Saturday, January 10, 2015

India’s Geographic Challenge

It needs to be recalled that India has a land mass similar to Europe to the Urals.  The maps fool you.  for whatever reason India failed to develop effective nation states prior to the European consolidation under the British.  Truth is, it was only in Europe that and truly only in England that a functioning Nation State emerged with a sorted out political system that was no longer dynastic.  Both the USA and France was inspired by this rapidly evolving framework.
England's unique system was then supported by a rapidly expanding mercantile empire which differed hugely from any land based empire.   Add in Fiat currency and we have the absorption of India as a true empire but with a immediately functioning plan of effective governance.

India's geographic challenge is to use its uniform market to grow the economy and to absorb the drivers of internal disunity.  Fuzzy boundaries actually help here.

India’s Geographic Challenge

By Stratfor | December 27, 2014

India is endowed with favorable geographic barriers. Surrounded by oceans on three sides and the formidable Himalayan Mountains to the north, what is now modern India has been free of outside interference for much of its long history.

Its large geographic size and population, coupled with weaker peripheral nations on much of its boundaries, have allowed India to become the dominant force in South Asia.

Home to the world’s second-largest population, India’s 1.3 billion people are spread out across the peninsular nation, from the foothills of the Himalayas to the tropical south. India’s population core is settled along the Ganges river basin, a densely populated swath of fertile land that extends across the northern Himalayan border.

India’s primary geographic challenge comes from a lack of strong internal boundaries.

Modern-day India struggles to rectify the ambitions of a relatively weak national government that competes with the prerogatives of strong, diverse states — a legacy of a long history of domestic infighting between various dynasties uninhibited by mountains or other defining geography.

Surrounded by water or impassable mountains, New Delhi now faces the additional task of developing naval capabilities to secure its critical supply routes.

A similar lack of defining geography still plagues India’s northwest border. Waves of Greek, Persian, and Mongols invaded, culminating in the Mughal Empire, which united much of the subcontinent prior to British conquest. The northwestern border still poses national security risks, due to ongoing disputes with Pakistan.

But rising domestic consumption means India is increasingly dependent on imported goods from distant suppliers. Surrounded by water or impassable mountains, New Delhi now faces the additional task of developing naval capabilities to secure its critical supply routes, risking maritime tensions with China in the broader Indo-Pacific basin.

India’s Geographic Challenge is republished with permission of Stratfor

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