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Federal Presidencies of South Asia (Colonial Crisis)

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United Federal Presidencies of South Asia
फ़ेदेरल परेसिदेन्चिएस ओफ़ षोउथ आसिअ
Timeline: Federal Presidencies of South Asia

OTL equivalent: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan (Pashtun areas/south of the Hindu kush mountains), Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives, Arakan state (Burma)
PSA No coa
Flag of the Federal Presidency, represents unity of South Asia Coat of Arms
Capital New Delhi city, Capital state
Largest city Mumbai, Maharashtra Presidency
Other cities Karachi, Dhaka, Lahore, Peshawar, Kolkata, Hyderabad (Sindh), Hyderabad (Andhra Presidency), Delhi (old city), Bangalore, Kanpur, Ahmadabad, Chennai, Surat, Varnassi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Nagpur, Patna, Faisalabad, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Multan, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sailkot, Kathmandu, Chittagong as megacities, many other large urban centers exist
Language
  official
 
language (official) Hindi, Urdu, English
  others (regional and state) Assamese, Arakanese, Balochi, Balti, Bengali, Brahui, Bodo, Burushaski, Dameli, Divehi, Dogri, Domaaki, Dzongkha, Gawar-Bati, Gujarati, Hindi, Hindko, Kannada, Kashmiri, Kalasha, Khowar, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Pashto, Punjabi, Saraiki, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Sinhala, Shina, Tamil, Telugu, Tibetan, Urdu, Yidgha
Chairman (state head) Rajiv Samra
Magistrate (government head) Abdullah Singh
Area 4,990,291 km(2) km²
Population 2.245 billion 
Independence October 4, 1964
Currency Rupee

South Asia officially known as the Federal Presidencies of South Asia (F.P.S.A.), is nation in Southern Asia, and covers most of the Indian plate. The Name is derived from the political structure of the nation and the region in which the states reside. The nation is home to various ancient trade routes and the birthplace of the ancient Indus valley civilization. The nation is home to the Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, and Sikh religions, the religion of Islam arrived in tenth century, and Christianity has arrived in several waves beginning in the second century. It shares borders with the South-east Asia Union to the east and south West, the Iranian Islamic republic to the west and north-west, and Tibet in the north-east.

The nation was divided into separate kingdoms for much of it's history and was gradually annexed and brought under rule of the British East India company. After 1826, The British kingdom took direct control following simmering of rebellion in many areas of the colony. Until 1967, the British administered the colony and the separate princely states by building infrastructure and collecting raw resources. While independence movements had cropped up from the early 1900's, the nation achieved independence in the late 60's and maintains friendly relations with the former colonial power. Today the nation has employed a unique model of political governance, as a result of the worldwide colonial crisis of the late 50's.

The South Asian economy is the world's sixth largest by nominal GDP, and second largest according to purchasing power parity (PPP). The nation is considered newly industrialized although maintains several blocks to free market status as a result of the nation's opposition to urbanization. The nation faces issues of poverty, strained healthcare, and corruption. Due to the highly devolved form of governance, the states of South Asia vary greatly in terms of development and modernization progress. The nation maintains the world's third largest standing military and the 6th largest military budget. South Asia is a Federal Republic consisting of seven territories, eight Federally administered Cities, and 36 Presidential states. It is home to a variety of geographic, biological, and linguistic diversity which vary from the deserts of the west to the jungles of the south-east.

Etymology

The name South Asia was chosen as the most neutral term for the union. South Asia refers to the portion of Asia that the states are located in. India, is a term that was derived from Hindus which referred to the Indus. The name over time reached Europe and became India.

After colonization the term India came to be the most popular among Hindus and Jains. The Muslim League had sought a separate nation known as Pakistan. During final negotiations the name South Asia was decided as the most neutral and appropriate to the union.

The nation is occasionally referred to by the Hindi and Urdu speaking populations (55% of the total) as Hindustan (HindoStahn). Many international educational resources still refer to India and the media often uses the term as well.

