Hindustan is derived from the Modern Persian word Hindū. In Old Persian, the region beyond the Indus River was referred to as Hinduš (which in turn is derived from Sindhu, the Sanskrit name for the river), hence Modern Persian Hind and (as a reborrowing) Hindū. This combined with the Iranian suffix -stān (cognate to Sanskrit sthāna, both meaning "place") results in Hindustan, as the land on the other side (from Persia) of the Indus. The term came into common use under the rule of the Mughals who referred to their dominion, centred on Delhi, as 'Hindustan'. A similar term, Indostan, was in common use during the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to denote the countries of South Asia. Today "Indostan" is regarded as an archaism.
Current usage 
Geographic area 
Further, it may pertain to numerous 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.
In modern Persian, Urdu and Hindi, Hindustan and its abbreviated version Hind, usually refer to the current Republic of India. The abbreviated version appears in the common nationalist salutation of India, Jai Hind, coined by Major Abid Hasan Safrani of the Indian National Army as a shortened version of Jai Hindustan Ki (translation: Victory to India). It was popularized by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, who used it on Azad Hind Radio during the Indian independence movement. It appears in the revered song, Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon. Today, it is widely used as a salutation and a battle cry in the Indian Armed Forces. It is also commonly used to sign off at the end of major speeches.
In its current usage in India, the term 'Hindustani' refers to an Indian, irrespective of religious affiliation.
Hindustani is sometimes used as an ethnic term applied to South Asia (e.g., a 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 Netherlands and Suriname.
In Pakistan, the term 'Hindustani' was also infrequently used to refer to Urdu-speaking people in Karachi and Hyderabad, Sindh, who migrated from India during the partition of 1947. However, these people are now commonly referred to as Muhajirs.
More formally, in the proper disciplines of Geography and History, Hindustan refers to the region of the upper and middle Ganges valley; Hindustan by this definition is the Hindustani "heartland" located between (but not including) the distinct regions of Punjab in the northwest and Bengal in the east.
Popular culture 
Hindustan is the title of a 1918 popular song written by Oliver Wallace & Harold Weeks. It was popularized in recordings by a duet of Henry Burr & Albert Campbell on Columbia and the dance orchestra of Joseph C. Smith on Victor. It was revived in 1948 by Ted Weems on Mercury featuring the whistling of Elmo Tanner. Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney recorded a duet for the 1958 album Fancy Meeting You Here.
See also 
- "Hindustan: Definition". Thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
- Sindh: An Introduction[dead link]
- Lipner 1998, pp. 7–8
- "Unlimited: What does -istan" mean as in Pakistan, Uzbekistan or Afghanistan?". Guardian. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
- "Hindustan". Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-02.
- Leonard A. Gordon (1990). Brothers Against the Raj. Columbia University Press.
Further reading 
- 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, February 20, 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.)