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earlier comments[edit]

if i understand things correctly, the east indies were once known simply as the indies.

so does this mean that east indians were known simply as indians?

Gringo300 08:24, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • Answer: Yes! Inhabitant of the East Indies are known as Indians.

The First Europeans in the Spice Indies[edit]

The "Portuguese" were the "first" Europeans to set sail in the "East Indies", beginning in "1497"(late 15th century), who arrived in India, Sri Lanka and East Timor between 1500-1520, then followed by the "Spanish" in the early 16th century in "1521" who founded the Philippine Archipelago. The Dutch Explorers arrived 74 years later in "1595", who began exploring the land of what is now Indonesia.

Ok, but one "thing" I don't " understand"; why all the quotation "marks"? "?" (talk) 15:52, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

Need better map[edit]

Need to get a better map....the one shown is stated as showing the indies, but based on the definition of indies, it doesn't !

im not sure about that definition, i didnt think that the Indies included India (strange as that sounds) -- Astrokey44|talk 15:53, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
The definition specifically excludes western New Guinea, which is presumably correct, but the map includes it. Nurg 02:12, 30 September 2006 (UTC)


I always thought the East Indies were just the islands of Indonesia - its also what it says in the britannica [1]. "Indies" by itself may also be referring to the West Indies (Caribbean) -- Astrokey44|talk 15:46, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Nope. Indies was a collective term for the Asia-Pacific region lying outside the Oriental sphere. After the Dutch colonised Indonesia (see Dutch East Indies), the term Indies was used specifically used for this region so as to differentiate from British India. West Indies is called so because early European settlers actually thought that it was Indies. American Indian naming controversy!! Rings bells?? -- 04:06, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
So close! You got the nameing thing right, but you got the settlers thing wrong. Columbus knew where he was going. He knew that when he sailed across the Atlantic that he would end up in America. HE HAD A MAP! That map already showed the location of Puerto Rico and the surrounding islands! He called the people he found there "en dios". He wrote in his journal that they people reminded him of the descriptions of Adam and Eve in Genesis and how Adam was created in God's likeness. Over time the words were combined and basterdized into Indians. India wasn't even called "India" yet, and the term "Indies" didn't become popular until the Dutch created the East Indies Trading Company. Heck! the Europeans didn't even sail to the Indies until after Colombus "discovered" America.Itzacho (talk) 07:12, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Heck! and heck again! A large number of Europeans had walked to India in a bunch and walked back again before the time of Christ. And they knew perfectly well it was there to visit and to conquer. Glance at Alexander the Great. And the name India and Indies comes from the (Indian) river, Indus. Eddaido (talk) 02:32, 6 September 2010 (UTC)


I would strongly contend that: "The New World was initially thought to be the easternmost part of the Indies by explorer Christopher Columbus, who had grossly underestimated the westerly distance from Europe to Asia. Later, to avoid confusion, the New World came to be called the "West Indies", whilst the original Indies came to be called the "East Indies"." Christopher Columbus knew where he was going. He had maps that showed the location of the islands that he was setting out to explore before he left Lisban! The maps are held in the cartography libraries in Portugal. If you want to see replications just take a look in the book, "1421: The Year China Discovered America", by Gavin Menzies. Menzies is a retired Royal Navy submarine commander and took the maps that he found, and by adjusting the longitude to make up the cartography errors, and layed out solid evidence that Christopher Columbus had in his possession maps that showed the land that he was to "discover".Itzacho (talk) 07:23, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Merge discussion[edit]

Indianized kingdom, Greater India, Undivided India, Indian subcontinent and Indies - little difference in content, same maps and graphic used over and over, not much accessibility to the information spread over an array of hotchpotch. The only argument I can see against a merger is chauvinism. Yes, India was great and still is great. But, we don't need fifty different entries to prove that greatness, much less the same point that India has/had influence over a wide part of the world and was/is known to have so. *Sigh*. Aditya(talkcontribs) 02:05, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

More and deep *Sigh*. I am confining my comments, for the time being to, the Indian Subcontinent - the page is about a geographical reality, and it can not be eliminated simiply because the landmass contains more than one sovereign state. --Bhadani (talk) 17:19, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Hahahhahaha! That was good, real good. I see distinct possibilities that the Indian Subcontinet can very well be merged into South Asia. They represent the same geographical reality. That would help us to keep the landmass intact without not the indo-centric POV. The rest may go into an article on Indian influence and historical expanse (two sides of the same coin), thus reducing redundancy and chauvinism. BTW, I see the same repetitive structure in China-related articles. Unfortunately I know too little of China to make a substantial comment there. Aditya(talkcontribs) 06:23, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Couldn't all these differences in terminology be addressed in one article about India? (talk) 06:24, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