History

Ancient History

Middle Ages

Industrial Era

Modern Era

Although independence movements had raged on worldwide, South Asia had experienced a much more prolonged one. Shortly before the first world war, South Asia experienced the beginnings of organized independence efforts. While the British had attempted to suppress such movements, they continued to gain popularity. During the first world war, tens of thousands of Indians served the British from battlefields in Iraq, to Europe. This led to the re-examination of Indian thinkers of their place in the empire, who sought dominions such as Australia and Canada as models for how India should be administered. After the first world war however, the rise of Mahatma Gandhi as an independence figure began to cause a shift in methods of protest. While the ideas of non-violence and civil disobedience gained popularity, they began to cause rifts in the communities as well.

While most Hindus and Jains as well as many Muslims became followers of Gandhi's policy, extremist Hindus and Muslims became bitterly divided and began to seek more and more extreme positions until calls for two separate states began to rise. After Hitler's annexation of European nations, the British began to raise more and more troops from India in preparation in case of war. Once WW2 finally did break out, thousands upon thousands of Indian soldiers went to bolster ranks in Britain's Asian and European fronts. While at home the communities became increasingly divided the soldiers remained largely united in outlook. Nearing the end of the Second World War, Britain had maintained a stronger position than other European nations, it was still experiencing economic and military woes. In India calls for independence led to the British examining proposals for partition.

This worried many Indian independence leaders as separate nations for separate religious communities would also throw in the question of the status of 1/3rd of India which were princely states. Seeing the potential collapse of South Asian unity into various small states as a blow to democracy in Asia, as well as potential for communism to encroach into Asia (as the communists in nearby China were gaining ground) led the British to opt to replace lord Mountbatten (who had only shortly before been named governor of India) with a committee made up of popular Muslim and Hindu leaders. The British chose only those interested in unity and offered a solution of political structure similar to the United States.

Independence and Political structure of the state

The Committee began work by seeking to have a tripartite strategy. They appointed 3 magistrates to form counsels and teams to achieve separate goals.

One would target Hindu and minority dharmic religions and seek to move them away from extreme camps or separatism, and convince them to support the union. This was achieved largely through the charisma of Gandhi and the nationalistic tones espoused by council over religious identity.

The second would target the princely states, and convince them to join the union over independence. This was easiest with the states who were small or surrounded by Indian territory. The Council assured them that they would receive small subsidies from the government and retain their titles over the district where they ruled. Larger royalty was given the assurance that they would continue to rule their territory as a state in the union.In this way some states would retain a monarch and be known as royal states. The monarch's power would be limited to that state, and would have to have constitutional limits on power unless the monarch willingly surrendered power to become a figurehead or constitutional monarch of the state instead. This method would see a larger subsidy paid.

The final council was given what some independence leaders thought was the most hard or impossible task, to encourage Muslims who had pushed for Pakistan to rejoin the fold. This council was given incredible lee way in assuring them that they would not face domination by the Hindus. While final political structure had not been agreed upon, clauses were to be included that gave all Muslim majority states a veto option, even states with substantial minorities where given the right to delay a law for ten years pending re-approach. Hindu states would be given the same veto power but minorities across the nation would be protected by the constitution. These efforts convinced the Baloch and Afghan provinces which where afraid of domination by the urdu speaking Muslims of the east. The Bengal responded somewhat positive but areas like the Punjab and central provinces remained steadfast in opposition.

The Councils spent the years between 1946-1951 working to convince as many as possible in a union. The committee on independence recalled them many times for planning and organisation of the political structures after independence. The designation from the princely states and the other councils eventually came to an agreement that states would be based on linguistic lines. Within each state, provinces would exist largely based on religious lines. This way states would determine cultural and linguistic unity and the provinces within states would ensure that the minorities in the province would have sufficient power to not implement state laws they found alien. Each province would elect a minister and each state would be led by a President. These states would be called presidencies and would have large autonomy, deciding health care, welfare, social and economic policies, religious and educational policies jails and law enforcement etc.The provinces control some of these policies to a smaller degree.

