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

In the ancient days, the brahmacārins[1] used to stay in the houses of their teachers and study the Vedas. After a few months of study and a short holiday, when they resumed their study, they were expected to perform a short ritual called ‘upākarma’. This ritual signifies the restarting their studies. The word ‘upākarma’ means ‘upakrama’ or ‘prārambha’, or beginning.

Now-a-days, it has remained just as an annual ritual. The procedure comprises the following steps:

  1. Saṅkalpa - religious resolve
  2. Worship of Gaṇapati
  3. Oblations to nine deities like Sāvitrī, Brahmā and Sraddhā
  4. Homa with a mixture of barley and curds with some specific mantras from the Rgveda
  5. Wearing of a new yajñopavīta
  6. Discarding the old one, preferably in the waters of a river or a tank

The same mantra and procedure for changing the yajñopavīta given here can be used at other times also to discard a worn-out or a dirty or a broken one and wear a new one.


  1. Brahmacārins are the Vedic students.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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