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Hindkowans
Total population
300,000[1 ]
Regions with significant populations
 Afghanistan
 Pakistan
Languages

Pashtu, Hindko, Hindi, Kandhari, Kabuli, Sindhi, Punjabi[2][3]

Religion

Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Buddhism[4]

Related ethnic groups

other Indo-Aryan peoples

Hindki (Hindi: हिन्दकी, Pashtu: ہِندکی) is the name given to an ethnic group who inhabit Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan. They are of the Khatri,[5] Arora,[6] and Brahman classes,[7] and are found all over the country.[1 ] H. W. Bellew, in his Races of Afghanistan, estimated their number at about 300,000.[1 ] The name Hindki is also loosely used by Pathans on the upper Indus, in Dir and Bajour, to denote the speakers of Punjabi or any of its dialects.[1 ][8] It is sometimes applied in a historical sense to the Buddhist inhabitants of the Peshawar Valley north of the Kabul River, who were driven thence about the 5th or 6th century C.E. and settled in the neighbourhood of Kandahar.[1 ]

Contents

Origins

British anthropologist HA Rose suggests:

'Hindki, a generic term, half contemptuous, applied to all Muhammadans who being of Hindu origin speak Hindko and have been converted to Islam in comparatively recent times. In Bannu the term usually denotes an Awan or Jat cultivator, but in a wider sense it includes all Muhammadans who talk Hindi, Panjabi or any other dialect derived from them.[9]

However, another explanation has little to do with Hinduism, as Britishers believed. That is, Hindko is likely derived from the Persian words for most mountainous regions along the Indus and Kabul rivers, as they tumble down towards the plains of Punjab and Sindh. In fact, other groups which have accepted Islam in the region, are now called only Nuristanis (people from the Land of Light), as opposed to Kafirstanis (infidel peoples) - suggesting that the Muslim community of Northern Pakistan does not use terminology suggestive of previous religious affiliations to describe any Muslim group in a mainstream manner. Some Pashtuns, in particular, do refer to Punjabis as Hindus as an insult to their perceived lax interpretation of Islam, but such terminology is not widespread, and the slur is not used to refer to Punjabis outside of an insulting context in general. Furthermore, such insults are used almost exclusively in reference to Punjabis, and not other ethnic groups such as Sindhis and Kashmiris, who are also descendants of converts to Islam, and in many ways maintain stronger Hindu influences than Punjabis.

Hindkowans in Peshawar

Peshawar has historically had a significant population of Hindkowans. James Douis records the population of Peshawar in 1916 :

Half of the people are Pathans, the rest are known generally as Hindkowans. The principal Hindkowan tribe is that of the Awans[10]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Hindki". Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition. http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/PAS_PER/HINDKI.html. Retrieved 2007-09-14.  
  2. ^ "Introduction". Afghan Hindus and Sikhs. http://www.afghanhindu.info/. Retrieved 2007-09-15.  
  3. ^ "Hindus Abandon Afghanistan". Hinduism Today. http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=3259. Retrieved 2007-09-15.  
  4. ^ "Sikhs struggle in Afghanistan". British Broadcasting Corporation. 2003-09-25. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3138282.stm. Retrieved 2007-09-15.  
  5. ^ "Khatri, Sikh of Afghanistan". Joshua Project. http://www.joshuaproject.net/peopctry.php?rop3=113631&rog3=AF. Retrieved 2007-09-14.  
  6. ^ "Arora, Hindu of Afghanistan". Joshua Project. http://www.joshuaproject.net/peopctry.php?rop3=111360&rog3=AF. Retrieved 2007-09-15.  
  7. ^ "Brahman of Afghanistan". Joshua Project. http://www.joshuaproject.net/peopctry.php?rop3=111696&rog3=AF. Retrieved 2007-09-15.  
  8. ^ "Castes, Tribes, and Leading Families - Excerpts from the Gazetteer of the Kohat District". Khyber Gateway. http://www.khyber.org/publications/036-040/leadingfamilies.shtml. Retrieved 2007-09-15.  
  9. ^ A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-West provinces, compiled by H A Rose, vol II Page 333
  10. ^ The Punajab North West Frontier Provience and Kashmir by Sir James Douie Low price publications page 299

External links

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HINDKI, the name given to the Hindus who inhabit Afghanistan. They are of the Khatri class, and are found all over the country even amongst the wildest tribes. Bellew in his Races of Afghanistan estimates their number at about 300,000. The name Hindki is also loosely used on the upper Indus, in Dir, Bajour, &c., to denote the speakers of Punjabi or any of its dialects. It is sometimes applied in a historical sense to the Buddhist inhabitants of the Peshawar Valley north of the Kabul river, who were driven thence about the 5th or 6th century and settled in the neighbourhood of Kandahar.


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