Wikipedia talk:Notice board for India-related topics/India disambiguation discussion

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All Wikipedians are welcome to weigh-in on an issue which is sensitive and has been causing edit wars and problems between Wikipedians.

ISSUE: "India" the historical region is different from the Republic of India. It consisted also of modern Pakistan, Bangladesh, but a search for "India" automatically redirects to the Republic of India. Should there not be a clarification?

Review:


From talkpage of user:Spasage[edit]

Hi - I appreciate your taking the time to talk about this issue, but please try to understand that there is no nationality or citizenship known as "South Asian" or "British Indian." Iqbal himself talks of "Indian Muslims," and "India." And neither can "Indian subcontinent" be used because its just a broad geographical area that exceedes British India. I appreciate you being civil, and I assure you that I'm not trying to push an Indian nationalist POV. Rama's Arrow 06:49, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

If you see the bio I wrote about Mujibur Rahman, I describe him as an East Pakistani politician before citing him as the founder of Bangladesh. Rama's Arrow 06:50, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
As for due credit, both Jinnah and Iqbal are described as Indians, but immediately given credit for founding and conceiving Pakistan. Its not like their significance is being discounted. Rama's Arrow 06:52, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
You are right, but my point is word Indian or India changed after 1947. Now if we say India, we are talking about present day India. So dont you think, using India or Indian means present day india, which does not include Pakistan or Bangladesh. Can we use some other word? What do you think about it? I feel that using word Indian or India, kind of exclude Pakistani and Bangladeshi from undivided India. They were Indian, but they were part of Undivided India, not present day india. I would like to you comment on it. --Spasage 07:00, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
I've been wanting to discuss this issue collectively with Pakistani and Bangladeshi editors, so as to avoid edit wars and hostilities (and no Pakistan or Indian occupied Wikipedia!). Here's my idea:

The page Indian is a disambiguation - we must simply add the fact that the word "Indian" was used to describe the people who lived in British India, before changing in 1947 to mean only Republic of India. And I will remove the link to India from the bios of Jinnah and Iqbal. Rama's Arrow 07:04, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Indian Subcontinent is term used by wikipedia to refer to fact you are talking about. I think instead of British India, this land was known simply as India and people living here were refer to as Indian, but it was before 1947. I think this fact should be mentioned in both Indian and India pages. Fact that there is difference between present India and India before 1947 is ignored in many articles. Please recommend names for India and Indian before 1947. --Spasage 07:21, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
As of now on the Indian page, both your "Indian subcontinent" and "British India" as different from Republic of India are included in the top 3 definitions. I think this is a pragmatic, clean solution as Wikipedia must follow conventions and not promote new interpretations. Indian subcontinent includes Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and perhaps Afghanistan, whose people to the best of my knowledge have never been described as "Indian."
If you would like to undertake a deeper analysis and come up with something different, I recommend that we organize a discussion on a subpage of Portal:Asia, and invite amongst others, Indian, Pakistan and Bangladeshi editors to weigh into the issue. Or we can simply ask people like user:Nichalp, user:Ragib and user:Pepsidrinka to drop by and give us their views on your talkpage here itself. Rama's Arrow 07:27, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
What is your suggestion, to describe Indian and Indian before 1947? --Spasage 07:32, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
As I said, the Indian page itself differentiates between "British India" and "India after 1947" - it implies that the word "Indian" has been used to describe different things. As it is in the top 3 definitions, it would serve as a good clarifier. Rama's Arrow 07:35, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm going offline now, so I'd like to just say that I appreciate that your civility and that you took time to discuss this rather sensitive issue with me. There is a need for a general understanding amongst "South Asian" editors about such a question/issue, based on technical facts and convention, and not politics, bias or revisionist history. Rama's Arrow 07:41, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
Ok, so when we mention India before 1947, we can use Indian Subcontinent and when Indian we move to Indian page, there is difination. Is it correct? If it is we can add other user so that same defination is used everwhere. What I understand it is ignored in many articles.

Before 1947

 India -> Indian Subcontinent
 Indian -> Indian, use definations.

After 1947

 India -> India
 Indian -> Indian, use definations.

--Spasage 07:49, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Indian subcontinent also consists of Nepal, Bhutan and the then Sikkim which were not under British Raj or British rule. So, use of India for Indian subcontinent before 1947 is not exactly correct. A better term might be British India or Colonized India. Thank you.--Eukesh 07:52, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Correct on count of "Indian." Not so for "India" - one must use what is accurate as per chronology. There is a big difference between the "Indian subcontinent" of the Gupta dynasty, and the "Indian subcontinent" of the Mughals. Prolly the only thing one can use "Indian subcontinent" for is the Indus Valley Civilization and the Indo-Aryans, Vedic civilization.
There is no need to mention that Iqbal was an "Indian Muslim" when the very next sentence talks of him as a philosopher of Islam. Iqbal also shares the most common Muslim name, so its redundant. I only wrote in "Indian Muslim" in Jinnah becoz he was explicitly a Muslim political leader, who disassociated himself with other people. Iqbal is just a poet and Islamic philosopher.
I must also repeat two things: (1) neither South Asia nor Indian subcontinent correlate with with the people known as "Indians," except unless you're going BCE. (2) Iqbal, Jinnah and most others referred to British India as "India," and themselves and others as "Indians." Most encyclopedias and reputable sources describe it as so, so Wikipedia must honor that convention, and while pointing out the technical differences, not attempt to push a new interpretation. Rama's Arrow 11:49, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
My point remains unanswered, is it just to link any person before 1947 to present day India, even if he spent his whole or large part of life in present Pakistan or Bangladesh. Yes you are right, they call them self Indians, but in wikipedia, we are directing them to present day India. This is my point. I am not saying anything else. Take example of Iqbal. How much time he spent in present day Pakistan and how much time he spend in present day India. We can refer him as Indian, but where he was living, where he died, is it present day India. We are doing the same mistake in every other article, by referring to anything, anyplace simply by "India" and linking it to present day India. Don’t you think it is unjust, keeping in mind present day boundaries? As you correctly mentioned definitions of word changes, and I think definition of India should accommodate this fact.

I hope you understand my point, THERE IS DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INDIA OF TODAY AND INDIA BEFORE 1947. --Spasage 05:22, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes I understand your point of DIFFERENCE - I share that outlook and believe that it must be a clearly understood idea. To again answer your point - no the person must not be linked to Republic of India, but to Indian (a disambiguation page) and specifically to the explanation that the people who lived prior to August 15, 1947, were known as Indians but in British India.
Ok, you say Iqbal lived most of his life between Lahore and Sialkot, both now in Pakistan. He should be correctly described as an Indian who lived in British India. But in objection to your latter description - Iqbal lived/worked/spoke and thought about the issues/situation in British India - 75/80 percent of which became India in 1947. His work, political ideas and effect on literature and poetry has a big place in the history and heritage of the Republic of India - Iqbal's work is widely respected in India, and India has close to 140 million Muslims - the people he was addressing his work and opinions. When Iqbal talked, he always spoke of "Indian Muslims," albeit with the connotation that they were a separate nation. This Fire Burns Always 06:21, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
What I'm trying to say in the latter bit is that Iqbal's connection with the Republic of India is not insignificant in comparison with what he has in Pakistan. Similar case is Rabindranath Tagore - he is widely respected in Bangladesh, and even though he cannot be described as a Bangladeshi poet, his connection is no less important. This Fire Burns Always 06:30, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply, I am comfortable with term Indian, because it explains what is difference between present day Indian living in Republic of India and person of historically India, which is described in Indian page as Historically, the Indian subcontinent (also known as Hindustan) or a person or attribute thereof . That’s what I am saying. We need different word for Pakistan-India-Bangladesh before 1947, it can be undivided India, Hindustan, British India or Indian Subcontinent. I think we can use Indian Subcontinent for pre 1947 India. I want your comments on this. Indian is clear. There is not ambiguity; ambiguity is in word India when referring to land before 1947, because it links to present day India. Comment specifically on India and word we can use in articles to identify this land. Thanks. --Spasage 09:38, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

On India[edit]

I originally used to get very angry if an editor put in "partition of British India," or "Unified South Asia." This was because most historical works I've read talk of "India" when it comes to the Mughal era, the Indus Valley Civilization or European colonies. Iqbal, Jinnah, Gandhi, Nehru, Patel et all refer to the political entity they lived in as "India."

This is the core situation Wikipedia cannot start referring to "partition of British India" or "British rule in Indian subcontinent" or "South Asia independence movement" because it is against conventional use, original research and neologism. We are here to write facts, not evolve different interpretations. Having said that, I completely agree that we cannot speak of Iqbal as someone who lived in the Republic of India - when we describe him as "Indian," it must be clearly understood that this refers to the British colony.

