Hindustan (pronunciation (help·info)), along with its shortened form Hind, are the Persian names for India, broadly the Indian subcontinent, which later became used by its inhabitants in Hindi-Urdu. After the Partition of India, it continues to be used as a historic name for the Republic of India.
Hindustan is derived from the Persian word Hindū cognate with the Sanskrit Sindhu. The Proto-Iranian sound change *s > h occurred between 850–600 BCE, according to Asko Parpola. Hence, the Rigvedic sapta sindhava (the land of seven rivers) became hapta hindu in the Avesta. It was said to be the "fifteenth domain" created by Ahura Mazda, apparently a land of 'abnormal heat'. In 515 BCE, Darius I annexed the Indus valley including Sindhu, the present day Sindh, which was called Hindu in Persian. During the time of Xerxes, the term "Hindu" was also applied to the lands to the east of Indus.
In middle Persian, probably from the first century CE, the suffix -stān was added, indicative of a country or region, forming the present word Hindūstān. Thus, Sindh was referred to as Hindūstān in the Naqsh-e-Rustam inscription of Shapur I in c. 262 CE.
Historian B. N. Mukherjee states that from the lower Indus basin, the term Hindūstān got gradually extended to "more or less the whole of the subcontinent". The Greco-Roman name "India" and the Chinese name Shen-tu also followed a similar evolution.
The Arabic term Hind, derived from Persian Hindu, was used by the Arabs to refer to the Indianised region from the Makran coast to the Indonesian archipelago. But eventually it too got identified with the Indian subcontinent.
Republic of India
"Hindustan" is often used to refer to the modern day Republic of India. Slogans involving the term are commonly heard at sports events and other public programmes involving teams or entities representing the modern nation-state of India. In marketing, it is also commonly used as an indicator of national origin in advertising campaigns and is present in many company names. Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, and his party the Muslim League, insisted on calling the modern-day Republic of India "Hindustan" in reference to its Hindu-majority population.
In one usage among Hindustani speakers in India, the term 'Hindustani' refers to an Indian, irrespective of religious affiliation. Among non-Hindustani speakers e.g. Bengali-speakers, "Hindustani" is sometimes used to describe persons who are from the upper Ganges, also regardless of religious affiliation, but rather as a geographic term.
Hindustani is sometimes used as an ethnic term applied to South Asia (e.g., a Mauritian or Surinamese man with roots in South Asia might describe his ethnicity by saying he is Hindustani). For example, Hindoestanen is a Dutch word used to describe people of South Asian origin, in the Netherlands and Suriname.
Hindustani is also used to refer to the Hindustani language (not to be confused with Hindi, which is a register of Hindustani alongside Urdu, another register of the same language), which derives from the Khariboli dialect of Western Uttar Pradesh, Southern Uttarakhand and Delhi areas.
The Hindi register itself derives its name from shortened form, Hind (India).
Early Persian scholars had limited knowledge of the extent of India. After the advent of Islam and the Muslim conquests, the meaning of Hindustan interacted with its Arabic variant Hind, which was derived from Persian as well, and almost became synonymous with it. The Arabs, engaging in oceanic trade, included all the lands from Tis in western Balochistan (near modern Chabahar) to the Indonesian archipelago, in their idea of Hind, especially when used in its expansive form as "Al-Hind". Hindustan did not acquire this elaborate meaning. According to André Wink, it also did not acquire the distinction, which faded away, between Sind (roughly what is now western Pakistan) and Hind (the lands to the east of the Indus River); other sources state that Sind and Hind were used synonymously from early times, and that after the arrival of Islamic rule in India, "the variants Hind and Sind were used, as synonyms, for the entire subcontinent." The 10th century text Hudud al-Alam defined Hindustan as roughly the Indian subcontinent, with its western limit formed by the river Indus, southern limit going up to the Great Sea and the eastern limit at Kamarupa, the present day Assam. For the next ten centuries, both Hind and Hindustan were used within the subcontinent with exactly this meaning, along with their adjectives Hindawi, Hindustani and Hindi. Indeed, in 1220 A.D., historian Hasan Nizami described Hind as being "from Peshawar to the shores of the [Indian] Ocean, and in the other direction from Siwistan to the hills of Chin."
With the Turko-Persian conquests starting in the 11th century, a narrower meaning of Hindustan also took shape. The conquerors were liable to call the lands under their control as "Hindustan" ignoring the rest of the subcontinent. In the early 11th century a satellite state of the Ghaznavids in the Punjab with its capital at Lahore was called "Hindustan". After the Delhi Sultanate was established, north India, especially the Gangetic plains, came to be called "Hindustan". Scholar Bratindra Nath Mukherjee states that this narrow meaning of Hindustan existed side by side with the wider meaning, and some of the authors used both of them simultaneously.
