Religious and social atmospheres in early nineteenth century India played significant roles in the development of the Urdu register. In addition to Islam, India was characterized by a number of tribal religions which each represented different spiritual outlooks and maintained different languages. These tribal religions were later categorized by British colonialists as Hinduism. Under British rule, the dispersed tribes associated with Hinduism pushed for unification by means of a common language. Hindi became the distinct register spoken by those who sought to construct a Hindu identity in the face of colonial rule.  As Hindi separated from Hindustani to create a distinct spiritual identity, Urdu, which was originally spoken by both Hindu and Muslim elites, was employed to create a definitive Islamic identity for the Muslim population in India.