There is a lot of discussion visible on the talk pages of all of the merger candidates. And, most of the comments against merger seem to hang on to subtleties and nuances (i.e. Greater India is bigger than Undivided India or Indian Subcontinent as a term has been in coinage for long). Unfortunately not one of the against-merger comments said a single thing about the usefulness of having a dozen different articles repeating mostly the same stuff (in copy, ref and graphics) to assert the greatness of India. And, while there are comments saying the original intention of these articles were not this, not one edit has been made to make them conform to the intentions. Therefore I propose being bold and merging them all (almost all, at least) and that pretty quick. Aditya(talkcontribs) 04:26, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I know Indian subcontinent is a significant landmass, and it is linked from subcontinent. But... (1) Indian subcontinent = South Asia, and a sencond article on the same landmass is adding no extra value; and, (2) that link from subcontinent can be addressed in many ways, most notably a redirect and a line or two on the South Asia page describing it's alternative name. This should solve Transhumanist's problem. Aditya(talkcontribs) 07:11, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
  • allow me to add my semi-informed opinion.  :-) I think the merge as presented is too broad. it seems to me that two or three smaller mergers would be more in order: Indian subcontinent with south asia (noting both the cultural and geographic qualities); Greater India, Undivided India, and Indies, since all three seem to focus on a kind of Indian cultural influence sphere, ... . with, of course, appropriate redirects as Aditya proposed.--Ludwigs2 (talk) 01:37, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
Highly agreeable as far as I can see. Should I go forward? In the face of a lack of a proper discussion, I guess, WP:BRD is the right way to go about this. Aditya(talkcontribs) 11:45, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Oppose except for one case:
Indian subcontinent should redirect to South Asia probably (in any case it's different from East Indies or Indies). Merging with South Asia should be dealt with in a separate discussion.
Greater India is the same as the (Eastern) Indies, so this one yes: merge
Undivided India should probably not be titled that way but rather India (disambiguation).
Indianized kingdom rather seems a cultural concept, like Hellenistic Kingdom. It probably deserves its own article.
--Sugaar (talk) 07:52, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
Oppose Indianized kingdom is an historical article about a specific period of history, and ought to be expanded, not merged. Greater India and Undivided India are cultural terms, and Indian subcontinent is or ought to be a geographical article, with room for attention to the geological evolution of the subcontinent. South Asia is more of a cultural concept that is rather larger than, and in any case distinguishable from the subcontinent. I would propose that Greater India and Undivided India be merged into South Asia, not into Indian subcontinent, nor into Indies. Indies probably ought to be edited into a disambiguation article, and most of its content merged to East Indies, which ought not redirect back to Indies, which is also used to refer to the Caribbean. I'm mostly going on record here in favor of keeping Indian subcontinent, the geographical/geological term, clearly distinguished from the cultural articles being considered here. --arkuat (talk) 06:03, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Oppose I'm not against some reorganization but think that the current proposal is too broad. Also agree with Transhumanist that Indian subcontinent is a recognizable geographic entity that is different from South Asia. Even though the latter corresponds (roughly) to the former, renaming the geographical entity would be flirting dangerously with WP:OP.--Regents Park (sink with the skaters) 21:15, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Indian subcontinent and South Asia are not the same thing? How not so? Is there any difference found outside original research? Wikipedia is not a dictionary, and it seems that only a dictionary would have two separate entries for two names of the same thing, maintaining both names as different entities. Aditya(talkcontribs) 14:28, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
South Asia is more a geopolitical thing while Indian Subcontinent is more a geographical thing. I think it a bit more than a stretch to argue that the term Indian Subcontinent is WP:OR. You could argue that the use of Indian in Indian Subcontinent is exclusionary (in that it excludes Bangladesh and other countries on the, um, subcontinent) and that wouldn't be unreasonable, but I don't see where your WP:OR accusation is coming from. Are you suggesting that the term Indian Subcontinent has no respectability outside wikipedia? --Regents Park (sink with the skaters) 14:44, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, that happens. Our believe in things get so embedded that we often fail to see to see the OR. I was referring to that difference you found between South Asia and the Indian Subcontinet (geopolitical and geographical). Apart from this piece of information they look like pretty much the same thing. Can you please, substantiate your claim that "South Asia is more a geopolitical thing while Indian Subcontinent is more a geographical thing"? If we can do that much, then I think there would be little reason to believe that there was OR involved here. Aditya(talkcontribs) 17:20, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
I guess we'll need access to a dictionary of geographical terms (I'm traveling, so that'll have to wait till August), but a quick search pulls up Title: Gondwana to Asia: Plate tectonics, paleogeography and the biological connectivity of the Indian sub-continent from the Middle Jurassic through latest Eocene (166-35 Ma) Author: Jason R Ali, Jonathan C Aitchison, Citation: Earth - Science Reviews Jun 2008 88(3/4) 145, Year: 2008. The publication abstract makes no mention of South Asia. I know that one swallow does not necessarily a summer make but, apparently, these authors of an article in a well-respected journal saw no reason to mention South Asia when discussing the movement of the plate. --Regents Park (sink with the skaters) 17:36, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Aditya, Indian subcontinent refers, in part, to a big chunk of continental crust that has recently (in geological terms) slammed into Asia and become part of South Asia. South Asia doesn't really need to talk so much about the geology, but Indian subcontinent does. The articles ought not be merged; if they are merged, the geological discussion will have to be moved to some less adequate location on en.wikipedia, like plate tectonics, which will become too long if it must accept many such excluded texts. --arkuat (talk) 13:52, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Is that continental crust any different from the Indian Plate? If so, how? Aditya(talkcontribs) 03:53, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

The Indian plate is mostly oceanic crust. It includes the continental crust of the Indian subcontinent, but is much larger than it. --arkuat (talk) 05:00, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Oppose merger of Indies and Indianized kingdom. These topics deserve their own articles. However, Support merger of Greater India and Undivided India --Emperor Genius (talk) 04:37, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

This really needs a fresh start. I'm trying to get a comprehensive view here. In short, there are way too many articles, most of them highly unsubstantiated, repeating the same thing. If the need to have a lot of redundant articles is not too great, most can be reorganized into one or two articles. That would surely be more useful. Right? Wrong? What? Aditya(talkcontribs) 15:42, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Is it so necessary to keep so many articles that don't have their scopes defined enough to warrant independent entries? What purpose are they serving? Spreading confusion? Or, establishing India on the Wikipedia?

Please, take a look. This complex maze of overlapping articles telling the same story over dozens of different pages need to be curbed. Aditya(talkcontribs) 16:49, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

This should be brought up in Wikipedia_talk:Noticeboard_for_India-related_topics rather than on this talk page. Seems to me that Greater India and Undivided India can be combined into one article quite easily. Ditto fro Names of India and Official names of India. Not sure about the rest.--Regents Park (paddle with the ducks) 19:26, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Discussion of moves, redirects, and disambiguation[edit]

I invite you all to examine the list of articles that link to 'Indies'. Everyone who thoroughly examines this link ought to agree with me that the content of Indies ought to be moved to East Indies, and that Indies itself become a disambiguation page with links to East Indies and Caribbean. Currently, East Indies redirects to Indies. There are a lot of history articles on wikipedia, you know, so we do need to remember historical usages when setting up redirects and disambig pages. --arkuat (talk) 05:13, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm pleased that the merge tags have mostly been removed, but still somewhat puzzled that Indies is not yet a disambig page. If this is the consensus decision of Wikipedia editors, then we need to look at articles that link to 'Indies' and start changing all those Indies links that intend West Indies to be in the form of Indies. Frankly, I think making Indies a disambig page and moving the current Indies article to East Indies would be a lot less work, but please, let's get started on one or the other project. --arkuat (talk) 07:53, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

I just noticed this page and discussion, after clicking on the East Indies link in the East India Company page. I too am puzzled that "East Indies" is redirected to "Indies." I entirely agree with Arkuat that the latter page should be a disambiguation page. The term "Indies" was used in the 15th and 16th centuries for (what later became) both the East and the West Indies (i.e. the term was used as a time when the two were not thought to be distinct).
As for the other pages discussed above,
  • Greater India has a clearly delineated set of cultural, historical, and geological meanings, all but one of which are archaic, and all are defined on that page.
  • I don't know too much about Indianized kingdom, but it seems to have a clear enough current cultural-historical meaning; the page should be developed more. I have already removed portions of the Greater India page that are more appropriate to the latter page.
  • The Undivided India page has no connection whatsoever with the Greater India page. It is a term that was used in post-partition India to distinguish the new Republic of India from the pre-partition India (which is covered in the Wikipedia page British Raj, and not in "British India," which refers only to those regions of India that were directly administered by the British, in contrast to the Princely States that were only indirectly ruled. See dab page British rule in India for the distinctions.) The Undivided India page should either be redirected to the British Raj page, or it should become a disambiguation page which describes the specific historical usage of the term in the context of the Partition of India, and then points the reader to the British Raj page. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 18:48, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Seems reasonable. Indies could refer to either the East or the West Indies so the disamb and rename proposal is a necessary one. (Though, if I may say so, this article is a complete mess.) --Regents Park (sink with my stocks) 11:55, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I can agree to all that. But, a merge isn't a delete, and a merge can and does happen on the merit of the article.
Fortunately Indianized kingdom and Indosphere has managed to evolve into real academic concepts beyond the repetition of the same mega-India stuff strewn over multiple articles. I am not too sure of Indies yet. Aditya(talkcontribs) 12:56, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Definately agree that "Indies" should be a DAB. Does anybody even use the terms "Indies", "East Indies", or "West Indies" anymore? They are historical constructs related to the spheres of influence of various European trading companies, and not related the modern concepts like Greater India. (talk) 23:14, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Remove the redundant from Indian Subcontinet article, then[edit]

