Colonial Discourse and the Suffering of Indian American Children Book Cover.webp

In this book, we analyze the psycho-social consequences faced by Indian American children after exposure to the school textbook discourse on Hinduism and ancient India. We demonstrate that there is an intimate connection—an almost exact correspondence—between James Mill’s colonial-racist discourse (Mill was the head of the British East India Company) and the current school textbook discourse. This racist discourse, camouflaged under the cover of political correctness, produces the same psychological impacts on Indian American children that racism typically causes: shame, inferiority, embarrassment, identity confusion, assimilation, and a phenomenon akin to racelessness, where children dissociate from the traditions and culture of their ancestors.

This book is the result of four years of rigorous research and academic peer-review, reflecting our ongoing commitment at Hindupedia to challenge the representation of Hindu Dharma within academia.


From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Adhikāra literally means ‘competence’.

All people are not endowed with equal ability. To perform an act properly and efficiently one must have at least the minimum capacity and competence in that field. Training can improve it but cannot create it. This patent fact has been recognized by the scriptures and propagated under the nomenclature ‘adhikāra.’

For instance, a man who is endowed with physical strength and mental courage has the adhikāra for joining the armed forces. Similarly a person who is endowed with more than average intelligence, a fair degree of scholarship and a capacity to speak well, has the adhikāra to enter the teaching profession. Again a person who has practiced at least to a certain degree of purity and self-control has the adhikāra to become a monk.

In most cases, adhikāra can be developed by assiduous cultivation. One who has adhikāra is called an ‘adhikārm’ and the doctrine that advocates the need for adhikāra is called ‘adhikāravāda.’ The differences among the adhikārins are termed as ‘adhikāribheda.’

In this creation there is nothing that is absolute. Everything is relative. Divergences and differences do exist. The ‘Doctrine of Adhikāra or Adhikārabheda’ is just a recognition of this patent fact. It does not necessarily suggest a gradation, with its corollary of ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ status, implying pride or contempt. It is more an acceptance of a fact as it exists, helping one to understand where one stands and start one’s progress from that base. Also it is designed to awaken one to one’s duties rather than to one’s rights and privileges.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore