Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Hindu, properly the collective name of the Indian branch of the Aryan peoples, who entered the peninsula from the north-west and consequently formed their first settlements on the banks of the Indus (Sindhu, Hindhu); but the term is not of native origin, and only came into general use during the Mohammedan epoch through Persian influence, as shown by the change of S to II, a phonetic process characteristic not of the Indie, but of the Iranic, as also of the Hellenic branch of the Aryan languages. Even now the term Hindu, as well as Hindustan (" Hindu Land"), is used chiefly by the Mohammedans, and by them restricted to the region roughly corresponding to the British administrative division known as the "North-West Provinces;" but it is now applied by European writers in a general way to all the inhabitants of India, and in a religious sense to those professing the Brahmanic as opposed to the Buddhistic religion.