HAF Responds to Erroneous Times of India Article on California Textbook Case

The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) wrote a latter in response to a Times of India article, “US text row resolved by Indian”, by Akshaya Mukul on September 9, 2006. The article erroneously reported that the case was resolved by an Indian academic.

September 12, 2006

Dear Editor,

Your September 9, 2006 story “US text row resolved by Indian” is based on a one-sided reading of the “friend of the court” brief submitted by a coalition of anti-Hindu groups in the U.S. that was thrown out by Judge Marlette in his judgment on September 1, 2006.

D.N. Jha did file an affidavit as part of an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief filed by the self-proclaimed Marxist-communist group, “Friends of South Asia” (FOSA). However, Judge Partick Marlette of the California Superior Court rejected the brief outright, as it lacked merit and relevance. The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) argued that the amicus brief did not provide “any substantive legal nor adequate factual support for the assertions contained in their proposed brief, relying instead on materials that are not properly subject to judicial notice, as well as several irrelevant and highly objectionable declarations.” Judge Marlette agreed with HAF and refused to consider the brief.

With that ruling, FOSA and other anti-Hindu groups were shut out of the entire legal process. As such it is inexplicable why your report credits Dr. Jha with “resolving” the textbook row. As a matter of fact, the new textbooks will now mention that the Aryan migration is “a controversial theory that is not accepted by many scholars". May we request that your reporters verify with all contending parties in this debate before deciding to disseminate information about the nature and content of the arguments in this complex debate?

Sincerely,

Swaminathan Venkataraman
Member, Executive Council
Hindu American Foundation