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Thursday, June 01, 2006
  California Textbooks - What's Risa Bleating About?

Posted by: Viren Nov 20 2005, 09:10 AM

Some important URLs on this whole issue:

QUOTE
End Harvard Association of Hate Groups! http://www.petitiononline.com/stopIER/petition.html Detailed List of California Text book Edits Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/c4nb9 California Textbooks Controversy: Politicization of an Academic Issue by Hindu-Haters http://tinyurl.com/a44m3 Genesis of the Hate-Filled Michael Witzel Petition TinyURL: http://tinyurl.com/8p3e5 Hating Hindus in a 'Scholarly' way http://tinyurl.com/8clqo Hindus fight discrimination in California textbooks – 1 http://tinyurl.com/aqybj Hindus fight discrimination in California textbooks - 2 http://tinyurl.com/9x9vz Hindus fight discrimination in California textbooks - 3 http://tinyurl.com/9xz7h Hindus fight discrimination in California textbooks - 4 (Is Hinduism monotheistic?) http://tinyurl.com/d474n Harvard professor launches anti-Hindu Crusade http://tinyurl.com/c3f4b Gunga Din Comes to Michigan Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/cdaqu Is Madhav Deshpande an amnesiac? Tiny URL is http://tinyurl.com/aacqy It is Official Now - Romila Thapar Defends the Aryan Invasion Theory! http://tinyurl.com/d32gr Scholarship of Equine Posteriors – Har(vard)appa Style http://tinyurl.com/csky6 Harvard Don Denigrates Hindus (Daily Pioneer, India) http://tinyurl.com/baafl Whose religion is it anyway? http://tinyurl.com/coo52 Women in Hindu Dharma and Californaia State Grade VI textbooks http://tinyurl.com/7bef4 The Racism, Neo-Colonialism, and Pseudo-Intellectualism of America’s Hindu-Bashing Lobby http://www.hinduhumanrights.org/articles/racism.html 'I am not for rewriting Hinduism' - Hindu American Foundation counsel Suhag A Shukla http://tinyurl.com/8mxbq Thus spake Professor Michael Witzel: A Harvard University Case Study in Prejudice?(PDF) http://tinyurl.com/9uvgd Thus spake Professor Michael Witzel: A Harvard University Case Study in Prejudice? (MS Word) http://tinyurl.com/8v48g Indian identity in American Schools http://tinyurl.com/9q5ha Hindu View on California History Social Science Adoption http://tinyurl.com/9xlx5 Conspiracy against Hinduism! http://tinyurl.com/aznyf Educators’ Society for the Heritage of India http://tinyurl.com/d9vvf Textbooks And Hinduism -- Why Accuracy Matters http://tinyurl.com/8kvl3 Listen to Podcasts: (i) History/Whose-story? http://tinyurl.com/byrdp (ii) Snakes in the Grass!! http://tinyurl.com/cxmc5 (iii) Branding Wisdom http://tinyurl.com/7oncl
Anyone know as to what's going on here? http://www.jewishtimes.com/News/5186.stm
QUOTE
Sixth-graders in America's most populous state will soon learn that Romans, not Jews, crucified Jesus. The lesson could have been different had some of the textbooks approved by California this week gone through in their proposed form. But when the California state board of education voted Wednesday to adopt new social studies textbooks for elementary and middle school students, it required nearly 1,000 edits and corrections to be made to the materials. As a result, students will also learn that the biblical story of Exodus commemorates national liberation, not Jewish tribal unity; and that the Jewish God is a god of justice and mercy, not just reward and punishment. Far from the spotlight of the public debate over evolution and intelligent design in science textbooks, a less-publicized battle was being waged for months over the religion content of social studies and history materials. In its Nov. 9 meeting, the state board of education voted unanimously to adopt 10 publishers' educational programs, including textbooks and related materials. Two publishers' materials were rejected for not meeting state standards. Close to 200 of the nearly 1,000 edits and corrections had been put forward by the Institute for Curriculum Services, a project of the San Francisco Jewish Community Relations Council, which spent months reviewing all 12 of the proposed educational programs for bias against Judaism or inaccuracies in their depiction of Jewish history. "You may be wondering why I and my colleagues are here today, why this meeting is being covered by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and why would Jews all over the world care about your actions today," JCRC educational consultant Jackie Berman told the board during its five-hour public meeting. "The answer is clear. The sixth-grade textbooks you are about to adopt contain the lessons that children will learn about the religions of the world, Judaism among them." Getting the coveted seal of approval from California means big money to educational publishers. California is the nation's largest purchaser of school textbooks, and schools throughout the state may use public funds to purchase approved programs. Not only do other states often follow California's lead in their own adoptions, but as one board of education member noted at the meeting, publishers "write for our state." California has mandated the study of religion since 1987. Students learn about Judaism, Hinduism and Christianity in sixth grade, and Islam in seventh grade. In its adoption approvals, the board followed in every respect but one the recommendations made a month earlier by the state's curriculum development and supplemental materials commission. The exception was the sixth-grade program submitted by Oxford University Press, which had been rejected in September by the state curriculum commission largely because of complaints of bias and factual error by the Hindu and Jewish communities. The board voted on Nov. 9 to accept Oxford's program, noting that the publisher had spent the last month working closely with Hindu and Jewish groups to correct errors, and had issued a written and verbal apology to the board. "Oxford has been very cooperative, and we have reached agreement on changes with them," said Susan Mogull, a policy analyst with the Institute of Curriculum Services who urged the board this week to accept Oxford's sixth-grade program subject to those changes. She had spoken out strongly against the Oxford program in September. "We're so pleased with the results," said an obviously relieved Casper Grathwohl, Oxford's reference division publisher, who had flown in from New York for the board of education meeting. "We are extremely grateful for how gracious the ICS was in working with us and our scholars to better our program, and bring an appropriate respect for Judaism to it. That cooperation was the biggest factor in our being able to move the program back onto the table." Board of education textbook adoption meetings are not heavily covered by the media, despite the fact that, as speaker after speaker reiterated, this is where tangible decisions are made that affect what and how children learn. A special JTA investigation recently revealed how some Islamic organizations with political agendas were involved in the dissemination of biased and distorted teaching materials. It also showed how some groups were heavily involved in consulting with publishers on the development of textbooks. Some critics contend that these organizations promote an uncritical approach to Islam. One textbook, "History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond," published by the Teachers' Curriculum Institute, was piloted in Scottsdale, Ariz., earlier this year. But after a series of protests from parents -- who objected to what they saw as distortions of Christianity and Judaism, with an overarching positive spin on Islam -- the publisher decided to stop the trial. "There was a lot of objection to the amount of coverage of Islam," Liz Russell, the development director of the Teachers' Curriculum Institute, which is based in Rancho Cordova, Calif., told JTA over the summer. The book was developed to meet California standards, which require "a lot more on religion in general than most other states," she said. "History Alive" was one of the programs adopted this week by California. Close to 80 speakers addressed the education board during its five-hour meeting here, and the 13 board members listened to all them carefully, discussing their major points publicly before voting on adoption. Looking at the overflowing room and the long line of speakers waiting to address the board, Michael Berson, associate education professor at the University of South Florida who worked on one of the programs that was eventually adopted, said, "Bringing all these people together who are concerned about children's education is exciting." Although the public's criticism "can be divisive," he said, "I think it's welcomed, I really do." The vast majority of the speakers were Hindu and Sikh, communities who said they felt slighted by all the publishers' offerings. "Hinduism is not treated with the same respect as Christianity or Judaism," complained Dr. Mihir Meghani, president of the Hindu American Foundation. "The sacred scriptures of Hinduism are referred to as legends or myths," he said. In contrast, with Christian or Jewish biblical accounts, "they write 'the Bible says' or 'according to the Torah.' " Sikh speakers told the board that although there are almost 600,000 Sikhs in the United States, half of them in California alone, none of the textbooks discusses Sikhism or shows pictures of Sikhs so children can learn to identify and respect them. These complaints highlight some of the difficulties faced by board members as they waded through hundreds of pages of corrections and edits submitted to them. Brandishing one of the heavy documents, board member Ruth Bloom asked her colleagues how they were supposed to judge the content of all these textbooks and related materials in order to make educated decisions. "How do you teach about religion in the context of history? Accurately and with respect," responded board president Ruth Green. Berman said 187 of the group's edits and corrections were accepted by the ad-hoc committee on Oct. 31, including all of the major problems her group had found in the various textbooks. Oxford, she noted, promised to make every change her group requested. "We have found all the publishers to be very cooperative," she said. "We feel the process is working and the books will be enormously improved from the standpoint of the Jewish community." This kind of watchdog activism is crucial, says Amanda Susskind, Pacific Southwest regional director of the Anti-Defamation League. "If in our view a textbook is disseminating myths or untruths to children that perpetuate negative stereotypes about Jewish people or any other group of people, it is not only appropriate but necessary for us to respond," she said. It is up to the publishers themselves to make the required changes, Berman said. She said her group would review the materials after they are published next spring "to make sure all the changes we requested were made."

Posted by: Viren Nov 20 2005, 09:14 AM

And why's this http://www.safarmer.com/Indo-Eurasian/calif.petition.pdf sent the board a letter claiming all the Hindu objections were "unscholarly, politically and religiously motivated. "

Posted by: narayanan Nov 20 2005, 11:43 AM

QUOTE(Viren @ Nov 20 2005, 09:44 PM)
And why's this http://www.safarmer.com/Indo-Eurasian/calif.petition.pdf sent the board a letter claiming all the Hindu objections were "unscholarly, politically and religiously motivated. "
*
Speaking of "UNSCHOLARLY, POLITICALLY AND RELIGIOUSLY MOTIVATED", let us discuss that letter and its writers. Since their only claim to credibility is themselves and whatever they are full of, I submit that it is fair game to discuss those items in public. Some startoff questions: 1. Have you ever seen a REAL scholar who would describe himself / herself as a Scholar? 2. Did it occur to these self-described "scholars" to go check the facts before putting their own and their institutions' names to a letter that clearly was written by someone who hadn't bothered to check the facts? 3. What does this say about their level of integrity, competence and level-headedness/ absence of bigotry? 4. What are they objecting to, and by the same token, what is it that they want to prevent being changed? 5. What is their prior record in "defending" and "endorsing" the status quo with regard to the pornography that their equally "scholarly" colleagues have been peddling in the name of "religion studies"? Cheers n

Posted by: Admin Nov 21 2005, 09:47 AM

Please see http://jitnasa.india-forum.com/Docs/CA_Text_Books_Analysis_Only_Hinduism_Section_1120.pdf

Posted by: Viren Nov 21 2005, 10:13 AM

k.ram in another thread: Progeny of Macaulay and Young Brown Sahib in US.. tongue.gif

QUOTE
From: "Arun Vajpayee" Date: Sat Nov 5, 2005 12:04:32 PM US/Pacific To: saf@... Subject: Hindutva Change California Textbooks Dear Dr. Witzel and Dr. Farmer: I am sorry to bother you but a matter most urgent has come to my knowledge and think it best to inform you of it. I am familiar with your work from your articles in Frontline magazine I have read. I am a Indian graduate student at a university on the west coast of the United States. Recently I was approached to sign a petition by individuals representing the Vedic Foundation. The Vedic Foundation is trying to get California to rewrite its school textbooks to include Hindutva ideas about India's history. Among many things, they want discussion of Indo-Aryan migration taken out of all world history textbooks and they want details about varna and jati sanitized. They want the world history textbooks to portray ancient Indian civilization as entirely indigenous and beginning with Saraswati civilization. You can confirm what I am saying by looking at their website: http://www.thevedicfoundation.org You will see at the top of their homepage information about the Textbook Reform Initiative. California is right now in the middle of the process to choose new textbooks. Indeed, they are almost finished, which is why this matter is urgent. At first I did not think that California government would even listen to the Vedic Foundation. But they made the mistake of hiring Professor Shiva Bajpai of California State University Northridge to advise them. The people who asked me to sign the petition spoke of this success. Dr. Bajpai is sympathetic to the hindutva and is very religious. He helped found the World Association of Vedic Studies. When the Vedic Foundation speakers asked for the textbooks to be changed he told the Department of Education that the changes were needed! There is very little time. The California State Board of Education will hold the final public hearing on November 9, 2005 beginning at 9 AM in Sacramento California. Then they will vote to choose textbooks and to tell the authors to change them if they think changes are needed. Many Vedic Foundation speakers will testify at the hearing and they will be the only voice heard. The Board of Education does not understand these things and their only expert is in sympathy with the Vedic speakers! If there is anything you can do, I would please ask you to help. If either of you can come and speak on such short notice, it would help greatly. If not, can you ask any professors of Indian history you know in California to come to Sacramento to speak at the hearing. Everyone should send in letters also urging the Board of Education not to give in and change the textbooks, but the letters must arrive by November 8, 2005 so you may want to Fedex them. All letters can be sent to this address: Ruth Green, President California State Board of Education 1430 N Street Room 5111 Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 319-0827 RE: California History Social Science Adoption Here are the names of all of the other board members: Glee Johnson, Vice President Alan Bersin Ruth Bloom Yvonne Chan Donald Fisher Kenneth Noonan Joe Nunez Bonnie Reiss Jonathan Williams Letters addressed to all of these people might help. I am sending letters myself, but I cannot speak on these matters with authority so they will listen. If you want more information about the California Department of Education or the State Board of Education, go to this official website: http://www.cde.ca.gov/index.asp If you go to this page: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/ag/ag/yr05/agenda1105.asp and scroll down to the bottom you will see item 5 which is the vote on the social studies textbooks after the public hearing. Also--if you go to this page: http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/di/or/division.asp?id=cfird you will see the page for the division of the Department of Education who designed the textbook curriculum for California. Perhaps writing or calling their director, Mr. Thomas Adams at (916) 319-0881 will help too. My apologies for asking for this help so suddenly, but I did not know where else to turn. I will write Dr. Romila Thapar too, but I do not know any other people to contact. Thank you for reading my email. I have seen the Hindutva in India. I do not want to see them in America too. If you can help, I would be most pleased. Arun Vajpayee

Posted by: Viren Nov 21 2005, 10:49 AM

QUOTE(narayanan @ Nov 20 2005, 02:43 PM)
5. What is their prior record in "defending" and "endorsing" the status quo with regard to the pornography that their equally "scholarly" colleagues have been peddling in the name of "religion studies"?
*
Michael Witzel and Steve Farmer, titled "Horseplay in Harappa" wrote an article in http://www.flonnet.com/fl1721/17211220.htm and we have Richard H. Meadow Project-Director of Harappa Archaeological Research Project at Harvard University, Cambridge promptly writing to editor:
QUOTE
I congratulate you on publishing the forthright article by Michael Witzel and Steve Farmer, titled "Horseplay in Harappa"
Seems like some kind of a "you scratch my back and I'll do yours" cabal going on here.

Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Nov 21 2005, 11:09 AM

I hear from some sources that this Arun Vajapeyi is fake guy probably created as a front end by some Western Indo or his secularist fellow traveller.

Posted by: agnivayu Nov 21 2005, 11:44 AM

We will defeat these vermin psychologically and economically. The tidal wave hasn't hit these weaklings yet.

QUOTE(Hauma Hamiddha @ Nov 21 2005, 11:39 PM)
I hear from some sources that this Arun Vajapeyi is fake guy probably created as a front end by some Western Indo or his secularist fellow traveller.
*

Posted by: rajesh_g Nov 21 2005, 12:21 PM

QUOTE(Admin @ Nov 21 2005, 09:47 AM)
Please see http://jitnasa.india-forum.com/Docs/CA_Text_Books_Analysis_Only_Hinduism_Section_1120.pdf
*
This is still too technical. Can there be a small version or multiple versions of this which put these things in perspective ? I like the approach that Sankrant Sanu took while exposing Encarta. Something like that would bring sharper focus to issues at hand.

Posted by: rajesh_g Nov 21 2005, 12:44 PM

In the above doc it says..

QUOTE
Lengthy submissions were received from the Institute for Curriculum Services (ICS), the Council on Islamic Education (CIE), the Hindu Education Foundation (HEF), and the Vedic Foundation (VF). The submissions were sent to contracted CRP members to evaluate the material and recommend specific edits and corrections to the Ad Hoc Committee.
submissions for hindu education from council on islamic education ?? what does it mean ? I am confused.

Posted by: agnivayu Nov 21 2005, 02:38 PM

The council on Islamic Education has been deeply involved in California textbooks, I don't know if they had anything to say about Hinduism. http://www.theislamproject.org/muhammad/muhammad_01_TeachersInfo.htm Also Found this in Hinduism today's 1997 archive: http://www.hinduismtoday.com/archives/1997/11/1997-11-08.shtml EDUCATION Islam, USA Hindu leaders, priests, educators, writers and businesspeople can learn something from their Muslim counterparts in America who are surprisingly successful at explaining and promoting the faith of Islam to the American media and in the school systems. Hinduism Today acquired a selection of catalogs, brochures and handbooks from the "Council on Islamic Education" in California. Here at your fingertips are rich and comprehensive resource oases: quick guides to all aspects of Islam, easy summations of philosophy and history, full school course developments for kindergarten through 12th grade, 10-step guides for teachers, teacher note series, conferences scheduled every year to review media and educational programs, connections into university and website resources, funding opportunities and more. These are freely available to all teachers teaching Islam in public and private schools. It is an admirable effort in an uphill battle to improve the country's understanding of Islam, and Hindus would do well to copy the materials' comprehensive approach to educators and the media. Council on Islamic Education 9300 Gardenia Street, #B-3 Fountain Valley California, 92728-0186, USA

QUOTE(rajesh_g @ Nov 22 2005, 01:14 AM)
In the above doc it says..
QUOTE
Lengthy submissions were received from the Institute for Curriculum Services (ICS), the Council on Islamic Education (CIE), the Hindu Education Foundation (HEF), and the Vedic Foundation (VF). The submissions were sent to contracted CRP members to evaluate the material and recommend specific edits and corrections to the Ad Hoc Committee.
submissions for hindu education from council on islamic education ?? what does it mean ? I am confused.
*

Posted by: narayanan Nov 21 2005, 08:38 PM

Here is a post by "Arun Vajpayee" circa 2003. http://mboard.rediff.com/board/board.php?boardid=news2003mar08ayo

QUOTE
Subject: A positive approach Anyone, of any caste or creed, must welcome the decision of Hon'ble High Court to get the site investigated through ASI, but Let me ask few things : 1) Before 1425 years where was Islam ? 2) Before 2003 years where was Christianity ? All were Hindus (followers of Sanatan Dharm). Is there any doubt about Rameshwaram Bridge, Existence of Ravan? When bows and arrows of Lord Ram's time have been found and ASI has proved it. Still this approach is fine to make a consensus over the Ram Janma Bhumi. -Arun Vajpayee Posted by Arun Vajpayee on 09-MAR-03
Does this make sense, given the post above? Something very fishy about "Arun Vajpayee".

Posted by: Admin Nov 23 2005, 01:04 PM

QUOTE(Viren @ Nov 20 2005, 09:44 PM)
And why's this http://www.safarmer.com/Indo-Eurasian/calif.petition.pdf sent the board a letter claiming all the Hindu objections were "unscholarly, politically and religiously motivated. "
*
Witzel and/or Farmer's pulled down the letter from his website. Archive of Michael Witzel's letter is available at http://jitnasa.india-forum.com/Docs/Edn_CA_Text_Book_letter_by_Prominent_Academicians_1114.pdf

Posted by: narayanan Nov 23 2005, 02:20 PM

Witzel and/or Farmer's pulled down the letter from his website. Archive of Michael Witzel's letter is available at http://jitnasa.india-forum.com/Docs/Edn_CA_Text_Book_letter_by_Prominent_Academicians_1114.pdf Presumably they are trying to Weasel their way onto the CA Board so they can introduce Courtright's and Doniger's kiddie porn into the texts. All the more reason not to let them live down that letter. cheers.gif The list of the Gang of 47 needs to be exposed too. "INDIA's MOST FAMOUS HISTERIANS" ROTFL.gif

Posted by: Viren Nov 29 2005, 01:34 PM

thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif

QUOTE
There has been a serious turn of events constituting a violation of due process and travesty of justice. Between Nov. 10 and 22, Curriculum Commission has hired three people as a super-CRP (Heitzman, who delivered the witzel letter), Witzel himself and Stanley Wolpert. They have now recommended virtually overturning the entire process which has gone on so far (with the earlier CRP Prof. Shiv Bajpai, Edit Group and Ad Hoc Committee). All it takes is three self-proclaimed intl. academics to undo a transparent process. See the new super-CRP recommendations: http://www.hindueducation.org/newchanges.pdf Old recommendations http://www.hindueducation.org/changes.pdf

Posted by: ben_ami Nov 30 2005, 02:26 AM

QUOTE(agnivayu @ Nov 22 2005, 12:14 AM)
We will defeat these vermin psychologically and economically. The tidal wave hasn't hit these weaklings yet.
WELL SAID in 50 years they will reach the point of no return (of slide)

Posted by: ben_ami Nov 30 2005, 02:28 AM

QUOTE(narayanan @ Nov 24 2005, 02:50 AM)
Witzel and/or Farmer's pulled down the letter from his website. Archive of Michael Witzel's letter is available at http://jitnasa.india-forum.com/Docs/Edn_CA_Text_Book_letter_by_Prominent_Academicians_1114.pdf Presumably they are trying to Weasel their way onto the CA Board so they can introduce Courtright's and Doniger's kiddie porn into the texts. All the more reason not to let them live down that letter. cheers.gif The list of the Gang of 47 needs to be exposed too. "INDIA's MOST FAMOUS HISTERIANS" ROTFL.gif
*
gang of 47 who ??

Posted by: Admin Dec 1 2005, 11:00 AM

http://www.india-forum.com/articles/52/1/Scholarship-of-Equine-Posteriors%96-Har%28vard%29appa-Style By Narayanan Komerath

Posted by: k.ram Dec 2 2005, 06:03 AM

Dr Witzel and Dr Farmer disparage Hinduism, while none objects "Om" is one of the most sacred mantras or sacred chants in most Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Hindus rever this mantra and chant it during prayers, ceremonies, and while performing their sacraments. This mantra is also an integral part of yoga and meditation. The following writings of Dr. Witzel and Dr. Farmer demonstrate how they disparage the most sacred practices of Hinduism. Dr Witzel writes ( http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Indo-Eurasian_research/ message number 2133):

QUOTE
"Many short mantras (the later biija mantras) like oM have humble origins the Veda. Him (hiM) is used in the Veda to call your goat .. and your wife." Cheers, Michael(Witzel)"
Dr Steve Farmer replies ( http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Indo-Eurasian_research/ message number 2134):
QUOTE
"What if you want to call your goat and your wife _simultaneously_, Michael? :^) " Steve
Dr. Farmer adds: replies ( http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Indo-Eurasian_research/ message number 2164):
QUOTE
"I will try it on my girlfriend tonight."
One wishes to add that none of the members of the self-proclaimed academic list, where the above-mentioned discussion occurred, raised even the mildest objection. Dr Witzel slanders Indian immigrants to the USA using derogatory terms Indians are one of the highly educated, successful and law abiding immigrants to the USA. They have contributed tremendously to the American hi-tech industry, education, society and added to its diversity. They have also acted as effective conduits in helping US transnational companies to set up R&D and satellite divisions in India. Thomas L. Friedman, a Pulitzer Prize winning author and columnist for the New York Times, in his book The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century documents the phenomenal contributions made by Indians and praises their professionalism and work ethics. But, Dr. Witzel, who has no competence to judge another ethnic group, that too collectively, writes as follows. If he had said these words about other minority groups, he would have been called a racist. Dr Witzel writes (replies ( http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Indo-Eurasian_research/ message number 2300):
QUOTE
"The Hindus in North America ( HINAs) are not just hiina, "lost, abandoned", but they (understandably) cling to their homeland in all manners they can come up with. "Reforming" our schoolbooks according to an imagined Golden Age (Ram Raj), hoary India is just one of the expressions we can observe. They also tell their daughters to study Classical Indian dance (not exactly a highly regarded occupation back home) , they build many temples and have Sunday schools (as many other ethnicities do). But, they hardly invest in Higher Education as other successful Asians have done. Nor allow their children to study items outside Law or Medicine, such as Indian Studies, --- the only way that members of their group could speak with real authority (for example, in school books). However, as they are NRIs ("non returning Indians" , as I just learned from a Hindi movie), they have begun ---as an old, very conservative US Brahmin friend pointed out to me already in 1994— building crematoria as well. And see that they children marry within the local caste of origin (preferably, as per advertisement, of "fair' or "wheatish" color), if necessary imported out of India. (I have represented in court for one unfortunate victim of such a cross-cultural RNI-Indian marriage). Or at least, they look for a spouse within the same general Indian caste (jaati), or worse, class ( varna), or worst, among any Indians. They have seen too many of their children marry US people (whether of other Asian or of European descent; Blacks seem unthinkable). And loose their Hinduism, which second generation people just understand as "boaring rituals" (puja, etc.), temple visits and Indian (mythological) comic books ... All such items add to the heady brew that we have seen emerging here..." Cheers, MW
Dr Witzel now talks as if he was some expert on race relations. First, his cosignatory invents an acronym HINA, which Witzel disingenuously spells as hiina (a Sanskrit word) to disparage American Hindus as lost and abandoned. Those who are familiar with Sanskrit language will understand that this term, which Dr Witzel uses for Hindu immigrants, carries other derogatory meanings such as inferior, insecure, lowly and defective. He is not an authority on Indian classical music and dance but does not hesitate to pass sweeping and false judgments. Even though classical dance has been highly prized among the educated in India and virtually all Indians in the USA, and Indians set up classical dance schools everywhere in the USA to train their daughters, Dr Witzel imposes his own imagined stereotype on the Indian American community. Marriages are one's personal choice that only involves one's family. But Dr Witzel emerges as an expert on Indian matrimony too and condescendingly talks about Indians importing spouses out of India. Of course, he calls Indian Americans Non Returning Indians . May be someone should tell Dr Witzel (himself an immigrant) that America is a land of immigrants and one cannot wish that they go back. Regardless of the fact that Indians educate their children and invest heavily on their education, Dr Witzel claims that they hardly invest in Higher Education as other successful Asians have done. Next, he assumes the mantle of an anthropologist and declares that second generation Indians just understand their religion as "boaring rituals" (typo cited verbatim, unless Dr Witzel is ridiculing the Hindu God Vishnu, who incarnated as a boar) (puja, etc.), temple visits and Indian (mythological) comic books. Need one say more about the prejudices of Dr Witzel and his supporters' vis-à-vis Hindus and Indians? One wishes to add that none of the members of the self-proclaimed academic list, where the above-mentioned discussion occurred, raised even the mildest objection. Details of tainted record of Dr Witzel, Dr Thapar, Dr Jha and Dr Thapar's opposition to teaching Sanskrit at JNU Dr. Witzel is one of the few academics who continue to propagate the outdated 19th century Euro-centric, colonial model of Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT). This theory was originally proposed to justify the British rule of India. It also caused unmitigated hatred towards minority ethnic groups such as the Brahmins of Tamilnadu and Maharashtra, who were called "outsiders" by Imperialistic collaborators. No positive evidence supports AIT. Copious evidence from archeology, genetics, astronomy and literature contradicts it. Dr. Witzel, in his eagerness to prove AIT, and out of frustration at failure to find any positive corroboration for it in ancient texts, mistranslated Baudhayana Srauta Sutra 18.44. Prof. B.B. Lal, world's foremost archeologist and expert on Indus Valley Civilization, in his most recent publication, The Homeland of the Aryans – Evidence of Rigvedic Flora and Fauna & Archaeology, pp. 85-89 (New Delhi, 2005) discusses how Dr. Witzel unethically and willfully assigned two opposite meanings to two occurrences of the same Sanskrit word to make the verse support Aryan migration into India, whereas the verse actually makes it very clear that Aryans migrated in two branches, one to the West and another to the East, from northwestern India. It was a very sad day for Sanskrit scholarship in general, and Harvard in particular when one of its academics was exposed and disgraced for willfully and unethically mistranslating a verse. When the error was pointed to him in the past, Witzel unethically blamed it on the editor of the relevant publication concerned, despite the fact that the same mistranslation has been printed by him in many other publications of his. Dr. Thapar, a cosignatory on Dr. Witzel's petition, also claimed that Hindus had destroyed the places of worship of other religious group, and portrayed them as non-different from Muslim invaders who destroyed Hindu places of worship. Sita Ram Goel, an eminent Indian scholar, asked her for evidence. Dr. Thapar cited primary sources, which in one case did not exist, and in other two contradicted her claims. (R. Thapar, Times of India, October 2, 1986, cf. http://www.bharatvani.org/books/htemples2/app4.htm and Arun Shourie, Eminent Historians: Their Technology, their Line, their Fraud, pp. 99.) Dr. Thapar's aversion to teaching Sanskrit at JNU: Responding to an interview question by Dr Yvette Rosser of the University of Texas ( Austin), Thapar said that there was no reason to teach Sanskrit at JNU because there are "piths" and "maths" (also spelt "peethas" and "mathas" - both Hindu religious centers) to teach Sanskrit. Dr. Thapar repeated the same in front of an American audience at U C Berkeley a few years ago. It is worth noting that other classical languages have always been taught at the JNU. Sanskrit teaching was introduced only recently when the NDA government ruled India. Dr. Witzel's intolerance of academic freedom. Marxist petitioners usurp history writing. In his book, Eminent Historians: Their Technology, their Line, their Fraud, Magsaysay Award winner, distinguished economist and former minister of disinvestments, Arun Shourie demonstrates how a cabal of Marxist historians, led by Romila Thapar controlled writing schools textbooks for 35 years. They cited and nominated each other. Prof. Narahari Achar is a distinguished Massachusetts Institute of Technology trained Physicist, who is also trained in Sanskrit literature in the traditional manner. Utilizing his twin competence as a physicist and Sanskrit scholar, he submitted a paper to the Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies (EJVS) on the astronomical evidences in the ancient Sanskrit text of the Mahabharata. Prof. Achar's paper placed Dr. Witzel's cherished timelines in serious jeopardy. Dr. Witzel has no competence as a physicist or astronomer. But he misused his editorial powers to interrupt Prof. Achar's academic paper in a mocking and biased manner, in violation of established norms for critiquing papers presented in peer reviewed academic journals.

Posted by: k.ram Dec 2 2005, 06:10 AM

No wonder - AIT peddlers' love for Nazis Flush.gif

QUOTE
Excerpts from http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/11/21/boston_jews_lauded_as_h eroes_of_1930s/ Quote: Boston Jews lauded as heroes of 1930s In face of disdain, protested Nazi evil By Charles A. Radin, Globe Staff | November 21, 2005 When abuse of Jews became widespread in Germany in the early 1930s, working-class citizens of Boston's Jewish neighborhoods spoke up courageously against Nazi atrocities in the face of indifference -- and, in some cases, praise for the Germans -- from the city's social and educational elites, a University of Oklahoma professor asserted last night. Stephen H. Norwood, a professor of history and Judaic studies, . . . In addition to the indifference of the social and educational elites, Norwood said, working-class Jews -- sometimes allied with communists, socialists, and others on the political left -- faced open hostility from the local hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church and frequent, unwarranted physical abuse on the streets of Dorchester and Mattapan from Boston police, many of them Catholic. At a conference a year ago at Boston University, Norwood had called on Harvard University to apologize for maintaining what he termed friendly ties with Nazi officials and institutions. . . . . . . Norwood said he had done ''original, cutting-edge research" to unearth the grass-roots resistance of Boston Jews. Their efforts included a protest outside the Charlestown Navy Yard in May 1934, where a public reception was being given by the mayor, governor, and universities to the officers and crew of the German battle cruiser Karlsruhe, which was in port; and a pitched battle outside the Ford Hall Forum in November 1933 between supporters and foes of the Nazis. Both stories were reported on the front page of the Globe at the time, and the report on the Karlsruhe protest flatly blamed ''Harvard men" for provoking a riot. ''Scholars have not substantially addressed these events," Norwood said. ''I am recovering this and contextualizing it." . . . Morton Keller, a professor emeritus of American history at Brandeis who, with his wife, Phyllis, wrote the book ''Making Modern Harvard," said that James Conant, president of Harvard at the time, ''was pretty bad initially at reacting to the Nazis." But Conant moved ''in a better direction" as the 1930s progressed, Keller said, because ''he had a strong desire to see the best students and the best faculty come to Harvard, and I think that outweighed his anti-Semitism." . . . Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley said through a spokesman that, ''we cannot forget that Pope John Paul II, at the turn of the new century, prayed for God's forgiveness of Christian sins against the Jewish people during the past millennium." . . . Charles A. Radin can be reached at radin@globe.com. © Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

Posted by: Mudy Dec 2 2005, 09:26 AM

Looks like Indo-eurasian yahoo group is a mating place of world idiots. Are they really scholars are just bunch of derained people making money by fooling Harvard hiring committe?

Posted by: k.ram Dec 2 2005, 10:41 AM

One of the many docs exposing the racists from harvard presented to CA board...

QUOTE
Arvind Kumar Independent Scholar, San Jose, CA 95136. Email: ramukdnivra@gmail.com Ruth Green, President State Board of Education, 1430 N Street, Room 5111 Sacramento, CA 95814. Dear President and Board members, I am an independent scholar who lives in San Jose, California. I write to you regarding the recommendations of Hindus on the content of school textbooks in California. I enclose the points in favor of Aryan Invasion Theory that the Hindus seek to delete from the textbooks. Introduction to Aryan Invasion Theory It is important for California to incorporate the Aryan Invasion Theory as it strengthens the claims of Creation Science. California has already lagged behind states like Kansas and it is imperative that this problem be fixed immediately. You may have already received a letter from over fifty researchers with a Christian or Communist background supporting Aryan Invasion Theory. Here is a brief but comprehensive list of reasons supporting the theory along with a complete rebuttal of the claims of those who insist that Aryan Invasion Theory has no evidence to back it up. I also quote some among the long list of world specialists on India who signed the letter sent to you earlier under the letterhead of Harvard University. I also quote another professor from Harvard University to prove that the souls of non-Christians are in peril. The greatest proponent of Aryan Invasion Theory was Friedrich Max Muller, and it will be instructive to look at his reasoning. Clearly, we know that the world was created in 4004 B.C. Based on this fact, Max Muller calculated the age of Sanskrit literature. If Max Muller was able to see these truths over a hundred years back, it is not clear why the State Board of Education in California must resist them. Max Muller also proves that Indians are inferior to the Whites although they are superior to the Negroes of Africa and the Indians of America. Quotes from Max Muller’s works Max Muller on Creation Science and date of Vedas I look upon the account of creation as given in Genesis as simply historical, as showing the highest _expression that could be given by the Jews at that early time to the conception of the beginning of the world. We have learnt, certainly since Kant, that the knowledge of beginnings is denied to us, that all we can do is to grope back a little way, and then to trust. I think I have a right to accept a special beginning of man, because I cannot account for what he is, if I look upon him as the product of anything else, known to me.1 Based on the above view, Max Muller calculated the age of Indian civilization. The collection of hymns of the Rig-veda was completed towards 1000 B.C. That cannot of course be proved like 2 + 2=4, but it is as sure as all our knowledge of these times can be.2 Max Muller on Christianity My idea, on the contrary, was that Christianity was a true historical event, prepared by many events that had gone before and alone made it possible and real.3 Max Muller on Darwin and Muller’s proof that evolution is a doctrine Darwin has given us, in his later editions of the Origin of Species, an historical treatise on his mental ancestors. Altogether old Darwin is an honest fellow. The Darwinians are much worse than Darwin himself, and I think the word “Darwinism” ought either to be sharply defined or should be replaced by “evolution-doctrine.”4 Max Muller on Christianity in India India has been conquered once, but India must be conquered again, and that second conquest must be a conquest by education. . . . As to religion, that will take care of itself. The missionaries have done far more than they themselves seem to be aware of, nay much of the work which is theirs they would probably disclaim. The Christianity of our nineteenth century will hardly be the Christianity of India. But the ancient religion of India is doomed – and if Christianity does not step in, whose fault will it be?5 Writing on India’s place in history, Max Muller states: History seems to teach that the whole human race required a gradual education before, in the fulness of time, it could be admitted to the truths of Christianity.6 Excerpts from Max Muller’s letter to Mozoomdar7 of Brahmo Samaj Tell me some of your chief difficulties that prevent you and your followers from openly following Christ. I shall do my best to explain how I and many who agree with me have met them, and solved them. I do not hesitate to say that on some of these points we may have to learn from you more than we can teach you, and I say this honestly, and from personal experience. That too will be a lesson difficult to learn for our bishops and missionaries, but in Christian humility they will have to learn it. From my point of view, India, at least the best part of it, is already converted to Christianity. You want no persuasion to become a follower of Christ. Then make up your mind to act for yourselves. Unite your flock, and put up a few folds to hold them together, and to prevent them from straying. The bridge has been built for you by those who came before you. Step boldly forward, it will not break under you, and you will find many friends to welcome you on the other shore, and among them none more delighted than your old friend and fellow labourer F. Max Muller After he received a response protesting his letter, he wrote another letter on 3 Nov 1899.8 You object to anything like Christian, even Christian Brahmos is not satisfactory to you. But surely you owe much to Christ and Christianity, your very movement would not exist without Christianity. One must be above public opinion in these matters, and trust to truth which is stronger than public opinion. Max Muller proves that Indians belong to an inferior race Nor can we compare that earlier, lower, and more savage phase of thought which we find in the Veda, with what we know of really barbarous tribes, such as the Negroes of Africa or the Indians of America. For, however inferior to the Greeks of Homer and the Jews of Moses, the Aryas of the Seven Rivers are far above those races . . . 9 Quotes of a few of the signatories of the letter sent to you Prof. Stanley Wolpert is a leading historian who has written a book on the history of India. He has accepted Max Muller’s authority and has done stellar work by pointing out that Jews in India provide no evidence of their settlement but Christianity in India must have been founded by St. Thomas. Christians all over the world should be grateful to Prof. Wolpert for rendering this service to Christianity! The State Board of Education must keep in mind that USA is a Christian country and must uphold Christianity and respect the Caucasian race. Thus, it should accept the points made below by Prof. Wolpert. Although Prof. Wolpert’s detractors claim that Prof. Wolpert admits to having no archaeological evidence and that he reconstructs Aryan Invasion from the Vedas even though the Vedas do not mention it, this is mere nitpicking. We must appreciate the fact that Prof. Wolpert himself has admitted that the Rig Veda is unconscious of Aryan Invasion of India and commend him for his academic integrity instead of indulging in nitpicking. What is important is that this fact has somehow been reconstructed from Max Muller’s works and the Vedas. As a Professor at University of California at Los Angeles, he must be an authority on the subject. The State Board of Education must therefore use his expertise and make sure that the textbooks in California teach the Aryan Invasion Theory. This will strengthen the claims of creation science in California and help it make its curriculum up to date and catch up with more advanced states such as Kansas. Prof. Wolpert has also indicated out that it was IMPORTANT for Caucasian genes to go to India and thus such an invasion was desirable. Another person who had the courage to support the theory of Aryan race was Adolf Hitler, the great German leader. Quotes from Stanley Wolpert’s New History of India Our knowledge of the earliest history of our linguistic ancestors is derived from over a century of patient reconstruction of their “Urheim” by philologists such as Friedrich Max Muller (1823-1900) . . . 10 We have no archaeological evidence for the first centuries of India’s Aryan age (from about 1500 to 1000 B.C.), but . . . 11 . . . we have been able to piece together some picture of the era from Aryans’ religious “Books of Knowledge,” or Vedas . . . The Rig Veda itself, however, is unconscious of that journey and of the Aryan “invasion” of India . . . 12 Stanley Wolpert says Aryans brought Caucasian genes to India This was the most important invasion in all of India’s history, since the Aryans brought with their Caucasian genes a new language – Sanskrit – and a new pantheon of gods . . . 13 Stanley Wolpert on Jewish fiction and Christian facts Christianity may have entered India at this time. A small but influential group of Syrian Christians in Kerala persist in claiming that their sect was founded by St. Thomas, who may have sailed to Malabar in the first century and who was supposedly martyred at Mylapore, a suburb of modern Madras, in A.D. 68. The tiny Jewish community of Cochin also claims to have been founded in the first century, but no clear historical evidence of such early Jewish settlement in Malabar has as yet been discovered.14 Correspondence between Michael Witzel and Steve Farmer Correspondence between Michael Witzel and Steve Farmer15 on the activist yahoogroup, Indo-Eurasian_research, is given below. This exchange proves the inferiority of the Vedic religion. The archived messages of the yahoogroup are available for the public to read. From: Steve Farmer Date: Sun Oct 30, 2005 9:15 am Subject: Re: [Indo-Eurasia] Earliest origins of the Om/Aum concept What if you want to call your goat and your wife _simultaneously_, Michael? :^) Steve On Sunday, October 30, 2005, at 07:41 AM, Michael Witzel wrote: > Dan, > > Many short mantras (the later biija mantras) like oM have humble > origins the Veda. > > Him (hiM) is used in the Veda to call your goat .. and your wife. > > Cheers, > Michael Excerpt from Michael Witzel’s post16 to the same activist yahoogroup (mail headers are shown followed by the relevant excerpt): From: Michael Witzel Date: Tue Apr 19, 2005 3:33 am Subject: Re: [Indo-Eurasia] Shamanism Which would indicate the 'primitive' -- well: "perennial" ^smile.gif -- origins of some forms of Indian (kundalini) Yoga. Nothing really new or unique here: just preservation of some Stone Age spiritual techniques. (Siddhis like flying [hopping in TM] must be brought under control in classical Yoga, while the Shaman actually flies upwards/downwards). Another member of the yahoogroup, Dean Anderson, posted the following17 to the group (mail headers are shown followed by the relevant excerpt): From: "vardiss" Date: Tue Apr 5, 2005 6:47 pm Subject: Re: SV: [Indo-Eurasian_research] Aryans on Mars Well, apparently you haven't seen the latest evidence of Aryan gods on Mars. ;-) Amazingly, the picture comes from the NASA web site. In spite of other webs sites calling it "what NASA doesn't want you to know." http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast24may_1.htm Another site has another Mars face: this one is a happy face! http://library.thinkquest.org/~6427/faces.htm I think it is incumbent on us as experts to determine which Aryan deity this represents. Or perhaps it's a Harappan "priest-king"? Dean Harvard University Professor proves souls of Hindus in peril Prof. Francis X. Clooney of Harvard University has written on people of “non-Christian” religions: Centuries of missionary work have not convinced them that their souls are in peril; they are not worried about their lack of union with Rome; they have no reason to revere the document as the work of a flawless magisterium; they will be amused or upset by its characterization of their traditions as gravely deficient; and they will want to know whether there are still good reasons why they should engage in dialogue with Roman Catholics, whatever reasons Catholics themselves might have.18 This clearly proves that the souls of non-Christians are in peril. James Heitzman proves that Hinduism is inferior A reading of the works of James Heitzman, an expert on India, will show that Hinduism is based on speculations, while Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are the products of divine revelations, that the apostle St.Thomas actually existed and brought Christianity to India despite the claims of scientists that Christianity came to India no earlier than the fourth century, that Archangel Gabriel visited Prophet Mohammed and made revelations to him, and that the mummified body of Francis Xavier has survived so long is truly a miracle! James Heitzman: Christianity came to India at the time of apostles! Christianity, represented by almost all denominations, traces its history in India back to the time of the apostles and counted 19.6 million members in India in 1991.19 James Heitzman: Islam is revealed word of God Islam began with the ministry of the Prophet Muhammad (570-632), who belonged to a merchant family in the trading town of Mecca in Arabia. In his middle age, Muhammad received visions in which the Archangel Gabriel revealed the word of God to him. After 620 he publicly preached the message of these visions, stressing the oneness of God (Allah), denouncing the polytheism of his fellow Arabs, and calling for moral uplift of the population.20 James Heitzman points out existence of miracles in Christianity The miraculously undecayed body of Saint Francis Xavier is still on public view in a glass coffin at the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa.21 James Heitzman: Hinduism mostly based on speculations Some of the later hymns of the Rig Veda contain speculations that form the basis for much of Indian religious and philosophical thought.22 James Heitzman: Hindus are cross-dressers, worship images and dump them The image of Jesus used in Churches is not worshipped, nor are the statues of Virgin Mary which have miraculous powers and shed tears, but as James Heitzman correctly points out, Hindu images are worshipped by ignorant Hindus. Families and businesses prepare for this festival by purchasing brightly painted images of Ganesh and worshiping them for a number of days. On the festival itself, with great celebration, participants bathe the images (and in most cases permanently dump them) in nearby rivers, lakes, or seas.23 James Heitzman also points out that Hindus indulge in cross-dressing during one of their festivals. Major Hindu events include Ramanavami, the birthday of Ram in the month of Chaitra (March-April), and Holi, celebrated at the end of the month of Phalguna (February-March), when people engage in cross-dressing, play tricks on each other, and squirt colored water or powder on each other.24 Rebuttal to counter-arguments The arguments against Aryan Invasion Theory are invalid. Please find below the arguments against this theory along with the rebuttal for each point. 1. Science published a paper25 analyzing the mitochondrial genomes and concluded that the first humans out of Africa went to India along a southern coast and then fanned out into Europe. This paper was a collaborative effort between researchers at University of Leeds, University of Oxford, University of Hamburg, Australian National University, University of Central Lancashire, University of Glasgow, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Università "La Sapienza" at Rome, Università di Pavia in Italy, National Museum of Kuala Lumpur, University of Huddersfield, and University of Glasgow. Media outlets such as New York Times, National Geographic, and BBC reported about the paper that was published in Science. However, a reading of Prof. Stanley Wolpert’s works shows that the genes were brought into India by invading hordes of Aryans. This proves that the above mentioned universities are part of a conspiracy to undermine Christianity. Fields such as genetics and stem-cell research must be banned to prevent such attacks on Christianity. 2. Geophysicist Glenn Milne of University of Durham has established that the last time when the temples at Mahabalipuram in India were above water were six thousand years ago.26 A reading of Genesis and other parts of Bible clearly prove that this is impossible. The world itself was formed in 4004 B.C. Thus geophysics is not an accurate science. 3. An American collector named Harry Hicks procured a metallic antic piece from India (‘head of a seer’) and carbon-dating proved that it was cast around 3800 B.C. This is more than 2000 years before the supposed Aryan invasion of India. Carbon dating of relics from excavations in Gulf of Cambay show that they are more than 9500 years old.27 Carbon dating is an invalid method of estimating the age of materials. Carbon dating estimated the date of the Shroud of Turin as 13th century, but we know that it existed at the time of Jesus. Hence, it is clear that the scientists who go by carbon dating techniques are part of the same conspiracy to undermine Christianity. 4. Archaeo-zoologist K. R. Alur of Dharwad analyzed the bones excavated at Hullur in Karnataka and found them to be bones of a horse.28 Several such bones were excavated later. These bones were dated to 1800 B.C. to 1500 B.C., dates before the supposed invasion which also introduced the horse into India. This is impossible because Aryan Invasion happened later and so the scientific techniques in determining the age of bones must be wrong. Conclusion It is important for the State Board of Education to make sure that the textbooks in California do not mention anything about recent excavations, carbon dating techniques, genetic evidence, methods used by geophysicists, and the discovery of the bones of horses and various other relics. All these are conspiracies hatched by Hindus along with the faculty members in the science departments of various universities and media outlets. Instead, our children must be taught true history based upon facts found in the Bible. For this purpose, it is important to consider the works of Max Muller and Prof. Stanley Wolpert along with the arguments of Dr. Steve Farmer and Prof. Michael Witzel. California has always been a trendsetter and it is distressing that other states have forged ahead of California when it comes to teaching creation science. This anomaly must be corrected immediately and it can be corrected by teaching Aryan Invasion Theory which is based on creation science. The State Board of Education must be commended for accepting the recommendations of Muslims, Jews, and Christians, but having a separate meeting to decide the recommendations of Hindus. This shows that SBE believes in being loyal to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Joseph. This loyalty must now be taken to the next step by showing Hindus their place and teaching Aryan Invasion Theory and the underlying theory of creation science to our children. You must disregard the claims of Hindus and make sure that you take into consideration only the demands of Christians and Indian Communists when it comes to determining what the textbooks teach about Hindus. America is a Christian nation and only the White Christian nationalist viewpoint must be considered. Regards, Arvind Kumar 1 Letter to The Duke of Argyll, 4 Feb 1875, The Life and Letters of Friedrich Max Muller, vol. 1, page 509. 2 Letter to Bunsen on 28 Aug 1853, The Life and Letters of Friedrich Max Muller, vol. 1, page 152. 3 My Autobiography by Max Muller, page 300. 4 Letter to Prof. Noire, 3 Feb 1878, The Life and Letters of Friedrich Max Muller, vol. 2, page 43. 5 Letter to The Duke of Argyll, 16 Dec 1868, The Life and Letters of Friedrich Max Muller, vol. 1, page 377-8. 6 History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, page 17. 7 The Life and Letters of Friedrich Max Muller, vol. 2, page 411-416. 8 The Life and Letters of Friedrich Max Muller, vol. 2, page 419. 9 History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, page 294. 10 A New History of India, Fifth Edition, by Stanley Wolpert, page 24. 11 A New History of India, Fifth Edition, by Stanley Wolpert, page 25. 12 A New History of India, Fifth Edition, by Stanley Wolpert, page 25. 13 A New History of India, Fifth Edition, by Stanley Wolpert, page 27. 14 A New History of India, Fifth Edition, by Stanley Wolpert, page 84. 15 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Indo-Eurasian_research/message/2134 16 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Indo-Eurasian_research/message/252 17 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Indo-Eurasian_research/message/34 18 http://puffin.creighton.edu/jesuit/dialogue/documents/articles/clooney_dominus.html , article originally printed in America, October 28, 2000. 19 A Country Study: India, by James Heitzman and Robert L. Worden, Chapter 3 – Religious Life by James Heitzman, Library of Congress Call Number DS407 .I4465 1996, http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/intoc.html 20 A Country Study: India, by James Heitzman and Robert L. Worden, Chapter 3 – Religious Life by James Heitzman (section: Islam – Origins and Tenets), Library of Congress Call Number DS407 .I4465 1996, http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/intoc.html 21 A Country Study: India, by James Heitzman and Robert L. Worden, Chapter 3 – Religious Life by James Heitzman (section: Other Minority Religions – Christianity), Library of Congress Call Number DS407 .I4465 1996, http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/intoc.html 22 A Country Study: India, by James Heitzman and Robert L. Worden, Chapter 3 – Religious Life by James Heitzman (section: The Roots of Indian Religion – The Vedas and Polytheism), Library of Congress Call Number DS407 .I4465 1996, http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/intoc.html 23 A Country Study: India, by James Heitzman and Robert L. Worden, Chapter 3 – Religious Life by James Heitzman (section: The Ceremonies of Hinduism – Public Worship – Festivals), Library of Congress Call Number DS407 .I4465 1996, http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/intoc.html 24 A Country Study: India, by James Heitzman and Robert L. Worden, Chapter 3 – Religious Life by James Heitzman (section: The Ceremonies of Hinduism – Public Worship – Festivals), Library of Congress Call Number DS407 .I4465 1996, http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/intoc.html 25 Single Rapid Coastal Settlement of Asia Revealed by Analysis of Complete Mitochondrial Genomes, Science, 13 May 2005. 26 http://www.grahamhancock.com/underworld/underworld7.php 27 Lost city 'could rewrite history,' BBC, 19 Jan 2002, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/1768109.stm . 28 Reported in Times of India dated 20 Apr 1990. Call Numbers (in San Jose Public Library) of out of print books referred in this document The life and letters of Friedrich Max Muller vol. 1 – PJ 64.M8 A4 1976 v.1 The life and letters of Friedrich Max Muller vol. 2 – PJ 64.M8 A4 1976 v.2 History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature by Max Muller – PK 2904 M8 My Autobiography by Max Muller – PJ 64 M8 A5 1901

Posted by: Viren Dec 2 2005, 11:03 AM

The link for the article posted by k.ram is http://jitnasa.india-forum.com/Docs/ait.htm

Posted by: rajesh_g Dec 2 2005, 06:15 PM

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IndianCivilization/message/82650

QUOTE
From: "RAVI" Date: Fri Dec 2, 2005 4:04 pm Subject: California text book revision ravi7640 Offline Offline Send Email Send Email Letter from the Hindu American Foundation to the California State Board of Education. ======== QUOTE Dr. Norma Baker, Ed. D. State Board of Education 1430 N Street, Room 5111 Sacramento, CA 95814 Suhag A. Shukla, Esq. - Legal Counsel Hindu American Foundation 106 South Hoover Blvd. Tampa, FL 33609 RE: Item 11A: Review Ad Hoc Committee Edits and Corrections for History-Social Science Instructional Materials as Directed by the State Board of Education Dear Dr. Baker and Curriculum Committee Members, I am writing to you as Legal Counsel of the Hindu American Foundation (hereinafter "HAF"), an independent, national organization that represents nearly 2 million Hindu Americans in interactions with government, media and academia. The Foundation has substantial representation in the State of California and has thus been monitoring closely the 2005 History-Social Science Primary Textbook Adoption process. The Foundation is gravely concerned with the apparent lack of due process afforded to the Hindu Education Foundation (hereinafter "HEF") and Vedic Foundation (hereinafter "VF"), both of which in good faith participated in the process as representatives of California Hindus and Hindu school children. HAF is not affiliated with either of these organizations, but is intervening on behalf of our California constituency, which is distressed with the current portrayal of Hinduism and ancient India in the textbooks up for adoption as well as the disparate standards being applied to the Hindu participants of the process. First and foremost, I am deeply concerned that the California State Board of Education, the California Department of Education (hereinafter "CDE") as well as the Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission (hereinafter "the Commission") are allowing an eleventh hour, post-process letter received from Dr. Michael Witzel and co-signatories (dated November 8, 2005) to not only undermine, but circumvent the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee as well as the review process set forth by the Commission for the resolution of edits and corrections in textbooks. For over six months, HEF and VF, and the Institute for Curriculum Services and Council on Islamic Education, for that matter, have with due diligence and in a timely manner, complied with the procedural requirements of the Commission and CDE. All groups also accepted, without objection, the creation of the Ad Hoc Committee in view of the safeguards for fairness installed by the Commission. For the State Board of Education to allow a correspondence from Dr. Witzel, devoid of any substantive analysis of the textbooks in question but replete with only unsubstantiated allegations against the involved Hindu organizations, to trump the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee and Content Review Panel (hereinafter "CRP") expert, Dr. Shiv Bajpai, makes a mockery of what presumably is designed to be a fair and open process. More importantly, this event sets a dangerous precedent for future groups who are unable or unwilling to comply with the accepted and established process for submitting suggestions for changes and edits. Furthermore, it appears that the Commission and CDE, upon direction of the State Board of Education, retained additional Content Review Panel experts who have a vested interest in undermining the changes submitted on behalf of the Hindu community at large and approved by the Ad Hoc Committee. To retain Drs. Witzel, Stanley Wolpert and James Heitzman as CRP experts, when these individuals either authored the very letter that disparaged participating Hindu organizations and the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee or attended the November 9th hearing to publicly support the contents of the letter, is a clear and incontrovertible conflict of interest. Moreover, the Commission and CDE contravened its established process by creating an entirely new CRP consisting of Drs. Witzel, Wolpert and Heitzman despite the Ad Hoc Committee in addition to the previously retained CRP expert, Dr. Bajpai, having completed its mandate. To our knowledge, a similar duplication of the CRP has not been applied to any of the other, non-Hindu groups involved in the textbook adoption process. This singling out denies due process to the Hindu participants. I am compelled to reaffirm that the purpose of the Edits and Corrections Process to be open to the public is to ensure that adopted textbooks comply with the following sections of the California Education Code: § 51501. No textbook, or other instructional materials shall be adopted by the state board or by any governing board for use in the public schools which contains any matter reflecting adversely upon persons because of their race, sex, color, creed, handicap, national origin, or ancestry. § 60044. No instructional materials shall be adopted by any governing board for use in the schools which, in its determination, contains: (a) Any matter reflecting adversely upon persons because of their race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, handicap, or occupation. (b) Any sectarian or denominational doctrine or propaganda contrary to law. The invitation for feedback from the public at large with regard to textbooks up for adoption, procedural requirements set forth by the Commission and CDE, formation of the Ad Hoc Committee as well as the retaining of CRP expert, Dr. Bajpai, fulfilled the directives for textbook selection set forth by the California Education Code. The Hindu American Foundation asserts the following: 1. The original actions recommended by the Ad Hoc Committee on November 8, 2005 should be accepted as final. 2. The retaining of Drs. Witzel, Wolpert and Heitzman represents a clear and incontrovertible conflict of interest. If the Commission and CDE deem a secondary CRP necessary to serve its mandate, experts must be neutral and unbiased. 3. The Commission and CDE have singled out the Hindu community by contravening its established procedure for edits and corrections by creating a second Content Review Panel without any discussion or consultation with the Hindu American community. 4. The primary field of research for Dr. Witzel, Dr. Wolpert and Dr. Heitzman is not Religion or Hinduism. Indeed, some of the sections in the textbooks up for adoption do touch upon the history of Ancient India in which these individuals purportedly have expertise; however, many of the edits and changes appear to be with regard to the description and depiction of Hinduism. If the Commission and CDE deem a secondary Content Review Panel necessary to serve its mandate, interested parties should be consulted for a broader spectrum of scholars, including scholars of Hinduism. 5. The Foundation has evidence of a number of specialists on Hinduism and Ancient India supporting the original edits and corrections proposed by the Ad Hoc Committee. These specialists have communicated such to the State Board of Education, the California Department of Education as well as the Commission. At minimum, the Commission should consider these individuals for any secondary Content Review Panel. Due to the time-sensitivity of this matter, please consider this letter an urgent request to provide a response to the above-mentioned assertions and an appeal to begin a dialogue to reach a mutually agreeable solution. However, please also be advised that the Foundation, as a representative of the Hindu American community at large, may seek legal recourse in the event that a response is not received by Thursday, December 8, 2005, 5:00 pm Pacific Standard Time. Thank you in advance for your prompt attention. Sincerely, Suhag A. Shukla, Esq. Legal Counsel Hindu American Foundation

Posted by: rajesh_g Dec 2 2005, 06:23 PM

Murli posted the foll on IC.. http://news.pacificnews.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=1b63d3d5a0a0b090f2681949b840f93f

QUOTE
Hindus and Sikhs Protest Curriculum Changes in Calif. Textbooks News Report, Viji Sundaram, India West, Dec 02, 2005 Some Hindu and Sikh activists in the U.S. who have been trying in recent months to persuade the California Board of Education to adopt curriculum revisions in textbooks for elementary and middle school students say they are unhappy over the direction their efforts seem to have taken while on the home stretch. A clutch of academics and historians, who have just recently joined the debate, seems to have neutralized the gains the activists believe they had made. The academics weighed in with their views Nov. 8, which collectively dismiss many of the curriculum changes suggested over the past year by individual Hindus, as well as such organizations as the Vedic Foundation and the Hindu Education Society. For example, one of the statements Hindu activists want deleted from a social science book is that Aryans were a "part of a larger group of people historians refer to as the Indo-Europeans." The activists assert Aryans were not a race, but a term for persons of noble intellect. The academics have urged that this statement not be removed. In that same book, Hindu activists want the statement, "Men had many more rights than women," replaced with, "Men had different duties (dharma) as well as rights than women. Many women were among the sages to whom the Vedas were revealed." The response from the academics? "Do not change original text." Writing on behalf of the academics, Michael Witzel, a Sanskrit professor at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., asserted that the groups proposing the changes have a hidden agenda. "The proposed revisions are not of a scholarly but of a religious-political nature, and are primarily promoted by Hindutva supporters and non-specialist academics writing about issues far outside their area of expertise," Witzel wrote to CBE president Ruth Green in the letter. Among the 45 or so signatories to his letter are Stanley Wolpert, professor of history at UCLA, and Romila Thapar, India's well-known historian. Witzel also said that in the last two years, Indian educators themselves have "soundly repudiated" similar revisions in Indian history textbooks suggested by Hindu groups. The CBE has included the recommendations by Witzel and other academics who have co-signed his letter, under the heading, "Final Recommendations," which seems to suggest that its vote later this week would more than likely favor the academics. "I think the (December) meeting is a mere formality," noted Princeton, N.J., resident Rajiv Malhotra, who participated in the push for reforms. "I think the deck is stacked against Hindus," he told India-West. Even so, supporters and opponents of reforms are planning to show up in large numbers at the Board of Education office in Sacramento Dec. 1 and 2, when the curriculum commission is slated to vote on the suggested changes. Supporters are hoping to make a last ditch effort to have their voices heard. They say it is crucial that the CBE accepts their suggestions if students are to get a proper perspective of Indian culture and history. "The social science and history textbooks do not give as generous a portrayal of Indian culture as they do of Islamic, Jewish and Christian cultures," asserted Malhotra, founder of Infinity Foundation, an organization that is trying to give a "fair" portrayal of India in the U.S. "The Board of Education needs to have a standard that should be applied to all religions." "There's a Euro-centric slant to what's being taught in California classrooms," noted San Francisco Bay Area resident Mona Vijaykar to India-West. "I'm upset that India's contribution to modern civilization is not highlighted, and presented like European civilization is." Vijaykar runs the "India in Classrooms" program she launched two years ago in the San Francisco Bay Area to set right misconceptions teachers and students have about Indian history and culture. And Prof. Onkar S. Bindra, who teaches Indian studies at the Renaissance Society, a retirement learning facility at California State University in Sacramento, complained that most of the social science and history books have no mention about the contributions Sikhs have made in their homeland or in their adopted country. "There are 200,000 Sikhs in California, a significant enough number to deserve mention in California textbooks," Bindra told India-West. One reason the protests of Hindu and Sikh activists may well be brushed off by the CBE is the fact that there is little sign that these demands have resonated either within the broader Indian American community in California, or the substantial number of humanities experts of Indian descent in U.S. academia. With several hundred thousand Indian Americans in the state, none of the major community organizations has expressed any support. Witzel's letter, on the other hand, includes signatories like Harvard professor Homi Bhabha, University of Michigan professor Madhav Deshpande, in addition to Thapar, arguably one of the world's most respected experts in ancient Indian history. Every six years, the CBE meets with textbook publishers for possible revisions. The books are then sent to all the educational institutions in the 50 counties in the state so educators and parents can offer suggestions. The CBE began the elaborate revision process about one year ago. Since then, it has been reviewing the suggested changes, including those it received at public hearings it held. At one of those hearings in November, for nearly five hours the 13-member CBE board heard members of the Hindu and Sikh communities put forth their arguments for changes. Most said they felt slighted by the materials in the textbooks. Vijaykar told India-West that a social science textbook depicted a Hindu bride as sitting with a white sheet pulled over her head in front of a sacred fire, as if "she was weighed down by the sheet." And brides in India don't wear white, only widows do, she said. "Hinduism is not treated with the same respect as Christianity or Judaism," Dr. Mihir Meghani, president of the Hindu American Foundation, told the board. Unlike in those faiths, "the sacred scriptures of Hinduism are referred to as legends or myths." Bindra, among other Sikh speakers that day, told the board that the existing textbooks will not help elementary and middle school students in identifying with and respecting the Sikh culture, something that is so important, especially after 9/11. "Students need to know that almost everyone who wears turbans in America are Sikhs from Punjab in India, and they have nothing to do with the Taliban or Osama bin Laden," he said. Among the Hindu groups trying to push for curriculum changes are the Vedic Foundation and the Hindu Education Foundation. Trying to get more Hindus involved in what it called the "Curriculum Reform Initiative," the Vedic Foundation cited a passage in one of the existing textbooks that spoke of Hanuman in a frivolous manner. The foundation pointed out that "teachings such as these promote the rejection of a valuable spiritual and cultural tradition by Hindu youth." But the issue has also pitted one group of Indian Americans against some others. Leftist and political activist Angana Chatterji, who teaches at the San Francisco-based California Institute of Integral Studies, told India-West that like Witzel and his supporters, she believes that those pushing for curriculum changes in the history books are "Hindu nationalists," and the changes they are proposing are "not ethical." For example, she said, those pushing for reforms want India to be portrayed as a former "Hindu state." "I agree some parts of the curriculum require re-representation," Chatterji said, but quickly noted: "History isn't about how good we feel about ourselves. There's a difference between history and nationalism." Former deputy superintendent of the San Mateo and Foster City school districts Dr. Rajendra Prasad, who once served on a math textbook evaluation committee, felt that some of the demands of the Hindu organizations were a stretch -- asking that the history textbooks say that Ram Rajya lasted for 1.8 million years, for one. "A scientific mind is not going to accept that," Prasad said, pointing out, however, that depicting brides in the manner described by Vijaykar needs to be corrected. He defended the CBE's curriculum revision modus operandi as "fair and just." "They are not prejudiced people," Prasad told India-West, noting that CBE members take their responsibilities very seriously because "they realize that if they screw up in California, the rest of the nation will be screwed." California is the largest purchaser of textbooks and, therefore, educational publishers are careful to win approval from the CBE. "The trend has always been that whatever California adopts, most of the rest of the nation adopts," Prasad said.

Posted by: rajesh_g Dec 4 2005, 11:37 AM

xpost from IC http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IndianCivilization/message/82694 http://www.hinduismtoday.com/hpi/2005/12/3.shtml

QUOTE
1. News Update: Hindus Unexpected Win Textbook Changes in California HPI SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, December 13, 2005: California Hindus were celebrating today their victory in yesterday's meeting of the State Board of Education Curriculum Commission. The Vedic Foundation (http://www.thevedicfoundation.org/) and Hindu Education Foundation (http://www.hindueducation.org/) worked for months to have changes made to sections of California textbooks that deal with India and Hinduism. Then there was a hasty intervention by a group of scholars of Indology which threatened to reverse many of the changes. Fortunately, the Curriculum Commission sympathized with the Hindus and allowed only a few changes to what Hindus had requested. Unfortunately, they could only get relatively small adjustments on the "Aryan Invasion" issue, changing the wording to "Aryan migration," but leaving the general concept intact. Full story in tomorrow's HPI.

Posted by: Ashok Kumar Dec 5 2005, 10:28 AM

http://www.hinduismtoday.com/hpi/2005/12/4.shtml

Posted by: acharya Dec 5 2005, 11:17 AM

At one point, Dr. Heitzman said to the Commission, "I advise you to err on the side of conservatism and be very careful about adopting any of these changes." Commissioner Metzenberg replied pointedly, "On the contrary, to err on the side of conservatism, we should use the Hindu suggestions. After all, it's their religion." Metzenberg also felt a comment by Witzel's panel on one edit was "insensitive." The narrative from another religion was being taken as a standard explanation for Hindusim.

Posted by: rajesh_g Dec 5 2005, 08:28 PM

http://pd.cpim.org/2005/1204/12042005_nalini.htm smile.gif

Posted by: Mudy Dec 5 2005, 08:34 PM

What else one can expect from thrid rated commies of India. biggrin.gif

Posted by: satyarthi Dec 6 2005, 12:58 PM

Too much shanti from the weasel crowd after the decision. Pop goes the Witzel.

Posted by: rajesh_g Dec 6 2005, 04:52 PM

http://www.sulekha.com/blogs/blogdisplay.aspx?cid=40019 The California Textbook Trial By Kalavai Venkat

Posted by: Mudy Dec 7 2005, 02:42 PM

Here comes article from "Slave times of Europe" http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1567808,00050001.htm Who is S Gopalan? HT regulary comes out with anti-Hindu article is it because its owned by Birla (Jain) follower or something else. Sometimes they just plant stories to shows Hindu in bad light.

Posted by: rajesh_g Dec 7 2005, 03:46 PM

User Pinky posted this on Sulekha in comments section to Kalavai's article on Sulekha.. http://jta.org/page_view_story.asp?intarticleid=15966&intcategoryid=4

Posted by: rajesh_g Dec 7 2005, 04:08 PM

Not sure if this link has been posted before but here is a list of all critiques on hysterians. http://www.bharatvani.org/indology.html

Posted by: k.ram Dec 8 2005, 06:19 AM

QUOTE
http://hindustantimes.com/news/181_1567808,00050001.htm Saffronisation reaches US shores HindustanTimes.com S. Rajagopalan The controversy over Indian history textbooks has travelled to the US. So much so, California is currently witnessing a raging battle between pro-Hindutva groups and "secular" academics over textbooks on Indian history presented to "impressionable minds" in the US. The pro-Hindutva groups are in the forefront of a campaign to revise the textbooks on the ground that they show ancient India in poor light and single out Hinduism for "bias, distortions and prejudicial treatment". The "secular" formation, on the other hand, has plunged into the battle with equal fervour, warning the California Board of Education (CBE) against making revisions of "a religious-political nature". Among issue whipped up in this battle are the reported projections about ancient India, the Aryan invasion, the caste system and the status of women in India. Faced with the clashing viewpoints of the two formations, the CBE is still to make public the nature and extent of revisions that it proposes to make in the books on Indian history and culture for students in grades six to eight. On Wednesday, the Hindu groups charged the CBE with going back on the recommendations made by an expert it had appointed to go into the controversy â €” Shiva Bajpai of California State University, Northridge. The rival group is led by Michael Witzel, an American professor of Sanskrit at Harvard University, and has the support of a number of academicians including Indian historians Romilla Thapar, D.N.Jha and Shereen Ratnagar. Witzel, in a letter to CBE president Ruth Green, suggested that the groups seeking revision have a hidden agenda. "The proposed revisions are not of a scholarly but of a religious-political nature, and are primarily promoted by Hindutva supporters and non-specialist academics," he commented. Reacting to the charge, Ved Chaudhary, president of the Educators' Society for the Heritage of India (ESHI), said: "The ESHI totally rejects the last minute interjection of a group called IER (Indo-Eurasian Research), who were not involved in the reviews". About 200 changes have been sought by the Hindu groups, led by the Texas-based Vedic Foundation and the New Jersey-based Hindu Education Foundation.

Posted by: Bharatvarsh Dec 8 2005, 06:05 PM

QUOTE
The textbook furore came to a head last week as both the Hindu petitioners and their challengers waited with bated breath before the CDE(California Dept of Education) and the State Board of Education commissioners to decide the fate of the 6th grade history textbooks. In this episode, Mona recounts the drama that transpired through the crossfire between academics for and against the textbook corrections. http://www.podbazaar.com/object/program-episode/read/144115188075856002?k=BDF86650BA32818E27E9C718DE19479E
You can listen to a brief audio program that recounts the whole affair at the above link.

Posted by: acharya Dec 8 2005, 07:05 PM

Last weekend I met a person who was in the hearing. The biggest impact of the hearing was the ordinary Hindus who are not connected to the Witzel/anti_witzel Camp gave sincere talk. They changed the minds of the panel who understood that the divide was a political divide.

Posted by: acharya Dec 8 2005, 08:46 PM

http://www.indiainclassrooms.org/about.htm#memberprofile Please see the PPT slides. http://www.indiainclassrooms.org/material.htm#presentations

Posted by: ashyam Dec 8 2005, 11:21 PM

QUOTE(acharya @ Dec 9 2005, 09:16 AM)
Please see the PPT slides. http://www.indiainclassrooms.org/material.htm#presentations
*
From the above presentation: Dr. N.S. Rajaram, a mathematician, one of America's best-known workers in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, has also been a consultant to NASA. One of the most influential historians of our time, he is best known for his work on Vedic India, especially the decipherment of the Indus script with Natwar Jha, which they have now extended to all the seals. Is the it the same Rajaram who wrote books on computer programming languages more than a decade back?

Posted by: mitradena Dec 9 2005, 10:40 AM

This is just round one of the fight to get American history books corrected. Based on my discussions with the Vedic Foundation, we need to continue working in places like New Jersey, Chicago, Texas etc... to start the process of reform there also. Edison, New Jersey is 17% Indian. So we have a lot of influence in the local area. We can start in places like Edison, where Indians have a big clout.

Posted by: rajesh_g Dec 9 2005, 11:12 AM

http://www.india-forum.com/articles/55/1/Harvard-professor-launches-anti-Hindu-Crusade by Dr. Srinivasan Kalyanaraman

Posted by: mitradena Dec 10 2005, 02:07 PM

This is what Witzel looks like: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~folkmyth/WitzelPage.htm

Posted by: k.ram Dec 11 2005, 01:25 PM

Open letter to the 50-odd 'international academics' who were co-signatories of Nov.8, Nov. 26 Witzel letters This is from a hindu, with two grandchildren studying in US schools. This is a plea for vinaya, a plea submitted in all humility. This is a plea to remember the Tamil saying: naalu per enna solluvaa? (Trans. What will four people say?) The four people are the four who will carry my corpse to the smas'aanam, the cremation grounds. They are the social conscience who dictate my social responsibility. I am sure that there are perceptions of similar social morality in all societies in all civilizations as guides to action in a framework of vratam, human responsibility beyond human rights. You are scholars, please decide for yourself, touching your conscience -- aatman --, on what type of legacy you would like to leave behind you, as a contributor to the whole gamut of human thought. Aryan hoax was a British colonial creation. Evidence: William Jones shown on a marble panel on Oxford College Chapel wearing a skull-cap; that is, he was a christian missionary and no Sanskrit lover. http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/kalyan97/detail?.dir=57ce&.dnm=e3ad.jpg So was the 'caste system' a British colonial creation with the start of the 1871 census. (Caste itself is not a bharatiya word but a Portuguese word, casta, meaning 'race'). The words used in hindu tradition to discuss social groups are varna and jaati. Jaati refers to birth, to species, to genus as seen from innumerable references in texts in the veda-bauddha-jaina continuum of hindu tradition. Jaati in Telug means 'nation'. Varna is derived from dhaatu, root vr. 'to choose'; that is choice of skills and professions based on one's proclivities and preferences for social participation. The roots of the Aryan hoax lie in the belief of christians in creation in 5th millennium BCE. To perpetuate this hoax in this day and age of DNA studies shows that many 'international academics' are living in a world of their own making, Alice's wonderland, removed from the reality of accumulating evidence and not only the discovery but also the rebirth of River Sarasvati, on the banks of which hindu civilization was nurtured and continues even today in an unparalleled continuum of over 5 millennia. 'International academics' seem to read only what suits their pet hallucinations about a eurocentric world. There are 'scholars' who are in a state of denial; who want to deny River Sarasvati as a myth; it is like what is said in a Tamil proverb: muzhu poosanikkaaye sottile maraikka paarkkiraanga (Trans. they are attempting to hide an entire pumpkin in a morsel of rice). Do the 50-odd 'international academics' know the meaning of satyam? The pitru vaakyam is: na brooyaat satyam apriyam. Go figure out. We are dealing with the future of children and what learning is imparted to them. This is a mahaavratam we are engaged in and the vratam should be performed with a high sense of responsibility. Not by indulging in politicking and trying to score 'scholarly' points. We need vinaya (rough translation: humility), that treasure which all vidyaa, all education is supposed to impart. In the process indulged in wittingly or unwittingly by 50-odd 'international academics', the hindu community has been defamed. There are good reasons why Witzel nurtures the Aryan hoax; his knowledge of Sanskrit, of Sayana, of Panini, of hindu civilization is rather warped, apart from being limited. But why do 50-odd 'international academics' join the Witzel bandwagon to nurture the Aryan hoax? In Witzel's letters of Nov. 8 and Nov. 26, the reasons become clear. They are concerned about 'hindutva'. They misunderstand the word. As in tat-tva, the suffix -tva in hindu-tva connotes just 'essence'. That are You (tat tvam asi) is a tat-tva, a philosophical inquiry. Similarly hindu-tva means 'essence of hindu, being hindu, or something like hindu-ness). They also seem to be politically and religiously motivated. They are not really concerned about conveying to children through school textbooks the glory and heritage of hindu civilization. They want to present a distorted, biased, warped picture of the civilization using stereotypes and prejudiced opinions and false theories or myths. They have arrogated to themselves (they think they have the adhikaara) the role of arbitrators of 'scholarship'. What is scholarship? In hindu civilizational tradition, scholarship is that which contributes to loka hitam. The phrase loka hitam is used in many ancient texts as the author tries to explain in the last s'loka or statement as to why he wrote down what he or she did. The author would say: I am doing this for loka hitam. Are these 'international academics' contributing to loka hitam by threatening an international scandal if the Califorina School Board of Education (SBE) presents hindu-tva through meanings understood in hindu tradition? The subjects being dealt with in the review process are not isssues of 'scholarship' but about the meanings of the traditions, in the grand narrative called hindu civilization. The issues were not merely about historical facts or historical chronologies; they were substantially about meanings which can be comprehended only by practitioners of sanaatana dharma (which is also called in Bauddha continuum esha dhammo sanantano). Only the hindu have the adhikaara to provide a fair representation of hindu-tva, of being hindu. The 50-odd 'international academics' who have signed the Witzel letter in haste should retract their signatures. They should distance themselves from Witzel. This should be the minimum demand of the hindu communities world-over. Their midnight interjection in a due process of review put in place by SBE is a denial of due process and equal opportunity protections under US laws. More than the defamation which their participation in the Witzel letter involves, they have crossed the line of universal ethical principle: respect for the ability of groups of people to creatively develop their own world-view, gestalt (A physical, biological, psychological, or symbolic configuration or pattern of elements so unified as a whole that its properties cannot be derived from a simple summation of its parts.) The meaning of the lives and traditions of the hindu cannot be subjected to ridicule by non-hindu, they do NOT have the adhikaara to pontificate and cast aspersions on being hindu, on hindu-tva. The 50-odd 'international academics' owe a public apology to the hindu samajam; they should also do prayas'cittam for their hasty involvement with crude attempts at perpetuation of an Aryan hoax, castigating a hindu samajam with false representations such as 'caste system' and interjecting in a process which could have profound effects on the hindu children's future and their self-identity. BBC website has recorded the reasons why Aryan Invasion/Migraiton Theory is pursued with such doggedness http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/hinduism/history/history5.shtml 'Scholars' who pursue this theory are exemplified by Michael Witzel. It is a moot question if all the 50-odd 'scholars' who signed the bigoted Witzel letter ( http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/witzelletter.pdf This pdf has list of signatories and also their emails) also believed with Witzel in the Aryan hoax. As BBC report notes, the theory continues to be the 'mantra' because it included racist ideas'. To put it mildly, do the 50-odd 'international academics desire to protect their own superstitions and notions of superiority of their own 'faiths'? Do the 50-odd 'international academics' desire to control the discourse on hindu civilization by repeating that hindu are heathen or kafir, savage, needing their souls to be saved? Why do the 50-odd 'international academics' try to intimidate many school-teachers who are Curiculum Commissioners in California trying to determine what the hindu children should be told about hindu civilization? Aren't the 50-odd 'international academics' accountable to the community that they are supposed to serve? The hindu community in USA may be a minority, but they are a significant minority with over 3 million hindu in America and over 15 million Americans who practice hindu traditions of yoga, meditation, ayurveda. Are the 50-odd 'international academics' opposed to these hindu traditions just because they are hindu-tva, the essence of being hindu; don't they care for hindu sentiments and the future of hindu children who will search for their hindu identity after being deluded through biased, bigoted, prejudiced views represented in the classrooms? An effective way to counter racism is to review the results produced by genetic investigations. This is what Stan Metzenberg, Commissioner of California Curriculum Commission did (see appended note). BBC's views on why Aryan hoax is sought to be perpetuated [quote] The theory was not just wrong, it included unacceptably racist ideas: * it suggested that Indian culture was not a culture in its own right, but a synthesis of elements from other cultures * it implied that Hinduism was not an authentically Indian religion but the result of cultural imperialism * it suggested that Indian culture was static, and only changed under outside influences * it suggested that the dark-skinned Dravidian people of the South of India had got their faith from light-skinned Aryan invaders * it implied that indigenous people were incapable of creatively developing their faith * it suggested that indigenous peoples could only acquire new religious and cultural ideas from other races, by invasion or other processes * it accepted that race was a biologically based concept (rather than, at least in part, a social construct) that provided a sensible way of ranking people in a hierarchy, which provided a partial basis for the caste system * it provided a basis for racism in the Imperial context by suggesting that the peoples of Northern India were descended from invaders from Europe and so racially closer to the British Raj * it gave a historical precedent to justify the role and status of the British Raj, who could argue that they were transforming India for the better in the same way that the Aryans had done thousands of years earlier * it downgraded the intellectual status of India and its people by giving a falsely late date to elements of Indian science and culture [unquote] Thanking you for your consideration and with the fond hope that vinaya will prevail, Dhanyavaadah. S. Kalyanaraman kalyan97@gmail.com Sarasvati Research Centre, Chennai 600015. On genetics which can effectively counter racist ideas, see : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IndianCivilization/message/83021 Thanks to Aravindan Nilakandan for this post. Posted on Dec. 10, 2005 by Aravindan Nilakandan hindoo_humanist@yahoo.co.uk Dr. Stan Metzenberg was kind enough to inform me what he read to the committee: It was from a 1999 paper by Kivisild, et al. (Current Biology, vol 9 pp.1331-1334): [QUOTE]"A commonly held hypothesis, albeit not the only one, suggests a massive Indo-Aryan invasion to India some 4,000 years ago [1]. Recent limited analysis of maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of Indian populations has been interpreted as supporting this concept [2 and 3]. Here, this interpretation is questioned. We found an extensive deep late Pleistocene genetic link between contemporary Europeans and Indians, provided by the mtDNA haplogroup U, which encompasses roughly a fifth of mtDNA lineages of both populations.Our estimate for this split is close to the suggested time for the peopling of Asia and the first expansion of anatomically modern humans in Eurasia [4, 5, 6, 7 and 8] and likely pre-dates their spread to Europe. Only a small fraction of the �Caucasoid-specific� mtDNA lineages found in Indian populations can be ascribed to a relatively recent admixture."[/QUOTE] He also read from the same paper: [QUOTE]"Thus, we have shown that the overwhelming majority of the so-called western-Eurasian-specific mtDNA lineages in Indian populations, estimated here to be carried by more than a hundred million contemporary Indians, belong in fact to an Indian-specific variety of haplogroup U of a late Pleistocene origin. The latter exhibits a direct common phylogenetic origin with its sister groups found in western Eurasia (Figure 1), but it should not be interpreted in terms of a recent admixture of western Caucasoids with Indians caused by a putative Indo-Aryan invasion 3,000 �4,000 years BP. From the deep time depth of the split between the predominant Indian and European haplogroup U varieties, it could be speculated that haplogroup U arose in neither of the two regions. This split could have already happened in Africa, for example, in Ethiopia, where haplogroup U was recently described [21]."[/QUOTE] See also: http://protovedic.blogspot.com Fwd. A note on Michael Witzel's ignorance of Sayana and Panini. K. [QUOTE] Panini's Grammar, Sayanacharya's Vedic Bhashyas & Michael Witzel's 'Philology' While criticizing David Frawley's interpretation of samudra 'ocean' in the Rigveda (The Hindu, Open page, 06 August 2002) Mr. Michael Witzel , Harvard University, has stated, "That Vedic language, like all others, did change from the Rigveda to the Upanishads" …… He further continues, "The Rigveda has many grammatical forms that had simply disappeared by the time of Panini. He and Sayana do not know e.g. of the injunctive (e.g. han Indro' him han)". By this above allegation Mr. Witzel tells his readers, in unambiguous language, that Panini and Sayana are ignorant of several Vedic grammatical forms of which the Rigvedic passage – bracketed in the above citation – illustrates one. We shall now undertake a close study of Panini and Sayana and see what result it will yield. Panini recognizes two distinct phases of Sanskrit, Chandas (the Vedic) and Bhasha (the post Vedic) and he wrote his grammar, ashtadhyayi, for both the phases of Sanskrit. He had even taken into consideration the dialectal variations of the Sanskrit of his time, reckoning two prominent dialects – the Eastern and the Northern. He had traversed the entire ground not leaving anything to be taken up by future grammarians, as a careful study of his grammar would reveal. On the Vedic side he had taken due note of all the threefold divisions of the Vedas, viz. Samhita, Brahmana and Aranyaka. Panini's grammar has been considered as one among the six ancillary disciplines indispensable for a correct understanding or interpretation of the Vedas; therefore nothing in the Vedic language could have escaped the notice of Panini. Patanjali's (author of the Mahabhashya, an ancient commentary on Panini's grammar) observations on the relation of Panini's grammar to the Vedas deserve special mention in this connection - 'Panini's grammar teaches formation of words belonging to both the Vedic and spoken Sanskrit'. 'Grammar is the foremost among the six ancillaries of the Veda'. 'One ought to study (Panini's) grammar for preserving the purity of the Vedas, both in form and sense'. 'Words such as usha, tera, chakra and pecha are not found in use in the current language since there are other words that could replace them'. 'In fact the words said to be not in use are found in frequent use in the Vedas.' ' Even formation of words that had fallen into disuse ought to be taught.' Patanjali's observations clearly highlight the importance of knowledge of Panini's grammar for the study of the Vedas and bring to the fore the fact that Panini had accounted for the formation of all the Vedic words though a good number of them had ceased to exist in the Sanskrit of his time. Panini was fully aware of the richness of the grammatical forms in and the distinctive features of the Vedic language. The language of the Vedas is accented and Panini has framed hundreds of rules dealing with the Vedic accent though accentuation has almost disappeared from the language of his time. He has reckoned twelve infinitives of which eleven had become extinct in classical Sanskrit. The subjunctive forms, though frequently met with in the Vedas, had vanished from the post Vedic language without leaving any trace; and yet, Panini has formulated a number of rules dealing with subjunctive forms. Instances of Panini noticing the peculiarities of the Vedic language are too numerous. While evidences of Panini's comprehensive and penetrating study of the grammatical forms of the Vedic language are overwhelming, Mr. Witzel's above allegation attributing ignorance to Panini can hardly sustain. The injunctive had survived; it had not become defunct. Right from the Rigveda the use of the injunctive in association with the prohibitive negative particle ma has been a continuous flow, down the ages, till date, for an e.g., ma gam, ma karshih, ma bhut, ma sma bhut, ma sma bhavat etc. It defies one's understanding as to how Panini, who has spared no pains to record and explain the formation of even antiquated and obsolete forms, had not taken cognizance of the injunctive which has been in regular use both in the Vedic and post-Vedic Sanskrit. Injunctive is a term by which European orientalists refer to the forms of the non-augmented past tense forms, viz. the imperfect, aorist and pluperfect; it conveys the same sense as the subjunctive or the imperative or the optative or the precative does. In form, the injunctive is identical with the non-augmented imperfect, aorist and pluperfect and therefore Panini has not framed separate rules for deriving the injunctive forms. He does not treat the pluperfect as a distinct tense since he regards the pluperfect as a variety of the aorist for the reason that it admits only secondary terminations. The Vedic language presents the forms of the past tenses under two different types - the augmented and the non-augmented. The augmented past tense: The augment is a prefix of the past tense forms and is taught by P.VI-4-71 and 72. Since the terminations for all the augmented past tense verbs are almost the same, Panini teaches the respective verbal formations by the same set of rules; The active forms by III. 4.78,99-101, 109-111 and VII.1.3,4 and 45 and the middle forms by III.4.78, VII.1.3 and 5 and VII.2.81. The non-augmented past tense form, which falls under two heads – the one with and the other without the prohibitive particle ma - is obtained by dropping the augment according P.VI.4.74 and 75. The non-augmented past without ma is restricted to the Vedic (bahulam chhandasi amanyogepi VI.4.75) whereas the other one, i.e. with ma, is freely used in both the Vedic and post-Vedic Sanskrit ( na man yoge VI.4.74) The non-augmented past tense form accompanied by ma is always used as injunctive. e.g. ma vidam, mas stham, ma gah, ma isata, ma vadhit and so on. Whereas the unaugmented past tense form without ma is used as injunctive as well as past indicative. Indicative usage : e.g. dhatam, jani, paprathat, sidan, manvata etc. Injunctive usage : e.g. vocam, dhah, takshat, vadhit, gat etc. The aorist is used to express a past action in general (P III.2.110 ), the imperfect an action of the near past (III-2-111) and the perfect an action of the remote past (P III.2.115). The terms aorist, imperfect (and perfect ), in the rules cited, stand for both the augmented and non-augmented forms because the rules do not contain any qualifying term that might restrict their scope to any one of the two. Further, the past tenses – the aorist, imperfect and perfect – are employed optionally, in the Vedas, in the sense of other tenses and moods (P III.4.6) i.e. they are used as past, present and future indicatives and also as the subjunctive, imperative, optative and precative moods. From the four rules referred to above, it transpires that Panini has noticed the usage of the augmented and non-augmented past tenses in both the temporal and modal senses. Confining ourselves to the matter on hand, it is obvious that Panini had seen and recorded in his grammar the Vedic usage of the non-augmented imperfect, aorist and pluperfect in the sense of the injunctive, subjunctive, imperative, optative or precative and the past indicative - "In sense the forms that drop the augment are either indicative or injunctive". Panini does not employ any special term to refer to the injunctive (unaugmented past tense) of the European Orientalists because it does not possess a sense of its own that is distinct from those conveyed by the subjunctive, imperative, optative and precative - "The general meaning of the injunctive expresses a desire, combining the senses of the subjunctive, the optative and the imperative". It is highly significant, in this connection, to pay our attention on P VIII.3.50 wherein Panini notices the injunctive, subjunctive and the imperative forms of the root kri- kah, karat, karati, kridhi and kritam Sayana is the well-known exegete of all the four Vedas. The excellence of his Vedic commentaries has largely thrown the earlier commentaries into oblivion. Every page of his commentaries unfailingly convinces the reader of the earnestness in his approach and the devotion and sincerity he exhibits in accomplishing the stupendous task he has set before himself. In his lengthy introduction to his commentary on the Rigveda Samhita he has explained in clear terms the method he has followed in writing his commentary. He has made full use of the traditional ancillary sciences, fourteen in number, and has also consulted the earlier commentaries on the Vedas. He has not failed to tap any source connected with the Vedas, directly or indirectly and closely or remotely, wherefrom he could derive the material necessary for achieving his target. Even a cursory reader of his Vedic commentaries will be astonished at his mastery over the fourteen disciplines and the utmost ease with which he quotes from them. At times he differs from the earlier authorities, while always expressing his views in all humility and politeness. Nothing has been left out unexplained. As a responsible commentator he has been extremely cautious in utilizing the available sources, starting with the padapatha and Brahmanas down to the works of his times. One of the main principles he strictly adheres to in his commentaries is due consideration of the context. He explains the text in harmony with the context; he carefully avoids whatever that runs repugnant to the context. Since the non-augmented past tense and the injunctive are identical in from one will find it extremely difficult to fix the identify of the given non-augmented verbal formation from its mere form.. One will have to necessarily seek the help of the context in fixing the nature of the verb – temporal or modal. In other words the context is the infallible guide under such circumstances. Sayana is cognizant of the dual function of the non-augmented past tense forms. Referring to the pertinent rules of Panini he accounts for their formation and gives their meanings in accordance with the context in which they occur. Examples of non-augmented past tense forms : sakat ( RV.I.10.6 ), jushata (I.25.18), cyavanta (I.48.2), ni-kramih (I.51.6), bhinat ( I.52.5), ni-barhayah (I.53.7), srijat (I.55.6), bharat (I-60-1), vidhyat (I.61.7), anu-dayi (I.61.15 ), kah (VI.26.5), Sayana gives the meanings of these non-augmented past tense forms either by their corresponding augmented ( indicative ) forms and past active participle in the case of familiar verbs and by means of the augmented past tense forms and past active participle forms of verbs having the same meaning in the case of the not familiar verbs. Examples of injunctive forms : jushanta (RV.I.3.9 ), dat (I.24.1), dat (I.24.2), rinoh (I-30-14 ), mimrishah (I-31-16), tarishtam (I-34-11), mrikshatam ( I.34.11), Karat (I.43.2), tatananta (I.52.11), Kshipat ( X.182.1-3), pari-gat (II.33-14). Citing the relevant rules of Panini, Sayana accounts for these injunctive forms and gives their meaning accordingly. He is at liberty to indicate the meaning of the injunctive by any one of the four modal forms – subj., imp, opt or prec – according to P III.3.157, III-3-159, III-3-161, III-3-162, III-3-173 and III.4.7. (It has been pointed out already that the injunctive is used in the sense of the other four moods). But he presents the meaning of the injunctive by means of the corresponding imperative or optative (or less frequently precative) forms. The reason behind Sayana's choice is quite clear. To a student of classical Sanskrit who is well acquainted only with the imperative, optative and precative moods and not with the subjunctive it is reasonable to present the meanings through the known modal forms and not through the unknown. It will be of much interest to know how Sayana deals with ' dat' which occurs twice among the examples for the injunctive. In the first instance i.e. R.V.I.24.1, the context suggests uncertainty and therefore he gives the meaning by the optative, dadyat and in the second instance, I.24.2 the context implies a wish and hence by the imperative dadatu. In both the instances the meaning given are vouched by the context. The paramount importance that Sayana attaches to the context is well brought out by this example. The illustration as presented by Mr. Michael Witzel (i.e. the three words 'indro him han' in immediate succession) as an evidence of Panini's ignorance of the Vedic injunctive is to be met with nowhere in the Rigveda Samhita. In RV.V.29.2 the two words ahim and han are found to be in immediate succession. Here han is an non-augmented imperfect form expressing a past action and as such it cannot be taken as an injunctive form. Our concern here is only with han; we need not bother about the sentence of which it may be a member. Instances of the use of the non-augmented han as both indicative and injunctive are met with in the Rigveda and duly noticed by Sayana. The verbal form han may be either II person singular or III person singular since the II and III person singular forms of the root han are identical. The non-augmented han is used as past indicative in the following instances. RV.V-29-2, VI-18-5, VI-20-2, VI-26-5, VI-27-5 and VI-47-2. Quoting the relevant rules from Panini, Sayana accounts for the form and gives their meaning by either the corresponding augmented past tense form or the past active participle of the root han. The non-augmented han is used as injunctive in RV.VII.9.6, and X.182. 1-3. With a reference to the concerned rules of Panini, Sayana explains the formation and presents the meaning by the imperative II and III person singular forms, as demanded by the context. i.e., jahi and apa-hantu respectively. From the above, the reader will find that, contrary to Mr. Witzel's allegation, Panini and Sayana possess a thorough knowledge of the grammatical forms which, according to Mr. Witzel, are unknown to both of them. Further, the foregoing study conclusively establishes Mr. Witzel's own innocence of Panini and Sayana. That he has not made a serious study of either Panini or Sayana in the original needs no mention. His attribution of ignorance to both of them is a disclosure of his own ignorance of the monumental works of these outstanding ancient Indian authors. It is not fair on the part of Mr. Witzel to indulge in pernicious allegation against the exalted personalities of Panini and Sayana and mislead the reading public thereby. Mr. Witzel accepts the usefulness of the ancillary disciplines in the interpretation of the Vedic texts. But he has denied to himself the advantageous utilization of the ancillary sciences when he dubs Panini, with a single stroke of his pen, as ignorant of many grammatical forms in the Vedas. As a Vedic scholar he should have made a thorough study of Panini and Sayana before passing any judgment over their writings. Witzel formulates a number of rules, in the Open Page referred to already, for the guidance of a researcher in regard to the utilization of the material he has got on hand. But he conveniently sets them aside in his own case; perhaps he meant them exclusively for others. We refrain from referring to some more contradictory and inconsistent statements as they fall outside the scope of our write up. [Note: All the references preceded by 'P' refer to Panini's Ashtadhyayi] V. Swaminathan (Retd. Principal, Guruvayur Sanskrit Vidyapeeth) http://www.bharatvani.org/indology/philology.html (From Google cached page).[/QUOTE] [QUOTE] 50-odd signatories (as cited in witzelletter.pdf at Witzel's website): Homi Bhabha, Prof., Harvard University, hbhabha@fas.harvard.edu Win van Binsbergen, Prof., Anthropology, Universities of Leiden and Rotterdam, Netherlands, binsbergen@chello.nl Kalpana Desai, Indus Valley Heritage Center, kalpanadesai@hotmail.com Madhav Deshpande, Indian Studies, Prof., University of Michigan, mmdesh@umich.edu Patricia Donegan, Prof., Linguistics, University of Hawaii, Manoa, donegan@hawaii.edu Dr. Caren Dreyer, Institut Fuer Indische Philogie und Kunstgeschichte, Berlin, Germany, mail@caren-dreyer.de Shingo Einoo, Prof., Indian Studies, University of Tokyo, Japan, seino@ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp Garrett Fagan, Prof., History, Pennsylvania State University, ggf2@psu.edu Harry Falk, Prof., Indology, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany, falk@zedat.fu-berlin.de Dr.Steve Farmer, Comparative History, Portola Valley, California, saf@safarmer.com Dr. Lars Martin Fosse, Lecturer in Sanskrit, University of Oslo, Norway, infosse@chello.no Robert Goldman, Prof. of Sanskrit and Director of the University of California Study Abroad Center in India, University of California at Berkeley, rpg@calmail.berkeley.edu Sally Sutherland Goldman, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer in Sanskrit, University of California at Berkeley. Phyllis Herman, Prof., California State University Northridge, Phyllis.K.Herman@csun.edu Pochi Huang, Prof., National Chenchen University, Taipei, Taiwan, huang9@nccu.edu.tw Dwijendra Jha, Prof., History, Delhi University, New Delhi, India, dnjha@del2.vsnl.net.in Jonathan Kenoyer, Prof., Archaeology, and co-director of the excavation at Harappa, (HARP), jkenoyer@wisc.edu Joanna Kirkpatrick, Professor of Anthropology (retired), Bennington College jkirk@spro.net Rajesh Kocchar, former Director, NISTADS (CSIR) New Delhi, India, rkk@nistads.res.in Agnes Korn, Department of Linguistics, University of Frankfurt a M., Germany a.korn@em.uni-frankfurt.de Hiroshi Marui, Prof., University of Tokyo, Japan, hiroshimarui@hotmail.com Richard Meadow, Sen. Lecturer of Archaeology, and co-director of the excavations at Harappa (HARP), Harvard University, meadow@fas.harvard.edu Rafique Mughal, Prof., archaeology and former Director of Archaeology, Pakistan; Boston University, mughal@bu.edu Hideaki Nakatani, Prof., Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo, Japan. nakatani@rr.iij4u.or.jp S. Palaniappan, University of Pennsylvania Ph.D., palaniappa@aol.com Asko Parpola, Prof. emer., Indology, University of Helsinki, Finland, asko.parpola@helsinki.fi Parimal Patil, Prof., Harvard University, ppatil@fas.harvard.edu Sheldon Pollock, Prof., Indian Studies, Columbia University, NY, pollock@uchicago.edu Boris Oguibenine, Prof. Indology, University of Strasbourg, France, oguibeni@umb.u-strasbg.fr Patrick Olivelle, Prof., Indian Studies, University of Texas, Austin, jpo@uts.cc.utexas.edu Shereen Ratnagar, Prof. emeriga, History, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, rshereen@vsnl.com Don Ringe, Prof., Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, dringe@mail.sas.upenn.edu Hartmut Scharfe, Prof Emeritus of Vedic and Indo-European Studies, UCLA, Scharfe@humnet.ucla.edu Sudha R. Shenoy, Ph.D., School of Economics & Politics, University of Newcastle, Australia Georg von Simson, Prof. Emer., Indology, University of Oslo, Norway, georg@vonsimson.com Fred Smith, Prof., Indology, University of Iowa, frederick-smith@uiowa.edu Frank Southworth, Prof. Emer., Indian Studies, University of Pennsylvania, frank.southworth@gmail.com David Stampe, Prof., Linguistics, University of Hawaii, Manoa, stampe@hawaii.edu Romila Thapar, Prof. Emer., History, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, romila@sapta.com Muneo Tokunaga, Prof. Indology, University of Kyoto, Japan, mtokunaga@bun.kyoto-u.ac.jp Maurizio Tosi, Prof. of Archaeology, University of Bologna, Italy maurizio.tosi@tiscali.it Alexander Vovin, Prof. Linguistics, University of Hawaii, Manoa, sashavovin@yahoo.com Stanley Wolpert, Prof., History, University of California, Los Angeles, wolpert@history.ucla.edu Dr. Dominik Wujastyk, Senior Research Fellow, University College London, ucgadkw@ucl.ac.uk Michael Witzel, Wales Prof. of Sanskrit, Harvard University, witzel@fas.harvard.edu Stefan Zimmer, Prof. Linguistics, Free University, Berlin, Germany, st.w.zimmer@t-online.de Claus Peter Zoller, Prof. Hindi Section, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Lnguages, University of Oslo, Norway, peter_zoller@yahoo.com Source: http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/witzelletter.pdf [/QUOTE] Copies of Nov. 26 letter of Witzel were sent to: Arlo Griffiths Prof. of Sanskrit, Leiden Univ., a.griffiths@theol.rug.nl Raka Ray, Chair in Indian Studies Associate Professor of Sociology and South and Southeast Asian Studies , UCAL, Berkeley, rakaray@berkeley.edu Leonard van der Kuijp Chairman of the Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies and Professor of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies at Harvard University , vanderk@fas.harvard.edu Head of the School of Asian Studies (1998-1999), Univ. of Edinburgh, JLBrockington@ ed.ac.uk

Posted by: Amber G. Dec 11 2005, 05:02 PM

QUOTE(satyarthi @ Dec 7 2005, 01:28 AM)
Too much shanti from the weasel crowd after the decision. Pop goes the Witzel.
*
May be Because Prof Komerath's scholary essay (among other things) is being noticed... Sorry if this was posted before, Here is a e-mail sent by Witzel EP, (As some one in recently commented "Calling him Equine Posterior is not particulary unkind" ) Claiming "victory" and "taking BBC on"
QUOTE
Fra: Michael Witzel [mailto:witzel@fas.harvard.edu] Sendt: 26. november 2005 17:26 Til: Peter Zoller; Garrett G. Fagan; Alexander Vovin; Patrick Olivelle; Boris Oguibenine; Phyllis K Herman; carendreyer Dreyer; Frederick Smith; Lars Martin Fosse; Rajesh Kochhar; Richard Meadow; Stanley Wolpert; Dwijendra Jha; Georg von Simson; Madhav Deshpande; Frank Southworth; Hiroshi Marui; Sudha Shenoy; Asko Parpola; Mohammad Mughal; Don Ringe; S. Palaniappan; Wim van Binsbergen; Homi Bhabha; huang9; David Stampe; Hideaki Nakatani; Jonathan Mark Kenoyer; Stefan Zimmer; Romila Thapar; Muneo Tokunaga; Shereen Ratnagar; Michael Witzel; Sheldon Pollock; Dominik Wujastyk; Parimal G. Patil; Steve Farmer; Robert Goldman; falk Falk; jkirk Kirkpatrick; agnes korn; Scharfe; Kalpana Desai; maurizio.tosi@tiscali.it ; Patricia Donegan; Shingo Einoo Kopi: Arlo Griffiths; Raka Ray; Leonard van der Kuijp; Michael Witzel; John Brockington Emne: Next step: California Comm. vote on Hindutva changes Dear friends, success! It seems that we were successful; more details will follow as soon they become available. Here the initial, partial report from people present at the meeting of the California State Board of Education: This afternoon the California Board of Education voted to approve the school books for adoption in California schools; seven of eight publishers' programs were approved (Including the initially rejected Oxford U.P. one, it seems without adding in any of the Hindutva material). Below, I attach our joint letter for your reference. We had planned to send it to you earlier, but all the back and forth yesterday in preparing for today's (Wednesday's) meeting prevented me. Luckily, we had a California historian of india, Prof. J. Heitzman (UC Davis), present at the meeting who also used a letter written by Prof. Wolpert. Hence, some more detailed news about the meeting of the California State Board of Education: The meeting was to decide whether to adopt the changes that have already been suggested, collected in a book containing the massive number of changes. Comments from the audience: each one to speak for TWO MINUTES each. The first cohort of speakers included representatives of the Vedic Foundation, who all urged adoption of the changes. The next major group consisted of a number of Sikh speakers who urged non-adoption of the changes until after the insertion of additional material on Sikhism. Prof. Heitzman, speaking for us all, then alluded to the "Standards for Evaluating Instructional Materials for Social Content," section:" Religion; Indoctrination", urging the Board not to "encourage or discourage belief or indoctrinate the student in any particular religious belief." Pointing out that we represent thousands of high-level scholars from all religious backgrounds dedicated to the academic study of South Asian history and culture, he stated that we have two main objections to the current draft that cause us to oppose its adoption: (1) the consulting base, i.e. Dr. Bajpai, is too narrow for a problem of this complexity; and (2) we "impugn the credentials" of the Vedic Foundation and other Hindu groups to speak competently on issues of South Asian history and religion. These groups project, either overtly or subconsciously, policies known as Hindutva or "Hinduness" that portray South Asian and specifically Indian identity as Hindu. Their program has ravaged the social studies textbooks of India for the last ten years. He urged the Board not to allow a religious chauvinism of India to become the policy of the State of California, which would provoke an academic and international uproar. He volunteered the services of the university community specializing in the analysis of South Asia for evaluating the edits and additions proposed for the California textbooks: "We are ready to earn our pay; let us help you." Sincere thanks to Prof. Heitzman and to all of you ! This shows how concerted action, even if it comes as late as ours, can be successful. Incidentally, the next thing to tackle is the BBC website. Let us discuss how to go about it. Please see this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/hinduism/history/index.shtml http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/hinduism/history/history5.shtml Best wishes, Michael Michael Witzel Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University 1 Bow Street , 3rd floor, Cambridge MA 02138 1-617-495 3295 Fax: 496 8571 direct line: 496 2990 http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/mwpage.htm

Posted by: Amber G. Dec 11 2005, 05:25 PM

From http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1568397,0093.htm

QUOTE
Stop this anti-Hindu tirade! HindustanTimes.com New Delhi, December 9, 2005 Saffronisation reaches US shores » We at HindustanTimes.com carried an article called 'Saffronisation reaches US shores' on December 7. It spoke of the debate in the US over some corrections sought by Hindu groups into the representation of Hindus in US textbooks from the California Board of Education (CBE). Purportedly their anger was against the presumptuous nature of reporting giving 'secularists' an upper hand without bothering to get to the bottom of the issue. Our surfers have also raised issues about what constitutes being 'pro-Hindutva' and 'secular'. Here's what pissed them off completely. "The controversy over Indian history textbooks has travelled to the US. So much so, California is currently witnessing a raging battle between pro-Hindutva groups and 'secular' academics over textbooks on Indian history presented to 'impressionable minds' in the US." The secular academics included Michael Witzel, an American professor of Sanskrit at Harvard University who has the support of a number of academicians including Indian historians Romilla Thapar, DN Jha and Shereen Ratnagar. The pro-Hindutva brigade is led by Ved Chaudhary, president of the Educators' Society for the Heritage of India (ESHI), Texas-based Vedic Foundation and New Jersey-based Hindu Education Foundation. Most of our surfers are of the opinion that deep biases exist within sections of Indian intelligentsia with regard to this topic. Mysore Madhwa from Chicago wrote, "I am surprised by the headline for this 'report'. While calling the sincere efforts by Hindus to correct the factual errors is termed 'saffron', the last-minute effort by Indian Leftists and their white masters does not carry any adjectives except being dubbed 'secular'." "Your use of the word 'saffronisation' shows your sick mindset. Can Hindus in the USA ask for parity with other religions? Can they demand that Hinduism in textbooks be taught using the same yardstick applied to Islam and Christianity?" asks Sadanjan from Hyderabad. Jagan Mohan from Pondicherry asks, "Is asking for a review of the decision to include Aryan invasions in fact 'pro-Hindutva'? India has always been portrayed as a land of snake charmers, sati, maharajas and cows. The Witzel group is trying to maintain the status quo by showing India as a backward, cultural inferior civilisation by taking refuge behind the anti-Hindutva facade. And the amazing thing is that the Hindustan Times is also taking sides blindly by calling the activists who are trying to set right the distorted image as 'pro-Hindutva' fundamentalists. What's next? Call them terrorists?" he asks. Raunak from San Francisco says, "I have not read a more ill-informed article that this! I am a resident of California and I see no saffronisation in the campaign taken up by some Hindus against the misrepresentations made in the proposed text. Does a secular Hindu have a right to make a representation or not? Are you going to label all of them as RSS followers? I am a proud Hindu and not a supporter of RSS. You must be ashamed of being a Hindu and hence the title." Many have outrightly denigrated the Harvard scholar. Sadanjan adds, "Witzel has made many derogatory remarks about Hindus. He has made fun of Hindu immigrants to America and ridiculed their practice of cremating their dead. He has called them 'lost' or 'abandoned' people. He has ridiculously claimed that American Hindus do not invest in their children's higher education. What motivates him to make such disparaging remarks? What motivates other academics to follow him and sign on the petition?" Making the case stronger, Anjali from San Francisco writes in to say how the Witzel group's was countered and which recommendations were chosen. These include the use of upper case "G" for Hindus gods, replacing the use of word statue with deity and one sentence be changed from saying, "Modern Hindus continue to visit temples to express their love of the gods" to "...visit temples to worship and express their love for God".

Posted by: Amber G. Dec 11 2005, 06:29 PM

Sorry - Do not intend to spam here, but google gave me an old article in Hindu: By David Frawley way back in 2003 ..."India does not need people like witzel to save its soul, any more than it needs Christian missionaries ...." So ths "scholar " thinks Agustya rishi came from Persia! http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/op/2003/03/04/stories/2003030400010200.htm

QUOTE
India does not need people like Witzel to save its soul, any more than it needs Christian missionaries to do so. It doesn't need them to teach it what dharma, truth or civilisation really are. Similarly, the world of Vedic scholarship does not require them to explain the secrets of the Vedas, which clearly they don't even suspect, much less know. MICHAEL WITZEL predictably attacks anyone who suggests any greatness for Vedic culture or any connection between it and the Harappan civilisation. The number of such Vedic scholars East and West that he has made personal diatribes against is now over a dozen, though to his lament, he has still not succeeded in reducing their numbers or weakening the appeal of their ideas. Strange views Yet Witzel's own views, which he seldom highlights, are much stranger. He has not only proposed an Aryan invasion/migration into ancient India in the post-Harappan era (after 1500 BCE) through the Panjab going east, he has similarly detailed a Dravidian invasion/migration of India about the same time through Sind but going south. Yet he is fair in his judgment of the Aryans and Dravidians, he regards both peoples as equally primitive and as not having even developed agriculture much less any civilisation of their own. He has stated that both Vasishta and Agastya, the two greatest Vedic sages of north and south India, were in fact Iranians. Now he is also proposing that Buddha, called Shakyamuni, was a descendant of recent Shaka (Scythian) migrants to Bihar from Iran around 600 BCE and suggests that Buddhism itself might even be an Iranian heresy, not anything really Indian. Influenced by the story of how Biblical Moses led the Jews out of Egypt into Israel, Witzel has written that Vasishta brought King Bharata (who gave his name to the land of India) out of Eastern Iran into India! Of course, while the Bible remembers such an exodus no such Vedic or Puranic records exist, but that does not slow him down. Instead of either the Aryans or Dravidians as the authors of the great Harappan culture Witzel has proposed the Mundas or aborigines. While he claims I have offended the Mundas and other aboriginals for questioning their ability to create the Harappan civilisation, he doesn't seem to find any problem in offending both the Aryans and the Dravidians by finding them both quite incapable of its creation (in spite of their literary and historical records of great antiquity for which the Mundas have nothing comparable). Yet he also suggests that the Mundas themselves could just as well be migrants into the region from the southeast, completing his scenario that people and culture must come to India from the outside, regardless of how many peoples and cultures India is able to produce. Such views are much stranger than suggesting that the Vedic literature, the largest remaining literature of the ancient world, may actually be related to the Harappan/Sarasvati civilisation, the largest urban civilisation of the ancient world, particularly since both reflect the same geographical region. Such scholars ignore the great Sarasvati river and its many archaeological sites that number in the hundreds. They would place the original Vedic Sarasvati river in Afghanistan and have the Vedic Aryans strangely ascribe this name of their holiest river to a dried up stream in India on which Harappan culture had coincidently once been centred, as if the Vedic people had some intuition of the river's former greatness long before they arrived! They would equate the sophisticated and advanced Vedic literature with the compositions of uncivilised, primitive nomadic tribes, though it has managed to leave its mark on the culture of the entire subcontinent, and no other earlier literature has survived. When I recently suggested in an article about the ecology of ancient India (which doesn't even mention his name), that India provided the ideal subtropical river system for developing civilisation, Witzel now adds that India is also an unsuitable place to live, quoting how people from the Iranians to the Moguls found the climate too hot for them to stay. I don't know if he ever counted the number of people able to live on these hot north Indian rivers compared to the deserts of Iran and Central Asia. Even in Harappan and post-Harappan times, North India was densely populated and could easily support a great civilisation and maintain its continuity through the ages. Battle for the soul of India Witzel's background is purely as a linguist. He does not claim a deeper study of Indian philosophy, yoga, or spirituality, for which he has never expressed any regard. So when he speaks now of the soul of India one has to wonder what he is talking about. Nor has he ever written about Indian culture or Bharatiya samskriti in a positive light or as a real entity in its own right. His `love' for India is so well known to the Indian community in the U.S. that there is hardly an internet discussion list maintained by them where his rigid anti-Hindu and anti-India views have not been noted. Witzel's name is commonly mentioned along with Dan Burton and other India-bashers. A simple search on the Internet will reveal numerous contemptuous remarks that Witzel makes against Indians, Hindus, India and the Indian government. His open support for the Marxist historians of India is also well known. Many people have started seeing through his misrepresentations, abuse and vitriol, disguised as `scholarship.' The reader may himself refer to reviews of his writings at http://www.bharatvani.org/indology.html, including articles that question Witzel's knowledge of the Sanskrit language. Odd endeavour Witzel has even recently done some articles on the Vedic religion, as he claims, to show what it really was and to counter the many distortions about it that exist today (probably made by Hindus!). This is a rather odd endeavour for someone who neither believes in nor practises the Vedic religion, nor has ever shown any respect for its great ancient or modern teachers, much less sought to be a disciple in any Vedic tradition or lineage. It reminds one of the atheists on temple boards that have occurred in Kerala. Yet for perhaps the first time, Witzel suggests in his latest response that he really honours the great civilisation of India after all, but leaves us guessing in exactly what way. Perhaps he hasn't quite figured it out yet. In any case he has not referred to which of his papers actually say this. No, India does not need people like Witzel to save its soul, any more than it needs Christian missionaries to do so. It doesn't need them to teach it what dharma, truth or civilisation really are. Similarly, the world of Vedic scholarship does not require them to explain the secrets of the Vedas, which clearly they don't even suspect, much less know. In fact if Witzel is truly interested in real spirituality, which is the true soul of India and of the Vedas, India can provide him with quite enough teachers and teachings to keep him quiet for a long time. DAVID FRAWLEY

Posted by: Mudy Dec 13 2005, 11:36 AM

Major embarrassment to Harvard University : Michael Witzel-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Harvard Indologist's campaign to have his Aryan theories taught in California schools ends in fiasco. N.S. Rajaram In what could prove to be a major embarrassment to Harvard niversity, California educational authorities rejected the recommendations made by the Harvard Indologist Michael Witzel. The commission of experts advising the California Board of Education rebuffed his efforts to have his theories on Aryans and the Aryan invasion included in the school curriculum on India and Hinduism. The German-born Michael Witzel is known in India for his media campaigns in favor of the discredited Aryan invasion (which he now calls migration) and his crusade against scholars who oppose his theories claiming Indian civilization to be seeded by an "Aryan invasion". Mr. Witzel, a linguist, not a historian or archaeologist is better known for his publicity campaigns than any contribution to Sanskrit literature or history. Harvard greatly cherishes its liberal tradition. This has taken a beating in recent months following Harvard President Dr. Lawrence Summers's comments suggesting that women scientists are less industrious and dedicated than their male counterparts. Mr. Witzel's high profile propaganda campaign peddling his Aryan theories in the ethnically sensitive California schools is unlikely to add luster to Harvard's liberal image. Theories based on the so-called Aryan race were widely popular in nineteenth century Europe leading to Nazism and Hitler. Because of this association, Western scholars studiously avoid any reference to Aryans and Nazi era theories associated with race. But Mr. Witzel, who seems to have imbibed these ideas while growing up in his native Germany in the 1940s and the 50s has emerged as the leader of a small group of Western academics who aggressively propagate theories based on them. What made Mr. Witzel jump into California school politics that led to this fiasco is a matter of conjecture; but this much is known. California, home to America's largest and ethnically most diverse school system has a significant number of students of Indian origin. Their parents felt that the California school curriculum contained descriptions of India and Indian religions, especially of Hinduism and Sikhism that were inaccurate and insensitive. To address their concern, the California Board of Education appointed a Commission to revise the curriculum by removing offending passages and obsolete material. The Commission submitted the changes to the California Board in early November. One of the sections that came under the scanner was the Aryan invasion theory, dear to Mr. Witzel's heart. It was at this point that Mr. Witzel jumped into the fray as the head a panel of 'International experts' on India and Hinduism. In a letter written on the imposing official Harvard letterhead, Mr. Witzel charged that the recommended changes were motivated by 'Hindutva' forces and would "lead without fail to an international educational scandal if they are accepted by the California's State Board of Education." The panel met with some initial success, with the California Board and its appointed Commission taking Mr. Witzel's charges in good faith. But soon things began to go wrong. Some academics on the Commission saw that arrayed behind Mr. Witzel's Harvard professor façade-and Harvard stationery-were some questionable individuals and outfits with political agendas. These included self-appointed 'Indologists' like Steve Farmer, Marxist historian Romila Thapar, Islamic groups and even the Communist Party of India, whose magazine Frontline has carried their articles. The Commission members seem also to have been put off by Mr. Witzel's condescending attitude and the shoddy manner in which his panel made its recommendation, often without reading what the Commission had to say. They saw it is as little more than a gratuitous attempt to peddle their own prejudices in the guise of 'scholarly consensus.' Dr. Metzenberg, a California biologist, minced no words when he rejected Mr. Witzel's claims with pointed reference to his Aryan theories: "I've read the DNA research and there was no Aryan migration. I believe the hard evidence of DNA more than I believe historians." He also described Mr. Witzel's portrayal of Hinduism as 'insensitive' and something that Hindus themselves would be unable to recognize. In the end the California Board of Education threw out almost all of Mr. Witzel's recommendations except for some cosmetic changes to save his face.This fiasco is likely to hurt not only Mr. Witzel's dwindling credibility but also Harvard's liberal image. Behind this surreal political drama is the harsh truth that Western Indology today is a dying discipline. The so-called Sanskrit Department where Mr. Witzel teaches is having difficulty attracting students. The quality is so pathetic that most of his graduate students would have difficulty passing a Sanskrit course in an Indian high school. Mr. Witzel often teaches summer courses in Sanskrit to visiting Japanese students who learn little more than the Sanskrit alphabet. Indology took root and flourished in the West under the patronage of German nationalists and British colonial authorities. The BBC, in a recent program admitted as much. Even the position Mr. Witzel holds at Harvard, the Prince of Wales Professor of Sanskrit, is a colonial anachronism. The large and affluent Indian population in the West has no use for this 'Indology.' Hence the campaign to impose it on their unwitting children. The truth of the matter is that the brand of Indology that Mr. Witzel and his group represent has outlived its purpose and is on its way to extinction. Desperate campaigns of the kind that led to the recent fiasco are unlikely to reverse it. ______________________________________ ANNEXURE ON THE ARYANS: SCIENCE, HISTORY AND POLITICS By Dr. N.S. Rajaram Background The recent controversy surrounding the curriculum revision in California schools, particularly with regard to Harvard linguist Michael Witzel's attempts to influence the curriculum has created the need for a proper understanding of the issues involved. The present document summarizes different aspects of the issue- the latest scientific evidence and the historical position. The author of this report is not associated with any group or institution. He is a former U.S. academic with more than twenty years experience as a faculty member and administrator in Indiana, Ohio and Texas. He is currently an independent researcher and author on the ancient world including India. Scientific evidence Before we go into the history and the politics of the controversy that let to Mr. Witzel insist on his 'Aryan' version of the history being included in the California school curriculum, it is useful to have an idea of what science has to say about Aryans and the Aryan invasion (or migration). It essentially boils down to the following two questions: 1. Was the civilization of India, the Vedic civilization in particular, the result of an 'Aryan invasion' (or migration) in secondmillennium B.C.? 2. Is there such a human group identifiable as 'Aryan'? The answer to both these questions is an emphatic NO. Taking up the first question, Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Emeritus Professor at Stanford University and widely regarded as the world's foremost population geneticist, notes that the people of India, whatever their present ethnic identity, are largely of indigenous origin, going back to the Pleistocene, or the last Ice Age. The exact words used by Cavalli-Sforza and his colleagues in a recent paper are: Indian tribal and caste populations derive largely from the same genetic heritage of Pleistocene southern and western Asians and have receivedlimited gene flow from external regions since the Holocene. In non-technical language, this means their current genetic heritage goes back to the Ice Age (Pleistocene), or more than 50,000 years. Further, they have received limited external gene flow since the Holocene meaning they are not the result of any major invasion or migration since the Ice Age ended more than 10,000 years ago. This is what Dr. Metzenberg, who served on the Commission appointed by the California's State Board of education, was referring to when he said: "I've read the DNA research and there was no Aryan migration. I believe the hard evidence of DNA more than I believe historians." Similar views have been expressed by many others like the geneticist Stephen Oppenheimer of Green's College at Oxford University. This, and not Mr.Witzel 's Aryan theories, represents the scientific consensus today. In the face of this overwhelming evidence, it is presumptuous to say the least for Mr. Witzel or anyone else to claim that the exclusion of his favorite Aryan theories would "lead without fail to an international educational scandal if they [curriculum changes] are accepted by the California's State Board of Education." Next, is there an Aryan race, or, does such a thing as race exist at all? Again, the answer of science is a resounding NO. Here is what Sir Julian Huxley, one of the great biologists of the twentieth century had to say as far back as 1939: In England and America the phrase 'Aryan race' has quite ceased to be used by writers with scientific knowledge, though it appears occasionally in political and propagandist literature.. In Germany, the idea of the 'Aryan race' received no more scientific support than in England. Nevertheless, it found able and very persistent literary advocates who made it appear very flattering to local vanity. It therefore steadily spread, fostered by special conditions. In other words, the whole idea of 'Aryan' is a myth. The passage cited above sheds light on two factors (shown in italics) that have kept this discredited and indefensible idea alive, especially in academia: (1) political and propagandist interests; and (2) special conditions. This is what is examined next. The Aryan myth fostered in 'special conditions' Having looked at the so-called Aryan problem from the scientific angle, we may next take a brief look at the 'special conditions' (as Huxley called it) that led to this scholarly pathology being foisted as a central dogma of ancient historiography. These conditions grew out of nineteenth and twentieth century political currents arising out of German nationalism and British imperial needs. The notion that Indians are one branch of a common stock of people who lived originally in Central Asia or in the Eurasian steppes arose in the late eighteenth century. It began as a linguistic theory to account for similarities between Sanskrit and classical European languages like Greek and Latin. From this modest beginning it soon acquired a life of its own when scholars, especially in Germany, concluded that Europeans and ancient Indians were two branches of a people they called Aryans and later as Indo-Europeans. A whole new academic discipline called Indo-European studies came into existence whose very survival is now at stake following scientific discoveries. The Aryan theory, which began life as a linguistic theory soon acquired a biological form. Scholars, mostly linguists, began to talk about not just Aryan languages, but also an Aryan race. Since Indology had its greatest flowering in nineteenth century Germany, it is not surprising that racial ideas that shaped German nationalism should have found their way into scholarly discourse on India. The Indo-European hypothesis and its offshoot of the Aryan invasion (or migration) theory came to dominate this discourse for over a century. It is important to recognize that the people who created this theory were, and are today, linguists (like Michael Witzel), not biologists. We have already seen that scientists, including German scientists, have no use for it. Its perpetuation then and its survival today is the result of 'special conditions.' These 'special conditions' were the rise of Nazism in Germany and British imperial needs in India. While both Germany and Britain took to the idea of the Aryan race, its fate in the two countries was somewhat different. Its perversion in Germany leading eventually to Nazism and its horrors is too well known to be repeated here. The British, however, put it to more creative use for imperial purposes, especially as a tool in making their rule acceptable to Indians. A recent BBC report admitted as much (October 6, 2005): It [the Aryan invasion theory] gave a historical precedent to justify the role and status of the British Raj, who could argue that they were transforming India for the better in the same way that the Aryans had done thousands of years earlier. That is to say, the British presented themselves as a 'new and improved brand of Aryans' who were only completing the work left undone by their ancestors in the hoary past. This is how the British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin put it in the House of Commons in 1929: Now, after ages, .the two branches of the great Aryan ancestry have again been brought together by Providence. By establishing British rule in India, God said to the British, "I have brought you and the Indians together after a long separation, .it is your duty to raise them to their own level as quickly as possible .brothers as you are." After this, nothing needs to be said. Today it is sustained by other 'special conditions', like vested interests in the survival of Indo-European studies in Western academia. It is only a matter of time before this vestige of colonial politics disappears from the scene making way for a more enlightened approach to the study of ancient India. Mr. Witzel's campaign to have his Aryan theories made part of the California school curriculum is simply a last ditch effort to keep alive his academic discipline from sinking into oblivion under the impact of science. The 'scholarship' that is being put forward in its cause is little more than "political and propagandist literature" (as Huxley put it) dressed up in academic jargon. In drawing lessons from this distasteful episode, it is necessary to go beyond the immediate causes and effects of Mr. Witzel's campaign by placing it in the proper moral and ethical context. When we do so, one fact stands out above all: Mr. Witzel's reckless disregard for the sensitivities of young minds in his effort to use them to serve his personal interests. Can there be education without human feeling? The California State Board of Education has done the right thing in not giving in to the lobbying pressure from Mr. Witzel and his group. _______________ Dr. N.S Rajaram, formerly a U.S. academic, is the author of several books on ancient history. He is currently working on Mekong to Indus: A natural history of the Vedic Age.

Posted by: Amber G. Dec 13 2005, 01:15 PM

QUOTE
Behind this surreal political drama is the harsh truth that Western Indology today is a dying discipline. The so-called Sanskrit Department where Mr. Witzel teaches is having difficulty attracting students. The quality is so pathetic that most of his graduate students would have difficulty passing a Sanskrit course in an Indian high school....
If one reads stories in Harvard Crimson (This is Harvard's University's News paper - and so it shows Harvard in good light ) the students have complained about this, for example here in 1995 article : http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=500579 It says:
QUOTE
At least four graduate students (out of approximately 25) say they may leave the department early, saying they are wasting some $30,000 on a "disgusting" education ....
Of course .. according to students ..
QUOTE
the students say there is no accredited course in the subject because, according to the minutes, the only pertinent class was designated by the Department's former chair (The great Prof Witzel) as a "hobby" and unaccreditable. That department chair, Wales Professor of Sanskrit Michael E. J. Witzel, has assailed those minutes as "misrepresentations, half-truths, insinuations, accusations and blatant untruths that cannot be left unanswered." Witzel's lawyer devilsmiley.gif said
There are MANY stories of Witzel threatning to sue students . (One only has to look at the back issues!) . .. Sudents and other faculty complaing that Wizel is harrasing/ abusing / initmidating / acting unprofessional (He was forced to resign as department chair ) and in turn Witzel threaten to /or suing the other students / faculty etc.. No wonder people (Science/Engineering students) in Cambridge joke about " how lamp post in Newton (nearby town) routinely qualifies for Harvard professorships in Sanskrit" smile.gif n3.gif (Or any other person interested in learning about Witzel and his kind) may like to look at previous issues of Crimson (Harvard's magazine) and Tech-News (MIT)- Articles about Witzel are many .. even way back in 1995, one has: http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=89651 During the 1994-95 school year, the Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies was mired in turmoil.... A former lecturer had filed suit against three professors and the dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for unspecified damages, students had met to discuss a litany of complaints and the chair of the department had threatened to sue one of the students in retaliation for her role in the meeting. The department chair, Wales Professor of Sanskrit Michael E.J. Witzel, was at the heart of the controversy.... Witzel, in consultation with University officials, stepped down as department chair on January 30, 1995...,

Posted by: Amber G. Dec 13 2005, 01:25 PM

Also as if this was not interesting enough .. Story today is that Harvard is getting $20 Million from a Saudi prince for the center of "Islamic studies". (BTW - Harvard has gotten lot (Millon + dollars) from Osama's (well his relatives) to the school of Law and design which Harvard (even after 9/11 and the exposure of the source) refused to return back as it said it the mony was not related to Osama directly (It was his half brother's)

Posted by: Ashok Kumar Dec 13 2005, 04:05 PM

Amber, Great detective work!

QUOTE
No wonder people (Science/Engineering students) in Cambridge joke about " how lamp post in Newton (nearby town) routinely qualifies for Harvard professorships in Sanskrit" smile.gif
Your use of the word "People" reminded me of a cartoon I saw in a book on Relativity. The cartoon showed a street with shops etc, and a janitor with his broom in hand deep in thought. similarly other ordinary people present were shown walking around deep in thought. The caption said something like "People have come around to the view that time and space are part of a single spacetime continuum -- A. Einstein" smile.gif I am seriously thinking of sending a DVD of the movie Hanuman to Prof. Witzel. May be it will cheer him up a bit after his failed 'Aryan Invasion of California' and also make him understand how we want the children to know about our culture.

Posted by: agnivayu Dec 14 2005, 11:42 AM

I only have one thing to say to these commie's and White Nationalist Dr. Witzel, Bring it on! Seig Heil to you Prof. Witzel, maybe next time you should bring some of dem air-eeans with you

QUOTE(Mudy @ Dec 6 2005, 09:04 AM)
What else one can expect from thrid rated commies of India. biggrin.gif
*

Posted by: Viren Dec 15 2005, 08:38 AM

http://rajeev2004.blogspot.com/2005/12/from-mailbox-india-in-classrooms.html

QUOTE
Namaste. I have just finished listening to the equisite 20 min. audio presentation (HistoryWhosestory) you have made. http://www.podbazaar.com/object/program-episode/read/144115188075856002?k=BDF86650BA32818E27E9C718DE19479E (mp3 download) These were 20 mins. of sheer joy. Deeply impressive were your concluding comments on integrity in education and the need to walk the talk. Your contribution is enormous. Please do keep up the great work you are doing. You have to lead the charge in every state, every county of the great nation of United States of America. If only every hindu parent gets involved, this world can be made to appreciate the contributions made by hindu civilization to world science, technology and culture. Dhanyavaad, Mona ji, for introducing us to two perspectives from two students on what shocks they had to go through in the jarring process of learning about India in the classrooms impressions which are at variance with the tradition and FACTS. Udeitha Srimushnam's (studying second year psychology and communication studies in UCLA) and Shiela Patel's articulations were breath-taking in their sweep and candour at the very little mention made in classrooms about 'contributions of india to philosophical, social and scientific knowledge and the impact made by Indian civilization in regions like Indonesia, Japan, China...' I get the feeling that we can learn a lot from our children themselves as we arrogate to ourselves the adhikaara to teach them in classrooms. This adhikaara has to become a vratam, our responsibility that we owe to our children, yes, by simply walking the talk, as you put it. When hindu starts talking, we have started the walk; we have miles to go, getting them involved.

Posted by: rajesh_g Dec 15 2005, 09:57 AM

Old article link. Something that gives a perspective on what the students are up against.. http://www.swaveda.com/articles.php?action=show&id=60

QUOTE
Another student who took a class in Stanford University in 2002 comments: “I took a class in Indian history at Stanford last year. After discussing the Ramayana, the instructor showed one film: “We are not your monkeys” by Anand Patwardhan. I found myself in the strange position of criticizing a film that I admire. I asked the instructor if he would consider showing the Mapplethorpe sculpture (the crucifix immersed in urine) in an introductory course on Christianity as the only example of Christian art. Needless to say, he dubbed me a BJP sympathizer.”

