India and Pakistan in terms of religion, politics, and physiography
There are several regions in South Asia; geographically, India and Pakistan belong to different regions (Blijde et al 271). While Pakistan belongs to the West region of the realm, India occupies the peninsular territory and the most mainland. Pakistan is located on the border between the Indian and the Eurasian tectonic plates. Its relief varies from plains (south) to mountains (north). India is located on the Indian tectonic plate. Most territory of India consists of plains; at the same time, on the northern border, the highest mountains in the World – Himalayas – are located.
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In India, Hinduism is prevalent. The realm was the “Hindu territory” for centuries; however, in the 10th century, the “tide” of Islam reached the realm, and many people converted. Today, in Pakistan, the majority of the citizens are Muslims; the majority of Indians are Hindu, though the percentage of the Muslim population is also quite high (about 15 percent) (275).
Pakistan is a federal democratic republic; it consists of 4 provinces (284). Islam is the official religion in the country. A neighborhood with Afghanistan and the Taliban influenced the political life of Pakistan; in 2001, after the events of September 11, the country had to choose between cooperation with the USA and the West, and neutrality. Pakistan joined the USA (285).
India is also a federation that includes 28 states, 6 Union Territories, and 1 National Capital Territory (286). Since independence was proclaimed, the country follows the democratic way of development; in its international relations, India intends to have “friendly” relations with most countries. India and Pakistan had a series of dramatic conflicts in the second half of the 20th century.
India’s barriers towards a stable democratic society
Today, several “divides” exist in India: the cast divide, the “rich versus poor” divide, the “city versus village” divide, the religious divide. In my opinion, the basis of India’s divides is the caste system that existed in the country for centuries. Today, despite casts still exist in society, their importance gradually reduces. This gives broader opportunities for people from the “lower” casts. The second important factor is globalization.
India is significantly involved in global processes, which assists in the country’s development. Finally, the third factor is the growing standard of living: despite the gap between the poor and the rich exists, the life of poor citizens improves. Together these three factors will gradually weaken India’s divides. The country should support democratic initiatives in society and provide broad opportunities for poor citizens. Education will play a significant role in this process. The religious groups should be granted their freedom of worship so that each can recognize the other with total respect.
Blijde, Harm J., Peter O. Muller, and Antoinette Winklerprins. The World Today: Concepts and Regions in Geography. 4th ed. USA: John Wiley & Sons, 2008. Print.
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