Now Indian subcontinent or South Asia are definitely (IMO) not good - because they refer also to Sri Lanka, Nepal, the Maldives, Bhutan, Afghanistan. These countries were not associated with the "India" Iqbal lived in - nor are people who live in these countries ever referred to as Indians. The terms themselves are entirely geographical in meaning, thus one cannot say that the someone who lives in Ankara as from the Anatolia, or that a native born in Casablanca is from the Sahara Desert.
I think that a reference to "India" in the time of Iqbal should redirect to India (disambiguation), where just like "Indian" it is explained that the term "India" has been used to describe different political entities, and that India of European colonists is different from the Republic. Alternatively, I don't think we can redirect to British India - my only issue with that is the article does not describe the country of British India, but the "British Raj" political system. And since conventional view is that of British India being a colony, I don't believe that it can be used to describe a nationality.
I think the only solution is to create a page where "India" is thoroughly and precisely explained as not "Republic of India" but a geographic, economic, cultural entity that has existed in the Indian subcontinent under different political entities at different times. I realize this is highly controversial becoz it sounds like India is a nation, but we cannot ignore the historical connections between the hundreds of kingdoms, regions, empires that have inhabited this land, and that in fields of economy, geography, culture there has always been a continuity that politics has not provided.
Perhaps this itself is against convention, a new interpretation. I don't know - I think to solve this problem, we must have a group discussion with other editors. This Fire Burns.....Always 20:40, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
To be mega frank, the sensitivity of the situation arises when Indian editors feel that some Pakistani editors are arguing that there was no "India" ever in history, so as to justify the Two-Nation Theory and disconnect Pakistan's Indian connections. Conversely, some Pakistani editors are irked that by redirecting to the Republic of India, the conventional interpretation imposes the Two-nation theory as invalid for historical purposes. This Fire Burns.....Always 20:44, 5 July 2006 (UTC)


Thanks for your time and openness in discussing this issue. I think best solution is to have a page describing India, which clearly marks difference between India before 1947 (historic) and partition which led to creation of 3 countries in India. I think we should have page like we have for Indian, where India is define. Present day India is moved to Republic of India, and if user like to read about history he can move to different page, like undivided India, Indian subcontinent etc. What you say?

For example, in India disambiguation page:

Reason for talking with you in such detail is, people living in Pakistan and Bandledesh are as Indian as any one living in Republic of India. This is due to simple fact, that they are Indian. If some westerner sees Indian, he cant distinguish between Pakistani, Indian or Bangladeshi. He can say he is India. Also culture, history etc are similar. Variation are there due to people and their choice of living, but fundamentally they all are similar. So, again thanks for you time. Please comment. --Spasage 07:49, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree with your idea completely. However, I've asked some other editors to weigh in on this, as we can't make such a big move without general consensus. This Fire Burns.....Always 08:47, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Disambiguation pages are not a good idea as they increase the work for both the editors as well as the readers. I have gone through the above discussion and I only see a "solution in search of a problem." It is highly uncalled for. Also, the right place to discuss this would be WT:INWNB. --Gurubrahma 09:00, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Would "a _________ from unpartitioned India" do good? I know its contrived, but can't we use that for the sake of political correctness? -- Sundar \talk \contribs 09:07, 6 July 2006 (UTC)


Unpartitioned India is not bad. Gurubrahma I again stress on the same point that everyone living in Pakistan, India (present day), Bangledesh own (whole) India as much as today’s India owns it. Ghandi, Jinnah, Iqbal, Nehru all were Indian, but that India was undivided. We are taking away from them, huge part of land, culture, heritage by just confining them to present day India (Republic of India). I think, for correctness, we should have disamg for India, like we have for Indian. I think it will do justice with everyone living in pre-partition India (today’s Pakistan, Republic of India, and Bangladesh). Yes, we can have discussion on it; we can also invite members from Pakistan and Bangladesh. But this discussion should take place with open mind not to push agenda. To avoid any confusion I state what I am saying again and I would like everyone to comment.

India after 1947 consists of three countries, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. When we use word India, in articles, refereeing to whole India, links are such that they bring us to present day India (Republic of India), reducing size of pre-1947 India considerably. Is it possible that when we refer to pre-1947 India we use a term which encompasses whole India not just present day India? Please comment.

I hope members from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh will take this in good spirit and find come to a good conclusion. --Spasage 09:45, 6 July 2006 (UTC)


Following are options:

--Spasage 11:31, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps it would be some help to take a look at the arrangement on the China article:

The term British India can be used only from 1858 to 1947. deeptrivia (talk) 13:14, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

This is a good idea ... I haven't gone through all the discussion above, but having china-esque disambig pages are necessary. I find it increasingly confusing when India as the modern country is often linked to articles or wikilinks actually indended to mean India the geographic region. Definitely, any person who lived before 1947, such as Tagore, Iqbal, etc. were "Indian", and from "india", but here the word points to the historic region, or may be the British colony, which is a superset of the current day country. We need a clear way to point that out. The discussion above is a step in the right direction. Thanks. --Ragib 14:17, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
There was no India before 1947. That was why Gandhi was assassinated in the first place! For all articles about events during 1857-1947, I prefer the word British South Asia in the same vein as French West Africa, Dutch East Indies,.. This is because though Pakistan and Afghanistan were included in the Anglo administration during this period, their cultural milieu was more closer to Safavid Persia than Hindustan. Also, remember Russia still had significant interests in this theatre.
For articles about events during 957-1857, I prefer the word Hindustan or Al-Hind. This conforms to the language used unanimously by Middle Eastern scholarship then. Anwar 19:33, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
That, my friend, is a bit too much! There was obviously a region considered to be "India" in English and other European languages. Columbus DID sail westward trying to find that. British South Asia isn't correct either ... they had the whole Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bengal, Nepal, Burma Sri Lanka etc. under that.
The crux of my argument or my point is that, when talking about persons of the period pre-1947, the word "Indian" is fine when considering the greater region generally known as India, but not the modern post 1947 country called Republic of India. Perhaps something like India (region) may be considered? Calling "British India" is not ok, because officially, the British didn't controll all of India, the princely states were separate though dependent, and but yet, they were part of India, the region.
So, perhaps, as Spasage and others commented above, people in pre-1947 days, let the person be Hindu or Muslim or Buddhist or Sikh, were all Indians (meaning a native of India as a region). Sure, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was born in India (meaning the region), so was Muhammad Iqbal, Mahatma Gandhi, and Rabindranath Tagore and so on. And pre-1947, there was no pakistan, Bangladesh, Republic of India ... rather a greater region to which all three countries belonged. So, adding ownership of people dying before 1947 to any particular country is something we should not do. Hence, Iqbal, Tagore etc. are all Indians when we are talking about the region, but not (Republic of India)ns, (the modern country). Let's settle this thing and end the divisive edit wars in Iqbal/Tagore pages. --Ragib 20:19, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
China is a special case because of the fact that both Taiwan (Republic of China) and China (People's Republic of China) are called China NOW. There is no other place that is currently called India apart from the Republic of India. In my opinion, China should be a page about the PRC because that's what most people would want when looking for it.
We can have a separate disambig page at India_(disambiguation) (there probably should be one already) and link to it from the India page. References of Muhammad Iqbal being an Indian should go to British India in my opinion. Hope my input helped :) Sukh | ਸੁਖ | Talk 20:57, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

I like the way the China situation is set up, though I think I find myself in the minority. IMO, India should discuss the historical land known as India and the current India page should be moved to Republic of India. I do agree that something must be done in order to disambiguate the term more appropriately, as the situation now is misleading. Pepsidrinka 00:16, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

I am very pleased to read all above comments, because they are in right direction. One fact on which, we all agree is that India before partition (1947) and after (1947) partition cannot be same. So, we cannot link article to present day India (Republic of India) when discussing pre-partition India, as Ragib, User:Pepsidrinka and others pointed out correctly. So, we should have India (disambiguation) page, as China (disambiguation) have. It describes India, historically and present day Republic of India. Also, it should mention Bangladesh and Pakistan and their link with India. I hope no one will disagree with India (disambiguation), it will be a good starting point. For reference please visit America, it is some what similar to what we are discussing. Please comment on India (disambiguation). --Spasage 05:34, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

We need a page India (disambiguation), as per the above. When the general population is looking for India, the vast majority are looking for Republic of India, so I think that India should stay as such, but with a disambiguation header:
For historical and other uses of India, please see India (disambiguation)

-- Samir धर्म 06:19, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

The only thing that a person who types in India into the search box is looking for is for the Republic of India. I totally endorse the creation of an India (dab) page with an {{otheruses}} template on top of the India page. The article India should contain info on the modern-day Republic. --May the Force be with you! Shreshth91($ |-| ŗ 3 $ |-| ţ |-|) 20:08, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Just to say there's another example of organising multiple geographical / cultural entities at Britain (re Great Britain, United Kingdom, Wales, etc). It'd guess most people typing "Britain" in a search box are actually looking for the United Kingdom, but having an explanatory dab-like page alerts people to the different entities they might want and helps avoid offence. I'd prefer moving Republic of India to that name and having India as the dab, per America. Basically I completely agree with This Fire Burns.....Always , above. JackyR | Talk 12:26, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Next step[edit]

Hi Spasage - sorry to convert your talkpage to the village pump! Yes the talks do look good, but I agree with Gurubrahma that the discussion should be moved to a sub-page of Portal:Asia. This Fire Burns.....Always 05:38, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

I have no issue, it should be moved. --Spasage 05:41, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Sundar's take[edit]

  • I oppose converting India into a disambiguation page because, the name India most popularly associated with the modern day Republic of India. However, I'm ok with an {{otheruses}} template at the top of the article linking to a disambiguation page. There are hundreds of precedents for this.
  • Though I prefer Indian to be used to describe pre-1947 Indians, I can accept undivided India as a compromise. However, I would certainly not agree with either south asian or "from Indian subcontinent]]" as it's entirely misleading.
I too agree that it is ok to have India as the page for the modern country of Republic of India, this is because when people type India, they are most probably looking for the modern country. As suggested in earlier sections, India (disambiguation) can be set up. Also, describing pre-1947 people as "from Undivided India" sounds ok (however, questions arise on how do you handle someone from Goa? Surely, that is not covered in Partition of India, Goa being a portuguese colony until 1961. But it seems a nice option. ) --Ragib 06:20, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
No one wants to convert India into disambiguation. We'll separate page India (disambiguation). Republic of India will have its page India. --Spasage 06:28, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
Why not expand Indian subcontinent to include the political connotations? btw, there seems to be something wrong with WP, some bug or so. Samir had signed but his sig isn't showing. --Gurubrahma 06:47, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

India (disambiguation)[edit]

I have just created page India (disambiguation) to avoid confusion. It is totally separate page. India, moder Republic is intact. --Spasage 06:34, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Cribananda's comments[edit]

  • India should obviously talk about the Republic of India. It cannot lead to a disambiguation page. However, a header with a link to a disambiguation page might be useful. Check out the article on Rome.
  • When the person can easily be linked to a present-day country in the Indian sub-continent, he/she must be referred to as such. For example, X was born in Lahore, which is in present-day Pakistan...rather than, say, X was born in undivided India. If this is not obvious, then other terms such as ancient India, British India can be used.

