease of Doing Business on the Streets of India

Street vending is a source of livelihood for many urban poor, and of affordable and essential goods to the public. In India, stories of vendor harassment by the local administration as well as the police are ubiquitous. It appears to be less about vendor rights and more about the power that different actors exercise over public spaces. One must look at the process whereby a new hawker enters the trade . . . Then starts the bargain with the local policeman, the municipal recovery inspector, the i...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

The Nomads of the Steppe: Resources for Teachers

The nomadic pastoralists of the inner Asian steppe had an impact on history out of all proportion to their small population. The cultures and politics of societies across Asia experienced profound change at their hands. China presents a good example of this phenomenon. The nomads on the steppe posed a perennial challenge to the Chinese political structure, making management of the nomads always one of the chief concerns of every Chinese dynasty. The Great Wall of China is the most famous demo...

Facts About Asia

Facts About Asia: Asia and Education

Editor’s Note: EAA readers are invited to send material for this column. Please include a source for your “Asian fact.” Reported Literacy Rates of Select Asian Countries (age 15 and over) Taiwan 98.5% China 96.4% Indonesia 95.4% Việt Nam 94.5% Thailand 92.9% Bangladesh 72.9% India 71.2% Pakistan 57.9% Source: CIA World Factbook https://tinyurl.com/hhhvnby. Years of statistics compiled range from 2014–2017. Percent of Populations with Tertiary Educat...

Book Review, Online Supplement

South Asia in World History (New Oxford World History): Reviewed by Rachel Ball-Phillips

Writing world history is a daunting task. World historians continue to struggle with how to write effective survey world history texts for use in the classroom. The New Oxford World History series is an ambitious project that emphasizes “connectedness and interactions of all kinds—cultural, economic, political, religious, and social—involving peoples, places and processes” (viii). By situating South Asia within a broader global context from the Indus Valley Civilization to present, Marc ...

Film Review Essay, Resources

Around India with a Movie Camera: Film Review Essay by Coonoor Kripalani

Directed by Sandhya Suri Produced by Nicola Gallani 72 minutes, Color and Black & White Icarus Films, 2018 Reviewed by Coonoor Kripalani [caption id="attachment_7870" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Two smiling boys. Source: Icarus Films website at http://icarusfilms.com/if-ar. ©Icarus Films.[/caption] This seventy-two-minute silent documentary film, spliced together and edited by director Sandhya Suri from archival British Film Institute (BFI) clips, cleverly juxtaposes scenes of ...