Tiny Wiki :
Fast loading, text only version of Wikipedia.
Geographical map of Hindustan
Hindustan (ہندوستان ''Hindustān'' ) "land of Hind", is one of the names of South Asia popular in the middle-east. Though the meaning of Hindustan has evolved over the years, after the partition of India it primarily refers to the northern and central India.
Hindustan is derived from the Persian word ''Hindu'', which is derived from Sindhu, Sanskrit for the Indus River. Sindhu is a river in Sanskrit, in Persian it becomes Hindu.
This together with a popular suffix ''-stān'' (Old Persian 'sthāna', later Persian 'stan' meaning ''place'') gave birth to the word ''Hindustan'', which was rendered as ''Hindusthan''. [ Literally, the word means ''land of the Indus'' in Persian.]
Uses of the word "Hindustan"
Historically, ''Hindustan'' has often been used by Muslims and other Urdu speakers to represent the people of north western India and Pakistan, particularly the Indo-Gangetic Plain and Punjab.
The first known use of the term is on an inscription at Naqsh-e Rustam. The Farsi inscription, which dates to around 252 CE, was commissioned by the Persian king, Shapur I, and mentions Hindustan as one of the areas over which he rules. In this context, Hindustan likely refers to the lower Indus Valley region in modern day Pakistan rather than the Indian subcontinent.
Further, it may relate to various aspects belonging to three geographical areas: the modern Republic of India, the Indian subcontinent during medieval times, or a region in northern India, east and south of the Yamuna river, between the Vindhya mountains and the Himalayas where Hindustani languages are spoken.
Culture and ethnicity
The Urdu term Hindustan as opposed it's Hindi counterpart Bharat, retains its importance amongst Islamic people as it gives culture identity to India and the Indian Subcontinent, amidst the varied culture of India. The adjective, ''Hindustani'', used to define the people of Hindustan, their language, Hindustani language, and also their music, Hindustani classical music. The adjective ''Hindustani'' is a term broadly applied to the Urdu speaking culture of South Asia, and is also freely used by Urdu speaking Indian Muslims, in the context of their Indo-Islamic heritage.
In the middle-east and Pakistan ''Hindustani'' is used as an ethnic term applied to South Asia. The Dutch language sometimes uses the word Hindoestanen to describe any person of South Asian origin.