- Cribananda 06:35, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

One option which in my opinion should be pretty satisfying to all sides is to mention his nationality as Indian and lead the redirect to British Raj Indian.

Omerlives 12:57, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Nichalp's comment[edit]

I think it's just making a mountain out of a molehill. India was the land that Columbus wanted to reach, and India still makes up a greater portion of South Asia. Pakistan and Bangladesh were cut off from India, but the name India remained (unlike USSR/Russia). You also can't compare India with China because China consists of one nation, two governments. Take a look at other locations from which territories were carved up eg. Ethiopia. Coming closer home, we have Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar all talking about their current geographical area. For the dab, I'd go with Sundar's/Cribananda's suggestions. =Nichalp «Talk»= 17:50, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Please check India (disambiguation). --Spasage 05:19, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately this issue is causing edit wars and some bad blood. I had been hoping for an opportunity to have such a discussion, and thanks to Spasage, it materialized. For example, I was absolutely outraged when I read a mention to a "unified South Asia" as the goal of the Congress in Pakistan (which I removed). The issue is real because there are technical differences between the political entities that compose(d) India, that an encyclopedia cannot leave to general perception. I mean, when real people have questions/problems regarding this, they would look to sources like ours to decide what's right from wrong. This is a pragmatic method to resolve problems, better to be done now than later. This Fire Burns.....Always 05:25, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
While Wikipedia must not promote new interpretations or revisionist history, its important that we have a common understanding of this issue. As Jimbo Wales said on the userbox debate, we are Wikipedians here, advocates elsewhere. So we must find a common framework. This Fire Burns.....Always 05:28, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Ragib's comment[edit]

In addition to the small snippets of replies I posted above, let me discuss the main issue here. Sure, there was a single geographic region known as India. Many famous people, politicians, scientists, poets were born there. Now, suppose someone from the region of Bengal, who died prior to Partition of India. How would you classify that person? If you say, "Indian" as referring to the modern country, that is not correct. The correct phrase here would be "Indian" as referring to the historic region. If the logic is that "Republic of India" inherited everything associated with the name "India", that would be a fallacy, because Pakistan or Bangladesh didn't came out of nowhere in a second Big Bang. If The modern country India inherited everything related to the name India, Bangladesh, under the same logic, would have inherited everything related to the name "Bengal", right? NO!

So, I like Rama's arrow and Spasage's compromise here to have the disambig page. Just to give a background of why this might be necessary, please see Rabindranath Tagore and Muhammad Iqbal. Two of the greatest poets of the Indian subcontinent. I'm not well versed in Iqbal's literature, but Tagore was a humanist, and a very much anti-nationalist ... he considered himself as a citizen of the world. To assign tags on him would have stirred his ashes ... so to speak. You can't really claim a person for a country he never saw! For people dying pre-1947, calling them Indian or Bangladeshi or Pakistani , when referring to the modern countries, is not an accurate statement in any way. (I had mistakenly argued in this way in Tagore's page, but I have changed my views).

Anyway, I hope we can reach a consensus, rather than trying to rewrite history, and bickering over identities of people. The discussion in this page shows a step in the right direction. Thanks. --Ragib 07:37, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Ragib,while you're free to have your opinion,I think you have your historical claims little mixed up."India" was simply a word the Greeks invented after they landed upon Sindh and heard the word "Sindhu" from the natives.If they hadn't been there,would there ever be a place known as "India",or better yet,would we even be having this discussion on this page,now in the year 2006-2007? So to disprove your arguement that there was an "India" prior to 1947,you can ask yourself why is the modern state of India mixed with so many different cultures? The answer is quite simple.Nadirali 16:20, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Spasage's comment[edit]

Before partition (1947) every one living in undivided India called every part of India as his own, even if some one was living in Bangladesh or Pakistan part of undivided India. But now, we have confined almost everyone to either India or any other small part. This is great mistake and injustice we are doing. Hindus or Muslim or Christian used to call Undivided India there home country by simply calling it India (again undivided India). I think it should remain like this for them. They were free to go from Dhaka to Lahore and that was there status (read without visa), a status of Citizen of India, not reduced one which we try to give them or I must say enforce on them. We should identify them with country they call it. Some called it India, some called it Hindustan.

Also good name for India before 1947 can be Undivided India. I am happy we have made some progress but I think a lot needs to be done, only after it we can give people of undivided India (pre 1947) their true Identity. Citizen of Great India, rich in culture. One last request I would like to make is, please contribute in good faith. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh will remain as it is. We are simply adding what was missing. --Spasage 10:22, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Wrong.On the contrary "India" only came into being on Augest 15th 1947,thanks to the British.The same can be said for Pakistan. All refferences to South Asia pre-1947 should simply be "South Asian" and not "indian". Nadirali 23:11, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

South Asia also consists of Sri Lanka, Nepal and sometimes Burma, Afghanistan and even Iran. Britain only controlled India, Pakistan and Bangladesh (and Sri Lank/Burma but they weren't officially part of British India). GizzaChat © 08:15, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

But the point remains they were all part of a region and not a country or a state.--Nadirali نادرالی

EUREKA![edit]

Hi - I'm not in my bathtub right now, but I think I've got a good idea. There is no article called Indian people - THERE SHOULD BE! After all, the people of India are very heterogenous and there is a lot of inter-mixing going on so it is necessary to have an article at that level. Its important to address how India's people are a common identity beyond ethnic lines.

This will help us solve the problem. We can explain in the lead that an "Indian" meant this, this and this in different periods of history. Lemme know what you think. This Fire Burns.....Always 03:18, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Great idea that fixes the right problem in the right way, IMO. But, from my limited experience with Tamil people (primarily edited by Arvind), I know it'll be hard. -- Sundar \talk \contribs 07:10, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
It is good idea to explain what an Indian mean during different periods of history. --Spasage 06:11, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

That wouldn't work because there is more than enough confusion, ambiguity and controversy as to who or what comprises Indian. There is no such thing as Indian people unless one is talking about people of the modern Republic of India and Demographics of India already suffices that criteria. The word India has diferent connotations to it and different meaning attached at different historical periods. Indian peoples is also not an equivalent for Indian subcontinent as that term itself is very vague like Arabian peninsula, Eurasia, Indian Ocean etc.

There is already a page dealing with Indo-Aryans which because of linguisitic definitions can pan various different peoples by virtue of linguistic (not political, religious, racial, historical, geographical,cultural) affiliations. Hence there is no need for any page for Indian peoples.

I think the best way to describe a persons individual identity is to describe him according to the historical name of the area of the time and how it was seen or described at the time. For example, Machiavelli is deccribed as a Florentine not as an Italian or Roman and Charlemagne is a Frank and not a Roman or French or German (He was Germanic) etc.. Redirecting a hyperlinked word identity to a page which would describe or further dilineate an identity can also be used as in Indian (clickon Indian plaease). Prolly the India disambiguation page is one of the fine satisfying options as well. Omerlives 13:01, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Paksitans Heritage not Indian[edit]

We have all seen the term Ancient India before. On first thought you would think it applies to the Ancient History of India. Well, you are wrong. This term applies to the Ancient History of South Asia.

For decades, Indian historians have written the history books according to their own liking. And because of Pakistanis being ashamed of their non-Islamic past, their jobs had been made so much easier. To understand what has happened in the region, you have to be open minded. Everything written here is backed up with facts, logic and common sense. The logic applied to this argument makes sense.

Before India became an English colony sometime in 1800's or perhaps earlier, there was no such thing as India that we see today. The subcontinent was very much divided into many parts ruled by various dynasties. After independence in 1947, many of the states in the subcontinent were united into two single countries. The Republic of India and Pakistan. The Republic of India was not supposed to claim the name 'India'. This was a political agreement broken in 1947 which has lead to a lot of confusion in modern times. India, just like Pakistan was born in 1947. Prior to this, the region which is now India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, was known as British India. When the region was partitioned, Republic of India claimed the title of 'parent state' of British India, as they received the larger land mass for their country. Along with this title they also claimed the History of the region which was British India in ancient times.

This region was only ever united when Britain invaded. Prior to that, the region was scattered with dynasties. Logically, it doesn't make sense that India can claim the history of people and land which never belonged to them. The old argument of 'Pakistan not existing prior to 1947, therefore there is no such thing as Ancient Pakistan' is flawed. The same logic can be applied to India. There was no such thing as a country, India prior to 1947, and prior to the 1800s; the South Asian subcontinent was never united in anyway. So the current definition of Ancient India is flawed. Ancient Indian history is the history of Republic of India in Ancient times. This doesn't include any region outside of their own borders.

Therefore, grouping the history of the entire South Asian subcontinent, which has never been united prior to the 1800s and passing it on to a country which came into existence in 1947, doesn't make sense. Indian Historians have ignored these arguments and pretended that India has existed for 1000s of years.

Let's talk about Indus Valley for example. The region in question is now located in Pakistan. The people of the region have always been living there. However the history of the region is claimed by India, who is in absolutely no way related to the Pakistani people, neither have they ever had claim over the land which is now Pakistan. Indus Valley settlements are located all over Southern Asia. These include, Iran, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, northwest India, and of course Pakistan. However, the Main IVC cities, aswell as the majority are in Pakistan. The main ones being, Harappa and Mohenjodaro. The Indus Valley history should be called Ancient Pakistani. Any history which took place in what is now Pakistani should be known as Ancient Pakistani history. This includes the Kushun empire aswell.

