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

Colonial Discourse and the Suffering of Indian American Children is now published after academic peer-review and available through open access.

In this book, we analyze the psycho-social consequences that Indian American children face after they are exposed to the school textbook discourse on Hinduism and ancient India. We show that there is an intimate connection―an almost exact correspondence―between James Mill’s ( a prominent politician in Britain and head of the British East India Company) colonial-racist discourse and the current school-textbook discourse. Consequently, this archaic and racist discourse, camouflaged under the cover of political correctness, produces in the Indian American children the same psychological impact as racism is known to produce: shame, inferiority, embarrassment, identity confusion, assimilation, and a phenomenon similar to racelessness where the children dissociate from the tradition and culture of their ancestors

This book is an outcome of 4 years of rigorous research as a part of our ongoing commitment at Hindupedia to challenge the representation of Hindu Dharma within Academia.


From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Antyesti literally means ‘the last sacrifice’.

According to the dharmaśāstras, a person is expected to lead his life religiously. At every stage of his life he is expected to perform or undergo certain religious ceremonies which will add a peculiar excellence not only to his body but also to his mind and spirit. This is technically called ‘sanskāra’ (purificatory rite or sacrament).

Out of the sixteen such samskāras (called ṣoḍaśa-saiṅskāras), antyeṣṭi is the one that comes at the very end. It is the grand finale of a life that has been well-lived.

As the very name indicates (antya = end, death) it is performed on the death of a person, by his survivors, usually the sons or the nearest male relatives. Since cremation seems to have been the general rule among the Vedic people, it was considered as a sacrifice (iṣṭi = sacrifice). It was believed that Agni, the fire-god, who acted as a messenger between gods and men, would lead the soul of the dead to the next world.

On the approach of death, the person who is expecting to die shortly, bids farewell to the assembled relatives and the world. Alms and gifts are distributed. Oblations are offered into the sacrificial fire maintained by him. In the modern days dropping the water of Gaṅgā and tulasī leaves into his mouth are in vogue. The body is removed in a bier specially prepared and taken in a procession to the cremation ground, being led by the chief mourner (usually the eldest son).

A cow is let free on this occasion. She is called ‘anustaraṇi’ and is believed to be helpful in crossing the ocean of mortality. The corpse after washing is laid on the pyre and fire is applied with appropriate Vedic mantras.[1] After udakakarma (offering of water) and consoling the mourners, the nearest relatives observe aśauca (ceremonial impurity) usually for three days.

Later on, the bones are gathered (asthisañcayana) and immersed in a holy river or the sea. Śrāddha ceremonies are followed by sapiṇḍīkaraṇa (affiliation of the dead with the manes).


  1. Rgveda Samhitā 10.16.1
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore