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ENGLISH IGNORANCE REGARDING INDIA-INDIA NOT A COUNTRY BUT A
CONTINENT-THE NAME HINDUSTAN-THE GREAT DIFFERENCES BE-
ASIATIC STUDIES '-NO UNITY IN INDIA, PHYSICAL, POLITICAL, SOCIAL,
ITS GEOGRAPHY-THE GREAT RIVERS OF INDIA-THE GANGES AND GOGRA-BRITISH AND NATIVE HIMÁLAYAN DISTRICTS—THE KUMKON HIMALAYA-SCENERY OF THE HIMÁLAYA.
Sir Henry MAINE, referring to the ignorance regarding India which prevails even among educated men in England, has declared his conviction that for one who desires to unveil the stores of interest which India contains, the first necessity is that he should not shrink from speaking on matters which appear to him too elementary to deserve discussion, that he should sympathise
with an ignorance which few felicitous efforts have yet been made to dispel, and that he should remember that the language of administration and government in India has become so highly specialised and technical that it forms an imperfect medium for the communication of ideas to Englishmen. Believing this, I make no apology for beginning these lectures with some very elementary matters, and I ask at starting this elementary question, What is India? What does this name India really signify? The answer that has more than once been given sounds paradoxical, but it is true. There is no such country, and this is the first and most essential fact about India that can be learned.
India is a name which we give to a great region including a multitude of different countries. There is no general Indian term that corresponds to it. The name Hindustan is never applied in India, as we apply it, to the whole of the Indian continent; it signifies the country north of the Narbada River, and especially the northern portion of the basins of the Ganges and Jumna.
I have been told by intelligent Natives of India who have visited Europe that they could see little difference between the European countries through which they had travelled ; the languages being equally unintelligible offered to them no marks of distinction; the cities, the costumes, the habits of life, the manners and customs of the people, so far as a passing oriental traveller could judge, seemed much the same in England, in France, and in Italy. The differences between the countries of India, between, for instance, Bengal and the Punjab, or between Madras and Rájputána, seemed to them, on the other hand, immense, and beyond comparison greater than those existing between the countries