The Pakistani identity is being stolen because Historians hide the fact that South Asia has never been united prior to 1800s.

It is incorrect to even label IVC as Ancient South Asian history. South Asia is home to 1.6 billion people, which is way too broad to describe the people of Indus valley, which is now Pakistan. Sure this is no harm in mentioning the settlements outside of Pakistan (India, Iran, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Kashmir), however one has to remember that Pakistan is the home of it.

http://www.pakhub.info/art002.php

Unre4L 19:56, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but "Ancient Pakistan" is a nonsensical term. I agree with you that there is a problem using the term "India" as if it were a nation before the British conquest, but the correct terms for various iterations of political control in South Asia would be, for instance, the "Mughal Empire", "Maurya Empire", etc, and Wikipedia already has articles on those which you can link to.
Ancient South Asia strikes me as an inoffensive term to help locate the Indus valley civilisation, because it is geographical. The Indus Valley is, and has always been, in South Asia. The term does not imply a commonality of culture with other parts of Ancient South Asia. It does imply a geographical position.
Pakistan, however, as should be perfectly obvious from a reading of the works of Choudhary Rahmat Ali who invented the word, along with Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Allama Muhammad Iqbal, and others, is a political entity. It is a nation-state, not a geographical region. It is no more possible to talk about Ancient Pakistan than it is to talk about Ancient Luxembourg, Ancient Zimbabwe or Ancient Las Vegas. These entities did not exist in ancient times: we have to call them Ancient Northern Europe, Ancient Central Africa, Ancient North America or whatever. This would similarly imply no commonality of identity with other societies in that region, but would simply give a helpful geographical identification. To describe such places in ancient times by their modern political identities would be absurd. I do not suppose that you would think it logical to write an article about "18th century Israel", for instance, seeing as that state has only existed since 1948. -- TinaSparkle 14:14, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Let's stick to the acceptable wiki norms, while discussing this issue. Although, there's no academically recognized controversy regarding "Ancient India" vs. "Ancient Pakistan", I'll still point you to Wikipedia:Naming_conflict#How_to_make_a_choice_among_controversial_names, regarding what criteria should be used to discuss this on wikipedia, and what criteria should not be used. We are not at all here to coin new terms like "Ancient South Asia", based on subjective judgements like "Does the subject have a moral right to use the name?", "Does the subject have a legal right to use the name?", "Does the name infringe on someone else's legal or moral rights?", "Is the use of the name politically unacceptable?", etc but our decisions are purely based on objective criteria such as common use, etc. None of us are notable historians and scholars, and such subjective debate can only be reliably done among them. Here, we just follow what mainstream scholarship considers acceptable, regardless of whether or not we personally find it justified or not. This current debate is entirely because the fact that the current territory of Pakistan was the heartland of India (India gets its name from the river Indus, which flows almost entirely in what is now Pakistan) for millenia is politically problematic for the proponents of the Two-Nation Theory. Such concerns are of no value on wikipedia. Another issue is the editor's stubborn refusal to recognise the difference between a nation and a state, thereby concluding that since India was not a state before 1857, it didn't exist at all before that. deeptrivia (talk) 23:49, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with you, though perhaps I didn't express myself clearly enough. I'm arguing entirely pro-wiki norms, and against subjectivism. As the Wikipedia naming conflict page you link to says, "Always ensure that names are used in an historically accurate context and check that the term is not used anachronistically, e.g. using France as a synonym for Roman Gaul, or Edo to refer to modern Tokyo." It is on this basis that I am opposed to the name "ancient Pakistan". The term "ancient South Asia" is not being coined anew, and nor is it subjective. It's widely used by mainstream scholars, notably in the Cambridge History of India (a name which, itself, is controversial in this context!) and by Oxford University Press. Click here for an example of an OUP school textbook. -- TinaSparkle 15:27, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Pakistan is no more of a political entity than any other country on the planet including India. Nadirali 23:12, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

k--D-Boy 14:57, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
All countries on the planet are political entities. Their jurisdiction is defined within a geographical territory, in some cases quite badly. Nations define territory; territory does not define nations. -- TinaSparkle 15:27, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

I think it's all based on Indians denial to accept Pakistan.Ever since independance,they have convinced themselves that Pakistan was somehow "carved" out of "their territory" or that India is the "mother state" of the whole subcontinent.Indians have yet to decide wheather we are "Indians" as they always claim or that we "came from the middle east."(another false claim of theirs).This denial of Pakistan's seperate culture and history is now causing all sorts of false historical claims to creep into wikipedia.The indus is clearly Pakistani history as ancient Rome is part of Italian history.Regardless of wheather Italy,India or Pakistan used their names at that time is besides the point. I don't remember ever seeing another region in the world beeing named after the largest country in it(ie "Brazil" for south America or "China" for east Asia.) The simple solution to this problem is to give history a chance to speak for itself rather than puncturing it with false claims all based on a political agenda.Nadirali 03:16, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Indian refers to a citizen of Republic of India. There is no such thing as a subcontinental Indian. Anything outside Indias borders; it stops being Indian. South Asia cannot be called India, apart from Indian subcontinent. How confusing do you want to make things? "India lies inside India." It makes more sense when you put it like this. "India lies inside South Asia" While the term Pakistan is 60 years old, India is a British term not much older. So Indian and Pakistani are both valid when referring to something or someone who existed prior to both counties being born. While the Names are not that old, the identity belongs to the People of Pakistan and India. The people have always lived there, granted there were a few million people migrating from and to the countries, but considering the huge populations of both countries, they are way in the minority. Unre4L 02:56, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

British India is an awkward case. Neither India nor Pakistan can claim to be the successor state of British India alone. Only together, united they made up British India, so the Indian claim that anyone born during the British Raj was Indian is false. There are 2 options here. Either they can be called British Indian, or called Indian/Pakistani depending on which part of British India they were born in. Hope this makes sense. Unre4L 02:56, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

The basic principle here, which is certainly the one applied by professional historians and scholars and fits with Wikipedia policy, is that one should, wherever possible, refer to societies, nations or people as they define themselves. Obviously this isn't a completely hard and fast rule: it would be absurd to expect an English speaker to refer to 'Deutschland' instead of Germany. But I believe it to be a good rule of thumb. Wikipedia's own examples, e.g. that it is wrong to use 'France' as a synonym for the ancient state of Gaul, are sensible. This is the basis for my claim above that one cannot refer to 'ancient Pakistan' or, for that matter, 'ancient India', because neither of these states existed in ancient times. One could certainly refer to 'part of what is now known as Pakistan', but it is not 'ancient Pakistan'.
However, there is a different problem that Unre4L and Nadirali express above, which is that there was a state (more accurately, a colony) called India within the British Empire from 1858-1947, which was geographically and politically different from the nation-state of India which has existed since 1947. Though I have sympathy with Unre4L's view, and I do understand that many Pakistanis feel that the description of everyone born in British India as 'Indians' is offensive, the problem is that it is also correct. Legally and historically speaking, they were Indian; but that India was a completely different India from the present India. Before 1947, people born in parts of what is now Pakistan would have been defined, and defined themselves, as Indian (though you might argue that they would be more likely to describe themselves as Bengali, Pathan, Punjabi, etc). Clearly this does have the potential to be confusing: I can see why you might want to use the term British Indian, but that itself would be more confusing, implying to many people Anglo-Indian (either in the sense of mixed race, or in the sense of British people who lived in India). It also tends to be used in the modern day of people of Indian descent who now live in Britain.
Incidentally, I don't accept that the history of ancient Rome is part of Italian history. The fact that ancient Rome was situated in what is now Italy does not make Julius Caesar an Italian, and he himself would have found such a label bizarre. If the world is ruled by aliens from the planet Mars in 4,000 years' time, that will not make me a Martian. I agree that history must be allowed to speak for itself without false claims based on a political agenda, but surely the best way to do this is to use the names that are contemporaneous with the period that one is discussing. To say that the Indus valley civilisation was in 'ancient Pakistan' would be retrospectively to impose a modern political identity for reasons of political agenda: in this case, Pakistan's desire not to lose its identity in India. Of course, it would be equally political and incorrect to say that the Indus valley civilisation was in 'ancient India'. I would have no objection whatever to pointing out that the civilisation was in what is now Pakistan. But to keep this neutral we must not turn it into an issue of modern Indian or Pakistani identities or sensitivities. -- TinaSparkle 00:48, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

I think the "mars" example is weak.Italians are of Roman descent as Pakistanis are of Indus descent as Iraqis are a comination of Babylonain and Arab descent.Sticking the refference to the indus into India history pages is like sticking all of Babylonian history into Iranian pages instead of Iraqi or sticking ancient Roman history as part of France or Germany hsitory when it clearly is part of italian history.As I said,this is all based on denial.Denial to accept history or the truth.Nadirali 06:55, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

