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

Nala of Rāmāyaṇa[edit]

Nala, the son of Viśvakarma[1] was a monkey chieftain in the army of Sugrīva who assisted Rāma in conquering Rāvaṇa. He had received a boon from his father that whatever object he would throw into water, would float and not sink. This boon came in handy when Rāma was to build the bridge across the sea to reach Lañkā.[2]

Nala of Mahābhārata[edit]

In the Vanaparva of the Mahābhārata[3] there is an interesting story of Nala, the king of Niṣadha country. He married Damayantī, the daughter of the king Bhīma of Vidarbha. Once he came under the influence of Kalipuruṣa, the presiding evil spirit of the Iron Age and lost his all in a game of dice, to his own younger brother, Puṣkara. Then he retired to a forest along with his wife. One night, he deserted his wife who was sleeping. Damayantī, meanwhile, managed to return to her father.

Nala, while traversing through the forest, tried to save the serpent Kārkoṭaka who had been trapped in a forest fire. Kākoṭaka was saved and expressed his ‘gratitude’ by biting Nala, as a result of which his physical form became ugly. Assuming the name Bāhuka, he went to Ayodhyā, where he secured an appointment as the charioteer of the king Rtu-parṇa.

When the king Bhīma arranged for a second svayamvara[4] a ritual wherein a princess can choose her husband from among the assembled princes for Damayantī, Rtuparṇa started in his chariot driven by Bāhuka[5] for Vidarbha. On the way, Bāhuka taught him aśvavidyā[6] and in return learnt akṣavidyā.[7]

After reaching Vidarbha, Rtuparṇa discovered the truth, but was treated as an honored guest by the king Bhīma. Damayantī too, after a few clever tests, got her belief confirmed, that Bāhuka was Nala himself. Nala regained his original from by wearing the new special dress given earlier by Kārkoṭaka, whereupon Kalipuruṣa too left his body. He then returned to his kingdom, challenged Puṣkara for another round of the game of dice, won it and regained his sovereignty. He pardoned Puṣkara and allowed him to retain his original kingdom and rule over it. In the annals of paurāṇic accounts, Nala has been eulogized as an ideal king and Damayantī as a paragon of wifely virtues.


  1. Viśvakarma was the famous architect of the gods in heaven.
  2. Rāmāyaṇa 6.22
  3. Mahābhārata Chapters 49-77
  4. Svayamvara was only a ruse to get Bāhuka to his kingdom.
  5. Bāhuka was Nala.
  6. Aśvavidyā means the science of tending horses.
  7. Akṣavidyā means the secrets of the game of numbers and the dice.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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