The Indian subcontinent is the peninsular region of larger South Asia in which the nations of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka as well as parts of Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and some disputed territory currently controlled by China are located. It is also known as the "Indian Subcontinent" and, primarily in Pakistan, as the "Indo-Pak Subcontinent". Being the only region in the world that is commonly described as a subcontinent, "The Subcontinent" is also a very common characterization and often the preferred term, especially in Pakistan.
Geologically, the notion of a subcontinent is based on the fact that this region rests on a tectonic plate of its own, separate from the rest of Asia. The southern region of the subcontinent forms an enormous peninsula, while in the north it is separated from the colder regions of China and Mongolia by the Himalaya mountain range, which also acts as a cultural and geographical barrier between it and the rest of Asia.
Politically, the term ("Indian Subcontinent" or "The Subcontinent") is useful in helping refer to the countries of the region as a group. The latter term ("The Subcontinent"), together with "South Asia", can be useful when discussing issues that affect the common history, culture, etc. of the countries. Citizens of Subcontinental countries besides India can sometimes be offended by the use of "India" or "Indian" in relation to them or their nationality, and often history and culture.
Last updated: 01-28-2005 07:03:04
Last updated: 04-25-2005 03:06:01