This is getting off the point, but Italians are not necessarily of Roman descent, nor were Romans necessarily the forefathers of modern Italians. European societies have experienced extensive social and geographical mobility throughout their histories; there were also only about 250 million people in the world at the height of the Roman Empire, compared to 6.5 billion now. If you were able to DNA-test all Europeans accurately enough, you would find that most of them were descended from ancient Romans. There would be substantial Roman ancestry in north Africa and the Middle East as well, and, I suspect, in Asia. So to say that Roman history somehow 'belongs' to Italy makes no sense. No one owns history. It is the same story with the IVC. Central/south Asia has experienced very extensive mobility of populations and many different societies: IVC, the Mauryas, the Mughals, the British, etc. Some Pakistanis are of Indus valley descent, of course; I would expect that most would be; but then so would be most people in the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, bearing in mind that the IVC flourished at a time when the world's population was only about 7 million people. Obviously, geographically speaking, the IVC is part of the history of what is now Pakistan. But surely it is not necessary to exclude it from the history of India. The IVC had a cultural, political and social influence on the area that is now India, and it would be quite difficult to understand the early history of the five rivers region without it. This isn't about ownership or identity. It is about making sense. -- TinaSparkle 18:45, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Tina, I more or less agree with you regarding IVC. There was hardly a thing as India during the Bronze Age. Bronze Age civilizations would ideally be referred to by their geographical locations (..and ideally we would not have a thing like " pyramids of Ancient Egypt"). These are valid concerns, which have to be addressed by scholars at a more abstract levels (following which we can stop using "Ancient Egypt" and "Ancient India" for bronze age civilizations). However,

  • The real problem we face here comes when someone argues that prior to 1858 there was no such thing as India. The notion of the Indian nation (not state, which is unneccesary) has certainly existed since Iron age civilizations, and the region has been marked as "India" or its linguistic variants in all maps since that age, unlike the case of Italy (example, see also Ancient world maps).
  • South Asia is an imprecise term in this context. It always includes Afghanistan, mostly includes Tibet. United Nations also includes the whole of Iran in it. The US government includes Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgystan in South Asia. When we have a more precise term, why avoid it for frivolous reasons? deeptrivia (talk) 02:53, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
I didn't realise that the name 'India' went back to the Iron Age! I was aware that it went back to at least the 15th century in European usage. Of course it is acceptable and indeed helpful to use a name if the name dates from the period in question. -- TinaSparkle 18:45, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Clearly, that's why Arrian titled his book Indica. Indica (or indicum) means "of India", or "Indian", in Latin and is applied to things connected with India. Here are some more maps from Iron age. Interestingly, the part which is now Pakistan was more "India" that the present Republic of India itself, since the India many Greco-Persian sources describe as the one they came in direct contact with, which was "the territories in the vicinity of the Indus river east of Arachosia and west of the deserts of Rajasthan", which corresponds to what became Pakistan in 1947.deeptrivia (talk) 02:23, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Herodotus-Indiana
Hecataeus - India
Eratosthenes - India
Ptolemy - India

Some excerpts from the first page of Indica (Note: 1 stade = 231 m):

"Towards the south the ocean bounds the land of India, and eastward the sea itself is the boundary. The southern part near Pattala and the mouths of the Indus were surveyed by Alexander and Macedonians, and many Greeks; as for the eastern part, Alexander did not traverse this beyond the river Hyphasis. A few historians have described the parts which are this side of the Ganges and where are the mouths of the Ganges and the city of Palimbothra, the greatest Indian city on the Ganges."
"India extends over about ten thousand stades; but farther north its length is about twenty thousand stades. But Ctesias of Cnidus affirms that the land of India is equal in size to the rest of Asia, which is absurd; and Onesicritus is absurd, who says that India is a third of the entire world; Nearchus, for his part, states that the journey through the actual plain of India is a four months' journey. Megasthenes would have the breadth of India that from east to west which others call its length; and he says that it is of sixteen thousand stades, at its shortest stretch. From north to south, then, becomes for him its length, and it extends twenty-two thousand three hundred stades, to its narrowest point. The Indian rivers are greater than any others in Asia; greatest are the Ganges and the Indus, whence the land gets its name; each of these is greater than the Nile of Egypt and the Scythian Ister, even were these put together; my own idea is that even the Acesines is greater than the Ister and the Nile, where the Acesines having taken in the Hydaspes, Hydraotes, and Hyphasis, runs into the Indus, so that its breadth there becomes thirty stades. Possibly also other greater rivers run through the land of India."

That was my point. The term India has changed and cannot be used in this context. India was originally the name for the region where the river Indus ran through. However, because of all the name changing in the recent century, we will have to use the names according to which country is using them now.
And if you notice the maps posted above. India is shown as a subcontinent. No countries are shown on the map, apart from the bigger empires that existed. Africa is shown as Libya, and South Asia is shown as India. India however is a British term, and I doubt the original map would have contained that word.
During the British Raj, I doubt anyone called themselves Indian. The term was only used by politicians since they were representing all the provinces within British India.
As stated above, the people of British India were more likely to call themselves, Sindhi, Punjabi, Bengali or Gujarati etc. However I stated above that British India is an awkward case and I understand the argument of British Indian being a confusing term. It would be more appropriate to create a new term for people born during the British Raj in British India.
As for history within Pakistan's borders prior to British Raj, it is only correct to refer to the history as Ancient Pakistani. Ancient India refers to RoI, which has never been a part of Pakistan. I am aware of the fact, Pakistan was created in 1947, but the people of Pakistan have always lived in the region. Surely the history belongs to the people of Pakistan. And referring to them as Indian, is definitely incorrect as the only time they probably would have referred to themselves as Indian was during the British Raj. And even then, Indian refers to the country next door. This is not a political context, it is simply a way of referring to the history of the Pakistani people. Call it Ancient Pakistani peoples history, the fact being, Ancient Indian is incorrect. Unre4LITY 14:47, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

You said It would be more appropriate to create a new term for people born during the British Raj in British India. Thats Original Research and it is strictly prohibited on Wikipedia. It doesn't matter what names are correct on Wikipedia. What matters is whether they came from sources that are reliabe and can be verified. GizzaChat © 08:24, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

It was a suggestion in general. I didnt suggest doing in on Wikipedia. Like I said before, British Raj was an awkward case, however, Pakistani history prior to British Raj is not awkward, but very simple. The term is valid, and South Asia was not united prior to British Raj. I have provided sources for both, and using this, everyone should be able to see why Ancient Pakistan should be used. Unre4LITY 17:59, 7 January 2007 (UTC)


Devil's Comments[edit]

One thing to be noticed here that the song which eventually went on to become the national anthem of RoI includes the terms " Punjab Sind" both of which eventually went to Pakistan after the partition. But the fact is that at the time the song was written, both Greater Punjab and Sind were considered a part of India as such (and this was before Chaudari Rehmat Ali made his pitch for Pakistan)

Pakistan was created as a political entity and not as a new civilization with an entirely new culture. It is an entity which literally sprung overnight. In my opinion, it is only right to refer to pre 1947 history as "Ancient Indian" or "British Indian" history. The India page should be a disambiguation.

Also, while we are at this topic, we also need to think about those regions which were not a part of British India but are now a part of one of the three countries in question. How do we refer to pre 1947 Sikkim or Gilgit/Baltistan/Ishkuman area?

                                                 -  Devilbemyguide

British India, the States, and the Indian Empire[edit]

Sorry I only just discovered this page, and I have very little time right now, but let me make a few points. I agree with Tina Sparkle, that "British Indian" is not a standard term (and problematic to boot), but I don't see a problem with using "British India." It certainly was used during 1858-1947 (and so it is not "original research"), but it did have a specific meaning:

  • The term "British India" was officially used only for those lands on the Indian subcontinent governed by the British. See British Government Statement: Policy in India, 1946.
    • "3. We have accordingly decided that immediate arrangements should be made whereby Indians may decide the future constitution of India, and an interim Government may be set up at once to carry on the administration of British India until such time as a new constitution can be brought into being."
    • "14. Before putting forward our recommendations we turn to deal with the relationship of the Indian States to British India. It is quite clear that with the attainment of independence by British India, whether inside or outside the British Commonwealth, the relationship which has hitherto existed between the Rulers of the States and the British Crown will no longer be possible."
    • "15. We recommend that the constitution should take the following basic form: (1 ) There should be a Union of India, embracing both British India and the States, which should deal with the following subjects: foreign affairs, defence, and communications; and should have the powers necessary to raise the finances required for the above subjects."
  • The term that was officially used between 1858 and 1947 to describe the "subcontinent" was the British Indian Empire, this included both British India and the Princely States. See my posting on the India talk page British Empire, the Colonies, and India. The Imperial Gazetteer of India which described little towns all over India, British and princely alike, uses Indian Empire as well for the subcontinent.

Accordingly, I don't see a problem with describing Jinnah who lived most of his life in British India as a "major political leader of British India." I have re-written the lead sentence for the Jinnah page to read:

Muhammad Ali Jinnah (December 25 1876September 11 1948) was a major political leader of British India and of the Pakistan movement, who founded the nation-state of Pakistan and served as its first Governor-General.

Compare this to the previous version below, which links "Indian" to a disambiguation page with leading link Republic of India, whose citizen Jinnah was most certainly not):

Muhammad Ali Jinnah (December 25 1876September 11 1948) was an Indian Muslim politician and leader of the All India Muslim League who founded Pakistan and served as its first Governor-General.

I think there are way to accommodate both Indian and Pakistani views without getting bogged down in India (disambiguation) debates. I think Pakistanis would bristle less at the first version above, and I can't imagine that Indians would object too much.

Similarly, I don't see a problem with describing Osman Ali (who lived out his life in Hyderabad), as the "last Nizam of the princely state of Hyderabad in the British Indian Empire." None of this is original research as I have indicated above and in my India talk page posting. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 00:13, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Agree with Fowler in light of the references. "Nation-state of Pakistan" is not quite a neutral term in this context, because it is looks like an endorsement of the Two-Nation Theory, which is controversial. "State" would be a much more neutral term. deeptrivia (talk) 00:32, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
So, perhaps I should be making this change if there are no objections. deeptrivia (talk) 02:02, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Revisionist history will not stand[edit]

This is not an acceptable interpretation. The bottomline is that we are not here to "re-interpret" history and facts - we cannot invent or modify terms to suit the sympathies of editors and the audience. It is funny to me that while Fowler argues about "political leader of British India," both Jinnah and Iqbal are on record talking in terms of "Indians" and "Indian Muslims." I don't see any "British Indian Muslims," "Indian subcontinental Muslims," or any other term being used - just "Indian." Both Iqbal and Jinnah are credited as founding-fathers of Pakistan, so their "Pakistani-ness" is hardly affected even though they talked in terms of "Indian Muslims."

What standard you may seek to evolve will automatically have ramifications everywhere else. There is no "British Indian," because there was never any "British Nigerian," "British Sri Lankan," or any other such term used to describe the nationals of these countries, even though they were part of the British Empire. There were no "Mughal Indians," "Gupta Afghans," "Hellenic Iraqis," "Mongol Chinese," etc., etc. The people of British India were known as "Indians," and that's the bottomline because historical sources and the sources of that time said so. Why should Wikpedia make a compromise, new definition when no other reputable source or encyclopedia feels the need to? Wikipedia is not a place where you re-interpret history.
It may appear that the Pakistani POV is being rejected summarily - this is absolutely not the case, because one does not dabble with POVs, just facts. We are writing an encyclopedia, not a new interpretation of history and politics. It doesn't matter how the audience "wants" to interpret, we must just present them with facts.
The facts are - (1) The inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent have always been known as "Indians" - or else why should the entire subcontinent be called "Indian??" Every resident of the British domains, princely states were called "Indians." And Indian subcontinent includes nations such as Sri Lanka, Nepal, Burma, Maldives that were not associated with British India - which also included Burma, btw. South Asia doesn't work for the same latter reason, especially as it may include Afghanistan and Burma. These terms are not citizenships, nationalities.
Our job is not to placate the emotions of either party. It is to write accurate details of history - so I don't really care if the Pakistani or Indian POV is "left out." WP:NPOV comes from factual accuracy. I don't care if some readers self-identify with a perception of their country being larger or smaller than it presently is - if we do so, we enter into a debate to prove or disprove the Two-nation theory, which is not our job.
The India (disambiguation) page was created to let people know that India throughout history meant different things in territorial terms, as well as socio-cultural, economic and national terms. No one can deny that the Republic of India was not in existence prior to 1947 (and technically, prior to 1950). But that does not mean that the long-standing identification of the land as "India" and its people as "Indians" is flawed - after all, why is the subcontinent called "Indian?" Rama's arrow 02:38, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
It is also interesting to examine that the very legitimacy of a "British India" was questioned not only by Indian freedom fighters, but by Jinnah and many Muslim League leaders. Even the British loyalist Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and others like him like Tej Bahadur Sapru did not ever refer to themselves as "British Indian," but rather as "subjects" of the British Empire. Again, being a "subject" is a political status - not a nationality. The Irish never became "British Irish" despite the 400 years of British rule in Ireland. Rama's arrow 03:12, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
You do have a point there. But one entry in the India (disambiguation) is British India. So it is an acceptable term in wikipedia. It is not a POV; not an invention. And in the case of Iqbal, it seems to be more precise. No need to call him "British Indian". But he was a citizen of British India. What is wrong with that? Why use a (vague) disambiguation link if you have a precise entry? El elan 06:31, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
A citizen of "British India," or a subject of the "British Empire?" Additionally, where are the references to a "citizen of British Sri Lanka," a citizen of "British Nigeria?" Being a citizen of something is a nationality, and thus "British India" cannot be acceptable. And if the people were known as "Indians" at that time itself, why this urge to revise convention? Rama's arrow (3:16) 18:02, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Dear Rama's Arrow (Blacksun, El elan, and Deeptrivia), Sorry for the delay in replying—I finally found some time! I'd like to clarify a few things first. I have never said that the term "India" cannot be used for the British Indian empire (see my post from January 9: British Empire, the Colonies, and India). My argument is simply that appellations for former countries and regions are often contextual, that there isn't always a consensus on universal use, that "British India" or the "Indian Empire" or "undivided India" can be used if the context is right, and that this contextual use doesn't have any necessary implications for the use of corresponding adjectival forms ("British Indian" or "undivided Indian"). I want to make that clear.

I am trying to understand here (your argument) why "British India" cannot be used. Since I said at the outset, "British Indian" is problematic" (see above) and I certainly didn't mention "British Ceylonese," "British Burmese," etc., I'd like to clarify the logical structure of your argument first, and we can worry about facts later.

  • 1)You say: "There is no "British Indian," because there was never any "British Nigerian," "British Sri Lankan," or any other such term used to describe the nationals of these countries, even though they were part of the British Empire. There were no "Mughal Indians," "Gupta Afghans," "Hellenic Iraqis," "Mongol Chinese," etc., etc."
    • a) Are you implying that (a) if we use "British India" it will necessarily imply that we use "British Indian," (b) which, in turn, will necessarily imply the legitimacy of "British Ceylonese," "Mughal Indians," and "Hellenic Mesopotamians?" If so, why? If not, please clarify.
    • b) Are you also implying that since the latter terms are not used, we cannot use "Mughal India", or "British India," or "undivided India" (for example, we couldn't say in the lead sentence of an article: "X, a Turk by birth, was the leading calligrapher of Mughal India ...", or that " Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a major political leader of undivided India and of the Pakistan movement")? If you are not saying this, please clarify. (Please don't focus on the examples, just the logical structure. b) is equivalent to a), of course, but I just want to clarify.)
  • 2) You say: "Jinnah and Iqbal both called themselves Indians and Indian Muslims, therefore we can't call them anything else." and "Even the British loyalist Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and others like him like Tej Bahadur Sapru did not ever refer to themselves as "British Indian," but rather as "subjects" of the British Empire."
    • a)Are you implying that what people call themselves (or how they identify themselves) at one time in history irrevocably constrains all later characterizations of them? (I'm assuming you don't mean this since the early Quakers didn't call themselves Quakers, but we do. Similarly, we apply the term "African-American" to Frederick Douglas, even though he never did.) Again, please clarify the argument
  • 3) "The inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent have always been called Indians, why else would the subcontinent be called Indian? Every resident of the British domains, princely states were called "Indians." And Indian subcontinent includes nations such as Sri Lanka, Nepal, Burma, Maldives that were not associated with British India - which also included Burma, btw."
    • a) Are you implying that the term "Indian subcontinent" is used today because earlier inhabitants of every part of it were called Indians? If so, by whom? If not, please clarify.
    • b) I do know that Burma was directly administered as a part of the Indian Empire until 1937, but I don't understand the argument. Please clarify.
  • 4) "Every resident of princely state or British domain in the British Indian empire was called Indian."
    • a) Please specify by whom.

Look forward to your reply, Fowler&fowler«Talk» 00:10, 18 January 2007 (UTC)


The answer to all your questions - the conventional usage in a vast majority of scholarly resources. That must be applied - encyclopedias are not platforms for developing new interpretations or arguing different/new angles of facts. To that effect, it is not upto us to decide what is "irrevocable" or not.

