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

Usage of Word Slave[edit]

The Ṛgveda uses the words dāsa and dāsī several times, in several senses such as an enemy of demoniac character, a paid servant or a slave. The last sense is evident in Ṛgveda.[1] Though Megasthanes[2] denies that slavery of the Grecian type existed in India, there is every reason to believe that it did, as in other ancient civilizations. It is interesting to note that the Arthaśāstra[3] of Kauṭilya[4] prescribes severe punishment for those who try to force others into slavery.

Classification of Slaves[edit]

Slaves are classified as follows:

  • Dhvajāhṛta - one captured in a battle
  • Ātmavikrayin - one who sells himself
  • Udaradāsa or garbhadāsa - one who is born to a slave woman from a slave man
  • Āhitika - one who is made a slave to repay a debt
  • Daṇḍapraṇīta - made a slave by a decree of the court

Freedom From Slavery[edit]

All these slaves can regain their freedom by the prescribed methods such as repaying the debt, working for wages to be set off against the debt and be in bondage for a specified period of time, all the while working. A master who is pleased of the services of the slave can always set him free. The dharmaśāstras ordain that the slave should be treated in a humane manner. Any abuse will result in the master undergoing punishment.


  1. Ṛgveda means 7.86.7 and 8.56.3
  2. Megasthanes lived in 4th century B. C.
  3. Arthaśāstra 3.13
  4. He lived in 321 B. C.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore