The term ‘Hindu’ is originally a geographical nomenclature. In the Arabic texts where the term ‘Hindu’ is initially used, refers to the inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent, the land across the Sindhu or Indus River. Al-Hind was, therefore, a geographical identity, and the Hindus were all the people who lived on this land.
Thus, the term ‘Hindu’ was used to describe those who professed a religion other than Islam and Christianity. It is also noteworthy that the use of the word ‘Hindu’ in non-Islamic sources is known probably only from the 15TH century A.D.
The term ‘Hindu’ became a term of administrative convenience when the rulers of Arab, Turkish, Afghan and Mughal origin - all Muslims~ had to differentiate between ‘the believers’ and the rest.
Swami Vivekananda says: ~ “The word Hindu is a misnomer; the correct word should be a Vedantins, a person who follows the Vedas.
Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru:~ The word Hindu can be earliest traced to a source a Tantrik in the 8th century, and it was used initially to describe the people, it was never used to describe religion. (The discovery of India” on page -74 and -75)
According to Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, its connection with religion is of late occurrence. The word Hinduism is derived from the word Hindu.
The word Hinduism was first used by the English writers in the 19th century to describe the multiplicity of faiths of the people of India.
In Encyclopaedia Britannica it says:~ The word Hinduism was first used by the British writers in the year 1830 to describe the multiplicity of the faiths of the people of India excluding the converted Christians. (Volume -20, Reference -581)
In the year 1794 A.D. Sir William Jones, the European chief justice of the then Supreme Court of India at Calcutta, coined the new term Hinduism for the caste discriminating principle of Varnashrama Dharma originated on the basis of Manu Dharma Śāstra.
(Sir William Jones spent 11 years on the Supreme Court of Calcutta were highly productive ones, and he applied democratic principles to his judicial decisions. The six charges Jones made to the Calcutta Grand Jury during that period helped determine the course of Indian jurisprudence as well as preserve the rights of Indian citizens to trial by jury, as Jones considered Indians to be equal under the law with Europeans.
His most famous accomplishment in India was establishing the Asiatic Society of Bengal, in January of 1784. The founding of the Society grew out of Jones's love for India, its people and its culture, as well as his abhorrence of oppression, nationalism and imperialism. His goal for the Society was to develop a means to foster collaborative international scientific and humanistic projects that would be unhindered by social, ethnic, religious and political barriers. Through the Society, Jones hoped to make Oriental studies much more attractive to people from the West. As a result, Jones exerted a substantial influence on the academic and literary disciplines in Western Europe. He would remain the Society's president until he died.
In addition to establishing the Society, Jones felt compelled to learn Sanskrit so that he could better prepare himself to understand Hindu and Muslim laws. This led to an enormous personal project: the compilation of all such laws. The task was so huge that he was unable to complete it before he died. However, he did publish portions, including Institutes of Hindu Law, or the Ordinances of Menu, Mohammedan Law of Succession to Property of Intestates and Mohammedan Law of Inheritance. He also published numerous works about India, covering a variety of topics including law, art, music, literature, botany and geography.)
The term Hindu religion is totally a new name which cannot be found in any Indian literature prior to 1794 A.D. Out of the five Indian religions of Buddhism, Jainism, Saivism, Vaishnavism and Sikhism; Saivism and Vaishnavism were brought under the Varnashrama principle.
After naming the discriminating principle of casteism of Manu Dharma as Hindutva, the religions of Saivism and Vaishnavism, which were enslaved to the caste discriminating principles, were given a new name as ‘Hindu Religion’! Thus, Hindu religion is different from Sanatana Dharma or Vedic religion.
The term Hinduism came into existence in British rule. Hinduism is caste discriminating principle of Varnashrama Dharma based on of the Book of Manu.
After 1750 A.D., Europeans captured certain parts of India and started ruling those areas. The capital of the then British India was Calcutta the present day Kolkata.
The Britishers were duty bound to administer justice to the people living within their dominion. Thus, they set up courts of justice. They needed laws to administer justice through the courts.
To administer justice to the Christian citizens of India living within their dominion, there was Christian Law, based on Biblical principles.
To administer justice to the Muslim citizens of India living within their dominion, there was Islamic Law, based on Quranic principles. But to administer justice to non-Christian and non-Islamic citizens living in British dominion, there was no law book. This created problems for the Britishers.
At this time, Sir William Jones was appointed as the chief justice of the Supreme Court at Calcutta. Local pundits made Sir William Jones believe that the book of Manu was the law book for the people of India.
Sir William Jones believed pundits and translated the book of Manu from Sanskrit to English. Thus, on the basis of the laws of Manu, a law was formed for administering justice to non-Christian, and non-Muslim Indians of the British dominion and this law were called as the Hindu law.
The principles of the book of Manu which was used for drafting the Hindu Law were called as Hinduism. The basic principle of the book of Manu is caste discrimination.
The name coined by Sir William Jones to denote caste discriminating principles is Hinduism. It is not a religion. It is a way of Life. It is the way of life of the Indus people.
In this a historic false perception crept in. That is, when they called the terms Christian Law, Muslim law and Hindu Law, both Christian Law and Muslim Law were associated with Christian religion and Islamic religion. But in respect of Hindu Law, a false perception of religion was wrongly attributed to it as if it was also associated with a ‘Hindu religion’ which was not there.
This false perception developed a false notion that non-Christian and non-Muslim Indian of the British dominion were belonging to Hindu religion.
Out of the five Indian religions, since Saivism and Vaishnavism were already enslaved to Varnashrama dharma i.e. caste discrimination or Hindutva, the people of India began to use the newly originated common name of ‘Hindu religion’ to denote Saivism and Vaishnavism. The context and substance of the term Hinduism ; coined by Sir William Jones is different from the context and substance of this term ‘Hindu religion’, which was substituted erroneously and used by the people to denote Saivism and Vaishnavism.
The orthodox believes in Varnashrama Dharma or caste discrimination. People of India wrongly believe that the Hinduism is an ancient religion because they are unaware of the fact that Hinduism is not the Santana Dharma or Vedic religion.
People of India have to be liberated from the stranglehold of casteism to realize their original religion is not Hinduism which is full of different caste and creeds but Vedic religion. The people should be educated about the historic truth of the religion of Vedas or Santan Dharma. The word Hinduism is a misnomer.