Introduction. Geology, Pre-history, Demographics, Anthropology and early History of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
Feb. 05. Religions. Southwest and South Asia as the birthplace of religions. The spread of Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and the glimmering influence of early Judaism and Christianity. Ties with East Asia. The early Silk Road.
Feb. 12. The glorious age of Gandhara.The resurgence of Hinduism, Hindu India and the rise of Islam. . Its rapid spread across the region. Antagonism and accommodation between faiths. India as the great melting pot.
Feb. 19. The coming of the Afghans. The Great Moguls. Muslim India and Afghanistan. The subtle influence of Persia on politics, culture, language, architecture, trade.
Feb. 26. The deep influence of Sufism and emergence of Baha’aism, Sikhism, Ahmedism, Ismailism.The rise and spread of the Sikh faith, the first and only Kingdom of the Punjab and and how it affected the later history of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
Antagonism and accommodation between faiths. India as the great melting pot.The deep influence of Sufism and emergence of Baha’aism, Sikhism, Ahmedism, Ismailism.The rise and spread of the Sikh faith, the first and only Kingdom of the Punjab and how it affected the later history of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
Mar. 05. Mid-term quiz. And movie.
Mar. 12. The triumph of the West. The rise of mercantilism, colonialism and imperialism. Competition between the Europeans for control of the region.
Apr. 02. Sultanate-i-Khudad. Afghanistan, the Gift of God. Tthe graveyard of empires and the cockpit of Asia. John Company and the modernization of India. The Great Mutiny and British India. Divida et Imperia. Relations with Afghanistan.
Apr. 09. Native responses to Western imperialism. Muslims as protagonists in the reactionary movements. Messianism and militarism. The influence of Ottoman Turkey. The Chechens, Afghans, Indians, Wahhabis, Egyptians and Sudanese and how they fueled each others struggles and became models for Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaida.
Apr. 16. The modernization of India. The resurgence of Hindu and Muslim identities. India in the two world wars. The emergence of nationalism and peaceful agitation for freedom. The Indian Congress Party and the Muslim League. Dadabhoy Naraoji, Gandhi, The Nehrus, Jinnah. The Great Divide and the emergence of India and Pakistan. Bitter roots of enmity.
Apr. 23. Post independence India and Pakistan. The Cold War and strategic importance of the region. The importance of Afghanistan, China and Iran. Wars. Bangla Desh.
Apr. 30. Empires self-destructing. The Russo-Afghan War. The Afghan Civil War. The US invasion of Afghanistan.
May. 07.The aftermath.
May. 14. Final Exam.