Struggle for Hindu Existence

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Hindu Americans fighting for retaining their Indic and Hindu historicity.

Hindu American Foundation Launches #DontEraseIndia Campaign.

hafsmall-300x287WHN Bureau | California | April 10, 2016:: The Hindu American Foundation (HAF), an advocacy organization for the Hindu American community, is announcing a campaign to keep Hindu and Indian history included and accurate in California textbooks. The campaign will begin with the April 6 launch of the social media hashtag #DontEraseIndia, and will end with the State Board of Education’s hearing on May 11-12 when a decision will be made on whether to erase or misrepresent several references to Hinduism and India in the textbook frameworks.

HAF will also release an anti-bullying report in May, in which Hindu and Indian-American youths will speak out about the bullying they experience as a result of cultural stereotypes and a misunderstanding of their heritage and religion.

“My classmates and teachers think that we Hindus still believe in primitive and unjust practices…the experience I had [in sixth grade] clearly shows that my class was not helped to become aware or accepting of my heritage, nor was I allowed to remain secure in my beliefs,” said 9th grade Pleasanton student, Akanksha Maddi, who recently testified before CDE’s Instructional Quality Commission (IQC). “I don’t want my friends to look down upon me and my culture because of my textbook. It’s unfair…What I ask is for fairness and dignity. Is that too much to ask for?”

Since 2014, HAF has been fighting to update the textbook framework put forth by the California Department of Education (CDE), which continues to reinforce cultural stereotypes and historical inaccuracies. This effort is largely motivated by a desire to eliminate any bullying of Indian and Hindu youths in California schools caused or exacerbated by these inaccuracies. Other groups, including the Hindu Education Foundation and Uberoi Foundation, along with several scholars, such as University of San Francisco Professor Vamsee Juluri and Saint Mary’s College of CaliforniaProfessor, Barbara McGraw, have also been heavily involved in the process to ensure an accurate representation of Hinduism and India in the framework.

“For many years the American perception of Hinduism and India has been wrong, in part due to the content ofCalifornia textbooks,” said Samir Kalra, Esq., Senior Director and Human Rights Fellow of theHindu AmericanFoundation. “HAF is dedicated to correcting these inaccuracies. The hearing is important on many levels, but mostly to prove that the state is making it a priority to correctly understand and accurately portray the cultural and religiousheritage of its citizens—in this case, the approximately one million Hindus that call California home.”

Recently, a small group of South Asian studies faculty members got involved and reversed some positive changes and proposed other changes that would essentially write India out of California textbooks and that would, again, misrepresent the fundamentals of Hinduism. Their recommendations also contradicted previous submissions by a larger group of scholars of religion and history who had called for greater nuance and sensitivity in regards to Hinduism and Hindu history. The IQC accepted a few of the changes brought by this group, and will send a final set of recommendations to the State Board of Education. In May, a final decision will be reached, and a final draft of the framework will be created.

Beginning on April 6, HAF will deploy a social media campaign with the hashtag #DontEraseIndia to raise awareness of HAF’s efforts to revise the CDE textbook framework and of the upcoming anti-bullying report that HAF will release following the State Board of Education hearing. The anti-bullying report will be released in May 2016, and will include testimonies and data surrounding the effects of the textbook inaccuracies on school-aged children.

Not coincidentally, April 6 marks the 86th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s Salt March, which marked the start of the civil disobedience movement to protest British rule in India.

Hindu Americans Oppose Textbook Edits by Curriculum Commission.

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Over 100 Hindu Indian Americans gathered March 24 in Sacramento, Calif., to oppose the California Department of Education Instructional Quality Commission’s plans to accept edits made by a group of South Asian studies faculty members who seek to remove certain references to India and Hinduism. (hafsite.org photo).

WHN Bureau | Sacramento-California | April 8, 2016::  Over 100 Hindu Americans staged a silent protest outside the Department of Education building in Sacramento, March 24, to voice their concerns regarding theCalifornia Department of Education Instructional Quality Commission’s plans to accept edits made by a group of SouthAsian studies faculty members to California state textbooks from Grade 6-10. The proposed edits seek to remove references to India and Hinduism, and replace them with the terms “South Asia” and “ancient Indian religion,” respectively.

Some of the proposed edits, according to the Hindu American Foundation, include eliminating mention of Hinduism’s acceptance of religious diversity, and the contributions of Hindu sages from lower socio-economic backgrounds or disadvantaged groups such as Valmiki and Vyasa. The majority of the edits that the faculty group was trying to suggest were negative in nature in relation to Hinduism and India, said Samir Kalra, HAF director and senior fellow for Human Rights. “They were trying to erase a lot of the identity and contribution of Hinduism and ancient Indian civilization,” he clarified.