The Mughal Empire (1526–1857) called its lands 'Hindustan'. The term 'Mughal' itself was never used to refer to the land. As the empire expanded, so too did 'Hindustan'. At the same time, the meaning of 'Hindustan' as the entire Indian subcontinent is also found in Baburnama and Ain-i-Akbari.
Kingdom of Nepal usage
The last Gorkhali King Prithvi Narayan Shah self proclaimed the newly unified Kingdom of Nepal as Asal Hindustan (Real Hindustan) due to North India being ruled by the Islamic Mughal rulers. The self proclamation was done to enforce Hindu social code Dharmashastra over his reign and refer to his country as being inhabitable for Hindus. He also referred Northern India as Mughlan (Country of Mughals) and called the region infiltrated by Muslim foreigners.
Colonial Indian usage
These dual meanings persisted with the arrival of Europeans. Rennel produced an atlas titled the Memoir of a Map of Hindoostan or the Mogul Empire in 1792, which was in fact a map of the Indian subcontinent. Rennel thus conflated the three notions, 'India', 'Hindustan' and the Mughal Empire. J. Bernoulli, to whom Hindustan meant the Mughal Empire, called his French translation La Carte générale de l'Inde (General Map of India). This 'Hindustan' of British reckoning was divided into British-ruled territories (sometimes referred to as 'India') and the territories ruled by native rulers. The British officials and writers, however, thought that the Indians used 'Hindustan' to refer to only North India. An Anglo-Indian Dictionary published in 1886 states that, while Hindustan means India, in the "nativa parlance" it had come to represent the region north of Narmada River excluding Bihar and Bengal.
During the independence movement, the Indians referred to their land by all three names: 'India', 'Hindustan' and 'Bharat'. Mohammad Iqbal's poem Tarānah-e-Hindī ("Anthem of the People of Hind") was a popular patriotic song among Indian independence activists.
Sāre jahāṉ se acchā Hindustān hamārā
(the best of all lands is our Hindustan)
Partition of India
The 1940 Lahore Resolution of the All-India Muslim League demanded sovereignty for the Muslim-majority areas in the northwest and northeast of India, which came to be called 'Pakistan' in popular parlance and the remaining India came to be called 'Hindustan'. The British officials too picked up the two terms and started using them officially.
However, this naming did not meet the approval of Indian leaders due to the implied meaning of 'Hindustan' as the land of Hindus. They insisted that the new Dominion of India should be called 'India', not 'Hindustan'. Probably for the same reason, the name 'Hindustan' did not receive official sanction of the Constituent Assembly of India, whereas 'Bharat' was adopted as an official name. It was recognised however that 'Hindustan' would continue to be used unofficially.
- Kapur, Anu (2019). Mapping Place Names of India. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-429-61421-7.
- Goel, Koeli Moitra (2 March 2018). "In Other Spaces: Contestations of National Identity in "New" India's Globalized Mediascapes". Journalism & Communication Monographs. 20 (1): 4–73. doi:10.1177/1522637917750131.
“Hindustan,” or the land of the Hindus, is another Hindi name for India.
- Śivaprasāda, Rājā (1874). A History of Hindustan. Medical Hall Press. p. 15.
The Persians called the tract lying on the left bank of the Sindhu (Indus) Hind, which is but a corruption of the word Sindh.
- Ahmad, S. Maqbul (1986), "Hind: The Geography of India according to the Medieaeval Muslim Geographers", in B. Lewis; V. L. Ménage; Ch. Pellat; J. Schacht (eds.), The Encyclopedia of Islam, Volume III (H–IRAM) (Second ed.), Brill, ISBN 978-90-04-12756-2
- Mukherjee, The Foreign Names of the Indian Subcontinent (1989), p. 46: "They used the name Hindustan for India Intra Gangem or taking the latter expression rather loosely for the Indian subcontinent proper. The term Hindustan, which in the "Naqsh-i-Rustam" inscription of Shapur I denoted India on the lower Indus, and which later gradually began to denote more or less the whole of the subcontinent, was used by some of the European authors concerned as a part of bigger India. Hindustan was of course a well-known name for the subcontinent used in India and outside in medieval times."
- "Sindh: An Introduction", Shaikh Ayaz International Conference – Language & Literature, archived from the original on 20 October 2007
- Sarina Singh (2009). Lonely Planet India (13, illustrated ed.). Lonely Planet. p. 276. ISBN 9781741791518.
- Christine Everaer (2010). Tracing the Boundaries Between Hindi and Urdu: Lost and Added in Translation Between 20th Century Short Stories (annotated ed.). BRILL. p. 82. ISBN 9789004177314.
