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Terms ‘Hindu’ and ‘India’ have Vedic-Harappan Legacy: Read Here!

Both the words, Indu and Sindhu refer to the central Vedic religious ritual – Soma

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Map of India (Representational Image). Image source: thinglink.com
  • Many scholars and historians have concluded that the word ‘Hindu’ cannot be linked to the Sanskrit language as there is no mention of it in any of the Vedic literature
  • Iravatham Mahadevan, an Indologist from Tamil Nadu has discovered the Vedic link while studying the Harappan unicorn and the cult object before it
  • Both the words, Indu and Sindhu refer to the central Vedic religious ritual – Soma

Many scholars and historians from around the world have concluded that the word ‘Hindu’ cannot be linked to the Sanskrit language as there is no mention of it in any of the Vedic literature and that it was coined by the ancient invaders who could not accurately pronounce the name of the River Sindhu. Thus, throughout the modern political discourses in India, there have been criticisms that the words ‘Hindu’ and ‘India’ do not possess any indigenous roots.

It is said that the Muslim invaders from Afghanistan and Persia, renamed the River ‘Sindhu’ as ‘Hindu’ to describe the inhabitants from the north-western province of India where the river is located.  The term ‘Sindhu’ eventually faded out and the people of the land began to be known as ‘Hindus’. The word India, which is the Romanised form of the Greek “Indós” is said to be derived from the River Indus.

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Aravindan Neelakandan, editor Swarajya said, the critics of Hindutva and Indian nationalism, in general, argue that Hinduism and India are artificial constructs created by foreigners either to categorise or manage a vast collection of various ethnic, linguistic and cultural groups which actually merit separate sovereign nations. The claim that the word ‘Hindu’ and ‘Hinduism’ are alien-constructed and not present in the Vedic literature when it is said to be its core, serves as an argument to convince Indians that in the absence of foreign rule, India would have been disintegrated into a thousand kingdoms which would be in constant war with one another.

Iravatham Mahadevan, an Indologist from Tamil Nadu has discovered the Vedic link while studying the Harappan unicorn and the cult object before it, mentioned swarajyamag.com. Being familiar with the Vedic ceremony of the Soma filtering ritual, he says that he was “reminded of the two most powerful images in the Soma chapter of the Rig Veda, Pavamana and Indu”. Pavamana means the flowing Soma, and Indu refers to the Soma drops collected at the bottom of the filter. The word Indu can also be said to represent the Soma Itself and in the Brahmanas, Indu is used for the moon.

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The famous River hymns of Rig Veda (Nadistuti Sukta नदिस्तुति सूक्त, X.75) describes river Indus as “Good Soma” (Su-Soma). So both the words, Indu and Sindhu refer to the central Vedic religious ritual – Soma, says the Swarajya.

The Harappan seal. Image Source: Wikipedia Commons
The Harappan seal. Image Source: Wikipedia Commons

In The lost river by Michel Danino it is pointed out that archaeologist C L Fabri (1935) brought out “odd parallels” between depictions of animal motifs in punch-marked coins and Harappan seals. In most of the coins belonging to the Sangham Age (300 BCE to 300 CE) where the horse is shown, an object similar to the cult-object seen in Harappan unicorn seals was noticed. This leads one to the connection between the Indu or the Soma and the regional principalities ruled by local chieftains.

Hieun Tsang Image Source:r4e.org
Hieun Tsang Image Source:r4e.org

The words Soma and Indu can also be used to relate to the moon and Hieun Tsang, the seventh-century Buddhist pilgrim to India makes an explicit connection to this term and associates it with the name of the nation in a spiritual sense. He says that India was “anciently called Shin-tu, also Hien-tau” but with the right pronunciation, it is called “In-tu”. Pointing out that the Chinese the term also refers to the moon he says that it is appropriate, mentioned swarajyamag.com.

In the Buddhist Records of the Western World, Book II , he says, “the bright connected light of holy men and sages, guiding the world as the shining of the moon, have made this country eminent, and so it is called In-tu.”

If Iravatham Mahadevan  is correct, then both the terms Hindu and India trace their origin to the Vedic and Harappan period. These terms then will represent the oldest civilisation thus strengthening the spiritual and cultural bond shared by us all.

-prepared by Ajay Krishna of Newsgram. Twitter: @ajkrish14

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Uber Launches Campaign for Women and Youth in India

New Uber initiatives to empower women, youth in India

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Uber India
A campaign by Uber will empower youth and women in India. Wikimedia Commons

In a bid to make daily commute safer for women in India, ride hailing giant Uber on Friday launched a new campaign for Uber Auto, which also aims to empower riders with seamless shared mobility solutions.

The company also launched an Uber Moto campaign for youth with convenient doorstep pickup to help them save time from arduous commute and use that time to up-skill themselves.

“At Uber, we’re committed to simplifying the lives of our riders by addressing their everyday challenges through multi-modal mobility solutions,” Manisha Lath Gupta-Marketing Director, Uber India and South Asia, told IANS.

“We believe that our youth have immense potential, however, lack of safe and reliable commuting options often limits their aspirations. In a small yet meaningful way, we are delighted to support the aspirations of millions of men and women to move forward,” Gupta added.

Uber India campaign
The Uber Auto campaign in India is titled as “Badey Iradon Ki Chhoti Sawaari,”. Pixabay

Targeted primarily at women commuters, the cab hailing giant’s Auto campaign, titled “Badey Iradon Ki Chhoti Sawaari,” aims to provide women safe, reliable yet affordable travel options, thus, enabling them to fulfil their aspirations.

Instead of being dependent on friends and family for picking and dropping them, or standing on roads waiting to find a reliable mode of transport, Uber Auto allows women to step out whenever they need to.

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The company’s Moto campaign, titled “Sapno Par Hoja Sawaar” aims to inspire the young working professionals whose aspirations get dampened because they spend long hours commuting and have to change multiple modes of transport to find the most economical option.

Both the campaigns would be seen across digital, print and out-of-home advertising (OOH) platforms, said Uber. (IANS)