The South Asian studies faculty members, who became involved in the process towards the end of 2015, comprise a small group of scholars from various humanities fields representing different universities, many of whom were not religious scholars, according to Kalra. Kalra added that there was a hearing on March 24 where the IQC met to review many of the suggested edits. Initially, the IQC’s writing team had recommended 80 percent of the South Asia faculty group’s edits, but during the hearing many of those edits were rejected, he said.

IQC’s decision to reverse some of the proposed changes was apparently also influenced by public awareness campaigns, including letters from professors of religion and history who disputed the faculty group’s assertions. Prof. Vamsee Juluri, who teaches media studies at the University of San Francisco, circulated a petition along with a number of other professors in order to bring about a public awareness campaign challenging the edits from the South Asia faculty group. The petition, which found supporters in a host of community members and scholars, garnered almost 20,000 signatures.

Read also: Communist academics in US attempt to distort India’s history with ignoring facts on Hinduism.

Source: World Hindu News.

4 comments on “Hindu Americans fighting for retaining their Indic and Hindu historicity.

  1. Hirak Nag
    April 12, 2016

    Thanks. I have been dismayed to read the title “Struggle for Hindu existence.” Why should a vast number of people Have to struggle for their existence ? Hindu existence should be a proud fact. The negative connotation should be discarded. We MUST shun our negativity here and NOW. We are a HUGE congregation with a wonderful philosophy which all others praise and would like to follow. Our existence is NOT a struggle but a wonder. The Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sang is a Hindu Volunteer non-government organisation. The World’s largest volunteer non-government organisation. Its idealogy is based on the principle of selfless service to India. We are the majority population of India. We have preached peaceful co-existance with others for millinnea making this wonderful country for every other to live without hinder or fear. NO OTHER country can boast of this freedom, NOT ANY OTHER. Hindus don’t struggle to exist. We exist proudly to enable others freedom to live their own way with the limitation not to create or preach hatred or dissonance to other beliefs. Bharat Mata ki Jai !———-Hirak Nag.

    Like

    • K Prasad
      April 13, 2016

      Ostrich cannot apprehend its ultimate death when puts its beak in sand with closing eyes during storm.

      Go and preach these sermons to the BD and Pak Hindus. Around 1800-1850 there were 15% Hindus in Afghanistan. Where are they now?

      Don’t think this forum is a RSS’s childish intellectual session (Boudhhik Varg).

      RSS was established in 1925, but in 1947 it didn’t claim Bharat as a constitutional Hindu Rashtra in 1947 for its double standard, The chant Hindu Rashtra in Prarthana, but they never claim it in practicality.

      In there cultural Hindu Rashtra belief, they endorse conversion, corruption, cow-slaughter, culpability on Hindus all possible ways by the anti-Hindus. This is there Hindu Rashtra in reality.

      If you have a little concern with the truth, you must feel the Hindu vulnerability. Hindus are decreasing day be day, but you RSS people fell self satiated as BJP in in power.

      Think, before 1900 world knowledge books used to accredit Hindus as largest religious groups, now we are positioned as 4th. Yes, this is a question of existence so far.

      We find no negativity in Hindu Existence Web Site. It has a distinguished global viewer record better that many Hindu sites run by RSS-VHP groups.

      Try to understand the news-views of it. Don’t be a biased one.

      The message of Hindu Existence works like a power booster for the struggling Hindus in Bharat and abroad.

      Kamal Parasd.
      Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh.

      Like

  2. k gopalajkrishnan nair
    April 12, 2016

    according to my observation HINDU is blessed with dedicated writers philosophers physicians scientists and protectors of morality. The countries wherever HINDU are majority do not manufacture killing weapons as a business………that is HINDU righteousness…………that is why HINDU is the real religion god made……….physically it is handicapped in progress because it has no head capital place like vatican mecca etc…….however once this deficiency is removed WORLD WILL COME TO KNOW THE BRIGHTNESS OF ITS INNER CONTENTS………..

    Like

  3. John Hancock
    April 12, 2016

    I’m still struggling to understand the motives of those who want to erase the references to India and Hinduism. Anyway, this kind of blatant discrimination shouldn’t be tolerated and I’m glad to see the Hindu community speaking up. We aren’t a weak people, we aren’t outsiders, and we have every right to define who we are and tell others about it. Good job and keep fighting!

    Like

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