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

Muṇḍana literally means ‘hair cutting,’ ‘shaving’.

In the life of a person, every act whether a part of daily routine or occasional, is considered sacred and hence done religiously. This attitude helps him to purify his whole being in course of time. Muṇḍana or keśavapana[1] is one such act. The dharmaśāstras prescribe that it will be beneficial if done when certain stars are present like Hastā, Citrā and Svātī and during certain rāśis or zodiacal signs like:

  1. Makara - Capricorn
  2. Dhanuṣ - Sagittarius
  3. Kanyā - Virgo
  4. Mithuna - Gemini

As regards the saṅyāsins, some belonging to the Advaita tradition tonsure their heads completely whereas others mostly of Vaiṣṇava tradition keep the śikhā[2] and shave the rest. Coming to the practice of tonsure of the widows, it may be noted that there is no Vedic authority or any reference in the early smṛtis and dharmaśāstras. The solitary exception is Skandapurāṇa. The practice that exists mostly among some sections of the brāhmaṇas in South India might not be older than the 14th century. It has practically disappeared now. The idea probably was to protect their chastity and inspire them to lead a life like that of a sanyāsin.


  1. Keśavapana means hair cutting or shaving.
  2. Śikhā means tuft of hair.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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