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

Vrātyas as per Manusmṛti[edit]

The Manusmṛti[1] declares that a brāhmaṇa, kṣattriya and vaiśya should undergo the upanayāna sacrament before the ages of 16, 22 and 24 respectively. If they do not, they become vrātyas, unfit to receive the Sāvitrīmantra.[2]

Origin of Vrātyas[edit]

According to this definition, the vrātyas were dvijas by birth but had neglected or ignored the upanayāna sacrament. They could however be re-absorbed into the society by the performance of Vrātyastoma sacrifice as expiation. They probably led a nomadic life not practicing either agriculture or commerce. They might have lived to the west of the Sarasvatī river.

Vrātyas as per Pañcavimśa Brāhmana[edit]

The Pañcavimśa Brāhmana[3] gives some interesting details about their dress and way of life. Their leader known as gṛhapati wore a turban,[4] carried a whip[5] and a kind of bow.[6] He moved in a wagon[7] covered with planks. He dressed himself well. His subordinates wore red-bordered garments.

After they were readmitted into the main Aryan fold, they had to surrender all these things and adopt the way of life prescribed for the dvijas.[8] The Atharvaveda[9] uses the word vrātya for God sounds interesting.


  1. Manusmṛti 2.38, 39
  2. Sāvitrīmantra means Gāyatrīmantra.
  3. Pañcavimśa Brāhmana 17.1
  4. Turban means uṣṇīṣa.
  5. Whip means pratoda.
  6. Bow means jyāhroḍa.
  7. Wagon means vipatha.
  8. Dvijas are the twice-born classes, the first three castes.
  9. Atharvaveda 15.1.1
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore