Two Hinduphobic Books Rejected – Hindu Americans Win Historic Victory in California Textbooks

Sacramento, CA (November 10, 2017) — After more than a decade of constructive civic engagement with the California Department of Education, the Hindu American community won a significant victory yesterday in its quest for an accurate, equitable, and culturally competent portrayal of Hinduism and India in California textbooks.

In its final public hearing, the Department’s State Board of Education (SBE) voted unanimously to reject two deeply problematic textbook programs from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Grades K-6 and Grades 6-8) for adversely reflecting on Hinduism and other diverse communities.

UPDATES

Review of Drafts Submitted for 2017 History Social Science Textbook Adoption

SOME GREAT MINDS ABOUT HINDUISM

In the great teaching of the Vedas, there is no touch of sectarianism. It is of all ages, climes and nationalities and is the royal road for the attainment of the Great Knowledge

Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau

The Indian teaching has a simple and grand religion… It teaches to speak truth, love others, and to dispose trifles.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson

SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE UPDATES

What has changed in California textbooks and what has not?

There is a long history to the skewed discourse on Indian civilization. One book chose to use the pictures of modern-day slums (attached) to depict the ancient Indian civilization. This anachronistic and stereotypical portrayal was reserved for ancient India and Hinduism only while other religions and cultures were depicted using aesthetics paintings such as the one attached. Community members and organizations protested against such hinduphobic depictions and eventually, they were removed from the textbooks. The prejudice and the urge to conflate Indians with dirt, trash, and backwardness has a long history and remains strong to date as evidenced from this. While slums have existed in all places in the world, it is prejudice that makes some people think of Indians and Hindus as dirty and savage. Such depictions have also led to many reported instances of bullying of Hindu children in classrooms.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

What has changed in California textbooks and what has not?

A fringe hinduphobic group named South Asian Histories For All (SAHFA) joined by their academic ally named 'South Asia Faculty Group (SAFG)' made last moment attempts to erase a whole section on Hinduism from one of the textbooks. Hindu Education Foundation and other alert community members and organizations factually countered and thwarted their attempts at the meeting of State Board of Education. The hinduphobic activists of SAHFA also tried to create ruckus at the SBE meeting making insinuations and hate-filled testimonials. They tried to derail the textbook adoption process through last-minute scare tactics. Community members remained calm and countered them with facts. The hinduphobic revisions suggested by SAHFA were rejected by the board after hours of public testimony. Hindu American community needs to be vigilant against such hinduphobic forces who under different garbs are constantly trying to distort and erase our history and heritage.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook