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

Pañcatantra literally means ‘five rules of political conduct’.

The Pañcatantra is the most celebrated and interesting work in Sanskrit literature classed under the didactic fable group. It comprises of five books or sections,[1] each dealing with one particular tantra or rule of political conduct.

Available Edition of Pañcatantra[edit]

The earliest edition known to us, though completely lost, is the Pehlevi[2] translation by a Persian physician Burzoe, at the order of the king Khossu Anushirvan.[3] The text we now have is based on an old Syrian version by Bud in A. D. 570 and an Arabic version by Abdallah Ibnal Mogaffa in A. D. 750. This work was translated into several European languages during the period A. D. 1080 to 1678. The Pañcatantra is generally assigned to the period 100 B. C. to A. D. 300.

Overview on Pañcatantra[edit]

The introductory part of the work states that it was taught by a wise teacher, named Viṣṇuśarmā, to the idle and stupid sons of a king Amaraśakti of Mahilaropa, at his request. The princes very soon became well-educated and well-behaved, due to the marvelous effects of the tales they heard from their preceptor. So far the identity of neither the teacher nor the king has been determined.

Contents of Pañcatantra[edit]

The contents of the work are:


It literally means breaking the friendship which deals with the policy of ‘divide and rule’ by the story of two jackals, Karaṭaka and Damanaka, who lived happily after estranging the lion and the bull who had been fast friends for a long time.


It literally means acquisition of friends and illustrates the advantages of a judicious friendship by the story of the adventures of a tortoise, a deer, a crow and a mouse.


It literally means tale of Crows and Owls which brings out the dangers of friendship between those who are natural enemies.


It literally means loss of what has been acquired and points out, by means of the story of an ape and a crocodile, how certain weaknesses lead to the loss of one’s own possessions.


It literally means results of inconsiderate actions and illustrates the general principle of ‘haste makes waste’.

Versions of Pañcatantra[edit]

There are two distinct versions of the Pañcatantra available now:

  1. The Tantrā-khyāyikā - It is the Kashmir version in simple prose; the stories found in the Kathā-saritsāgara of Somadeva
  2. The Bṛhat-kathāmañjari - It comprises stories from the Kṣemendra.

The Pañcatantra is one of the most translated works in world literature.


  1. Pañca means five.
  2. It is a language.
  3. He lived in A. D. 531-575.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore