For introduction to the second impression, see page xxxvi.
This impression of A Historical Atlas of South Asia includes virtually all the material included in the original impression of 1978 and also incorporates much new infor- mation in graphic, textual, and tabular form. The only portions of the previous impression that are not reprinted here are the transparent end cover overlap map showing administrative divisions of the several countries of South Asia as of 1975 (the identical substance of which has, however, been retained, in color, on page 79) and a section entitled "Late Particulars" (former pages 263–266) dealing with politi- cal events and other subject matter for the period 1971–1977. Taking the place of the 1975 overlay map is a new one, also placed in the end cover, showing adminis- trative boundaries as of 1991. This map should prove particularly useful for scholars working with data for the several national censuses that have been conducted in that year and for those who wish to relate data from earlier periods to a contemporary administrative context. The material that appeared in the "Late Particulars" section has been recast and incorporated into the discussions of various subjects in sections IX, X, and XI of a major new section of the atlas entitled "Addenda and Corri- genda," on pages 263–282.
Within the "Addenda and Corrigenda" section the number-letter system for order- ing subsections of the text and ancillary graphic and tabular matter corresponds, to the extent practicable, to that of the original impression. Thus, for example, IX.B relates to elections in both the original work and in the addenda to it. But, where the time period covered extends beyond the reference date stipulated for a given map plate in the original work, a new number is assigned. Accordingly, the tables and text designated IX.B.7–12 relate to elections held in various countries of South Asia from 1974 to June 1991, in continuation of the original maps and text designated IX.B.1–6, which relate to the period 1947–1973.
The substantive additions prepared for the present impression comprise the follow- ing: (1) brief introductory statements for the major sections of the atlas indicating something of the nature of new scholarship that might expand and deepen research on the subjects treated therein and help elucidate relevant spatial patterns and pro- cesses; (2) lists of useful new source materials keyed to individual plates of the original work, to new subsections of the addenda, or to groups of related plates or subsections; (3) an entirely new section on prehistory (pages 263–266) necessitated by the explosion in archaeological knowledge in recent years and the fundamental changes in thinking to which it has led; (4) extensive textual updating of sections IX, X, and XI, relating primarily to the post-independence period; (5) thirty-seven new tables presenting the results of elections over the period 1974–1991 and recent de- mographic and economic data for all the countries of South Asia; (6) a new detailed
Corrigenda are appended, wherever necessary, to the several sections of the ad- denda. We do not presume to suggest that we have managed to uncover and correct every error in the original work or to have filled every significant lacuna. We have, however, made an earnest effort to discover shortcomings in the original work and to set them right within the time at our disposal and the limits imposed by the form of presentation adopted for this updated impression of the atlas.
The remarks in the original introduction on the purposes, source materials and methods of map compilation, and uses of the atlas remain valid for this impression. It appears, however, that, in at least one respect, an important caveat relating to method has been ignored by many readers over the years since the atlas was first published. In discussions with colleagues and in study of a substantial number of publications in which maps copied or adapted from the atlas appear, the editor has noted the misuse and/or misconstruction by many scholars of a type of map that appears quite frequently in sections III through VI, namely the inset maps that depict the territorial extent of scores of premodern states. As explained on page xxix, the frontiers of such states were characteristically ill defined and fluctuating, and often very short lived at their maximum extent. Their representation, accordingly, was purposely relegated to small-scale inset maps. It was hoped that this practice would dissuade readers from attaching excessive weight to the significance of such frontiers and imputing to them the sorts of functions that one associates with modern political boundaries. Further, the textual discussion of each map was intended to inform read- ers of the relevant details about each of the frontiers we presented, often noting the tenuous nature of the evidence on which they were drawn. Our good intentions, however, appear often to have been to little avail. The works in which maps based on those in sections III–VI appear offer, as a rule, no qualifications about the limits of the states they portray and often convey a grossly distorted impression about the durability of particular states as major actors on the South Asian political stage. While we are flattered by the faith that readers have placed in our cartography, we hope that this cautionary reminder will cause future readers to pay closer heed to the explanatory text and dissuade scholars from further unintentional misrepresentation of our message.