hindu once again

claude setzer cssetzer at mum.edu
Thu Jun 19 16:44:51 UTC 1997

For what interest it may have, there is currently a strong push by the Sri
Vaishnavas (Jeeyar Swami) to get rid of the word Hindu and replace it with
either Vedic or Bharata. He said that the word, Hindu, came in to use
during the period of Parsi rule and was used as a negative term, [perhaps
not literally meaning, but at least] implying the characteristic of all
those people that were not believers in the Parsi religion of the time. He
thinks it is quite strange that the people of India continued to use it
afterwards and in trying to get them to stop. For example, he is
encouraging groups like the "Hindu Society" or "Hindu Temple" to change
their name to Vedic Temple or Vedic Society, etc.

Claude Setzer,  cssetzer at mum.edu

> From: Peter D Banos <pdb1 at columbia.edu>
> To: Members of the list <indology at liverpool.ac.uk>
> Subject: Re: hindu once again
> Date: Thursday, June 19, 1997 12:27 PM
> On Sun, 15 Jun 1997, Jacob Baltuch wrote:
> > In the same vein, can anyone explain the Hebrew name of India, "hodu"?
> > (That's the modern pronunciation. Originally it should be "hoddu" or
> > I don't remember which but I suspect it should be the latter; it can be
> > in the Bible, in the first verse of the Book of Esther, for example)
> Klaus Karttunen has pointed out that the assimilation of _nd_ to _dd_ is
> not unusual in Hebrew. This however does not explain how the vowel became
> _o_. 
> The following is my own off-the-wall speculation: perhaps "hindu" was
> taken into Hebrew through the medium of an alphabet in which the symbols
> for "n" and "w" are hard to distinguish? They are similar enough in
> modern Hebrew writing, and in the Pahlavi script used for Middle Persian
> they are identical. The "i" being short would not have been written at
> all. So something looking like "hnd" or "hndw" could have been misread as
> "hwd" or "hwdw" - which would give the form written in the Book of
> Like I say, this is pure speculation; it is based only on 
> my having seen even weirder things happen with scripts like the Pahlavi.
> 						-Peter D. Banos
> 						  Columbia University

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