Friends of South Asia Speaks Out Against “Hindutva Assault” on California History Books

January 16, 2006

Source: FOSA

On January 16, 2006 Friends of South Asia ran an editorial regarding the current controversy over the content of sixth grade history textbooks in California. "We in California are facing a Hindutva assault on school history textbooks of the kind that went on a few years ago in India. This is an issue of rising concern in the California community, and we at Friends of South Asia, as a group of Hindus, Muslims, Christians, atheists, agnostics, and others with roots in South Asia, are alarmed by these attempts to misrepresent the history of India and South Asia, as well as the history of Hinduism... California state textbooks come up for review every six years. This year, the sixth grade texts relating to Ancient Indian history are under review... As things stand now, the HEF [Hindu Education Foundation] and VF [Vedic Foundation] have managed to get the Curriculum Commission (a purely advisory body to the state board of education) to agree to a large number of their suggested changes in alignment with their Hindu supremacist ideology (Hindutva)... We are quite dismayed by the acceptance of these 'edits' by the Curriculum Commission and are petitioning the state board to reject them. Because of the success of Hindutva mobilizations, the media has been covering this issue in an alarming manner–this 'controversy' is being framed as a debate between some faculty (who are represented as white and non-Hindus) and a monolithic, aggrieved Hindu community. We reject this oversimplification along racial lines which allows a complete dismissal of genuine scholarship, and would appreciate the media paying more attention to the diversity of views within the community itself."