The Indian continent has many varied but related religions which are collectively dubbed "Hinduism.5" Hinduism, as it is known and interpreted today, is a mixture of independent religions which fought among themselves and came to understand and respect each other. Hindu is a synonym for Indu/Indi, which is derived from the Sindhu located in Pakistan.
The idea of an Indian nationality or Indian nation6 is very recent. Before the British came to Indian continent, large parts of the continent were occasionally brought under the control of one region or another, but all of the empires eventually fragmented into independent kingdoms. The Mughal Dynasty (1526-1707) was the last pre-British empire in the North extending from Afghanistan to Myanmar (Burma) borders, and from Kashmir to Andhra borders. The Mughal Dynasty could not conquer coastal Andhra, Chennai (Madras) and Myanmar. British India included Myanmar, coastal Andhra and Chennai, but not Afghanistan, Hyderabad, Kashmir and some other princely states. The present India does not include Myanmar, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh or Nepal.
A nationality is a group of people having a common origin, tradition,
and language and capable of forming or actually constituting a nation-state.
For example, the Telugu nationality in the state of Andhra
Pradesh7, where 71 million
people (1998 estimate) of a distinct culture and language called Telugu
or Andhra live. Andhra Pradesh is one of the twenty-five states in
the Indian Union. The Telugus with a recorded history of more than 2,000
years are distinct from the rest of India. Telugu language belongs to Dravidian
group of languages, which has no relationship with the Indo-European languages
of North India. The fact that Andhra Pradesh is not a sovereign state does
not reduce Andhra/Telugu nationality to a nonentity. Thus, the present
Indian Union is a multinational continental state.
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