- "Hindustan: Definition". Thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
- Sharma, On Hindu, Hindustan, Hinduism and Hindutva (2002), p. 3.
- Parpola, The Roots of Hinduism (2015), Chapter 9.
- Sharma, On Hindu, Hindustan, Hinduism and Hindutva (2002), p. 2.
- Parpola, The Roots of Hinduism (2015), Chapter 1.
- Habib, Hindi/Hindwi in Medieval Times (2011), p. 105.
- Mukherjee, The Foreign Names of the Indian Subcontinent (1989), p. 46.
- Ray & Chattopadhyaya, A Sourcebook of Indian Civilization (2000), p. 553.
- Ray & Chattopadhyaya, A Sourcebook of Indian Civilization (2000), p. 555.
- Wink, Al-Hind, Volume 1 (2002), p. 5: "The Arabs, like the Greeks, adopted a pre-existing Persian term, but they were the first to extend its application to the entire Indianized region from Sind and Makran to the Indonesian Archipelago and mainland Southeast Asia."
- White-Spunner, Barney (2017), Partition: The story of Indian independence and the creation of Pakistan in 1947, Simon & Schuster UK, p. 5, ISBN 978-1-4711-4802-6
- Pande, Aparna (2011). Explaining Pakistan's foreign policy: escaping India. New York: Routledge. p. 14–15. ISBN 978-0415599009.
At partition, the Muslim League tried, unsuccessfully, to convince the British that the two independent countries should be called Hindustan and Pakistan but neither the British nor the Congress gave in to this demand. It is important to note that Jinnah and the majority of the Pakistani policy-makers have often referred to independent India as "Hindustan," as an affirmation of the two nation theory.
- Beg, Mirzā K̲h̲alīl (1996). Sociolinguistic perspective of Hindi and Urdu in India. Bahri Publications. p. 37.
The word Hind meaning 'India', comes from the Persian language, and the suffix -i which is transcribed in the Persian alphabet as ya-i-ma'ruf is a grammatical marker meaning 'relating to'. The word Hindi, thus, meant 'relating/belonging to India' or the 'Indian native'.
- Ray & Chattopadhyaya, A Sourcebook of Indian Civilization (2000), p. 17.
- Wink, Al-Hind, Volume 1 (2002), p. 145: "The Arabic literature often conflates 'Sind' with 'Hind' into a single term but also refers to 'Sind and Hind' to distinguish the two. Sind, in point of fact, while vaguely defined territorially, overlaps rather well with what is currently Pakistan. It definitely did extend beyond the present province of Sind and Makran; the whole of Baluchistan was included, a part of the Panjab, and the North-West Frontier Province."
- Fatiḥpūrī, Dildār ʻAlī Farmān (1987). Pakistan movement and Hindi-Urdu conflict. Sang-e-Meel Publications.
There are examples to show that "Hind" and "Sind", have been used as synonyms.
- Qureshi, Ishtiaq Husain (1965). The Struggle for Pakistan. University of Karachi. p. 1.
It was after the Arab conquest that the name Sind came to be applied to territories much beyond modern Sind and gradually it came to pass that the variants Hind and Sind were used, as synonyms, for the entire subcontinent.
- Ali, M. Athar (January 1996), "The Evolution of the Perception of India: Akbar and Abu'l Fazl", Social Scientist, 24 (1/3): 80–88, doi:10.2307/3520120, JSTOR 3520120
- Ahmad, Imtiaz (2005), "Concepts of India: Expanding Horizons in Early Medieval Arabic and Persian Writing", in Ifran Habib (ed.), India — Studies in the History of an Idea, Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, pp. 98–99, ISBN 978-81-215-1152-0
- Habib, Irfan (July 1997), "The Formation of India: Notes on the History of an Idea", Social Scientist, 25 (7/8): 3–10, doi:10.2307/3517600, JSTOR 3517600
- The Indian Magazine, Issues 193-204. National Indian Association in Aid of Social Progress and Education in India. 1887. p. 292.
Again Hasan Nizami of Nisha-pur, about A.D. 1220, writes: “The whole of Hind, from Peshawar to the shores of the Ocean, and in the other direction from Siwistan to the hills of Chin."
- Shoaib Daniyal, Land of Hindus? Mohan Bhagwat, Narendra Modi and the Sangh Parivar are using ‘Hindustan’ all wrong, Scroll.in, 30 October 2017.
- J. T. P. de Bruijn, art. HINDU at Encyclopædia Iranica Vol. XII, Fasc. 3, pp. 311-312, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/hindu, Retrieved 6 May 2016
- "Hindustan". Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2007.
