California textbook changes unacceptable
by S Kalyanaraman on 21 May 2016 1 Comment

The Instructional Quality Commission, California Board of Education (CBE), has permitted some opinionated scholars to make a series of errors and omissions, including seeking to change the name of ‘India’ to ‘South Asia’ in all school textbooks of California. The move has naturally triggered a raging debate.


The issues involved are simple. Some communist and leftist gangs headed by the Sanskrit scholar, Stephen Pollock, who hates India, want to erase the collective memory of ‘India’ from the tender minds of VIth and VIIth Grade schoolchildren.


This is thought-policing, which violates all principles of education, which these leftists masquerading as academics seek to achieve. This is Stalinist commissariat in action in the garbs of academics who enjoy ‘academic freedom’ and tenured faculty positions.


The tragic situation is compounded by some Indian corporates supporting persons like Pollock whose agenda is unambiguous, to destroy the notion of ‘India’ which is governed by the weltanschauung (world view) of dharma-dhamma.


A group of academics brought up in the dharma-dhamma tradition have taken up cudgels against this academic cabal and its geographical myth of ‘South Asia’.


For generations, the word India and Hindu have evoked a world view of freedom of inquiry into phenomena. The framework which defines the objectives of life (purushartha) are abhyudayam (welfare) and nihs’reyas (bliss) at social and personal levels of inquiry and action.


The attempt of these hostile academics is to posit Christism and Islamism as the dominant cultural and religious phenomena which have defined the history and clashes of civilisations. By denying the world view of the Hindus, the cabal attempts to erase the viewpoints of over one billion people of the globe.


It is apposite to cite from the impassioned plea of the dharma-dhamma proponents in US academia.


Quotes from the letter of 10 May 2016 to CDE:


“We must therefore point out that some claims that might be presented by some university professors as “consensus” in their field, might well be only a form of dogma, and at the heart of several positions being fought for in the South Asia studies dogma today, is a reckless allegation about Hindus and Hinduism sharing common origins with Nazis and Nazism, and maybe even worse. Scholars like Wendy Doniger, for example, have written that the “Vedic drive toward wandering … had developed into what the Nazis called… Anschluss” [1]and have also made comparisons to the Native American genocide, and other scholars like Sheldon Pollock (credited as a consultant in the SAFG letters) have faced questions from over 150 traditional Indian scholars as well as thousands of readers for flaws in their scholarship as well as their attempts to somehow connect ancient Indian texts revered by millions of Hindus with the horrors of the Holocaust[2] (please see this report in Time magazine here and this opinion from Professor Makarand Paranjape here


“Even if these allegations have not explicitly entered the California textbooks debate, the fact remains that the persistent and systematic denial of India and Hinduism (and Indian and Hindu-American ways of knowing both) by the South Asia Studies paradigm is deeply entwined with this academic fantasy about Hindus somehow being fascist conquerors of their own land! This sort of thinking comes from the 19th century Aryan Invasion Theory mumbo-jumbo, and if our colleagues in South Asia Studies Faculty Group really do reject the Aryan Invasion Theory as they profess to, they should be prepared to renounce it completely and help decolonize the curriculum, rather than merely prevaricate with excuses that we simply don’t know enough to reject the “migration” part.


“There are surely several creative ways in which the children of California can be taught that the origins of an ancient and diverse spiritual culture like Hinduism cannot be located in any simple fashion, while also steering us away from this lurking colonial-era “Hindus are Nazi” taint underlying the South Asia Studies dogma. What this dogma has done in higher education is problematic, and what it is poised to do in what ought to be the pristine and positive atmosphere of the K-12 classroom would be even worse. We are very disappointed that the SAFG suggestions in their present form amount to an erasure of the histories of not only Indians and Hindus, but also Hindu dalits and Hindu women, contrary to what they claim.”


The fraudulent political scientists led by Stephen Pollock deny the emphatic facts of ancient texts.


I wrote the following letter to the NY Times on the subject:

Re “Debate Erupts in California Over How Curriculum Should Portray India” (news article, May 6):


Dear Editor, NY Times


I agree with Vidhima that to call India as ‘South Asia’ is akin to asking her to change her name.


Hindu or India has been traditionally used to indicate the locus of a large population of the world which has the weltanschauung ‘world view’ of Dharma-Dhamma.


In Rigveda, one of the oldest human documents, there is a Sukta 10.125 where the divinity of learning calls herself, in a soliloquy, ‘I am Rashtrii’ which means, I am the Nation. This is the socio-political framework for a nation-state giving her

-        a geographical boundary for governance

-        people who were called Bharatam Janam

The Shukla Yajurveda (also called Vajasneyi Samhita 10.2) describes in detail the attributes of such a nation, rashtram.


History cannot be wiped out by the attempts at renaming using geographically bizarre notions such as South Asia without taking into account the works like the magnum opus of George Coedes, the French Epigraphist who titled his 1944 work Les états hindouisés d’Extrême-Orient (Trans. The Hinduised states of the Far Orient or Far East). If the political science scholars want to invent new names, they can as well choose Hindu Rashtrii which will be in conformity with the texts and political science literature.

The spread of this nation was described in literature as Asetu himachalam, that is, ‘From the Setu or Adam’s bridge to Himalayas’. As we all know, the Himalayas range from Hanoi in Vietnam to Teheran in Iran making the glacial ranges the Greatest Water Tower of the Globe still growing thanks to plate tectonics with Indian plate lifting up the Eurasian plate making the dynamic Himalayas grow 1 cm taller every year and yielding five of the greatest rivers of the globe, all of them perennial rivers.


I suggest that the effective rebuttal of the nonsense perpetrated by the commie academics is to constitute a Union of States along the Indian Ocean Rim, comprising Hindu mahasagar and Himalay parivaar, the 2.5 billion people who live by the tenets of dharma-dhamma. The Union is ready to take off with Trans-Asian Railway and Trans-Asian Highway Projects linking Bangkok to Vladivostok. This will be a civilisational state unparalleled in the history of civilisations and will restore the 49 nations of this parivaar to great socio-economic heights in a 10 trillion dollar GDP economy. India, Hindu Rashtrii should take the lead by setting up a National Water Grid assuring 24x7 water to every farm and every home in 6.2 lakh villages. This should become the model for the Union of Indian Ocean States.


The author is the Director, Sarasvati Research Centre

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