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

Punarbhu literally means ‘a woman who has married again’.

Definition of Punarbhu[edit]

Remarriage of widows seems to have been permitted in the ancient days under certain conditions. Such a woman was known as ‘punarbhu’.

Classification of Punarbhu[edit]

A punarbhu was of three kinds:

  1. A maiden whose marriage was not consummated and whose husband died suddenly.
  2. A woman accused of adultery but returned to her parents who gave her in marriage to another man.
  3. A widow remarried to a close relative of her husband whether she was childless or not is not clear in this case.

Rules for Punarbhu as per Dharmaśāstras[edit]

A married woman was permitted to remarry by some dharmaśāstras under the following conditions:

  • When a husband dies very early or is lost or unheard of for a long time.
  • If he becomes a sanyāsin[1]
  • If he is impotent or suffering from incurable diseases or a sinner.

Curtailments on Punarbhu[edit]

Though remarriage was perhaps permitted in the earliest age[2][3] during the later period, more stringent rules were imposed for the same. Some of the smṛtis even frowned upon the custom.[4][5] Insistence on chastity and the social implications like maidens not getting good husbands may be one of the reasons for the hardening of this stand.


  1. Sanyāsin means monk.
  2. Ṛgveda 10.18.7 and 8
  3. Atharvaveda 5.17.8 and 9
  4. Manusmṛti 9.47
  5. Manusmṛti 8.226
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore