A Hindu (Devanagari: ??????) is an adherent of the philosophies and scriptures of Hinduism, a set of religious, philosophical and cultural systems that originated in the Indian subcontinent.
When and how the word ‘Hindu” was coined is not precisely established. It is absent in early sacred literature of Indian origin. It was used by ancient Persians, without religious connotations, for the people inhabiting the lands of river Indus. Regular usage of the word is encountered in the accounts of foreign invaders of the medieval period, to describe collectively the followers of Indian religions. British Raj, with the help of the academia, defined Hindus precisely for demographic and legal purposes .
There are approximately 920 million Hindus, of the world population making Hinduism the third largest religion in the world after Christianity and Islam; of these, about 890 million live in India, and 30 million in the Hindu diaspora. Other countries with large Hindu populations include Bangladesh, Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka, Fiji, Guyana, Nepal, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa, Mauritius, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, Netherlands and United Kingdom.