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Feature Article

Making China And India Great Again? Why China’s and India’s Paths to Power May Hit a Wall, Part II: Foreign Policy Challenges

For the past decade, experts in international relations have suggested that the world’s center of power is shifting from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and the main reason is the extraordinary rise of China. They add that the equally remarkable, though slightly slower, rise of India will move the center of global power even further from the West. A number of observers strongly believe the efforts of the United States under former President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy to ...

Feature Article

Turtles All the Way Down: An Update on the Asian Turtle Crisis with New Directions

In Chinese mythology, the goddess Nuwa cuts the legs off the giant turtle Ao and uses them to prop up the sky. In Hindu mythology, Kurma the Tortoise King, one of the avatars of Vishnu, props up Mount Meru and assists in the churning of the Ocean of Milk, thereby allowing the gods to recover the Elixir of Immortality.1 The concept of a World Turtle, supporting the very earth upon its back, is a mythical theme that appears in a variety of mythologies, including those of Asia. That turtles are re...

Feature Article

Developments for Tribal Farmers in Rural India

The great obstacle to economic development in rural India is a lack of property rights, according to Trupti Mehta, lawyer for the Action Research in Community Health and Development (ARCH) center. Optimistic and determined, Trupti and her husband, Ambrish Mehta, solved this problem for tribal farmers on their thirty-three-year journey in Gujarat Province, a few hours’ drive from the city of Baroda. Joining Anil Patel, a physician who founded ARCH to help the rural poor, they initially pushed ...

Online Supplement

Cauvery Calling: A Possible Solution for a Dying River and Desperate Farmers

This story begins with a crisis of food insecurity. In 1966, a severe drought compounded India’s problems of producing sufficient food for its growing population and created near famine conditions in many parts of the country. The government had to import large amounts of wheat from the United States to avoid calamity. As a result of this situation, and with external pressures from the United States and international organizations, the central government made a concerted effort to reform agric...

Online Supplement

India’s Historical Impact on Southeast Asia

India’s historical impact on Southeast Asia forms an important component of world history. In this age of globalization, relations between two significant regions are important. The Look East and Act East policies have become the catch word of Indian foreign relations since the 1990s, where Indian policymakers desired close cooperation with Southeast Asian countries. This is nothing new from an Indian perspective, but an enactment of déjà vu. What we know of today as Indian and ...

Columns, Online Supplement

Facts About Asia: India’s Thriving Technology Industry

North American readers of this journal, even if they are not especially tech savvy, are likely familiar with Silicon Valley, located in the San Francisco Bay area, and many of the companies like Apple and Google that make the region their home. Fewer are likely aware of India’s own “Silicon Valley” and the various Indian private companies and startups that help to make the IT sector one of the more faster growing sectors of the economy and create the prospect of India becoming a world lead...

Feature Article

Making China and India Great Again? Why China’s and India’s Paths to Power May Hit a Wall Part I: Domestic Policy Challenges

There is general agreement among the pundits and mandarins who study India and China that these two countries will become two of the world’s most powerful nations in the near future, if they have not already. Some believe that they may become the most powerful nations in the world, relegating the United States and Europe to the status of mere ob­servers of the future course of humanity. Regardless when exactly this may occur, such an outcome could be compared, in a sense, to a return to what ...

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...

Book Review Essay, Resources

The Indian Rebellion, 1857–1859: A Short History with Documents

The rebellion in northern and cen­tral India, beginning in 1857, has been the object of countless pub­lished works, several of them published even before July 8, 1859, when the Gov­ernment of India officially declared India to be at peace. It has also taken a place of privilege in many histories of mod­ern India, as the moment when Parlia­ment replaced early colonial rule under the British East India Company with “Crown” rule, overseen directly by the British metropolitan government. So...

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. [caption id="attachment_12189" align="alignleft" width="405"] Indian Border Security Force (BSF) personnel keeping vigil at a checkpoint along a highway leading to Ladakh, at Gagangeer area of Ganderbal district on June 18, 2020. Source: © Shutterstock. Photo by Sajadhameed.[/caption] Sino–Indian Relations The first thing...

Feature Article

Studying Indian Secularism to Understand the US

Many, if not most, of the readers of this journal believe that the study of Asia helps US students develop their critical thinking and analytical skills. Far too often, however, the study of Asia is relegated to courses that focus solely on Asian studies. This approach em­phasizes the need to understand the specific historical, cultural, social, and political contexts that shape different Asian developments. In this essay, I present a model for a comparative approach that introduces selective c...

Feature Article

Multilingualism in India

[caption id="attachment_12193" align="aligncenter" width="471"] A sign at the border with Pakistan in the state of Punjab featuring the same message written in three different languages (Hindi/Urdu, Punjabi, and English) and four different scripts from the top down: Devanagari (Hindi), Punjabi, Roman (English), and Perso–Arabic (Urdu). Source: © Hemis/Alamy.[/caption] With a growing population of just over 1.3 billion people, India is an incredibly diverse country in many ways. This articl...

Feature Article

Understanding South Asia’s Religious Art

[caption id="attachment_12213" align="alignleft" width="410"] Figure 1: Dancing Ganesha, Lord of Obstacles. Eleventh to twelfth century, Bangladesh, Dinajpur District. Sculpture. Phyllite (65.41 x 33.66 x 12.7 cm). Source: Los Angeles County Museum of Art website at https://tinyurl.com/yy2s5sxo.[/caption] 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 ...

Columns, Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

How to Measure a “Giant”?: A Short Guide to Gross Domestic Product Figures

Instructors in political science, history, and area studies have long known that the rapid economic growth of Asian countries is one of the most important world trends to teach students. Political scientists and international relations experts regularly view a country’s economic size as a reflection of its international power. The size of the economy helps set military budgets and acquisitions, foreign aid, and public diplomacy. These capabilities help a country influence other countries, or t...

Online Supplement

Ties that Bind: India and Southeast Asia Connectivities

[caption id="attachment_12232" align="aligncenter" width="536"] Khon performance at Thammasat University Main Auditorium, Tha Phrachan Campus, Bangkok, Thailand. Khon is a dance and drama performance based on the Ramayana. Source: Wikimedia Commons at https://tinyurl.com/yxrdu3n4.[/caption] Imagining India in Southeast Asia is often guided and influenced by a number of factors. It may depend on how the contemporary global and the regional media views and portrays the Indian sub-continent thro...

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...

Editor's Message

Editor’s Message

I wish all EAA readers who are fortunate enough to have the chance, a joyous, peaceful, and reflective holiday season. The special section “Teaching Asia’s Giants: India” commences with four solicited essays that build upon, beginning with Carol Gluck’s original essay “Top Ten Things to Know About Japan in the late 1990s,” a number of “Top Ten Things” essays we’ve published throughout the years. At the risk of using a term that has reached the point it perhaps has no...

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...