History of South Asia II

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HIS 204

       Course Name: History of South Asia II

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course surveys political, economic, social and cultural development of the nations of South Asia since 1947, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Demonstrate basic knowledge of the natural and political geography of South Asia
  2. Discuss and compare the region’s major religious traditions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam
  3. Demonstrate basic knowledge of the region’s societal and cultural traditions, including the caste system, tribalism, and gender roles
  4. Define the role of South Asia in the European colonial system and describe the long-term impact of colonialism on the region
  5. Discuss the rise of nationalism and the philosophies of independence movements
  6. Explain the rise of religious nationalism (Islamic, Hindu, and Sikh) in the region
  7. Discuss the development of parliamentary democracy in India and constitutional protections
  8. Explain the Cold War alignment of South Asian nations
  9. Explain the origins of the tensions between India and Pakistan
  10. Discuss and compare models of economic development in the developing world and evaluate the role of government in development
  11. Evaluate the impact of globalization on South Asia’s environment, indigenous groups, and economic development
  12. Demonstrate an awareness of the cultural themes present in Indian popular culture
  13. Define the impact of religious tradition on gender equality and civil and human rights in South Asia
  14. Recognize the role of Islam in South Asian societies and governments

Additionally, this course will help students develop the following Global Studies Program Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify and describe global economic and political systems and their interconnectedness.
  2. Analyze and critique global systems using competing theories of development:  modernization and dependency theories, for example.
  3. Identify, locate and describe key aspects of world geography.
  4. Describe, analyze and critique key events, themes and trends in world history and the history of globalization.
  5. Develop in-depth knowledge of a specific area of the world beyond the U.S. or a specific global issue (sustainability, for example).

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Overview of natural and political geography of south Asia
  2. Overview of the region’s religious traditions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam
  3. Overview of the region’s societal and cultural traditions, including the caste system, tribalism, and gender roles
  4. Overview of colonialism and the British era
  5. The rise of nationalism
  6. Philosophy and leadership of independence movements
  7. Partitioning of colonial south Asia
  8. Development of parliamentary democracy in India and constitutional protections
  9. Development and limits of federalism and centralized control in the expansive, multi-cultural state of India
  10. The role of government in economic development in the nations of south Asia
  11. Cold war alignment of south Asia
  12. Conflict & warfare within south Asia
  13. Pakistani Civil War and internal conflicts in south Asian nations
  14. Religious nationalism (Islamic, Hindu, and Sikh) and the challenge of separatism
  15. Challenges of governing the multi-ethnic, multi-religious state of India
  16. Militarization and nuclear proliferation in India and Pakistan
  17. Westernization vs. Traditionalism in India and Pakistan
  18. Indian popular culture
  19. Models of economic development in the developing world
  20. Religion and gender
  21. Religion and civil and human rights
  22. The impact of globalization on south Asia
  23. Environmentalism and economic development
  24. Indigenous rights and economic development
  25. The role of Islam in South Asian societies and governments
  26. The challenge of Islamic Fundamentalism

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Classes will include a variety of instructional methods such as: lectures, in class discussions, group activities, document and film analysis, and the use of new technologies.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will be required to:

  1. Read a standard textbook and research materials.
  2. Write outside of class the equivalent of 12 – 14 double-spaced typed pages, in the form of a term paper, summaries of journal articles, short research papers, and/or other kinds of writing.
  3. Participate in in-class and out-of-class activities.
  4. Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Students will use both primary and secondary resources. The following books are required:

  • India after Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy, by Ramachandra Guha. New York: Harper, 2008 (978-0330505543)
  • The Idea of Pakistan, Stephen P. Cohen. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2006 (978-0815715030)
  • India and South Asia, 9th Edition, by James H. K. Norton. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2010 (978-0-07-337986-9)

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

In this section, the instructor will present the percentages or point breakdown for all the elements of the final grade. Please note that at least 40% of the grade must be based on written work rather than exams, quizzes, class participation or other assignments.

For example:
Quizzes 20%
Written papers 45%
Exams 30%
Participation 5%

XI.   Other Course Information

This course surveys the history of the South Asia from the end of British Rule in 1947 to present day. We will begin by briefly examining the ancient and medieval history of the Indian Subcontinent and its impact on modern South Asia. We will then briefly examine the history of India during the rule of East India Company and the British Raj. The study of British India will include discussion on the rise of Indian Nationalism and the Independence Movement. Finally these studies will lead us into modern history of South Asia and its impact on the world. The decolonization, partition and regional and religious identities in South Asia as well as the atmosphere of the post-colonial era in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh will be the primary focus of the course.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.