What Do You Mean By Subcontinent?
The term subcontinent basically means a subdivision of a continent which has a distinct geographical, political, ethnic or cultural identity. In layman’s term, the part of a continent which is separated from the rest of the continent politically or geographically called as the subcontinent. The subcontinental countries have significant political and cultural ties.
Originally, The term ‘subcontinent’ was used to describe the divide of North and South America and later on they considered as separate continents.
According to a famous geographer, Dudley Stamp, “there is perhaps no mainland part of the world better marked off by nature as a region or a ‘realm‘ by itself than the Indian subcontinent.”
The Indian Subcontinent is actually a kind of geographic entities which can be divided into three geomorphic features:
(a) the Indian Peninsula
(b) the Himalayas
(c) the Indo-Gangetic Alluvial Plains
The Indian Peninsula is a triangular-shaped landscape of ancient landmass. It has been through so many geomorphical processes to finally develop into its current form. Processes like continuous erosion for so many years, denudation, and resurgent tectonic activities.
The present-day geomorphic characteristics of the entire terrain have resulted because of more recent block uplift-type tectonic activities. It is a peninsula which is situated in south-central Asia and it is surrounded by the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. This area is primarily centered on the Indian Plate. It is a tectonic plate located along the equator in the eastern hemisphere.
In the past, The Indian subcontinent was the part of Gondwana land, which was a supercontinent that wad formed during the late Neoproterozoic and early Paleozoic. During mesozoic period, Gondwana began to break up with the Indian subcontinent and separated itself from Antarctica more than 100 million years ago and during the cretaceous period, it was separated from Madagascar around 90 million years ago. And as Paleocene period was about to end, the Indian subcontinent started drifting northeastwards, and later on it collided with the Eurasian Plate nearly 55 million years ago and this area remains geologically active and it is prone to major earthquakes.
Sometimes Indian subcontinent is also called as South Asia, although the geopolitical term of South Asia generally includes Afghanistan, otherwise it is normally classified as Central Asian.
The Indian subcontinent consists of 7 countries and this specification is made solely from political point of view. These seven countries are –
|India (largest country in Indian subcontinent)|
Politics, culture, and history are also the factors on which we can define the Indian Subcontinent. If we talk about their shared histories, almost every country which constitutes Indian subcontinent, was the possession of the British Empire at some point of time in the history. This includes the present-day states of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. Two countries that are part of the Indian subcontinents but they were never the part of British territory are Nepal and Bhutan. They made their place in Indian Subcontinent, mainly, because of cultural, religious, and political reasons.
If we consider about its data related to population, it is and has been the most populated region in the world, which roughly constitutes around 25 percent that is one fourth of the global population at all times in history.