Skip to main content

Saffron brigade suffers setback in far off California, fails to convince officials caste is "not part of" Hindu culture

A demonstration for keeping caste out of curriculum
By Our Representative
If in India the ruling BJP and the Hindutva brigade may have succeeded in inserting in their saffron agenda in textbooks, in far off California, they have suffered a major setback. "The New York Times" reports, the American Hindu Foundation, known to be a protagonist of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has failed to convince California's education officials that caste system is alien to Indian history and culture.
Hindutva advocates, the daily reports, argued that the grades six and seven curriculum puts "too much emphasis on the caste system", adding, "It leaves Indian students vulnerable to bullying in schools. Dozens of students told committee members that they were taunted after learning about castes in school."
"But activists for the Dalits, members of the 'untouchable' caste, said that glossing over the caste system would do little to protect students and would be an inaccurate portrayal of India", the daily points out.
“Whether we like our history or not for any particular reason, we have to stick with the facts,” the daily quotes Risha Krishna, one of the Dalit protagonists in a discussion on what the curriculum should be like, as saying. Risha sharply criticises those who tried to project castes groups as having autonomous powers to decide how they would function, pointing out, this is just not true, and caste does not offer autonomy, but it is in fact a top down system.
The daily reports, a discussion on the subject, in which about 200 individuals participated, touched on the manner in which "the culture of the region is portrayed, including women’s role in society and the vestiges of the caste system." Based on this discussion, California officials, had to "deal with a fight that mirrors similar arguments being made in India, where Hindu nationalist governments have begun overhauls of textbooks in some states."
It adds, one side were advocates from the Hindu American Foundation, which seeks to shape the image of Hinduism in the United States. They wanted "the caste system to be explained as a phenomenon of the region, not as a Hindu practice — an idea that is not universally accepted in India."
On the other hand, another group challenged the historical accuracy of this view. It said, the foundation was "trying to sanitize history by wiping out any link between Hinduism and castes."
Quoting the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington-based think tank, the daily says, there are roughly 2.2 million immigrants from India live in the US. California, with its vibrant technology industry, has attracted a big chunk, with the the Hindu Foundation claiming, nearly half of them live in California.
It wasn't caste alone that the Hindu Foundation wanted to abandon, the daily says. Instead of a reference to “Early Civilizations of India”, it wanted “Early Civilizations of South Asia.” And, instead of learning about “ancient societies in India”, the Hindu Foundation wanted children to know “learn about ancient societies in South Asia.”

Comments

Anonymous said…
http://roundtableindia.co.in/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8616%3Ain-search-of-a-house-to-rent-untouchability-and-humiliation-i-experienced-today&catid=119%3Afeature&Itemid=132

TRENDING

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Law 'governing' world's tallest Statue of Unity refers to local tribals as occupiers

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant*
The recently enacted Statue of Unity (SoU) Area Development and Tourism Governance Act, 2019 in Gujarat comes amidst a terrifying atmosphere of intimidation, house arrests, detentions and FIRs, not to mention the overarching implementation of Section 144 across the state.

Anti-CAA: Mallika Sarabhai joins students, faculty to protest dy CM's 'divisive' talk

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to deputy chief minister Nitin Patel’s statement against those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), well-known danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has joined tens of activists and students and faculty of Gujarat University, CEPT University, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Nirma University to say that they are seeking “azadi” from the fascist and communal forces of the country.

Ramchandra Guha on how Gandhi outgrew his Gujarati bania 'parochialism'

By Rajiv Shah
More than a fortnight ago, prominent historian Ramchandra Guha, who calls himself Gandhi scholar and not a Gandhian, came to Ahmedabad. While I was part of a small group of persons who met him at lunch, his lecture on Gandhi in the evening, where he sought to interpret what swaraj meant to Gandhi, surely, interested the selected audience that had been called to listen to him.

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Ironical? Hindutva is all 'fire and spite', as Muslim women become apostles of peace

By Sandeep Pandey*
On January 26, Republic Day, 2020, while protests simmered against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) throughout India, a dozen North American cities also witnessed historic protests. Indian Embassies have been witness to protests in the past. But this time it was different.