16 Facts About Hindu


The term "Hindu" implied a geographic, ethnic or cultural identifier for people living in the Indian subcontinent around or beyond the Sindhu River.

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The term 'Hindu' in these ancient records is an ethno-geographical term and did not refer to a religion.

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The 'Hindu' community occurs as the amorphous 'Other' of the Muslim community in the court chronicles, according to the Indian historian Romila Thapar.

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The comparative religion scholar Wilfred Cantwell Smith notes that the term 'Hindu' retained its geographical reference initially: 'Indian', 'indigenous, local', virtually 'native'.

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The term Hindu was later used occasionally in some Sanskrit texts such as the later Rajataranginis of Kashmir and some 16th- to 18th-century Bengali Gaudiya Vaishnava texts, including Chaitanya Charitamrita and Chaitanya Bhagavata.

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One of the earliest but ambiguous uses of the word Hindu is, states Arvind Sharma, in the 'Brahmanabad settlement' which Muhammad ibn Qasim made with non-Muslims after the Arab invasion of northwestern Sindh region of India, in 712 CE.

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The term 'Hindu' meant people who were non-Muslims, and it included Buddhists of the region.

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The term Hindu there is ambivalent and could mean geographical region or religion.

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The various sub-divisions and separation of subgroup terms were assumed to be result of "communal conflict", and Hindu was constructed by these orientalists to imply people who adhered to "ancient default oppressive religious substratum of India", states Pennington.

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Idea of twelve sacred sites in Shiva Hindu tradition spread across the Indian subcontinent appears not only in the medieval era temples but in copper plate inscriptions and temple seals discovered in different sites.

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The tradition and temples likely existed well before the medieval era Hindu manuscripts appeared that describe them and the sacred geography.

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The Hindu nationalism ideology that emerged, states Jeffrelot, was codified by Savarkar while he was a political prisoner of the British colonial authorities.

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Gerald Larson states, for example, that Hindu nationalists have sought a uniform civil code, where all citizens are subject to the same laws, everyone has equal civil rights, and individual rights do not depend on the individual's religion.

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Hindu nationalists seek that the legal age for marriage be eighteen that is universally applied to all girls regardless of their religion and that marriages be registered with local government to verify the age of marriage.

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Hindu nationalism in India, states Katharine Adeney, is a controversial political subject, with no consensus about what it means or implies in terms of the form of government and religious rights of the minorities.

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In more ancient times, Hindu kingdoms arose and spread the religion and traditions across Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand, Nepal, Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, and what is central Vietnam.

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