It was decided that the official head of government would be known as a magistrate who would be the elected head. The lower parliament would be known as a council, and there would be one council member for every 1 million people. The official head of state, would be called chancellor, and would be head of the upper house, or chancellor which would be elected according to a points system. The points system was designed to give 50% of the seats to Muslim states, and 50% to Hindu states and 1 reserved seat fro every 1 million of a minority religious member. The membership was also restricted so that 55% of the members came from the northern states or Hindustani people. 5% would be filled by minority Burmese-Tibetan or Afghan cultures related but not the same as the Hindustani people. The remaining 40% would be filled by southern or Dravidian people This chancellor would act as a senate to the lower parliament. Further both Parliaments would need at least 33% of their candidates to be female, the threshold was decided after examination revealed women did not actively participate as much in politics, but where projected to grow.

The territories such as the Maldive islands, and Andaman Islands where turned into "Union Territory", which led to less devolved powers until such a time until it was decided they should achieve presidency status.

The Larger Urban cities, many of which had become cosmopolitan in composition, such as Karachi, Bombay, Kolkatta, Colombo, and Karnataka would become Federally administered Cities. Each with local governments and mayors that had greater power than cities but less than Provinces. Included in this were plans to later incorporate cities which other European powers controlled but where expected to be returned. This way major urban centers could in theory be administered country wide rather than through each presidency.

Each State would have their name based on language preceded by type of Presidency (such as; The Presidency of Punjab, The Presidency of Telugu). The first and basic form of Presidency was simply called Presidency of. The head of government would be a president elected every 5 years. The second form would be Royal Presidencies. Examples including; The Royal Presidency of Assam, the Royal Presidency of Bengal. In this category two further sub-category existed. Although the name of the state would still be Royal Presidency, the head of government would be a President and head of state be the monarch. The first sub-category where constitutional monarchs, or rulers who where largely figureheads, similar to the British monarchy at the time. The second sub-category was one in which the monarchy exercised some power however with restrictions. This was done for states such as Kashmir and Hyderabad which insisted on maintaining position within the Union else forming separate nations.

Once the specific political structure was presented to leaders, the mainline Hindu, and Sikh rulers excepted the proposal. The right wing Hindus where dissatisfied with the concessions Hindus would have to make however where not united in opposing or supporting the new plan. The Muslims under Jinnah were heavily divided, however the plan was to him assuring that the entirety of South Asia's Muslim population would now remain united and better off. He however fought to ensure that the most could be gained, but felt it was necessary to concede full independence in the wake of the fact 1/3d of South Asia's Muslims would remain in India and be worse off without these offers made.

However the acceptance amongst the British leaders and independence leaders by 1962 could not quell what was occurring in the cold war fight in Europe rose with the Soviets having broken the American blockade in Cuba and the Kennedy administration had not yet responded. Further violence had broken out in parts of South Asia in response to the violence, but troops had been deployed. Tensions worldwide and internally where at peak.

Geography

The geography of South Asia greatly varies from region to region. Most of the nation on the Indian plate itself, however some areas in the west and east extend further past the confines of the plate. Glaciers, rainforests, valleys, deserts, and grasslands are all present, a somewhat odd situation as typically this type of variation in environments happens over longer distances. Three main bodies of water; the bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian sea all border the sub-continent and are fed by waters flowing from South Asia's rivers.

South Asia's eastern edge and northern border feature mountain ranges such as the Kunlun and Karakoram, but most noticeably the Himalayas. The world's largest mountain, Mt. Everest is located on the border of South Asia and Tibet in the Himalaya range. The western mountains include the various ranges in Baluchistan including the kohistan mountain range but also the Hindu Kush mountains in the north-west. These mountain ranges are typically considered the extent of Indian cultural influence in the primacy of the rest of the sub-continent however have not stopped all exchanges.

Climate

The western regions are typically classified as Arid (on the periphery) and Semi-Arid (as they move more inward). From Royal Gujarat and Royal Rajastan westward the desert becomes more intense. Some of south India as well is classified as Semi-Arid although this is to a much smaller scale.

Politics

The Federal Presidencies of South Asia are organized very autonomously, Each Presidency has powers almost to the point of a separate nation. The Army, police, education, and health services are run by the central government, however with education and health being a hybrid in terms of decision, requiring ratification from both the national and state government. The Presidents and monarchs posses the ability to veto central government decisions pertaining to their state with the support of

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