Hinduism term has different interpretations for different people. How the term originated – Was it supposed to denote religion followed by people close to river Sindhu or Indus. Is it a fixed religion or just a way of life. Is it same as Sanatan dharma?
Speaking on this topic can be controversial as people’s faith is associated with it. I really have nothing special to add to it as any learned people of spoken in their own ways and historians have their own interpretations ( agenda based or fact based) .
What I say is that it gives space for many different philosophies and means of worship that no place or person can lay single handed claim to their ownership of a specific god or philosophy. Shiva is worshipped from Tamil Nadu and Kerala to Kashmir , Uttarakhand and in maybe earlier in Tibet. Even in north east – Umakoti temples prove its reach far and wide. Same with Shakti and Vaishnav following. At the same time there are so many regional gods and goddesses ( kul Devi/ devtas, gram devta etc)that it’s difficult know the exact details of all of them. As per many researchers it was a global religion where many gods and goddesses were worshipped globally and possibly followed same dharmic system or framework which linked them – who knows. I personally feel even ancient so called pagan and shaman religions could have been part of the framework.
It has kept evolving too as per some literature certain gods have become more prominent in certain eras and others so in another era.
Some may say it has created confusion of people to understand the religion fully. But then who can understand fully so easily. It is with great discernment and individual experiences that we can understand it and that has been the focus. So I feel it’s better to use the dharmic framework provided by Hinduism and use it to reach the version of divine we can most deeply get connected to.
I would also like to apologise, in case my views offended anyone