- Yule, Henry; Burnell, Arthur Coke (1996) [first published 1886], Hobson-Jobson: The Anglo-Indian Dictionary, Wordsworth Editions, ISBN 978-1-85326-363-7: "Hindostan, n.p. Pers. Hindūstan. (a) 'The country of Hindūs', India. In modern native parlance the word indicates distinctively (b) India north of the Nerbudda, and exclusive of Bengal and Behar. The latter provinces are regarded as pūrb (see Poorub), and all south of the Nerbudda as Dakhan (see Deccan). But the word is used in older Mahommedan authors just as it is used in English school-books and atlases, viz., as (a) the equivalent of India Proper. Thus Babur says of Hindustan: 'On the East, the South and the West it is bounded by the Ocean'"
- Macdonnell, Arthur A. (1968) [first published 1900]. A History of Sanskrit Literature. Haskell House Publishers. p. 141. GGKEY:N230TU9P9E1.
- Mukherjee, The Foreign Names of the Indian Subcontinent (1989), p. 132.
- Vanina, Eugenia (2012), Medieval Indian Mindscapes: Space, Time, Society, Man, Primus Books, p. 47, ISBN 978-93-80607-19-1
- Acharya, Baburam, Naraharinath, Yogi (2014). Badamaharaj Prithivi Narayan Shah ko Divya Upadesh (2014 Reprint ed.). Kathmandu: Shree Krishna Acharya. pp. 4, 5. ISBN 978-99933-912-1-0.
- * Edney, Matthew H. (2009), Mapping an Empire: The Geographical Construction of British India, 1765-1843, University of Chicago Press, p. 11, ISBN 978-0-226-18486-9
- Clémentin-Ojha, India, that is Bharat (2014), paragraph 3.
- Mukherjee, The Foreign Names of the Indian Subcontinent (1989), p. 71.
- Mukherjee, The Foreign Names of the Indian Subcontinent (1989), p. 48.
- Mukherjee, The Foreign Names of the Indian Subcontinent (1989), p. 133.
- Clémentin-Ojha, India, that is Bharat (2014), paragraph 1.
- Clémentin-Ojha, India, that is Bharat (2014), paragraph 26.
- Dhulipala, Creating a New Medina (2015), pp. 17–18, 22.
- Sabharwal, Gopa (2007), India Since 1947: The Independent Years, Penguin Books Limited, p. 12, ISBN 978-93-5214-089-3
- Clémentin-Ojha, India, that is Bharat (2014), paragraph 39.
- Clémentin-Ojha, India, that is Bharat (2014), paragraphs 42–45.
- Clémentin-Ojha, Catherine (2014). "'India, that is Bharat…': One Country, Two Names". South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal. 10.
- Dhulipala, Venkat (2015), Creating a New Medina, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-1-107-05212-3
- Habib, Irfan (2011), "Hindi/Hindwi in Medieval Times: Aspects of Evolution and Recognition of a Language", in Ishrat Alam; Syed Ejaz Hussain (eds.), The Varied Facets of History: Essays in Honour of Aniruddha Ray, Primus Books, pp. 105–124, ISBN 978-93-80607-16-0
- Lipner, Julius (1998), Hindus: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Routledge, ISBN 0415051827
- Parpola, Asko (2015), The Roots of Hinduism: The Early Aryans and the Indus Civilization, Oxford University Press Incorporated, ISBN 978-0190226923
- Mukherjee, Bratindra Nath (1989), The Foreign Names of the Indian Subcontinent, Place Names Society of India
- Ray, Niharranjan; Chattopadhyaya, Brajadulal, eds. (2000), A Sourcebook of Indian Civilization, Orient Blackswan, ISBN 978-81-250-1871-1
- Sharma, Arvind (2002), "On Hindu, Hindustan, Hinduism and Hindutva", Numen, 49 (1): 1–36, doi:10.1163/15685270252772759, JSTOR 3270470
- Wink, André (2002) [first published 1990], Al-Hind: The Making of the Indo-Islamic World (Third ed.), Brill, ISBN 0391041738
- A Sketch of the History of Hindustan from the First Muslim Conquest to the Fall of the Mughal Empire by H. G. Keene. (Hindustan The English Historical Review, Vol. 2, No. 5 (Jan. 1887), pp. 180–181.)
- Story of India through the Ages; An Entertaining History of Hindustan, to the Suppression of the Mutiny, by Flora Annie Steel, 1909 E.P. Dutton and Co., New York. (as recommended by the New York Times; Flora Annie Steel Book Review, 20 February 1909, New York Times.)
- The History of Hindustan: Post Classical and Modern, Ed. B.S. Danniya and Alexander Dow. 2003, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1993-4. (History of Hindustan (First published: 1770-1772). Dow had succeeded his father as the private secretary of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.)