Textbook Edits Go to State Board, Some Hindus Displeased

March 1, 2006

Source: Inside Bay Area


On March 1, 2006 Inside Bay Area reported, "A special committee Monday unanimously recommended the approval of a slew of proposed edits and corrections for sixth-grade history and social science textbooks, paving the way for a final battle over the interpretation of the ancient history of India at a State Board of Education meeting March 8. More than 160 people, mostly Indo-Americans from all over California, attended the meeting, which included nearly four hours of public comment. An overflow crowd watched the hearing on TV in two adjacent rooms. In statement after statement, members of the Hindu Education Foundation and the Vedic Foundation, including parents and children, said changes to the textbooks are necessary to counteract negative stereotypes of Hinduism, and put it on a par with Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Those statements were countered by critics, including members of the Friends of South Asia, who said the changes are an attempt to whitewash India's history and give it more of a Hindu flavor. But in the end, the committee sided with speakers such as James Heitzman, a professor at the University of California, Davis, and a content expert for the state, who strongly recommended approval of the edits... Attorneys for the Hindu American Foundation have indicated that they intend to file a lawsuit against the state Department of Education if the state Board of Education approves the edits as proposed at its meeting in March 8."