Posted by: AbhimanyuG Dec 15 2005, 07:33 PM

Dec 15th 2005, Namaste The biased academicians led by Professor Michael Witzel are actively lobbying the State Board and Education and the CA Department of Education to OVERTURN the Curriculum Commission’s decision of December 2, 2005 to accept the edits and corrections of the Vedic Foundation and Hindu Education Foundation. If overturned the State of California would allow the degrogatory and inaccurate information found in all 8 textbooks on the topics of Hinduism and Aryan invasion/migration to go unchecked until 2012. The final decision is in the hands of the California State Board of Education members. Due to a lobbying by these academicians, it is most likely that the decision would be made "behind closed doors" and then announced to the public. In order to ensure that Prof. Witzel’s baseless, unsubstantiated and continued attempts to derail the sincere efforts of the Hindu community do not succeed, the community must once again initiate a strong letter writing campaign and request the State Board of Education members to accept the Curriculum Commission’s decision. While other religions are covered from their believers perspective and the incidents mentioned in their Holy books are expressed as as 'historical accounts' as cover Hinduism from academic critics perspective. They irreverently describe Lord Rama and Sita as 'characters' of the 'fictional story' Ramayana, Goddess Durga and Kali as 'extremely terrible and bloodthirsty,' the Vedas and other Hindu scriptures as songs, poems, myths, and legends. While the textbooks consistently use 'God' in the discussion of other religions, they use 'god or goddess' with a small 'g' to describe the forms of God in Hinduism and perpetuate the misconception that Hindus believe in 'many gods.' The Curriculum Commission's decision to approve the corrections of the foundations strives to remove such derogatory and prejudiced statements that are made in relation to Hinduism and its practices and aims to achieve a balanced and respectful presentation of Hinduism similar to that which is given to other religions. Ignoring modern scholarship, the textbooks continue to teach the Aryan invasion or migration as an 'established fact' and not as a 'theory.' They fail to inform the students about the more recent research that indicates that the Aryans were the original people of India. The foundations' corrections as approved by the Curriculum Commission present both sides of the issue and remove references that teach the 'theory' as an 'established fact.' It is a urgent for temples, community leaders, scholars, organizations, parents and students to voice their concerns for getting the legitimate corrections based on academic research and Hindu scriptures made in the textbooks. If you have previously sent a letter to the Curriculum Commission, please send the same letter. This time address it to all of the five people listed below: kheinrich@osc.ca.gov, ksteento@cde.ca.gov, sstickel@cde.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Goldberg@asm.ca.gov, RParker@cde.ca.gov, joconnell@cde.ca.gov, Address to: Secretary Alan Bersin, CA Secretary of Education Email: kheinrich@osc.ca.gov Fax: (916) 323-3753 Address to: Karen Steentofte, Chief Counsel, State Board of Education Email: ksteento@cde.ca.gov Fax: (916) 319-0176 Address to: Ruth Green, President, State Board of Education Fax: (916) 319-0176 Address to: Sue Stickel, Deputy Superintendent of Schools Email: sstickel@cde.ca.gov Address to: Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg Email: Assemblymember.Goldberg@asm.ca.gov Fax: (916) 319-2145 Please note: ***It is urgent that all letters be sent immediately. The decision will be made shortly (although we do not have a confirmed date). Your letter can make a difference. The outpouring of support received so far, played a significant role in getting the edits accepted by the Curriculum Commission. Your support at this juncture of the process is even more critical to the final outcome.

Posted by: Amber G. Dec 18 2005, 09:36 AM

What's with the Hindustan Times. The old article "sffronisation reaches" can be found in its archive but some one has taken this story out which I quoted in above post.

QUOTE
From http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1568397,0093.htm
QUOTE
Stop this anti-Hindu tirade! HindustanTimes.com New Delhi, December 9, 2005 Saffronisation reaches US shores » We at HindustanTimes.com carried an article called 'Saffronisation reaches US shores' on December 7. It spoke of the debate in the US over some corrections sought by Hindu groups into the representation of Hindus in US textbooks from the California Board of Education (CBE). Purportedly their anger was against the presumptuous nature of reporting giving 'secularists' an upper hand without bothering to get to the bottom of the issue.... "Your use of the word 'saffronisation' shows your sick mindset. Can Hindus in the USA ask for parity with other religions? Can they demand that Hinduism in textbooks be taught using the same yardstick applied to Islam and Christianity?" asks Sadanjan from Hyderabad. J Raunak from San Francisco says, "I have not read a more ill-informed article that this! I am a resident of California and I see no saffronisation in the campaign taken up by some Hindus against the misrepresentations made in the proposed text. Does a secular Hindu have a right to make a representation or not? Are you going to label all of them as RSS followers? I am a proud Hindu and not a supporter of RSS. You must be ashamed of being a Hindu and hence the title."
You NO longer get the story (although google gives the link!)

Posted by: Mudy Dec 18 2005, 02:16 PM

HT must have removed it from its site, but its in Google cache, so it will stay for few more months. Why they have removed ? Because top boss screamed on some low level staff, so some soft hearted low level staff decided to follow p-sec agenda and keep salary intact.

Posted by: AbhimanyuG Dec 18 2005, 06:45 PM

http://www.hinduismtoday.com/hpi/2005/12/18.shtml#3 AUSTIN, TEXAS, December 17, 2005: The Vedic Foundation issued the following press release: Dear Hindu Community Members: At the request of some individuals we are forwarding the below sample letter that can put on your letterhead and e-mail or faxed to all of the individuals on the attached contact list. Please note that the email for Alan Bersin has been updated and some additional names have been added to the list. Please feel free to modify this letter in any way you wish or write your own. It is only meant to serve as a template. According to feedback received from one of the Commissioners at last week's meeting, it is not necessary for each letter to have a different message. A few weeks ago there was a letter posted on a users group. More than 100 people forwarded the same letter to the Curriculum Commissioner. This made a big impression on her. Please keep up your efforts and forward this message to all of your contacts so that on Monday morning the recipient's e-mail boxes and faxes will be flooded with messages of support from the Hindu community in favor of making the corrections to the textbooks. This will make a strong statement to the State Board of Education Members who are the final decision makers. Your continued support is crucial to the success of everyone's efforts. Regards, Janeshwari Devi The Vedic Foundation Austin, TX (512) 288-7180 -------------------------------- E-mails: norma.baker@lausd.net, Assemblymember.Goldberg@asm.ca.gov, sstickel@cde.ca.gov, ksteento@cde.ca.gov, kheinrich@ose.ca.gov, DeborahKeys@comcast.net Suggested letter: State Board of Education 1430 N Street, Room 5111 Sacramento, CA 95814 RE: The Edits and Corrections relating to Hinduism/India in 6th Grade Textbooks Dear President Green and the Members of the State Board of Education; Alan Bersin, California Secretary of Education Karen Steentofte, Counsel for State Board of Education Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg Dr. Deborah Keys, Vice Chair, Curriculum Commission I am writing to express my concern about the unfair and improper handling of the edits and corrections of the Hindu community during 2005 History-Social Science adoption process. The edits and corrections submitted by the Vedic Foundation and Hindu Education Foundation have been approved by: 1) Content Review Expert, Professor Shiva Bajpai in October, 2005 2) Ad-Hoc committee on October 31, 2005 3) Curriculum Commission on December 2, 2005 Textbooks describe the sacred writings of other religions as 'historical accounts' and their personalities as 'historical figures,' but irreverently describe the form of God in Hinduism, Lord Rama and Sita as 'characters' of the 'fictional story' Ramayana; Goddess Durga and Kali as 'extremely terrible and bloodthirsty;' the Vedas and other Hindu scriptures as songs, poems, myths, and legends. Also, the textbooks use 'God' in the discussion of other religions, but use 'god or goddess' with a small 'g' to describe the forms of God in Hinduism and wrongly teach our kids that Hindus believe in 'many gods.' The approved and the concurring edits remove such derogatory and prejudical language and achieve a balanced and respectful presentation of Hinduism similar to the treatment of other world religions. The approved changes also introduce both sides of the Aryan Invasion/Migration historical debate by incorporating the language, "The Aryan invasion theory has been contradicted by scholarly evidence..." and introduce the words, "Some historians believe..." in their discussion of the Aryan Invasion/Migration theory. Please give urgent consideration to this matter of utmost importance to myself, all Hindu youth and the Hindu community. We urge you, the Board Members, to approve the decision of the Curriculum Commission to correct the inaccurate and defamatory portrayal of Hinduism/India from all of the adopted textbooks so that thousands of Hindu students are not subjected to the detrimental effects of a denigrating and demoralizing education. Sincerely, ------------------------------------------ Contacts to Send Correspondence in Support of California Textbook Reform: Secretary Alan Bersin; California Secretary of Education; kheinrich@ose.ca.gov; Fax: (916) 323-3753 Karen Steentofte; Chief Counsel, California State Board of Education; ksteento@cde.ca.gov; Fax: (916) 319-0176 President Ruth Green and Board Members, California State Board of Education 1430 N Street, Room 5111, Sacramento, California 95814 Phone: (916) 319-0827. Fax: (916) 319-0176. Email not available. Members, State Board of Education Phone: (916) 319-0827. Fax: (916) 319-0176. Email not available. Sue Stickel; Deputy Superintendent, Curriculum & Instruction Branch, California Department of Education; sstickel@cde.ca.gov; Phone: (916) 319-0806. Fax: (916) 319-0103 Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg; Chair of the Education Committee http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a45/; Assemblymember.Goldberg@asm.ca.gov; Fax: (916) 319-2145 Dr. Norma Baker, Ed.D.; Chair, Curriculum Commission; norma.baker@lausd.net Dr. Deborah Keys, Ed.D.; Vice Chair, Curriculum Commission; DeborahKeys@comcast.net

Posted by: k.ram Dec 20 2005, 06:54 AM

The ITA Board members worked hard to send following letter by eMails and by surface mail, to many members of The California State Education Board. The readers are encouraged to do the same. ... ----------------xxxxxxxxxxxx---------xxxxxxxxxx---------- From: Board of Trustees, India Temple Association, 25 E Taunton Ave., Berlin, NJ 08009 To: See List below We, the community elected Board of Trustees of India Temple Association (ITA), an administrative body of Hindu Temple in Berlin, New Jersey, have unanimously passed a resolution to send you this communication on behalf of the entire Hindu community we represent. We are grateful to California State Education Board, especially the Curriculum Commission, for consulting with the Hindu Organizations referenced above, about the content of textbooks for education on world religions. We have been in communication with these Hindu Organizations and fully support them as our representatives. We share your concerns about providing accurate historical information on the various religions in the education of new generation of students in the USA. Our temple has been teaching Hindu culture and religion to the children and youth of Hindu Heritage since 1985. These children are from ages 3 to 19. At present, we have about 200 students participating in this program. We have been following curriculums established by several reputable Hindu Organizations run by well known scholars trained in Hindu Culture, Religion and History of India. Professor Michael Witzel and RISA scholars have been misrepresenting the culture, history and religions of India for a number of years. Recent archeological research has proven their theories on the evolution of Hinduism wrong. But those are the very theories that brought them name and fame and it is tough to give that up. To really educate our children and to instill in them a sense of respect for and equality among all religious faiths, let the real scholars who practice Hinduism give you the input and define what this religion is. We strongly oppose the views of the non-practicing experts on our Hindu Religion and request you and your colleagues not to include their opinion of Hindus in the California Textbooks. In the global economy of today, new generations move from state to state and, therefore, it is very important that suggestions from communities all over the USA be taken into account by the State Education Institutions. Our organization is a participant in discussions on this issue with other Hindu Organizations all over the world. As part of the worldwide Hindu community, we ask you to give Hindus and Hindu Organizations the same opportunity, as other religious communities like Christians, Jews and Muslims get, to define their religion and to provide input on the history and practices of the Hindu religion. Doing so will result in a balanced and positive curriculum for religious education in California. Thank you. Sincerely,

Posted by: Sudhir Dec 20 2005, 08:07 AM

QUOTE
But their efforts yielded no results at all as the Commission ignored it probably understanding clearly the ulterior motives of the Communists (Marxists). In its report from Sacramento on Dec 04, The Hindu Press International (HPI) said “the California Hindus breathed a sigh of relief after Dec 02's meeting of the State Board of Education Curriculum Commission”. The Vedic Foundation (here) and Hindu Education Foundation (here) worked for months through the California Department of Education (CDE) procedures suggesting improvements for the sections of California textbooks that deal with India and Hinduism. Their 170 corrections ("edits," as the CDE calls them) were initially reviewed by an "Ad-Hoc Committee" which included renowned Indologist, Dr. Shiva Bajpai, who had been hired by the Commission, and CDE staff. But then at the intervention of Dr. Michael Witzel of Harvard University, a last-minute "Content Review Panel" was set up to go over the changes approved by Dr. Bajpai's committee again. Witzel claimed the changes were motivated by "Hindutva" forces and would "lead without fail to an international educational scandal if they are accepted by the California's State Board of Education." This panel, comprised of Dr. Witzel, Dr. Stanley Wolpert of UCLA and Dr. James Heitzman, Director of Summer Sessions, University of California, Davis, rejected 58 of the proposed Hindu edits, especially those dealing with an "Aryan Invasion" of India in ancient times. Hindus despaired as they believed the Curriculum Commission would accept the Witzel panel recommendations in their entirety. This is not, however, what happened, the HPI said. Near the beginning of the meeting on Friday, Commissioner Dr. Stan Metzenberg, a professor of biology at California State University Northridge, made a motion to accept all of the original recommendations of the Hindu groups as approved by Dr. Bajpai's committee, with the provision to go through the Witzel panel rejections of 58 one by one. This motion passed. The Commission then went through the 58 rejections, ultimately accepting only about a dozen.
http://www.haindavakeralam.org/PageModule.aspx?PageID=387&SKIN=C

Posted by: Admin Dec 20 2005, 11:28 AM

http://www.india-forum.com/articles/60/1/Romila-Thapar-Defends-the-Aryan-Invasion-Theory%21 By Vishal Agarwal http://tinyurl.com/d32gr

Posted by: acharya Dec 20 2005, 04:23 PM

http://www.sepiamutiny.com/sepia/archives/002613.html#comments 61 · sirc on December 19, 2005 02:23 PM · Direct link Suggesting world history shouldn't be studied because it's contentious is silly. Perhaps we shouln't study the Civil War and Reconstruction in the South to avoid stepping on any toes. Anyway, a year or two of AP American History in high school is certainly enuff to hash out the major debates that has transfixed this young republic. That being said world history' shouldn't be a elixir to soothe the multicultural masses either. I' don't care for many of Dinesh D'Souza's views but he was was spot on in Illiberal Education in how to do world history right. The Hindu crowds are mostly talking about balance and respect i.e. quoting Manu on the role of women. The Aryan Invasion theory might be the most contentious issue but they are so other basic facets that the mislabeled Hindutva groups are trying to correct. I don't want to see textbooks written by cranks on either side - Witzel or people like David Frawley, whose fawning writings on the Subcontinent are just ridiculous. By the way, check out the latest issue of India Abroad- they feature long interviews with Witzel and the Hindu American Foundation's attorney, Suhag Shukla. 'Tis a shame they don't (re)publish their stuff on the web. 62 · Myron Dershowitz on December 19, 2005 08:18 PM · Direct link Sorry, sirc, I will believe all this "let's support the SCIENTIC TRUTH on Hinduism" pontification, when I see similar "Honesty" about the Bible, the Quran, the Torah and the US DoD and President - without FATWAs, Papal Bulls, or screams of discrimination and defamation. Do some diligent reading please, and see all the RECENT instances where university Presidents have apologized, faculty are sent to "sensitivity training", reporters are fired, lawsuits are filed all over, books and newspapers are censored, all when people feel offended at perceived slights to THEIR religions. Then study carefully just WHO is counseling this extreme "tolerance" to Hindus. A Hindu name means nothing - it's probably a Marxist Communist, or a very capitalist self-promoting sepoy echoing His Master's Voice. All this "scientific research" argument in favor of racist bigots, is just plain dishonesty and paid propaganda. In the US, "majority" opinion in many cities, such as, say, Atlanta. GA, is that Hinduism is a Satanic heathen cult, and Indians are brown heathens. Revising school textbooks to instil some minimal awareness and multicultural sensitivity is all that these California people are trying to do. The savage attacks on them by the racist bigots is very reminiscent of what some of us suffered for decades (centuries?) before we wised up on how to deal with these types. 63 · hammer_sickel on December 19, 2005 08:52 PM · Direct link All this "scientific research" argument in favor of racist bigots, is just plain dishonesty and paid propaganda. Couldnt agree more. sirc... this is not the time to point fingers inside. Or India will fail again for the same reasons as past few centuries. The comments for this post are closed.

Posted by: acharya Dec 20 2005, 04:53 PM

Steve Farmer wrote: "The irony is that while attempts like this have been soundly rejected by the National Council of Educational Research & Training (NCERT) in India in the last year, they have come dangerously closer to success in California -- simply since Hindutva is an unknown to most Americans and they haven't been awakened yet to its dangers." N. Ganesan comments: "This has a lot to do with segments of Indian society that came to America starting from 1960s. Studying segments of India emigrating pre-1947 with the ones after independence will help." Social engineering anyone Before 1947, US immigration policies were so restrictive, barely a handful of Indians got in. The tiny quotas were filled for years, even a decade ahead. Indian (& Asian) immigration could take off from the later 1960s onwards, because immigration regulations now allowed in migrants with technical skills. Hence the huge numbers of technically highly trained Indians in the US. Business migrants were also now allowed in. In both groups, many came from Indian backgrounds where they learned English as a necessary tool only, & had little or no contact with the wider culture, literature, etc. So they have an excellent technical training/business acumen, but hardly any wider _education_. Naturally they take in Hindutva doctrines completely uncritically: they do not have the foundations to even recognise that such notions have to be considered sceptically. American political & administrative institutions make it imperative to form racial/'cultural' pressure groups -- which means it is even less necessary to examine the ideological basis for these groupings. Thus we're looking at a major social change _within_ India, transmitted to the US via migration over the relevant time-periods. In the US, of course, Americans _can_ only see 'Indians' -- undifferentiated. Anything beyond is just too baffling! Sudha R. Shenoy Hon'y Associate in Economic History School of Economics & Politics University of Newcastle Callaghan NSW 2308 Australia

Posted by: acharya Dec 20 2005, 05:52 PM

http://foilciis.blogspot.com/

Posted by: k.ram Dec 20 2005, 07:11 PM

End Harvard Association of Hate Groups! http://www.petitiononline.com/stopIER/petition.html

Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Dec 20 2005, 10:19 PM

http://pd.cpim.org/2005/1204/12042005_nalini.htm The commie connection smile.gif

Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Dec 20 2005, 10:23 PM

The above post from the forum of the social engineers is a good example of how they want to try to emasculate the HIndus and how deeply afraid they are of the monetary power of the newer immigrants. By merely reading between the lines we can see the deeper conspiracy in place.

Posted by: Kaushal Dec 21 2005, 12:21 AM

Witzel was derisive about my choice of name for my yahoogrooups site (Bharatnirbhaya) he defended his behavior later as a private communication !His maturity level is that of a child.He has simply not developed into a mature adult.

Posted by: rajesh_g Dec 21 2005, 09:34 AM

QUOTE(k.ram @ Dec 20 2005, 07:11 PM)
End Harvard Association of Hate Groups! http://www.petitiononline.com/stopIER/petition.html
*
This is a good petition. Heartfelt thanks to Rahul Taneja & Myron Dershowitz. Guys, all it takes is a few clicks. Please sign.

Posted by: Viren Dec 21 2005, 10:38 AM

QUOTE(k.ram @ Dec 20 2005, 10:11 PM)
End Harvard Association of Hate Groups! http://www.petitiononline.com/stopIER/petition.html
*
Some of the items referenced in there point to IF ohmy.gif

Posted by: Mudy Dec 21 2005, 06:32 PM

India-forum members are providing good articles and now rest of world have started checking our members contribution. We need to do more work.

Posted by: Viren Dec 23 2005, 09:58 AM

http://www.indiareacts.com/columns/full_column16.htm California schoolbooks are up for grabs by Hindu-baiters. By Ramesh Rao

QUOTE
That the professor and his comrade-in-arms who have drafted the California petition have acted in concert before, and have mocked and insulted Hindu practices and traditions earlier, is not a private matter. It is splashed all over the Internet, despite their efforts later to wipe their slates clean of such material. Their exchange below on the meaning and impact of the word Om is an example of their sense of humour and their scholarship: Professor Witzel: "Many short mantras (the later biija mantras) like oM have humble origins in the Veda. Him (hiM) is used in the Veda to call your goat … and your wife. Cheers." Steve Farmer: "What if you want to call your goat and your wife simultaneously…?" Steve Farmer: "I will try it on my girlfriend tonight." As Hindu-Americans, we should be extremely concerned in these days of political and religious upheaval, and programmatic proselytism, about how our faith, practices, beliefs and traditions are presented to the rest of the world, and especially to our children, many of whom have come home with heads bowed and ashamed because their teachers or textbooks imply that we Hindus don't observe ethical, spiritual, and enlightened cultural and social practices. Therefore, the formula should be simple for what our students read and learn in schools: "Explain and describe our history and traditions in the same way that other religious/ cultural/ historical traditions are explained and treated". Is this too much to ask for without being vilified as extremists, militants, and worse?

Posted by: rajesh_g Dec 23 2005, 03:39 PM

I agree with Shri Rao which Viren has highlighted above. The central point is parity as very clearly explained by Shri Rao above. And then there are these underhanded kartoots of these mlechchas

QUOTE
One of the signatories of the letter even has a personal interest at stake, and ethically, it should have been incumbent upon him to either tell the CBSE of his conflict of interest, or should not have signed the petition. Ironically, this expert had accepted the changes recommended by the CBSE (there is a letter by the publisher of the school textbook confirming this), but now has put his thumbprint on a willful petition to reconfirm membership in the "school of experts". Should academic honesty and academic integrity be discarded just because the controversy revolves around Hinduism and Indian history?
From the quote below it becomes clear that these mlechchas are not even going to fight a dharmic fight..
QUOTE
The "experts'" petition refers to the bloody riots in Gujarat in 2002, and cleverly and diabolically seeks to insinuate that the Hindu parents and activists of California who have sought changes in the school textbook are ideologically in bed with the murderers and rapists in Gujarat.
Its time to take the gloves off and get down to level of these slimy characters.

Posted by: Ashok Kumar Dec 24 2005, 04:52 PM

http://www.dailypioneer.com/indexn12.asp?main_variable=front%5Fpage&file_name=story1%2Etxt&counter_img=1 (Posted in full as the website doesn't archive) Harvard Don Denigrates Hindus Kanchan Gupta/ New Delhi Boorish comments denigrating India, Hindus and Hinduism by a self-proclaimed 'Indologist' who is on the faculty of Harvard University has unleashed a fierce debate over the increasing political activism of 'scholars' who teach at this prestigious American university. Prof Michael Witzel, Wales professor of Sanskrit at Harvard, is in the centre of the storm because he tried to prevent the removal of references to India, Hinduism and Sikhism in the curriculum followed by schools in California which parents of Indian origin found to be inadequate, inaccurate or just outright insensitive. Known for aggressively pushing theories forged by Left historians of the Romila Thapar genre that have been long discredited through scientific means, including DNA studies, this 'linguist' is known for promoting himself as a 'historian' in academic circles. His proximity to Left historians in India is no secret. Such is Prof Witzel's contempt for Indians who live and work in the US that he has not minced words running them down as an ethnic group. On one occasion, he declared: "Hindus in the US are lost or abandoned people." Admonishing second generation Hindus in the US and their religious practices, he commented, "Second generation (Hindu) people just understand Hinduism as a 'boaring ritual', temple visits and Indian comic books... All such items add to the heady brew that we have seen emerging here." Since 'boaring rituals' was placed within parenthesis, Hindus took it as a reference to Vishnu and felt offended. There was little they could do, however, to bring this Harvard scholar, variously described as "supremacist" and "ignorant", to heel. They got that opportunity in November when Prof Witzel led, what later turned out to be an abortive campaign, putsch to prevent the cleansing of school texts of anti-Hindu and misleading material. For years, Indian parents, who form a sizeable number in California, had been seeking the removal of such references in the State's textbooks. For instance, one textbook described Goddess Kali as "bloodthirsty". The section on Ramayana and Hanuman urged students to look around the classroom and see if there was a monkey among them. Another described Hinduism as a religion that teaches women are inferior. The most offensive and inaccurate reference was to the 'Aryan invasion' theory that has now been junked by historians across the world. While talking of this theory, the texts spoke of tall, blue-eyed Aryans invading India and contrasted them with 'curly-haired, snub-nosed Dravidians'. Not only were Indians riled by this reference, they also found it to be racial and insensitive to the entire community. Early this year, the California School Board of Education, finally yielding to mounting pressure from concerned Indian parents, appointed a Commission to revise references to Hindus and their faith in prescribed school curriculum. In November, the Commission submitted its recommendations, including the scrapping of all references to the 'Aryan invasion' theory. Even before Indian parents could begin celebrating their victory, Prof Witzel wrote to the State Board of Education, using the Harvard letterhead, contesting the proposed changes and insisting that the 'Aryan invasion' theory was based on historical and scientific evidence. He rallied the support of some other Left historians and scholars - they described themselves as 'a panel of international experts on India and Hinduism' - to launch a virulent campaign against parents pushing for change in curriculum by branding them as "Hindutva brigade" and encouraged others to hurl scurrilous allegations against California's Hindus. Taken aback by Prof Witzel's aggressive tactics and misled by his credentials, the Commission decided to hear him out. Prof Witzel repeated his allegation that the recommended changes were motivated by Hindutva forces and would "lead without fail to an international educational scandal if they are accepted by the California's State Board of Education." Prof Witzel, however, discovered that unlike India's Left historians, it was no easy job to browbeat or impress the Commission. Soon, his campaign began to unravel, partly because members of the Commission were believed to have been put-off by his 'condescending attitude' and largely due to the absence of any material to support his outrageous stand. The Commission saw the intervention and activism of Prof Witzel and his cohorts as 'little more than a gratuitous attempt to peddle their own prejudices in the guise of scholarly consensus.' Dr Metzenberg, a California biologist, rejected Prof Witzel's insistence that the 'Aryan invasion' theory should be retained, by citing scientific evidence. "I've read the DNA research and there was no Aryan migration," he retorted, adding, "I believe the hard evidence of DNA more than I believe historians." He went on to describe Prof Witzel's portrayal of Hinduism as 'insensitive' and something that Hindus themselves would be unable to recognise. With Prof Witzel's case collapsing, the California Board of Education threw out his counter-recommendations. But that has not put a full stop to the odious Witzel story. Upset with his ham-handed political activism and attempt to use the Harvard tag to block reform of school curriculum, Indian parents and students have launched an e-petition to corner and expose Prof Witzel for what he is - a charlatan posing as a historian. The petition, addressed to "trustees, alumni and students of Harvard University," begins by saying: "We the undersigned insist that Harvard University end its association with Aryan Supremacist/Creationist hate-mongering activities... Prof Michael Witzel and his 'scholars clique' in the Harvard Sanskrit and Indian Studies Department have exhibited a pattern of hateful, ignorant statements and abysmally low standards of scholarship." The petition then refers to the letter sent by Prof Witzel and his fellow-travellers to the California State Board of Education on Harvard stationery. "Recently, Witzel and his "scholars clique" earned ridicule for Harvard by sending a shockingly incompetent letter to the California State Board of Education... The sweeping hate stereotypes, ad hominem attacks, and general lack of facts in their letter make for depressing reading by any Harvard well-wisher." It transpires that "several of the signatories (to Prof Witzel's letter) later confessed to not even having seen the proposed changes that they were bitterly opposing. Predictably, the California Board, after affording these losers undeserved courtesy based on Harvard's name, rejected their position as unscholarly, insensitive, biased and devoid of facts -- heaping ridicule on the Harvard brand. If this is the standard of tenured Professors, what does it imply for the worth of a Harvard education?" The petition has already been signed by more thousands of people. A good question, that. The witzel unprintables The petition against Prof Michael Witzel of Harvard University refers to the Indo-Eurasian Research (IER) Internet hate group that he runs. Insisting that contents of the material posted on the Net "show his bias against the Indian-American community," signatories to the petition record their "abhorrence of these actions which have shredded Harvard's reputation as a civilised institution". The following are summarised extracts from a recent article by Prof Witzel and have been quoted in the petition: * Witzel writes that 'Indian Civilisation would be a good idea' * Witzel writes that NRI (non-resident Indian) stands for Non-Returning Indians! A schoolyard bully's taunt against immigrant children, but coming from a tenured Harvard Professor? * Witzel claims that Indians in the US do not invest in the higher education of their children (since they avoid the zoo that Witzel has made of his own department?) * Witzel used the slur "HiNA" meaning in Sanskrit, inferior, lowly and defective, as an acronym for Hindus in America. Does this juvenile propensity to invent racial slurs, much as it may impress his Prominent Academic IER cronies, define Harvard's intellectual class in 2005? * Witzel declared Hindu-Americans to be "lost" or "abandoned", parroting anti-Semite slurs against Jewish people. Coincidence or symptom? * Witzel's fantasies are ominously reminiscent of WWII German genocide. He says that 'Since they won't be returning to India, [Hindus immigrants to the USA] have begun building crematoria as well.' * Witzel sneers at the Hindu belief in evolution, enshrined in the Ten Incarnations, which include the Varaha, the wild boar. He writes that second generation [Hindu] people just understand [Hinduism] as 'boaring rituals' (puja, etc.), temple visits and Indian (mythological) comic books..." * Witzel ridicules the most sacred of Hindu mantras: Inexcusable for a schoolyard bully, not to mention a historian and professor. He writes: "Many short mantras (the later biija mantras) like oM have humble origins the Veda.... used in the Veda to call your goat .. and your wife." * Witzel demeans the daughters of Indian-American parents, who take the trouble to learn their heritage through traditional art forms. In the worst of racist slander, Witzel claims that Indian classical music and dance reflect low moral standards.

Posted by: Mudy Dec 25 2005, 11:21 AM

Via email

QUOTE
It might be useful to send this to Steven Hyman, Assistant to the President Harvard University steve_hyman@harvard.edu Or even: Dr. Lawrence Summers, President Lawrence_summers@harvard.edu Also to: Leonard W.J. van der Kuijp, Chairman Department of sanskrit and India Studies Harvard University vanderk@fas.harvard.edu Highlight the following part: More diabolical is the fact that apart from recruiting CPI-M (Peoples' Democracy), John Dayal and Amarjit Singh are sought to be recruited through another co-signatory, Lars Martin Fosse. Where does the Nov. 26 letter appear? On a political platform called Bahujan group. The URL is: groups.yahoo.com/group/Bahujan /message/8893 Fra: Michael Witzel [mailto: witzel@fas.harvard.edu] Sendt: 26 . november 2005 17:26 Note that all messages posted by Witzel in this Bahujan and IER and other groups clearly carry the STAMP of his department (NO disclaimer whatsoever that he is expressing his individual, personal, views as indologist, whatever this term used derisively to refer to Witzel, by Steve Farmer means). Rajaram ----- Original Message ----- From: Srinivasan Kalyanaraman To: S. Kalyanaraman Sent: Sunday, December 25, 2005 10:47 AM Subject: Fwd: "HARVARD CLAIMS THAT ITS SEAL MEANS NOTHING" I entirely agree with the views of n. The harvard u's cited ethical rules and codes of conduct are available on the harvard u. website. If members want, I can cite rule by rule and show how the University has violated its responsibility to the community which it is supposed to serve. The University cannot hide under the fig-leaf of academic freedom despite the arrival of Adam and Eve in 4004 BC as proved by Ussher. www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/ussher.htm In my view, there has been a violation of EVERY ONE of these rules and codes of conduct in this case. IT is easy for anyone to see the violation, item by item not only in relation to Witzel's conduct in the CA textbook midnight interjection but in his actions during the last 10 years with relentless consistency seeking to bring Harvard U into disrepute, clearly giving the impression that Harvard U is directly involved in the anti-hindu tirades launched through the department of Witzel. Seven of the 46 signatories are either from his department or associated with Harvard U. projects (the likes of Meadow, Kenoyer working on Harappa Project of Harvard U.) There is one more factor, n. The letter of Nov. 26 written by Witzel is even more devastating. The letter lays out step by step political action plan of how the political mission to denigrate the hindu should be carried out. It is laid out in the metaphors of warfare which are quite common in proselytizing circles. Apart from not citing any disclaimer about Harvard University association, this letter is copied to his department chair, Kuijp; this cc is clearly intended to tell the other 46 signatories + 3 new recruits to the hindu hate group that the proposed action plan has the STAMP of approval of the department chair. THere is no indication so far that Kuijp has disowned anything said in this Nov. 26 letter which is a follow up of Nov. 8 letter. The Nov. 26 letter sets out a series of POLITICAL steps with Witzel clearly spelling out details of attacks to be mounted by the Harvard U.'s troops. More diabolical is the fact that apart from recruiting CPI-M (Peoples' Democracy), John Dayal and Amarjit Singh are sought to be recruited through another co-signatory, Lars Martin Fosse. Where does the Nov. 26 letter appear? On a political platform called Bahujan group. The URL is: groups.yahoo.com/group/Bahujan /message/8893 Fra: Michael Witzel [mailto: witzel@fas.harvard.edu] Sendt: 26 . november 2005 17:26 Note that all messages posted by Witzel in this Bahujan and IER and other groups clearly carry the STAMP of his department (NO disclaimer whatsoever that he is expressing his individual, personal, views as indologist, whatever this term used derisively to refer to Witzel, by Steve Farmer means). The standard signature stamp used by Witzel is: Quote: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Michael Witzel Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University 1 Bow Street , 3rd floor, Cambridge MA 02138 1-617-495 3295 Fax: 496 8571 direct line: 496 2990 www.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/mwpage.htm [unquote] This is the most wilful, pre-meditated action on behalf of Harvard U. to teach hindu children and hindu samajam a lesson. This letter is so important that I have to reproduce the entire Bahujan group message again. I don't have to tell the members what the politics of the Bahujan are; they are out to dismember the nation of Bharatam by fomenting social tensions and upheavals. Nothing short of terrorism, not excluding the recent attacks sought to be mounted on 'dalit' issue in a joint US Congress resolution recently. All this sheer politics indulged in by Harvard Unviersity led hate groups. If this ain't political, I don't know what politics means, despite my Ph.D in Public Administration and a two-volume pulication on Public Administration in Asia, Delhi, Asia Publishing. www.iabooks.com/indoameri...;count=465 Threaten to sue the Harvard U. I say. Nothing less will do in this case -- to get the damages caused to hindu samajam settled. Dhanyavaadah. K. Citations from groups.yahoo.com/group/ Bahujan /message/8893 Next step: California Comm. vote on Hindutva changes Dear Amarjit Singh and John Dayal! I would like to turn your attention to the matter discussed in the attached letter from Prof. Michael Witzel at Harvard and in the letter below. As you will see, Hindutva forces in California have been active trying to change the contents of Californian school books so that they reflect the views held by Hindutvavadins on Indian society and history. Witzel and a number of other scholars have reacted to this in the manner expressed by the letter. Notice particularly the following paragraphs below: ****** "This is not a public hearing. But all that means is that there is no official published time for the public to speak before the commissioners take action. Nonetheless, each meeting has a time for "public comment" and people will be allowed to come up and speak. (Thus, we have to be present). If they follow the order of the published agenda, public comment comes after the actual vote. They will only hear Tom Adam's (CA Dept. of Education) report on the earlier (Hindutva-inspired) and our (Wolpert, Heitzman, Witzel) findings. But if they see the huge Hindutva crowd expected and decide to let them speak first, it is possible votes will be swayed back the other way simply because no political person likes to say no, in public, to an unhappy minority group seeking redress of grievances." ****** We feel that support from other Indians - not Hindutvavadins - would be needed to counteract the initiative from the Hindutva people. It would probably be an advantage if Dalits were present and could demonstrate that the Hindutvavadins do not speak for all Indians. I have been reluctant to announce this on the Dalit lists because we don't know if they are infiltrated, we therefore turn to you for advice and help. Is there a way to (discretely) mobilize Dalits in California and elsewhere in this matter? Could you get some support from Afro-American organizations here? We don't want to create the impression that only a few outsiders are against the Hindutva version of history. Best regards, Lars Martin Fosse From: Dr.art. Lars Martin Fosse Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114, 0674 Oslo - Norway Phone: +47 22 32 12 19 Fax: +47 850 21 250 Mobile phone: +47 90 91 91 45 E-mail: lmfosse@chello.no www.linguistfinder.com/tr...sp?id=2164 FW: Next step: California Comm. vote on Hindutva changes amarjit@... Send Email Dear List Members Please publicise the contents below so that we may have our opinions heard. Regards Amarjit Singh ------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------- From: Lars Martin Fosse [mailto:lmfosse@chello.no] Sent: 27 November 2005 15:12 To: 'Amarjit Singh' Cc: 'John Dayal' Subject: VS: Next step: California Comm. vote on Hindutva changes Dear Amarjit Singh and John Dayal! I would like to turn your attention to the matter discussed in the attached letter from Prof. Michael Witzel at Harvard and in the letter below. As you will see, Hindutva forces in California have been active trying to change the contents of Californian school books so that they reflect the views held by Hindutvavadins on Indian society and history. Witzel and a number of other scholars have reacted to this in the manner expressed by the letter. Notice particularly the following paragraphs below: ****** "This is not a public hearing. But all that means is that there is no official published time for the public to speak before the commissioners take action. Nonetheless, each meeting has a time for "public comment" and people will be allowed to come up and speak. (Thus, we have to be present). If they follow the order of the published agenda, public comment comes after the actual vote. They will only hear Tom Adam's (CA Dept. of Education) report on the earlier (Hindutva-inspired) and our (Wolpert, Heitzman, Witzel) findings. But if they see the huge Hindutva crowd expected and decide to let them speak first, it is possible votes will be swayed back the other way simply because no political person likes to say no, in public, to an unhappy minority group seeking redress of grievances." ****** We feel that support from other Indians - not Hindutvavadins - would be needed to counteract the initiative from the Hindutva people. It would probably be an advantage if Dalits were present and could demonstrate that the Hindutvavadins do not speak for all Indians. I have been reluctant to announce this on the Dalit lists because we don't know if they are infiltrated, we therefore turn to you for advice and help. Is there a way to (discretely) mobilize Dalits in California and elsewhere in this matter? Could you get some support from Afro-American organizations here? We don't want to create the impression that only a few outsiders are against the Hindutva version of history. Best regards, Lars Martin Fosse From: Dr.art. Lars Martin Fosse Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114, 0674 Oslo - Norway Phone: +47 22 32 12 19 Fax: +47 850 21 250 Mobile phone: +47 90 91 91 45 E-mail: lmfosse@chello.no www.linguistfinder.com/tr...sp?id=2164 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Fra: Michael Witzel [mailto: witzel@fas.harvard.edu] Sendt: 26 . november 2005 17:26 Til: Peter Zoller; Garrett G. Fagan; Alexander Vovin; Patrick Olivelle; Boris Oguibenine; Phyllis K Herman; carendreyer Dreyer; Frederick Smith; Lars Martin Fosse; Rajesh Kochhar; Richard Meadow; Stanley Wolpert; Dwijendra Jha; Georg von Simson; Madhav Deshpande; Frank Southworth; Hiroshi Marui; Sudha Shenoy; Asko Parpola; Mohammad Mughal; Don Ringe; S. Palaniappan; Wim van Binsbergen; Homi Bhabha; huang9; David Stampe; Hideaki Nakatani; Jonathan Mark Kenoyer; Stefan Zimmer; Romila Thapar; Muneo Tokunaga; Shereen Ratnagar; Michael Witzel; Sheldon Pollock; Dominik Wujastyk; Parimal G. Patil; Steve Farmer; Robert Goldman; falk Falk; jkirk Kirkpatrick; agnes korn; Scharfe; Kalpana Desai; maurizio.tosi@tiscali.it; Patricia Donegan; Shingo Einoo Kopi: Arlo Griffiths; Raka Ray; Leonard van der Kuijp; Michael Witzel; John Brockington Emne: Next step: California Comm. vote on Hindutva changes Dear All, Many thanks again for your support! Today I report on the next step (and some harassment mails) It seems that all 50 signers of our letter have got the same kind of letter, actually sometimes from 2 people, with virtually the same text. (Satya Shekhar's is shorter): From: satya shekhar From: Ratnendra Pandey <> (see text below) ---- More importantly: Please alert your friends in CA to attend the Dec. 1/2 meetings: (1) The Curriculum Commission (one step higher up from last time) will be meeting Dec. 1 and 2 and will review the proposed edits and corrections and it is open to the public. The Edits and Corrections proposed by the Hindu Education Foundation and the Vedic Foundation and our own California Dept. of Education-appointed committee (Wolpert, Heitzman, Witzel) will be reviewed by the commission. (2) FYI: There will be a meeting with California Dept. of Education staff and the publishers to finalize the edits and corrections approved by the Commission on Dec. 14 and 15. Usually there are two Commissioners and a scholar(s) plus the CA Dept's staff present. Here is a link to the actual meeting agenda of Dec. 1/2: www.cde.ca.gov/be/cc/cd/c...120105.asp Please note that on Dec. 1/2 a higher body than last time, the Curriculum Commission, is scheduled to take up this issue in the morning on December 2 (note all times are tentative—if they move through the agenda faster than expected, things will happen earlier). This is not a public hearing. But all that means is that there is no official published time for the public to speak before the commissioners take action. Nonetheless, each meeting has a time for "public comment" and people will be allowed to come up and speak. (Thus, we have to be present). If they follow the order of the published agenda, public comment comes after the actual vote. They will only hear Tom Adam's (CA Dept. of Education) report on the earlier (Hindutva-inspired) and our (Wolpert, Heitzman, Witzel) findings. But if they see the huge Hindutva crowd expected and decide to let them speak first, it is possible votes will be swayed back the other way simply because no political person likes to say no, in public, to an unhappy minority group seeking redress of grievances. It also appears that in the afternoon of December 1, the day before the vote, the History-Social Science subcommittee will hear reports about recent events in the adoption of the text books. This should not involve any discussion of the "Hindu" issue. But the Hindu groups might show up for that discussion too. Public comment is allowed and it will give them a chance to speak to some of the commissioners before the vote the next day. SO PLEASE TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION: Alert your friends in California to attend! Michael -------- Here Pandey's and Shekhar's letters: Dear Professor, I am writing to you in regards to your endorsement to a letter written by Prof. Witzel to California Department of Education (CDE). Prof. Witzel has written a letter to CDE - apparently with your endorsement - opposing recommendations to remove biases and stereotypes in portrayal of Hindu religion and Indian history in the social studies textbooks of California. This letter has caused serious outrage among many Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh residents in the US, especially in California. Your endorsement seems to suggest that you belong to a group of people who support a racist theory causing potential discrimination to minorities. We hope that in this process your reputation as a scholar is not blemished. Sincerely, Ratnendra Pandey From: satya shekhar <> Dear Professor, Please attached is a copy of letter where your name has appears. Prof Witzel and Prof Farmer have sent the letter with your apparent endorsement. This letter has caused serious outrage among many Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh residents in the US, especially in California. The letter has been interpreted by many as if you belong a group of people supporting a racist theory which may cause potential discrimination to minorities such as the Hindus. I hope that you are aware of this. Just your information. Regards Satya Shekhar ------here my older report, after the last comm. meeting---- Dear friends, success! It seems that we were successful; more details will follow as soon they become available. Here the initial, partial report from people present at the meeting of the California State Board of Education: This afternoon the California Board of Education voted to approve the school books for adoption in California schools; seven of eight publishers' programs were approved (Including the initially rejected Oxford U.P . one, it seems without adding in any of the Hindutva material). Below, I attach our joint letter for your reference. We had planned to send it to you earlier, but all the back and forth yesterday in preparing for today's (Wednesday's) meeting prevented me. Luckily, we had a California historian of india, Prof. J. Heitzman (UC Davis), present at the meeting who also used a letter written by Prof. Wolpert. Hence, some more detailed news about the meeting of the California State Board of Education: The meeting was to decide whether to adopt the changes that have already been suggested, collected in a book containing the massive number of changes. Comments from the audience: each one to speak for TWO MINUTES each. The first cohort of speakers included representatives of the Vedic Foundation, who all urged adoption of the changes. The next major group consisted of a number of Sikh speakers who urged non-adoption of the changes until after the insertion of additional material on Sikhism. Prof. Heitzman, speaking for us all, then alluded to the "Standards for Evaluating Instructional Materials for Social Content," section:" Religion; Indoctrination", urging the Board not to "encourage or discourage belief or indoctrinate the student in any particular religious belief." Pointing out that we represent thousands of high-level scholars from all religious backgrounds dedicated to the academic study of South Asian history and culture, he stated that we have two main objections to the current draft that cause us to oppose its adoption: (1) the consulting base, i.e. Dr. Bajpai, is too narrow for a problem of this complexity; and (2) we "impugn the credentials" of the Vedic Foundation and other Hindu groups to speak competently on issues of South Asian history and religion. These groups project, either overtly or subconsciously, policies known as Hindutva or "Hinduness" that portray South Asian and specifically Indian identity as Hindu. Their program has ravaged the social studies textbooks of India for the last ten years. He urged the Board not to allow a religious chauvinism of India to become the policy of the State of California, which would provoke an academic and international uproar. He volunteered the services of the university community specializing in the analysis of South Asia for evaluating the edits and additions proposed for the California textbooks: "We are ready to earn our pay; let us help you." Sincere thanks to Prof. Heitzman and to all of you ! This shows how concerted action, even if it comes as late as ours, can be successful. Incidentally, the next thing to tackle is the BBC website. Let us discuss how to go about it. Please see this: www.bbc.co.uk/religion/re...ndex.shtml www.bbc.co.uk/religion/re...ory5.shtml Best wishes, Michael Michael Witzel Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University 1 Bow Street , 3rd floor, Cambridge MA 02138 1-617-495 3295 Fax: 496 8571 direct line: 496 2990 www.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/mwpage.htm On 12/24/05, naray9 wrote: That is clearly a lawyer's bluff. Note the words "our reading.." etc. The U.S. overnment requires a notice to be posted on all reports, etc. done under govt. funding: "The views .... here are those of the authors and are not official statements of the U.S. Govt.." Why do you think they require that, if the law does not require it? Likewise, websites include disclaimers. WHY did the Letter bearing the official emblem of Harvard not state in the first sentence: "I am writing as a private individual, not as an official of Harvard University"? Because that would have blown the credibility of the letter out of the water. So Rajaram should write back and tell the university, nice try but that don't cut no ice. The letter OBVIOUSLY , EXPLICITLY and IMPLICITLY used Harvard official endorsement in the form of the letterhead. Otherwise, Harvard is saying that it endorses false and misleading advertising. Does the degree certificate from harvard mean that harvard certifies that the candidate achieved anything, or do they just sell the permission to put that nice stamp there too? Rajaram should publish that, and send a copy to them. Let them see that their shyster ambulance chasers are also bringing them more notoriety. "HARVARD CLAIMS THAT ITS SEAL MEANS NOTHING" On 12/25/05, Srinivasan Kalyanaraman wrote: Not from IER but from another source. The message is important -- showing Provost's standard operating procedure reply -- since Harvard U. may get hurt if IRS gets into the ring. The Univ. funds from the community and IRS exemptions may dry up if we mount a successful action against the University. At the minimum, a negotiated, out-of-court settlement of damages can be worked out smile.gif Threaten to sue, them, I say; send an exquisite note from a law firm. Let us execute the threatened international scandal on OUR TERMS. After all, hindu also have human rights (of course, responsibilities called dharma and vrata). Thought to ponder during the season of Merry Krishna and Happy Narayana. Dhanyavaadah. K. groups.yahoo.com/group/in...ssage/7692 Here is a standard response from the University: am writing in response to the email you sent President Summers concerning the activities of Professor Michael Witzel. I appreciate your letting us know of your concerns. Academic freedom on university campuses, which serves us all well, includes the freedom to express views with which many others may disagree. Academic freedom affords Professor Witzel the right to state his views, including those on the topics discussed in his November 8, 2005 letter. Furthermore, though the letter Professor Witzel submitted to the president of the California Board of Education does appear on Harvard University letterhead, it contains no explicit or implicit claim that the views expressed therein are the views of Harvard University. Harvard faculty and staff are permitted to use Harvard letterhead as a means of identifying themselves in the course of their outside activities so long as they do not imply University endorsement of a letter's contents. Our reading of the letter is that it does not contain any suggestion that the views contained in the letter are the views of Harvard University. Rather, it appears obvious to us that the letter speaks only for Professor Witzel and his fellow signatories. Thank you again for being in touch and for giving us an opportunity to answer your questions. Sincerely, "N.S. Rajaram" <> wrote: December 22, 2005 This is the communication I received from a senior faculty member at a private university in Chicago. Rajaram ----- Original Message ----- From: Rosalee Wolfe To: N.S. Rajaram Sent: Thursday, December 22, 2005 11:53 AM Subject: Politics and professors The university in question would be well served to investigate this person's actions. Professors are not supposed to lend their titles to political actions because this can jeopardize the institution's 501©(3) [non-profit] status. There are clear strictures in the IRS code about this. (As private citizens, profs can do all the politicking they want; they just can't be using their position/status or claim they represent the school) groups.yahoo.com/group/in...lists/mess

Posted by: Mudy Dec 25 2005, 11:29 AM

QUOTE
"From FOSA - PLEASE ACT! (for info: mail@friendsofsouthasia.org) Dear all, As many of you already know, we in California are facing a Hindutva assault on school textbooks of the kind that went on a few years ago in India. This is an issue of rising concern in the Californian community, and something that progressive South Asian organizations have been very quiet on, so far. This email has TWO parts—a brief background, followed by an ALERT Background: Very briefly, this is the story so far: * CA state textbooks come up for review every six years. This year, the sixth class texts relating to Ancient Indian history are under review. We recognize that most of these textbooks are inadequate for a number of reasons and have many errors on Indian history. Taking advantage of this inadequacy, two groups --Vedic Foundation and Hindu Education Foundation (VF and HEF), backed by the Hindu American Foundation (HAF)—all with demonstrable links to Hindu rightwing organizations have managed a strong mobilization in order to insert some changes in the depiction of ancient Indian history and Hinduism in CA text books. But instead of just making corrections to erroneous texts, their proposed changes also reflect their supremacist political agendas. For instance, a large number of their changes are about Aryans being native to India and not migrating from central Asia, and thus the depiction of Hinduism as a religion *truly* indigenous to India—as opposed to all the other foreign religions (for those of you familiar with the issue—this is the whole manufactured debate about the Aryan Migration theory versus the Indigenous Aryan theory), and also a complete white-washing of Hinduism especially concerning caste and gender issues. * As things stand now, these groups have managed to get the Curriculum Commission to agree to most of their changes. The only opposition they faced was a last minute organizing by the Indologists (M. Witzel from Harvard, S. Wolpert from UCLA and J. Heitzman from UCDavis with around 50 other indologists supporting them, www.people.fas.harvard.ed...letter.pdf ) and a faculty letter from over 100 South Asianists and South Asian profs at universities. However, both these interventions were less than successful, and many of the really problematic Hindutva changes got accepted by the Curriculum Commission on Dec 2. Some examples of ridiculous edits that got accepted by the CC are: 1. According to HEF, Sudras did not "perform services for members of the three higher castes" but merely "performed services for all classes and did more labor-intensive work." 2. The word "Dalit" has been removed from the text and the students are merely told that treating someone as untouchable is against the law in modern India. Sentences such as "The caste system is just one example of how Hinduism was woven into the fabric of daily life in India" and "Hinduism…has affected how people worship, what jobs they do,… And it has helped to determine the status of people in Indian society" have been deleted. At one point, the Vedic Foundation insists that caste only be spoken of in the past tense since it is no longer a reality and "According to the Indian Constitution, under the section, Fundamental Rights, the Right to Equality is guaranteed to all citizens." This edit was also accepted. 3. References to patriarchy within Hinduism have been deleted. Sentences such as "However, Hinduism also taught that women were inferior to men." have been completely removed, while another, "Men had many more rights than women" has been replaced with, "Men had different duties (dharma) as well as rights than women. Many women were among the sages to whom the Vedas were revealed." Not only does "unequal" become "different", but note that Vedas are now *revealed* texts. Hinduism-- like all other major religions of the world --has a patriarchal basis, that must first be acknowledged in order to be corrected. Also, Hinduism, unlike other major religions of the world, has NO revealed text and one wonders at the intent of these groups in removing this point of uniqueness. 4. Again, in their zeal to make Hinduism like another monotheistic, revealed religion, the sentence,"Modern day Hinduism is very complex. Many beliefs, many forms of worship, and many gods exist side by side" was removed. 5.The sentence "Sanskrit is no longer spoken today" has been replaced with "Sanskrit is no longer widely spoken today". The RSS shakhas still propagate Sanskrit, we suppose? In another place, the edits that got approved suggest that Sanskrit "to some extent" is the language of India "even today". 6. That chariots and other similar technology was developed in India (as opposed to being brought in from Central Asia). "People speaking Indo-Aryan language" has been replaced merely by "Indians", so that the differentiation between Harappans and those who spoke the Indo-Aryan language has been reduced to that between Indians from Harappa and "Indians from elsewhere or from the countryside." The construct of India predates history itself! * A more complete list of edits can be obtained from friendsofsouthasia.org/te...2_2_05.doc . We must also point out that similar changes to history texts were tried in India by the nationalist BJP government, which are now being undone. Read more about it at friendsofsouthasia.org/te...RTdocs.doc * While the acceptance of these "edits" by the Curriculum Commission is really tragic, the State Board has yet to accept these change s. What is equally alarming is the way in which the Indian-American press has been covering this issue in its usual wishy-washy style, presenting this as a debate between the faculty (some of them white, all of them "anti-Hindu") and a monolithic, aggrieved Hindu community. India Post, India West and India Abroad have given a whole lot of play to this debate, but "our" side (secular Hindus/ Indians/ South Asians) has been very poorly represented. ***ALERT*** India Abroad has run 3 stories on this in the recent issue: (a) India Abroad, Dec 16 Cover story, giving an overview: California Textbooks Spark Hinduism Row www.friendsofsouthasia.or...broad1.pdf www.friendsofsouthasia.or...road1a.pdf (b) India Abroad, Dec 16, Interview with Michael Witzel: www.friendsofsouthasia.or...d_MW_a.pdf www.friendsofsouthasia.or...d_MW_b.pdf © India Abroad, Dec 16, Interview with Suhag Shukla, legal counsel of the Hindu American Foundation: www.friendsofsouthasia.or...d_SS_a.pdf www.friendsofsouthasia.or...d_SS_b.pdf India West ran 2 stories on this issue and one letter: (d) India West, Dec 2 story: Hindus and Sikhs Protest Curriculum Changes in Calif. Textbooks news.ncmonline.com/news/v...49b840f93f (e) India West, Dec 9 story: Calif. state panel Agrees to make changes in history course. www.friendsofsouthasia.or...20west.doc (f) India West: Dec 22nd (?) Yvette Rosser's letter to the Editor: Stereotypes, Errors In Calif. Textbooks www.friendsofsouthasia.or...letter.htm PLEASE WRITE TO THESE NEWSPAPERS EXPRESSING YOUR VIEWS ON THIS ISSUE: We really need to make diverse voices heard on this issue. The letters should be addressed to: India Abroad: editorial@indiaabroad.com, Fax: 212-727-9730 India West: news@indiawest.com , Fax: (510) 383-1155 24 Please copy mail@friendsofsouthasia.org on these letters and also write us if you have any questions or need more info. Thanks, -Friends of South Asia"
Here comes Commie's in USA new mission. Some part is deleted which were personal comments/swears on Hindus and they were very insulting.

Posted by: aruni Dec 27 2005, 08:55 AM

http://www.eshiusa.org/PressRelease/ESHI_Press_Release_120605.pdf

QUOTE
December 5, 2005 For Immediate Release Contact: Mr. Mayank Shekhar 919-740-7129 Re: California School Board under pressure to show fairness to the heritage of India Educators’ Society for the Heritage of India (ESHI) expresses its deep concern over the events leading to the California Board of Education (CBE) review and adoption of social studies textbooks for grades 6 to 8 this year. While improvement in textbooks are expected based on the review/comments provided by various ethnic groups (Blacks, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, etc.) and organizations, the CBE has singled out Hindu and Sikh groups for biased and unfair treatment. “The high handedness of CBE is totally unacceptable in the 21 st century world where the young minds in the California classrooms would be taught distorted and prejudiced views of colonialists about Indian history and culture”, said ESHI President, Dr. Ved Chaudhary. “Our concern is heightened due to the fact that many other states end up using the same textbooks that are published for California” he added. We commend Hindu Education Foundation and Vedic Foundation who had reviewed textbooks and provided detailed, line by line, comments. ESHI also provided its comments to CBE in a letter by Dr. Piyush Agrawal (a former Superintend of Schools) as the chair of the ESHI Committee for Textbook Reviews. Highly respected professors like T.S. Rukmani, Anant Rambachan, Subhash Kak and others had also reviewed the textbooks and provided comments. The reviews clearly revealed that the coverage of India and Hinduism were too negative, not balanced and in many instances factually incorrect or misleading. “We were appreciative of CBE’s transparent handling of the review process leading up to the November 9 th meeting. However, it is appalling that even though CBE hired Prof Shiva Bajpai of Cal State Univ. at Northridge as the expert to review the comments of the Hindu groups, it did not follow his recommendations” laments Dr. Bal Ram Singh, Chair of the Indic Studies program at University of Massachusetts at Amherst. “The CBE conduct is absolutely puzzling, especially in view of the fact that it had accepted Prof. Bajpai’s recommendations and was ready to announce them on Nov 9” he added. ESHI totally rejects last minute interjection of a group called IER (Indo-Eurasian Research), who were not involved in the reviews, but at the last minute forced their way into the deliberations by alleging that “It would trigger an immediate international ESHI is a not for profit, Educational Organization. www.eshiusa.org 22 Jackie Drive, Morganville, NJ 07751 (732) 972-1489ഊscandal if the California State Board of Education were to unwittingly endorse religious-nationalistic views of Indian history …”. Led by Professor Michael Witzel of Harvard, IER is a politically motivated group, as stated in their mission statement: “The orientation of Indo-Eurasian Research is politically progressive, international, secular, and scientific. List discussions of political-religious developments are encouraged …” Witzel sent a petition to the CBE with blanket condemnation of comments of all Hindu groups, including many professors of Indian history and Hinduism, without having read their comments. In the face of this anti-Hindu movement, ESHI contacted many academics to be signatories to the ESHI letter supporting changes demanded by the Hindu groups. We also urged the Indian Archeological Society to send, by overnight courier, two letters to the CBE with 35 signatories and with several pertinent documents attached. ESHI also contacted Prof. J.S. Rajput, former President of the National Council for Educational Research (NCERT), India, to write about the efforts of textbook corrections in India. Thus, about 100 scholars and academics responded with lightning speed to refute the distortions of the Witzel group. Among many organizations who have worked together, Hindu Students Council and the Network of Hindu Minds (NetOHM) provided major support. Scores of organizations, including Hindu temples, also sent letters to the CBE. Several political figures including Congresswoman Linda Sanchez also wrote to the Department of Education to intervene on behalf of the Hindu community in her district. ESHI also supported Sikh community demand that the textbooks must also provide coverage of Sikh culture and tradition. California has a large Sikh population and Sikh community in USA has born the brunt of communal prejudice after 9/11 due to mistaken identity. On December 1, over 30 individuals and organizations attended the meeting of the Curriculum Commission. On behalf of ESHI, Prof. Nalini Rao of Soka University of America in Los Angles, attended the meeting and presented her academic viewpoints refuting the Aryan Invasion Theory. On December 2, ESHI sent another letter to CBE discrediting the veracity of the allegations of the IER letter, while pointing out that the signatories of the IER letter were not experts in Indian history and Hinduism, as claimed in their petition. During the final meeting of the Curriculum Commission on December 2 nd , one of the commissioners, Prof. Metzenberg, a biologist, followed up on the letter sent by Dr. Chandra Kant Panse’ on behalf of ESHI. Dr Panse’ provided genetic evidence against Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) that commissioner Metzenberg upheld as more reliable than the old AIT theory. "I've read the DNA research and (concluded that) there was no Aryan migration. I believe the hard evidence of DNA more than I believe historians" he said. However, ESHI is disappointed that after six hours of review /debate and voting on each proposed change by the curriculum commission on Dec 2 nd , the commission has compromised its principles and guidelines as it decided to keep some of the old information about Aryan Invasion Theory (while calling it Aryan Migration) and the caste system, which is inaccurate, biased, and derogatory to the heritage of India. ESHI is a not for profit, Educational Organization. www.eshiusa.org 22 Jackie Drive, Morganville, NJ 07751 (732) 972-1489ഊ“This stereo-typical coverage tends to engender prejudice against Indic traditions in the minds of all school children,” said Dr. Piyush Agrawal, former Superintendent of schools. “It will have an adverse effect on the intellectual development and self-esteem of children from families who follow Indic traditions. They may find what is taught in school, through inaccurate textbooks, is at variance from the practices followed in their own homes and community. This would be contrary to the Board’s Equal Opportunity guidelines which state ‘Portray accurately and equitably’ and ‘Instill a sense of pride in every child in his/her heritage’. We urge the CBE to consult with experts who have respect for the heritage of India and make changes accordingly” he added. Educators’ Society for the Heritage of India (ESHI), a non-profit organization, was registered in 2003 with an objective to create accurate and balanced content on India and Indic traditions for textbooks and publications and to advise school districts, state boards, publishers, libraries, museums and other educational institutions in this regard.

Posted by: rajesh_g Dec 27 2005, 02:57 PM

From IC.. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IndianCivilization/message/83463

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Fwd. Note from Arvind Kumar, Dec. 22, 2005. K. Soon after BORI's library was ransacked, Zydenbos posted a message on RISA-L claiming that Hindu nationalists had ransacked the library. He seemed to be completely ignorant of Indian politics, and I felt sorry for him and wanted to help him out. I contacted him and informed him that Sambhaji brigade was not part of the group that is usually termed as "Hindu nationalists." The exchange that followed was truly astounding. Zydenbos didn't believe that Sambhaji Brigade wasn't part of Hindutva groups. He actually wanted evidence for this well known fact! That caught me by surprise because he had been positioning himself as an "expert" on India. He didn't even know this simple fact which even illiterates in India know. In the exchange that followed, it became clear that he was clueless about politics in India. He had also been afflicted by the idea of Western dualism. In this system of thinking, there were only two groups - my team and the other team; the 'other' side is always evil. This is true of those indoctrinated by any of the Western ideologies - Christian ideology, "liberal" ideology, Communist ideology, Fascist ideology, or Nazi ideology. The world was always divided into two camps. This was the first difficulty I encountered while trying to convince Zydenbos that Sambhaji Brigade was not part of any Hindutva group. He was absolutely sure that it was part of some Hindu conspiracy. The reasons for what happened next is something I cannot explain. He got angry. He just got extremely angry and agitated and started accusing me of belonging to the Hindutva camp. That was stupid of him and I explained that I was a libertarian anarchist. I don't think he understood what this means as I don't think he is familiar with either economics or political ideas. Even in his field, his knowledge seems flaky at best. He also got a bit abusive. Since he had suddenly become angry for no valid reason when I was trying to help him by educating him, I tried to calm him down by being polite with him. I changed the topic to what I thought was something close to his heart - religion in India. That was a mistake. He became angrier, and at one stage I had to point out that he was inconsistent and asked him if he would call St.Thomas a myth and declare that the story of St.Thomas in India was a fake story. He responded claiming that I did not understand what comparative religion was about, but desisted from actually taking on the issue. I guess he must have been frightened of the consequences of blasphemy and must have feared getting roasted in hellfire. I had made a mistake in assuming that he could be helped although he was intellectually inferior and believed in all sorts of nonsense like Sambhaji Brigade being a Hindu conspiracy. Within days of this exchange, RISA-L shut its archives from public view and thus we see less of idiocy and conspiracy theories in public domain. At least they had seriously taken the saying that it is better to remain silent and be thought of as wise than open one's mouth and be seen as fools! Now I hear that Michael Witzel is leading a bunch of fools who believe in miracles in Christianity, divinity of Islam, and that DNA evidence is a Hindu conspiracy!

Posted by: Sudhir Dec 27 2005, 04:29 PM

http://newstodaynet.com/23dec/ss1.htm by V SUNDARAM (a retd. IAS Officer)

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have also come to understand that during the deliberations on the textbooks by the California State Board of Education, Commissioner Munger, who identified himself as an Episcopalian, was the only Board member who advocated accepting the views of the Witzel panel. Commissioner Metzenburg said the Hindus should be able to recognise their own religion when they read these textbooks. Metzenberg objected to the 'insensitive' approach of the Witzel panel to the whole issue. When Witzel panel was asked to rectify the statement that 'the Ramayana was written later than the Mahabharata, Witzel commented in a contemptuous way: 'Who in Sixth Grade cares which epic was 'written' first?' Metzenberg retorted that 'it mattered to Hindus'. The Jews in California requested the authorities to remove the references that portrayed Christianity as an 'improvement' upon Judaism, or a 'replacement' for Judaism. Likewise, the Hindus have noticed that Buddhism and Jainism have been presented as 'improvements' over their dharma. The Hindu Organisations have taken up this matter with the concerned authorities, pointing out that this amounts to violation of Education Code Section 600 44(a) and Subsection (b), which states that all students should 'become aware and accept the religious diversity while being allowed to remain secure in any religious beliefs they may already have.' It is very clear from all this that while matters relating to Judaism, Christianity and Islam have been reviewed by experts within those faith traditions, the California Department of Education has followed a policy of positive discrimination against the Hindus in general and American Hindus in particular by requisitioning the services of non-Hindu academics who are neither experts in Indian History or Hindu dharma, nor practicing Hindus. I won't be surprised if the anti-Hindu UPA Government in New Delhi resorts to the political expedient of sending a specially chosen team of so-called 'secular' academicians headed by the likes of Romila Thapar and a few other Communists to California for completing the work started by professor Witzel & Co. I would appeal to Hindus all over the world to unite against this American conspiracy against us, drawing inspiration from the fiery words of Swami Vivekananda: 'Let us have muscles of iron and nerves of steel. Arise! Awake! And Stop Not Till The Goal Is Reached!'

Posted by: rajesh_g Dec 27 2005, 06:53 PM

http://www.sulekha.com/blogs/blogdisplay.aspx?cid=40752 Indian Identity in American Schools C. Alex Alexander

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Not too long ago, there were many articles in the US and Indian media about the denigration of Ganesha, Ramakrishna Paramahams, Shivaji etc by the sophomoric writings of Eurocentric American Professors associated with US Schools of Divinity. Complaints about such writings were lodged by both Indian scholars in India as well as scholars from among the NRI communities here in the US and UK. But the latter (critics) were often unfairly caricatured by a few Judeo-Christian as well as Indian “intellectuals” characterizing the critics as Hindu fundamentalists or ignoramuses who are unfamiliar with our Bill of Rights, which guarantees freedom of expression. It was even more baffling for me to learn that some of these American (Judeo-Christian) professors who routinely defame Hinduism and its deities and heroes through their writings are frequently invited by Hindu groups and even given honoraria and garlanded and feted for their “contributions”. Most Hindu hosts seem to be unaware of the fact that their “distinguished lecturers” who often identify themselves primarily as professors of “Eastern religions” at reputable universities are in actuality serving as principal faculty of their respective Schools of Divinity. These Schools of Divinity have ulterior motives in offering degrading interpretations of non-Abrahamic faiths. They have no interest what so ever in teaching any student the virtues of India or its predominant Hindu civilization, which has contributed, to the evolution of Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Hinduism’s core value of pluralism and its tolerance of all faiths are seldom highlighted, nor discussed as more conducive to the preservation of world peace than our monotheistic Abrahamic faiths can ever hope to be if the latter remain wedded to its exclusivist religious philosophy steeped in their respective beliefs of infallibility.
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For example, Rosser reported in her study that one Indian student said that he was asked in a class discussion why Indians always worshipped rats, fed them and allowed them to multiply when it is well-known that it can harbor vectors capable of spreading bubonic plague. This occurred after a TV show aired an item concerning veneration of rats in a temple in Rajasthan. I too recall someone asking me whether that practice was typical of Hinduism. My response was that it was no more typical of Hinduism than it is of Christianity if we were to infer that all Christians handled rattlesnakes in their Sunday worship as some congregations in West Virginia or the Boot Heel of Missouri still do in order to test and affirm their own “sinless” lives since their last worship in that church!
Alex argues for a more frontline role for Hindu temples in their vigilance. I agree with him.

Posted by: Mudy Dec 27 2005, 07:24 PM

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Dr.Rajaram's Open challenge to Dr.Witzel of Harvard University and Steve Farmer Debate over debunked "Aryan Invasion theory " took a new turn when Steve Farmer defended Witzel in a discussion forum , which was circulated widely in US and Indian intelligencia , particularly Hindu intellectuals . Hindus in US and India are up in arms about the comments made by Harvard Professor Michel Witzel on Hindus viz "HIINA, NRI and Om Bija mantra" in IER list. A prominent Hindu activist in US Mr.Khanderao Kand said "those who are on the IER list, can ask Witzel to comment on the allegations like HINA, NRI etc etc though one can delete those from yahoo archieves," and further hinted at a legal case against Harvard professsor , saying " Yahoo is obliged to retrieve and reproduce in any legal case. At one point of time, when the IER was public I had read comments about HIINA, NRI and Om Bija mantra. " Though scientists and many academicians have discredited aryan Invasion theory , Professor Witzel being a Linguist without any knowledge of Indian history and Hindu religion , is strongly defending the theory along with some of his followers from India , who happend to be from commmunists along with some anti-hindu groups . On Steve Farmer defended Witzel ,Dr.N.S Rajaram a scholar ridiculed at Mr.Witzel that " If Witzel needs a certificate from Steve Farmer to save his reputation, he is in trouble indeed! " ,and said " What he needs to fear most is the truth getting widely known! This is only the beginning.", said a septagenerian multi-desciplinary scholar . He also questioned locus standi of Dr.Witzel , "The main question to be raised is: who are these people to tell others how they should see themselves and their history? What is their locus standi? " Taking a swipe at Dr.Witzel and his supporters , Dr.Rajaram charged that " Who is this "right wing" supposed to be? Scientists like me or propagators of hate campaigns based on discredited Nazi era theories about Aryans with anti-Hinduism as the new incarnation of anti-semitism, now that anti-semitism is no longer academically respectable? " "Let them first define Aryan on the basis of science before talking about invasions and migrations. THE INVASION IS THE TAIL THAT WAGS THE ARYAN DOG, and provides a livelihood to the likes of Witzel. " said to IntelliBriefs in an email message . This is a humiliating remark to say least , which Dr.Witzel has to come forward with a statement , as Harvard university's reputation is been draged to world media over these past few months . An open challenge was thrown to Dr.Witzel and Farmer for a public debate ,"Let him face me in a public debate-- in the open instead hiding behind an academic burqa. I won't bother with a twerp like Farmer, but 'Harvard Professor' Witzel. I'll face any day.

Posted by: acharya Dec 27 2005, 07:29 PM

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Christmas Day Dear List, Weekends and holidays are our usual times to discuss questions on the List of a lighter sort. This post is not light in tone, and writing it is not the sort of thing anyone wants to undertake, or others to read, on a holiday. I apologize in advance for its length, but it has to be kept in one piece due to the critical subjects that it covers. It is important for List members to recognize that a highly coordinated smear campaign -- uglier and on a bigger scale than any we've experienced before -- was launched this Christmas in India and the United States against Michael Witzel, Wales Professor of Sanskrit at Harvard University and co-founder of this List. Examples of things being said about Michael, both in the rightwing press and in petitions aimed at Harvard, are given later in this post. First I'll present a substantial update of the California textbook issue to put the ugliness of that campaign in context. (Readers who want to skip the update can move immediately to Part II, far down in this post.) In a nutshell, Hindutva forces in India and the US are furious due to recent setbacks in their plans to alter US textbooks to reflect their religious-political ideology, and they are retaliating against Michael as the most visible and most effective impediment to their plans. Members are encouraged to repost this message on other Lists or to republish it (but check with me before editing it) in the US or India. It is critical that as many academics and S. Asians as possible who oppose the Hindutva agenda take a public stand on what the rightwing is trying to do to Michael Witzel. The Hindutva groups behind this attack are well-funded and highly organized, and we need a lot of help to counteract the defamatory remarks currently being spread in print and via the Web about him around the world. For those of you who have recently joined this List, and only know of Michael Witzel through this smear campaign, at the end (in Part III of this post) I've attached a short sketch of Michael's writings in Indology, Vedic studies, historical linguistics, and related fields. Many of his writings can be accessed through the links I provide in that section. Just above that, at the start of Part III, I've also given a few links for those who wish to familiarize themselves with the Hindutva groups involved in the California textbook affair, which has led directly to the smear campaign being aimed at Michael Witzel. It isn't a pretty story, but in its twisted way it does have some odd intellectual interest. On that sometime, at length, and in another place. *************** Part I: The California Textbook Issue Let me start with some good news. This week, Harvard University's lawyers reviewed all the materials that Michael has submitted, along with endorsements from a long list of international researchers, to the California Board of Education. After their review, Harvard has reassured Michael that they stand behind him and support his academic freedom of speech. This is critical, since the rightwing has undertaken a massive petition and letter-writing campaign aimed at Harvard under the assumption that pressure of this sort could affect events in California by undermining Michael at Harvard. (Not very likely, since Michael holds one of the most prestigious Chairs anywhere in Sanskrit studies.) Much of the campaign against Michael is transparerently defamatory, in the narrow legal sense. Preliminary discussions with attorneys suggest that it should be possible to win large punitive damages from the individuals and groups behind this campaign simply on the grounds of what has already been published in print or on the Web. More on that as events unfold: we currently have volunteers downloading and/or scanning every defamatory statement against Michael we can find, as well as the veiled threats of violence that have been discussed in previous posts. We are making sure that every bit of evidence is carefully filed away before that evidence disappears (as it has before) down the Hindutva equivalent of Orwell's 'memory hole'. For the moment let us just point out that the materials we already have on file are quite massive and very incriminating. *************** The smear campaign aimed against Michael is meant in retaliation for the critical role he has played since early November -- in collaboration now with hundreds of Indian and Western researchers and S. Asian minority groups -- in helping block massive changes in California 6th-grade textbooks demanded by Hindutva political-religious groups. Some of these groups, as noted below, have long-time connections with rightwing groups in India, whose attempts to project Hindutva political-religious ideology into Indian textbooks have been turned back since 2004 (after the rightwing BJP party lost national power) by India's National Council of Educational Research & Training (NCERT). (NCERT is the closest thing in India to a national 'Board of Education'.) The upshot is that the current US Hindutva moves in California, begun not long after the BJP fell from power, can be tied (along with related moves in Great Britain, involving the BBC) to a much broader international plan to rebuild the declining Hindutva movement in India. Before November 9th, the Hindutva groups involved in the US had managed to convince the California State Board of of Education and the Department of Education staff -- few if any of whom had even heard before of Hindutva (and they say that ignorance is bliss) -- that they spoke for what they represented as a homogenous American-Hindu community. In the early months, the Board did not hear from Dalit groups, mainstream Hindu organizations, Tamil Hindus, or any of the many non-religious Hindu groups that have obvious reasons for opposing the Hindutva agenda. The fictional notion presented to the California Board of Education that the highly fragmented Hindu-American community is homogenous has certainly come as a surprise to the Tamil, Dalit, and other Indian minority groups in the United States with whom we have contacts. No matter how the final act of the California drama plays out (in January), by now the California Board of Education is acutely aware that the three main groups involved in the California affair -- the Vedic Foundation (VF), the Hindu Education Foundation (HEF), and the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) (on these groups, see Part III) -- do not, by the wildest stretch of the imagination, speak for all Hindu-Americans. While the research community, mainstream Hindus, and Indian minorities were initially caught sleeping by events in California -- none of us knew about events there until November 5th, four days before what was to be the final Board of Education meeting on this textbook issue -- in the last seven weeks hundreds of non-Hindutva Indian-Americans, a solid base of Hindu-American University Professors (one recent letter from such a group has over 130 signatures), and an ever expanding list of S. Asian minority groups, including those representing Dalit and tribal groups, have informed the State of California in very clear terms that the three organizations noted above do _not_ represent their interests or opinions. The role that Michael helped play in awakening non-Hindutva Indian-Americans to events in Sacramento helps explain the vehemence of the attack currently aimed almost exclusively at his person. The rightwing's strategy consists in attempting to divert attention from resistance to the Hindutva agenda within the Hindu-American community by representing the setbacks to their California plans as being due to the efforts of one fictional "Aryan Supremicist" Harvard Professor with Nazi roots, etc. -- rather than to the efforts of many non-sectarian S. Asians and Westerners who have long opposed the Hindutva program. *************** What has happened in California has become increasingly complex, and can't be summarized in one holiday post, no matter how long; but it is possible to quickly review a few key lines of development. Once the affair is over, Michael and I have plans to reflect upon all these events in a conspicuous place in print. In summary: The first and still most critical battle in California took place on November 8-9th, when a letter endorsed by Michael and approximately four dozen other researchers from India, Pakistan, the United States, Europe, Australia, Taiwan, and Japan (many of them on this List) first alerted the California State Board of Education to the religious-political motivations behind Hindutva attempts to alter history textbooks. The letter was sent out within 48 hours of the time that we first learned of the involvement of Hindutva groups in the textbook affair. The letter informed the Board about the successful recent NCERT battle over Hindutva alterations of Indian textbooks, which were made when the BJP was in power. It also provided the California Board of Education with links to U.S. State Department papers issued in 2003 and 2004 explicitly warning against the influence of Hindutva groups in education. The importance of the letter and what was going on in California was underlined at the Board of Education meeting in Sacramento on November 9th by James Heitzman, of the University of California at Davis. Heitzman came to the Board meeting armed with an analysis of the full list of proposed edits by the Hindutva groups. Far from just being the 'Witzel letter' (Dr. Heitzman didn't even know about the letter until after it was submitted) -- as the Hindutva organizations like to characterize it -- this original letter from the scholarly community to the Board of Education (there have been others since) was endorsed by a long list of mainstream archaeologists, linguists, and historians, including specialists on ancient India from every part of the world. A few of the international signers whose work is well-known in the field include Patrick Olivelle (who is a native S. Asian), of the University of of Texas; Harry Falk, of Free University, Berlin; Madhav Deshpande of the University of Michigan; Muneo Tokunaga of Kyoto University in Japan; Maurizio Tosi, of the University of Bologna in Italy; Richard Meadow of Harvard University and Mark Kenoyer of the University of Wisconsin (Co-Directors of the long-running Harappa Archaeological Research Project); well-known Indian researchers including Romila Thapar, Shereen Ratnagar, D.N. Jha, and others; Hartmut Scharfe and Stanley Wolpert, both emeritus professors of UCLA; Asko Parpola, of Helsinki University; and so on. If you don't know how prominent these people are in ancient Indian studies, look them up. The endorsers are a highly diverse international group that represents many opposing research perspectives: but despite these differences, all are uniformly opposed to Hindutva fabrications of history, with which they are all familiar. As a group they don't have even a faint resemblance to the imaginary group of "Harvard leftists" fantasized in the Hindutva slander campaign directed at Michael Witzel (see Part II, below). As a result of this first letter, the _massive_ rewrites of the chapters on india submitted to the Board of Education by the Vedic Foundation for the submitted textbooks were rejected _in toto_ by the Board -- and have remained off the table ever since. That was our first victory, and it's a lasting one. If it hadn't been for the November 8th letter sent out by international scholars, things could have turned out very badly at the November 9th meeting. If the Vedic Foundation rewrites had actually made it into the textbooks, the absurdity of their positions would have eventually forced those textbooks to be withdrawn -- as was recently the case in India -- at an estimated cost in the case of California of several hundred million dollars. (Those figures are not given lightly, and are drawn directly from publishing industry estimates.) ***************** The textbook-issue waters became murkier at a meeting in Sacramento on December 1-2 -- held _not_ by the State Board of Education, as misreported in the India press, but by a subsidiary (and totally advisory) body known as the Curriculum Commission (CC). Events at the December 1-2 CC meeting were far more chaotic than at the November 9th State Board of Education meeting, due largely to the fact that the audience was packed to the walls with Hindutva supporters. That fact that no S. Asian opponents of Hindutva were at the meetings involved some miscalculation on our part: no one expected much to happen at the CC meeting, since the Board of Education had explicitly directed the CC (with legal force) on November 9th to judge all proposed edits _solely_ on the basis of historical accuracy, and not on religious grounds. To this end, the Department of Education staff had drawn up a report based on a full review of previously proposed edits (from the VF and HEF) made by Stanley Wolpert, James Heitzman, and Michael Witzel, who were officially appointed as a Content Review Panel (CRP) specifically to fulfill this task. The original expectation was that the CC meeting would end quickly with acceptance of the Department of Education staff report. Against those expectations, the meeting was chaotic -- we'll publish some funny eye witness accounts at some point -- with the result that after much wrangling with the Department of Education staff several conservative members of the CC took control of the meeting and largely ignored the Department of Education staff report. The result, after hours of arguing and confusion, was that a number of blatantly religious edits were left in the history books and several new edits (breaking all historical precedents and the explicit directive of the Board of Education) were stuck into them 'on the fly'. The result, as everyone on all sides recognized at the end, was an inconsistent mess that has left everyone involved in a quandary about what to do next. As one publishing insider puts it: "California is a mess." For now, let it be noted that it is clear to everyone (1) that the advisory CC, whose role in the vetting process is finished, violated the Board of Education's legal directive from November 9th that stated that issues of historical accuracy alone must determine what makes it into the ancient India edits; and (2) that the publishers, the Department of Education, and everyone else involved knows that the current gross mess of inconsistent edits has to be cleaned up before anything goes to press. But all that said, one key point by now is crystal clear. Recently Hindutva forces have begun to claim publicly (as in the _Pioneer_ article; see below), apparently to rally their sagging troops, that what happened on December 1-2 in the CC meeting was some kind of victory for their side. This is a radical about-face from their reactions at the end of the CC meeting on December 2, when (as on November 9th) they again went away furious that the massive Vedic Foundation rewrites of the publishers' texts -- which are as comical as they are absurd (e.g., placing the Buddha and Asoka in the early 2nd millennium BCE) -- didn't make it into California textbooks. Those rewrites weren't accepted by the California Board of Education on November 9th; those rewrites weren't supported by even the most conservative of the CC members on December 2; and now that academic and anti-Hindutva forces have been awakened by what almost happened in California, no rewrites of like this will make it into US textbooks the next time this little drama plays out in some new state with adoption processes. (The next really big battle will not be until Texas, and that won't occur until the end of the decade.) More on all this when the final act plays out in California, sometime next month. ***************************** Part II: Recent Smears against Michael Witzel When other things fail, Hindutva groups traditionally try slander. And that's what they are now trying with Michael Witzel. The Hindutva misinformation campaign, which started several weeks ago, reached new heights in the last 48 hours with publication of a grotesquely distorted article on Christmas day in the rightwing New Delhi newspaper, _The Pioneer_. For those of you who haven't seen the article yet, here it is: http://tinyurl.com/8eofw A plaintext version of the article on my server, if this article disappears or is altered: http://www.safarmer.com/pioneer.html Its many inaccuracies will be obvious immediately to those who have read the background materials presented in Part I, above. Other inaccuracies will be noted below. The timing -- and at points even the exact language -- of this blatantly defamatory piece overlaps with an Internet petition aimed at Harvard University (my copy arrived on Christmas eve), which among much else calls for the disbanding of Harvard University's Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies (not coincidentally, Michael's department). The cover letter of the petition -- all of it that many people will probably see before signing it -- starts with what appears at first to be a progressive agenda, perfect for Christmas eve: > To defend the best liberal traditions that we all hold > dear, I hope you will take a moment to please sign the > petition at the url below, to support our effort to > get the religious hate groups (you know which ones..) > from using Harvard facilities and resources. The > Petition is developed by well-wishers of Harvard > university, concerned over the increasing intrusion by > religious hate groups into our environment. I am sure > you will agree with us. The inside of the petition, which is several clicks away, drops the 'liberal' facade. A few highlights: * Our Indo-Eurasian_Research List is characterized (just as it is in the _Pioneer_ article) as an "Internet hate group". * Harvard is linked with supposed "anti-Semitic Nazi groups", and Michael is characterized as "Harvard's Aryan Supremicist Sanskrit Professor." (The irony of the fact that real historical links existed in its formative years between Hindutva and the Nazis is apparently unknown to the petition's authors.) * I'm characterized as Michael's "assistant", apparently working with him at Harvard, despite the fact that I live in California, many of thousands of kilometers away from Harvard, on the opposite side of the United States. * One choice quotation from the petition pictures Michael as an "Aryan Supremicist" -- the writers apparently have blond blue-eyed Germans in mind -- and me as a "Creationist", which I suspect would please my relatives, who have long suspected that I harbor irreligious evolutionary tendencies: > Witzel’s screeching against the community is often part of his > marketing of the “Aryan Invasion Theory” (AIT), now re-packaged as > "Aryan Influx Theory". This marries Farmer’s Creationist dogma, with > Witzel’s Aryan Supremacist requirement that all civilization must have > emanated from his “Aryan” Caucasian roots. Devoid of intellectual > substance, this gang personally abuses anyone who cites the growing > scientific evidence debunking “AIT”. The evidence points to > distributed local evolution of civilization, independent of any > Caucasian influx. Back to the _Pioneer_ piece: http://tinyurl.com/8eofw Just a few points on one scientific issue and on various defamatory materials in the text: it would take a book to straighten out all half truths and lies in this hatchet job: 1. The idea that DNA studies support the Hindutva view that there was no movement of Indo-Eurasian speakers in antiquity into India, ascribed in the article to S. Metzenberg (one of the conservative members of the advisory CC, who is _not_ on the Board of Education) is ludicrous. For every study that makes such claims, as another CC member (the physicist C. Munger) accurately pointed out to Metzenberg, others can be cited that 'prove' exactly the opposite. As is well known to every researcher in population genetics, such studies are based on modern genetic data back-projected into historical times using very iffy theoretical models of genetic drift. The result is that the error bars are literally thousands of years long in every such study. One implication of this is that the temporal resolution of such studies is far too low to make _any_ statistically significant judgments about population movements _except_ for those involving extremely ancient pre-historical periods -- coming tens of thousands of years before any putative IE movements into India. All this is well-known to serious researchers -- we have made sure that cutting-edge population geneticists are in attendance at every yearly Harvard Roundtable -- but that doesn't prevent the repetitive misuse of these genetic studies by Hindutva groups every time a new study of this type pops up. (The old article Metzenberg had in hand was published in 1999 (Kivisild et al.), and is well-known to everyone; it doesn't even use y-chromosome but mitochondrial DNA data, which only is pertinent to tracing female populations; I first discussed that paper at length in 2000.) 2. The idea that Michael has "contempt for Indians who live and work in the US" is ridiculous: he works with them daily, and counts them among his best friends and students. (Obviously many of them have also endorsed the Board of Education letters, and many others are on this List.) 3. Michael is the *last* person I would ever think of as a 'racist'. Anyone who knows his immediate family, which is more Asian than Caucasian (!), in fact, would be more than a bit startled to hear such claims. 4. The quotations ascribed to Michael in the _Pioneer_ article are consistently ripped out of context and reformulated to make it appear that they involve hate or ridicule aimed at the S. Asian community. It would take a lot of time to show this quotation by quotation, but to do so would be intellectually trivial. lThere isn't an ounce of hate that I've ever seen in Michael Witzel, after knowing and collaborating with him on many articles and projects now in the last half decade. 5. Previous idiocies in publisher-submitted textbooks have absolutely nothing to do with Michael and have in fact been sharply criticized by him in discussions with both the publishers and the California Department of Education. Historical inaccuracies arising from corporate ignorance, however, are obviously quite distinct from Hindutva groups trying to stick politically and religiously inspired edits into US kids' 6th-grade textbooks. 6. The fictionalized account in the _Pioneer_ article that makes it appear that Michael appeared before the Board of Education (which the article confuses with the Curriculum Commission), which subsequently rejected his views as "unscholarly, insensitive, biased and devoid of facts -- heaping ridicule on the Harvard brand" never happened. Michael never went to California, never appeared before the Board, and certainly wasn't at the CC meeting. Far from having his views rejected by the Board of Education, he was specifically charged by the Board of Education (as part of an official 'Content Review Panel' with Dr. Wolpert and Dr. Heitzman) with vetting the earlier edits submitted by the VF and HEF. 7. Just as in the petitions aimed at Harvard, the Indo-Eurasian_Research list is once again misrepresented in _The Pioneer_ as an "Internet hate group." Opposing attempts to rewrite history for political and religious purposes does not qualify us or any other group for such a label. These rightwing groups have had a terrible effect on research in premodern fields, and correcting the false image they present of history is an unfortunate (and obviously thankless) part of our job. I should add in conclusion that until November a tiny percentage of the (now) 2600+ messages made on the List since we opened for business last April have anything to do with Hindutva. Hopefully, after the California business is over, we can forget these extremist groups for at least a short while and go back to exploring advanced research issues in pan-Eurasian studies, which is the real purpose of this List. ********************* Part III There are three Hindu groups involved closely in the California proceedings. We've said a bit about them in previous posts, so here I'll just give the quickest of summaries: 1. The VEDIC FOUNDATION in Texas. Their proposed edits to California textbooks are the most ridiculous of all of them. This is no wonder, given their views of ancient history, which have it (in webpages now largely removed) that Indian civilization reaches back 1,972 million years -- over 1.7 billion years before the age of dinosaurs. From Internet Archives for one of their rapidly disappearing webpages: http://tinyurl.com/du4kq (Don't miss this little gem if you haven't seen it before!) For those of you who don't recognize the political significance of the standard Hindutva claim that 'Aryans' are homegrown in India, please pay close attention to the first item on their "Do You Know" list! For the story of how this and other VF pages disappeared down the seemingly bottomless Hindutva 'memory hole': http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Indo-Eurasian_research/message/2623 2. The HINDU EDUCATION FOUNDATION, in Silicon Valley. This is a much more politically oriented group than the VF. It arose as a "project" of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) (as noted in an HSS webpage now only available to password holders, though as usual a copy lives on in our files). The group was set up specifically for projects like the California campaign. Its "Advisors" include infamous Hindutva propagandists including S. Kalyanaraman and David Frawley -- the latter the American adherent of "Vedic Astrology" and the "Out of India" theory who claims in his books that American Indians came from India. Their list of advisors, for as long as this webpage stays up: http://www.hindueducation.org/advisors.htm 3. The HINDU AMERICAN FOUNDATION. This is the most problematic of the groups, as I've repeatedly point, since their public persona has it that they are a "Human Rights Organization" representing 2 million (!) Hindu Americans. Please note that according to US census figures this is far more than the total number of Indians (Muslims, Dalits, and Tamils included) living in the US, let alone conservative Hindus. You won't find a visible trace of Hindutva anyplace on their webpage, but when you dig beneath the surface, you'll soon find that the President of HAF, Mihir Meghani, has a long history of links with the rightwing in India. See, e.g., his famous manifesto from 1998 -- "Hindutva: The Great Nationalist Ideology" -- which is still found (at this minute, anyway) on the official BJP website in India: http://bjp.org/history/htvintro-mm.html Read this one carefully: it is another gem, although not very funny. See also my discussion of HAF in a post earlier this week, which cites legal threats (actually illegal harassment, under California law) from the group received in the last few weeks: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Indo-Eurasian_research/message/2616 *************************** Finally, for anyone not acquainted with Michael's writings on Indology, see the following bibliography, where you can download many of his works as PDF files: http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/%7Ewitzel/mwbib.htm For his personal homepage: ttp://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/mwpage.htm -- Besides holding the Wales Chair in Sanskrit at Harvard University, Michael was elected as a Fellow to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003. -- He is the editor-in-chief of the Harvard Oriental Series, the oldest continuous Western publication series in the field, which first appeared in 1891. On HOS, see: http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/hos.htm -- Michael is editor-in-chief of _Mother Tongue_, one of the most innovative research journals devoted to comparative and historical linguistics. He is also the editor-in-chief of the _Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies_, which has published a long series of important studies in the past decade. Michael's own writings in the past several decades have fundamentally altered the way that all of us, both in Indology and comparative history (my field), have viewed ancient India in particular and ancient history in general. One of the most influential of his studies appeared in a ground-breaking book that he edited in 1997, _Inside and Outside the Texts: New Approaches to the Vedas_, which contains major essays not only by Michael but by Joel Brereton, George Cardona, Tatyana Elizarenkova, Harry Falk, Hans Henrich Hock, Asko Parpola, Wilhelm Rau, and many others. Michael's essays in this volume have fundamentally changed the way we picture historical data in Vedic texts, and they have had a long lasting effect on my own research. (The two of us are now extending part of this work in dimensions that reach far beyond India.) Finally, it should be mentioned that the 1989 workshop that gave rise to _Inside and Outside the Texts_ grew eventually into the increasingly important yearly Harvard Roundtables on the Ethnogenisis of South and Central Asia, which is now entering its 8th year. (This year's conference was held in Kyoto, Japan, and next year's will again be held in Asia, at a very exciting location still not publicly announced.) The Indo-Eurasian_Research List is an off-shoot of those Roundable meetings. Certainly no one who works through our archives with any care, starting at the beginning, will end up concluding that we are an "Internet hate List". Let me end on a personal notes: Michael Witzel is one of the most intelligent, most humanistic, and also the very funniest men I know. He is a wonderful collaborator to boot, and it has been a privilege to work with him. The smear campaign aimed at him is obscene -- it is the first word that comes to mind thinking about it-- and I hope and expect that a lot of other people will speak out in his public defense. Steve Farmer

Posted by: Ashok Kumar Dec 28 2005, 12:46 AM

The Invading-Aryans had a sobre Christmas contemplating issues legal it seems. The Invading-Aryans don't realize that if matters come to a legal juncture, there may be such a massive fund raiser against them that their opposition may be able to hire the best graduates of Harvard Law school besides establishing some more academic furnitures such as chairs in other reputed universities too. May be such an event is needed to wake up the large number of ignorant hindus about what these indo-eurasians have really been up to. The Invading-Aryans perhaps forget that in this case, increased controversy favours their opposition. Now every liberal hindu mom who has heard about the "Aryan Invasion of California", knows what distortions of her religion these invaders wanted to maintain in her child's textbooks by hook or by crook. We should never confuse the "Aryan" with the "Arya". The Euro-Aryan is a myth created about a century ago but Indian-Arya is a reality attested to for thousands of years. So far these Invading-Aryans have been merrily playing their fantasies of euro-aryan supremacy over the Indians. No need to let these Indo-Eurasians keep on stealing Indian terms and symbols (as their progenitors Nazis did in the past with the Swastika) for their own fantasy games.

Posted by: utepian Dec 28 2005, 08:22 AM

Indian Identity in American Schools http://www.sulekha.com/blogs/blogdisplay.aspx?cid=40752

Posted by: aruni Dec 28 2005, 08:34 AM

Source: http://www.hinduismtoday.com/press_releases/school_textbooks/california_board.pdf (emphasis mine)

QUOTE
TO: Ruth Green, President California State Board of Education Fax: (9916) 319-0175 E-mail: RParker@cde.ca.ggov Thomas Adams, Director Fax: (9916) 319-0172 RE: Hindu View on California History Social Science Adoption Dear President Green, Director Adams and Board Members: Hinduism Today , which is the world’s foremost Hindu publication, has fol- lowed the textbook issue for many years. In 1991, in an article dealing with the California books, I wrote, “Aside from one of the six California textbooks, Hinduism does not get very good treatment. It is presented as an outdated, caste-ridden, priest-ddominated 3,000-year accretion of beliefs and customs. There is little mention of Hinduism ’s sophisticate theological systems, exquisite devotional practices or high-ppowered techniques of yoga to reach the spiri-tual heights. Christianity is given far more space and its tenets presented in a more appealing manner than any other religion. In addition there remains the powerful undercurrents of ethnocentric thinking, that somehow American and European history is more important than other history.”” You will note the simi- larity between that 14-yyear-oold evaluation and what you are hearing in 2005. As you can see from the letter from Prof. Michael Witzel of Harvard University, there is a vast disconnect between ordinary Hindus concerned with what children in California are taught about Hinduism and the non-Hindu scholars who study our religion and Indian history. Of the some four dozen scholars who co-ssigned his letter, just eight have Indian names, and an unknown numberof those eight are practicing Hindus. This letter highlights the problem Hindus have faced for the last two hundred years: the scholastic community which studies our religion is almost entirely non-Hindu, and often hostile to Hinduism. We believe in the review of the Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and Islamic sections of these books you are largely, if not entirely, hearing from scholars who are of the faith, and not secular outsiders. Fortunately, you have Dr. Shiva Bajpai, who is well known to us, as a consultant. You may be interested to know that in the original e-mail sent to Dr. Witzel bringing the California text issue to his attention, Dr. Bajpai was referred to as “very religious.”” It was not meant as a compliment, but is an indication of hos-tility toward Hindu religion. We understand the Board is going to bring in another consultant on the Hindu issues. We specifically recommend that this person be a practicing Hindu, and not an outsider to our faith. This will give Hinduism representational parity with the other religions. The California Framework The texts under evaluation, of course, reflect the California Framework for World History and Geography: Ancient Civilizations, and that Framework has problematic aspects. There are some very questionable lines of advice, such as “Buddhism, a great civilizing force.....”” Well, that ’s like saying the Protestant reformation was a great civilizing force for Europe, something Protestants would agree with and Catholics wouldn ’t. The major lapse, however, is that for Judaism, the theological aspects are detailed: Old Testament, stories of creation, Noah, Psalms, Proverbs, etc., and for Christianity, stories from the New Testament so “the students will learn about those teachings of Jesus that advocate compassion, justice and love for others.”” For Hinduism, there is only one text mentioned, the Bhagavad Gita , with no mentioned of the Vedas and Upanishads which are the highest scriptural authority for the religion. These great works— which most certainly also advocate compassion, justice and love for others —remain unknown to the students. The Framework allows for inclusion of our scriptures, for it states right in the chapter introduction to include “the literature produced by their finest poets,narrators and writers. ” Later in the content standards, 6.5, “Sanskrit literature” is mentioned, but again, nothing specific. Since it is not spelled out, the textbook writers make no effort to include our primary scriptures and hence broader theology. The result is the students learn Christian, Jewish and, to some extent, Buddhist theology and little of Hindu theology. A better focus on our revealed scriptures will ameliorate this shortcoming. The Aryan Invasion Then there is the one aspect of Indian history that has gotten a lot of attention in this textbook process: the Aryan Invasion. In most respects, the textbooks and even the Framework are out of date. In the recent book, The Indo-AAryan Controversy , edited by Edwin Bryant and Lauie Patton, Dr. Witzel himself in his chapter refers to, “The old-nineteenth-ccentury idea of a massive invasion of outsiders.... Presently we do not know how large this particular influx of ..... out- siders was. It can have been relatively small....”” Likely none of the scholars who signed Dr. Witzel ’s letter hold that there was a violent conquest of Indus Valley by Aryan warriors, yet this concept still shows up in the text books. Dr. Witzel is very much involved in the Aryan Invasion issue. What he argues, with considerable expertise and largely on linguistic evidence, is that speakers of an Indo-EEuropean language entered India sometime around 1500 bce, and these people were the authors of the Vedas . By some means, their IndoEuropean language displaced whatever language was spoken in Indus Valley. This influx of a language is quite a different phenomenon from an actual conquest. However, even this revised theory has problems. Dr. Witzel explains one problem himself in the same book —“The obvious continuity of local cultures in South Asia, as prominently seen in archeology, is another matter.”” He then states that a clear-ccut “Aryan ” archeological site “has not yet been discovered.”” In other words, despite the compelling linguistic evidence, there is no physical proof of an influx of outsiders with the culture described in the Rig Veda . The second problem with the invasion scenario is genetic. In 2003 in the American Journal of Human Genetics , a professional publication, 18 geneticists led by Dr. Toomas Kivisld of the Estonian Biocenter, reported their research on the genetics of India. They specifically investigated whether there was evidence of gene flow from central Asia into India. Their conclusion: “The Indian tribal and caste populations ..... have received limited gene flow from external regions since the Holocene (88,000 years before the present to 1.2 million years before the present). In other words, they found no genetic evidence of an invasion 3,500 years ago. In a lecture in 1999, “The Aryan Question Revisted,”” Romila Thapar, whom Dr. Witzel refers to as “India ’s most famous historian, ” concluded, “The Aryan question is a very complex question, and I hope you are all absolutely staggered by the complexity and reeling under all the complexities that I have pointed out to you. So please, do not take one version as ‘the ’ version. ” So why does this Aryan Invasion scenario matter to Hindus? Does it mat- ter to Jews that the Exodus really happen? Does it matter to Christians that Jesus really lived? It does matter, obviously, and one book was rejected by the Board, we understand, for the reason that a historian was cited as questioning whether the Exodus ever happened. The Jews objected to doubting a central event in their history, one that is important to their theology. Hindus already have two histories of India, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata , which traditionally are dated back thousands of years. If an Aryan Invasion occurred, or even if Sanskrit came from outside India, then these two histories have to be relegated entirely to myth. We are not suggesting these traditional histories supplant sound scientific study, but it is useful to understand how most ordinary Hindus in India look at our history. We do not want our traditional history to be dismissed as myth at the recommendation of Dr. Witzel and his supporting group of scholars. If that is to happen, then the same group can be polled for their opinion on the Exodus and the historicity of Jesus. I think you will find they also hold both to be myths. If a representative of the group attends one of your meetings, you should ask these quesions. Our Plea and Recommendations Finally, we object to the tone of Dr. Witzel ’s letter, that categorizes anyone who objects to these texts as a “danger to religious freedom. ” Yes, in India, there are political issues over India history, but we can assure you that the most non-political Hindu parent in this country is shocked by the presentation of Hinduism in these books. The children themselves are shocked. Edwin Bryant warns of such a tone, “Ihave expressed concern at what I have termed a type of Indological McCarthyism creeping into areas of Western, as well as certain Indian, academic circles, whereby anyone reconsidering the status quo of Indo-AAryan origins is instantly and a priori dubbed a nationalist, communal or even worse, a Nazi.”” We realize the Board is only able to make relatively small changes to texts which in some cases need complete overhaul. We also realize that at this time you are not reconsidering the Framework, which is where real improvements could be made. We don’t expect you to adjudicate a scholastic disagreement involving the leading scholars of the world. At the same time, we do request that our faith be treated fairly, with the same respect and comprehensiveness of other faiths. And to the extent this can be done with small changes recommended by the Hindu representatives, please, let it be done. Yours in peace. HI IS TOA Sannyasin Arumugaswami Managing Editor Page Four

Posted by: Amber G. Dec 28 2005, 12:20 PM

QUOTE(utepian @ Dec 28 2005, 08:52 PM)
Indian Identity in American Schools http://www.sulekha.com/blogs/blogdisplay.aspx?cid=40752
*
I hope you do not mind , if I post this in full here.
QUOTE
Indian identity in American Schools by: alex1 on Dec 27 2005 3:11PM in Diaspora Indian Identity in American Schools C. Alex Alexander Though I have been in the US since 1962, I seem to have remained unaware of how American schools are imprinting concepts of Indian identity and Hinduism on the minds of American youth including children born to Indian parents. It was probably because I never had children of my own. My recent inquiries of Indian parents about this issue revealed that not many Indian parents are fully cognizant of the extent of misinformation that is being parlayed to young Americans, not just about India but about most non-European civilizations. After availing of an early retirement from our professional lives, my wife and I spent a year studying Art History after which we became volunteer docents at a local art museum. In our roles as Docents we came in contact with elementary and high school students who visited the museum to augment their knowledge of world history and ancient civilizations. After a year’s experience of interacting with school kids I have become convinced that something needs to be done, especially with regard to the way non-Judeo Christian communities are being portrayed in the text books that our students use and the manner in which their teachers are trained to deal with Asian, African, Latino and Native American traditions. India, in my opinion receives the worst treatment of all at the hands of our teachers of world history. China and Japan fare a lot better. My African-American colleagues with whom I often talk about India’s image in the US greet me with their “welcome to the club” slogan. They remind me that Indians “have to fight the battles like they themselves had to struggle with in order to make the white Americans concede at least partly that Africa is more than a mere continent that sent them their slaves”. Those of you who have resided in the US since the early 1960s may recall the debates we had here when the US Nobel Laureate William Shockley and his friend, Professor Arthur Jensen began to popularize their (now-discredited) theories of racial inferiority of African-Americans. It took nearly four decades of systematic challenges by the black community to correct the distorted stereotyping of blacks, some of which continue even today in a subtle fashion. Likewise, during the last three or four decades, the negative images of India and Hinduism in particular have been promoted by our movies and talk show pundits (Indiana Jones, Oprah Winfrey, 60 Minutes et al). These have contributed to the inability of many of our schoolteachers to present a balanced portrayal of the Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh traditions to their students. Hinduism seems to fare the worst at the hands of our school systems. The average American teacher’s knowledge of Hinduism, which is the core component of India’s cultural heritage, is often stilted by the sensational portrayals of that faith by our mass media. Though a few inquiring Indian parents seem to be aware of these problems, I am unaware of organized efforts in most states of our land (except in Virginia and California) undertaken by the Indian community to address this issue. I also realize that the extent of such prejudiced portrayals of India may vary from state to state, the worst being in our Bible belt in the South. This issue was recently highlighted at the 5th International Conference of the World Association of Vedic Studies (WAVES) held on July 9-11, 2004 at the Shady Grove Campus of the University of Maryland by a paper presented by Yvette C. Rosser of the University of Texas at Austin and titled “Stereotypes in Schooling: Negative Pressures in the American Educational System on Hindu Identity Formation”. That study found that “stereotypes about India and Hinduism when taught as facts in American classrooms may negatively impact students of South Asian origin who are struggling to work out their identities in a multicultural, and predominantly Anglo-Christian environment”. Rosser’s work is based on surveys of both teachers who teach world history in our classrooms and Indian students who are being taught by these teachers. The study found that the teachers devoted only 7% of their preparation time to Asia of which most of it was consumed by Japan and China. Latin America received 6%, Middle East 4% and Africa 3%. Eighty percent of their learning time was devoted to European history! The amount of time spent in class instruction of these cultures reflected a similar distribution of effort. The students who were interviewed by Rosser were all of Indian descent. They were often befuddled by the contradictions that resulted from what they learnt about Indian culture and Hinduism through their teachers vs. what they derived from interacting with their Indian parents and Indian friends of non-Hindu faiths. This is a serious issue with implications for the formation of both identity and character of not only the Indian youth but also of their non-Indian counterparts with whom they will have to interact socially and live with for the remainder of their lives. Aren’t we after all “one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all”? Our Great Seal proclaims “e Pluribus Unum”, “out of many, one”! Neither American’s cultural identity nor his/her roots should be demeaned owing to the ignorance of our teachers, especially when we the taxpayers are paying their salaries! My own interactions with my adult American friends lead me to conclude that most of them appear to have gotten their entire education about India and Hinduism either from the television and newspapers, or magazines like the National Geographic and Readers Digest or through visits to museums. This is particularly so with regard to their knowledge of Hinduism. Most of them know about India’s 3 Cs: Caste, Curry and Cows and the 3 Ps: Polytheism, Poverty and Population! They know little or nothing about the distinctions between polytheism and panentheism. The more “sophisticated” ones know a little about Gandhi, mostly through Richard Attenborough’s movie. They are also the ones who are more likely to ask you about “suttee”, “bride-burning” and “the Kashmir” problem. With more than a million practicing Hindus now in the US and with nearly 800 Hindu temples and Ashrams here, there is no reason why Hindu temples in each state (a la the African-American Churches) cannot take leadership roles in systematically examining the high school textbooks that the children of their worshippers use in schools. Should they find factually incorrect and or demeaning characterizations of India and its Hindu, Jain, Buddhist or Sikh religious traditions in these textbooks, they should bring them to the attention of their local school boards with requests to rectify them. Not doing so will surely affect the identity and character formation of both Indian and non-Indian youth who are the future citizens of this nation. In order to do all that, there needs to be a united voice of Indians of non-Abrahamic traditions in every community. I believe that the temples of the Hindu, Jain, Sikh and Buddhist faiths are uniquely suited to perform such functions. It is indeed both sad and surprising that Hindu, Jain, Sikh and Buddhist temples in the US have not yet formed at least a web-linked and non-dues paying National Council or Association or Consortium to discuss and resolve problems that affect the identity of future generation of Indians here who want to remain as adherents of their faiths into which they were born. The monotheistic faiths (Judeo-Christian­ & Islamic) in the US have their own separate linkages that inform each other of important issues facing their respective faith communities. They do so with lightning speed whenever they suspect that their images or reputations are being distorted. I believe that the Hindu temples (due to their large numbers) are uniquely suited to take a lead in the development of such a Consortium, Council or Association to tackle issues concerning representations of their religious traditions in our school systems. Not too long ago, there were many articles in the US and Indian media about the denigration of Ganesha, Ramakrishna Paramahams, Shivaji etc by the sophomoric writings of Eurocentric American Professors associated with US Schools of Divinity. Complaints about such writings were lodged by both Indian scholars in India as well as scholars from among the NRI communities here in the US and UK. But the latter (critics) were often unfairly caricatured by a few Judeo-Christian as well as Indian “intellectuals” characterizing the critics as Hindu fundamentalists or ignoramuses who are unfamiliar with our Bill of Rights, which guarantees freedom of expression. It was even more baffling for me to learn that some of these American (Judeo-Christian) professors who routinely defame Hinduism and its deities and heroes through their writings are frequently invited by Hindu groups and even given honoraria and garlanded and feted for their “contributions”. Most Hindu hosts seem to be unaware of the fact that their “distinguished lecturers” who often identify themselves primarily as professors of “Eastern religions” at reputable universities are in actuality serving as principal faculty of their respective Schools of Divinity. These Schools of Divinity have ulterior motives in offering degrading interpretations of non-Abrahamic faiths. They have no interest what so ever in teaching any student the virtues of India or its predominant Hindu civilization, which has contributed, to the evolution of Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Hinduism’s core value of pluralism and its tolerance of all faiths are seldom highlighted, nor discussed as more conducive to the preservation of world peace than our monotheistic Abrahamic faiths can ever hope to be if the latter remain wedded to its exclusivist religious philosophy steeped in their respective beliefs of infallibility. You should not be surprised if you had heard from your children that they had not heard anything good about India or its many religious traditions from any of their teachers. I wonder how many of them were told by their teachers that India is the largest democracy in the world with a secular form of government, that it is a country that has never had a military coup, never invaded another country, allowed Christianity to thrive even before it spread to Europe, gave haven to Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians when they fled from the onslaughts of Islam, and gave birth to Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. They also may not have heard from their teachers that India is the seventh most industrialized country in the world, and that it contributed a great deal to ancient mathematics, astronomy, bronze casting, surgery, and vaccination, Yoga, Ayurveda etc. But, your children may have been asked inane questions by their classmates based on a sensational TV or magazine account of some weird practice going on somewhere in India as it happens everywhere, even in our own, viz., the United States of America. For example, Rosser reported in her study that one Indian student said that he was asked in a class discussion why Indians always worshipped rats, fed them and allowed them to multiply when it is well-known that it can harbor vectors capable of spreading bubonic plague. This occurred after a TV show aired an item concerning veneration of rats in a temple in Rajasthan. I too recall someone asking me whether that practice was typical of Hinduism. My response was that it was no more typical of Hinduism than it is of Christianity if we were to infer that all Christians handled rattlesnakes in their Sunday worship as some congregations in West Virginia or the Boot Heel of Missouri still do in order to test and affirm their own “sinless” lives since their last worship in that church! The Judeo-Christian, African-American and Latino parents (Latinos less vigorously than the former two groups) exercise constant vigilance to ensure that the facts about their respective cultures are not degraded or slandered by any teacher. If they do, their representatives on the School Boards promptly take them to task. Now, it is the turn of Asian-Indian parent’s here, particularly Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist parents to find out from their children what they are learning about India and its many religions and their traditions. And, if they find that their schools are not offering a balanced account of India’s history, its achievements and its religious traditions, I do believe that the parents have an obligation to seek remedial action from the administrators of their schools. At least for posterity’s sake, they must act. If they do not, they are in my humble opinion, short-changing their own commitment to Sanatana Dharma. They are also missing a golden opportunity to highlight the ancient wisdom of the Hindu traditions as codified in Sanatana Dharma, which celebrates religious pluralism and diversity. I know of no other faith other than Hinduism or an ancient land other than the pre-Mughal and the pre-Colonial Indian subcontinent which permitted the thriving of multiple faiths and demonstrated its hospitality to all those who came to its shores seeking refuge from religious persecution or trading opportunities. Even in recent times, India has provided refuge to Tibetans fleeing from persecution in their own homeland. More than two thousand years before our Founding Fathers in this Nation envisaged a country which shall become that “shining city on the Hill” where religious pluralism and diversity shall thrive so that we can remain an example for the rest of the world, the Indian subcontinent was practicing it! India continues to remain as that “shining” land mass of religious tolerance even despite the relentless provocations of the arrogant factions of the monotheistic faiths. It is not a well-appreciated fact here in this country that India’s Sanatana Dharma had always espoused such a pluralistic tradition as befitting the peoples who inhabited that subcontinent. Middle East too was a haven for pluralism with its pre-Christian Semitic and African cultures as well as the very early Christian churches of the first four centuries of the Common Era. They were all destroyed consequent to the bastardization of the ancient eastern Judeo-Christian faiths when these essentially “eastern Jewish and Orthodox Eastern Christian faiths” were hijacked nearly 1700 years ago by the Western imperialist powers to convert them into exclusivist creeds and make them become tools in their quests for world domination. Unfortunately, the same fervor for co-opting religion in the service of expanding political power was embraced by the Islamic rulers as well. The follies of all such perversions, past and present are now becoming more obvious in recent years with the resurgence of militancy among the ignorant minorities of the Abrahamic faiths who are either willing to maim and kill for proving their exclusivist superiority and nearness to God or belittle and ridicule those who perceive God differently. In that context, the parents of our Indian-American children have a stellar opportunity to show their neighbors of Abrahamic faiths the redeeming values and traditions of Sanatana Dharma and the latter’s intrinsic nearness to the true tenet of the American Creed, E PLURIBUS UNUM! (Dr. Alexander is a naturalized US citizen, and a recent retiree from the medical profession. He has held several executive medical positions in both the US Department of Affairs and the US Department of Defense,US Army Medical Corps, Reserve Components, and has held professorial appointments at several medical schools during his 40 years of medical career in the United States. An earlier version of this article was first published in INDIA FEST –04, Indian American Associations, National Capital Region & subsequently in the Souvenir or Dharma Summit 2005, Aug 13-15,2005, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ)

Posted by: Ashok Kumar Dec 28 2005, 12:54 PM

That article by Dr. Alex Alexander is very good and needs to be circulated. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Would the band of academic bandicoots put their signatures on a petition to teach the 6th graders the following: 1. That many historians believe that Mary Magdalene was married to Jesus Christ and was the foremost amongst his desciples (most recently sensationalized by the novel 'Da Vinci Code')? 2. That many historians believe that the early church suppressed her legacy and denigrated her and earlier gnostic gospels and apostles. 3. The exploits of the "bad popes"? Why not? Aren't these valid and highly active or settled historical debates amongst scholars of high repute? If not, then why should hinduism get a different treatment? Why is it ok for other religions to be treated as seen by the practicing insiders, but hinduism by historians who are hostile to hinduism and predominantly non-hindu?

Posted by: Sudhir Dec 28 2005, 03:18 PM

QUOTE
Let me end on a personal notes: Michael Witzel is one of the most intelligent, most humanistic, and also the very funniest men I know. He is a wonderful collaborator to boot, and it has been a privilege to work with him. The smear campaign aimed at him is obscene -- it is the first word that comes to mind thinking about it-- and I hope and expect that a lot of other people will speak out in his public defense. Steve Farmer
I believe Ayman Al-Zawahri has the same opinion about Osama bin Laden. You know, my boss is the most one of the most intelligent, most humanistic, and also the very funniest men I know. He is a wonderful collaborator to boot, and it has been a privilege to work with him. The smear campaign aimed at him is obscene -- it is the first word that comes to mind thinking about it-- and I hope and expect that a lot of other people will speak out in his public defense.

Posted by: Ashok Kumar Dec 28 2005, 05:24 PM

Sudhir, this whole field of Indological or Indo-eurasian scholarship is filled with incestuous practices. Recall Wendy's children. It is quite pathetic to watch the 'mutual appreciation society" these guys run and their reciprocal back-scratching fiestas. P.S. The great Aryan-Invaders have found a new chapter, the 6th tantra of the book erstwhile called Panchatantra, which was used to teach neeti (policy) to Indian children. The invaders insist that only this newly discovered 6th chapter be used to teach the 6th graders and the book now termed 'ShaT-tantra".. This 6th-tantra/chapter is called "Shishu-Bheda or "How to create dissension amongst little children'". The main characters in the storyline are a weasel and a farmer. The wily weasel teaches the ignoramus farmer, how to trick and fool little children to create dissension amongst them. This chapter is patterned on the very first chapter of panchatantra "Mitra-Bheda", or "How to create dissesntion amongst friends" where the main characters were a lion, a bull and a jackal.

Posted by: rajesh_g Dec 28 2005, 06:07 PM

Dharampal in one of his books says..

QUOTE
The work of the indologists is in fact akin to anthropology. Anthropology, as recognised by its practitioners, is a peculiar science of the West. The defeated, subjugated and fragmented societies of the non-Western world form the subject of this science. Anthropology thus is the science of the study of the conquered by the conquerors. Claude Levi Strauss, an authentic spokesman and a major scholar of anthropology, defines his disci-pline more or less in these terms.1 Indian indologists, anthro-pologists, and other academics may wish to disagree with such a definition, but within the community of practitioners of anthro-pology there is hardly any dispute on the issue. It is true that not many scholars would like to state the objec-tives of anthropology quite as bluntly as Claude Levi Strauss does. But then Levi Strauss is an incisive philosopher who does not care to hide the facts behind unnecessary verbiage. It is obvious that anthropological tools cannot be used for
QUOTE
1. During his remarks at the bicentennial celebrations at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC (U.S.A.) on 17 November 1965, Claude Levi-Strauss explained the nature of anthropology in the following words (Current Anthropology, Vol. 7, No.2, April 1966, pp. 126):
QUOTE
Anthropology is not a dispassionate science like astronomy, which springs from the contemplation of things at a distance. It is the outcome of a historical process which has made the larger part of mankind subservient to the other, and during which mil-lions of innocent human beings have had their resources plundered and their institutions and beliefs destroyed, whilst they them-selves were ruthlessly killed, thrown into bondage, and contami-nated by diseases they were unable to resist. Anthropology is daughter to this era of violence: its capacity to assess more objectively the facts pertaining to the human condition reflects, on the epistemological level, a state of affairs in which one part of mankind treated the other as an object. A situation of this kind cannot be soon forgotten, much less erased. It is not because of its mental endowments that only the Western world has given birth to Anthropology, but rather because exotic cultures, treated by us as mere things, could be studied accordingly, as things. We did not feel concerned by them whereas we cannot help their feeling concerned by us. Between our atti-tude toward them and their attitude toward us, there is and can be no parity. Therefore, if native cultures are ever to look at anthropology as a legitimate pursuit and not as a sequel to colonial era or that of economic domination, it cannot suffice for the players simply to change camps while the anthropological game remains the same. Anthropology itself must undergo a deep transformation in order to carry on its work among those cultures for whose study it was intended because they lack written record of their history. Instead of making up for this gap through the application of special methods, the new aim will be to fill it in. When it is practiced by members of the culture which it endeavours to study, anthropology loses its specific nature and becomes rather akin to archaeology, history, and philology. For anthropology is the science of culture as seen from the outside and the first concern of people made aware of their independent existence and original-ity must be to claim the right to observe themselves, from the inside. Anthropology will survive in a changing world by allowing itself to perish in order to be born again under a new guise.

Posted by: acharya Dec 28 2005, 06:40 PM

RajeshJi Can you give us the chapter number and title of the the specific book from which you have got the quote. thanks

Posted by: rajesh_g Dec 28 2005, 06:46 PM

Essays on Tradition, Recovery and Freedom. Page 156. The quote from Levi-Strauss is on page 195.

Posted by: Viren Dec 28 2005, 08:04 PM

Interesting article: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=12833 Tosi one of the 50 in the list was funded by Govt of Oman I believe for some project pertaining to India.

