Thursday, May 26, 2016

Interfaith Coalition Clashes With Hindu Groups Over Portrayal of India in California Textbooks

A coalition of 24 organizations representing several South Asian cultures clashed with Indian American organizations representing traditional Hindu values at a May 19 hearing in Sacramento, Calif., before the Instructional Quality Commission, which is aiming to determine how India and the Indian subcontinent should be portrayed in the state’s elementary school textbooks.
The IQC — an advisory body to the California State Board of Education — has been grappling with the issue for over a year, sorting through differing missives from the Hindu American Foundation, the Hindu Education Foundation and the Uberoi Foundation, which contrast widely with views from the coalition, known as South Asian Histories For All and the South Asian Faculty Group, which represents academicians immersed in South Asian studies at universities across the state.
After the hearing, the Commission approved a new framework which will not replace mentions of India with South Asia in history and social science textbooks for pre-1947 references. It also agreed to replace the word "untouchable" with "Dalit,” as requested by many Dalits who testified during the hearing. The recommendations of the IQC will come up for final approval by the State Board of Education, at hearings on July 13-14.