Historically, people who come from the Indus river and eastward, were called Hindu. It is very important that they be referred to with the word Hindu, and not “Indian.” Historically, Hindu did not indicate the religion per se, but the people, their culture, and everything associated with them.
In the English language, still the language of America, the word “Indian” was first used in reference to the indigenous peoples of the Western hemisphere, the North, Central, and South American continents. Yes, it was mistaken, but, that is beside the point. The historical name for the indigenous people of the Americas is Indian.
Why is this important? Here is a reference from an article I published on VDARE.com, 12-29-2003:
The Tatar Relation manuscript (ca.1247), written in Latin, already referred to the Asian sub-continent people of the “Sindhus” (the Sanskrit word for “river”) as Indiam. In English, as early as the 6th century, A.D., Boethius used the terms “India,” “Indus,” and “Indea” in his De consolatione philosophiae.
Of course, Boethius was a Roman, and wrote in Latin. His work was translated into English in the late 9th century. More English translations followed. Continuing in the VDARE article:
The Persian pronunciation of “Indus” was of course “hindus,” with the sounded “h.” One Hindu authority says such a term didn’t enter the “Hindu” vocabulary until the 7th century, or the age of Islam.
But not until 1662 did the Persian term appear in English, in the translations of John Davies (of Kidwell). By the next century, Anglo-Americans referred to people from the Indus as “Hindus.” The only people whom they called “Indians” were the inhabitants of the Americas.
And from another VDARE article I posted, October 10, 2004:
However, the first written use of the word “Indian” in English is in 1566, in John Alday’s translation of Boaystuau’s Theatrum mundi, in which he refers to “an Indian philosopher named Diphileus”–a Greek name, no less.
I am offended by this confusion in modern day America, confusion which is created by the abundant presence of Hindu people referred to as “Indians.” This, in effect, is yet another and very serious assault on the identity of the American Indian.
Thus, the typical modern headline in American papers: Indian Communisty Burgeoning in America. Of course, the article has to do with Hindus, not American Indian. And recently there appeared this entry on the blog, aboutbloginfo.com: “Fact about India.” It is a strange collection of information about American Indians (Seminole), and it has my name and a name of one of my articles (It’s the Casinos, Stupid). It has nothing to do with India, or Hindu people. Yet, is listed as “Fact about India.”
Just search the single word “Indian” on Yahoo and Hindu people and culture are the first several listings. This is in English, of course. Google is little better.
This is an unnecessary confusion of race, culture, religion, and identity. This, of course, is the absolute delight of the Leftists, i.e., the Marxist, i.e., the Communists, the liberals, the socialists, whatever. They desire to eliminate all boundaries, all differences, and all in the name of equality. Yes, they’ll use a race or a culture to create tumult and rebellion against any establishment. It’s call ed racial agitation. This is what the Black Panthers was all about, and what the American Indian Movement was all about. The same white socialists created both parties.
I resent it. The name American Indian, or just Indian, in America, in American history, is too sacred to me. It means too much to too many people who are native of this land, more native than anyone else. That a horde of foreigners would come, bringing the same name–unnecessarily, is unacceptable to me. These people are Hindu, not “Indian.” I will never refer to a person from India as “Indian,” but always call them by the name which is more similar to their own name, sindhu, Sanskrit for “river.”
I am offended to call them by the historical name of my own people. This is America, not the world. The people from India have another name by which they were historically known, and by which they should ever be known. American Indians don’t have another such name. “Native American” is false, for anyone born here is technically “native” of America. “Indigenous” is to animalistic for me, and degrading. Too inhuman. Plants are “indigenous.”
American Indians have enough problems without this unnecessary confusion of identity. American Indians should file suit, demanding that people from India be referred to as Hindu, not “Indian.” Mark my words. In due time, the Hindus called “Indian” will eventually encroach upon the honor and priviledges of being American Indian. Every other darky in the world has already been at it. With the advantage of the improper name “Indian” so profusely applied to them, they stand in a position of great advantage. Perhaps no Hindus have even thought of such a thing. But the white anti-American racists of the Left have thought of it. You can be sure of that.
This man is not an American Indian, but a Hindu, his true name..