Wikipedia:Manual of Style/India-related articles

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These guidelines deal with the naming of India-related articles. Please follow the conventions below. If you disagree with any of the conventions, please discuss in the talk page.

To write and edit India-related articles, please follow the conventions below. Note


The purpose of this manual is to create style guidelines for editing articles related to the country of India in the English Wikipedia to conform to a neutral encyclopedic standard, as well as to make things easier to read by following a consistent format. This manual also states the conventions to be followed for writing the names in Indic scripts. The following rules do not claim to be the last word. One way is often as good as another, but if everyone follows minimum standards, Wikipedia will be easier to read and use, not to mention easier to write and edit. This manual is open to all proposals, discussion, and editing.


Languages of origin

This convention should be applied to any language spoken in the Indian subcontinent that is written in an Indic script. The major languages are: Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Konkani (when written in Kannada or Devanagari scripts), Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Pali, Punjabi (when written in Gurmukhi script), Sanskrit, Sinhala, Tamil, and Telugu.

The following languages are of Indic origin, but will usually be written in non-Indic scripts, usually derived from Arabic (see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Arabic)). This convention will normally apply to them only when transliterating from writings in an Indic script: Urdu, Kashmiri, Punjabi (western), and Sindhi.

Several languages may be written in Indic scripts, but are not themselves Indic languages. Some aspects of this convention may apply to them, but they may have their own conventions. They include Tibetan, Burmese, Thai, Khmer, Lao, and Javanese.

Subject matter covered

This standard is recommended for use in articles in the following fields;

  • Towns, cities, districts, states, protected areas and all other places within the political boundary of India.
  • All companies, organisations and factories which have their headquarters located in India.
  • All persons who are born in modern India (or British India before the 1947 Partition of India and Pakistan) or have taken citizenship of India.
  • Historical articles and historical place names of India, including especially history prior to 1800.

Basic India conventions

  • Use only Indian English spellings as per the guidelines for India related pages.
  • All units should be metric (SI) units. Imperial equivalents should be given alongside in brackets. The {{Convert}} template can be useful for this.
  • You may use the Indian numbering system of lakhs and crores but should give their equivalents in millions/billions in parentheses. Use a non-breaking space in such circumstances, eg: 21{{nbsp}}crore and always link the first occurrence of the word.
  • Comma-delimited numbers should always be written in the Western style (e.g., 30,000,000; not 3,00,00,000). See WP:NUMERAL.
  • For monetary figures, you may use the Indian numbering system but also give their US dollar equivalents in parentheses.

Biographical articles

While the article title should generally be the name by which the subject is most commonly known, the subject's full name should be given in the lead paragraph, if known. It is common to give the maiden surname of women better known under their married name. For people who are best known by a pseudonym, the legal name should usually appear first in the article, followed closely by the pseudonym. Follow this practice even if the article itself is titled with the pseudonym. Alternatively, the legal name can appear in apposition to the pseudonym. Generally, titles and honorifics should not be used either in the article body or when naming an article. Academic and professional titles (such as "Doctor" or "Professor") should not be used before the name in the initial sentence or in other uses of the person's name; attainment of these titles should be included in the article text instead. After the initial mention of any name, the person may be referred to by surname only. The person may be referred to by their first name in the case of royalty, or as "Prince/ss/Yuvraj/Yuvrani First Name" or as "The Maharaja", "The Maharani", etc. Biographies of living persons should begin in the present tense; biographies of deceased persons should begin in the past tense. If a person is living but has retired, use the present tense "is a former" rather than the past tense "was". Redirects should be used for other forms of an individual's name.

Non-English strings

Use the {{lang}} tag to mark non-English strings. When giving a term in its native script, provide the ISO 639-2 code (if unavailable, ISO 639-3) to identify the language. Example:

{{lang|ta|தமிழ்}}, {{lang|hi|हिन्दी}} → தமிழ், हिन्दी

Giving a term in ISO 15919 transliteration, simply add "-Latn" (the ISO 15924 code for the Latin alphabet) to the language code:

''{{lang|ta-Latn|tamiḻ}}, {{lang|hi-Latn|hindī}}''
tamiḻ, hindī
For Sanskrit terms, use {{IAST}} instead of {{lang|sa-Latn}}:
{{lang|sa|संस्कृतम्}} ''{{IAST|saṃskṛtam}}''
संस्कृतम् saṃskṛtam

Indic scripts in leads and infoboxes

Avoid the use of Indic scripts in the lead sections or infoboxes. Instead, use International Phonetic Alphabet pronunciation guides, which are more international. Exceptions are articles on the script itself, articles on a language that uses the script, and articles on texts originally written in a particular script.

This avoidance of Indic scripts only applies to articles that are predominantly India-related and is excluded from, among others, articles about Hinduism, Buddhism, Pakistan or any of India's neighbouring countries. It is a divergence from the usual practice of including non-Latin script in leads when it is arguably relevant (e.g. "Athens ... Greek: Αθήνα ..." at the article Athens). One reason why Indian scripts are avoided is because often there are too many different languages with their own native script, which can be original names for a topic. Additionally, there are too often problems with verifiability of the accuracy of the non-English spelling. A third reason is frequent disagreements over which native scripts to include; this led to a resolution to avoid all of them.

This consensus is a result of a 2012 request for comment on Indic scripts generally, and 2017 request for comment on Indic script in Infoboxes. Those large community discussions followed many other discussions including these:

Linking to other Indian Language Wikipedias

Use the Wikidata item of the article to link to the equivalent article on the other Indian language Wikipedias. Wikidata Item can be found on left side bar.

Additionally, there is generally no need to use inline links to the equivalent other Indian Language Wikipedias article for any words in an article. If a word is important enough to warrant a link, it will have an article here, in which case a standard link is sufficient. However, interwiki linking may be used to supplement red links. See Help:Interlanguage links § Inline links for more information on how to do this. Linking of the name of Indian people in his/her mother tongue Wikipedia can be done. For example a page beginning

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Gujarati: મોહનદાસ કરમચંદ ગાંધી, IAST: mohandās karamcand gāndhī, IPA: [mohən̪d̪as kərəmtʃən̪d̪ ɡan̪d̪ʱi]; October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948) was a ...

can be written as

[[gu:મોહનદાસ કરમચંદ ગાંધી]]

Other versions

If both the English and Indic pronunciation are the same (likely if the Indic word isn't used in English) then ignore the indicipa parameter. If you don't have audio files, you can simply leave those parameters out. For full details of what the template can do, see Template:Indic.

Other articles

Modern names and terms

Personal, organisation, and company names in current and recent usage should generally be romanized according to the nameholder's preference, if that can be established. However, this convention may be appropriately applied to them in certain contexts. These include:

  • when it is necessary to accurately or unambiguously transliterate from original text, or to indicate original pronunciation;
  • when it is necessary to maintain consistency in the article.

See also

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