If you guys are sure Indian Subcontinent is a geographical thing, then why don't we remove the non-geographical stuff from the article to South Asia or India (let's ignore the geopolitical OR for now). If it keeps closely corresponding the South Asia article, it should be merged into that article, as South Asia seems to be a term in wider usage at that. If it needs a separate existence then it should have it by being separate, as opposed to being similar to the South Asia article. An,d we should also remove this explicitly geographical region from the navbox for politically divided regions. Can we do that? Aditya(talkcontribs) 15:34, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I completely agree with you that this ought to be done. I'm principally opposed to the merge proposal because we'll just have to do this as a split after the merge. We should move most of the cultural material in Indian subcontinent to South Asia, and most of the geo material in South Asia to "see Indian subcontinent for further info". I'm opposed to the merge for other reasons that need not be repeated here, but at the very least, we should exclude Indian subcontinent from the merge, perhaps putting an appropriate WP:split tag on it. --arkuat (talk) 03:48, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
P. S. Perhaps this new section of discussion ought to be moved from Talk:Indies to Talk:Indian subcontinent, and a link to the section put into Talk:South Asia? I'll do this later if no one else does first. --arkuat (talk) 03:50, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Except for a couple of lines on politics, I don't see a whole lot of non-geographical stuff in that article. --Regents Park (sink with my stocks) 21:26, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
I assume that by Geography we are meaning physical geography, as opposed to political geography, and I sincerely don't see much of that. Please, don't get me wrong. I am not trying to be a dick or something. It's just that the burden of evidence should lie with the editor who adds stuff, and I haven't seen that happening. Aditya([[User

talk:Aditya Kabir|talk]] • contribs) 13:05, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

It's true that Indian subcontinent, as the article has stood for many months now, includes a great deal of cultural and political material that I think ought to be removed from the article (as such material already stands in South Asia and other articles). Although for decades people have used the phrase "Indian subcontinent" as a shorthand for what we now refer to as South Asia, the phrase nowadays is first and foremost a geological concept (the Indian subcontinent is easily distinguished from the Indian plate, which contains it but is not identical with it) and secondarily a physical-geographical (not a cultural-geographical or political-geographical) concept. I remain scandalized that so many links to Indies in so many historical articles on the en.wikipedia link to the article we are supposed to be discussing on this talk page (which ought to be moved to East Indies) when they plainly intend to refer to the Caribbean. --arkuat (talk) 08:39, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

I have all the good intentions to be there with you, time permitting, of course. Aditya(talkcontribs) 11:25, 30 November 2008 (UTC)


This article shows signs of needing a complete re-write - inadequate referencing and confusing in whether it is aligned to India, to the alledged indies or the east indies - as it stands it is a mess.

I would recommend that most of the article be gutted - and the three very different subjects be considered as separate articles rather than stay here - Indies

  1. early exploration confusion about India and the 'west'/'east' indies issue be either subsumed into other article - or clearly identified separately in the article.
  2. East Indies - go to the current east indies stub - and have a specific title to work from (Indies is too ambiguous in my opinion to stay as is) - and work in that context
  3. Indian cultural imperialism - 'greater india' stuff - own separate article

As it stands with no refs/cites to mention (since when was Britannica a valid ref in Wikipedia? ) and potentially POV assertions within the article as it stands - it needs work SatuSuro 03:31, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

I dont understand who decides the sphere?[edit]

How come the Indian cultural sphere ends with Pakistan? Why isnt Afghanistan ilncluded? Or Iran? I mean it goes all the way to Indonesia on the East and only Pakistan on the West then? (talk) 06:56, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

start of the Moslem controlled area, I think. (talk) 15:54, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

File:1801 Cary Map of the East Indies and Southeast Asia ( Singapore, Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Philippines - Geographicus - EastIndies-cary-1801.jpg[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:1801 Cary Map of the East Indies and Southeast Asia ( Singapore, Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Philippines - Geographicus - EastIndies-cary-1801.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on August 17, 2014. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2014-08-17. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. Thanks! — Crisco 1492 (talk) 08:56, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Picture of the day
John Cary map of the Indies

An 1801 map of the East Indies, prepared by John Cary for his New Universal Atlas, depicting all of Southeast Asia. In a restricted sense, the term East Indies refers to the area's islands, though it has also been used to include certain land-locked areas (mostly those under Indian cultural influence). European powers, beginning with the Portuguese, explored and colonized these regions in the late 15th century; the East Indies were not decolonized until the 20th century.

Map: John Cary
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