  1. The term African American was not coined or adopted at an encyclopedia. The term "African American" corresponds not with a "nationality," which is always and only American. It is used to identify members of a specific, sub-national ethnic community. Under this logic, Jinnah and Iqbal can be called "Indian Muslims" as they were leaders of the specific community, as was Douglass - alternately, I don't see (or expect to see) "Caucasian American" used to describe George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter. Also, the term also developed as a result of a debate of the usage of the terms "Negro," "Blacks," which were laced with racial insinuations.
  2. Also, "British India" is correctly used to describe the state in India at the time, not its people - it was NEVER a nationality - all Indians were "subjects" of the British Empire. Plus, this usage of "British India" will open a POV dispute between the Indian freedom fighters with British imperialists. Sure, British India did exist, but to say that it may be used to define the nationality of the inhabitants is nonsense, because they have a nationality, culture, social structure completely different. Similarly, "Mughal India" is a term used to describe the state but not a nationality, which remains "Indian."
  3. Terms such as "Indian subcontinent" and "South Asia" are mainly used to describe technical subjects (such as geography, wildlife, etc.), not "nationality." If you start using these terms to describe individuals, nationalities, you will bring the peoples of India, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Burma into the same national group, which is grossly inaccurate. Neither does it help anybody to imagine that Iqbal had any link to Burma in terms of nationality.
  4. Examples of Conventional usage - Jinnah at EB, Iqbal at EB, Jinnah at Encarta.
  5. "India" at EB India has been inhabited for thousands of years. Agriculture in India dates to the 7th millennium BC, and an urban civilization, that of the Indus valley, was established by 2600 BC.
  6. India at Encarta India’s long history stretches back to the Indus Valley civilization of about 2500-1700 bc. For hundreds of years, India was home to massive empires and regional kingdoms. British rule in India began in the ad 1700s. Foreign domination engendered Indian nationalism, which eventually led to India winning its independence in 1947. With independence, part of India became the new predominantly Muslim nation of Pakistan. Rama's arrow (3:16) 01:47, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
  7. Make no mistake - a vast majority of books, encyclopedias, articles, journals, magazines by a diverse array of authors back up the assertion of convention. Rama's arrow (3:16) 01:50, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Dear Rama's Arrow, You are not answering my questions. I specifically told you not to focus on my examples, but to answer my questions about the logical structure of your argument. I also said, "we'll worry about the facts later." Accordingly, there's no need to add "conventional usage in a vast majority of scholarly resources," or give the Britannica or Encarta examples. I am well aware of them. We'll get into "conventional usage" later. Please also don't jump ahead and anticipate any usage I might or might not employ. For example, I didn't say anything about nationality. I'm simply trying to pin down your argument. Please answer my questions to the point (1 (a), (b), 2 (a) (b) etc.) and please no didactic answers, it will only confuse the issue. As for question 4, you said in you example, "Every resident of the British domains, princely states were called "Indians," (which I changed in my question 4 to: "Every resident of princely state or British domain in the British Indian empire was called Indian,"), but since your formulation was in the past and not, for example, "Every resident of the British domains or princely states is referred to in the literature as Indian," I was merely trying to clarify what you meant. I wasn't looking for references. Regards, Fowler&fowler«Talk» 03:30, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Don't take this the wrong way but I detect your professorial instincts when you say things like "I specifically told you not to focus on my examples, but to answer my questions about the logical structure of your argument," and "please no didactic answers." If you didn't want me to discuss your examples, then you shouldn't have offered any - and we are conducting a debate with straight talk, wherein no one person dictates the mode/method of debate. I'm not submitting a research paper (or taking instructions for one) - as I've said often, we are not out here to devise new interpretations. The only question relevant here is how do we contribute to building a great, reputable encyclopedia and that is the only perspective with which we should conduct the debate. It is a waste of time to argue about logical structures, especially if you are already aware of how mainstream sources discuss this issue. And frankly, my logical structure is lucid - I've elucidated how mainstream sources have used and continue to use the words "India" and "Indian." I've also discussed why terms like "British India," "South Asia" and "Indian subcontinent" are technically incorrect for use as indicators of nationality. The India (disambiguation) solution is not vague for readers - after all, two very high-profile and oft-used words America and American are disambiguation pages. I've also clarified that one of the inner roots of this debate is the influence of the "Two-nation theory" on the individual South Asian editors and audience - we must remain firmly on the rails of the main argument (which is, how do we write encyclopedia articles on these subjects) and not venture into the irrelevant realms where the (in)validity of that doctrine enters the waters and poisons them beyond repair. Rama's arrow (3:16) 04:14, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
There is no reason to be uncivil and impute instincts (and then confuse pedantry with a "professorial instinct" whatever that is). I gave you the examples to make sure that you understood my questions (not to be patronizing) and I wanted you to stick to you previous answers in order to understand them and not get confused by a new set of examples. I am not trying to talk down to you. Please understand that. I am trying to have an honest discussion about terms like "British India," "Undivided India," or "Pre-partition India" or for that matter even expressions like "19th century India" or "early 20th century India." I am trying to explore their use and establish contexts for that use. I have said nothing about implications for citizenship or nationality.
If you don't want to answer the questions, that is fine. In the meantime, I am starting a new section below for usage of these various terms. All I ask is of everyone is that they don't add references that are not about those terms. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 20:18, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
You sir, will not accuse me of incivility without sounding hypocritical - don't give any assignment where "I specifically told you" to do... "no didactic answers" - this is a purely condescending attitude. You asked some questions in your statement, and I gave you a reponse statement. If you don't want to read it, then please don't waste our precious time. Our personal thoughts and analysis bear no weight on Wikipedia - if you want to help build an encyclopedia, then you're welcome. If you want to argue, you won't find me receptive. Rama's arrow (3:16) 21:12, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Blacksun's Comments[edit]

I would like to say that you MUST keep in mind that the confusion is in historical context. A solution for this should NOT meddle with present-day meaning of the word. As in, I better not wake up one day and type India in search bar only to reach a disambig page. Anyone who suggests China solution (which I disagree with too) is being ignorant of quite a few facts, most important being that their is no other nation right now that claims the name India. So the solution has to be something that stays in the domain of historical context without forcing it on present-day context. Any such solution will be fought tooth and nail by me and many others. Final comment: Any universal solution reached here is going to remain unsatisfactory and raise future debates as this very much seems to be a good example where it is better to address each issues case-by-case than generalization. --Blacksun 09:40, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi Blacksun, I think what I have written in the first paragraph above is an explication of what you are saying, but I could be mistaken. (I don't know anything about the China solution though). Regards Fowler&fowler«Talk» 00:25, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Fowler&Fowler's Bibliography of Usage for British India, Undivided India, Pre-partition India, etc.[edit]

Note: This section is only for references (of examples of different form of usage of British India etc. Please no comments in this section.

  • Bose, Sugata and Ayesha Jalal. 2003. Modern South Asia. Routledge; 2 edition 304 pages. ISBN 0415307872
    • Page 153:"Jinnah, leader of the recently revived Muslim Leagure, who had kept open lines of communications with Congress, found the federal provisions of the 1935 act `most reactionary, retrograde, injurious and fatal to the vital interest of British India vis-a-vis the Indian states'."
    • Page 178: "Mushirul Hasan has documented the role of Aligarh students in popularizing the League's creed in the remote villages of British India. Yet popular sentiments for an undefined demand for a `Pakistan' did not translate into a matching political organization working for its attainment."
    • Page 203"It was Congress which inherited the unitary central apparatus and international personality of British India. Ignoring Jinnah's vocal protests against Congress seizing the appellation `India', Mountbatten admitted that he was doing no more than setting up a tent for the government of the newly created state."
    • Page 204: "The partnership between Congress and non-elected institutions, civil bureaucracy and the police in particular, facilitated the establishment of a formal democracy within the barely modified structures of British India's unitary state system."
  • Marshall, P.J. (ed). 2001. The Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire. Cambridge University Press. 400 pages. ISBN 0521002540.
    • Page 155."British India—those provinces (like the Punjab) that had been conquered and annexed—was directly admininstered by British officials, while the several hundred princely states (of which Hyderabad was the largest) concluded agreements whereby they surrendered to the Crown control over external affairs in return for a good deal of internal autonomy."
  • Northrup, David. "Migration from Africa, Asia and the South Pacific." In The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume III: The Nineteenth Century, Andrew Porter (ed). Oxford University Press. 800 pages. ISBN 0199246785.
    • "Page 88: After the British Isles, the most important source of overseas emigrants within the nineteenth-century Empire was British India."
  • Mill, James. 1817 , The History of British India (3 volumes). London: Baldwin, Cradock and Joy.
    • Page :"There was a strong case for dividing the province of Bengal. It was the largest in British India, with 78.5 million people of whom nearly a third were Muslims."
    • Page 224: "... but ended with a veiled threat: For above a century the Hindoo population of British India has always been the most attached ... of Your Majesty's native subjects ... conciliated by the toleration and protection hitherto ..."
    • Page 243: "... and religious orientations. Bengal presented an extreme example of class formation. It contained Calcutta, `City of Palaces' and capital of British India. ..."
    • Page 245: "... too do the educated. In 1859, there were a mere thirteen government colleges with around 2000 students in all of British India. Another 30,000 students were in secondary government schools. ..."
    • Page 253: "... lessons drawn from the mutiny of Company sepoys in 1857 enforced the concentration of Europeans in the high ranks of British-Indian regiments. Fears of mutiny lingered and justified a one-third ratio of European troops strategically garrisoned throughout British India, and their domination over artillery units as well as the superior commands. ..."
    • Page 255: "... Thus Richard Wellesley, Governor-General from 1798 to 1805, saw India as a vital centre for opposition to Napoleon's plans to ... By the middle of the nineteenth century, the frontiers of British India were fixed favourably against a weakened imperial China as well as against clientized smaller states on the northern fringes ..."
    • Page 269: "... 17 schools and 386 female pupils. At the close of the century there were 82,000 pupils in girls' schools in British India, and an additional 42,000 attended mixed schools. ..."
    • Page 272: "... made by the senior imperial official W. W. Hunter in t88� that forty million, a fifth of the population of British India, lacked sufficient food was never refuted. ..."
    • Page 296: "... to the radical swadeshi leaders and also a lobby for the greater participation of Muslims in the public life of British India. British official support was obvious: a meeting between the Aligarh Muslim leaders and the viceroy, Lord Minto, was arranged late ..."
    • Page 303: "... Elsewhere in British India and also in the larger, more advanced princely states such as Mysore, a similar brahman hold over official employment was ..."
    • Page 322:"... of militant farmers against Hindu money-lenders and oppressive landlords. Such losses to the Congress were not easily repaired. Elsewhere in British India this anti-Congress opportunism was less evident. Madras and Bombay, where the 'ryotwari' revenue settlement was between the state and individual ..."
    • Page 347: "... as diversionary democratic movements . Within several princely states movements were stirring to gain the same civil rights enjoyed in British India. Gandhi mandated that Congress should not interfere with the political rights (or wrongs) of Indians living under 347 ..."
    • Page 348: "... liberties and reduce their own privileges, but only voluntarily. Still, lower- class pressure continued to grow, soon matching that of British India, and Gandhi grudgingly approved a satyagraha, but restricted it to a single small state in Gujarat where he enjoyed unusual ..."
    • Page 379: "... Of Muslims elsewhere in British India, where they were minorities, little could be or was said. While the formative stage of the Indian Republic arguably ended ..."
    • Page 382: "... main supporters of the Muslim League in East, as in West, Pakistan were Muslim refugees from the United Provinces of British India. Provincial elections in West Pakistan in 1951 gave the Muslim League an overwhelming majority of seats, about three-quarters of the ..."

