HAF Writes to Sacramento Bee on California Textbook Issue
On January 26, 2006, the Sacramento Bee published Hindu history ignites brawl over textbooks, by Deepa Ranganathan regarding the representation of Hinduism in California textbooks. HAF wrote to the editor to stress the importance of a fair representation of Hinduism in textbooks.
February 2, 2006
In post-911 America, it is imperative that various cultures and religions be taught accurately, considering the repercussions of prejudice on young minds. The social studies textbooks in question in California are for middle school, when students are most susceptible to stereotyping.
The majority of American children will not meet a Hindu during their lifetime and will thus miss out on opportunities to hear from Hindu Americans about their views on life and history. Therefore it is even more important for minority religions that textbooks are sensitive in their portrayal of negative aspects, as that will be the lasting impression formed on a student mind.
Otherwise, generations of Hindu American youth will continue to face the common stereotype that their 5,000 year old culture and heritage is nothing but a history of cows, caste and curry, and that they are sinners destined for hell because they worship demonic gods.
It is unfortunate that left wing groups with ties to India's marxist and communist parties have tied to politicize this issue as Indian politics has nothing to do with the education of California school children.
Mihir Meghani, M.D.
President, Hindu American Foundation