Posted by: aruni Dec 29 2005, 10:04 AM

http://www.voi.org/indology/ReplytoWitzel.html -- long post --- needs to stored here [quote]A Reply to Michael Witzel’s article “A Maritime Rigveda? How not to read the Ancient Texts” in the ‘Open Page’ Section of The Hindu, 25th June 2002 by David Frawley [With input from Vishal Agarwal] 29 June 2002 _____________________________________________________ Introduction - Michael Witzel wrote an article titled “A Maritime Rigveda? How not to read the Ancient Texts” (The Hindu, 25 June 2002) in response to my article “Vedic Literature and the Gulf of Cambay Discovery” that had appeared in the Open Page section of the same newspaper on 18th June 2002. Witzel still holds to the idea that the pastoral Vedic people came to India from land-locked Central Asia around 1500 BCE and that there is nothing Vedic about the urban Harappan civilization that practiced long-distance maritime trade with the Middle East. His idea is a continuation of the line of thinking by scholars over the last two hundred years that proposed an Aryan Invasion of India to explain how the Vedas came to the subcontinent. However, since the reputed Aryan destruction of the Harappan culture has been disproved as bad archaeology, Witzel would make the Rigveda the product of migrants from Afghanistan into the Panjab around 1500 BCE, long after the Harappan era (which ended c. 1900 BCE). This means that the Vedic people didn’t even know who the mature Harappans were and at most found long abandoned cities! Though the demise of the Aryan Invasion Theory/Destruction of Harappa was a major retreat for the idea of Aryan intrusion, it did not get Witzel to question the underlying idea itself. Witzel has taken it all in stride, forgetting how wrong the previous theory was, and still accepting most of the scholarship that came out of it as valid. He has replaced the Aryan invasion with an Aryan migration, but he often portrays this migration as potentially violent, with the Aryans using superior horses and chariots as their main means of movement and territorial expansion. So the difference between this and the old invasion scenario is largely semantic. Some scholars of the Aryan Migration Theory have gone so far to suggest that it was only a small group of people who actually migrated, perhaps only a special elite. This is another side-tracking to avoid the fact that there is no evidence for any real migrations at the time. This theory requires that the early Rigvedic peoples had no worthwhile knowledge of the ocean or of maritime trade. It reduces them to a nomadic land-based people who had never even seen the sea. But there is a major problem confronting this theory. The Rigveda alone has more than 150 references to samudra, the common Sanskrit term for ocean, weaving it into its cosmology and the functions of almost every main God that it has. Witzel tries to explain away this problem by arguing that practically all the occurrences of the word samudra in the Rigveda refer to something other than a real terrestrial ocean. In other words he redefines samudra as something other than the sea. Witzel’s theory also requires ignoring the Sarasvati river, clearly referred to in the Rigveda as a major, exalted river. The Sarasvati was the main river of Harappan civilization and mainly dried up around 1900 BCE, contributing significantly to the civilization’s end. Witzel has to do considerable theatrics to ignore the numerous references to Sarasvati in the Rigveda and in other Vedic texts as the oldest and most sacred river of the Vedic people, in order to ‘prove’ his theory that the Aryans arrived from Central Asia a long time after the collapse of the Harappan civilization. Witzel shows a particularly strong tendency to place everything possible in the ‘night-time sky’, and does so even with the river Sarasvati – a claim which has been criticized by Talageri [2001], available online at http://www.bharatvani.org/general_inbox/talageri/. Outdated Philologists -Witzel suggests that I am ‘unwilling to access’ or am ‘unaware’ of numerous philological writings that investigate the meaning of Rigvedic ‘samudra’ using the principles of philology. He arrays a list of authors, whose works were published from 1800’s up to recent times, to prove his position. It is important to read the Vedic texts directly and not change meaning of obvious terms like ocean, river or fire, particularly terms that occur frequently in the text. A philological interpretation of texts, in order to reconstruct ancient cultures, cannot ignore the common sense meaning of words. Samudra is said to mean ocean in the oldest level of Vedic interpretation we have through such texts as Brihaddevata of Shaunaka and Nighantu and Nirukta of Yaska. Nowhere do we find a statement in the Vedas like “we have just discovered the sea”. Rather the ocean is there all along as a primary symbol permeating the entire text. A philological interpretation of texts can also not ignore information derived from other areas of scholarship – such as archaeology, genetics, anthropology, history, zoology and so on. Outdated secondary works that Witzel emphasizes more or less assumed the validity of an Aryan invasion, must be adjusted relative to the growing evidence to the contrary. As newer data emerge, and have been emerging for more than 50 years now, the paradigms that we apply to interpret the Vedic texts philologically must also change. Regarding Witzel’s authorities C. Lassen [1847] and Heinrich Lueders [1951-1959, actually he died in 1940’s], the less said the better. These scholars lived in an age when the Aryan invasion and the subjugation of ‘black skinned, snub nosed indigenous Indians’ by ‘fair, blonde Aryans on horse chariots from land-locked Central Asia’ was taken for granted, and all data in the Rigveda and other texts was interpreted and retrofitted accordingly. In fact, Witzel himself concedes, that even his latest authority, Konrad Klaus [1989], was unaware of the Sarasvati paradigm till recently. Now, this is not something to be proud of. Does it not indicate, that Klaus et al were living in their own sequestered world of arcane, obsolete interpretations of old scholars? Of Christian Lassen, it was said as early as 1890 [Oldenberg 1890:27] that “the sagacity of philological thought is wanting in him”. Need we say more? Witzel had stated earlier in an Internet forum that even Kuiper was totally ignorant of the Sarasvati paradigm, and of the Aryan origin controversy as such, till recently. An ignorance of current archaeological and other data, can lead to a gross misinterpretation of the texts when the principles of philology are applied to them. Witzel has seems to have fallen into the same trap. These scholars first assume that the pastoral, nomadic Aryans invaded India (the current, more politically correct terms in lieu of ‘invasion’ are ‘migration’ and ‘acculturation’) from a land-locked Central Asia. Then, they interpret textual data according to this assumption. And finally, they use the results of their own interpretations and assumptions to ‘prove’ the advent of Aryans into India around 1500 BC, and that the Rigveda is a ‘land-locked’ text. My point is that literature composed between the period of German romanticism to the years of Nazi rule in Germany should be taken with a pinch of salt, and not relied upon uncritically, excessively and dogmatically as Witzel does. But, those who want to see Central Asian pastoral nomads in the Rigveda or in other Vedic texts will certainly see them therein. In fact, Witzel even ‘discovered’ actual literary evidence for the migration of Aryans into India in a late Vedic passage, a claim that was refuted [Agarwal 2000a, see online at http://vishalagarwal.bharatvani.org/AMT.html ]. Witzel’s reference to “Kuiper 1983” is rather strange and unclear, because in his webpage at http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/EJVS-7-3.htm, he lists two publications of Kuiper for the year 1983. If Witzel means the book “Ancient Indian Cosmogony” containing a collection of Kuiper’s writings, then we cannot fathom what Witzel really wants to say. A word index at the end of the book lists only two occurrences of ‘samudra’ in the entire book. Kuiper himself says clearly in that book (p.75) that he will not summarize the view of Lueders at all. In his other publications (e.g. “The Heavenly Bucket”, 1972), Kuiper too criticizes Lueders here and there. And anyone can read the writings of Konrad Klaus himself to discern the special-pleading he indulges in to transform the ‘samudra’ to a confluence of Panjab streams or the far away heavens in the sky. Klaus himself relies excessively on the writings of old scholars (as a look at the bibliographies appended to his three publications will show), leading to erroneous conclusions. Rigveda and Samudra: The Ocean or Just a Lucky Guess Witzel seems to be unaware that dozens of authors have indeed said exactly what I have explained in detail on the Vedic peoples’ acquaintance with the ocean in my earlier publications [e.g. Frawley 1991, 2001b]. For instance, Witzel’s friend B.R. Sharma [1967], whose Samaveda edition is now under publication in the Harvard Oriental Series, concludes that Vedic Aryans possessed knowledge of ship-building and marine trade. Writing several decades ago, Alfred Hillebrandt had also conceded that a great many occurrences of the word ‘samudra’ in the Rigveda clearly denote the ocean [S. R. Sarma 1981]. Davane [1982] analyzes the 150 occurrences of ‘samudra’ and its related words in the Rigveda and concludes that the original and the most frequent meaning of this word in the text is ‘terrestrial ocean’. All other meanings are metaphorical/derived or are later developments, according to him. A few other references can be found cited in the Vedic Index of Keith and Macdonell. And many other publications stressing the same paradigm have come out after the Vedic Index was published in 1912. The references mentioned by me above are merely illustrative of the voluminous literature that concludes that ‘samudra’ in Rigveda primarily means the terrestrial ocean and not a ‘pond’ or a ‘lake’ or a ‘confluence of rivers’ or an ‘atmospheric water body’, thus contradicting the literature cited by Witzel. The reader will note therefore, that Witzel tends to cite his sources selectively, showing a preference for antiquated publications in German (his mother tongue). He ignores literature that runs counter to his pet theories. Witzel has himself conceded in his publications, that the Rigveda is primarily a document of the Puru-Bharatas, who were located more in the northern interior of India, their Sarasvati homeland. There were other Vedic tribes, mentioned in the Rigveda in the passing, and some of these tribes were more closely associated with the ocean (like the Turvashas and Yadus). I have elaborated upon this theme in my recent book “Rigveda and the History of India” [Frawley 2001b], which Witzel does not seem to have read so far. Yet the fact that the Vedic people were centered in the interior of India does not bar them from having knowledge of the sea, particularly in a region dominated by great rivers, with ease of river travel to the sea. In the Rigveda itself the Purus, the Vedic people, are said to dwell on both banks of the Sarasvati (verse 7.96.2), a river known to them to reach the sea (verse 7.95.2). Witzel admits three meanings of samudra – mythical terrestrial oceans (imagined by the Vedic peoples before ever seeing the real ocean), confluences of rivers or terminal lakes where they drain their waters, and finally, the ‘heavenly ocean’. He leaves little or no scope for the possibility that the Rigveda actually refers to a ‘real’, and not a ‘mythical’ terrestrial ocean. Let us now examine the text of Rigveda directly. Rigveda 1.130.5 says that “Indra has freed the floods to run their free course, like chariots, to the samudra.” A natural meaning of ‘samudra’ here would not be confluence or a terminal lake, but the ocean. Similar are the passages Rigveda 1.32.2 (“waters flowed down to the ‘samudra’”); 1.190.7 (“as rivers eddying under banks flow towards the ‘samudra’); 1.71.7 (“as the seven mighty rivers seek the ‘samudra’). Rigveda 7.33.8 says that all rivers flow into the samudra but are unable to fill it – this remark cannot apply to the lower Indus, which overflows its banks in the rainy season because of copious water supply from its tributaries. I have listed many more such passages in my books “Gods, Sages and Kings” (1991) and “Rigveda and the History of India” (2001b). Note the Apppendix at the end of this rejoinder for this information. I do not propose that the word ‘samudra’ in the Rigveda always means an earthly sea, as it develops the poetic image of the sea on many levels. In contrast, Witzel seems to deny that all but a few passages in the Rigveda denote something other than a real terrestrial ocean and that the term has no original foundation in a real earthly ocean. The implication of his theory is that ‘samudra’ became applied to a real earthly ocean only at a later time when the Vedic people finally contacted the sea, i.e., long after most of the Rigveda was composed. It seems to credit the Vedic people with imagining the ocean before ever seeing it! The term samudra is a common term for ocean in Sanskrit going back to the Rigveda, the same way as agni is a common term for fire or apas is a common term for water. Yet Witzel would have us believe that samudra in the Rigveda, which is mentioned over a hundred and fifty times in the text and is frequently referred to along with ships (nava, e.g. Rigveda 1.25.7; 7.88.3), does not mean the ocean! Similarly, he claims that Varuna, who is the lord of samudra (and of waters in general) in the Rigveda, cannot be the lord of the ocean as he is in later Hindu thought, because samudra cannot mean ocean there! Witzel wants to ignore what the inheritor Sanskritic Hindu tradition has to say about its own sources. But at the same time, does not hesitate to rely on the English, Old Norse, Greek and equivalents of the word ‘samudra’ - even though these European languages are much more distant in space and time from the Rigveda. Witzel mentions that the Vedic samudra is often the ocean of the air (antariksha) and therefore cannot be construed as a terrestrial ocean. He seems unaware of one of the most common rules of Vedic interpretation going back to the Brihaddevata of Shaunaka (and even earlier). Vedic deities have three forms relative to the three worlds of the earth, atmosphere and heaven. Agni or fire, for example, has an atmospheric form as lightning (vidyut) and a heavenly form as the sun (Surya). So too, the Vedic ocean or samudra has atmospheric and heavenly forms. One cannot use this symbolism to prove that the Vedic never saw a real terrestrial ocean more than they never saw an earthly fire! Such a metaphor of the sky as an ocean is common among many maritime peoples. It does not disprove that they knew of the ocean but only that it was the basis of their world-view. That is why all the main Vedic Gods of Indra, Agni, Soma and Surya have oceanic symbolisms. The Vedic fire and the sun are often said to dwell in the waters, which are a universal symbolism for the Vedic people. No one would imagine the atmosphere as like the ocean, or a universe of various seas, if they had no acquaintance with the ocean. Many people image the atmosphere or heaven as an ocean. This reflects a knowledge of the ocean, not an ignorance of it. Even English words like sea can refer to a large body of water, not necessarily the ocean. This does not prove ignorance of a real ocean. One wonders how Witzel himself would translate such common Vedic statements as 'samudrayeva sindhava' meaning 'as rivers to the sea.' Perhaps he has Vedic rivers only flowing into the atmosphere or accumulating their waters in a bottomless ‘confluence’ that never gets full, and from where the rivers do not flow any further! Or perhaps, the Vedic people thought that the Yamuna, the Sindhu and all other rivers just drained their waters in a terminal, inland lake! Even Griffith, one of the nineteenth century colonial scholars who tried to foster this idea that samudra does not mean sea or ocean nevertheless often translates the term as ocean or sea in his version of the Rigveda. Any other rendering of the term would be cumbersome and do violence to the text in most of the occurrences. The Rigveda (RV 7.49) speaks of the waters, the eldest of which is the ocean (samudra jyestha), mentioning waters that are heavenly, that flow, that are dug and are spontaneous, whose goal is the sea (verse 2), in which King Varuna dwells (verse 4). Clearly the Vedic people knew the difference between the earthy and heavenly waters. Note even Griffith’s translation of this short hymn. RV VII.49 “1. Forth from the middle of the flood, the Waters – their chief the Sea -- flow cleansing, never sleeping. Indra, the Bull, the Thunderer, dug their channels: her let those Waters, Goddesses, protect me. 2. Waters which come from heaven, or those that wander dug form the earth, or flowing free by nature, Bright, purifying, speeding to the Ocean, here let those Waters, Goddesses, protect me. 3. Those amid whom Varuna the Sovran, he who discriminates men’s truth and falsehood – Distilling meath, the bright, the purifying, here let those Waters, Goddesses, protect me. 4. They from whom Varuna the king, and soma, and all the Deities drink strength and vigour, They into whom Vaisvanara Agni entered, here let those Waters, Goddesses, protect me.” I give this translation from Griffith merely to show the general reader how the word ‘samudra’ fits the meaning ‘ocean’ naturally in most of the contexts in the Rigveda. There are other better translations available in various languages, but most of them are inaccessible to the ordinary reader. Witzel argues that if the Vedic Aryans traded by sea, they would mention features like the tide, and the saltiness of the sea. Such arguments are rather spurious, because the Rigveda is not a manual of trade or commerce. It is a religious text intimately connected with ritual liturgy. The Rigveda doesn’t mention the salt at all, even relative to Salt range in the Panjab, in which region Witzel would put the Vedic people. However, the Rigveda does mention in a hymn to Varuna, the lord of samudra, how the rishi Vasishta was struck with thirst in the middle of the waters (RV 7.89.4), suggesting the inability to drink the salty water of the sea. And in reality, many Rigvedic mantras do mention the waviness of the ocean (RV 4.58.1,11) and their back and forth movement experienced while in a ship on the sea. For instance, Rigveda 7.88.3 mentions this, although Witzel would again suggest that Vasistha’s vessel is riding over the crests of waves in the sky here! But even if one were to assume a celestial ocean here and in other instances (such as Bhujyu’s vessel), as does Oettinger (1988) cited by Witzel, the fact remains that such a simile would be meaningless in a culture which does not have any familiarity with oceanic waves. Oettinger bases his judgment on parallels in Yasht 5 of middle Avesta, a text that itself might have adapted the Rigvedic legend to suit its own locale. Witzel objects to calling Vasistha as a descendant of the ‘sea god’ Varuna and says that he is born in a pot far inland. Rigveda 7.33.11 however mentions that Vasishtha is the son of Mitra and Varuna and that their seed was placed on a lotus leaf by the Visvedevas. This is a far cry from Witzel’s claim that Vasistha was born ‘far inland’.He is also born along with the rishi Agastya who is commonly associated with the ocean in all the stories about him. The Rigveda 5.55.5 mentions that the Maruts, the storm devatas, blow over the ocean, lifting moisture and causing rain. The Rigvedic mantras mention how Soma, (the moon) stirs the ocean with the winds (Rigveda 9.84.4). This does refer to the waves and ebbing of the ocean. The swelling of the samudra has been referred to, for e.g. Rigveda 1.8.7 says that the belly of Indra swells with Soma, just as the samudra swells. Note that the word ‘Soma’ also means ‘moon’ and a play of words can be inferred here. Witzel however wants to deny it just because the rivers are also said to swell by receiving melt waters. The reader will also note that although the volume of Indian rivers fluctuates a lot from season to season, the volume of the ‘samudra’ fluctuates or ebbs (‘swells’) only because of the phenomenon of tide! Therefore, Witzel’s dismissal of mention of tides in the Rigveda is quite illogical, and based on pre-conceived dogmatic notions of a ‘land-locked Rigveda’. Witzel argues that “the Rigvedic poetic diction concerning the samudra is exactly as that used for the rivers: swelling, spreading, growing (at snow melt in spring).” This statement is inaccurate, because actual flow data [Misra 1970:151] of the Panjab rivers shows that they carry most of their waters in the Monsoon season (July to September) – or in other words, they swell/spread/grow the most a few months after Spring. Witzel also reasons that the Rigvedic peoples could not have known real terrestial oceans because their oceans are mythical, being located above, below, at the two ends of the world and so on. He gives parallels from other cultures to show that such a belief in mythical oceans is fairly pervasive all over the world. However, ¾ examples that he gives actually belong to peoples who lived close to the oceans – Greeks, Mesopotamians, Pauranic Indians! We might add that just because the Puranas speak also of numerous mythical mountains and rivers, it does not mean that compilers/authors of these texts were ignorant of real rivers and mountains! Similarly, if the Rigveda speaks of mythical oceans sometimes, it does not imply at all that the composers of the text were ignorant of real oceans. As for the fourth example of Avesta given by Witzel, it needs to be noted the imagery of the ‘hendu’ in that text is much less pervasive than that of ‘sindhu’ or of ‘samudra’ in the Rigveda. Hence, the two cases are not comparable at all. In short, Witzel’s examples prove the opposite of what he is trying to say, and support what I have proposed in my own article. The rivers also obviously flow, which the Rigveda constantly refers to. The Vedic term samudra is never said to flow but rather to receive all the rivers, which is but quite natural. I quote two passages as an example – samudram na sindhavah – Rigveda 6.36.3 samudraayeva sindhavah – Rigveda 8.44.25 Verses like Rigveda 1.56.2 and 4.55.6 say that those who seek fortune go to the ‘samudra’, the natural sense of which indicates maritime trade. Note also passages like Rigveda 1.47.6 (rayim samudraad uta vaa divaspari), wherein the devatas are asked for wealth from the heaven as well as from the ‘samudra’, which should be translated as the ‘ocean’. Witzel says that the verse Rigveda 1.47.6 does not mention King ‘sudas’, as I have stated. This is debatable, because the first word of the verse is ‘sudase’, which I take as meaning for Sudas, following Sayanacharya. The term Sudas only appears in the Rigveda as the name of the king. Even if one were to split the word into ‘Su+dase’, following a few old German scholars like Karl F. Geldner (he died in 1929, and was therefore quite ignorant of the Harappan culture as such), whose commentary Witzel appears to have followed, the central idea of the oceans, distinct from the atmospheric heavens, being a source of riches still stays intact. Even B. R. Sharma (1967) has argued that the mantra in question does refer to maritime trade. Note also that the Vasishta, who was the purohit of Sudas in the Rigveda, speaks of a samrat or great emperor (RV VII.6.1) who receives wealth from the heavenly and earthly oceans (RV VII.6.7 aa samudraad avaraad aa parasmaad, agnir dade diva aa prthivyaah), which echoes this same verse about Sudas. Witzel would place the Vedic people in Panjab around 1500 BC as migrants from Afghanistan, which requires that they cross the six or seven rivers of the Panjab, yet still have them regard Panjab rivers as samudra or their 'sea'. He fails to explain why the Aryan migrants would not follow the westernmost river (the Indus) all the way to its confluence with the ocean, before fording and crossing all the 6 rivers of Punjab, and then the seventh – the Sarasvati. The migrants could not have failed to note that such rivers do flow south beyond their confluence. Even Keith and Macdonell (Vedic Index, vol. II, page 432) argue that the Vedic Aryans had to know the ocean if they knew the Indus river. Witzel ignores the great mass of oceanic symbolism that pervades the Rigveda and all of its deities. Instead he tries to emphasize some technicalities, that the Vedic plant avakaa (misnamed by him as Blyxa actandra, correct spelling of the second word being octandra) used in connection with the ocean is a sweet water plant, but is referred to by the Yajurvedic texts as “the avakaa plant of the samudra” (Madhyandina Samhita XVII.4). This simplistic argument tends to overlook the significance of avakaa in Vedic ritual under consideration. Yajurveda XVII.4 enjoins tying a bamboo shoot (darbha in other texts of the Yajurveda), a frog and avakaa to a bamboo pole by the side of the altar during a rite connected with the mahaagnichayana. According to Shatapatha Brahmana 9.1.2.20, these three represent three types of water (oceanic, terrestrial, and heavenly), a fact noted by Gonda [1985:61-62]. In the Samhita passage then, the avakaa grass might then be taken to represent the ‘oceanic waters’ quite easily. Although avakaa grows in estuarine, deltaic and marshy areas, it symbolizes waters in general [S. S. Sarma 1989:28-29]. Therefore its use in this particular rite, in conjunction with the bamboo shoot/darbha (considered a sacred grass with great purifying properties – from the heavens, so to speak) and the frog (a dweller of ponds) only reinforces the idea that it symbolizes the oceanic waters here. In fact, Kumkum Roy [1993] classifies avakaa as one of the few ‘South Indian’ plants used in Vedic rituals, which only reiterates that the ‘samudra’ in YV XVII.4 should perhaps be translated better as ‘ocean’ rather than as ‘lake’ even though the plant might grow in sweet water. The real reason beyond his statements on samudra in the article is that the maritime nature of Vedic culture refutes his interpretation of the Rig Veda as a product of recent migrants from land-locked Central Asia. In this regard Witzel, like a fossil in time, is just carrying on nineteenth century European scholarship, ignoring the new evidence of the Sarasvati river, the many more Harappan sites and the much greater continuity for Indian civilization that has been discovered since. Taittiriya Yajurveda and Geography Witzel accuses me of misplacing the Taittiriya Sakha of the Yajurveda geographically. He seems to have misunderstood me. I did not place the Taittiriya Sakha only in the south, but simply noted its southern connections (that is not unique to its branch of the Vedas). The Taittiriya contains many references to Kurus, Panchalas, Kurukshetra and other northern regions as well. Clearly the Sarasvati-Drishadvati region was the central Yajurvedic land but the culture extended far beyond this and was well aware of the sea. In fact the Dharmasutra of Baudhayana, belonging to the Taittiriya Sakha, also mentions the dakshinapatha. Witzel’s own understanding of Vedic sakhas has been called into question [Agarwal 2000b, see online at http://vishalagarwal.bharatvani.org/uttamapatala.html]. In fact, Talageri [2000, see chapter 9 online at http://www.bharatvani.org/books/rig/ch9.htm] has shown that Witzel has muddled up even the basic information contained in the text of the Rigveda. Horse, Aryans and Harappans -Witzel also dismisses the presence of horse bones in the Mature Harappan period. In his recent and earlier articles, Witzel has quoted his friend and colleague Richard Meadow’s publications selectively to ‘prove’ that it was the Aryans who first brought the horse to India. This is untrue, and horse bones have been excavated and have been identified as such by competent archaeologists, zoologists and zoo-archaeologists. None of Meadow’s publications cited by him seem to indicate that Meadow has reviewed more than a fraction of the relevant literature describing horse bones at Harappan sites. Horse bones have been reported as early as the 5th millennium BC at Mahagara and Koldihwa [Sharif and Thapar 1992:151] in Uttar Pradesh. The C-14 dates of these sites were at first doubted, but retests have only established that the earlier dates of 5th millennium BC were correct [Chakrabarti 1999:104-105]. Coming to the Mature Harappan period, horse bones have been found at several sites such as Kuntasi [Dhavalikar 1995: 116-117], Malvan [Allchin and Joshi 1995: 95], Shikarpur [P. K. Thomas et al 1995] etc. They have also been reported conclusively at Hallur in Karnataka, at levels dated securely at 1500-1700 BC. If the Aryans were just entering Baluchistan and NWFP at that time, Karnataka becomes too south a place for horse remains to surface so early! The sum total of the evidence has led even the conservative archaeologists such as F. R. Allchin and B. Allchin [1995: 177] to conclude the Indus valley culture knew the horse, although it was a rare animal there, and was possessed only by the elite. And nothing in the Rigveda, an elitist text itself, contradicts this. The horse has always been a rare animal in India, unattested in numerous historical sites, and absent even today in most villages. Now I hope Witzel does not say that the Allchins, P. K. Thomas, Dhavalikar etc., are all Hindu nationalists. In addition to horse bones, terracotta figurines of horse are reported from Rakhigarhi, Lothal, Banawali and numerous other sites and many archaeologists have acknowledged this. The horse is intimately linked to the ‘spoked wheel chariot’. Although this vehicle is not attested archaeologically till as late as 3rd century BC, we now have representations of spoked wheel in terracotta from Banawali, Kalibangan, Rakhigarhi etc. [LAL 2002]. It must be pointed out moreover that the excavator of Kunal reports a pottery-sherd depicting a spoked-wheel, canopied ‘chariot’ from pre-Harappan levels! And this is just the tip of the iceberg, considering that not even 5% of the Harappan sites have been excavated. In an earlier article, Witzel had said that the horse bones were found from layers that were ‘eroded’. When Dr. Nagaswamy questioned him (http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/op/2002/03/12/stories/2002031200190100.htm) for proof of this remark, Witzel mentioned ‘Meadow 1998’ in a follow up article. In reality, Meadow (1998) does not explicitly mention this ‘eroded layers’ theory in his article in connection with horse bones. Moreover, Meadow restricts his discussion only to supposed horse findings that are reported in the book of B. P. Sahu [1988]. Now, this book does not cover any of the recent horse remain findings that I have listed above. Sahu was obviously not aware of the publications of Dhavalikar, Thomas et al and Joshi, which appeared after 1988. Therefore, Witzel’s reference to Meadow’s papers does not amount to much, and indicates an excessive indirect reliance on old literature. This is another instance showing how Witzel misuses and distorts even the references he cites selectively, to suit his own pet theories. In any case, we cannot expect much objectivity from Meadow himself, who has, in a foreword to a book published in 1998 [Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization by Jonathan Mark Kenoyer], characterized literature emerging from South Asia as tainted by ‘flights of fancy’. That such prejudices can be displayed by Meadow and Witzel so brazenly in our times is quite disturbing. Witzel mentions the discovery of horse bones at Pirak and in Swat as evidence of arrival of the Aryans around 1700 BCE. However, the excavator Jarrige [1997] himself has dismissed this possibility in his archaeological report on Pirak. The archaeological data cannot be interpreted to read an arrival or Aryans who then set a chain reaction of Aryanization of the whole of Pakistan and India. And in Swat, what we see are horse burials (besides a few other depictions on pottery) – not characteristic of Vedic culture. The horses also show signs of bit wear – indicating that they were ridden. In the Rigveda, there are very few indications that the horses were ridden, their overwhelming use is for pulling chariots. And most of these chariots belong to the gods dwelling in the heavens. So should we now question the presence of real chariots with the Vedic peoples? In any case, the evidence or Pirak etc., cited by Witzel to ‘prove’ the source of Aryanization of north India is rejected by most scholars like the archaeologist Chakrabarti [1999:201] and Indo-Europeanists like Robert Mallory, although for different reasons. The clear absence of a trail of horse bones from Central Asia into India around the second millennium BC clearly irks Witzel because he claims that archaeologists have not examined a large area from Western Punjab to Eastern Iran for that particular time. This is a half-truth. I suggest that he should read the works of Indian (e.g. Dilip Chakrabarti) and Pakistani (e.g., Rafique Mughal) archaeologists more closely. There have been several excavations in northeastern Iran, in the Helmand valley in Afghanistan and adjoining areas in Iran, in the Oxus basin and also in Western Punjab. The gap extends largely over the tribal areas of NWFP and a few adjoining areas in Afghanistan and in Pakistan. What we find then is that the horse is not attested archaeologically even in the Bactria and Margiana Archaeological Complex (or in its successor cultures), which is supposedly the launching pad for horse possessing Aryans and for Iranians! In fact, land surveys by the Pakistani archaeologist Rafique Mughal in west Panjab have indicated that no archaeological remains are found even between Ravi and Indus for the Mature Harappan period except for a cluster in the Sheikhupura district, and then there is the site of Harappa on the Ravi of course. The entire doabs between Indus and Jhelum, between Jhelum and Chenab and between Chenab and Ravi, are practically devoid of Harappan (let alone ‘Aryan’) remains, and no horse bones from the second millennium BC are reported in published literature in this entire region. The trail of horse bones clearly does not exist, although Witzel wants to imagine it. The river Ravi then, acts as a kind of divider between Mature Harappan, and extra-Harappan cultures (if we ignore a few outliers). This corresponds perhaps to the fact that even in the Rigveda, Sudas defeats his numerous enemies on the Parushni river (later called the Iravati, and then the Ravi) in the momentous Dasarajna battle. Witzel and Sarasvati - Witzel also dismisses the Sarasvati paradigm, following Klaus and other scholars who are blissfully ignorant of the latest discoveries and researches in this area. If Witzel wants to be in a state of denial, then that is his problem. I merely suffice it to say here that western archaeologists, e.g. the Allchins, J. M. Kenoyer, Gregory Possehl, Jane MacIntosh, and most Indian/Pakistani archaeologists (Mughal, Lal, S. P. Gupta, V. N. Mishra etc.) accept the identification of the Vedic Sarasvati with the Ghaggar-Hakra valley which runs through Haryana, Rajasthan, and Pakistan’s desert of Cholistan. Witzel’s refusal to acknowledge the same is therefore revisionist, and a minority view, to say the least. It is also fairly well established that the river diminished considerably in extent and almost dried up in the period 1900 – 1500 BC. It is therefore inconceivable that the Vedic Rishis, arriving around 1500 BC, would eulogize a dried up rivulet more eloquently then numerous large steams of Punjab in the vicinity. To see a criticism of a similar earlier attempt by Witzel to place the Sarasvati in the night sky, in Arachosia – anywhere but in Western India, see section III.1.b in Talageri (2001) at http://www.bharatvani.org/general_inbox/talageri/ejvs/part3.html Within India, the sole vociferous opponents of the Saraswati paradigm are hardcore communists like Irfan Habib, whose views have been countered quite effectively by B. B. Lal [2002]. The net result of Witzel’s theory is that he brings the Vedic people into the Sarasvati region (Kurukshetra) in the post-Harappan era after the Sarasvati river dried up and its many cities were already long abandoned. He fails to explain why the Vedic people would make the Sarasvati, the ‘easternmost’ Panjab river, then devoid of water, as their central and immemorial homeland, describing this river that flowed west of the Yamuna (RV 10.75.6) as a great river pure in its course from the mountains to the sea (RV 7.95.2)! In fact, even Zimmer who otherwise believed in the ‘land-locked Rigveda’ theory, conceded that an actual ocean is meant by samudra in this particular verse (Vedic Index, vol. II, p. 432) at least. Now let us try to see what Witzel’s meanings of the word ‘samudra’ make out of Rigveda 7.95.2 - Pure in her course from mountains to the terminal lake, alone of streams Sarasvati hath listened. Or Pure in her course from mountains to the atmospheric ocean, alone of streams Sarasvati hath listened. Or Pure in her course from mountains to the confluence, alone of streams Sarasvati hath listened. The reader will note that all the above translations are somewhat odd, if not outright absurd. The full force of the phrase ‘from mountains to samudra’ manifests when when take the word to mean ‘ocean’. Urban Harappa and Rural/Pastoral Vedic Peoples - Witzel also makes much of the ‘urban’ character of the Harappan culture. Such a nomenclature is uncritical. Any settlement that is planned and has brick dwellings does not automatically become a ‘city’. Of the 2000 or so sites of the civilization, hardly a dozen could perhaps be classified as cities. In recent years, scholars like Leshnik and Possehl have actually stressed on the predominantly rural, and heavily pastoral character of the Harappan culture. Witzel’s paradigms therefore, are antiquated. On the other hand, Witzel fails to see any urban side to the Rigveda that would connect it with a semi-urban culture like the Harappan. However, the term pur for city (a term that obviously means city in Greek thought, i.e. Pura = Polis) is common throughout the text. Both the Vedic people and their enemies have a hundred cities, i.e., several (satapura, e.g. Rigveda 6.48.8; RV 2.14.6, RV 4.27.1). The Rigvedic sage Agastya, later at least associated with the south of India and the ocean, refers to the Vedic city or pur as “wide, broad and extensive (prthvii bahulaa na urvi, 1.189.2). Witzel argues that the non-mention of ‘great baths’ or ‘large buildings’ in the Rigveda rules out a Vedic-Harappan relationship. However, the importance of water bathing is a common Rigvedic theme. Rigvedic water hymns like Rigveda 10.9 and mantras such as Rigveda 10.75.6 (already prescribed for utterance during ablutions in the Taittiriya Aranyaka) are used for ritual bathing in temple tanks and sacred rivers even today. Such ritual bathing as found in the Rigveda is not a likely habit for nomads coming from arid regions! The reader will note that bathing tanks are not characteristic of the Harappan culture as well. Of the dozens of Harappan sites excavated, only Mohenjo-daro has a ‘Great Bath’ that might be associated with some ritual bathing. So why should the Rigveda mention ‘great baths’? Besides, in the Rigveda, there are also references to temples or structures with a thousand pillars (sahasra-sthuna – Rigveda 2.41.5) or a thousand doors (sahasra-dvara e.g. Rigveda 7.88.5), mainly with regard to Varuna, the lord of Samudra. Therefore, Witzel’s argument is spurious. It may be mentioned here that there is a genre of secondary literature by the German scholar Wilhelm Rau and others, that denies such clear-cut urban connotations to words like the ‘pur’. An examination of this class of literature is beyond the scope of the present essay. For these brand of scholars, ‘samudra’ is anything but the ocean, ‘pur’ is just a temporary structure of straw, mud and stone, ‘ratha’ is always a chariot with two spoked wheels, and ‘sukha’ is only a good chariot axle-hole. And since chariot racing was a joyous pastime of the Vedic Aryans, the word ‘sukha’ for a ‘good axle-hole’ changed its meaning later to denote ‘happiness’ in general! Following them, Witzel cannot countenance the natural contextual interpretations of words like ‘samudra’ (now corroborated by archaeology). This explains his dig at the volume edited by G. C. Pande (1999), a monumental work encompassing the scholarship of more than two-dozen scholars specializing in various disciplines of study. In this volume, R. S. Bisht, Director of the Archaeological Survey of India, and also a Sanskritist, has written an article that quotes the Rigveda and other old Vedic texts hundreds of times to explain the points of convergence between Harappan culture and the Rigveda. Witzel would like to relegate all these references to large buildings etc., to the realm of imagination that had no counterpart in the actual world of the Vedic people. In an internet discussion recently, he even claimed that the Vedic Aryans did not themselves possess any large pillared halls, but mentioned them in the Rigveda because they had remembered seeing them in the Helmand basin of Afghanistan while migrating to India! Whatever evidence does not agree with Witzel, he conveniently ignores under whatever pretext he can invent. This reminds one of the proverb – “Whatever be the facts, the conclusions will always be the same.” Witzel also unnecessarily objects to the use of the word ‘king’ for the chieftains of Rigveda. However, he has himself used phrases like ‘battle of 10 kings’ for ‘dasarajna’ battle in the Rigveda in his publications (e.g. Witzel 1995). All translators of the Rigveda, including Karl Geldner (who uses the German word ‘konig’) translate ‘rajan’ as ‘king’. Witzel’s criticism is therefore partisan, and hypocritical. The Rigveda also commonly mentions a great king or emperor, samrat (RV 7.6.1, RV 7.82.2), again connected to the sea and to Varuna. It should be noted that some scholars [e.g., Ratnagar 1991] who have studied the probable political structure in the Mature Harappan Civilization have suggested a strong possibility that it was a veritable empire. Aryan Genes – Race and Genetics Witzel declares enthusiastically that 'the study of male genes (Y chromosome) is now beginning to detail the ancient movements of groups and tribes'. How this could prove or disprove the movement of Aryans into India is unclear. There is no 'Aryan gene', and genes do not speak themselves. In fact, the geneticists seem to be much less sure than Witzel himself on this matter. Some Y-chromosome studies clearly suggest that the 'European' populations separated from the Indian populations perhaps as early as 9000 BC. Other studies seem to indicate that north Indians are genetically closer to Europeans (where the latter are defined as all peoples west of the Indus!) than south Indians. And yet, another study indicates that the genetic distance between Indians and East Europeans is much smaller than between the latter and other Europeans - bringing into question the validity of the use of the word 'European' (from the genetic perspective). In his publications, Witzel writes openly that the Aryan elites looked like modern day Kashmiris/Afghans/Iranians [Witzel 1997:page xxii]. This is just a euphemistic way of repeating the century old paradigm of fair Aryans swooping down on dark indigenous Indians, and casting their pure genes into Dravidian wombs. We must be wary of using genetic studies rashly to draw inferences in a manner Witzel does. Recently, even the JNU scholars Romila Thapar and Shireen Ratnagar, who otherwise support versions of the Aryan migration theory, have voiced concern at the use of genetic studies in searching Aryans. In this regard, they are correct because not long ago, racial genetics/eugenics were used in Nazi Germany with disastrous consequences. In any case, all genetic studies, whether mtDNA or Y-chromosomal, clearly indicate that Indians of all castes, religions and tribes form a genetically closely clustered population, distinct from other populations of the world. Indians do show an exchange of genes with other surrounding populations, as is natural, but we still cannot date these phenomenon precisely by genetics as of yet. In the last three thousand years of Indian history, we know that the Shakas, Hunas, Kushanas and so many other peoples from Central Asia have invaded India and have settled down in this land. Genetics cannot yet distinguish between ‘Aryan’ genes, and other ‘Central Asian genes’ such as the ‘Shaka’ gene! Vedic and Harappan Fauna - Cattle studies, in contrast suggest an out of India migration in the relevant time frame. Humped cattle that are native to the Indian subcontinent first start appearing paintings and carvings/stone reliefs in the Middle East around 1700 BC. Strangely, this is the time around which the Aryans are supposed to have entered India from the North West. That the invading Aryans and indigenous Indian cattle moved in opposite directions at the same time would be a rather silly proposition. In addition, cattle genetic studies clearly show ingress of genes from Bos indicus, the Indian cattle, into the Middle Eastern Breeds, although the period of gene transfer is not known. On the contrary, we do not see much ingress of Central Asian cattle genes into the Indian subcontinent. So in this case at least, cattle genetics disproves Witzel’s Aryan invasion/migration/acculturation theories. For further information, see my essay at http://www.vedanet.com/myth2.htm The Rigveda mentions many Indian animals like the water buffalo (mahisha), which is said to be the main animal sacred to Soma (Rigveda 9.96.6), which does occur commonly on Harappan seals. The humped Brahma bull (Vrisha, Vrishabha) – another common Harappan depiction, is the main animal of Indra, the foremost of the Rigvedic devatas. Elephants, decorated for procession are also mentioned. All these are native to India – not necessarily to other parts of Eurasia. Camels first find mention in later parts of Rigveda. Archaeological evidence also indicates that they started appearing in the Indian subcontinent towards the end of the Harappan culture. If the Vedic peoples were migrants from Central Asia, where the camel originated and was first domesticated, the very oldest sections of the Rigveda should have mentioned it. Earlier, it was thought that the Rigveda mentions ‘foreign’ animals such as beavers. Now archaeological evidence shows the presence of beavers in Harappan sites (e.g. Amri) and in other locations (e.g. in Kashmir valley) linked to the Harappan area, in the time frame of that culture. The beaver is extinct in India today, and is not attested since the middle of the second millennium BCE in the archaeological record. Instances can be multiplied easily to show how the flora and fauna of the Rigveda is that of India, and not of Central Asia. A detailed discussion of the topic is beyond the scope of this brief rejoinder. Kalibangan and its ‘Sacred’ Tandoors! The most negationist item in Witzel's thesis however, is the denial of the presence of fire altars in the Harappan sites. Practically all archaeologists now accept the presence of the fire cult in that culture, contradicting 100's of older studies that distinguished the 'non-iconic, fire worship based' cult of the Vedic Aryans from the 'iconic, mother goddess based' Harappan religion. The archaeological data on Harappan fire altars has mounted so much in recent years that even skeptics now acknowledge that the Harappans had ritual fire altars [e.g., McIntosh 2002]. Witzel then is clearly in a state of denial here, and refuses to come to terms with archaeological evidence that runs counter to his cherished Indological dogmas. Even in his publication EJVS 7.3, which Witzel refers to here so often, he has used very limited and selective data to conclude that the fire altars at Harappan sites were all tandoors! Closing Remarks - As new and fresh evidence comes up via archaeological excavations, linguists and philologists must make efforts to study it seriously, rather than remain engrossed in their armchair, ivory tower speculations that are dependent on antiquated secondary works. The attitude displayed by Michael Witzel, a professor at the Harvard University, is not at all conducive to an objective, academic, dispassionate analysis of historical and archaeological data. It must be painful for some scholars to note that the emerging evidence from archaeology and other disciplines is shaking the world of Indology, that has been built over the last 150 years mainly on linguistic speculation based on an overemphasis on European sources. Witzel also has a penchant for character assassination in his writings. He doesn’t simply deal with the ideas presented against his but likes to ridicule people who might find spiritual value in Vedic teachings or some deeper truth to the Vedic view of the world. That one can find a spiritual value in a tradition and still provide helpful information relative to its history is accepted relative to Christianity and other religions. The fact that Witzel demeans people with a Hindu background or belief from writing on the Vedas, is prejudice, not scholarship. I don’t believe he has ever quoted someone with a Hindu background as having any real positive contribution on ancient Indian studies at all. In fact, one can argue that someone who is aware of the deeper spiritual meaning of the Vedic symbols can add new insight to the historical or cultural implications of the text, whose prime focus was always religious. Today there is a new Vedic scholarship that understands the Vedic connection with Indian civilization and honors Vedic spirituality. This is the Vedic scholarship of the future as we move into a new planetary age that recognizes our spiritual heritage as a species, which India as a civilization has preserved through such great teachings as the Vedas. The interested reader can perhaps read the details in my recent book “Hinduism and the Clash of Civilizations” (2000a). BIBLIOGRAPHY AGARWAL, Vishal. 2000a. The Aryan Migration Theory – Fabricating Literary Evidence. http://vishalagarwal.bharatvani.org/AMT.html ______.2000b. The Rgveda Samhita as Known to AV-Par. 46 (M. Witzel)- A Review. Available online at http://vishalagarwal.bharatvani.org/uttamapatala.html ALLCHIN, Frank Raymond and Bridget Allchin. 1997. The Origins of a Civilization. Viking Books: New Delhi ALLCHIN F. R. and JOSHI Jagat Pal (eds.), with contributions from A. K. Sharma, K. R. Alur, J. P. Srivastava, K. T. M. Hegde, Vishnu Mittre and D. Shah. 1995. Excavations at Malvan (Memoir of the Archaeological Survey if India no. 92). Published by the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India: New Delhi CHAKRABARTI, Dilip, K. 1999. India- An Archaeological History, Paleolithic Beginnings to Early Historic Foundations. Oxford University Press: New Delhi DAVANE, G. V. 1982. An Analytical Study of ‘Samudra’ in the Rgveda. In “Golden Jubilee Volume”, Vaidika Samsodhana Mandala: Poona. DHAVALIKAR M. K. 1995. Cultural Imperialism (Indus Civilization in Western India). Books & Books: New Delhi FRAWLEY, David. 2001a. Hinduism and Clash of Civilizations. Voice of India: New Delhi. Available online at http://www.bharatvani.org/books/civilization _______. 2001b. Rigveda and the History of India. Aditya Prakashan: New Delhi _______. 2000. How I became a Hindu – My Discovery of Dharma. Voice of India: New Delhi. See http://www.hindubooks.org/david_frawley/how_i_became_a_hindu/index.htm _______. 1991. Gods, Sages and Kings. Passage Press: Salt Lake City (Utah) GONDA, Jan. 1985. The Ritual Functions and Significance of Grasses in the Religion of the Veda. North-Holland Publishing Company: Amsterdam/Oxford/New York JARRIGE J. F. 1997. From Nausharo to Pirak – Continuity and Change in the Kachi/Bolan Region from the 3rd to the 2nd Millennium B.C. Pages 11-32 in ALLCHIN and ALLCHIN [1997] KUIPER, F. B. J. 1983. Ancient Indian Cosmogony. Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd: Ghaziabad (UP, India) _______. 1972. The Heavenly Bucket. In “India Major – Congratulatory Volume Presented to J. Gonda” ed. By J. Ensink and P. Gaeffke. E. J. Brill: Leiden; pp. 144-157 LAL, B. B. 2002. The Sarasvati Flows on. Aryan Books International: New Delhi. McINTOSH, Jane. 2002. A Peaceful Realm. - The Rise and Fall of the Indus Civilization. Westview Press: Boulder (Colorado) MEADOW, Richard. 1998. Pre- and Proto-Historic Agricultural and Pastoral Transformations in Northwestern South Asia. In “Review of Archaeology”, volume 19.2, pp. 12-21 MISRA, S. D. 1970. Rivers of India. National Book Trust: Delhi PANDE, G. C. (ed.). 1999. The Dawn of Indian Civilization (up to 600 B.C.). Centre for Studies in Civilization: New Delhi OLDENBERG Hermann , J. Jastrow and C. H. Cornill. 1890. Epitomes of Three Sources – Comparative Philology, Psychology and Old Testament History. The Open Court Publishing Company: Chicago RATNAGAR, Shireen. 1991. Enquiries into the Political Organization of Harappan Society. Ravish Publishers. Pune ROY, Kumkum. 1993. In Which Part of South Asia did the Early Brahmanical Tradition (1st millennium B. C.) Take its Form? In “Studies in History”, vol. 9.1, pp. 1-32 SAHU, B. P. 1988. From Hunters to Breeders. Anamika Prakashan: New Delhi SARMA, S. R. 1981. Vedic Mythology (English translation of Alfred Hillebrandt’s ‘Vedische Mythologie’, 2nd ed. 1927-1929, Breslau), Vol. I-II. Motilal Banarsidass: New Delhi SARMA, S. S. 1989. Plants in Yajurveda. K. S. Vidya Peetha: Tirupati SHARMA, B. R. 1967. Vedic Aryans and Sea-voyage. In “Veda-Samiksa”, Sri Venkateswara University: Tirupati; pp. 104-110 SHARIF, M. and THAPAR, B. K. 1992. "Food Producing communities in Pakistan and northern India" (pg. 127-151) in vol. 1 of "History of Civilizations of Central Asia" edited by A. H. Dani and V. M. Masson; published by UNESCO Publishing: Paris.1992 (second impression in 1996) TALAGERI, Shrikant G. 2000. The Rigveda, A Historical Analysis. Aditya Prakashan: Delhi. Available on-line at http://www.bharatvani.org/books/rig/ __________. 2001. Michael Witzel – An Examination of his Review of My Book. Available online at http://www.bharatvani.org/general_inbox/talageri/ THOMAS, P.K.; JOGLEKAR, P. P.; DESHPANDE-MUKHERJEE, Arati and PAWANKAR, S. J. 1995 Harappan Subsistence Patterns with Special Reference to Shikarpur, A Harappan Site in Gujarat. Pp. 33-41 in Man and Environment, vol. XX.2 (1995) WITZEL, Michael. 1997. F. B. J Kuiper: Selected Writings on Linguistics and Philology. Witzel, Michael Witzel; Alexander Lubotsky and M. S. Oort; Rodipi; Atlanta/Amsterdam; 1997 _______.1995b. Rgvedic History: Poets, Chieftains and Politics, in ‘The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia’, ed. by George Erdosy. Walter de Gruyter: Berlin ******************************************************** Appendix Further Information on the Ocean and the Sarasvati River in the Rigveda Source – The Rig Veda and the History of India By David Frawley Aditya Prakashan: New Delhi (2001) ____________________ Chapter 8. Geographical References: The Ocean and Soma In the following chapter, we will explore the geographical implications of the Rig Veda, some of which we have already examined in passing. Much of this material is also covered in my book Gods, Sages and Kings. Here I will summarize that data and add some new information, particularly relative to the geography of Soma. The Vedas reflect a vast knowledge of the earth, mentioning various mountains, rivers, deserts and oceans quite befitting the great subcontinent of India. A hymn of Hiranyastupa Angirasa in the Rig Veda makes this clear: Savitar (the Sun God) has revealed eight mountains of the earth, three desert (or shore) regions and seven rivers. Hiranyastupa Angirasa, RV I.35.8[1] The Rig Veda has a certain geographical horizon. It projects a land of seven great rivers bounded by several oceans and many mountains. It mainly shows the geographical sphere of the Bharatas and their neighbors or the region of North India. The Ocean I must emphasize the numerous oceanic and maritime references in the Vedas, as scholars keep ignoring this obvious point while projecting origins for the Vedic culture outside of India. The term ocean (samudra) occurs commonly in the Rig Veda, about a hundred times. In fact, the ocean is mentioned many more times than any river or group of rivers by name. Besides the term samudra, related terms like sagara, arnas and sindhu also mean sea or ocean. Whole theories of the location of the Vedic people have been built around a few scanty references to rivers like the Kubha in Afghanistan, while much more common references to the ocean are ignored. Only one river, the Sarasvati, which is clearly in India, has an extensive mythology about it. Yet the ocean not only has an extensive mythology about it, there is much oceanic symbolism about all the main Vedic Gods including Indra, Agni, Soma, Surya and Varuna, just to name a few. References occur to two oceans, eastern and western (RV X.136.5), to inferior and superior oceans (RV VII.6.7; X.98.6), or to two seas called samudra and purisha (RV I.163.1; IV.21.3). There are additional references to four oceans, corresponding to the four directions.[2] These four oceans may relate to the eastern, western and southern seas, and to the lake in Kashmir in the north. An ocean with seven foundations is described (RV VIII.40.5). Sometimes the Rig Veda speaks of many oceans.[3] Given India’s proximity to the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and the Persian Gulf, this idea of several oceans is not surprising. The common Brahmana great anointing of kings (AB viii. 15) is “from one end up to the further side of the earth bounded by the ocean as sole ruler.”[4] Similarly, the purohit as chief priest guards the king, “as the ocean does the earth (AB viii.25).”[5] Such statements emphatically rule out Central Asia or Afghanistan. Indra as the Ocean The main Vedic myth is of Indra slaying the dragon and releasing the seven rivers to flow into the sea. All songs give increase to Indra who is as expansive as the sea. RV I.11.1 Indra has an extent like the sea. RV I.30.3 He slew the dragon lying at the foot of the mountain. The creator fashioned for him his flashing thunderbolt. As milch cows bellowing as they flowed, directly the waters entered the ocean. RV I.32.2 Indra, an ocean of wealth. RV I.51.1 Indra, extensive as the sea. RV I.52.4 Hymns to Indra like the ocean in their convergence. RV I.56.2 Indra, not by the seas or mountains is your chariot contained. RV II.16.3 As rivers according to their impulse go forth, the floods as if chariot borne entered into the sea. As rivers uniting to the sea, to Indra they carry the well-pressed Soma. RV III.36.6-7 The Soma drops, like rivers into the sea enter into Indra. RV III.46.4 You destroyed the dragon that withheld the waters. Earth in her awareness furthered your thunderbolt. You gave energy to the ocean-going floods. RV IV.16.7 Come to us quickly, Indra, from Heaven or Earth, from the ocean or the heavenly sea RV IV.21.3 You slew the serpent that encompassed the floods. You released the waters to the ocean. RV VI.30.4 You destroyed the dragon and Heaven approved. You sent forth the flood of the rivers and filled manifold seas. RV VI.72.2 As rivers to the ocean strong hymns and songs have entered Indra whose extent is vast. RV VI.36.3 By which you released the great floods to the ocean, Indra that power of yours is vigorous. RV VIII.3.10 In the slope of the mountains, in the concourse of the riv

Posted by: aruni Dec 29 2005, 11:36 AM

URL recycles, hence pasting in full. From New India Press:

QUOTE
http://www.newindpress.com/column/News.asp?Topic=-97&Title=S%2EGurumurthy&ID=IE620051229000415&nDate=&Sub=&Cat=&Thursday December 29 2005 10:25 IST S Gurumurthy The headlines of this short story, factually told, run like this. ‘Hindus worship ‘statues’, not ‘deities’.’ ‘Hindu God cannot have capital ‘G’ and have to be content with the ordinary letter ‘g’ as, unlike the Gods in Abrahamic faiths, there is no one God for Hindus’. ‘Who in sixth standard cares whether Ramayana was written before or after the Mahabharata’. This scandalous depiction of Hindus, their faith and history is not the tirade of evangelicals luring Hindus to their faith. But, this is how some US scholars who supported the demeaning descriptions of Hindus and India in textbooks proposed by the California Department of Education (CDE) defended their contents when Hindus protested and sought corrections. Since the US scholars were not Hindus, their defence of the books lacked credibility. To fill the credibility gap, Indian seculars stepped in, led by Romila Thapar; they jointly petitioned the CDE that the Hindu protest against the textbooks was actually the protest of the ‘Hindutva forces’. Hence, the corrections suggested by them should be disregarded. The issue is whether what Hindus say is true or not. Does the truth lose its value because Hindus bring it out? Fortunately the CDE, after giving some anxious moments to Hindus, dismissed the seculars’ petition and accepted the corrections that Hindus had sought, almost entirely. Now, some further detail. The controversy was about the proposed textbooks on India and Hinduism for 6th standard school children. After the book publishers had submitted preliminary editions of the books, according to procedure the CDE called for comments and corrections from those concerned. The Hindu community in California, after months of work, submitted some 170 corrections - ‘‘edits’’ as the CDE would call them - for improving eight of the 10 textbooks. This is where the secular megaphones stepped in to exert to perpetuate the demeaning references to Hindus in the textbooks. Dr Michael Witzel, a Harvard University professor who is undeniably anti-Hindu and thus an icon of Indian seculars, charged that the Hindu community’s corrections were motivated by ‘Hindutva forces’. He warned the CDE that it ‘would lead without fail to an international educational scandal’ if accepted. Romila Thapars of secular India joined as co-petitioners of Witzel, making it a kind of ‘confession’ on behalf of Hindus. This forced the CDE to appoint a last minute ‘Content Review Panel’ which comprised three scholars including Witzel himself. The panel rejected 58 of the Hindu edits. But the Californian Curriculum Commission decided to accept all the corrections of the Hindus adding a rider that the Witzel panel’s 58 rejections be reviewed one by one. In the commission an evangelist member supported Witzel, but two others abstained on grounds of lack of expertise. While discussing the Witzel objections, the Curriculum Commissioner took the position that the Hindus should be able to recognise their religion when they read the textbooks. On the much insisted and the equally contested Aryan invasion issue, a compromise was suggested that instead of the word ‘invasion’ the word ‘migration’ could be substituted as there was no evidence of violent invasion. But the commissioner said that hard evidence from DNA research, which is more reliable than the study of historians, proved there was no ‘migration’ also. Finally, the commission agreed to allow this much to be said, namely, ‘that some historians believe there was an Aryan invasion’. The commission accepted that the Hindus worship ‘deities’, the equivalent of ‘murti’ in Sanskrit, not ‘statues’ and also allowed the use capital ‘G’ for the Hindu God saying that the same Hindu God has several forms. It agreed that the Hindus go to temples to ‘worship’. It said that when the epic Ramayana was written is obviously important to the Hindus and so, that the writing of Ramayana pre-dated Mahabharata needs to be stated in the text books. Yes, the Hindus got almost all that they wanted. But was it a favour done by the CDE to Hindus? No. The CDE merely applied the rules it had made for evaluating textbooks of different religious or national groups. This is what the CDE rules mandate: the evaluation is to enable all students to ‘become aware and accept religious diversity’, while remaining ‘secure’ in their own ‘religious belief’. To achieve this ‘the diversity of religious beliefs held’ in US and elsewhere should be depicted ‘without displaying bias toward or prejudice against any of those beliefs’. No religious belief or practice ‘may be held to ridicule’; no religious group be ‘portrayed as inferior’. ‘Beliefs or practices’ should ‘not be presented’ ‘to encourage or discourage disbelief’, nor indoctrinate. The rules are common for all, the majority Protestants and the Rest, the minorities. While CDE commission has concluded that there is no evidence of Aryan invasion, it is still ridiculed as a ‘saffron’ view to deny Aryan invasion here in India. In secular India, the views of scholars who are known as secular, not the facts, are decisive. That is why Aryan invasion is still the official view of history despite total absence of any evidence whatsoever. The secular US has thus overruled the anti-Hindu views of secular Indians. Paradoxically, the ‘secular’ US seems kinder to Hindus than ‘secular’ India.

Posted by: rajesh_g Dec 29 2005, 02:59 PM

Aruni If you want to store the article from Shri Frawley you will have to split it into multiple posts. I think the forum has limit on # of chars per post. The article seems to have cut off.

Posted by: rajesh_g Dec 30 2005, 10:04 AM

QUOTE
Yvette Rosser comments: on Dec 30 2005 4:29AM Dr. Alexander wrote an analysis of the narratives that are found in textbooks about ancient India and Hinduism-a topic required by the curriculum mandates of the California State Board of Education to be covered in the sixth grade. Unfortunately, some of the comments on the blog were very immature and needlessly knee-jerk mean-spirited. A few years ago, before Sulekha went to the blog format, I wrote a five-part piece on the stereotypified and sensationalist approaches that characterize much of the modern day presentation of Hinduism in American Academia. At that time the comments, though not always in agreement, were more focused and relevant to the article. Is that Sulekha audience still out there? Many of the comments I read today really were “rants”! One of the bloggers, for some reason, repeated my name and compared me to the Chief Minister of Gujarat. I have nothing in common with Mr. Modi. He is a Gujarati, from the OBC caste, a conservative member of the BJP. I am half Belgian and half Texan, a very political middle class American who is vehemently anti-George Bush. The reason I have “authority” to speak and write on this issue, is that I have my BA and MA in South Asian Studies and a Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies. The topic in question became of interest to me because as a youth I lived in India for several years and then when I returned to the USA, I taught high school history and discovered an anti-India bias in the textbooks. I then went to graduate school and studied the issues. I would suggest that, if you doubt what Dr. Alexander has written, you read this excellent article by a High School teacher in NJ: Women and Hinduism in U.S. Textbooks by: David Freedholm http://www.sulekha.com/blogs/blogdisplay.aspx?cid=4564 Also see this article that exposes the unnecessary negative slant in the representation of Hinduism in American Academia: Are Hinduism studies prejudiced? A look at Microsoft Encarta by: Sankrant Sanu http://www.sulekha.com/blogs/blogdisplay.aspx?cid=4499 You might find this of interest, it is written for teachers to help them present a more human and less sensational picture of India: The Clandestine Curriculum in the Classroom by Yvette C. Rosser, Ph.D. © 2001 by the Association for Asian Studies, Inc. http://www.infinityfoundation.com/mandala/s_es/s_es_rosse_EAA.htm This article, which includes interviews with Indian-American youths, is also of interest: Stereotypes in Schooling: Negative Pressures in the American Educational System on Hindu Identity Formation by: Yvette Rosser, Ph.D., Teaching South Asia, an Internet Journal of Pedagogy, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2001, ed. Karl J. Schmidt, Ph.D. http://www.mssu.edu/projectsouthasia/tsa/VIN1/Rosser.htm In America, when we don’t like something, or we see a mistake or injustice, we stand up and try to fix the problem. That is what the Hindu parents of California did. Kudos! Welcome to America! What is all this crap about right-wingers wanting to change the textbooks so that they will be more sympathetic in their treatment of minorities? Huh? Right-wingers want to leave the Eurocentric bias in! It is the liberals who strive for pluralism and multiculturalism. Several of the bloggers flung heated paradigms that were pejorative and inaccurate. Welcome to Washington. “Impeachable offense”… music to my ears... in 2006 Democrats will take back the House of Representatives! In the meantime, I will keep working to eliminate bias and stereotypes in textbooks. Thanks, Yvette Rosser

Posted by: Mudy Dec 30 2005, 10:41 AM

QUOTE
Dear List: Some _very_ good news: the BBC are getting an 'academic author' to write a new article for their Hinduism website! I copy below the message from David Kremer, Executive Producer, Religion & Ethics. I also gather (from a separate message) that because I was " unhappy about the accuracy and perceived partiality of some of the website's Hinduism pages,[my] complaints [went] directly to the BBC Religion and Ethics website team for them to look into and ammend [sic]if deemed necessary." My "further comments [were] registered and made available to the BBC Religion and Ethics web team and BBC Senior Management." -- The 'new complaints process' seems to be much improved. Message from David Kremer: "Dear Miss Shenoy "Thank you for your email to BBC information. The Hinduism section of the site presents both theories of Hindu history, not just the theory that you are complaining about, and it presents each case as well as possible in the hope that the reader will realise the difficulty of the topic and the passion it arouses. Because of the controversies about the history of Hinduism we have commissioned a new article from an academic expert that will give an overview of the situation, and we hope to have this online early in the new year. I hope that this article will provide a balanced guide to this important subject and that you will find it acceptable when it is published. If you would like to suggest some ways in which we could improve the existing essays in the meantime I'll be very happy to consider them - our aim is get things right, although that is not always easy to achieve! With all good wishes " David Kremer Executive Producer BBC Religion and Ethics "
Now they are targeting BBC website.

Posted by: raj Dec 30 2005, 11:28 AM

Just posted this on the rediff in response to http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/dec/30inter1.htm Witzel say Cal texts are not perfect. What did he do to correct them before the Hindu groups asked for changes. Witzel is not concerned when the text s denigrate Hindus. Example:In one section of text about Ramayana and Hanuman, students are asked to look around the classroom to see if there was a monkey among them. He is fine with this sort of racism against hindus. His main charges: 1)He says, there are many diverse groups. He continues that If you read their edits, it would seem like Hinduism is a monotheistic religion, like Christianity or Judaism, with God spelt with a capital G. First of all its not just hindus who are diverse every religion has divisions in it. Hindus believe in "Ekam Sat, Vipra Bahudha Vadanti" which means "There is one reality but the seers speak of many forms. So, yeah there are many manifestations of god, but God is one. Witzel and his commie friends intention is not to afford the Hindus the same rights as Christians and Muslims. Witzel makes a fuss about capitalization of G in God but he and his cohorts argue that students don't care if Ramayana is written before MahaBharata or not. May I ask if students told him they care for small g instead of G

Posted by: raj Dec 30 2005, 01:01 PM

Could someone post the following on the rediff site: may be this needs to be split into several parts. I am not sure If I post again rediff will accept. Witzels second reason is that the Vedic foundation website says that India civilisation is 1.9 million years old. Who cares which website says what? Does the suggested textbook changes include a section which claims that Indian Civilisation is 1.9 million years old? So, why do you post something which is not germane to the issue. For example: You have said that Indian Americans don't invest in their childrens education. You called Indian Americans "hiina" . You claimed editors made a mistake when it was pointed out that the sanskrit text said that migration was from east to west instead of your translation of west to east. We believe your word that editors made mistake at the very text which is very crucial for your pet Aryan Migration Theory. Don't you think, these issues are not germane for the issue at hand. The issue at hand is how to write the religion/culture/history so that students know their culture and feel proud of their respective religion/history. That is how California textbooks are written. The Christian, Muslism and Jewish religion/history is written by people who believe in that religion and are sympathetic to respective religion. Are you a practising Hindu? Or will you write the religion/history in such a way that the practising hindu will not feel offended by your writing? If you are marxist/communist, sorry this job is not for you. Witzel points out an example of the suggested california text change of "womens rights were different from the rights of men in India " is wrong and compares it to like slave owners and slaves rights. He goes on saying "The Shruti says, for example in the Satapatha Brahmana, that in war one should not kill women. But the next sentence says one should just rob them. It shows the rights of women, but it also shows the position of women, too!" How true. Islamic sources will tell you that under those circumstances men should be killed and young women taken into Harem. The Christian and Jewish religions will tell you similar thing, except any women who had sex will also be killed along with men. For bible reference see Numbers 31:17-18 , For Islamic reference see 33:50 This is just one reference for christianity and one for islam, this does not mean these is the only reference in their respective scriptures. there several tens of references in each of the scripture. Do you think you will find how different rules/rights applied to men and women in islamic and christian bibles in California text books? Do you think you will find that Jewish/Islamic prophets 'raped' women. Sorry Mr. Witzel you will not find them as they are written by people who believe in Islam /Christianity and would like people to believe that they are egalitarian religions. So, why don't you give the same leeway to Hindus? Mr. Witzel agress that Hindus and Hinduism are mirepresented. But what the heck did he do correct those misrepresentations?

Posted by: Ashok Kumar Dec 30 2005, 01:14 PM

QUOTE(raj)
Witzel makes a fuss about capitalization of G in God but he and his cohorts argue that students don't care if Ramayana is written before MahaBharata or not. May I ask if students told him they care for small g instead of G
Good point, Raj!

Posted by: rajesh_g Dec 30 2005, 01:15 PM

Are Indian languages case-sensitive ? If not then this "gods" instead of "Gods" is just plain colonial construct methinks. Raj Care to write an article on the Witzel interview ?

Posted by: Ashok Kumar Dec 30 2005, 01:20 PM

The point was about "gods" versus "God". The correction suggested was that Hindus worship God in their temples, implication being one God in many forms. P.S. "Belated" thanks to the unknown moderator.

Posted by: raj Dec 30 2005, 02:52 PM

QUOTE(rajesh_g @ Dec 31 2005, 01:45 AM)
Raj Care to write an article on the Witzel interview ?
Rajesh , Sorry, my writing skills are not good. If someone wants to incorporate my posts into a rebuttal , please do so. Thanks

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 1 2006, 03:31 PM

From the dossier on Witzel link posted earlier. I found this Farmer the marxist.. blink.gif http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IndianCivilization/message/810

QUOTE
V. Agarwal writes: > Again, I would like > to stress that I am NOT indulging in name calling. Had I wanted to do > so, I could have called you too a communist, knowing very well (as > you yourself informed me) that a poster of Karl Marx hangs from the > wall of your room. Shucks, it is the famous picture of Karl with his hand in his breast coat pocket, 19th-century bourgeois style. I'm very fond of it. And you DID, of course, just point it out to everyone.

Posted by: acharya Jan 1 2006, 06:28 PM

Lars Martin writes: > I am afraid that we will have to face a much larger number of attacks > on > academic work in the future, not only from the Hindutvavadins, but > from all > sorts of religious and political organizations with an axe to grind. > As we > can see in many places, the humanities and the social sciences are > particularly vulnerable to such attacks. So we may as well stand up and > fight right here and now. I'm with Lars Martin. I don't think that the present mobilization of Hindutva forces -- either in the attempts to saffronize accounts of ancient India in the BBC or in California textbooks -- are isolated phenomena. Instantaneous global communications allow the rapid aggregation of all sorts of groups, and those with the simplest agendas tend to come together easiest. Hence the often identical language found in the anti-Witzel petition in the US aimed at closing Harvard University's Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies and in the defamatory article aimed at Michael by the rightwing Indian newspaper, _The Pioneer_. I received my copy of the anti-Witzel petition by email on late on Christmas eve. Within a few hours later, on Christmas Day, _The Pioneer_ article appeared, using identical language and claims -- that Michael is a racist "Aryan Supremicist", that our Indo-Eurasian_Research group is an "Internet hate List", that Harvard harbors Nazis, etc. Yesterday, some of the Indian-American researchers we are working with sent us slick webpages with the many of the same claims, this time from a site in Britain. And the Hindutvavadins are only one of many similar groups. In the last few years we've seen the resurgence of Bush's US rightests, bringing new levels of violence to the Middle East; Islamic rightests; Israeli rightests; Christian rightests; Tamil rightests. Different ideologies, but the same methods. And they often make very srange bedfellows when they share enemies, as witnessed by the formal coalitions we find now both in the US and India between extremist Hindutva groups and rightwing Jewish groups, united against their common rightwing Islamic enemies (and unfortunately against non-sectarian intellectuals as well). It's nice to be able to retreat to my writing studio in the mountains. Internet of course allows intellectuals to unite in similar ways, but the process of aggregation here takes longer, since views among intellectuals are almost by definition more diverse than those on the right. They are afraid of aggregation and homogenous political unity. They thrived when they had little opposition and when they could control the debates in media and academia Scholars prefer to sit on the sidelines, as Nietzsche puts it in my favorite lines from his work: Aber sie sitzen kühl in kühlem Schatten: sie wollen in Allem nur Zuschauer sein und hüten sich dort zu sitzen, wo die Sonne auf die Stufen brennt. Gleich Solchen, die auf der Strasse stehn und die Leute angaffen, welche vorübergehn: also warten sie auch und gaffen Gedanken an, die Andre gedacht haben. But when the Hindutva types insist that the thoughts that others thought in ancient India are identical to the thoughts of modern Hindu nationalists -- or the reputations of researchers like Witzel are dragged through the streets -- even a detached historian might think it time to get up from the cool of the shad and say something. The upshot is that in the short run, these new communication means favor the rightwing. But in the long run, if we can learn to better negotiate our differences using the medium, I suspect that things can turn out all right. I think that will turn out to be the case in California, and we came in there very late, and the right had organized this for many months, spending tens of thousands of dollars in preparation. But to do anything we have to be willing to schedule at least some of our research time to taking on the job -- not all of it, but maybe at least 10% -- since I think we have to prepare for a resurgence of these pre-enlightment forces for some time. An argument can be made that similar disruptions took place in every period in which new communications technologies were introduced. Accelerated changes in ideas and a huge expansion in the size of political units occurred throughout Eurasia in the last half of the first millennium BCE, following large-scale expansions of literate technology from Egypt to China; although we've argued about how early the same forces were operative in S. Asia, I think we'd all agree that by the last quarter of the first millenium BCE at a minimum this was true of India as well. Parallel disruptions occurred in the Western printing revolution, which gave us the reformation and counter-reformation and more than a century of religious wars of unprecedented ferocity, but also eventually the scientific revolution, which marked the end of the premodern varieties of religion involved in those wars. You can also point to the nearly simultaneous revolutions in Europe in early 1848, which would have been impossible if the telegraph didn't instantly transmit news for the first time from Germany to Paris to Madrid and Rome, where it could be read on the same day. So I think we're in the midst of an historical phase transition that may be much bigger than any of us grasp, and that have to do with technological forces that we don't yet fully understand. They are afraid that they cannot control the direction of their responses as they used to before when they controlled all the media outlets and academic debates. Hindutva in California and in the BBC, and the defamatory attacks aimed right now at Michael Witzel, are only tiny pieces of it. But they are the things that we currently have to face, and I agree with Lars Martin that it is best if we stand up and fight right here and now, since otherwise things might get much worse -- and quite fast. Best, Steve

Posted by: Viren Jan 1 2006, 09:20 PM

http://www.india-forum.com/forums/index.php?act=Post&CODE=02&f=8&t=1079 Frontline didn't publish it. select quotes

QUOTE
The two articles in Frontline’s cover story (October 13 issue) regrettably show more prejudice than scholarly objectivity, and call for the briefest of answers on several distinct points :
QUOTE
No one is above error, not even Witzel who mistranslated a Sanskrit text to make it hint at a migration into India (see Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate by the Belgian linguist and historian Dr. Koenraad Elst for details).
QUOTE
As regards the horse itself, Witzel and Farmer quote the late Prof. Sándor Bökönyi, but omit his important conclusion about “the possibility of the occurrence of domesticated horses in the mature phase of the Harappa culture, at the end of the 3rd millennium B.C.”
So the "Hindutva" boogeyman existed between Farmer/Witzel's ears in 2002 too!
QUOTE
Witzel’s and Farmer’s objections to Jha’s proposed decipherment of the Indus script are twofold : One, that trying to read Sanskrit on the seals shows the work of “Hindutva revisionists”; by that criterion, respected archaeologists such as Dr. S. R. Rao, Dr. M. V. N. Rao and others, who had much earlier proposed decipherments linked to Sanskrit, will probably have to be stuck with the omnibus Hindutva labe
QUOTE
the reader is left wishing for an impartial and open-minded critique of Jha’s and Rajaram’s proposed decipherment rather than this kind of character assassination
QUOTE
All three writers are emphatic that the Vedic age came much later than the Harappan, and that any attempt at equating the two can only come, again, from the fevered brains of “Hindutva propagandists”. This is absurd as well as misleading, for the connection (or lack of it) between the Harappan and the Vedic (or “Aryan”) worlds has been a matter of scholarly debate for decades, perhaps ever since John Marshall remarked in 1931
QUOTE
This identification is “well-established,” to use Witzel’s and Farmer’s frequent phrase see their rule No. 2 about “respect for well-established facts”)
QUOTE
If Rajaram and Jha are such worthless scholars as the writers constantly imply, why don’t the latter rather spend their energies engaging in a serious scholarly debate with a Renfrew or a Rao, a Bisht or a Possehl ? Is it because they are ill-equipped to do so ?
Rajaram has thrown another challenge for debate and Farmer's conveniently twisting this issue.
QUOTE
When Asko Parpola declared in a World Tamil Conference that today’s Tamilians are the descendants of the Harappans, that was fine ; when K. N. Panikkar, who describes himself as a “Left histo­rian”, publicly defended the Aryan invasion theory at a recent student congress, that is fine ; but when one quotes solid evidence from reputed archaeologists to reject such half-baked claims, one is a “Hindutvavadi”—where is the logic ? And why are outdated Indian textbooks, which still speak of Aryan and Dravidian races, of Aryans invading India and destroying the Indus civilization, allowed to continue stuffing the brains of Indian children with such antiquated nonsense?
FOILogic at work here.
QUOTE
The demand underlying both articles is that none except holders of university chairs should have a right to discuss issues related to India’s ancient past. That demand is untenable. Knowledge has never been the exclusive property of academia. If in addi­tion Indologists (a very hazy term) are unwilling to tap living sources of knowledge on Indian civilization from genuine Indian scholars, pandits, and (why not ?) yogis, and hasten to dismiss all historical data derived from traditional sources, they should not be surprised if they find themselves isolated in their ivory tower. More importantly, Western or Westernized Indologists subconsciously try to impose a purely Western intellectual approach which, despite its great usefulness as a tool, fails to fathom India’s non-intellectual content. Recall for instance Thapar’s characterization (in her History of India) of the Rig-Veda as “primitive animism”, of the Mahabharata as the glorification of a “local feud” between two Aryan tribes, or of the Ramayana as “a description of local conflicts between the agriculturists of the Ganges Valley and the more primitive hunting and food-gathering societies of the Vindhyan region” (sic !). Such a shallow, reductionist look at one of the profoundest cultural heritages in the world is too often (though not always) the bane of Western academia. It can only leave many Indians dissatisfied and in search of more perceptive alternatives that do not belittle the Indian psyche.

Posted by: acharya Jan 2 2006, 01:29 PM

http://pd.cpim.org/2006/0101/01012006_nalini.htm Why should Indian political party worry about teaching religion in far away CA Saffron School Texts For California: A Matter Of Concern For Us Nalini Taneja The manner in which the Indian-American press has been covering this issue reflects this. The whole matter is being presented as a debate between the faculty (some of them white, all of them "anti-Hindu") and a monolithic, aggrieved Hindu community. India Post, India West and India Abroad have given a whole lot of space to this debate, but secular Hindus/ Indians/ South Asians) has been very poorly represented. There is equal coverage and space in these papers for those who are making it out that historians who protested the Hindutva sponsored changes are "anti- Hindus", and that history should be written not just by historians who presumably "sit in ivory towers" but "with inputs from the community", or that those "who are practicing Hindus" are likely to "know" better the truth about their religions than those who are not, etc etc.