Books[edit]


Fowler&fowler«Talk» 20:21, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

You know, this is getting a little ridiculous (perhaps a lot). Here's why:
  1. "Modern South Asia:" you can see the reference to the "Indian states," as clearly "Indian." As for British-held territory, was there ever a question about using "British India?" Did I not make it expressly clear that "British India" did exist, yet it was never a nationality? How else would you distinguish it if you're discussing the princely states in the same sentence? "British Indian Empire," "British-ruled India." All the quotes refer to a discussion of the apparatus of the state, which was "British India." Funny, I don't see "South Asia," "Indian subcontinent," being used... No case for nationality there.
  2. Shall I post the thousands of books that deal with the "partition of India?" Perhaps that will send a clearer message about the definition of "consensus." At least it might help to visit the latter pages: Amazon list, Google, "Partition of British India", At Encarta - territorial unity of India, The division of India caused tremendous dislocation of populations, Google Books, Google Scholar, the Government of India Act 1919, the Government of India Act 1935, the Indian Independence Act 1947.
  3. When one talks of the state, it is not incorrect to use "British India." But it is incorrect to describe the people, the nationality as of "British India." The influence of the British-ruled state in India did not redefine the nationality, culture and consciousness of its people, to make it anything other than "Indian." Were Jinnah and Iqbal "Indians?" Well yes, as Britannica, Encarta and thousands of other books will testify. Rama's arrow (3:16) 21:08, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Rama's Arrow in that,
" India throughout history meant different things in territorial terms, as well as socio-cultural, economic and national terms. No one can deny that the Republic of India was not in existence prior to 1947 (and technically, prior to 1950). But that does not mean that the long-standing identification of the land as "India" and its people as "Indians" is flawed - after all, why is the subcontinent called "Indian?" "
"The inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent have always been known as "Indians" - or else why should the entire subcontinent be called "Indian??" Every resident of the British domains, princely states were called "Indians." And Indian subcontinent includes nations such as Sri Lanka, Nepal, Burma, Maldives".
But my point is just this. Which entry in India (disambiguation) justifies the use of India in an article about Iqbal. If there is one, why not not use that specific entry, especially since India (disambiguation) can be confused with Republic of India. Can we use the India (disambiguation) in Theippan Maung Wa or Don Stephen Senanayake by the same reasoning? El elan 06:51, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Your latter example clarifies why British India is not a nationality - Burma has never shared a common nationality with India. Sri Lanka has never been considered (even by the British) as a part of India. [[India (disambiguation) should have each term with time frame and a brief explanation, and let the reader decide which shall be more suitable for the context. It can't be specific because (1) Its a disambiguation page and (2) it applies to a whole range of articles, not just Iqbal. Rama's arrow (3:16) 15:20, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, Rama's Arrow is right that Indians were called "Indians" regardless of where they lived on the subcontinent, and it's a perfectly valid generic term to address Indians. Sometimes, however, depending on the context, it adds value to specify whether a person was from British India or from the princely Indian states. British India is a valid official term, and I don't see any revisionism here. It's only that mostly it doesn't add much value to use such a specific term, while sometimes it does. "British India" can and should be used when it is necessary to distinguish it from the princely states, so that the generic term will not do. For example, Rowlatt Act was applicable in regions corresponding to British India, not in the princely states. "British Indian" on the other hand is a highly confusing term never to be used. deeptrivia (talk) 21:52, 19 January 2007 (UTC)


Unre4L views[edit]

User:El elan, Sorry but you are wrong there. Prior to British Empire, People of South Asia never referred to themselves as Indian. India is a British Term. The people would refer to themselves as Punjabi, Pathan, Kashmiri or Sindhi etc.
And there is no visible link between Sindh And India. India is British, Sindh is Persian/Greek.
However, since the Subcontinent has been named India, it would make sense to refer to the people of the Subcontinent Indians. Well, only if there wasnt a country in the subcontinent also called India. There would be no way to differentiate between Indians of RoI and Indians of Indian subcontinent. Referring to South Asian history as Indian is wrong, since the subcontinent has never been a country and was grouped together by others because of the religion. And they didnt call the subcontinent India, they would call it the land of Hindus, or Hind.
However it would still be wrong to refer to the subcontinent as Hindh or Sindh, since both terms have been claimed by India, and Sindh of Pakistan. The only way of making clear who the history belongs to without using misleading terms is to refer to the history by what the region is called now. I.e Ancient Pakistan, a term which is used by scholars, but is not being accepted on Wikipedia.
--Unre4LITY 16:07, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

  • If there is a problem with the use of "India" to denote the whole of South Asia, we can use the term "Bharatwarsha". Well, in Nepal, people have problem with defining themselves as Indians but the term Bharatwarsha is acceptable. It pertains to the native name of the land (as opposed to India or Hind which have been tagged by other people). Eventhough Nepal had never been under British or Mughal empires, the use of "Bharatwarsha, Nepal khanda (Bharat world, Nepal region)" is accepted. Thank you.--Eukesh 08:23, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Unre4L, while I agree to all that you say, and this is also for Eukesh, that we all should follow the norm, and not our own interpretation. And unfortunately, Ancient Pakistan is not the norm[1][2]

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Anupamsr (talkcontribs)

Bharat is already claimed for RoI. My suggestion was to be specific when referring to India, or the Indian subcontinent. But people here refuse to do so.
Indian history article should only contain history within Indias borders.
Pakistans history article should only contain history within Pakistans borders
And then there can be a "South Asian" history article or "Indian subcontinent" History article for the entire region.
In my opinion thats a Neutral suggestion. I am not claiming anything which doesnt belong to the Pakistani people already.
I would really like to hear whats wrong with this suggestion.
Besides, no encyclopaedia refers to the history outside India, as Republic of Indian. Wikipedia does. You will see templates of RoI lots of places where they dont belong.
--Unre4LITY 21:14, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I would agree to you. But my current stay in Europe has shown me that India is not just understood as a country but also as a race. Or should I say, ethnicity. That is the root of all confusions. So, when mentioning 'Indian', people not only refer to citizens of India, but to an ethnic group. Now I do not believe India the term was coined only after British occupation (as in occupy space, thanks to over-discussion over this on Talk:India). The term was old, and that is how people in West used to refer to this specific region. That is why there was a company named East 'India' company etc.
At the end, this is a big mess. And all we can do is to just follow previous definitions. That way is the only way to stop edit warring and actually adding any content.
Regarding templates, are you referring to templates on Talk Pages? They do not signify anything, except that people interested in India want to contribute in that article. You can add any number of Templates and that should not be a problem.--æn↓þæµß¶-ŧ-¢ 14:42, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Previous definitions became obsolete in 1947. And even though the British coined the term "India", nobody in south asia used it to refer to themselves until 1850s. Some people have obviously formed an imaginary link between the Subcontinent India and Republic of India. There is no point in misleading on purpose by using the term India for the subcontinent. All I am trying to say is that, India refers to Republic of India. People here use the term to refer to south asia aswell. Other Encyclopaedias clearly show they are referring to the Indian Subcontinent. But India is too widely used a term to change current trend. If someone searches Wiki for India, they are obviously looking for the country.
Do the changes I propose sound incorrect of unfair in any way, then please tell me how.
Indian history article should only contain history within Indias borders.
Pakistans history article should only contain history within Pakistans borders
And then there can be a "South Asian" history article or "Indian subcontinent" History article for the entire region.
--Unre4LITY 15:26, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, they used the term Bharat, or Bharatvarsh, and ethinic Indians as Bharatiya. Oh wait... Bharat is already claimed by Indian constitution. So let us not talk about what term was used in south asia because that will open a new can of worms, and because that is irrelevant now. I suggest having an article on Indian people (right now it leads to Demographics of India which is simple wrong. Why don't we create an article about that? Then we can use it to clearly show who we are referring to in Indian Subcontinent. That will bring it in coherence with other encyclopedias.

Regarding your solution in bold, that is not how other encyclopedias treat it, now do they? And lastly, there are no Indias and Pakistans :)--æn↓þæµß¶-ŧ-¢ 15:41, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Here is what I think we should use instead of Indian: Indo-Aryan peoples. The problem with this is that pertaining to Aryan Invasion?--æn↓þæµß¶-ŧ-¢ 16:08, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

If you notice, the Indian subcontinents history is CLEARLY being linked to Republic of India. And there is nobody to blame since its obvious what India refers to. The history belongs to the Pakistani people, hence its Pakistani history. Tell me, how many Pakistanis are there in India, since you can claim the history of their ancestors? Unre4LITY 16:15, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

  • First of all, Bharatwarsha is not original research. The term is in use to denote South Asia and is not a spooky invention of my own. Since Republic of India calls itself Bharat, I had put up Bharatwarsha which according to its use in Nepal, denotes South Asia. "Indian people" can not contain Nepalese people (Nepalese pride themselves for being the only nation of bharatwarsha that was not colonized by British, and as the British used to call their subjects Indians, the term Indian has not been palatable to Nepalese for a long time now). Thats the reason why I had put up Bharatwarsh in the first place. Anyway, whatever term might be used to denote this part of the world, I dont think that studying the history of this region separately makes much sense esp for India, Pakistan and Bangladesh till their independece from British Raj. Its like taking two blood samples from two arms of Siamese twins to know about their health separately. So, rather than creating a consensus amongst ourselves and create a "wikiality"(as the critics call it), lets get down to the most globally accepted facts and terms. We can use multiple redirects to a single page if a lot of creditable historians have used different terms. Thank you.--Eukesh 17:18, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Eukesh. I totally agree with Everything you just said there. But why call the history of the subcontinent History of India, a term coined by the Brits, and plaster the article with references to RoI, while refusing to mention Pakistan. Pakistanis feel their history has been stolen. I suggested a name change to something less misleading, but surprise surprise, the suggestion was knocked down without even presenting an argument. Instead they start commenting on unrelated stuff, like my PakHub website and accuse me of being a Jihadist. This is ridiculous. Not only have they hijacked the article, they refuse any amount of sources presented to correct facts. The article is Anti Pakistan, and they might aswell just add statements like "Pakistanis eat babies".
I hope something can be done about this. I cant even get comments from people who havent been involved in edit warring that article in the first place. Its obvious they will knock down every suggestion I make.
--Unre4Lﺍﹸﻧﺮﮮﺍﻝ UT 18:30, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

If Pakistanis feel there history is being stolen, they should try to influence the world of historians. I cannot explain you further. Read this if you have time to think.--æn↓þæµß¶-ŧ-¢ 01:17, 24 January 2007 (UTC)