QUOTE
Saffron School Texts For California: A Matter Of Concern For Us Nalini Taneja THE kinds of debates over history textbooks we are familiar with in India are now raging in the California state of the US. The RSS linked organisations in the US have been trying to get school textbooks for young children saffronised in much the same way as they did in India. They of course do not hold the government there, nor do they have state governments in their control as they do in India. But they do carry clout in the US among the NRIs and Americans of Indian origin, and also within the US establishment as representatives of the Indian community there, a clout that they utlise to the maximum—as obvious from the numerous charities they have attracted in the past and now as stakeholders in the textbooks to be taught in California schools to both Indian and Californian children. The People's Democracy carried a report on this a few weeks ago, underlining the content of the changes proposed by them (so-called edits) and how these changes fit in with the larger political agenda of the RSS in India. SAFFRONISING TEXT BOOKS IN THE US Since then the RSS linked organisations like The Vedic Foundation and The Hindu Education Foundation have managed to get most of the changes that they wanted incorporated into the chapters dealing with ancient Indian history and culture in the book under revision (currently the book for Grade 6). Despite a controversy and strong opposition from well known indologists and about a 100 scholars and teachers of South Asian studies, not to speak of letters opposing these revisions from Indian historians (D N Jha, Irfan Habib, Shereen Ratnagar, Shireen Moosvi and KM Shrimali to name a few), the Curriculum Commission of the Board of Education has accepted the RSS sponsored vision of history and culture. Of the total of 156 edits requested by these organisations, the Commission accepted 97 edits that conformed to what the Hindutva organisations had recommended at a meeting on December 2, 2005. This was when the matter had already become a public issue and the State Board of education had already been alerted of the perniciousness of the RSS agenda of falsification of history for political purposes. While the acceptance of these "edits" by the Curriculum Commission is really tragic, and requires some explanation other than the obvious one of how an RSS linked expert initially manouvred to have himself nominated to a committee for revisions, the matter is not finally settled even yet. The State Board of Education, of which the Curriculum Commission is a constituent, still has to give its sanction to these changes, and is the final deciding authority. The State Board has been alerted to the Hindutva agenda by indologists like Michael Witzel, James Heitzman, and Stanley Wolpert who have made a campaign of the issue and have been working with the Board since then, but it has also been swamped by so-called academics who have "discovered and "proved" through "scientific methods of research" what the RSS shakhas have been propagating for many decades in India and the Hindutva linked organisations have made part of their essential readings and educational material in the last two decades. This sector has now become quite significant in the social, cultural life of the NRIs and Americans of Indian origin. THE CHANGES MADE IN THE CURRICULUM The changes accepted by the Curriculum Commission at the behest of the Hindutva organisations fall into a familiar pattern. They present ancient India in a glorious light, eliminate what was negative during that period, most notably the caste system, references to which have been removed or suitably modified, and the unequal position of women is now mentioned in terms of ‘different’ rights rather than unequal rights etc. There is a preoccupation with pushing back the dates of Vedic civilization and showing Indian civilization as essentially Hindu, and Aryans as indigenous. These are matters that challenge the discipline of history as a social science, by injecting mythification and falsification of history into school curriculum, but their implications go beyond the realms of intellectual debate into politics because an RSS version of "authentic history" of India and of Hindus go against the grain of what education is all about—the inculcation of a scientific temper, a questioning spirit, minds free from prejudice and with a respect for difference and plurality. Interestingly this whole enterprise of chauvinism is being proposed in the name of plurality and respect for difference, by giving "space" to those who have assumed for themselves the right to speak for all Hindus—in fact all Indians—and who are open admirers of Hitler and the notion of superiority of the Aryan race! Hence their desperation to show it as ‘race’ and originating in and indigenous to India, representing a mythical ‘golden age’! We would of course wonder why the RSS linked organisations are so keen on all this fabrication of Indian history and culture in the US, to push their vision on children who have little real contact with India and who would most likely never come to India. These children are part and parcel of American society rather than of India, even given their rootlessness and restlessness born out a feeling of "difference". They are only capable of a long distance nationalism—and the RSS is keen that it should be of the Hindutva variety. HINDUTVA OVERSEAS CAMPAIGN The reasons for the Hindutva overseas campaigns and creation of networks of Hindus through all kind of social service organisations in the US and in Britain can only be understood in the context of their agenda in India, for which an ever flowing stream of financial resources is of crucial significance. The alarming growth of the RSS sponsored organisations in the tribal areas of Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, the North East states and Orissa would simply have not been possible without the steady flow of "funds" from the US and Britain. The volume and role of this huge fund of resources from these countries into the RSS networks has been documented very ably by citizens groups, and one can well see that with the BJP not in power at the centre, the significance of these "charities" from foreign lands can only assume greater importance for the RSS here. School textbooks that portray India as essentially Hindu, whose greatness has been undermined since the invasions and cruel reigns of Muslim rulers, create both empathy for "Hindu" organisations and causes, and hatred for Muslims, a scheme that ties up very well not merely with the Hindutva agenda in India, but with the Islamophobia currently promoted by the US establishment. And if such school texts could influence the visions of both children of Indian origin and those born of American parents as well—a steady stream of charities could well be ensured for a long time. And the reason we have some members of the Board, not Indians at all, falling over themselves in pleasing the Hindutva agents in the US shows the strength and legitimacy acquired by these organisations in the US establishments as spokes people/representatives of the Indian community. The identification of Indian studies with religious studies and the Sanskrit language etc has always been promoted by the academic establishment in the US and Britain. Despite the criticisms of the genocide in Gujarat and the Hindu religious fundamentalism by the US establishment, it is the Hindutva agents and organisations that carry legitimacy within it and are celebrated as another manifestation of the pluralism and diversity of American society. The secular, democratic south Asians are largely rendered invisible when it comes to considering questions of history and culture of South Asians. Very much like the right wing Jewish lobby, we have now a well organised Hindu right wing lobby that is in a position to influence the US establishment. PRESS COVERAGE The manner in which the Indian-American press has been covering this issue reflects this. The whole matter is being presented as a debate between the faculty (some of them white, all of them "anti-Hindu") and a monolithic, aggrieved Hindu community. India Post, India West and India Abroad have given a whole lot of space to this debate, but secular Hindus/ Indians/ South Asians) has been very poorly represented. There is equal coverage and space in these papers for those who are making it out that historians who protested the Hindutva sponsored changes are "anti- Hindus", and that history should be written not just by historians who presumably "sit in ivory towers" but "with inputs from the community", or that those "who are practicing Hindus" are likely to "know" better the truth about their religions than those who are not, etc etc. For a lay person who reads these papers it would appear that there are two sides to the story—not just in the sense that some have views that diametrically differ from those of others, but that there are two equally valid ways of looking at India. Obviously the media perception of objectivity is being interpreted as equal coverage to both sides, not a promotion of what is correct. We are so familiar with this in our own country, when we have Sudarshan expounding on demography alongside a social scientist in another column, and the reader is left to decide for himself/herself who is correct. The one who gets more space? The one who has a bigger clout? This could become the criteria for deciding on our history and culture, if the RSS has its way with textbooks—in India or in California.

Posted by: AJay Jan 2 2006, 01:59 PM

QUOTE(Ashok Kumar @ Dec 29 2005, 05:54 AM)
This 6th-tantra/chapter is called "Shishu-Bheda or "How to create dissension amongst little children'". The main characters in the storyline are a weasel and a farmer.
laugh.gif
QUOTE
This chapter is patterned on the very first chapter of panchatantra "Mitra-Bheda", or "How to create dissesntion amongst friends" where the main characters were a lion, a bull and a jackal.
Minor nit. First chapter is "mitralAbaha" followed by mitrabhEda, kAkOlUkIya (Crows and Owls), sandhi (Compromise), and vigraha (rejecting an offer of negotiation?)

Posted by: Ashok Kumar Jan 2 2006, 02:41 PM

QUOTE(AJay @ Jan 3 2006, 02:29 AM)
Minor nit. First chapter is "mitralAbaha" followed by mitrabhEda, kAkOlUkIya (Crows and Owls), sandhi (Compromise), and vigraha (rejecting an offer of negotiation?)
Ajay, thanks. But mitra-bheda is the first chapter of panchatantra of vishNu-sharmA. (Check the original text http://ignca.nic.in/sanskrit/pancatantra.pdf ). The order is as follows: 1. mitra bheda (causing dissension between friends) 2. mitra samprApti (obtaining friends) 3. kakolUkIyam (of crows and owls ) 4. labdha-praNAsham 5. aparIkShita-kArakam I think you are confusing it with hitopadesha of nArAyNa-paNDita, which has the following arrangement ( http://www.sub.uni-goettingen.de/ebene_1/fiindolo/gretil/1_sanskr/5_poetry/4_narr/hitop_u.htm ): 1. mitra-lAbha (Gaining friends). 2. suhR^id-bheda (Splitting partners). 3. vigraha (War). 4. sandhi (Peace Treaty).

Posted by: AJay Jan 2 2006, 07:10 PM

QUOTE(Ashok Kumar @ Jan 3 2006, 03:11 AM)
QUOTE(AJay @ Jan 3 2006, 02:29 AM)
Minor nit. First chapter is "mitralAbaha" followed by mitrabhEda, kAkOlUkIya (Crows and Owls), sandhi (Compromise), and vigraha (rejecting an offer of negotiation?)
Ajay, thanks. But mitra-bheda is the first chapter of panchatantra of vishNu-sharmA. (Check the original text http://ignca.nic.in/sanskrit/pancatantra.pdf ). The order is as follows: 1. mitra bheda (causing dissension between friends) 2. mitra samprApti (obtaining friends) 3. kakolUkIyam (of crows and owls ) 4. labdha-praNAsham 5. aparIkShita-kArakam I think you are confusing it with hitopadesha of nArAyNa-paNDita,
mea culpa. You are absolutely right. Just now looking at the Panchantantra translation by Arthur Ryder. BTW, I started reading this book but could not get through past a few pages because he translated the names of the characters into english as well. That sounds so wierd. I would have liked the sanskrit names with english translation in paranthesis. The names are a large part of the enjoyment of these eternal stories (at least for me).

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 3 2006, 01:13 PM

http://www.india-forum.com/articles/64/1/Hindus-fight-discrimination-in-California-textbooks-%96-1 by Kalavai Venkat

Posted by: utepian Jan 3 2006, 01:19 PM

QUOTE
Why should Indian political party worry about teaching religion in far away CA
More importantly, since when did Communist Parties start caring about what is being taught in America!?! grenade.gif

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 3 2006, 02:11 PM

Taneja says..

QUOTE
Interestingly this whole enterprise of chauvinism is being proposed in the name of plurality and respect for difference, by giving "space" to those who have assumed for themselves the right to speak for all Hindus—in fact all Indians—and who are open admirers of Hitler and the notion of superiority of the Aryan race! Hence their desperation to show it as ‘race’ and originating in and indigenous to India, representing a mythical ‘golden age’!
Who is desperate to show Aryans are a 'race' ?

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 3 2006, 02:12 PM

Taneja says..

QUOTE
We would of course wonder why the RSS linked organisations are so keen on all this fabrication of Indian history and culture in the US, to push their vision on children who have little real contact with India and who would most likely never come to India. These children are part and parcel of American society rather than of India, even given their rootlessness and restlessness born out a feeling of "difference".
Is she repeating the "lost" and "abandoned" theme ??

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 3 2006, 02:15 PM

Taneja says..

QUOTE
The alarming growth of the RSS sponsored organisations in the tribal areas of Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, the North East states and Orissa would simply have not been possible without the steady flow of "funds" from the US and Britain.
By the same logic, is it fair to say that the alarming rise of churches and 'charities' would simply have not been possible without the steady flow of "funds" from Saudi, US, Europe and Australia ?

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 3 2006, 02:21 PM

Madam Taneja then makes the usual "islamophobia" and "zionist conspiracy" claims..

QUOTE
School textbooks that portray India as essentially Hindu, whose greatness has been undermined since the invasions and cruel reigns of Muslim rulers, create both empathy for "Hindu" organisations and causes, and hatred for Muslims, a scheme that ties up very well not merely with the Hindutva agenda in India, but with the Islamophobia currently promoted by the US establishment.
QUOTE
Despite the criticisms of the genocide in Gujarat and the Hindu religious fundamentalism by the US establishment, it is the Hindutva agents and organisations that carry legitimacy within it and are celebrated as another manifestation of the pluralism and diversity of American society. The secular, democratic south Asians are largely rendered invisible when it comes to considering questions of history and culture of South Asians. Very much like the right wing Jewish lobby, we have now a well organised Hindu right wing lobby that is in a position to influence the US establishment.
And then Comrade Taneja claims that the press coverage is "balanced" in India Abroad etc.. blink.gif

Posted by: acharya Jan 3 2006, 04:12 PM

There are two information which is evident from this article from Communist party. The term South asians is used for creating a unified image of South Asians in US with a common religion. The image of a homogeneous Hindu identity in US is denied and never given legitamacy. What is the connection between Communist party of India and Steve farmer/HarvardUniversity.

Posted by: Mudy Jan 3 2006, 06:23 PM

QUOTE
What is the connection between Communist party of India and Steve farmer/HarvardUniversity
Marxist Cultural terrorist of India (CPI, CPI(M), PWG) supports Steve Farmer and Wietzel. Both groups have same goal. Lot goes to Oxford and Harvard teaching.

Posted by: Viren Jan 4 2006, 11:06 AM

Here's one more with his "spending tens of thousands of dollars in preparation".

QUOTE
...I think that will turn out to be the case in California, and we came in there very late, and the right had organized this for many months, spending tens of thousands of dollars in preparation.
Steve Farmer had made a pompus claim that he was on 'money trail'. Sulkeha post http://www.sulekha.com/news/newsitem.aspx?com=y&ctab=t&cid=440737#focuscom
QUOTE
There is big money behind the Hindutva moves on California, and we are currently tracking down the money trail.
Anything to back up his claims so far other than hot air? Why's it so hard for these people to understand that people are genuienly concerned about the carp these indologists are spreading and won't take this brainwashing of their kids lying down.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 5 2006, 03:41 PM

http://www.india-forum.com/articles/65/1/Hindus-fight-discrimination-in-California-textbooks---2 Kalavai Venkat Tiny URL is http://tinyurl.com/d9z2p Please read and forward.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 6 2006, 01:24 AM

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FoundationForPluralism/message/632 (higlighted Vishal Agarwal's response for easier read) - Admin

QUOTE
"swamyr04" wrote: > > Mr. Vishal Agarwal's "summary" cleverly constructs the issue as one > between "Hindu Americans" and "academics, leftists and progressives." VA: It is not I who has constructed the issue that way.If you re- read my report, this is how the Indian Express dt 23 December 2005, and I have stated this very clearly. > All these "foundations" have as much to do with the academic study of > Indian and South Asian history as the KKK does with U.S. or European > history. VA: Let us forget ad-hominems and focus on core issues. As far as your comments on Hindutva orgs is concerned, I am least interested in countering them because it is for them to answer those. I am not a follower of Hindutva. I am a Hindu, who is technically a Shudra (having not had a sacred thread even at the time of the marriage) if you insist on me having a caste, and I follow the Shri Vaishnava tradition that honors equally the Sanskrit Vedas/Vedanta as well as the Tamil Divyaprabandhams, whose most sacred portion, the 'Tiruvayamoli' is called Dravidaveda and is from the divine inspiration of Nammalvar (a Shudra). Anyway, in our Dharma, most of our Shastras are compiled or narrated by people of 'mixed' or so called 'low castes'. For instance, Vedas were compiled by Vyasa (son of a Brahmin and a fisherwoman), the Puranas are narrated by Suta, and much of the Mahabharata also falls within this category, as do Vedanta darshana and so on. > > Let the truth be told about these three "foundations." > > 1. None of these three organizations represent Indians, South Asians > or Hindus in the diasporic community. They claim to. VA: The State Board of Education (SBE) invites any organization to come and offer their views. HEF and VF did so whereas others did not. Whose fault is it? Certainly not of VF and HEF. > > 2. Who appointed these fanatics to speak for Hindus? Or Indians? > NOBODY. They appointedt themselves. VA: Not really. Before approaching the SBE, VF started an internet petition objection to defamatory projections of Hindus in textbooks. The petition was supported by HEF, and the petition in all gathered 6000 signatures. Moreover, 1000+ Hindu families in CA went and provided testimonials to the SBE on the faulty depiction of Hinduism in textbooks. School teachers and supritendants (not all of whome were even Hindus) also went to Sacramento to support the efforts of HEF. All this can be verified from public records that are available with SBE in Sacramento. I think that all this is sufficient to establish the locus standi of HEF and VF. On the other hand, who appointed you? Who has appointed FOSA et al to represent Indian or Hindu viewpoints? These leftists have never complained about denigration of Hindus in American textbooks, but now that someone is trying to correct them, they are crying wolf. No one is fooled by such histrionics- the target is not Hindutva, it is Hindus. > 4. The Vedic Foundation claims to be interested in correcting errors > in History school textbooks. Yet it claims on its website that India > is hundreds of trillions of years old, the Vedas are the universal > authority on all knowledge, and that history is about reaching God. VA: The Vedic Foundation propagates interpretations (based on literal readings of Puranas and Smritis) that are several century old and predate Hindutva by several centuries. How does that make VF Hindutva parivar? Do you even know that most of the VF members are actually converted Americans, who logically cannot have but a tangential interest in Indian politics. Your ad hominem shows that you are quite ignorant of what the Puranas say. By this yardstick that you adopt, all the authors of Puranas and Smritis and Mahabharata etc become Hindutva-vaadis! > > Mr. Vishal Agarwal is a seasoned supported and promoter of the > Hindutva cause in the U.S. His idea of a summary is about presenting > the issue supporting the despicable work of his friends in the > movement and demonizing opponents. In this he is in the same league > as Creationism apologists. VA: A mere allegation without any substance. I gave ALL references wherever I could and posted biblio information on both pro and anti views. Is calling a Marxist a Marxist 'demonization'? > > The textbook edits proposed by the trio "Foundations" seek to do the > following: > > 1. Erase Harrapan civilization by subsuming it into a mythicized > "Vedic civilization" that supposedly predates everything in the > subcontinent. VA: Show proof of that. Do not just imagine things. Which of the approved 117 edits suggests what you say above? This Agarwal refers to the historically established fact > of Aryan invasions/migration as "demeaning to Hindus." VA: They ARE demeaning as all reasonable scholars have recognized. Here is a book that you may read to inform yourself: Thomas Trautman. Aryans and British India. UC Berkeley Press. 1997 I can suggest more works if you care. Hindutva > supporters have for quite some time wanted to erase Harrapa and > Mohenjodaro from history because they prove the presence of a high > civilization predating the migrations of Aryan tribes from Central and > West Asia. VA: This is hilarious! A fiction of your own mind. I thought that the Hindutvavaadis actually want MJ and Harappa to be Vedic Aryan cities instead! Agarwal ought to remember the ridiculous efforts of his > friends in India to rename the Harrapan Indus Valley civilization as > "the saraswathi civilization" - asserting that it was an Aryan > civilization. VA: Perhaps you do not know that the CA textbooks are ALREADY saffronized in this respect. Since you have not seen the textbooks, and have merely referred to the edits, you will not know that some of these books actually ALREADY refer to the Harappan culture as 'Indus-Sarasvati Civilization', following what eminent works on archaeology say, for instance: Jane McIntosh. A Peaceful Realm, the Rise and Fall of the Indus Civilization. Alta Mira Press, 2002 At this rate, you will start calling every other scholar a Hindutva- vaadin! > > 2. Impose a one dimensional tale about the Vedic Hindu religion's > greatness in place of a complex account of the diverse character of > the history of the subcontinent. Why is religion so central to > history in their view? Why should it be for school children studying > the history of South Asia or India? VA: This is a question that you should ask the California State Board of Education. It is their syllabus that guides the content of the textbooks. And South Asia is not an exception. The medieval period chapters on middle east have very long descriptions of Abrahamic religions. So why should Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism be left out? In short, your comments are just idle musings and conspiracy theories without know the basis of the whole issue. > > 3. The version of Hinduism propagated here is Brahmanism - the > religious and social belief system which underlies the caste system. VA: Again, first at least try to get a copy of the CA state syllabus for grade VI history books! The textbooks merely write on what the Board tells them. > Therefore the edits proposed by the three "foundations" include > egregious deletions and modifications of sections pertaining to the > oppressive aspects of the caste system. The substitutions proposed > paint a rosy picture of caste society - as if everyone was happily > involved in whatever they did best - sort of like the "Gone with the > wind" characterization of southern slavery. VA: The edits of the organizations conform to the state directives of education policy which you can find on their website. These directives clearly indicate that the textbooks should be written in such a way that children feel pride in their heritage, and that one tradition must not be privileged over another. For precisely this reason, the chapters on Islam cover up Jihads, Jazia and so on (except mention it in a most apologetic fashion), whereas chapters on Christianity white wash its own set of problems. If you are really progressive, write to SBE for ALL religions because the state policy forbids privileging one religion over others. > > 4. On the issue of women and patriarchy in ancient India, the edits > proposed by the trio "foundations" resort to such skullduggery as in > changing "unequal" to "different" and "rights" to "duties." VA: This is in conformity with what the textbooks say about other religions. For instance, they do not mention that in Islam, women testimony is worth half that of men in legal courts and so on. Hinduism seemed to have been singled out for a negative treatment, and therefore the edits were necessary. In the > shining eyes of these "scholars" everything was nice and dandy for > Dalits, Sudras, women and non-Hindus throughout the history of India. VA: Again, see above. The textbooks do not talk about suppression of Non-Muslims in Islamic societies, slavery in Bible and so on. So why single out Hinduism? Dalit is a new word which does not have a history beyond 1850 AD and therefore it is anachronistic to talk about 'Dalits' in ancient India. However, Shudras are mentioned in the textbooks and the edits do not propose removing this word. > > 5. The total adulation of the Vedas by these self- proclaimed "saints > and scholars" is at odds not only with the views of Dalits and members > of the caste system's lower rungs. VA: Again, you are ignorant about why these textbooks talk about Vedas. It is because it is the CALIFORNIA STATE SYLLABUS that mandates that the textbooks should have a section on the Vedas. Anyway, could Mr Swamy cite my some 'Dalit views' from 1500 BCE? I would be most interested in knowing them. It also stands in contradiction to > the real history of India in which for thousands of years trends that > challenged the Vedas continued - from the Sramana traditions emerged > Buddhism and Jainism, VA: Buddhis is covered VERY adequately in the textbooks (although Jainism is not treated very comprehensively) although errors are there. Again, Swamy just goes on without checking the books, just sitting on his armchair. the Carvaka traditon of atheism and materialism > predated Vedic Brahmanism and stood in conflict with Vedic Brahmanism. VA: Any proof that Charvaka tradition and materialism predated Vedic religion? DO you know that Charvaka and Brihaspati were BOTH Brahmins according to the Hindu tradition?? So what is their connection with 'dalit' ideology? > Carvakavadins for instance ridiculed Brahmanical rituals and caste > conceits ("The three authors of the Vedas were buffoons, knaves, and > demons." from Sarva Darshana Sangraha, by Madhvacharya) VA: The period covered by these textbooks is ancient India, which ends around 550AD. Therefore, the textbook cannot refer to Sarvadarshanasamgraha which dates from around 1350 AD, just as these textbooks have not referred to later Vedanta philosophies, Nyaya schools, Bhakti saints and so on. Therefore your criticism is misguided and redundant. They were also > ruthlessly suppressed as later Brahmanical texts note in their > derisive accounts of those "primitive materialists." VA: Except for one account where a teacher called 'Charvaka' is burnt alive (and he is said to be a friend of Duryodhana), there is no evidence that they were persecuted in ancient India by Hindus. On the contrary, there is testimony in Buddhist texts that Buddhists killed Ajivikas. If Charvakas can write derisive accounts of Vedas, why cannot Hindus write derisive accounts of Charvakas? > > Buddhism also developed in conflict with and opposed to Brahmanism - > one of the central tenets of Buddhism is seen often as an indicator of > the centrality of atheism to the belief system - the term > anatta/anatma (non-self) is an opposition/negation to the Brahmanical > Vedic notion of Atma(eternal self). VA: The textbooks clarify this quite amply, even though it violates SBE guidelines that one tradition does not have to be privileged over another. This guideline is scrulpously followed on other cases, and Islam is not represented as a perfected version of Christianity, which is not represented as a bettered version of Judaism. Is this not discriminatory to Hindus? It rejects the Brahmanical Vedic > claim that there is an indivisible eternal soul that allegedly can be > accessed through rituals by Brahmins. VA: On the other hand, the followers of Vedanta, Nyaya, Mimamsa etc also critiqued Buddhist views. The philosphical critique of > Vedic Brahmanism by Buddhism had a social dimension in short. Vedas > in other words were not universally seen as some sort of supra > historical body of texts even two thousand years ago - they were > challenged, their claims, their supposed aura, their relevance to > knowledge, their philosophical claims, and so on. VA: This is not unique of Hinduism. The claims of divinity of Koran, Bible etc., have ALL been challenged centuries ago. So why single out Hinduism? They may be > interesting texts with great historical value but to reduce them to > some sort of bluprint for the production of all knowledge is > ridiculous and is best left to the wandering thoughts of mystics and > spiritual seekers - not the subject matter of school textbooks. VA: Which of the edits seeks to propose what you claim here? > > > Friends on this list. These organizations and this apologist Vishal > Agarwal have no basis to claim that they are oppressed. VA: As I have shown above, all your comments above are ad hominems, arm chair type musings without any information of the contents of the books or even the state board syllabus! THey are > wealthy, well-to-do members of a prosperous immigrant community. > Their gripe is not about their situation here in the U.S. They are > driven by bigger dreams - the establishment of Hindu Rashtra, the > Hindu Reich in other words. VA: How can modifying textbooks here lead to a Hindu Rashtra in India. Your statement seems like a conspiracy theory. They wish to create a society where > cultural and religious minorities, Dalits, women, workers, peasants, > students, youth, sexual minorities, all live at the mercy of Hindu > supremacy. VA: How are CA textbooks relevant to what goes on in India? Your statement is a mere rhetoric without any basis in reality, and a typical calumny by association tactic. This ideal is expressed in the writings of the founding > fathers of Hindutva - and I am sure Agarwal or his friends will not > address this issue directly because it is not something they have > found disagreement with - the Fascist roots of Hindutva. VA: Since I am not a Hindutva follower, I have no use for such teachings, and I am not answerable. Rather, you should ask your friends to read the 'Red Book' of Chairman Mao, whose policies lead to genocides in China. > > Golwalkar is fondly referred to as "Guruji" on the HSS website - and > by the way, the HEF, one of the three "foundations" involved in this > effort is a HSS project. VA: Support for opposition to HEF has come from people who still hang pictures of Stalin and Mao in their offices. So is a moot point then that Witzel and company are associated with genocides and massacres in China, Soviet Union, Kampuchea etc etc? This is what your logic would lead us to believe. > > To Agarwal and his friends, the push to edit textbooks is driven by > the hope that this would set a precedent for other states. VA: How strange that Swamy has NEVER ever done anything to correct demeaning references to India and Hinduism in textbooks but when someone does this, he indulges in reckless defamation. If Swamy agrees that Islam and Christianity are also Indian religions, then I challange him to review the edits associated with these religions by the SAME yardstick. In short, I would urge Swamy to shed his hatred for Hindus, get off his armchair, and find out what the textbooks actually say, what the edits are, what is the State Board of CA syllabus and whether the edits for Abrahamic faiths are similar in nature as those for Hinduism. Om satyam iti, Vishal --- In FoundationForPluralism@yahoogroups.com, MIKEGHOUSE@a... wrote: > > > [ WARNING: PLEASE DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING IF YOU HAVE LAREADY FORMED AN > OPINION ] > > > > > I was holding off posting many pieces on DallasIndians, Pluralism and > several other groups. I am trying my best to gather info from all sources, so each > on of us can form our own opinion based on what we read, and what we > believe. I will release a few pieces today. > > My appeal is for us to read comments of both sides, and not judge any one or > any group, let's learn as objectively as we can ......the more we hold out > our judgment, the least biased we would be. > > The California Text book issue (herein after called issue) has added an new > of dimension of Hindutva V. Hinduism, that is at the bottom of most pro or > against petitions going on. We need to level with all and remove this one major > barrier and focus on the issues. After all we have to live together, share > the space we have, we might as well, learn to respect each others > existence... for it is better to be at peace, than live a life of bitterness. > > No matter what Hindutva stands for, we need to guard that "wrong" statements > are not made about Hinduism and India. At the same time, we need to guard > against the temptation to be less than truthful. I wish we can keep the purity > of issues. > > Here are a few suggestions to follow, for us to come to a better > understanding. > > 1) It is important to understand the point of view of the person being > criticized, for the solution to emerge, the language should be respectful. The > quotes from others should be in full and in context. One needs to focus on the > issues, and stick to them as closely as possible. > > Solutions can be reached by focusing on the issues and removing critical > hurdles. We will start moving towards a possible understanding and then a > possible solution. Ultimately, I firmly believe a relatively acceptable solution > will emerge. > > 2) To be just to all parties - we should focus on the items of contention > and the suggested changes in context. Teaching of history is always > contentious. If one objects to widely accepted concepts, he needs to provide properly > documented data. In this case how would it damage the minds of 6th graders. > > I will obtain all the 50 some un-approved changes, what was the change and > its effects for us to form an opinion, which would be truly tempered by facts. > > 3) Hindutva is widely "perceived" as a negative, exclusionist, partisan > ideology. If Hindutva stands for respecting all Indians irrespective of religion > or ethnicity, I tender my apologies. Yes, my apologies. Then the proponents > have the responsibility to bring information about Hindutva as an all > inclusive ideology, where every Indian is respected and honored. Each one of us is > wishing and aspiring to work on an all inclusive and just India. India has > always been a pluralistic society, and am mighty proud of it and inspired by the > humane great minds and personalities India has bequeathed to the world. In > the last few decades Hindutva forces have tarnished the pluralist ethos of > India. The proponents have to show that Hindutva is good for every Indian. They > have to prove that it is not divisive, it is not based on hate or malice > towards any Indian that breathes the air of that land, drinks the water from the > land, eats the food grown in that land. They have to show that the statements > made by its leadership were personal and not the groups policy. > > > 4) I have known Mihir Meghani and have learned to respect him for his > "inclusive" thought process. He may have said a few things in the past that is not > kosher, but I understand it was during his youth. We have to forgive and > overlook it, if we are convinced that he has renounced that ideology. It also > means that the statements made by him in the past are not his current mind-set. > Personally I want to support all individuals who respect people of other > races, faiths, ethnicities and cultures. I want to honor Mihir once I hear a > response to this paragraph. > > 5) I am committed to defend Hinduism as I am committed to defend every > faith, but exclusionist ideologies have to be understood before they can be a > called to represent a community, in this case a very vast and diverse Hindu > community and a very large composite Indian community. > > > 6) I request the commentators to follow the guidelines published and > re-write it with the points with a thought of bringing solutions to the issue. Lets' > keep the personalities out, completely out and focus on issues. I know > people will break the rules... do I have volunteers who can read, and remove the > personal attacks and resubmit for all to read more objective material? > > 7) I request Mihir to respond to the letter below with the intentions of > moving forward, and assuage Swamy's doubts about his bona fides. > > 8) It is an open forum and all are welcome to express your opinions.... > Keep it in bullet format if you can > > Jai Hind > > > > > Sincerely, > Mike Ghouse > > > > > > > > > +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ > From: "swamyr04" <_swamyr04@y..._> > Date: Mon Jan 2, 2006 9:49pm > Subject: Mangling history, silencing genocide - Hindutva's assaults on > memory and people. > > Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present > controls the past. George Orwell > > > The recent efforts of Hindu Right organizations in the United States > to radically alter sections pertaining to ancient India in > California's middle school textbooks is part of a long-term effort by > the Hindutva movement to turn a rich and complex history of the > subcontinent into a one-dimensional narrative of "Hindu" greatness. > The erasure of Harrapa as a distinctly pre-Aryan civilization is > deemed necessary to the assertion of Aryan indigeneity and antiquity, > claims that fly in the face of the available historical and linguistic > evidence. This attempted erasure is accompanied by a valorization of > everything pertaining to the Brahmanical Vedic culture - bordering on > the bizarre fetishization of the Vedas as some sort of > supra-historical body of knowledge. Yet it is not only through > textbooks that proponents of Hindutva seek to distort, silence and > erase history - in 2002, the state of Gujarat witnessed the first > organized genocide of Muslims by the Hindutva movement in the 21st > century. The recent discovery of a mass grave in Gujarat containing > the remains of Muslim victims murdered by organizations affiliated to > the same Hindu Right groups pushing for textbook changes in > California, shows us that Hindutva is as much about erasing lives and > hiding its grisly actions of the immediate past as it is about > silencing by chicanery, the ancient past. > > > Selling the same stale lemon in a new package - 6th century BC to 21st > century AD. > > Even ancient India's peoples would have laughed at the propositions > made by these 21st century Hindu supremacists: thousands of years of > opposition to the claims and conceits of the Vedas and their > beneficiaries can be traced back to the Carvaka materialist atheists, > Buddhist and Jain atheists, the later Bhakti, Sufi and Tantric > movements. The ancient Carvakas, who later became victims of physical > and historical attacks by their Brahmanical opponents openly ridiculed > the Vedas as the work of charlatans and opportunists. > > "The three authors of the Vedas were buffoons, knaves, and demons. All > the well-known formulae of the pandits, jarphari, turphari, etc. and > all the obscene rites for the queen commanded in Aswamedha, these were > invented by buffoons, and so all the various kinds of presents to the > priests, while the eating of flesh was similarly commanded by > night-prowling demons." > SarvaDarshanaSamgraha, an overview of ancient philosophies attributed > to Madhava a medieval philosopher. > Read Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya's "Lokayata: A study in Ancient Indian > Materialism," People's Publishing House, New Delhi for an interesting > assessment of the Carvakas. > > These challenges were grounded in a social critique as well since the > Brahmins' source of social power was in their fetishization of the > Vedas as a source of divine power. The Buddha himself discarded the > notion of an "eternal soul" or "self" which Brahmanism propounded - > the "atman." He proposed its opposite, its negation as the ultimate > reality - the "anatman" or the "not-self." > In sum, ancient India's diverse cultural trends challenged the Vedas > and the Brahmanic social order - the ancient past was not a Brahmanic > or Vedic paradise like the 21st century Hindutvadis claim in their > proposed textbook edits. These challenges were not insignificant > either: the most prominent imperial states of ancient India were ruled > by Buddhist rulers, and along with Jainism enjoyed millenia long > histories of state patronage and widespread adherence. The Vedas had > absolutely nothing to do with the great expansion of trade routes, the > growth of new agricultural technologies, the construction of > irrigation works, or even the spread of Indian languages and cultural > forms through trade. In fact we may say that all these historically > significant transformations occurred inspite of the Vedas and hardly > because of these supposedly "infallible" texts - social groups like > merchants, traders and artisans, that adhered to Buddhism and Jainism > had no use for the veneration of Brahmins or the observance of Vedic > prescriptions of social spatial/segregational limits to their > activities. It would be interesting to speculate as to what "kind" > words the atheist and materialist ancient Carvakas would have spared > for 21st century Vedic Hindutvadis! > > > The contemporary Hindu Right movement is the product of two political > histories - that of Brahmanism in late colonial India and early > European fascism. Substantial evidence points to close ties between > the founders of the Hindu supremacist movement and the Italian > fascists, including meetings between B.S. Moonje (close friend and > mentor to Hedgewar, the first leader of the RSS) and Benito Mussolini. > The RSS was distinctly fashioned as a paramilitary organization after > Moonje returned from visiting Mussolini. Elsewhere leaders of the RSS > openly declare their admiration for Germany and Hitler particularly > with respect to the Nazi view and treatment of Jews. These ties have > not been repudiated by the followers of Hindutva to this day - on the > contrary the Hitler and Mussolini admiring founding fathers of the RSS > are treated as "Gurus" - their images adorn the memorialized spaces of > the Sangh Parivar, even on their websites. (Hindutva’s fascist > heritage, Marzia Casolari, 2000 - > > _http://www.sabrang.com/cc/comold/mar00/document.htm_ > (http://www.sabrang.com/cc/comold/mar00/document.htm) ) > > The Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) which is the organization behind the > Hindu Education Foundation (front organization leading the current > effort to rewrite CA textbooks) memorializes "Guruji" Golwalkar and > "Doctorji" Hedgewar (first and second absolute leaders of the RSS) on > its website under a section titled "Great Personalities." Here is > what the "great personality" Golwalkar had to say about the Jewish > people of Germany on the eve of the second world war, a position he > did not correct or modify even after the enormity of the destruction > and genocide became clear: > > "To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked > the world by her purging the country of the semitic Races - the > Jews... Germany has also shown how well nigh impossible it is for > Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be > assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan > to learn and profit by (p. 35)." We or Our Nationhood Defined, M.S. > Golwalkar, 1939. > > > Erasure of the past - Harrapa 2000 BC to Gujarat 2002 AD > > The claim that Hindus have been slighted is repeated ad nauseum as if > the well-to-do activists of the HAF, HEF and the VF have been victims > of social oppression. On the contrary these organizations and their > parent organizations in India have been collectively involved in a > campaign to demolish secularism, pluralism and human rights for more > than a decade. These efforts are intrinsically part of a project to > silence and erase cultural, social and political realities that are > seen as impediments to Hindu Rashtra. Significantly, this effort to > silence and erase applies to both the past and the present (including > the immediate past). This past includes Harrappa of 2000 BC, but it > also includes Gujarat of 2002 AD. The Hindu Right organized, > executed, covered up, and then tried hard to silence the Gujarat > Genocide of 2002, in which not less than 2000 Muslims were massacred > and thousands brutalized by rampaging organized paramilitary forces of > the VHP, Bajrang Dal, BJP and the RSS (source: > _http://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/india/_ > (http://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/india/) ). Recently the skeletal > remains of several victims were found in a mass grave - these were > Muslims missing since 2002 murdered and buried by Hindutva activists > with the help of the police > (_http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/5922_1584054,0015002100000000.htm _ > (http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/5922_1584054,0015002100000000.htm) ). > > That the Hindutva movement sought to bury the evidence of their crimes > is not surprising. Evidence of Muslim as well as syncretic heritage > in the state, including mosques, religious and cultural buildings, > tombs, were also targeted, demolished and bulldozed during weeks of > mayhem fully supported by the state government led by the vile > Narendra Modi. Hindu Rashtra (the Hindu Reich, to be faithful to > Hindutva's historical inspirations) requires the erasure of the > demonized "other" in this case Muslims, as well as the complex, > multifaceted, syncretic and pluralist trends in Indian society. The > pursuit of a "purified" Hindu "identity" in this recent genocide > involved attacking anything that stood in the way of a vision of Hindu > "purity." Therefore cultural worlds that overlapped, intersected, > shared common spaces, drew upon one another, and so on were also seen > as problematic by Hindutva's proponents. The human beings embedded > within these worlds, bringing these worlds to life everyday were seen > as enemies to be targeted by physical violence - Hindutva's > paramilitary organizations (VHP, Bajrang Dal and even the RSS) engaged > in acts of terrible violence over several weeks in 2002. The > destruction of Muslim lives was seen as a way of "purifying" "Hindu" > culture - ethnic cleansing, or genocide as a way to achieve "Hindu > Rashtra." When the murders were committed, the same Hindutva > organizations worked hastily to cover up their acts - mass graves are > merely one outcome of this effort to silence the immediate past. The > fact that all the various RSS affiliated organizations in the United > States to this day defend (when they cannot ignore) the Gujarat > Genocide of 2002 stands as a deafening testimony to their utter lack > of any credibility (or decency) whatsoever. These same organizations > today think they can walk into California's Board of Education and > rewrite history for middle school American children shedding crocodile > tears for themselves as if they were the most oppressed people on the > planet! > > Hindutva is therefore not merely about ideological erasure of > historical knowledge but also about the attempted silencing and > erasure of the lives and bodies of human beings in the present (and > immediate past). > > > The three foundations - who they really are. > > In this concluding section I will provide a brief account of each of > the three organizations leading the textbook rewrite effort on behalf > of the Hindu supremacist viewpoint. It is abundantly clear from the > evidence at hand that these three organizations are ideologically and > institutionally part of the Hindutva campaign to transform the > education system into a means for the production of its bigoted > propaganda. The claims that these organizations represent aggrieved > cultural minorities is a farce - these organizations and their > henchmen represent social elites devoted to a reactionary ideology > that violently targets religious and cultural minorities, seeks to > suppress socially marginalized groups like Dalits and Sudras, and > justifies brutal violence against women. On the latter please refer > to "Threatened Existence: A Feminist Analysis of the Genocide in > Gujarat" - Report by the International Initiative for Justice (IIJ) > (December 10, 2003) > _http://www.onlinevolunteers.org/gujarat/reports/iijg/2003/._ > (http://www.onlinevolunteers.org/gujarat/reports/iijg/2003/) > > The two organizations leading this campaign to Hindutva-ize history > textbooks are the Hindu Education Foundation (HEF) set up just for > this campaign, and the Vedic Foundation, with support from the Hindu > American Foundation (HAF). > > "Hindu Education Foundation" (HEF): > > The HEF consists of 15 members - 6 coordinators and 9 advisors. Of > the 6 coordinators, 4 are HSS (Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh) activists, and > one an IDRF (India Development and Relief Fund) contact. Of the 9 > advisors, we have the Vice President of "Hindu University,(Abhinav > Dwivedi)" a former President of the VHPA's Texas chapter (Beth > Kulkarni), the International head of the ICCS (International Center > for Cultural Studies, Pune) an RSS front organization, who was also > the "Pracharak" of the Africa Zone branch of the HSS and the Sah > Sanyojak of Sewa International (Yashwant Pathak), and at least four > hard core senior ideologues and proponents of the Hindutva movement > (David Frawley, Ved Nanda, Kalyanaraman, and B.P. Lathi) and one > physician who has been a long-term supporter of Hindutva activities in > the U.S.(Rakesh Shreedhar). Except for a single individual (a New Age > author) listed on the HEF website's "About HEF" page every member of > HEF is deeply connected to the Hindutva movement, institutionally and > ideologically. source: _http://www.hindueducation.org/advisors.htm_ > (http://www.hindueducation.org/advisors.htm) > > "Vedic Foundation" (VF): > > The Vedic Foundation may not be institutionally part of the RSS family > of organizations but its conflation of India and Hinduism is identical > to the RSS view that India and Hinduism are one and the same. It is > also the case that the Vedic Foundation, like various new-age cults > has a following that consists of people who have no problems with the > Foundation's bizarre claim that its work "describes the history of > India and the religion of India (Bharatvarsh) of 155.521972 trillion > years." The close ideological affinity between the VF and the Sangh > Parivar is perhaps best exemplified in this current effort to > Hindutva-ize American history textbooks. The VF's most trumpeted > work, a book tiled "The True History and the Religion of India⠀"A > Concise Encyclopedia of Authentic Hinduism" is written by its > spiritual leader and founder of VF's parent organization > "International Society of Divine Love, Austin, Texas" one Swami > Prakashanand Saraswati. > > The author claims a theological basis for history that begins by > asserting that Hinduism is under threat by secularism, the educational > establishment, professors and those educated in modern institutions of > learning. This problem is supposedly remedied through the work of God > (note its monotheistic sense which the VF insists on as evidenced by > the textbook edits.), who sends his "Eternal Saints" to "earth planet" > to "write books." Comfortably perching himself in this position as > another "Eternal Saint" sent down by God, the author goes on to > essentially declare his own work to be a work of transhistorical > revelation. Stretching the imagination even further, the author > claims that history itself is only possible through the agency of such > "Eternal Saints." The California Education Board ought to be alarmed > by such theologically based arguments informing the Vedic Foundation's > fatal attraction to "history." The following passage from "An > Encyclopedia of Authentic Hinduism" (which is based on the "True > History.." book by the Swami) makes it clear what the "history" > project of the Vedic Foundation is about: > > "Hindu philosophy, religion and history are all intertwined. The Sages > and the acharyas who produced the scriptures (which form the body of > Sanatan Dharm) are the prominent personalities of Bhartiya history. > Thus, the main part of our history is the history of the Divine > personalities; and our religion is the universal religion of devotion > to God." > _http://encyclopediaofauthentichinduism.org/hinduism-bhartiya- sanatan_dharm.ht > m_ > (http://encyclopediaofauthentichinduism.org/hinduism-bhartiya- sanatan_dharm.htm) > > > "Hindu American Foundation" (HAF): > > The "Hindu American Foundation," founded by Mihir Meghani a long term > activist of the Hindutva movement in the U.S. affiliated to the Hindu > Students Council and its parent organization the Vishwa Hindu Parishad > of America (VHPA.) supports the effort. Meghani not too long ago said > the following in an article that appeared on the website of the BJP > (The RSS's political party): > > "The future of Bharat is set. Hindutva is here to stay. It is up to > the Muslims whether they will be included in the new nationalistic > spirit of Bharat. It is up to the government and the Muslim leadership > whether they wish to increase Hindu furor or work with the Hindu > leadership to show that Muslims and the government will consider Hindu > sentiments. The era of one-way compromise of Hindus is over, for from > now on, secularism must mean that all parties must compromise." > Meghani wrote this in a piece titled "Hindutva, the Great Nationalist > Ideology" which can be read on the website of the BJP: > _http://bjp.org/history/htvintro-mm.html_ > (http://bjp.org/history/htvintro-mm.html) > > The HAF projects itself as a "Hindu American" organization but is > inspired by Hindutva or Hindu supremacist ideals. Its activism > invokes the language of human rights even as its ideological > commitments are to a project that undermines and overthrows the very > idea of human rights. > > **************************************************** >

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 6 2006, 02:45 PM

http://www.india-forum.com/articles/66/1/Hindus-fight-discrimination-in-California-textbooks---3 Kalavai Venkat Tiny URL is http://tinyurl.com/9xz7h Please read and forward.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 7 2006, 06:19 PM

Thought provoking post from Jakob De Roover. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheHeathenInHisBlindness/message/2014

QUOTE
The issue is not about the constraints under which the Hindu Education Foundation (HEF) is operating or even about explaining 'The Heathen...' to 6th grade students in America. Both issues are important, but something far more acute is going wrong today. 1. The recommendations of the HEF were very reasonable in comparison to those of the Vedic Foundation. The problem is the HEF corrections do not constitute much of an alternate portrayal of the Hindu traditions. They merely correct some of the details, which are acceptable to many Indologists, since the dominant understanding of Indian culture is not challenged in a significant way. The lack of an alternative has confronted us in the past. Remember, for instance, the debate about Wendy Doniger's Encarta Encyclopedia entry on 'Hinduism'. Sankrant did an excellent job in pointing out some of the problems in that entry. Next, Encarta proposes to replace it by another more acceptable entry. What happens? Arvind Sharma supplies an entry which tells the same story but leaves out the derogatory remarks and gives a more 'positive' image of the Hindu traditions. Is that really what we are fighting for today? 2. If it is, we do not need the Arvind Sharma's or Vedic Foundations of today. We can turn back to the German Romantic Indologists or the Rammohan Roys and Dayananda Saraswatis of the past. They also gave a rosy picture of Hinduism. They also fought the evangelist missionaries and anglicist scholars with the same vehemence that has returned today. But they failed miserably to give an alternative understanding of the Indian culture. In fact, they succumbed to an era of evangelical propaganda and colonial education. Eventually, the colonial inferiority complex of the nineteenth-century Hindu reformers inspired a massive attempt to transform the native traditions into a Hindu theism — Protestant theology dressed up in Hindu garb. Thus, together with the Orientalists, they made the Hindu traditions into a 'positive' second-hand Christianity. In my analysis, what happens today is a replay of those events. The Indologists of the Witzel petition have taken on the role of missionaries like Charles Grant; while the Vedic Foundation and people like Rajeev Malhotra have become the Rammohan Roys of the twenty-first century. 3. The point is not that the members of the twenty-first century Hindu foundations (or the American sixth-graders) should all read 'The Heathen'. Not only is it very unlikely that this will happen in the near future; it is also impossible for them to understand Balu's argument if they do not start thinking for themselves. They could start by reflecting upon a few simple questions: Does the problem in the current understanding of the Hindu traditions really revolve around some derogatory remarks and an occassionally negative tone? Should one merely leave out the two or three sexually-oriented paragraphs in Courtright's Ganesha book in order to correct the mistaken portrayal? Do we just have to ban Kripal's silly book and Witzel's obnoxious remarks to come to a better assessment of the contributions of the Indian culture to humanity? Should we make 'God' into the focus of Hinduism in order to have American students appreciate the richness of the Hindu traditions? It seems not. If the battle is fought at that level, the outcome is predictable. The Hindus will accept the terms of description as fixed by the western culture -- just like the nineteenth-century Hindu reformers succumbed to the colonial image of the Indian culture. The entire struggle will take place within the intellectual constraints set by American society and its academia. In the end, the American Hindus will truly complete the work of the missionaries: they will have converted themselves into Hindu Christians. This is what the Brahmo Samaj, the Arya Samaj and their progeny have done in India; this is what the Hindu foundations in America will do if they continue along the same lines. 4. If I didn't know better, I would suspect that what is happening today is part of a planned strategy. The tremendous success of the NRI community in American society is threatening at several levels: (a) after the Chinese, it is the first time members of a 'pagan' culture are this successful in Christian America; (b) this success has made the NRI community aware of the fact that its own culture and its Hindu traditions have something to offer to the world; © hence, they contest the negative portrayal of their culture in Christian America and (unlike the Chinese) they have stridently joined the debates in the media and academia; (d) to the WASP-majority, this NRI upsurge is very different from what the Catholics, Jews and Muslims did earlier, since it concerns a 'heathen religion', which is as different from the dominant Protestant culture as anything could possibly be. How does one neutralise such a threat? The answer is obvious: by shaping the energy, the vehemence and the intellectual acuity of the American Hindus in a particular way, which defuses the attack. You give them an easy target: the Indologists who speak and write derogatorily about India and Hinduism. You allow them to assert the value of their culture within certain limits: they merely become the next group to demand recognition of their own religious and ethnic identity (after the Catholics, the Jews, the Blacks, etc.). Thus, the NRI community becomes the next church-like ghetto-culture in a society that revolves around identity politics. They no longer pose any threat to the mainstream WASP-culture. They do not even offer an alternative way of being. 5. Naturally, things do not happen in a planned way like this. There is no WASP conspiracy against the NRI-community and its self-assertion. The problem lies at the level of the very structure of American society. Its identity politics has defused any threatening cultural alternative in the past. To borrow one of Rajeev Malhotra's ploys: At first, the Irish Catholics were not regarded as 'whites' by the WASP-community. After a struggle in which the Irish were gradually forced to form a Protestant church with Catholic overtones, they were accepted as a proper white community. Next, the same thing happened to the Jews. Later other communities followed. Now, it is the turn of the Hindus. Their cultural identity will be accepted and recognised once it takes a recognisable, non-threatening form - once it ceases being a true alternative to the dominant WASP-culture. This is the task assigned to the Vedic foundations and the Rajeev Malhotra's in today's America. This explains why, for instance, they find support among the conservatives in the California board: these conservatives recognise and acknowledge the fact that the American Hindus are the next community to aspire the proper 'ethnic community' and 'religious identity' status in American society. 6. To conclude, the NRI-community stands at historical crossroads: (a) It can become 'white' like the Irish, the Jews and other communities have before. This implies it makes its own culture into the next ghetto within the western culture. It will then transform the Hindu traditions into a Hindu-Protestant church. The consequence is the NRI Hindu foundations become more harmful to the Hindu traditions than the Witzels, the Donigers and the Southern Baptist missionaries of this world. (b) Or it can reflect upon the nature of Indian culture and its traditions and the capacity these have to offer fruitful alternatives to the western culture and its ways of being. Then, it cannot but look for a new way of understanding the Hindu traditions, which goes far beyond the second-hand Christianity of the nineteenth-century Hindu reformers. In case the NRI community takes the second road, it will find in our research programme strong intellectual support.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 8 2006, 03:14 PM

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1586524,0008.htm Overseas Hindu body says Hinduism under threat

Posted by: aruni Jan 9 2006, 05:29 PM

http://www.hinduismtoday.com/press_releases/school_textbooks/Bajpai_Example_Pages.pdf under consideration in California.Dr.Shiva Bajpai comments candidly on each.The notes in red on each page are suggested chances by him. http://www.hinduismtoday.com/press_releases/school_textbooks/HAF_Text_Review_Letter.pdf

Posted by: k.ram Jan 9 2006, 06:24 PM

http://www.zmag.org/content/print_article.cfm?itemID=9485§ionID=32

Posted by: Mudy Jan 9 2006, 06:47 PM

Now all commies, naxalite supporters are coming out of hole to support anti Hindu Harvard Professor and other anti hindu indologist. They have amazing brotherhood. biggrin.gif

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 9 2006, 09:26 PM

There you go.. http://www.dawn.com/weekly/education/education2.htm

Posted by: AJay Jan 10 2006, 07:57 PM

QUOTE(aruni @ Jan 10 2006, 05:59 AM)
http://www.hinduismtoday.com/press_releases/school_textbooks/Bajpai_Example_Pages.pdf
*
I don't whether to laugh or cry at the astounding ignorance of those who are writing these texts. What is with that "Brahmin" arrow pointing to somebody who is obviously performing a namAz? omg.gif

Posted by: Mudy Jan 10 2006, 09:04 PM

QUOTE
three sample pages
Someone did intentionally. Here people don't understand Taj mahal is a makbara not Mosque.

Posted by: Amber G. Jan 10 2006, 11:12 PM

Mudy, Ajay - As text books go, low quality is not unusual. I remember my nephews/nieces 6/7 grade book in NY (In 1970's) had Rama's story and other things ..looked like written not only by bigots but also by ignorant fools. There was "pictures and drawings" of Rama and Sita which looked straight out of Arabian nights.. I mean I have never seen Rama drawn having a turban and Sita looking like a genie! (How difficult it would have been to find an editor to make sure that the drawing did not look that idiotic mad.gif ) I complained .. (Then there were VERY few Indians here in US.. My nephews/nieces were the ONLY Indians in the class) and it made small difference but not much. (BTW there was another "Science book" which had history of flight - lot of Wright brothers, John Glenn ("First American in space") etc ... but NOT a single word about Yuri Gagarin's first space flight). Also Richard Feynman's book (Surely You are Joking ...) has interesting perspective about the very low standards about California Text books.. makes very interesting reading..

Posted by: k.ram Jan 11 2006, 08:00 AM

QUOTE
Textbooks And Hinduism -- Why Accuracy Matters New America Media, Commentary, Viji Sundaram, Jan 10, 2006 Editor's Note: The subject of world religions and how they are depicted in California textbooks is no longer a distant issue. Earlier this month, Hindu groups faced off with prominent U.S. religious scholars over what many Hindus felt were inaccurate portrayals of their community. Accuracy matters, the writer contends, especially when the faith being discussed is not just lodged in history, but also being practiced by some of the children in today's California classrooms. FREMONT, Calif.--Earlier this month, the arm of California's Board of Education that decides what will and won't go into the history textbooks of millions of students was persuaded by followers of Hinduism and Judaism to correct what the groups felt were historical inaccuracies pertaining to their religion and culture. What the Hindus and Jews were demanding had nothing to do with evolution or intelligent design. They were asking that the books accurately and fairly portray their religions and histories. But the request to make the changes was met with antagonism by a group of prominent religious scholars. The group, led by Harvard Sanskrit scholar Michael Witzel, filed a petition against the changes, claiming they had more to do with religious fanaticism on the part of the groups than with accuracy. Many Hindu groups and parents in California were understandably upset -- Witzel unfairly branded them as extremists. But he doesn't have to worry about his child coming home from school and declaring that he no longer wants to be a Hindu because his classmates ridiculed him about something taught in class that day. That recently happened to one Milpitas, Calif., parent of an 11-year-old. Parents are justified in being upset when textbooks claim that such Hindu rituals as walking on a bed of hot coals or lying on a bed of nails to gain spiritual mastery are still practiced in India. In fact they are rarely practiced; when they are, it's mostly to entertain tourists. A similar argument was raised by the Jewish community at a December meeting of the Curriculum Commission, which was charged by the California Board of Education with democratically deciding what should and should not be included in the social studies and history textbooks of California's half a million sixth-graders. Why, asked Jackie Berman, a representative of the Jewish Community Relations Council, should the story of the crucifixion of Jesus be told in sixth-grade textbooks in a manner that blames the Jews for being responsible for it when, in fact, it was the Romans who crucified him? In 1987, California mandated the study of world religions in its public schools. Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity and Buddhism would be studied in sixth grade, while seventh graders would learn about Islam. Every six years, textbook publishers offer the California Board of Education drafts of textbooks they plan to bring out, hoping to make California, the nation's largest textbook purchaser, their customer. California often sets the tone for what is adopted by other states. Public hearings form a vital part of the review process. The fact that Witzel's unsolicited petition had a scholarly consensus backing it must have influenced the Board of Education when they decided that the edits and corrections suggested by the Hindus, and largely adopted in September by an ad hoc committee, might benefit from another round of scrutiny -- this one by the Curriculum Commission. Everyone will agree that history must be told as truthfully as possible. Glossing over unpleasant issues, whether of the past or the present, maintains a country's status quo and can promote cultural exclusivity. To say that the Holocaust did not happen could mean repeating the mistakes of history. Ditto for slavery in the United States. One of the most contentious issues the Hindu groups and Witzel and his supporters locked horns over was whether there was any truth to the Aryan invasion theory, which maintains that a group of people from Central Asia who called themselves Aryans invaded India around 1,500 B.C., and that Hinduism grew out of the beliefs and practices of the Aryans. Witzel and his group support the theory; the Hindu groups do not. The Hindu groups say that more recent archeological and DNA findings debunk the theory and suggest that the Aryans were an indigenous people who did not invade. Moreover, say the Hindu groups, plenty of linguistic and other evidence indicates that Hinduism existed in India long before 1,500 B.C. At a special meeting held by the Board of Education on Jan. 6, to which Witzel and Prof. Shiva Bajpai, whose views the Hindu groups support, were invited, a compromise was hammered out and accepted by both sides. The textbooks would reflect both views, and the word "invasion" would be replaced by migration. Witzel, however, was right in objecting to a correction suggested by the Hindu groups that would have changed a sentence in an upcoming textbook that read, "Men had many more rights than women," to "Men had different duties, as well as rights, than women." India has long been a patriarchal society, with women treated as the inferior sex. The two groups finally agreed to replace the sentence with "men had more property rights than women." The Board of Education will finalize its decision over some 131 corrections in early February. Understanding the many facets of Hinduism and India's cultural mores is not easy. Hopefully, middle school teachers can be thoroughly educated on the subject. The correction of inaccuracies in history textbooks, however, is an important first step. PNS contributor Viji Sundaram is a reporter for India-West, a weekly Indian newspaper based in the United States. http://news.ncmonline.com/news/view_article.html?article_id=40201e50a88ae6ca289796f9e5d1396f

Posted by: Admin Jan 11 2006, 01:24 PM

http://www.india-forum.com/articles/68/1/Women-in-Hindu-Dharma-and-California-State-Grade-VI-textbooks By Vishal Agarwal http://tinyurl.com/7bef4

Posted by: agnivayu Jan 11 2006, 03:47 PM

QUOTE(Amber G. @ Jan 11 2006, 11:42 AM)
Mudy, Ajay - As text books go, low quality is not unusual. I remember my nephews/nieces 6/7 grade book in NY (In 1970's) had Rama's story and other things ..looked like written not only by bigots but also by ignorant fools. There was "pictures and drawings" of Rama and Sita which looked straight out of Arabian nights.. I mean I have never seen Rama drawn having a turban and Sita looking like a genie! (How difficult it would have been to find an editor to make sure that the drawing did not look that idiotic mad.gif ) I complained .. (Then there were VERY few Indians here in US.. My nephews/nieces were the ONLY Indians in the class) and it made small difference but not much.
That is hysterical. Please provide any more stories if you can. I wonder if there are copies of old western textbooks on the internet. They were so openly racist and bigoted (and from what it looks like, even now..), that it's very funny to read. biggrin.gif BTW with this textbook thing, did we win or has California still not accepted the boards recommendation's ?

Posted by: acharya Jan 11 2006, 07:40 PM

QUOTE(Amber G. @ Jan 10 2006, 06:12 PM)
Mudy, Ajay - As text books go, low quality is not unusual. I remember my nephews/nieces 6/7 grade book in NY (In 1970's) had Rama's story and other things ..looked like written not only by bigots but also by ignorant fools. There was "pictures and drawings" of Rama and Sita which looked straight out of Arabian nights.. I mean I have never seen Rama drawn having a turban and Sita looking like a genie! (How difficult it would have been to find an editor to make sure that the drawing did not look that idiotic mad.gif ) I complained .. (Then there were VERY few Indians here in US.. My nephews/nieces were the ONLY Indians in the class) and it made small difference but not much. (BTW there was another "Science book" which had history of flight - lot of Wright brothers, John Glenn ("First American in space") etc ... but NOT a single word about Yuri Gagarin's first space flight). Also Richard Feynman's book (Surely You are Joking ...) has interesting perspective about the very low standards about California Text books.. makes very interesting reading..
*
For protesting you may be labeled as supporting Hindutva. Or You may be one of those who wishes to rewrite Hinduism. But the aim of these distortion is long term such not to giveany image to who are Hindus and make it an 'IMAGELESS' idea of a religion. The confusion of Taj Mahal with Hindu praying are deliberate to create false image among americans about Indo-Pak culture. Hindus have to take control of their image and their religion

Posted by: Viren Jan 11 2006, 08:55 PM

QUOTE(agnivayu @ Jan 11 2006, 06:47 PM)
BTW with this textbook thing, did we win or has California still not accepted the boards recommendation's ?
*
I've heard that there's some close door hanky panky going on which goes against the normal process/prodecure laid down by the California board. The issue by now means is over. It's just getting started devilsmiley.gif

Posted by: k.ram Jan 12 2006, 04:18 PM

Just in Inbox

QUOTE
Law firm retained to represent hindus in california textbook efforts DATE: January 12, 2006 Sacramento, California.: The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has retained the law firm of Olson, Hagel and Fishburn, LLP of Sacramento, California to represent the Foundation in its interactions with the California State Board of Education (SBE). The SBE is currently considering a determination of the California Curriculum Commission that several edits and corrections of textbooks regarding the teaching of Hinduism to public school students be accepted. The Vedic Foundation (VF) and Hindu Education Foundation (HEF) previously submitted extensive edits as part of a lengthy review process conducted by SBE and the Curriculum Commission. HAF became involved in the process when it became apparent that the SBE and its staff failed to adequately address a substantial number of the VF and HEF edits, and improperly allowed certain individuals to undermine the procedures available for public debate and resolution of these issues. The most recent example of this appears to have occurred at a January 6, 2006 meeting in which previous determinations of the Curriculum Commission were apparently re-opened and reviewed in a private session from which VF, HEF and HAF were excluded. Although a final determination with respect to these matters may be made by the SBE at its February meeting, attorneys representing HAF are planning to appear at the SBE meeting January 12, 2006 and provide Board members with the attached statement. "We believe that the Curriculum Commission of the California State Board of Education made its recommendations to the SBE based on an accurate understanding of science, history and the sentiments of those people in California that actually practice the Hindu faith being taught in schools," said Suhag Shukla, Esq., Legal Counsel of HAF. "It would be completely inappropriate and we believe illegal for those recommendations to be modified by the staff and Board members as the result of a closed meeting. HAF is committed to ensure that a fair and open process is followed, and the decision to retain counsel on this matter reflects our concern that the appropriate process is perhaps not being followed in this case." A lack of communication from the office of the SBE to HAF regarding these concerns, despite numerous attempts, led the foundation to retain counsel. "We are fully cognizant of how strongly our constituents feel about the textbook issue, and we at HAF are determined to utilize every possible option to ensure that the SBE process remains fair and impartial for Hindu Americans," added Ms. Shukla. The Sacramento based law-firm will handle communication with the SBE on behalf of HAF and ensure that the concerns of the Hindu American community regarding textbook portrayals of Hinduism are conveyed. Attorneys at HAF continue to provide background material, the context of the current controversy and perspectives of the Hindu American community to the firm. "Hindus throughout the United States are watching this process with concern since the results have broad implications for all Hindus. For many years, Hinduism was taught from a non-Hindu perspective. All that we are asking is that Hinduism be taught as per state law, which asks that the education 'Instill in each child a sense of pride in his or her heritage; develop a feeling of self-worth; eradicate the roots of prejudice... and enable all students to become aware and accepting of religious diversity while being allowed to remain secure in any religious beliefs they may already have'", said Mihir Meghani, M.D., President of HAF. The Hindu American Foundation is a 501©(3), non-profit, non-partisan organization promoting the Hindu and American ideals of understanding, tolerance and pluralism.

Posted by: AJay Jan 12 2006, 05:31 PM

QUOTE(k.ram @ Jan 13 2006, 04:48 AM)
Just in Inbox
QUOTE
Law firm retained to represent hindus in california textbook efforts DATE: January 12, 2006
*
I am already a member of HAF but haven't contributed any money as yet. Now I have decided to do just that. Irrespective of the vested interests of Witzel et al., CA SBE not following their own by-laws just in the case of hindus looks like a clear case of discrimination to my non-lawyer eyes. Could somebody lawyer on this forum weigh in?

Posted by: agnivayu Jan 12 2006, 05:32 PM

If we don't win this round, I think we should work on individual cases. Parents should sue or atleast agitate their school districts to almost that point. Rocking the boat will eventually get us victory, this has been the case for other minority groups.

QUOTE(Viren @ Jan 12 2006, 09:25 AM)
QUOTE(agnivayu @ Jan 11 2006, 06:47 PM)
BTW with this textbook thing, did we win or has California still not accepted the boards recommendation's ?
*
I've heard that there's some close door hanky panky going on which goes against the normal process/prodecure laid down by the California board. The issue by now means is over. It's just getting started devilsmiley.gif
*

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 13 2006, 12:24 AM

http://www.india-forum.com/articles/70/1/TOWARDS-A-POSITIVE-PORTRAYAL-OF-THE-HINDU-TRADITIONS%3F by Jakob De Roover. Tiny URL is http://tinyurl.com/c4s7w

Posted by: Mudy Jan 13 2006, 11:09 AM

Reader response in HT biggrin.gif

QUOTE
The Hindutva deluge in California Hydra-headed? As a concerned Hindu parent in California, I am deeply offended and disgusted at this article. Shame on Hindustan Times to publish such articles by Hindu haters! The author is clearly anti-Hindu. This article is no news item, but a tirade/propaganda against Hindu parents like myself and genuine organisations like Vedic Foundation and HEF. I can only feel pity and disgust at the author for siding with a group of pseudo-secularists who know nothing about Hindu religion and Indian culture. The person who hates Hindus and NRIs and who degrades Sanskrit at every available opportunity is almost deified by the author. If the author were a responsible journalist with even a small sense of fairness, then she would have interviewed Vedic Foundation, the HEF, and some parents in California before writing this rubbish. - Madhu, Los Angeles, USA (January 13, 2006) _____________________________________ The Hindutva deluge in California This headline of “The Hindutva deluge in California” by HT shows that they are anti-Hindu and anti-Indian. You pseudo-secular Communist media people are trying so hard to spread hatred and defame against our culture and religion. But we all Indian Hindus will resist with our lives against your evil design. You can’t fool American people by this stupid heading. - Jayanta, Allen, TX, USA (January 13, 2006) ______________________________________ The Hindutva deluge in California The author of this item is not reporting news. The author is reporting her bias against Hindu religion and against organisations that stand up for Hindus. Shame on her for working against Vedic Foundation and HEF! I am no Hindu fundamentalist but I strongly disagree with the ideas and positions of the so-called “secular” group which is headed by a person who calls NRIs non-returning Indians. The author seems anti-Hindu to me. - Raghu, Hyderabad, Inda (January 13, 2006) ___________________________________________ The Hindutva deluge in California I can easily see where the sympathies of the author of this article lie. It is a joke you call those foreign characters and there cronies as secular. And Indians living by Vedas as “hydra-headed Hindutva” vadis. Can’t you be more objective? Shame on you! People like you are ample proof why outsiders ruled India. - Venkat Vardineni, San Jose, USA (January 13, 2006) _______________________________________________________ The Hindutva deluge in California "Hydra-headed" - I have never seen you use such words for Islam when the followers of this religion have killed more people than any other religion. Perhaps your so-called secularists are afraid of getting your throats slit. - Hitanshu Munjial (January 13, 2006) _________________________________________________ The Hindutva deluge in California The writer's arrogance is reflected in the article. The title of the article and the words (example hydra headed) used are shameful to say least. HT shouldn't have published this article at all for it is not objective reporting. It's a totally-biased article. - Varapraad, Irvine, CA, USA (January 13, 2006) vchamakura@hotmail.com ___________________________________________________ The Hindutva deluge in California Be it HT editors or report writers, I don't want to call them journalists any more because they have shown hundred of times that they lack education or skill to be called as a journalist. Before writing any article one should do some homework. Check this page from California state's 6th class text book and tell me whether Witzel or Romilla Thappar or Jha are right or I, a mother of two kids studing in Californian school, am correct. http://www.hinduismtoday.com/press_releases/school_textbooks/Bajpai_Example_Pages.pdf At least we proud Hindus believe in truth and honesty and want to teach our kids same values. So sign here after reading 6th grade book and make sure your other friends who have spine and believe in truth. End Harvard Association of Hate Groups! http://www.petitiononline.com/stopIER/petition.html - Anjali Gupta, Santa Clara, CA, USA (January 12, 2006) _______________________________________________ The Hindutva deluge in California This article reflects lack of knowledge of writer and tilt towards Witzel. For your information Witzel has already been asked to look for another job. I'm agast your reporters have nothing else to do but for calling this as Hindutva. Well, can't educate bigots but he have pride and love for religion and want to see in right and honest manner. Here are some pages from 6th grade text book for your perusal. http://www.hinduismtoday.com/press_releases/school_textbooks/Bajpai_Example_Pages.pdf - Pawan Yadav, Fresno, CA, USA (January 12, 2006) ________________________________________________ The Hindutva deluge in California "The Hindutva deluge in California" seems very biased. It portrays information fed to the author or collected by the author from only Witzel's stand point of view. It didn't consult anyone from HEF or Vedic Foundation. Most of the statements that "the suggestions were accepted" isn't completely correct. - Bhoga Pappu, Cupertino, USA (January 12, 2006) _________________________________________________ The Hindutva deluge in California This is in response "The Hindutva deluge in California". The entire tone of the article by your reporter is very unprofessional starting with the heading. Calling Witzel and Co as secular and calling Hindu parents and Hindu foundations requesting changes as Hindutvawadi is uncalled for. This says more about your reporter (idealogue is more apt) than the issue being talked about. The issue here is "should Hinduism be expected to treated in parity with Christianity and Islam"? Slavery has been an integral part of Christianity and Islam. Women have been relegated to an inferior position in both Christanity and Islam much more than Hinduism. Wasn't it Paul who said that women should not open their mouth in the Church? Since the inferior rights of women in Christianity and Islam are not mentioned in the VI grade books there is no need to emphasise the same in Hinduism. - Mallika Patlolla, San Jose, USA (January 12, 2006) _________________________________________________ The Hindutva deluge in California According to Kanupriya Vasisht and Hindistan Times editors, Hindu taxpayers in California are "hydra-headed Hindutva" but the racist Nazi-Aryan supremacist illiterate Witzel is "American professor". Read that petition first. Over 100 "real professors", not "South Asia professors" have signed it, saying that Witzel is an idiot. - Sukhinder Singh, Pomona, CA, CA (January 12, 2006) _____________________________ The Hindutva deluge in California The article misses an important little nugget of information that over 2,000 residents of California from all walks of life following different "isms" and "tatvas" and "ity" have overwhelmingly condemned Prof Witzel's racists comments against Hindus. I'm surprised when other media outlets like Rediff and Daily Pioneer carried this story, our own beloved Hindustan Times missed it. End Harvard Association of Hate Groups! http://www.petitiononline.com/stopIER/petition.html - Arun S, San Fransisco, USA (January 12, 2006) _________________________________________________ The Hindutva deluge in California It would be advisable for HT writers to grow up and write a article which doesn't smack full of bias. The article entitled "The Hindutva deluge in California" is nothing but a hogwash to show the Hindus in America in extremely poor light. - S Jain, Brooklyn, New York, US (January 12, 2006) ______________________________________________ The Hindutva deluge in California They are at it again - another piece of yellow journalism. If the ace had done some elementary research before writing her article, she would have found the top hit on Google for "Witzel" - a petition to Harvard signed by over two thousand and sixty people. For reference please see http://www.petitiononline.com/stopIER/petition.html "End Harvard Association of Hate Groups!" Please sign. - Pervez Kutta, Long Beach, CA, USA (January 12, 2006) __________________________________________________ The Hindutva deluge in California Hydra headed monster, deluge... the kind of words you use exposes your sick mindset. Perhaps your kind will be happy to have your countrymen treated like filth by any prejudiced rogue like Witzel as long as he has white skin and/or of red ideology. You pseudo-secularists stink! - Aravindan Neelakandan, Kanyakumari, India (January 12, 2006) ___________________________________________________________ The Hindutva deluge in California These so-called Leftists will do anything to harm Hinduism. These people like Romilla Thappar are Jai Chand of modern India who are still living for their masters (Britishers). These people can only to potray a negative image of India. - Swadesh Katoch, Atlanta (January 12, 2006) _________________________________________________ The Hindutva deluge in California Yet another mischief by the so-called secularists! It is not Hindutva that has reached American shores. Rather, it is the Indian "secular" scum brigade that has! I can see Indian Communists/Congress hands behind this. Indian newspapers and Leftist/Congress politicians who have no business in what is taught in American schools, are now publishing a series of articles on imaginary "Hindutva" in American schools. I am Hindu. I don't belong to any political party in India. But I'm pained by the way Hinduism is portrayed in American schools. It is humiliating to me and my kids. Don't I have the right to point it out? Look at the way Americans deal with it. And look at the way you Indians(Leftists/Congress and their newspapers like HT, TOI and "The Hindu") are playing politics with it! Why should it bother you guys? Afraid that all the NRI money is going towards good cause? Divide them over here too? To the HT editor. We know whose side you are on! Don't turn American Indian community into a mess like the Indian one. We, the American Indians, have given up India already to scums like you who are turning it into a wretched place with the passing of each day. Continue with it. Don't mess around with us. Otherwise, we will react in such a way that you will realise your mistakes. - Madhwa, Chicago, USA (January 12, 2006) __________________________________________ The Hindutva deluge in California This correspondent seems to be another so-called “secular”. What is “Hindutva deluge”? It is of course, fashionable for all and sundry to criticise anything Hindu. That is one way to curry favours from the terrorists and the moneybags. I congratulate the correspondent, as I think she is headed for the big leagues, having impressed the “seculars”. By the way can we find another term for the criminals in India? "Secular" has become too worn out and not impressive any more. - PIN, Houston, USA (January 12, 2006) ________________________________________

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 13 2006, 01:48 PM

http://www.india-forum.com/articles/71/1/Hindus-fight-discrimination-in-California-textbooks---4 by Kalavai Venkat Tiny URL is http://tinyurl.com/d474n

Posted by: acharya Jan 13 2006, 07:39 PM

QUOTE
From: "Lars Martin Fosse" Date: Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:46 am Subject: SV: [Indo-Eurasia] California-Hindutva Textbook Issue [Mod. note. For sure, Lars Martin. I'll give the fuller report later today (Jan. 13th.). It was wonderful seeing the Dalits in force in Sacramento.] -Steve, this is great news! May I publish this report on the Dalit list? I knew that if we could get the Dalits involved, it would be a good thing. They ought to be Hinduism's bad conscience, just like witches, heretics and homosexuals should be Christianity's. Trying to sweep them under the carpet should very rightly blow up in Hindutva's face. LM

Posted by: Mudy Jan 13 2006, 08:32 PM

So according to Western Indologist Dalits are just like witches, heretics and homosexuals.

Posted by: acharya Jan 13 2006, 09:49 PM

Edited

QUOTE
When the lawyer trudged away, a long troop of mainstream Hindus, Dalits, and Tamils told their stories to the Board for the first time. Any lingering doubts that anyone on the Board had by then that the VF, HEF, or HAF spoke for a fictionally homogenous Hindu-American community was gone by the end of the session. We have good reasons to think that the message was heard and had its effect. There is more good news to report, but for now let's let this publicly suffice. It was very moving to see the Dalits and other non-Hindutva Indians in action in Sacramento. I have no doubts that now that their groups are fully awakened and the Board and Department of Education knows who they are that things will work out well. Truth can only be defeated by political fiction when people keep selfishly silent or are bullied into not speaking by the kinds of smear campaigns that we've seen in the last month. Despite those campaigns, enough people are standing up now to ensure that the right thing happens, and that makes the effort worth it. We were almost blindsided in this case, and if we had learned about the California situation even a few days later than we did (on November 5th), things would be quite different today. But now that the Dalit groups, mainstream Hindus, and other Indian-American community groups are now hard at work together, we are confident that with a little help from the research community they will be able to shut down this kind of thing quickly if and when it occurs next time in another US state. And this should help as well in the battles in India and elsewhere (e.g., in Britain) against these extemist groups. Truth is a powerful weapon, as long as you use it. We'll let everyone know when new developments in California occur in the upcoming weeks. Best, Steve

Posted by: Shambhu Jan 14 2006, 09:35 AM

Truth, as Steve says, is very powerful. And every frog in a well thinks that he knows all about the world; and that *that* is the truth that the world should know.. tongue.gif Fortunately, frogs do not have jobs that they will be relieved of when people find out what kind of "truth" the frog has been propounding...

Posted by: acharya Jan 14 2006, 02:58 PM

How Indians' dentities often get reprogrammed to 'South Asian'. Until reading your articles I never really gave much thought to this 'South Asian' movement on campuses. I am currently enrolled in college and I have personally seen many of my own friends reprogram their identities to 'South Asian'. It is alarming to me how impressionable many Indian youth are while in college. Nowadays most Indian kids are more concerned about being politically correct and appearing "open minded". After reading your articles I have tried to my best to convince people to assert an Indian-American identity however, I believe my efforts so far have been failures. You have written about how Indians' identities are "South Asianized" but you have not written why so many Indian youth have followed this path. I think one reason is that this 'South Asian' movement has been successful is because Indian kids often have strict upbringings and this creates a rebellious mentality in many youth. I believe that Indian girls are often the most susceptible to brainwashing of "South Asianists" because they are often subject to stricter treatment from parents and the rest of the Indian community then boys. "South Asianists" seem to exploit this and exaggerate it to the point where Indian/Hindu culture is associated with social ills against women. These "South Asianists" also exploit the way Indian parents push their kids to enter wealth generating fields and denounce this as being materialistic and superficial. Another trend I've also noticed is the way "South Asianists" dismiss the success of Indians in America as not being the result of hard work, intelligence and education but because of "immigration law" as Mr. Vijay Prashad put it. http://www.asiansinamerica.org/museum/comm_ind.html Even my own sister constantly tries to propagate this to me. It amazes me even more how almost all the people getting caught up in this 'South Asian' movement are Indians. Pakistanis and Bangladeshis always join their own or Muslim student organizations. Every time I point this out to fellow Indians none of them can ever give a valid reason or beat me in a debate as to why Indians should bother with the 'South Asian' tag. I grew up in a mainly Bangladeshi and Pakistani part of Brooklyn. From when I was a little kid I understood how different and how little I have in common with non-Indian South Asians. I believe Indians in Britain are much more aware of their Indian identity because skirmishes and fights between the Indian and Pakistani youth there are a common occurrence from what I have heard. On top of that is the well documented gap in education and achievement between the two communities with Indians rising to the top and Pakistanis confined to ghetto areas like the ones in Bradford and Birmingham. Because America is a big piece of land and also the fact that the more affluent areas where Indians are more prominent and the working class neighborhoods/ghettos of NYC where Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are more prominent, are so geographically isolated, Indians living in places like Long Island and Edison, NJ have no idea how different their ideal of South Asian unity and how reality is. I commend you for what you are doing for the Indian-American community. It is absolutely essential that we do whatever we can to make sure India is portrayed in positive light. "South Asian" seems to be a temporary/unstable state pending further engineering - it suggests, "I am ready to be tutored to become whatever you want." Its significance is not based on what it is, but based on what it leaves behind (by way of implied and polite rejection) so as to clear the space for fresh programming. ... Those who remain behind as "native" Indians are seen as the new outcasts; they are vulnerable to future genocides resulting from overpopulation and civilizational clashes. Are we Indians turning into global shudras-for-hire with no identity of our own other than whatever the latest master assigns? Postmodernism is an imperialist export - via co-opted (whitened) third world intellectuals - to distribute "theories" that support this trend as being desirable and/or inevitable. Whitened intermediaries like Harvard's Homi Bhabha are rewarded with cushy Ivy League jobs and turned into role models for facilitating the bandwagon effect among Indian intellectuals who are anxious to escape the "problems of Indianness." Meanwhile, the Harvard cabal under the choirship of Sugata Bose dishes out demonology against Indian culture to make the carrots more attractive for assuming new identities: hence the role of Harvard as the epicenter for studying sati, dowry, incest, caste, gender conflict as Indian "essences." Indian culture which is deemed valuable is repackaged as "white" (such as yoga/meditation these days...) and this appropriation is sold to confused Indians as being a compliment by the whites. Whatever is left behind after the scavenging is branded as backward/facsist Indianness. Between these two extremes of whiteness and Indianness, the South Asian labeling provides the safety of a middle ground with enough ambiguity and wiggle room to customize and personalize. The student who wrote the email rightfully blames orthodox parents. I would add to his list the role of US based lazy and pompous Indian cultural leaders who naively play into this phenomenon...

Posted by: Mudy Jan 14 2006, 07:51 PM

HT feedback

QUOTE
Regarding your news on Hindutva debate in California, it was the Nazis who propagated the Aryan invasion theory. Although Nazis do not rule western world any more, one cannot necessarily say that about Nazi-inspired thinking. The western "scholars" have misrepresented the concept of Arayns as a race with blue eyes, blonde haired people. However, looking at the most ancient of Sanskrit scriptures (eg Rigveda) it is obvious that the address "Arya" is used to denote a person of respectability and to demonstrate affection based on respectability. If Aryans came from central Asia to replace the "indigenous" Indians, surely worshipping cow could not have been such a long-established tradition in the north of the country, could it? When will the ignorant and corrupt Indian historians and journalists get rid of their blinkers and call the western bluff of derisory Aryan invasion theory? When will we as self-respecting Indians start taking ownership of our own heritage and stop falling prey to the divisive and mal-intentioned designs of the pseudo-scholars of the western world? - Mr K Buch, Manchester, UK (January 14, 2006) I think the title of this report is simply derogatory or demeaning. Your job is to report what happened. The title could have been "California accepts changes to Hindu history" or something similar. From the tone of your report, it is pretty clear that you are a biased person and you are peeved at the way things went. - Atanu Mukherjee, Jamshedpur, India (January 14, 2006) The author writes with a neutral stand, which makes one wonder whether the author is an atheist. Once we leave Indian shores we understand the need to develop our Hindu roots and traditions with fervour. That is natural and obligatory on us, for a better Karma. Being a Hindu one should not write this trash demeaning Hinduism. - Anindya Chatterjee, Dubai, UAE (January 14, 2006) canindya@yahoo.com In fact, it is the distortion and bias of the writer that is quite evident from this diatribe. What more evidence is required to disprove the antiquated Aryan Invasion theory and the associated Casteism? Why do these pseudo-seculars need 200% proofs when it comes to Hinduism and India when they can accept and subscribe to western ideologies so readily? Why are they so afraid to speak out the truth? Kudos to HEF group for doing a phenomenal job in correcting the history! - Srinivas, Phoenix,Az, USA (January 14, 2006) amateur_astronomer_2000@yahoo.com The author of this article is obviously a Hindu-basher who has not even bothered to read the list of the corrections submitted by the Hindu community. There is nothing related to Hindutva in any of those things. The author is clearly just reacting out of anger over the fact that Hindus in the United States will no longer consent to having racist Western scholars tell us how to practice our own religion. - Anant Saraswat, Sudbury, MA, USA (January 14, 2006) Oh come on - why hide the dirt under the carpet. How about learn from the past, and make changes to improve the future? - Baljit, Montreal, Canada (January 14, 2006) According to this Miss Kanupriya vasshit, Hindu Americans born and educated in America are just "Hindutva". But Witzel, a Polish Nazi immigrant educated by Nazis, who came recently to the US after destroying the Kern Institute in Leiden where he held the Sanskrit chair, is described as "American" professor. This is main problem of Indies. Your English-educated women like this author are easy meat for any white-skinned racist, and they are themselves the worst racists in the world. How can Indians get respect from others when their own "educated elite" is a racist? - Peter Korn, Wurttemburg, Germany (January 14, 2006) pkom@att.net "Widely held belief that the Aryans came to India from Central Asia and created a caste system". Can you show me any evidence pointing that Aryans came from central Asia? Also why are you not mentioning the CA textbooks had things like "look around you, are there monkeys" when talking about Hanuman and Ramayan. The CA education commissioner said that he believes in DNA evidence more than historians on the Aryan invasion/tourist theories. None of the historians who signed the petition against changing the text book had a problem with things like "Mahabharata was written before Ramayana" or the Aryan invasion theory whereas at other forums they have said they do not believe in Aryan Invasion (for example Ms. Romila Thapar in Hindu newspaper said she does nor believe in Aryan invasion but signed the petition here agreeing to the invasion.) - Dr Andy, New Jersey, USA (January 14, 2006) Does having pride in Hinduism make some one thousand Indian parents hydra heads of Hindutva? To refresh your memory, here's where within less than 48 hours, without meeting a single mother out of some one thousand - Witzel wearing his Harvard halo, branded all of them Hindutvavdis! - Robin Mitra, Norfolk, USA (January 13, 2006) It is irresponsible, nonsense article! - ShashiK, Salt Lake City, USA (January 13, 2006)

Posted by: Amber G. Jan 15 2006, 03:27 PM

QUOTE
I don't whether to laugh or cry at the astounding ignorance of those who are writing these texts. What is with that "Brahmin" arrow pointing to somebody who is obviously performing a namAz?
But the "scholars" expert comments on the suggested (and intially approved) edit
QUOTE
Replace illustrations of the Brahman with something more historically appropriate."
was:
QUOTE
The illustration is no worse than anything one sees in Amar Chitra Katha. It is impossible to imagine where something more historically appropriate would be found. We suggest that the illustrator simply remove the beard and change the dress to a dhoti.
From the pdf document Included with comments of Dr. Shiva Bajpai and the proposed edits of the Content Review Panel chaired by Prof. Witzel. Bajpai commnet on this was something like: "This Is a gratuitous remark..." And these worthies wonder ordinary people like me think Witzel & Co are disgusting..

Posted by: Amber G. Jan 15 2006, 10:38 PM

Can someone update here with the latest news. Looks like Witzel & Co are celebrating and venom in the IER list just unbelivable. FWIW I am cutting and pasting from their list:

QUOTE
Dear List, Here's an update on events in California in the last week, including not only the Board of Education meeting I attended yesterday, but also a closed meeting that Michael was flown into by the Board of Education on January 6th, which we are finally at liberty to discuss publicly. The Hindutva press has already leaked out news of the closed meeting, but (quite predictably) the picture they paint of the session has been skewed to turn an obvious defeat into the appearance of a victory. (If you read the Hindutva Lists these days, it is clear that the Hindutva movers and shakers know otherwise.) I'll keep details here to a minimum, since everyone is probably as sick of this business as we are, and it would be nice to return to research issues. To understand the background, it will be useful to refer to List message #2707, which describes the December 2nd meeting of the (purely advisory) Curriculum Commission that forced the Board to call the January 6th session. To access the summary of the December 2nd meeting, you'll have to sign onto the List: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Indo-Eurasian_research/message/2707 ************* 1. As noted in that summary, on November 9th the Board of Education was alerted by our initial petition -- sent out on behalf of a long list of international researchers (many of them on this List) by Michael Witzel -- to past Hindutva attempts to alter history textbooks for ideological reasons. The petition discussed the NCERT case in India and contained links to US State Department studies that have repeatedly warned about Hindutva attempts to fictionalize history for political and religious purposes. After receiving the petition, the Board of Education voted 11-0 -- contrary to previous expectations -- not to accept any of the previously proposed edits to the textbooks submitted by the Hindutva backed Vedic Foundation (VF) and Hindu Education Foundation (HEF). Both groups had represented themselves to the Board as mainstream Hindu groups that supposedly spoke on behalf of a (quite fictional) homogenous Hindu-American community. They were supported in their claims by the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), which (as noted often in previous posts) publicly represents itself as a "Human Rights Organization", despite the fact that its leaders have clear Hindutva roots and long ties to the BJP party and other rightwing groups in India. Rather than accepting the Hindutva edits, the Board sent them back instead to the Curriculum Commission (CC) for a factual review. Recognizing that the CC had previously approved the Hindutva edits, the Board instructed this subsidiary body in clear (and legally binding) language that it was to approve or reject proposed edits *solely* on the grounds of historical accuracy. They were instructed as well in equally clear terms to "accept no additional edits and corrections." For what happened instead on December 2nd, see the detailed eyewitness accounts I earlier provided (in message #2707; see the link above). To cite a bare-bones summary subsequently written by the DOE, the advisory Curriculum Committee on December 2nd "approved changes beyond the scope of the SBE's direction". Their violation of the SBE's directives included accepting additional edits, including some coming from public (Hindutva) comments at the December 2nd meeting. The CC also included new language in the texts not previously approved by anyone -- again violating the Board's unambiguous directives. 2. Reacting to these violations, one week ago today (on January 6th), a closed meeting was held in Sacramento that was attended by two members of the State Board of Education, two members of the Curriculum Commission, the Deputy Superintendent of the Department of Education, the DOE's legal council, and the Department of Education's professional staff, which includes at least two history Ph.D.'s who are well aware now of what is going on. The Board of Education also flew Michael Witzel into California the previous day for the meeting. Michael had been appointed as part of an official Content Review Panel [CRP] in November (along with Stanley Wolpert of UCLA and James Heitzman of UC Davis), but previously had done all his work for the Board remotely. The body also asked S. Bajpai in, a retired academic who months earlier had originally been brought in by the DOE to vet the proposed edits of the Vedic Foundation and the Hindu Education Foundation. One of the blackest of the many black-comic elements in this story is that Bajpai, who has well-known Hindutva associations, was originally brought in as a consultant on the recommendation of the Vedic Foundation, which at the time was still viewed by the Department as a mainstream Hindu group. As a result, before November 9th, the Hindutva groups were in the enviable position of having one of their own 'vetting' their edits. 3. I won't go into details about the January 6th meeting, except to say that in a marathon session last Friday the Board and Curriculum Commission representatives and the Department of Education staff again went over the long list of conflicting edits proposed by the two Hindutva groups, which had previously been reviewed separately by Bajpai and Michael Witzel and his fellow CRP members -- in the latter case with support from the Department of Education staff. Summarizing quickly the results of the January 6th meeting: every important edit from the Hindutva groups that violated historical accuracy was recommended for removal from the texts. Among the losers: claims concerning the supposedly indigenous origins of Indo-European speaking populations (the 'Aryan' issue), the absurd view that ancient Indian religions were monotheistic even in Vedic times (insisted upon for sectarian reasons by the Vedic Foundation, whose views of Hinduism are anything but mainstream), the whitewashing of references to caste problems (including the unconscionable stripping from the texts of references to Dalits), the insulting claims about women having "different" rather than "less" rights in ancient India, the blatantly nationalist replacement of Hindi for Sanskrit spellings ("Buddha" becoming "Buddh", etc.). In sum, all the critical claims of the Hindutva groups began to be eliminated on January 6th, following our predictions as to what would inevitably occur sometime in the California case. (It was a foregone conclusion that something like this would happen at some point, since California law explicitly forbids the insertion of sectarian claims into history textbooks.) The textbooks are still by no means not perfect, and the publishers and Department of Education staff still must reconcile remaining inconsistencies in the 10 different textbook 'programs', but all the key Hindutva fantasies at least are gone. 4. It is important to recognize one other key point about the January 6th review of the edits. There were many cases reviewed that day or earlier that involved little more than linguistic quibbles. In almost all cases of this sort, Michael (or earlier Michael and his fellow CRP members) offered no objections to Hindutva-proposed and/or Bajpai-vetted edits. This has allowed writers in the Hindutva press to claim, based on counts of trivial edits, that the January 6th meeting ended in a victory of some sort for their side. The reality is quite different, and the people in India and the US coordinating the California Hindutva campaign are well aware of it. I'll only give here one comic example that illustrates the absurdity these claims. One of the original Vedic Foundation edits objected with great vehemence -- quite an odd objection at first sight -- to the statement in the textbooks that Harappa and Mohenjo-daro were the "first" cities in India. The Hindutva "victory" claimed in the rightwing press in this case lies in the fact that in the original Bajpai edits the word "first" was replaced with the word "early" -- an edit that no one (including Michael) ever bothered to challenge. What 6th grader would possibly notice the change in language? Michael and his fellow CPR members let the Bajpai edit here (and in many similar instances) stand since the change in language was inconsequential. The humor -- which wasn't recognized by the Board of Education or the Department of Education staff until Michael pointed it out to them on January 6th, where he appeared with the VF "Bible" in hand -- comes in *why* the Vedic Foundation felt so strongly about this odd edit. The reason becomes clear when you recall the fact (which the VF of course never revealed to the California Board of Education) that in the VF's fantasy view of "history" Indian civilization can be traced back an unbroken 1.972 billion years. See again: http://tinyurl.com/du4kq In this "historical" context, with ancient Indian civilization fully in place over 1.7 billion years before the dinosaurs, how could Harappa and Mohenjo-daro (which originated a mere 4500 years ago or so) *possibly* be the "first" Indian cities? (Well, I guess they wouldn't be all that "early" either, but who wants to argue with Hindutva experts on history about trivialities of less than two billion years?) So much for the claimed January 6th Hindutva victory. The 'victories' were cases like this, while all the important claims about imaginary Vedic monotheism, indigenous 'Aryans', a harmonious caste world, no Dalits, a fictional Hindu homogeneity, and women with "different" but not "fewer" rights than men went down the tubes. ************** 3. Only a little has to be added here to what I said last night about the Board of Education meeting in Sacramento on January 12th (yesterday). See here (again, you must be signed into the Indo-Eurasian_Research List to read this): http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Indo-Eurasian_research/message/2805 The textbook business wasn't on the agenda, but the Board Meeting nevertheless opened with a quick motion naming an internal subcommittee to determine officially what everyone already knows -- whether or not the Curriculum Commission on December 2nd followed the Board's instructions given on November 9th. It was also noted that the subcommittee will work with the Dept. of Education staff to resolve the edit issue as quickly as possible. Assurances were also given to the publishers on this point. After the announcement, public discussion began. One lone lawyer read a statement from the HAF, ending with a complaint -- repeated with ever decreasing conviction for months -- that hundreds of further edits (in fact, massive rewrites) of the textbooks proposed by the Vedic Foundation were never reviewed by the Board. The lawyer also suggested, with even less conviction in his voice, if that was possible, that maybe the whole editing and vetting process should start all over again. That was one of the meeting's only comic moments. When the lawyer trudged away, a long troop of mainstream Hindus, Dalits, and Tamils told their stories to the Board for the first time. Any lingering doubts that anyone on the Board had by then that the VF, HEF, or HAF spoke for a fictionally homogenous Hindu-American community was gone by the end of the session. We have good reasons to think that the message was heard and had its effect. There is more good news to report, but for now let's let this publicly suffice. It was very moving to see the Dalits and other non-Hindutva Indians in action in Sacramento. I have no doubts that now that their groups are fully awakened and the Board and Department of Education knows who they are that things will work out well. Truth can only be defeated by political fiction when people keep selfishly silent or are bullied into not speaking by the kinds of smear campaigns that we've seen in the last month. Despite those campaigns, enough people are standing up now to ensure that the right thing happens, and that makes the effort worth it. We were almost blindsided in this case, and if we had learned about the California situation even a few days later than we did (on November 5th), things would be quite different today. But now that the Dalit groups, mainstream Hindus, and other Indian-American community groups are now hard at work together, we are confident that with a little help from the research community they will be able to shut down this kind of thing quickly if and when it occurs next time in another US state. And this should help as well in the battles in India and elsewhere (e.g., in Britain) against these extemist groups. Truth is a powerful weapon, as long as you use it. We'll let everyone know when new developments in California occur in the upcoming weeks. Best, Steve

Posted by: Amber G. Jan 15 2006, 10:40 PM

And continung to part II:

QUOTE
From: Steve Farmer Date: Sun Jan 15, 2006 6:47 pm Subject: Hindutva on the Run: California Update Part 2 yukifarmer Offline Offline Send Email Send Email Dear List, It is interesting to watch the reactions of Hindutva writers as their attempts to infuse their fantastic and politicized views of history into California textbooks unravel. And there is no better place to watch this happen than to monitor "U.S. Hindutva Central": the far-right IndianCivilization List. Below are snippets of some of their reactions as the Hindutva groups watch their plans collapsing. The comments below come from a number of writers, including well-known saffron fellow travelers including David Frawley (an official *Advisor* to one of the groups proposing the edits!) and Koenraad Elst. Some of the best stuff comes at the end -- in their fantasies that some kind of legal action will save the day: shades of the recent Pennsylvania Intelligent Design case! It would be diverting indeed to see how major US newspapers (a number of which are now preparing major feature articles on the California case) would report on open court testimony on: (1) All those wonderfully Vedic Foundation chronologies, which once discussed in public would do more to setback the Hindutva movement than anything I can think of: "Hmm, Ms. Devi, your group claims that 'Aryans' existed in India 1.972 billion years ago? Could you tell the court how you arrive at these dates?: http://tinyurl.com/du4kq And so on perhaps to the "date of the Mahabharata War", or the date of "Buddh" (sic). (2) The smear campaign aimed at Michael Witzel and Harvard University (including claims that Harvard University protects White Supremacists and Nazi sympathizers). It would be great to see the US academic world at large awakened to that issue through the courts; (3) Attempts in the Hindutva edits to write Dalits entirely out of California textbooks (further on the Dalits, don't miss K. Elst's comments below!). I suspect this would not go over well with people in the US Civil Rights Movement -- and this might finally awaken the US public to the plight of Dalits in India; (4) Discussion of the proposed Hindutva edits that insist that texts that say that women had "fewer" rights in India be changed to "different" rights. That one I strongly suspect would not be a big hit with US feminists, including Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein, California's two US Senators, who are of course both strong advocates of women's rights; (5) The associations between the Hindutva groups proposing the edits and well-known rightwing political groups in India, including the BJP and RSS. Open court discussion of this should open a few eyes to the international side of this case, which has been far too little discussed to date. I can't wait.... ****************** Reactions in the last day (all from the Hindutva IndianCivilization List, whose founder, S. Kalyanaraman, like Frawley, is also an official Hindu Education Foundation Advisor): 1. BITTERNESS AND RESIGNATION. This yesterday from Koenraad Elst: > It is too late in the day to undo the damage: the Hindu-baiters have > won the struggle for the hearts and minds of the decision-makers in > the textbook case. They have used their brains, functioned as one > unit, and used all the resources at their disposal, including the > moral weight of the Dalit issue. The Hindu participants, by contrast, > were just babes in the wood, Vishal's and Kalavai's belated efforts at > straightening things out notwithstanding. The most important of Vishal [Agarwal's] "belated efforts at straightening things out" was Agarwal's repeated posting on Internet groups of a massive (and transparently defamatory) hate file aimed at Michael Witzel. It would be interesting to examine in court how this file came to be written (also other parts of the anti-Witzel and anti-Harvard campaign). On Kalavai [Venkat] see the last item, below. For Elst's information: Nearly all of the people who spoke out on Friday to the Board of Education against the Vedic Foundation, Hindu American Foundation, and Hindu Education Foundation were Hindus, at least as the Hindutvavadis define them. They were not "Hindu-baiters." Is it Elst's claim now that you have to be an adherent of Hindutva to be counted as a Hindu? It is pretty clear by now that the Board of Education thinks otherwise. See also below Elst's own admission below that the Vedic Foundation isn't "representative of Hinduism" -- which is something that the California Board of Education and Department of Education are also well aware of at this point. If they aren't "representative of Hinduism", why expect the Board to take their claims that they are seriously? 2. FORGET TRUTH: POLITICS IS ALL THAT COUNTS. This one is from the American David Frawley, N.S. Rajaram's collaborator, who likes to style himself as "Pandit Vamadeva Shastri"). Frawley as noted above is an official Advisor of the Hindu Education Foundation, which is one of the rightwing groups proposing the edits. Among other things, Frawley teaches Vedic Astrology for a living. He writes: > These issues again are mainly political. It is the group with the > greatest political influence that will win. It has little to do with > historical or religious accuracy. It is nice to see Frawley's views on this issue discussed openly for a change. You have to wonder what his real beliefs are: his public ones support crazy Out-of-India theories that claim that native-American Indians (and just about everything else in world civilization) came from India. Please note that, contra Frawley, the Board of Education has made it abundantly clear that historical accuracy *is* what counts in the textbooks. Falsifying history or absurdly projecting monotheism back into Vedic times (at the insistence of the Vedic Foundation) doesn't fit their agenda. 2. BLAME THE DALITS (UNTOUCHABLES). Here is Koenraad Elst again; Elst is replying to a previous note that (totally falsely) claimed that the Dalits who spoke so eloquently to the Board on Friday were somehow connected to Christian missionaries -- who are anathema to Hindutva groups: > I believe I was the first one to draw attention to the neo-Nazi > element in the Dalit movement, back in 1993.... > While Farmer c.s. are entirely correct in denying that the Vedic > Foundation is representative of Hinduism, the fact is that the self- > described Dalit groups are even less representative of India's > Scheduled Caste population, and that they are quite literally hate > groups. Now that there is this joust of affirming one's own and > denying the opponent's credibility, it is only fair to bring this to > the notice of the CA education officials, but rest assured that even > after getting that correction across, you have no chance now of > winning their hearts & minds back. Reality check, Koenraad: Not a single one of the Dalits who spoke to the Board of Education last Friday was a Christian. Your "correction" would be just another fabrication, easily corrected, that would even further damage the Hindutva case. It would actually have been nice if there had been some Christian Dalits there on Friday, since they could have told the Board about how Anti-Conversion Laws were used in the BJP-Hindutva era in India to restrict religious freedom. (This was in a period in which K. Elst's books were being heavily promoted in the online BJP Bookshop.) There is a great deal on Anti-Conversion Laws in recent U.S. "International Religious Freedom Reports" on India. To access the reports, which the Board and Department of Education are well aware of by this point, go to: http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/ Scroll after you click to any given year to the reports on India. The State Department notes that there has, at least, been some improvement in India in the last year -- caused by the fall of the BJP from power in 2004. (That, incidently, was the same month that the HAF was founded in the US.) On Dalits in this context, see in the 2005 report -- which was released the same day that our first petition was sent to the Board of Education, on November 8th. Some key lines in the report: > Over the years, many lower caste Hindus, dalits (formerly called > "untouchables"), and non-Hindu tribal groups have converted to other > faiths to escape widespread discrimination and achieve higher social > status. However, lower caste and dalit Hindu converts continue to be > viewed by both their new coreligionists and by Hindus, through the > prism of caste. 3.DON'T DESPAIR: WE HAVE SECRET PLANS TO TURN THINGS AROUND: This from Kalavai Venkat, who currently runs the IndianCivilization List. When everything else fails, as Venkat apparently sees it, it's good to rally the Hindutva troops by telling them that everything is working according to a SECRET PLAN that only a few Hindutvavadis know about -- maybe using an army of Volunteer Lawyers! It reminds me a bit of Nixon's Secret Plans to end the Vietnam War, or Bush's Secret Information on Iraqi "Weapons of Mass Destruction". Here is Venkat's note, addressed in part to Elst: > Please forgive me for being blunt, but I need to do this. Contrary to > your understanding, Hindus got their acts right in the California > textbook trial. Hindus have not at all disclosed their exact strategy > to anyone - at this juncture, it is known to less than a handful of > people. This is a perfect yuddha, where the opponent [despite all his > gloating] has left too many trails and have played exactly the way > Hindus wanted. > > Let me summarize it one line: unless, something like OJS [O.J. > Simpson] trial happens, Hindus will win this battle hands down. > Neither of you have any idea, how many attorneys are vying to fight > this on a pro-bono basis. Most importantly, SBE understands this. > > Your statements about Hindu efforts are based on ignorance - I am > sorry to be as blunt, but as someone, who is in the thick of the > matter, I know. I know that both of you are ardent well-wishers of > Hindus, but your statements are easily misunderstood by many Hindus, > who are appalled that you make those. Boy, I can't wait to see HAF lawyers defend all those Vedic Foundation chronologies in a public forum, or to hear court testimony about the anti-Witzel smear campaign, or the attempts to edit the Dalits out of California's history textbooks, or to hear testimony about all those "different rights" that women had in ancient India. ******************** When truth vs. religious fantasy meet in court, as we have found again recently in the Pennsylvania "Intelligent Design" case, truth wins nearly every time. And you'd certainly expect this to be the case in California, which is the most progressive state in the US. Major stories are already being prepared int he national US press about the links between the Intelligent Design fiasco (think of the recent decision in Pennsylvania blasting proponents of ID) and events in California. A court case would do more to undercut the Hindutva menace in the US, and to bring the Dalit story to US public consciousness, than anything else I can think of. Best, Steve

Posted by: Amber G. Jan 15 2006, 10:54 PM

Sorry, don't want to spam but a quote from Prof. Witzel caught my eye:

QUOTE
(Qu'on me donne six lignes écrites de la main du plus honnête homme, j'y trouverai de quoi le faire pendre.)
Means :"If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him." May be one would need more than six lines ( After all he is a harvard professor, not an honest man) but IER has pages and pages of Witzel-uvach... b_evil.gif

Posted by: Mudy Jan 15 2006, 11:19 PM

They are celebrating for what? Board agreed to change 85% anyway, yes they can celebrate for other 15%.

QUOTE
But now that the Dalit groups, mainstream Hindus, and other Indian-American community groups are now hard at work together, we are confident that with a little help from the research community they will be able to shut down this kind of thing quickly if and when it occurs next time in another US state. And this should help as well in the battles in India and elsewhere (e.g., in Britain) against these extemist groups
Only commies and Marixt are supporting him, let him gloat. For him any mainstream Hindu is fanatics. He is openly anti Hindu and with agenda against Hindus.

Posted by: Amber G. Jan 16 2006, 10:16 AM

Hindustan times has this:http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1599959,0093.htm Last time it had similar article but the http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1568397,0093.htm no longer works... (See my previous message http://www.india-forum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=1079&st=30 here is the item:

QUOTE
Is Hindutva 'hydra headed'? HindustanTimes.com New Delhi, January 16, 2006 Our news 'The Hindutva deluge in California' by Kanupriya Vashisht has elicited flood of intelligent responses from our discerning readers. Racking the issue of Aryan invasion, most readers believe education should be a matter of rational evolution and not jingoism. If there are readers, who are deeply offended, there are others, who revelled in the intellectual discussion. Some even blamed British for propagating a theory to suit their imperial needs. Here is a glimpse of what our readers argue: In the story you mention 'hydra headed Hindutva'. Why such derogatory reference? Why did not you apply similar epithets to usual suspects like Romila Thapar, Witzel and Jha? Do you know that Mohammed Gazni attacked and ransacked Somanath temple in Gujarat because Gujarat was competing with his native Afghanistan in horse-trading and has nothing to do with Islamic fanaticism? You will, if you study Romila Thapar. Do you know that Sankara learnt his Advita philosophy and Ramanuja his Bhakti from Arab Moslem traders? You will, if you follow Jha and his spectacular screaming historical headline, "The giant contributions of Islam to India". Of course, Witzel has his own horse theory, there were no horses mentioned in Veda nor a ocean. Aryan invaders brought them to the notice of aboriginal natives of India. Do you want American children too raised in such ignorance like those in India under aegis of secular Arjun Singh and his Marxist, Macaulite gang? It is these characters that are hydra headed. Shame on you to talk like that against Hinduism. May be you should drop Hindu in your Hindustan Times. Otherwise you will be identified as an Aryan invader of upper caste. Venkata Mangala, Los Angeles, USA British concocted all the stories to make them acceptable by Indian mindset (Aryan, same origins) etc. Also they imbibed in the Indian mindset that it is bad and lowly and unintelligent to think of anything related to Hindu religion, whereas all Briton Christians and leaders alike take 'holy words'. Anyway, someone started it and I guess that the movement should get stronger. We also have a right to exercise our religion and express our views and feelings. Shan, Singapore The comments are more intelligent by far than the article. It is of course sad when "fundamentalists", despite vehement objection from the "scholarly establishment", reject "widely-held beliefs". Thanks to HT for the best laugh I've had in ages. The comments are riotous. Narayanan Komerath, Atlanta, USA It was the Nazis who propagated the Aryan invasion theory. Although Nazis do not rule western world any more, one cannot necessarily say that about Nazi-inspired thinking. The western "scholars" have misrepresented the concept of Arayns as a race with blue eyes, blonde haired people. However, looking at the most ancient of Sanskrit scriptures (eg Rigveda) it is obvious that the address "Arya" is used to denote a person of respectability and to demonstrate affection based on respectability. If Aryans came from central Asia to replace the "indigenous" Indians, surely worshipping cow could not have been such a long-established tradition in the north of the country. When will the ignorant and corrupt Indian historians and journalists get rid of their blinkers and call the western bluff of derisory Aryan invasion theory? When will we as self-respecting Indians start taking ownership of our own heritage and stop falling prey to the divisive and mal-intentioned designs of the pseudo-scholars of the western world? K Buch, Manchester, UK I think the title of this report is simply derogatory or demeaning. Your job is to report what happened. The title could have been "California accepts changes to Hindu history" or something similar. From the tone of your report, it is pretty clear that you are a biased and you are peeved at the way things went. Atanu Mukherjee, Jamshedpur, India The author writes with a neutral stand, which makes one wonder whether the author is an atheist. Once we leave Indian shores we understand the need to develop our Hindu roots and traditions with fervour. That is natural and obligatory on us, for a better Karma. Being a Hindu one should not write this trash demeaning Hinduism. Anindya Chatterjee, Dubai, UAE, canindya@yahoo.com I feel HT's so called journalists have lost all sense of journalistic ethics and there only agenda is to serve their pseudo-secularists of India. What do these terms hydra-headed and Hindutva deluge mean? What are you trying to convey? Please go through the write-up in detail and find out for yourselves the facts and as to why Hindus all over California State of USA are agitated. In future while including a story for publishing, please observe all caution of its veracity. SB Sathe, Cupertino CA, USA, drsbsathe@yahoo.co.in The article seems completely biased and one-sided. Also, where in India we have a religion called "Brahminism"? What is wrong in dropping such distorted view? If my kids are learning completely distorted view of Hinduism, we have a right to challenge that. Painting every attempt with a broad brush and calling it "Hindutva" has become a fashion! May be its the only way they get a long list of comment and readership perhaps! Californian, Santa Clara, USA Who has given right to Michael Wetzel to be a spokesperson for Hinduism? It is ironic that British historians wrote the Ancient Indian History and one has to look into the inconsistent portions about the Aryan Invasion theories and other theories. Hinduism of today has many shortcomings; but it does not give right to a Professor at Harvard and other US Universities to read their version of Hinduism as most of them are Christian ministers. Most of the Professors of Hinduism in US Universities are Christian Ministers, some say it publicly and some keep it quiet. Let the practicing Hindu write the history of Hinduism and India rather than Christian priests of these Universities. Rakesh Sharma, New York, USA This is a major victory for the HEF. Well done to all the Hindus of USA who have united to get some decent lines written about our civilization? To those who oppose the revision of deceitful colonial misinformation, may I remind them that their old colonial masters might need the help of the so-called "Hindus". Hulkhan, Birmingham, UK In fact, it is the distortion and bias of the writer that is quite evident from this diatribe. What more evidence is required to disprove the antiquated Aryan Invasion theory and the associated casteism? Why do these pseudo-seculars need 200% proofs when it comes to Hinduism and India when they can accept and subscribe to western ideologies so readily? Why are they so afraid to speak out the truth? Kudos to HEF group for doing a phenomenal job in correcting the history! Srinivas, Phoenix, USA, amateur_astronomer_2000@yahoo.com I dislike the title "Hindutva Deluge". Firstly, being a Hindu and having kids in California schools, I am appalled at how Hinduism is being portrayed in the schoolbooks and how this makes our kids squirm in shame at ancient old practices that may have been true. All religions underwent some kind of change, so did Hinduism, there is nothing wrong in revising the books and make them more modern and up-to-date. The word "Hindutva" makes it sound like it is fanaticism at the heart of this change. It's not. Shoba Rao, Fremont, CA The author of this article is obviously a Hindu-basher who has not even bothered to read the list of the corrections submitted by the Hindu community. There is nothing related to Hindutva in any of those things. The author is clearly just reacting out of anger over the fact that Hindus in the United States will no longer consent to having racist Western scholars tell us how to practice our own religion. Anant Saraswat, Sudbury, MA, USA The title of the news report "The Hindutva deluge in California" made a sad reading. It is increasingly becoming fashionable to denigrate Hinduism in the name of secularism and modern thinking. The cast system is the social problem of Hindus Indians and it has nothing to do with Hindu dharma. In early times it was the social evil among Hindus and after the arrivals of Muslims and Christians it has become a problem among Indians. The Aryan invasion theory is the Aryan ideology propounded by certain European thinkers that ultimately manifested in the form of nazi crimes during World War II. Recent genetic evidence is fast debunking the Aryan invasion theory. The description of Hinduism as a retrograde religion and blatantly racist Aryan invasion theory cannot be justified by citing some eminent scholars. It should be condemned with strongest words by all the right thinking peoples that include scholars seculars/progressive as well. Milind Mahajan, New Haven, USA Oh come on - why hide the dirt under the carpet. How about learn from the past, and make changes to improve the future? Baljit, Montreal, Canada According to Miss Kanupriya Vashisht, Hindu Americans born and educated in America are just "Hindutva". But Witzel, a Polish Nazi immigrant educated by Nazis, who came recently to the US after destroying the Kern Institute in Leiden where he held the Sanskrit chair, is described as "American" professor. This is main problem of Indies. Your English-educated women like this author are easy meat for any white-skinned racist, and they are themselves the worst racists in the world. How can Indians get respect from others when their own "educated elite" is a racist? Peter Korn, Wurttemburg, Germany, pkom@att.net "Widely held belief that the Aryans came to India from Central Asia and created a caste system". Can you show me any evidence pointing that Aryans came from central Asia? Also why are you not mentioning the CA textbooks had things like "look around you, are there monkeys" when talking about Hanuman and Ramayan. The CA education commissioner said that he believes in DNA evidence more than historians on the Aryan invasion/tourist theories. None of the historians who signed the petition against changing the text book had a problem with things like "Mahabharata was written before Ramayana" or the Aryan invasion theory whereas at other forums they have said they do not believe in Aryan Invasion (for example Ms. Romila Thapar in a newspaper said she does nor believe in Aryan invasion but signed the petition here agreeing to the invasion.) Dr Andy, New Jersey, USA Does having pride in Hinduism make some one hydra heads of Hindutva? To refresh your memory, here's where within less than 48 hours, without meeting a single mother out of some one thousand - Witzel wearing his Harvard halo, branded all of them Hindutvavdis! Robin Mitra, Norfolk, USA As a concerned Hindu parent in California, I am deeply offended and disgusted at this article. Shame on Hindustan Times to publish such articles by Hindu haters! The author is clearly anti-Hindu. This article is no news item, but a tirade/propaganda against Hindu parents like myself and genuine organisations like Vedic Foundation and HEF. I can only feel pity and disgust at the author for siding with a group of pseudo-secularists who know nothing about Hindu religion and Indian culture. The person who hates Hindus and NRIs and who degrades Sanskrit at every available opportunity is almost deified by the author. If the author were a responsible journalist with even a small sense of fairness, then she would have interviewed Vedic Foundation, the HEF, and some parents in California before writing this rubbish. Madhu, Los Angeles, USA.[
I can see NK and Robin M.'s comments among others ...!

Posted by: agnivayu Jan 16 2006, 04:49 PM

Indians are increasingly seeing Indian Xtian's as collaborators with WHite Colonialists (as was the case during the British rule of terror in India). The AIT etc. are all racial theories, caste is a cultural issue, these are not even religious issues. So Indian Xtian's are not just religiously different than most Indians, many of them are seen as racial puppets of White's. With the rise of Hindu power, Indian Xtian hatred and intolerance during our period of weakness will not be forgotten.

QUOTE(Mudy @ Jan 17 2006, 04:41 AM)
QUOTE
After you peel that layer of onion and move to the next to check the signatory of that letter from "Dalit Solidarity Forum". It's signed by one 'Jebaroja Singh'. Hmm.... But then if you check the website of this St. Alban's Church in Oakland, NJ, good Lord, miracle of miracles - the Pastor of the flock here is one Rev "Prince Singh" !!!!
Picture : http://www.stalbans-ofl.dioceseofnewark.org/images/PrinceOrdinationAnniv_2005_19r.jpg Prince Singh's Ordination 15th Anniversary (with Roja, Nived & Eklan) So Jebaroja is Prince Singh's wife. biggrin.gif
*

Posted by: agnivayu Jan 16 2006, 04:52 PM

Why is this *******, Steve Farmer gloating ? Is it true that we got 85% of what we asked ? Plz Refrain from using racial abuses.

Posted by: Mudy Jan 16 2006, 07:05 PM

QUOTE
Why is this *****, Steve Farmer gloating ? Is it true that we got 85% of what we asked ?
Wait, we are waiting for complete list. We will show you.

Posted by: Viren Jan 16 2006, 07:49 PM

Agnivayu, When a pig rolls in the mud and says it loves it, it's probabily true. But when the farmer does the same, take it with bucket loads of salt. A farmer fell into puddle of poo-poo and now he's putting an appearing to his select audience that the slip in that sty is really a roll under the satin sheets with some pin-up from swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated. From what I've heard around,

QUOTE
nothing much has changed from Nov. 5, and from Dec.2. It's just that Witzel now amazingly agrees with the changes that he wanted rejected completely (because he actually read them and had to agree that he was an idiot to have objected to them in the first place tongue.gif ).
Once the comparison is made on an item by item basis we will see a that claims by farmer are equivalent of Pakistan winning in Kargil and every war that they've fought rolleyes.gif I believe FOSA has already put up a list. Of course with their bias, half-truths and the standard hubris thrown in. It's up on their site I believe. Please do not forget to read all of it since students of CIIS have worked very hard over the Christmas break to put it together. Though it's not confirmed if this extra-cirricular work by CIIS students over the break will earn them a few credits/grade. If history's been an indicator, extra-circular activities wink.gif go a long way whistle.gif

Posted by: acharya Jan 16 2006, 09:28 PM

The question to ask is why do they want to show that they are winning. What is the puspose and who is the audience - Indians in India?

Posted by: Mudy Jan 16 2006, 11:13 PM

QUOTE
The question to ask is why do they want to show that they are winning. What is the puspose and who is the audience - Indians in India?
IER members are audience; purpose is to retain their fraud theories and of course job. They are best cheer leader club; they pat each other on every opportunity. whistle.gif

Posted by: Amber G. Jan 17 2006, 01:42 PM

TOI has a story (Shows better sense than idotic "hydrya headed" report.http://www.samachar.com/showurl.htm?rurl=http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1374564.cms?headline=Desi~text~books~raise~a~storm~in~US

Posted by: utepian Jan 17 2006, 04:13 PM

QUOTE(Amber G. @ Jan 17 2006, 03:42 PM)
TOI has a story (Shows better sense than idotic "hydrya headed" report.http://www.samachar.com/showurl.htm?rurl=http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1374564.cms?headline=Desi~text~books~raise~a~storm~in~US
*
Pretty fair report. It is by PTI. Couple of things are notable (i) It mentions the parents along with HEF and VF as demanding changes (ii) It makes Witzel's reference to the ones demanding changes as "hindutva" in quotes.

Posted by: acharya Jan 17 2006, 07:08 PM

Dear Friend, As you may! be aware, a major effort is underway in California, in the guise of multiculturalism and minority rights, to inject narrow sectarian versions of Hinduism and Ancient India into Grade 6 History-Social Science text books. (For background information and talking points, see http://www.friendsofsouthasia.org ). We need your urgent help to turn back the Hindutva assault on our text books, before they are adopted by the California State Board of Education (SBE). If you are among those who: * Believe that school curriculum ought to be based on scholarly and factual information, and encourage class discussions on links between history and contemporary social issues; * Wish to prevent California from bei! ng used as a laboratory for a Hindutva view of history, which has been rejected by Indian policy makers (via NCERT books); and * Want the SBE to know that a majority of Hindus and Indians DO NOT subscribe to the supremacist, and often violent, ideologies of Hindutva groups Then here is what you can do: 1. Let the SBE know by fax or email or by telephone that: * Ancient Indian history belongs to ALL the communities from the subcontinent, not just to some “practicing Hindus” (as defined by some sectarian groups) based in the United States. * You have serious reservations about the edits submitted by the Vedic Foundation (VF) and the Hindu Education Foundation (HEF), and that you would like the SBE to adopt the edits submitted by the Content Review Panel of scholars appointed by the SBE. * You reject the demands of the VF and HEF, who posture as aggrieved minorities when their cohorts in India make a mockery of rights for religious minorities, Dalits, Adivasis, and women.

Posted by: acharya Jan 17 2006, 07:19 PM

Pluralism, Human Rights and CA Textbooks. As a new member on this list, I would like to share some thoughts on what I see are some deeply troubling issues pertaining to multiculturalism and its misuse. Multiculturalism at its best affords a means of redress for marginalized populations and seeks to correct long term political, social and cultural oppression by advancing a notion of pluralism - we each have our languages, songs, dances, foods, religions, beliefs, artistic styles, stories, literature, memories, complex histories and so on - let us not bury all this complexity and diversity in order to present a homogeneous notion of culture and society. Let us open spaces to make it possible for the celebration of ALL cultures is the dominant theme of multiculturalism. On the problematic side of things, multiculturalism can also be misused as a way to keep populations in line by affording members some spaces here and there for songs, dances, prayers and so on, while effectively ignoring the deep political and social oppression of these same populations. Yet another major issue with multiculturalism is that it can easily be abused by privileged sections of cultural minorities to advance their own social and political agendas. This is what I would like to address here on this list today. How may we be able to discern a situation when such is the case? We have presently an excellent case that exempifies this above scenario. A group of Hindu chauvinist organizations, two organizationally and ideologically affiliated to the Hindutva movement (led by the RSS in India), and one catering to a spiritualist following in the U.S. that like the RSS believes India's past, present and future is all about the greatness of the religion Hinduism (as they advance it) - these three groups have led a campaign to substantively change California's middle school textbooks to reflect a Hindu supremacist worldview in the sections pertaining to ancient India. Two things need to be kept in mind here: These three groups have a smattering of supporters compared to the immense numbers of Indians, South Asians and Hindus in the U.S. Yet they speak as if they represent ALL Indians, ALL South Asians, and ALL Hindus - nobody appointed them. They did so themselves. Secondly, the effort to rewrite textbooks has been going on for years in India, led by the RSS - some of these changes effectively sought to erase the history of the caste system, the multifarious and diverse histories of various social, religious and cultural groups and practices over several thousand years in India - to be replaced by bizarre claims that had no bases in the vast body of scientific, historcal record. None of these proponents sought to engage with academia except through a campaign of vilification and in some cases outright violence. FOr instance these proponents asserted that there was no such thing as a Harrapan Civilization predating the Indo-Aryans who invaded/migrated from Central and West Asia - a proposition well documented and supported by a mountain of historical, archaeological, linguistic evidence. When they could not engage with the evidence they simply resorted to shouting matches and repetitions of such wonderful concoctions as the "Saraswathi Sindhu" civilization to replace the Harrapan Civilization. Their claim was that Hindus/Aryans were the original inhabitants of India and they did not migrate to India from anywhere else -- this claim effectively erases the distinct and rich history of the Harrapan Civilization about which we know enough to note that it had little to do with the Indo-Aryan culture and practices of nomadic groups which migrated/invaded India during the latter part of its long history. Why is this important? Two reasons: 1. The Hindu supremacists of India have always felt threatened by the presence of Harrapa because it 1) reflected the presence of an ancient high culture that predated and preceded the Indo-Aryan (later Hindu) cultural and social world. 2. The Harrapan Civilization has been seen by Dalit and oppressed caste activists as evidence of a historically non-Aryan, Dravidian high culture. This informed the politics of struggle by Dalits and Sudras against the Brahmanical social system and its political apparatus in post-independence India. Why the attempted erasure of Harrapan Civilization is tied to the effort to disarm Dalit politicization. The growth of Dalit and Sudra political mobilization around the Mandal Commission Reservations issue after 1990 (a progressive affirmative action program for Dalits and oppressed castes opposed violently by the BJP and the Sangh Parivar family of Hindutva organizations) prompted the mobilization of the Hindutva program around the mythical Ram temple - which led to the destruction by Hindutva groups of the historic Babri Masjid mosque in 1992, an event which was followed by anti-Muslim pogroms throughout India. Vajpayee (former PM and life member of the RSS) put it this way: "They brought us Mandal, we brought them Kamandal (temple)"). Clearly the strategy of Hindutva groups has been to divide and disarm the growing politicization of Dalit and oppressed castes. This means that the attack on Harrapan Civilization as a historical marker of a Dravidian/non-Aryan presence in ancient India, and its subsumption within a mythicized (and transhistorical) "Hindu" civilization is directly tied to the efforts of the RSS and its family of organizations to subsume Dalits and Sudras into the "Hindu" fold thereby hurting their efforts to overthrow the yoke of Brahmanical caste oppression. Neither of these two efforts mean that Dalits and Sudras are going to be treated any better than they are now - much of the violence against Dalits has been carried out by the Ranvir Sena and the VHP - both apparatuses of the RSS. The VHP leadership believe that the caste system is a "human right" of caste Hindus that cannot be criticized. Meanwhile the proponents of these textbook changes claim that caste oppression is no longer a problem since the post independence constitution outlawed it! If anyone needs a reminder on why this view is grotesquely out of touch with reality please refer to the following report by Human Rights Watch titled "Broken People - Caste violence against India's "Untouchables"." http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/india/ The proponents of edits in the CA textbooks have gone out of their way to push for an erasure in the following as well (in addition to erasing the Harrappan Civilization): 1. The caste system in ancient India is treated as if it were some form of happy social contract by which everyone did what they were able to do (specialization) - not too different from the portrayal of southern slavery by films like "Gone With the Wind." Passages dealing with the oppression of Sudras (openly advocated throughout Vedic and affiliated texts of the Brahmins) have been erased. 2. The treatment of women in ancient India has been reduced to questions of "different" "duties" instead of unequal rights. 3. Ancient India has been conflated with Vedic Brahmanism - as if Vedas and affiliated texts and social practices and structures were never challenged for thousands of years. - Buddhism, Jainism, Carvaka, Ajivika, Tantra, all these movements openly questioned and often mercilessly ridiculed the claims of the Brahmins about the infallibility, divinity, or power of the Vedas. Yet the Vedic Foundation holds that the Vedas are infallible, eternal and suprahistorical - they are the basis for the production of historical (and all other) forms of knowledge. The spiritual leader of the Vedic Foundation claims to be one of the "Eternal Saints" sent down by God to defend Hinduism from secular academics! Given this scenario, what makes it possible for groups like the Vedic Foundation, the Hindu Education Foundation and Hindu American Foundation is the ability to project themselves as representatives of an aggrieved cultural group. Invoking multiculturalism and singling out non-Indian opponents like Michael Witzel (while studiously ignoring the enormous opposition to their antics by Hindus and Indians), these groups have tried to sway the California Board of Education into believing that their efforts are about cultural redress. Far from this, their project is one of reactionary ideological warfare whereby they want to use any possible successes in California as a means to advance the broader project of Hindutvaization of textbooks in the rest of the U.S. as well as in India. In India they dont need to use multiculturalism since they are after all virulently opposed to the very idea of multiculturalism. They have resorted to violence, intimidation and outright skullduggery to get their bizarre claims included in school textbooks, many of which have since then been cleaned up after the spectacular demise of the BJP government last year. Social conservatives who occupy privileged positions in the U.S. claim that their religion is being maligned, but instead of opening up these textbooks to fix genuine problems of bias, ignorance and errors, they want to use these problems as an excuse to ram through their mythicized, and reactionary anti-history. Besides they are not as opposed to bias and ignorance as they are to secular academic studies of religion - they feel undermined by history that is based on academic research, peer-reviewed writing, evidence standards, debate and dialogue - no wonder they want to erase the complex historical world of the "argumentative Indian" and replace it with a mythicized world of the aggressive supremacist Hindu and the docile "other." Pluralism may be a term discussed and debated about in various settings like this one, but one thing is clear - neither pluralism nor multiculturalism can include the agendas of Hindutva without seriously undermining the very meanings of the terms. Hindutva is not cultural redress - it is supremacist assertion. It defends and promotes caste, the oppression of women, brutalization of cultural and religious minorities and the establishment of a society inimical to the very existence of notions of pluralism and multiculturalism. Utilizing the rhetoric of human rights is one way in which some of these groups have opened "multicultural" spaces for the RSS program in the U.S. The Hindu American Foundation (HAF)'s leader and founder Mihir Meghani is grossly unqualified to speak about human rights. Yet he projects himself as a crusader for human rights on this forum. He had this to say a few years ago: "The future of Bharat is set. Hindutva is here to stay. It is up to the Muslims whether they will be included in the new nationalistic spirit of Bharat. It is up to the government and the Muslim leadership whether they wish to increase Hindu furor or work with the Hindu leadership to show that Muslims and the government will consider Hindu sentiments. The era of one-way compromise of Hindus is over, for from now on, secularism must mean that all parties must compromise." Meghani wrote this in a piece titled "Hindutva, the Great Nationalist Ideology" which can be read on the website of the BJP: http://bjp.org/history/htvintro-mm.html This is the type of "human rights" vision advanced by those seeking to sneak fascistic ideologies through the backdoor of multiculturalism. In conclusion, any concern with pluralism or democracy ought to begin by noting what types of interests those claiming to speak for human rights harbor. Why are they trying to exploit the work of genuine human rights activists and movements? Why are we allowing them to do so? Just because someone belongs to a cultural minority does not mean he/she may not use that fact to mobilize against oppressed groups within their own social world. Meghani's rant against Muslims in the above passage ought to wake up those genuinely concerned about human rights and pluralism. Raja

Posted by: acharya Jan 17 2006, 07:56 PM

URGENT: Public Comments for the Commission's Dec 1-2, 2005 Meeting November 30, 2005 Dr. Norma Baker Chair, Curriculum Commission California State Board of Education 1430 N Street, Suite 3207 Sacramento, CA 95814 Re: History-Social Science Subject Matter on Indian Culture and History [for Grade Schools] Dear Dr. Baker, I understand that the Curriculum Commission is reviewing the Ad Hoc Committee recommendations for changes to History-Social Science text books and welcomes public comments before it submits its report to the Board of Education on December 2, 2005. My wife and I have been residents of California for 34 years; we are parents of two children who were educated in California public schools--Los Cerros Middle and Monte Vista High in Danville; and we are, of course, very keen that California's school children not only learn about American and European histories, but also gain a basic understanding of the histories and cultures of the developing world. We therefore applaud the initiative of the Board of Education to update and broaden its instructional material on countries such as India. At the same time, I am deeply concerned--judging from reports on the Web--that the India material may be in danger of being unduly influenced by a sectarian ideology (often referred to as Hindutva), which has lead to enormous loss of lives and property in India in recent years and has been rebuffed by the Indian electorate in recent national polls. I therefore strongly support the urgent call by South Asia scholars from around the world, including Prof. Michael Witzel of Harvard University, Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, to reject the changes proposed by organizations purporting to represent the "true" history of India and Hinduism, but in reality only represent the narrow viewpoints of Hindutva thinkers, who have so far failed in their attempts to reinvent Indian history. (Please see attachment for additional background on one of the prime-movers behind these organized efforts: Dr. David Frawley, a convert to Hinduism and a self-styled Historian from Santa Fe, New Mexico.) Notwithstanding the above, I feel that the Commission ought to take this opportunity to re-review the proposed material to ensure that it meets the standards of objective scholarship. Specifically, I have four areas of concern with respect to India: 1. Perpetuating simplistic and negative stereotypes that do not belong in a child's first understanding of another culture: e.g. Enduring image of a starving cow, in my opinion, is no more relevant to an American child's first exposure to India than the image of a homeless person in D.C. Would be to a Chinese child's first exposure to America; both can only come in the way of a broader understanding of the other culture in the child's later years. 2. Statements on the status of women--e.g. "Hinduism taught that women were inferior to men."--which, while they may be true, are not particularly unique to any one religious tradition, and can only draw legitimate criticism that one culture is being singled out in a negative light. (I have not read the proposed text books in full and hence can not comment on whether similar comments are offered with respect to Christianity, Islam, or Judaism.) 3. I am shocked at attempts by the Hindu Education Foundation (HEF) and the Vedic Foundation (VF) to wish away the Caste System with a sleight of their hands-e.g. "it presumes that the caste system is present in India today." (For one example of how millions of Indians continue to suffer under the insidious Caste System even today, please see http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2002-11/01deshpande.cfm) If anything, I feel that our curriculum should encourage a more contemporary understanding of the Caste System by stimulating class-room discussions of parallels--and contrasts--with the legacy of slavery, the civil rights movement, and affirmative action programs in America. 4. Prof. Shiva Bajpai, whose advice the Board apparently sought on the India material, has in the past identified himself closely with people like of Dr. David Frawley (see http://www.hindunet.org/hindu_history/ancient/indus/minutes.html) and their attempts to reinvent Indian history. It is therefore not surprising that he seems to have accepted HEF/VF's suggested edits without any due diligence. Prof. Bajpai, in my opinion, does not bring the objectivity necessary for any further review of the India subject matter, which should be delegated to a panel of reputed India scholars. In closing, I would like to thank the Curriculum Commission and the Department of Education for affording me the opportunity to comment on this matter of great significance to our future generations; and I would like to request that this letter be placed in the pubic record as part of the upcoming meeting of December 1-2, 2005. Sincerely, Raju Rajagopal Berkeley, CA

Posted by: Viren Jan 17 2006, 07:58 PM

Acharya: Who's 'Raja'? What exactly his the purpose of that post by 'Raja'? It's filled with enough hot air to resurrect the Hindenberg itself

Posted by: Viren Jan 17 2006, 08:00 PM

came via email: Unlike FOSA which uses slave labor readily available from CIIS, I believe a some people have spent their personal time putting this one up.

QUOTE
As you all know, the CA textbooks controversy involves two main issues: Academic accuracy, and equal/fair treatment of Ancient Indian Culture and Hinduism vis-a-vis other traditions.List members have already read quite a few media articles on this (at least a dozen have appeared in last one week alone) The following 91 page dowloadable document is now available exploring the _Academic_ aspects of the controversy. Go to: http://www.eshiusa.org/CA2005.htm Click on: 'A Critique on Super Review team (CRP) Recommendations' Direct link to the document is: http://www.eshiusa.org/Documents/Critique-WitzelCRP.pdf Also downloadable from http://www.hindueducation.org/ca/SecondCRPAnalysis.pdf This document concludes the following with regard to Michael Witzel lead academics ('Second CRP') comments on the Hindu group edits: 1.The Second CRP team comprised of Witzel-Heitzman-Wolpert appears to have judged many edits of VF/HEF and comments thereon by Dr Bajpai on the basis of its imagined motives of the Hindu groups. 2.In general, Second CRP team does not seem to have attempted to find the rationale as to why a particulate edit was proposed, since the team was too pre-occupied with its conclusion that VF/HEF are fundamentalist organizations. 3.Second CRP did not offer academic reasons for most of their own positions that contradicted VF/HEF and Bajpai. 4. Many Second CRP recommendations smack of a contempt towards Hindus, and attachment to non-mainstream and revisionist versions of history. 5.Further, Second CRP recommendations often appear to be made in a vacuum, oblivious of the context in which the statements proposed to be modified by HEF/VF edits occur within the textbooks. 6.There are but a few cases where their suggestions are superior to those of VF/HEF and First CRP. OVERALL TABLE OF CONTENTS: Background and History: Page 1 Framing the issues around the controversy: Page 3 General comments on misrepresentation of Ancient India and Hinduism in controversial textbooks: Page 4 General observations on Witzel lead CRP team's objections: Page 6 HEF Edits: Page 7 - 57 VF Edits: Page 58 - 91

Posted by: Amber G. Jan 17 2006, 08:27 PM

utepian – Yes, I agree the report is pretty fair. Meanwhile what our “scholar” Farmer does is even more colorful than Viren description. Okay guys, if you receive an email with an attachment from an “unknown” source what will you do? If you are one of the “internationally known scholar” then you would know: A. It is from “Hindutva” source. B. It contains “Support Michael Witzel Virus. (Or “Dalit video virus”) No I am not making it up, Simply can’t believe what kind of clowns are this group. Here is an email From Steve Farmer to the list: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Indo-Eurasian_research/message/2837

QUOTE
From: Steve Farmer Date: Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:34 am Subject: Dalit video/"Support Michael Witzel" virus biggrin.gif biggrin.gif I received an email tonight that is going around whose subject line says "Support Michael Witzel". Mine contained an attachment with a virus. These folks aren't all that original, if you haven't noticed. By 2006, I assume that everyone is sophisticated enough to know that it is a mistake to open an attachment from an unknown source. A few years ago, I was getting virus-laden emails targeted at me daily from Hindutva sources: when in doubt, hit 'delete' and forget about it.
(. Of course if it is "unknown" source.. it must be Hindutva.. liar.gif ) These "Hindutva" sources must be really powerful .. First these conspire to produce wrong DNA evidence ... then conspire with ephemist tables to produce astronomical data which make Witzel look like a fool and now ... targetting Farmer DAILY with viruses. .

Posted by: Viren Jan 17 2006, 08:57 PM

QUOTE
I received an email tonight that is going around whose subject line says "Support Michael Witzel". Mine contained an attachment with a virus.
laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif "is going around" laugh.gif where? No alerts from Norton, Trend Micro, CNET, Symantec, McAfee, Microsoft or any of the tech companies!! I think these virus travels like their aryan genes in ancient India. No scientific/technical proof of it's existence but it exists in minds of Farmer and Witzel.

Posted by: ashyam Jan 18 2006, 02:35 AM

One thing the people defending Hinduism in front of Curriculum Commission to make clear is that there are no formal organization for Hindus and there are no single representative who could argue for them, similar to church and pope. It is the individuals and organizations who are concerned about the portrayal of Hinduism in the school are coming forward to make the changes. So when farmer or witzel claims that VF or HEF are not the representative of Hindus, they are because there are no formal organizations to put Hinduism's case forward.

Posted by: Viren Jan 18 2006, 06:57 AM

QUOTE
So when farmer or witzel claims that VF or HEF are not the representative of Hindus, they are because there are no formal organizations to put Hinduism's case forward
And who made Farmer and Witzel the representative of Hindus? At least VF and HEF are registered organizations working on behalf of the community for a while now. What about Witzel and Farmer? A Don Quixote fighting Hindutva windmills and his Sancho Panza holding a stool for his master since he lost the chair at Harvard?

Posted by: utepian Jan 18 2006, 10:36 AM

Ashyam: Farmer very well knows that there is no single organization that can speak for all hindus as a homogeneus entity. This exactly is what he and his spiritually vaccuous bunch of Hindu Bashers perceive as their strength. Raju Rajagopal and FOSA also parade themselves as Hindus but really none of their long planned rallies with Pakis can get as many number of people as a small Hindu mandir gets on a regular sunday afternoon. These edits were discussed in Mandirs with thouands of parents participating. The following questions were submitted to Farmer apprearing with a "screen name" on another website. He dismissed the questions as "they are all Hindutvavadis - case closed"!

QUOTE
1. Even though neither Yvette Rosser nor David Frawley is personally engaged with the SEB, please tell (i) what disqualifies Yvette Rosser? (ii) David Frawley does not have an academic qualification, so in that light how does one let the CIE representative (a Muslim Imam) offer changes in textbooks and not David Frawley or someone in similar capacity? 2. Give name or names of any organization/s that Hindus have officially appointed. 3. There is a petition from Vedic Foundation that has been endorsed by some 8000+ US based Hindus. Justify how VF and HEF do not have representation? 4. If you cannot answer Question 3, then please provide name and support in numbers of another organization that has a better representation of Hindus in this matter. 5. If you answered Question 4 successfully, then:- The CA board in a public announcement asked for comments on the text book revision over six months ago. Why did this "xyz" organization (that you name in Question 5) not take up the matter all these days? 6. Where exactly (please point the page number and edit number in the list of edits) does Vedic foundation say "“The history of Bharatvarsh (which is now called India) is the description of the timeless glory of the Divine dignitaries”? (as you have claimed) 7. Please point out page number and edit number in the linked doc where there is an "exclusion" of caste system.

Posted by: Viren Jan 18 2006, 12:17 PM

QUOTE
He dismissed the questions as "they are all Hindutvavadis - case closed"!
Hey, from what I've heard these pompous scholars in ivory towers can't be questioned. If you do, you are 'Hindutvavadi'. Farmer was on hot trail of 'tracking funding'. What's latest on that guys? Stopped cold after discovering a site costs $20/year to operate? laugh.gif Talking about tracking, here's an interesting nugget that should send a few jingos tracking our friendly fossas: http://jitnasa.india-forum.com/Docs/Critique-WitzelCRP.pdf
QUOTE
Repeated requests by HEF/VF to CDE to give them a copy of the finalized edits (and Second CRP member names) elicited no response at all from CDE Finally, an Indian Leftist- Pakistani website named FOSA placed the article with the four column format (page 7 onwards of this document without the red colored text of course). We do not know where they got it from, although upon checking the Doc ‘Properties’, it says ‘Ca. Dept. of Education’. However, CDE tells us in writing that they have not given it out to anyone. Either therefore the FOSA document is spurious, or it reflects their own understanding, or it was leaked from within CDE to people in FOSA (which works in tandem with members of the second CRP anyway).

Posted by: Shambhu Jan 18 2006, 12:33 PM

Dear Friends, If you are interested in keeping on lying and ensuring a good life for yourself and your children, join us in defeating those damn Hindoos. Join now!!! Don't worry about facts, anyone opposing us is a foolish Hindutvavaadi. And everyone knows Hindutvavaadis just live in their own non-make-believe world and try to spread their poisonous philosophy of truths. Join us!! Let us all fill our bellies and do whatever it takes to keep them filled!! Yours insincerely, FOIL, FOSA, AID, ASHA, Witzel, Doniger, Parshad, Dayal and other loonynaries P.S. The b@stard Hindoos are slowly seeing through us...unless you join *now*, them ugly Hindutvavaadis could very well put us out of business sooner rather than later..so *join* now! What? Are you too chicken to join? Are you a closet Hindutvavaadi? How long will you not lie? Come on, Time and CNN are of the essence!

Posted by: Amber G. Jan 18 2006, 01:02 PM

Sorry to go on a tangent but Abdul bin Mao and others may be interested. I was reading today’s LA times about an alumni group keeping an “eye” on Radical UCLA professors . (The site is uclaprofs.com ) It does have some interesting articles.. One is “Brother, Can You Lend A Signature?” …: Signo, ergo sum, (I sign, therefore I am)…. (How a number of professors will lend their (and their institute’ name) signature on radical causes! ) They have list of such professors, and I can’t help but notice, one famous Associate professor’s name there (On six or seven”causes”). Why this Associate professor is listed in their “Prominent – The top 30 such worthies’ ’s list Here: http://www.uclaprofs.com/profs/profsindex.html

QUOTE
Vinay Lal History The challenge in properly exposing the poison-pen radicalism of UCLA professor Vinay Lal certainly does not lie in a lack of proof. The problem arises instead in parsing Lal’s incredibly complex, lengthy writing style. What one writer might say in two lines and basic language, Lal will (in true academic style) state in two paragraphs filled with six-line sentences…..smile.gif smile.gif We will not, however, shrink from the challenge of portraying Lal in all his gross verbosity. We will parse his wild accusations as we have never parsed before. Much like comic book superheroes, Vinay Lal leads a double life. During the day he is a mild-mannered Southeast Asian history professor, but in his office, safely behind his keyboard, Lal assumes his double identity as a radical ideological warrior of the broadest stripe. His personal webpage provides only the most indirect clue to this schizophrenic existence, mentioning in passing that he has written for the journals Patterns of Prejudice, Radical History Review, and Third Text. Further research on Lal is much more lucrative, yielding two venomous articles he penned for the South Asia-focused journal The Little Magazine. The first, putatively about the Taliban’s destruction of the world-famous Buddha of Bamiyan, Afghanistan, turns into a rant about the United States…... Like the regular at your local bar who insists on choosing country music when he’s drunk, Vinay Lal only wants to play one tune in life. ….” As Lal tells it, “the destruction of the statues is construed as an expression not only of the Taliban’s anger but of its sense of betrayal, its feeling of isolation and its profound disappointment” at not having been properly rewarded. Lal is mostly flabbergasted at the suggestion that others in the Islamic faith should denounce the destructive acts of their Muslim brethren. ... Lal’s second piece for The Little Magazine, titled “Terrorism Inc, or the Family of Fundamentalisms,” is so rabid the reader can practically hear Lal’s spittle flying. … The article is also such an incredible piece of work that merely summarizing it would be a crime. .....” Warming to his theme of an “outlaw president gone into hiding,” Lal then compares Bush to Bin Laden, cleverly noting that Bush’s “Either you are with us or you are against us,” philosophy is similar to the black-and-white rhetoric of Bin Laden. In Lal’s view, “fanatical conviction knows no boundaries; rogues do understand each other.” …… Just as pizza goes better with beer, so do anti-U.S. rants go better .. Intentionally funny or not, Lal is deadly serious about the reasoning which neatly concludes his article. From his personal Mount Olympus, Lal thunders, “Oil flows through the veins of George Bush and Osama Bin Laden: this is the happy marriage of the “American way of life” and terrorism as a way of life.” In fact, <<<>> ….. To the mind of radicals like Lal, it’s their sworn duty to convince students to abandon all that they have previously known, and adopt completely diametrical beliefs. In essence, Lal and his fellow radicals want to ensure a dead brain to receive brain-dead ideas. ….. To Lal, this means those with whom he disagrees are bad people…., Lal did what so many of his colleagues do for a living: prosecute a set of facts rather than present them, and indoctrinate students instead of educate them. In either case, the student’s comments exposed Lal for the classroom failure he is.
(BTW – the article misses that he thinks the people who donated money to help families of 9/11 fire fighters were hindutva people spreading hate because they were helping the victims who were mainly non-muslims while the hijackers were mainly muslims ---- or something to that effect....Would some one contact the editor so that this gem is also added into his file.. ) I don’t see our friend and “Signo, ergo sum” professor Wolpert in the list, and I certainly would not advise anyone to contact bruin.alumni@bruin.alumni.com Per LATimes story one can even make $100 or so, for such report..

Posted by: utepian Jan 18 2006, 01:51 PM

This is amazing Amber G. Hope the spirit of this alumni group flares into a national movement. I'd be more than willing to talk to some of these guys cheers.gif

Posted by: utepian Jan 18 2006, 02:46 PM

This was published in Jan 6th edition of IP with 2 photos. One of a volunteer and one of Shri Ram, LAxman and Sita in Arabic dress. Parents frustrated by Portrayal of Hinduism in California Textbooks By Gaurang Desai India Post Jan 6, 2006 If your child is going to attend the 6th grade in California next year, they will not only learn that Mahabharata happened before Ramayana, but will also learn that Shri Ram, Laxman and Sita used to dress up like Persian prince and princess, King Dashratha as Mogul King, Goddess Durga and Kali will be described as "terrible and extremely bloodthirsty". They would also learn that Hinduism is termed as Brahmanism. This is only the tip of the iceberg. The Hinduism as whole has been described in such a derogatory way; one would wonder what impression little children would have of Hinduism? We need not wonder. Just ask Madhulika Singh, one of the parents, who had first hand experience. One day her son came home and declared, "I do not want to be a Hindu." Further prodding revealed that the child thought Americans hate Hindus and what he learned in school was diametrically opposite to what he learned about Hinduism at home. Similarly, Anjali Patel also felt that her kids were feeling uneasy about their Hindu identity and that something had to be done. Many parents felt this way and often attempted to communicate with their local school officials, but things were getting nowhere. Like minded parents like Anjali Patel and Madhulika Singh took the initiative to volunteer for the Hindu Education Foundation and participated in the textbook review initiative. In various states HEF has been working to correct representation of Hinduism and India in American schools through Seminars on Hinduism, and presentations on Hindu festivals. The HEF (http://www.hindueducation.org) followed the Education Department's guidelines, which stipulate that "religions and cultures of minority groups be taught in such a manner as to instill a sense of pride in every child in his or her heritage and to remain secure in any religious beliefs he/she may already have" and to tackle the issue at the root rather than just complain. They assembled a team of experts to review the proposed textbooks for the sixth grade. Other religious groups (Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sikhs and others) had similar initiatives. The HEF documented not only major flaws in textbooks' coverage of Hinduism and Indian history but a systematic denigration of Hinduism. The textbooks also failed to mention any positive contribution of Hindus in different fields such as Mathematics, Science, art and literature. The HEF media coordinator, Mr. Khanderao Kand, revealed to India Post that in this endeavor, they received overwhelming support from over 25 California based Hindu/Indian organizations. The list of organizations presented by HEF includes Indo-American Organizations cutting across regional and linguistic groups, and most of the Hindu organizations. He indicated that they were also working with the Texas based Vedic Foundation (VF) to clean up these books. Dr. Srinivas Tilak (PhD History and Religion), one of the reviewers, further summarized that the areas of concern include but are not limited to false portrayal of women's rights, historicizing the origins of Hinduism using outdated, much disputed colonial Aryan Invasion Theory (Christianity and Islam are historicized according to their respective beliefs) and finally, over all depiction of Hinduism which included wrong timeline, wrong depiction of Gods and Goddesses and religious icons in general. Prof. Lathi (Prof. Emeritus Cal. State Univ. Sacramento) said "We want Hinduism to be treated in the same manner as other religions. It should be taught from the believer's perspective as per the CDE guidelines." Anjali Patel, coordinator of the HEF also spoke to India Post. She indicated that she had attended all the board meetings held in Sacramento and that the HEF was working with the CDE and publishers and proposed over 150 changes. Because of their efforts, the CDE decided to appoint an ad hoc committee to look into the matter, which approved most of the changes (rest would require major rewrite, hence rejected) initially, indicating CDE was responsive to the Hindu community's needs. But in the recent weeks, as the hearings were winding down, a cabal of academics, alleged to have Marxist and anti-Hindu ideological bias, opposed these changes (without even finding out what edits were proposed!). This has delayed the adoption of textbooks and frustrated many parents and volunteers. A sampling of comments from parents and volunteers can be summed up thus. No other religious group had to endure such an uphill battle. Islam and Christianity are mentioned in positive light as per the believer's views without any negative reference. Unfortunately, Hinduism is referenced only negatively. A sampling of review of these textbooks by this reporter revealed that not only there are inaccuracies, but often the language used is questionable to say the least. The topics covered in these textbooks also are way above the 6th grade level. Many of these topics of discussion belong in Universities and not in the 6th grade. In coming weeks, we will bring more on this issue, including the views of those who oppose these changes.

Posted by: agnivayu Jan 18 2006, 04:16 PM

This guy Raju Rajagopal (or Ron Reichmeister ) does seem to acknowledge the misrepresentation of Hinduism and India in textbooks. Will this Air-yan invader give due credit to the the so-called Hindutva organizations for bringing it up. One word of support to all the Nazi's, Indian lefty's, commi's, quasi-secularites and Air-yan invaders. You guys are labeling all Hindus as extremists. Keep it up!, we want you to label all of us as extremists, this will make the civilizational clash more apparent. IMO, this textbook thing will be a death by a thousand lashes kind of deal. Within 15-20 years, after another 2-3 reviews almost all of our changes will be implemented. Ofcourse the BJP coming back to India in serious strength is also key.

Posted by: Viren Jan 20 2006, 08:03 AM

http://www.ivarta.com/columns/OL_060114.htm By Bal Ram at India Cause

QUOTE
Very recently HEP raised its ugly head again in California when a German linguist, Michael Witzel, a professor at Harvard’s Sanskrit and Indian Studies department claiming expertise in Indian history, culture, and religion, interjected himself into the issue of sixth grade textbook portrayal of India in general, and Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists, in particular. While concerned parents, community educational organizations, and education experts, had worked out a reasonably acceptable text for social studies books, Witzel along with several of his like minded colleagues (including Stanely Wolpert whose sensational books were banned by Indian government during Indira Gandhi’s days, and D. N. Jha, whose book on beef eating in India was banned by Indian courts in 2001) wrote a letter to the California Board of Education, berating Hindus, Hindu scholars, and Indian Americans, urging “to reject the demands of nationalist Hindu (“Hindutva”) groups that the California textbooks be altered to conform to their religious political views.” Witzel represents a group of remaining colonialist scholars who are trying to hold on to their view of the existence of an Aryan race, a view that has been decimated within the past decade by a group of very dedicated individuals like N. S. Rajaram, S. Kalyanraman, and David Frawley. They have collected more effective scientific and archeological evidences, as opposed to linguistics and speculative history, to refute the existences of Aryan race, ever. BBC recently reported that the Aryan Invasion Theory among other things “provided basis for racism in the Imperial context by suggesting that the peoples of Northern India were descended from invaders from Europe and so racially closer to the British Raj”. More modern and scientific data such as genetics supplied by Dr. Panse (a practicing Hindu and a biotechnology professor) to the CBE was noticed by a California curriculum commissioner, Dr. Stan Metzenberg, when he rejected Witzel’s claims on Aryan theories saying: "I`ve read the DNA research and there was no Aryan migration. I believe the hard evidence of DNA more than I believe historians." He further commented that Witzel’s portrayal of Hinduism as ‘insensitive’ and something that Hindus themselves would be unable to recognize.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 20 2006, 03:38 PM

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IndianCivilization/message/84622

QUOTE
Having said that, let me clarify that the Chhandogya Upanishad passage which says that sinners are born in the house of a Chandala: First, it is completely innaccurate to equate the Chandalas of yore with the Harijans of today. The Chandalas were a very small, marginal group (that also included degraded Brahmins) who were characterized by a lifestyle that would have its equivalent in the most extreme hippies (with the added element of eating unclean food and living unclean lifestyles). The Chandalas are condemned UNIFORMLY in Buddhist, Jain and Hindu scriptures. Even works hostile to Hindus, such as R S Sharma's 'Shudra in Ancient India' argue that the Chandalas were a small community living at the margins of settled communities due to them being ostracized for their habits. Al the evidence is collected by him. He does not equate the Chandalas to Shudras or Harijans or so on. Due to their lifestyle (or what one can deduce from their descriptions in Hindu-Jain- Buddhist texts), they were beasts in a human form. The passage in question gives two extremes: At the higher extreme is the dvijas, and at the other end are the Chandalas and pigs. It is a FACT that what we learn and who we are depends to some extent on which families we are born into. And that is what the passage is trying to say. The same Chhandogya Upanishad teaches is how a child of a Daasi and unknown father is taught by a great Rishi and becomes a great Rishi himself. It also teaches how a King becomes a disciple of Raikyamuni who was a Shudra himself, and addresses the king as a Shudra in turn! The textbooks give an obsessively negative account of caste system in ancient India when in fact the reality was more mixed. These same textbooks do not deal with the unsavory aspects of other societies. Such as the treatment of 'witches', 'pagans', 'infidels', slaves, blacks, war-prisoners in Islamic and Christian societies. It is very well documented that slaves in these societies were Muslim and Christian respectively, and yet they were ill-treated. So why is Hinduism being singled out? Also, the singularly biased and negative narrative about lower castes in these textbooks actually demeans these communities, because it ignores the immense and fundamental contributions that people of 'mixed' or 'lower' castes have actually made to Hindu culture. Veda Vyasa who compiled ALL of sacred Hindu scriptures includig the Vedas was the son of a fisherwoman. Mahidasa Aitareya, the author of one of the 10 major Upanishads, was the son of a maid. In Chhandogya Upanishad, Satyakama Jabala, the son of a maid and unknown father was again a revered Sage. The Mauryan dynasty was said to have a humble origin. Many Shudra clans gave rise to powerful ruling dynasties in ancient India (such as the Chandelas and Gahadwala dynasties). Many tribal customs such as the worship of Jagannatha gave rise to powerful Hindu sects and cults which constitute the very core of Hinduism. Sage Vatsa, a descendant of Rishi Kanva in Rigveda was called a Shudra-putra in Samavedic texts. Sage Kakshivat, a Vedic Sage, was the son of a Shudra maid servant . According to Mahabharata (Anushasana Parvan 53.13-19), Sage Kapinjalada was a Chandala and Sage Madanapala was the son of a boatwoman. The greatest Vedic ruler Sudas Paijavana is said to have been a 'Dasa' in Hindu scriptures. Even in our own times, Vivekanand was a Kayastha and therefore techically a Shudra. Mata Amritanandmayi (Ammachi) is also from the low caste community of Kerala. Therefore, the textbook narrative is one sided, and ahistorical and is also demeaning to the heritage of 'low-caste' Hindus. My own opposition to inclusion of this word in that textbook is the following (keeping in mind how Prentice Hall presents other religions) and in accord with item 86 on page 52-53 of http://www.hindueducation.org/ca/SecondCRPAnalysis.pdf -
QUOTE
QUOTE The word Dalit is not used as a self-referential term by `untouchables' per se except by a small section of the community largely restricted to parts of Maharashtra. Mahatma Gandhi called them `Harijans'. `Dalit' identity is constructed, it is not yet a social reality in India. It should be noted that according to many scholars, there is no cognate in any Indian language for the term `untouchable' and all Indian equivalents have been recent translations of the English word. See: Robert Deliege. The Untouchables of India, translated from French by Nora Scott, Berg Publishers, 1999, pp. 10-12 The pre-eminent leader of the community, namely Dr B R Ambedkar, never himself used the word Dalit as a `Proper Noun' though he used it as an adjective for the community. According to some scholars, it was coined as a proper noun in 1972 by a militant group called Dalit Panthers Party [Joshi, B.: Untouchables! Voices of the Dalit Liberation Movement, pp. 141-147]. It should be noted that the textbooks end their narrative at 550-600 AD, and before this period, untouchability was a very marginal phenomenon restricted to a few groups such as Chandalas and Pulkassas, who were despised due to their lifestyles by the society. These sections sometimes also included degraded Brahmins and other non- Shudra castes. It is more appropriate to use this word in High School textbooks that discuss later Indian history, and HEF/VF are not objecting to its retention there. See the following work (in passim) for this: R.S.Sharma Sudras in Ancient India. Motilal Banarsidass: New Delhi, 2002 Modern caste relations have much more to do with developments in the subsequent medieval period. For this reason, it is more appropriate to refer to `Dalits' in high schools books that cover later periods of Indian history. Second CRP recommendation should be rejected for the following additional reasons: 1. The very few references to untouchables in ancient India are found uniformly in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist texts. But Hinduism seems to be singled out in these textbooks. 2. The pre-eminent leader Dr Ambedkar of the community never used it as a proper noun. The most eminent contemporary leader Ms. Mayavati uses 'Bahujan' instead. 3. Indian tradition itself uses more dignified words such as Harijan, which was used for untouchables by Saints such as Ramanuja (`Thirukula') in 1200 AD, Saint Kabir in 15th century and most importantly by Mahatma Gandhi in our own times. 4. Government of India itself uses the term `scheduled castes and scheduled tribes'. 5. Dalit is a highly politicized terms used in very recent years by a small group of ideologues. 6. By use of this word in the textbook by Prentice Hall, Hinduism is being singled out to relate contemporary social evils to ancient religion. Corresponding chapters on other religions do not relate modern social evils to their ancient religious roots. Thus, for instance, the chapter on Islam does not say that Saudi Arabia values life of an infidel at a fraction of the life of a believer.
Also relevant is Edit 81 on page 50:
QUOTE
There is no proof that the `native peoples' were relegated to Shudra status. Contrary theories such as by Marxist historian D D Koshambi state that Brahmins were also derived from native priesthood. Even scholars hostile to Hinduism (see reference below) and operating with the Aryan Invasion/Migration paradigms state that the Shudra caste was allied (originally) with the Indo Aryan stock (p. 39), and that large sections of both Indo-Aryans and `pre-Aryans' were reduced to Sudra caste partly through internal and partly through external conflicts between different peoples (p. 45). See - R. S. Sharma. 2002. The Sudras in Ancient India. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. Even Dr B R Ambedkar, a pre-eminent leader of lower castes, stated in his research that there is no proof of an Aryan invasion, and that the Shudras were derived from Kshatriyas (cited in Sharma 2002:40).
Sincerely, Vishal Agarwal

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 20 2006, 03:43 PM

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/india-unity/message/8165

QUOTE
Brilliant analogy, Mr. Wasnik! You wrote: First of all the dalits call themselves dalits, it does not matter what you like. It is like saying, I don't like labelling you as farida majid, but give you some really weird name. Every community concious about its self knows what it likes to be called, and the dalits call themselves dalits. Like most human beings in this world I was named by my parents, my loving family. Babies do not have much say in the matter of choice of their names. Some babies grow up and change their given names. Think of the silliness of the situation of parents leaving their children unnamed until the child is grown-up enough to choose a name! I am grateful for having given a name, because I certainly have no egotistical interest, need or desire to choose some fancy name for myself other than what was given to me by my parents. I have more than enough enemies to call me names (because I speak the truth) than to think of an invented name for myself. Moreover,A woman's name is always in a quandry. I did, very firmly, choose not to change my second name as my professional name when I got married. But due to bureaucratical pressures my passport name bears my married name. If you are claiming that "dalits call themselves dalits" then how is this act of self-christening of a collective group comparable to an individual's name that was given to her by her parents? Does this self-christening by a group have no history? Especially a political history? It is obvious that it has a very short history. Asking where did it all begin should not be an onerous inquiry as you make it out to be. It should be an object of all of our interest. Answer the question in a straight forward manner: When did this grammatically silly word Dalit begin to be the representative identification of a large, huge number of Indian people who happen to be the majority of Indians? References to Mahabharata and Ramayana does not serve the purpose. You are the one who is ignoring the "holocaust" of British colonization -- the monumentally degrading changes that were brought about in our traditional laws that protected the workers' and peasants' rights. Nothing you have said in the last two years indicates your acknowledgement of the traumatic disruption of our Indian national life and its rule of law caused by the British Imperial interference. You have only dealt with the resultant conditions of social injustice. You blithely skip the colonial process and recall Manu, as if his Code is some kind of monolithic structure. Gandhi did the same. Well, thanks for the showing of such poor grasp of logic. All the best.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 20 2006, 03:46 PM

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IndianCivilization/message/84600

QUOTE
Dear Prof. Malaiya, --- In IndianCivilization@yahoogroups.com, "ymalaiya" wrote: > While some dalits did pursue professions that are condsidered to be > degraded like chamar (leather workers) or bhangi (sweeper), I think > only a small fraction of them actually practiced that trade. I > believe that most chamars were not leather-workers, but labourers. A very accurate observation. A jati adhering to *an* occupation is a colonia fantasy. For example, in 1930, only 4.8 percent of Chamars worked leather [Blunt, E.: The Caste System of Northern India with Special Reference to the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, p. 242] The rest, as is the case today, were agricultural serfs. This is practically true of all Harijan jatis. Only one or two jatis performed the degrading job of night-soil remover. They were the likes of thotti. All other Harijan jatis, treat these night-soil removers as untouchables, and oppress them. But, they do use them as the poster-boy to secure benefits for themselves. Also, most of the ST were never oppressed by anyone. In fact, some, like the Khasi, are very dominant jatis in their own regions. But, their numerical concentration ensured that they would get benefits. Similarly, the Mahars were never night-soil removers. They were soldiers and guards. They are notorious for oppressing other Harijan jatis - that is exactly why all Harijans except Mahar rejected Ambedkar, when he was alive. Mahars [app. 27 percent of Maharashtra Harijans but grab 80 percent of SC reservation benefits, and almost 100 percent of scholarships] too have benefitted by parading the poster-boy: night-soil remover. > Bhangis must have emerged with urbanization, toilets are often > unknown in rural areas, because people "to the the fields". It is > not clear to me why potters and basket weavers should have been > untouchable. > Again, very accurate - just as the Qassab as a jati emerged after the Muslims started butchering in their mohalla, and people from other jatis took to this monetarily rewarding occupation, finally forming a jati by itself, only because the Muslims would not accept them as equals.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 20 2006, 04:24 PM

An old article from Sankrant.. http://www.sulekha.com/blogs/blogdisplay.aspx?contributor=Sankrant%20Sanu&archdtmmyr=2004-5-01&archfreq=Monthly

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 21 2006, 01:23 PM

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IndianCivilization/message/84660

QUOTE
Dear Vishal, Ref: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IndianCivilization/message/84622 <<>> A very good observation. Hindus should not trust the translations of Witzel. He is not only an ideologue but just an average Sanskritist, and his specialization a very narrow one based on the 19th century field of philology. 1. Chandalas by themselves did not always live beyond villages. Only the antyavasayin did. Manusmriti [10:39], for example, designates the offspring of a chandala male and a nishada woman an antyavasayin. 2. A Vishal correctly pointed out, even dvijas were condemned as chandalas, when they committed adharmic acts, such as sleeping with the wife of one's teacher [Manu 9:55], or stealing wealth or until he had washed away the oil applied on his body [Chanakya Niti 8:6, 11:12-17]. Only in extremely rare cases, a chandala was so by birth and unfit to be admitted to the Arya fold [Gautama smriti 23:32]. 3. But, there is no reason to argue that chandalas [even when excluded from the Arya fold] were by any means poor in ancient India. A Buddhist jataka [4:387] narrates how 16,000 Brahmins were excommunicated after they ate the left-over food from a feast organized by chandalas. Well, it seems that they were rich enough to such organize feasts that even the left-over could feed 16,000 Brahmins! 4. The prefix canD- itself means wicked, adharmic, evil etc. That is why early texts contrast Chandasoka [the wicked Asoka before his conversion to Buddhism] with Vitasoka [the good one after becoming a Buddhist]. So, it is very clear that in ancient times, those who were adharmic were classified as chandalas. Now, when read in this context, the Chandogya Upanishad verse does not sound repulsive. It is a very noble one, because every responsible society encourages dharmic conduct and discourages adharmic conduct. Thanks.

Posted by: Amber G. Jan 21 2006, 07:43 PM

Guy who wants to "try" Om" on his girfriend/goat becuase a Harvard Professor cum bigot tells him so, now wants all of his mob to spread this harvard professor's new video to ... Yeah I am not making it up .. to help Witzel's case againg "Hindutvadis" regarding California Text book. No I am not making it up, if you want to know how low these bigots are ready to go read this SOS from Steve Farmmer -

QUOTE
On Friday, January 20, 2006, at 10:43 AM, Steve Farmer wrote: > Dear List: > > Wonderfully, after recent publicity our List has given it, Google has > now posted the Dalit video in streaming format. It is a superfast > download, nice resolution, and is perfect for school assignments. > > The Google posting has been arranged by the Ambedkar Center for Justice > and Peace, with whom Michael is in contact. Here is the URL to the > Google post: > > <<<>>> > > Widespread global distribution of this video should give a boost not > only to the Dalit movement but also to the fight against Hindutva > attempts to alter history textbooks in California. > > We'd like the help of List members in reposting the link as widely as > possible. > > Steve
<<<>>>

Posted by: Mudy Jan 21 2006, 08:22 PM

QUOTE
No I am not making it up, if you want to know how low these bigots are ready to go read this SOS from Steve Farmmer -
Who is paying Farmer for his anti-Hindu agenda? He is working so hard to protect his master Witzel and hidden hand. Farmer is promoting every anti-Hindu site as a true description of Hindus and he is naming every Hindu site as Hindutava. He call himself person who is familiar with indic language Sanskrit, but he himself don't know the meaning of Hindutava (follow hindu priciples) Paki lobby is very much interested in dalit agenda and ready to pay any joker they can find on earth, It seems and they are very active in Portola valley, CA.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 21 2006, 08:26 PM

The leftie itch. His latest rantings have the FOIL language and stamp. When he says "we" have been working on it, he is being truthful. "We" means FOIL and him. Marx-putras have found fellow marx-lover.. smile.gif

Posted by: Admin Jan 22 2006, 10:35 PM

http://www.india-forum.com/articles/83/1/California-Textbooks-Controversy%3A-Politicization-of-an-Academic-Issue-by-Hindu-Haters By Vishal Agarwal TinyURL: http://tinyurl.com/a44m3

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 23 2006, 05:44 PM

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheHeathenInHisBlindness/message/2101

QUOTE
From: "jakobderoover" Date: Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:57 am Subject: Re: Identity Politics in America? jakobderoover Offline Offline Send Email Send Email Dear Satya, As yet, we do not have any clear explanation of the nature and rise of American identity politics. But here are a few speculative intuitions: 1. Identity politics seems to be the way in which the dominant culture in America compels other cultural communities to become variants of itself. It sustains a basic model of society which neutralises groups that challenge the dominant culture by making them into cultural ghetto's. As such, these groups can demand recognition of their distinct identity and fight for a just representation in education. But they can do so only within the conceptual limits fixed by the dominant culture. In this way, the other cultural communities are straitjacketed into the basic cultural structure of American society. This basic structure somehow reflects the mechanisms through which Christianity has always transformed the nonwestern cultures into variants of itself. As such, American society and its identity politics are secularised Christianity embodied in a socio-political model. 2. Historically, this can be seen in the process through which American pluralism has come into being. At its beginnings, American society consisted of a variety of Protestant denominations, many of which had fled Europe as persecuted heretics. Both the variety of these Protestant groups and their experience of being persecuted by a dominant Protestant church-state gave rise to a distinct model of society. In everyday life, each group was free to practise its particular variant of Christian worship and proclaim its specific version of Christian doctrine and morality. The groups could even do so with a certain fanaticism and radicalism, as is illustrated by the Quaker, Amish and Mennonite communities. In the sphere of public debate, they could defend their own moral convictions and sacrosanct opinions (one instrument through which they could do so was the natural rights discourse). But when it came to politics, law and the state, these domains ought to be neutral towards all the different Protestant churches. That is, the central authority should be a broadly Protestant state free from any sectarian affiliations. Thus, the basic structure of society consisted of an overlapping secularised Protestant framework, which accommodated and arranged the variety of distinct Protestant sub-churches and their doctrines. From the time of Jefferson onwards, this model established itself as the ideal of the American nation-state. 3. From early on in American history, there were groups who did not fit in well in this overlapping Protestant consensus model: the Irish and Italian Catholics; the Native Americans; the African (ex-)slaves. Accordingly as it gained socio-economic and political power or became a threat of some kind, each of these groups could ask for recognition of its separate cultural identity and demand its own space in the American nation-state. However, the basic structure remained in place and the kind of niche it could give to these different cultural communities was that of a Protestant church. This entailed that the Roman-Catholic Italians and Irish, for instance, had to abjure all belief in the temporal authority of the pope. Their church had to become a voluntary civil organisation with the purpose of religious worship. In other words, the Roman-Catholics could truly become part of American society, but to do so they had to cease being genuine Catholics and become a Protestant church with Catholic beliefs. I think that what has happened afterwards with the Jews, the Black movement, the Gay movement, etc. is very similar. They can invoke the strategies of identity politics and the rights discourse in much the same way as the separate Protestant sub-churches could earlier in the sphere of public debate, education, etc. But the basic structure of society--the state, politics, law--is still determined by the overlapping Protestant consensus model. Therefore, the groups who demand recognition of their separate identity are straitjacketed into the cultural constraints of a sub-church. This is the maximal space American society can allow them, without overturning its basic structure. 4. The response of Indians in America is subject to the same model and its mechanisms to conform each cultural community into the niche of a sub-church. As vnr suggested somewhere, the demand for an equal representation between 'Hinduism', Christianity, Islam and Judaism ('all religions ought to be represented equally') is part of this process of transformation. If one strives for 'Hinduism' to be represented in the same way as the Semitic religions, one becomes an accomplice in the straitjacketing of the Indian traditions into the constraints of the overlapping Protestant consensus model. Yours, Jakob

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 23 2006, 08:07 PM

Scott Baldauf in the Christan Right Wing paper.. http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0124/p01s03-wosc.html

Posted by: Mudy Jan 23 2006, 09:05 PM

QUOTE
From: Anant Saraswat Conclusion: Despite whatever Prof. Witzel wants everyone to believe, this has nothing to do with Hindutva or Indian politics or any of that. I am an American, and all I care about is making sure that Hinduism is taught in American schools with the same level of respect that is shown to every other religion. Right now we have a situation in which every religion but Hinduism is being presented positively, and in which every community but the Hindu community is being given a chance to influence how their religion is taught in public schools. Regardless of how you feel about the merits of the Aryan theory, what we have in California right now is discrimination, plain and simple, and despite what any number of people with Ph.Ds might say, I do not think the Hindu community should let this continue.

Posted by: shyam Jan 23 2006, 10:38 PM

http://www.india-forum.com/categories/California-Textbook-Episode/ Admins, From the above page, Next and page 2 and 3 are not reachable. Can you correct it.

Posted by: acharya Jan 24 2006, 02:43 PM

http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20060124/wl_csm/ohindstoryx NOW YAHOO MAIN NEWS IS CARRYING THE CA TEXT BOOK DEBATE! http://www.yahoo.com/

Posted by: AJay Jan 24 2006, 03:26 PM

The Yahoo story is the same biased story from CSM. Something needs to be done to correct the incorrect picture presented by this Baldauf guy.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 24 2006, 05:26 PM

Guys Write letters to the editor of Christian 'Science' Monitor. And put a copy of those letters in the letters thread. http://www.india-forum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=785 Please suggest other ideas on how this can be countered.

Posted by: Shambhu Jan 24 2006, 05:59 PM

The CSM site has stuff advertised on it. Do not buy any of it and make sure the advertisers know that even tho u don't read CSM, the entire Hindu community will boycott them because they advertized on CSM.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 25 2006, 02:50 PM

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IndianCivilization/message/84737

QUOTE
|| Atha shrî mahâ textbook kathâ || Kathâ hai purushârth kî, Hai svârth kî, paramârth kî .. O Sanjaya! What dost thou see through thy internet eyes? What are mâmakâh (= mine) and the others doing? Sanjaya said O tâta shrî, the scene is painted in the colour of bîbhatsa. Chariots lie with spoked wheels asunder, horses lie ribs broken and mahâratha-s lie brains missing. Strange sights abound, O tâta shrî. Crocodiles are shedding rivers of tears. Shveta Kshetra is abloom unseasonally with the outlandish flower dalita-prema. Wolves are courting lambs. And DramiDa yoddhas are seen marching to the tune of PâNDu GaNDas. Yuddha tantra has become kooTa tantra, O tâta shrî, and these internet eyes do not let me see a parisamâpti (= end) to this mahâ yuddha ... Thanks and regards, Radhakrishna Warrier

Posted by: acharya Jan 25 2006, 05:12 PM

Defending the Faith New Battleground In Textbook Wars: Religion in History Hindu, Islamic, Jewish Groups Fault Portrayals of Events And Often Win Changes The Untouchables Weigh In By DANIEL GOLDEN Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL January 25, 2006; Page A1 The victors write the history books, the saying goes. But increasingly, religious advocates try to edit them. Religious pressure on textbooks is growing well beyond Christian fundamentalists' attack on evolution. History books are the biggest battleground, as groups vie for changes in texts for elementary and secondary schools that cast their faiths in a better light. Two Hindu groups and a Jewish group have been set up in the past three years as textbook watchdogs, adding to Islamic advocates who have monitored history textbooks since 1990. In addition, some Sikhs have started to complain about being short-changed in history textbooks. QUESTION OF THE DAY [qod]1 • Cast Your Vote: Do you think the history books used in your local schools are accurate?2 All are seeking to extract concessions as California holds its periodic approval process for history textbooks. The process drives school-district purchases in the most populous state, and books adopted for California typically are the ones that schools in the rest of the country end up using for several years. Hindu groups, in particular, have swamped California authorities with proposed revisions, which would delete or soften references to polytheism, the caste system and the inferior status of women in ancient India. For example, the Hindu Education Foundation, a group linked to a Hindu nationalist organization in India, proposed replacing a textbook's statement that "men had many more rights than women" in ancient India with: "Men had different duties ... as well as rights than women. Many women were among the sages to whom the Vedas [sacred texts] were revealed." California's Curriculum Commission endorsed this and most other changes pushed by Hindu groups, moving the matter along to the state board of education, which usually follows its advice. But then a strong objection to such changes arrived from a group of U.S. scholars, led by a Harvard professor, Michael Witzel. The scholars' protest, in turn, led to a lawsuit threat, a call for Harvard to disband the professor's department, and finally an unusual state-sponsored head-to-head debate between two scholars of ancient India. Underlying such free-for-alls is the question of whether lobbying by religious groups yields a more sensitive and accurate version of history or a sugar-coated one -- and also whether students are served better or less well. "It tends to be scholar pitted against believer," says Kenneth Noonan, a member of the state education board. For textbook publishers, meanwhile, to ignore religious groups is to risk exclusion from markets. One of the nation's largest school districts, Fairfax County, Va., dropped a McGraw-Hill Cos. 10th-grade text from its recommended list last year after complaints from Hindu parents, keeping it out of classrooms there. Religious protests nearly crippled Oxford University Press's effort to enter the U.S. world-history textbook market. The prestigious university press sought to impress California authorities with cutting-edge scholarship and narrative verve, but the Curriculum Commission initially recommended against adopting Oxford's sixth-grade book last fall after Jewish and Hindu groups objected to it. The Institute for Curriculum Services, a Jewish group set up in 2004 to scrutinize textbooks, was upset by the book's statement that archaeology and ancient Egyptian records don't support the Biblical account of the Exodus of the Israelite slaves from Egypt. While conceding this was true, the group said the book didn't apply the same skepticism to Islamic or Christian events, such as when it said that "ancient writings" and the Gospel according to Matthew relate that "wise men (probably philosophers or astrologers) followed a brightly shining star" when Jesus was born. Similarly, the book said that "according to Muslim tradition," the prophet Muhammad flew into heaven from the site of the Dome of the Rock mosque. The Hindu groups, meanwhile, called the book's tone insensitive, such as its heading over a column about vegetarianism in India: "Where's the Beef?" The state board finally put the book on its approved list after Oxford cut the passages found objectionable and added a paragraph saying that for Jews, the Exodus is a "central event in their history" and "powerful symbol of the importance of freedom." Casper Grathwohl, an official of Oxford University Press, says it preserved its integrity, and the give-and-take improved the text. But he complains that "the process is skewed toward giving the loudest voices what they want." Every six years, California adopts a list of history books for kindergarten through eighth grade, and districts can spend designated state money only for books on this list. Publishers typically roll out new textbooks for the state, whose districts are expected to buy nearly $200 million of history books over the next two years. California alone represents 10% to 12% of the national textbook market. In the 1970s and 1980s, history texts shied away from religion. "They didn't use the 'capital G' word," says Roger Rogalin, a publishing consultant. "They said the pilgrims gave thanks on Thanksgiving, but they didn't say to whom." Difficult Goals Prodded by religious groups, states began requiring more coverage of the topic. But they imposed goals that can be hard to reconcile: both maintaining historical accuracy and enhancing the pride and self-esteem of believers. California's guidelines, for instance, say students "should understand the intense religious passions that have produced fanaticism and war." But also, texts should avoid "reflecting adversely" on anyone's creed or instilling "prejudice against...those who believe in other religions." Such cautions provide an opportunity for religious activists such as the Council on Islamic Education in Fountain Valley, Calif. In California's most recent review, the council called for extensive changes, most of which the state appears likely to accept. One target: A Prentice Hall text said the medieval spread of Islam was partly due to military conquest. "Actual conversion to Islam did NOT occur...at the point of a sword," the council told the state. A specialist appointed by the state board to review Islamic coverage recommended dropping the reference, and Prentice Hall says it will do so. Publishers often hire the Council on Islamic Education to prescreen manuscripts. In California, the council is a "content consultant" for Houghton Mifflin Co. and Ballard & Tighe Co., an educational publisher in Brea, Calif. The council has sometimes advised Prentice Hall and other publishers as well. Publishers have allowed the Islamic group to "dictate" content, charges Gilbert Sewall, director of the American Textbook Council, a New York nonprofit group that reviews history texts and has said they often lack depth and factual fidelity. "Islamic pressure groups have been working energetically for 15 years to scrub the past in instructional materials," he wrote to California officials. He added that "textbooks submitted either gloss over jihad, sharia [Islamic law], Muslim slavery, the status of women and Islamic terrorism -- or omit the subject altogether." Houghton Mifflin says it hasn't ceded any control to the Council on Islamic Education, and seeks Hindu, Jewish, Protestant, Catholic and Buddhist perspectives too. "We listen to their input and weigh it against what our scholarly authors believe is true," a spokesman says. Ballard & Tighe says its text was examined by Jewish and Hindu experts as well as the Islamic council. "We're mostly looking not to insult people," says an executive of the publisher. A spokeswoman for Prentice Hall says it has found the Council on Islamic Education to be a "solid resource for reviewing content." The council's founder, Shabbir Mansuri, says that texts are treating Islam better not because of his efforts but because of state guidelines that stress sensitivity toward religious beliefs. Disputes over textbook portrayal of Hinduism are a staple of politics in India, and the concerns have arrived in America along with many Indian immigrants. The conventional view of ancient India in U.S. history texts is that men enjoyed more rights than women and that, then as now, Hindus worshipped many gods and were divided into castes. But the Hindu Education Foundation and the Vedic Foundation, the educational arm of a Hindu temple in Austin, Texas, say Hinduism is monotheistic because all of its deities are aspects of one god, Brahman. So when one textbook referred to Hindus visiting temples to "express their love of the gods," this should be changed to "express their love for God," said the Vedic group. The groups repeatedly proposed deleting references to the caste system and making other changes that burnished the image of Indian history and culture. For instance, McGraw-Hill's book said of an early monarch called Asoka that his "tolerance was unusual for the time." The Hindu Education Foundation suggested changing "unusual" to "usual." 'Source of Misunderstanding' At the Vedic Foundation, "Our motto is to re-establish the greatness of Hinduism, and part of that is to correct the textbooks," says Janeshwari Devi, director of programs. "Those are a source of misunderstanding, prejudice and derogatory information." Some Hindu students say they're humiliated in school because texts dwell on customs such as ostracism of untouchables and an old tradition, rarely observed today, of "sati" -- widows immolating themselves on their husbands' funeral pyres. Trisha Pasricha, a high-school junior in a Houston suburb, says she used to deny being Hindu to classmates because she was tired of refuting stereotypes perpetuated by textbooks and teachers. "The textbooks bring up all these obscure practices, like bride burning, and act like they happen every day," she says. "The biggest mistake is that Hinduism is portrayed as polytheistic. And the caste system has nothing to do with Hinduism. But no one believes you, because it's in the textbook." But some prominent scholars, both non-Hindu and Hindu, say the books were right. According to Madhav Deshpande, a Sanskrit professor at the University of Michigan who is Hindu, Hinduism is polytheistic and linked to the caste system, and women did have inferior status in ancient India. He says the Hindu groups hold a mistaken position that dates to when India was ruled by Britain in the 19th century and under pressure from Christian missionaries. The missionaries told prospective converts Christianity was superior because it had one god, treated women fairly, and didn't have castes, Mr. Deshpande says, adding that to counter, Hindu intellectuals made up an argument that their religion had once been the same way. The foundations' contention that the caste system developed separately from Hinduism is incorrect, he maintains, because "in ancient texts, there is no distinction between the religious and nonreligious domains of life." Jackson Spielvogel, a retired Penn State professor and author of McGraw-Hill's "Ancient Civilizations" textbook, says, "You can't allow Hindu nationalists to rewrite the history of India.... It becomes an issue of censorship." To review changes proposed by the Hindu groups, California hired an expert recommended by one of the groups: Shiva Bajpai, a retired California State University history professor. He endorsed most of their changes. "I want to recognize the negatives but project the positives," says Mr. Bajpai, who is Hindu. [Michael Witzel] With his blessing, the changes were rolling toward ratification by the state board when Harvard's Prof. Witzel unexpectedly intervened. Alerted by an Indian-American graduate student whom the Vedic Foundation had approached to support its changes, Mr. Witzel wrote to the board the day before a Nov. 9 meeting at which approval of the Hindu-backed changes was expected. "They are unscholarly [and] politically and religiously motivated," wrote Mr. Witzel, a Sanskrit professor. His letter was co-signed by nearly 50 scholars, including Mr. Deshpande of Michigan. Mr. Witzel calls the Hindu Education Foundation a front for a prominent nationalist group in India, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, whose leader caused a stir in November by urging Hindu women to have more children to keep up with the Muslim growth rate. A spokesman for the Hindu Education Foundation acknowledges a connection -- it was established by the U.S. counterpart of the Indian group -- but says it acts independently. State officials did an about-face after they got Mr. Witzel's letter, inviting him and two like-minded scholars to scrutinize Mr. Bajpai's recommendations. When the three advised restoring much of the textbooks' original wording, angry letters began pouring in from Hindu groups. One, the Hindu American Foundation, threatened to sue the state. A petition from Hindu advocates called on Harvard to end its association with "Aryan Supremacist Creationist hate mongering." Harvard responded by defending Mr. Witzel's academic freedom. The groups persuaded two members of California's congressional delegation to weigh in. Rep. Pete Stark, a Unitarian, and Rep. Linda Sanchez, a Catholic, asked the state superintendent of public instruction to investigate Mr. Witzel. The superintendent replied that the state had already held three public hearings on the history texts, received more than 1,000 pages of testimony, and considered more than 800 textual changes. The pendulum swung back on Dec. 2, when the Curriculum Commission voted to support most of the changes sought by the Hindu foundations. "We have to err on the side of sensitivity toward religion," a commission member, Stan Metzenberg, said at the time. The game wasn't over. Other Hindu groups -- including members of the "untouchables" caste -- entered the fray on Mr. Witzel's behalf. The Dalit Freedom Network, an advocacy group for untouchables, wrote to the education board that the proposed Vedic and Hindu Education Foundation changes reflect "a view of Indian history that softens...the violent truth of caste-based discrimination in India.... Do not allow politically-minded revisionists to change Indian history." Caught in the cross-fire, the board of education summoned Mr. Witzel and Mr. Bajpai to an unusual private session Jan. 6. Before board and commission members, staffers and the board's lawyer, the scholars debated each edit. "It was a gladiator combat," Mr. Bajpai recalls, "the most acrimonious thing I have ever done in my entire life. It deteriorated into me telling him he didn't understand anything." Mr. Witzel says Mr. Bajpai "mixed his religion with scholarship." The duo did reach consensus on some changes. They agreed to narrow the McGraw-Hill text's statement that men in ancient India had "more rights" than women to "more property rights" -- but not to the Hindu groups' preferred wording of "different" rights. Still, it isn't certain the compromises reached by the two scholars will stand. At a meeting Jan. 12, the state board of education created a subcommittee to reconsider the matter -- and to prepare for still more religious pressure when books are expected to be added to the list in two years. Write to Daniel Golden at dan.golden@wsj.com3 URL for this article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113815619665855532.html

Posted by: Mudy Jan 25 2006, 07:46 PM

QUOTE
The groups persuaded two members of California's congressional delegation to weigh in. Rep. Pete Stark, a Unitarian, and Rep. Linda Sanchez, a Catholic, asked the state superintendent of public instruction to investigate Mr. Witzel.
They should investigate STeve Farmer and Witzel, Its very important to know their connections with communist and terrorist supporting groups in US and abroad. They should check Witzel background, what he was doing in Germany? Any influence of Neo Nazi etc. Whether his racist slurs against American Hindus were his personal choice or he is attached to some hate group against American Hindus?

Posted by: k.ram Jan 26 2006, 09:23 AM

http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/education/story/14116858p-14946146c.html Hindu history ignites brawl over textbooks By Deepa Ranganathan -- Bee Staff Writer Published 2:15 am PST Thursday, January 26, 2006 Story appeared on Page A1 of The Bee For the first time, Hindu organizations are pushing to change the way their religious history is taught in California schools. While Jewish, Muslim and Christian groups have long spoken up during the Department of Education's textbook revision process, Hindus are new on the scene. Their efforts to alter sixth-grade textbooks about ancient history have inspired vitriolic, all-too-personal debates among scholars and community groups vying to see their versions of history in print. The debate is noteworthy not just for its contentiousness, but for its far-reaching effects. Many states follow California's lead in textbook adoptions, so any decision about what children learn here will likely affect public schools across the country. The state education board is now faced with questions that are difficult to answer: Who gets to tell the story of a civilization? What happens when even the scholars don't agree? "History is probably one of the most emotional and difficult subjects to sort out," said Glee Johnson, president of the California Board of Education. "People care about these issues. It's their blood. But it's not always easy to tell what's factual in this arena, and when you're trying to distill world history to sixth-graders you need to be really careful." California adopts new social studies textbooks every six years. The state requires students to learn about ancient civilizations, including the origins of Hinduism, in the sixth grade. In September, several religious groups proposed hundreds of changes to history textbooks the state board was considering adopting. The vast majority of the proposals came from two Hindu groups: the state chapter of the Hindu Education Foundation and the Vedic Foundation of Austin, Texas. Most of the proposed changes would erase or alter passages dealing with caste and gender discrimination in ancient South Asia. The changes also were aimed to dispute the notion that Aryan peoples from outside India played a key role in the formation of Hinduism. In one case, the original text read, "Men had many more rights than women." The Hindu Education Foundation offered to replace that sentence with, "Men had different rights and duties than women." The group called for the deletion of another passage that said people in the lowest tier of society "performed work other Indians thought was too dirty, such as collecting trash, skinning animals or handling dead bodies." In November, Michael Witzel, a professor of Sanskrit at Harvard University, entered the process with a letter signed by nearly 50 other professors. The Hindu groups' proposals were "unscholarly," and adopting them, he wrote, would "trigger an immediate international scandal." Armed with citations from scripture and academic texts, the two sides went to war. Witzel and his supporters said the Hindu groups were promoting a cultural nationalist agenda that had recently led to controversial textbook rewrites in India. The Hindu groups termed Witzel a racist with leftist leanings and demanded that Harvard shut down his department. blink.gif Hindus who support the proposed changes say they have no agenda beyond fair representation of their culture, pointing out that the textbooks don't always mention discrimination in other ancient civilizations. They also say that detailing a culture's failings may not be appropriate in a textbook designed for children. "We're talking about sixth-graders, who are very impressionable," said Suhag Shukla, legal counsel for the Hindu American Foundation, which has thrown its support behind the Hindu Education Foundation and the Vedic Foundation. "There are so many positives to every world religion. Sixth grade is not the right arena to pull out all the garbage." Further, while the California guidelines state that content standards should "instill in each child a sense of pride in his or her heritage," some Hindus say the current textbooks make their children ashamed. "My son came home from school one day and told me he didn't want to be a Hindu anymore," said Milpitas resident Madhulika Singh. "There were comments in the playground about men beating up their wives and he was very distraught." On the other hand, opponents, including other Hindu groups, say the textbook changes promote an inaccurate point of view and conceal discrimination that persists today. "They're completely whitewashing history and sanitizing Hinduism," said Anu Mandavilli, a volunteer for the Bay Area-based group Friends of South Asia. "It's like saying slavery is hurtful to white children, so let's not talk about it. ...These are extreme ideologies. This is not my Hinduism, it's not the way my parents brought me up." In the face of conflicting information, the state board charged its advisory panel on curriculum in November to evaluate each proposed change on the basis of historical accuracy. But the scholars don't always agree on what constitutes accuracy. "The proposed edits come out of a very sectarian approach to history," said Witzel, the Harvard professor. "They view all of Hinduism through one narrow lens. ... It's people on the very fringe who want to dispute these points." "I don't think you could find a single scholar of Indian history in the entire United States who teaches at a research university who would support (the Hindu groups') position," said Vinay Lal, a history professor at UCLA. "Most people on their side are Indian engineers, physicists, chemists, who think their opinion is just as good as those who have spent a lifetime studying these subjects." But Shiva Bajpai, a California State University, Northridge, historian who was hired to evaluate the changes and recommended many of them, said he's aiming to avoid viewing ancient cultures according to "modern concerns." "We should be judging people by the values they held at the time, not the values we hold now. ... Inequality is a modern concept, whereas now it's a burning issue for us," he said. In December, an advisory panel to the state board recommended most of the changes that Bajpai had endorsed, even though another state panel of scholars that included Witzel suggested otherwise. In a move that departs with standard procedure, members of the state board then met with Witzel and Bajpai in a closed session earlier this month to get information on each point of view. The two scholars debated the changes for nearly five hours. Witzel found Bajpai to be "religiously minded;" Bajpai found Witzel to be "close-minded." Confronted by what then-board President Ruth Green called a "barrage" of mail from every side, the state board voted on Jan. 12 to create yet another panel, this one consisting of five board members, to conduct a new analysis of the proposed changes. The board could vote on the changes as early as March. About the writer: * The Bee's Deepa Ranganathan can be reached at (916) 321-1962 or dranganathan@sacbee.com.

Posted by: mitradena Jan 26 2006, 10:03 AM

QUOTE
The Untouchables Weigh In By DANIEL GOLDEN Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Note the title of the article "The Untouchables Weigh In". This begs the question who is the white man refering to as "untouchables"? The answer is all non-whites. The fact is the white man only pretends to care for the down trodden of India or any other third world country. Inside his mind he holds utter contempt for all non-whites. There is no point even reasoning with them. Just to insult us he delibrately props up Sikhs, Buddhists or Scheduled castes. But does he care for any of them? The answer is a clear NO. Anyone who thinks I am lying can go to www.stormfront.org and check out for yourself what the white man thinks like.

Posted by: Viren Jan 26 2006, 11:28 AM

QUOTE
"They're completely whitewashing history and sanitizing Hinduism," said Anu Mandavilli, a volunteer for the Bay Area-based group Friends of South Asia. "It's like saying slavery is hurtful to white children, so let's not talk about it. ...These are extreme ideologies. This is not my Hinduism, it's not the way my parents brought me up."
So Anu Mandavilli is a volunteer for FOSA clap.gif How nice, wonder why she didn't mention it before when she was questioning the credentials of Mr. Vishal Agarwal? Anu Mandavilli surely fooled those journalists at SAJA.

Posted by: Shambhu Jan 26 2006, 11:28 AM

QUOTE(k.ram @ Jan 26 2006, 09:53 PM)
"I don't think you could find a single scholar of Indian history in the entire United States who teaches at a research university who would support (the Hindu groups') position," said Vinay Lal, a history professor at UCLA. "Most people on their side are Indian engineers, physicists, chemists, who think their opinion is just as good as those who have spent a lifetime studying these subjects."
So if you spend a lifetime studying a subject you automatically become entitled to cherry-pick and distill out the worst in your subject? How come the scholars who spent a life time studying Abrahamic religions did not come up with all bad things about those religions. Hey, I have *not* spent a life time studying Abrahamic religions, and I can still give you references to puh-lenty of pure stink, racism, murder, child molestation, and incest in them. So Vinay, nothing explains your buddy Witzels's and the current California textbook's opinions on Hindus except *a-g-e-n-d-a*. And please do not try to teach impartiality to scientists (who know a bit about it, though they, as you point out, have not spent a lifetime studying religion. Some have spent only a decade or two reading up on religion..so that thay can contribute to the lesser sciences--medicine, biotechnology---you know, the kind of science that saves lives yadda yadda yadda..no big whup..)

Posted by: Viren Jan 26 2006, 11:38 AM

QUOTE
"I don't think you could find a single scholar of Indian history in the entire United States who teaches at a research university who would support (the Hindu groups') position," said Vinay Lal, a history professor at UCLA. "Most people on their side are Indian engineers, physicists, chemists, who think their opinion is just as good as those who have spent a lifetime studying these subjects."
BTW, how many years did Vinay Lal spend studying Taliban for him to justify their action of blowing up the Buddha statues? We'll never know will we? Here's Vinay Lal in a nut shell: http://insaf.net/pipermail/sacw_insaf.net/2005/002175.html ??
QUOTE
The leaders and good samaritans of the west are, to be sure, repulsed by savage and brute acts of violence; but they also breathlessly await such acts, as it is the only language that they themselves understand... Terrorism is manna to the prosecutors of the 'war on terror'.
http://www.uclaprofs.com/profs/lal.html

Posted by: Shambhu Jan 26 2006, 12:07 PM

QUOTE(Viren @ Jan 27 2006, 12:08 AM)
http://www.uclaprofs.com/profs/lal.html
*
In India there used to be an "ISI" stamp on good quality products. smile.gif FOIL, Vinay Lal etc, I am sure, have that ISI stamp too...but a different ISI

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 26 2006, 02:56 PM

QUOTE
Most people on their side are Indian engineers, physicists, chemists, who think their opinion is just as good as those who have spent a lifetime studying these subjects.
This hatred for natural sciences shows up once again.. Man, these guys have a real complex, wonder if Kripal can psycho-anal-ise these people.. Anywabody want to give a try ? Let me ask Shiv-ji on BR.. smile.gif

Posted by: Admin Jan 27 2006, 07:02 AM

http://www.india-forum.com/articles/85/1/Detailed-List-of-California-Text-book-Edits By Vishal Agarwal Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/c4nb9

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 27 2006, 07:30 PM

Prof Madhav Deshpande's reviews.. http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=704168

Posted by: Viren Jan 27 2006, 09:04 PM

Wow..every review basically trashes him - not surprised. How come no one passed this that Wall St Journal author? Let's see some quotes:

QUOTE
i agree that his lectures are pretty hard to follow...he loses track and his slides are 30 years old
QUOTE
i have stopped attending his classes. they were very boring and so even before the lecture started i would be asleep.
Seems like replica of Farmer's IER yahoogroup - cure for insomnia sleepysmileyanim.gif
QUOTE
His lectures on Hinduism were just about the worst that I have had during 3 years at U of M.
Oooo... must be a "hindutava guy" laugh.gif laugh.gif
QUOTE
He teaches sanskrit in Hindi which he does not know.
How the hell do you teach sanskrit in Hindi? Can you teach French in Japanese? These linguistic tricks are beyond us mere bank employees and engineers or physicans sad.gif
QUOTE
Old teaching material when he was a student in early 1960s. He should now develop new course material.
And he's using his notes from 1960s !!!! God lord, is he really that lazy? I can see why these guys are kicking and screaming now that latest DNA evidence is shoved in his face - our Rip Van Deshpande has no intentions of waking up after 40 years. And Witzel is he even rated? So Deshpande out ranks Witzel?

Posted by: Admin Jan 27 2006, 09:36 PM

http://www.india-forum.com/articles/86/1/HATING-HINDUS-IN-A-%91SCHOLARLY%92-WAY By Vishal Agarwal Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/dpykx

Posted by: k.ram Jan 29 2006, 10:14 AM

California Textbook Controversy Big News in USA http://www.hinduismtoday.com/hpi/2006/1/26.shtml#1

QUOTE
CALIFORNIA, USA, January 24, 2006: HPI note: After the Wall Street Journal article of yesterday, two more articles have appeared in major US papers, one the Christian Science Monitor, which was posted on CBS news website, and the other in the Sacramento Bee. We're providing excerpts of these articles to inform Hindus that this reporting is being done. It is probably the most widespread reporting on any issue which Hindus have faced in the US to date.

Posted by: ramana Jan 30 2006, 10:58 AM

xposted.... 30 Jan.,2006 Pioneer has op-ed by Gautam Sen and is quite despondent.

QUOTE
India's long defining moment Remember the Nineties as the decade that signalled the end of Hindu civilisation, says Gautam Sen The decade on the eve of the 21st century was a momentous one for India. This was the decade in which the true political consequences of the fragmentation of Indian society became firmly entrenched. The political protagonists of supposed Hindu interests unexpectedly came to the fore and just as quickly decided there was no such constituency and espoused the politics of being in power for the sake of power alone. Just as jihadis resplendently speak of dying for their faith, contemporary Hindus overwhelmingly seek personal advancement and also apparently crave vacuous entertainment. The nuclear tests in May 1998 marked an apparent fresh beginning of India's quest for a place in the high table of the international arena. But it proved a chimera in retrospect since it mainly managed to instil fear in Indian policy makers and hobbled their ability to act. The economy began to grow rapidly, but much of this advance was insubstantial because it has primarily been clever Indians hawking their intellectual skills and the rest remitting foreign exchange by skivvying abroad. The real hard economy remained in the mendacious thrall of politicians and bureaucratic pilferers and trade union thuggery. The rapid advance of the crucial manufacturing component of the economy that has accompanied success elsewhere remains hostage to the socialism of the few, squeezing a sore udder at the expense of the disorganised many. Yet, this is clearly the decade in which the final denouement of Hinduism began, accelerating unprecedentedly. The clock ticking ominously for 12 centuries since the conquest of Sindh suddenly sounds fearfully audible. The deeply rooted self-doubt and self-destructive impulse of Hinduism has joined hands with the opportunistic Semitic paws that had been stroking their kill since time immemorial. They conjoined malignantly with the mundane imperatives of venal business greed that Indian politics unequivocally incarnates now. In this denuded world, children and grandparents, any country's future and the past, cease to matter. The melancholy historical fate of womenfolk being bartered in foreign bazars becomes a resigned metaphor. The rapid advance of centrifugal political forces in India is loosening central authority, now in constant negotiation with diverse explicit separatist demands. India's separatists have invariably formed relationships with India's external foes in the expectation of a fleeting moment of political power and, as always, the prospect of personal enrichment. These foreign enemies of India are likely come to the aid of separatists by interceding directly at a moment when internal dissent rises to a crescendo, pointing to Indian help in creating Bangladesh for justification. The likeliest scenario is the loss of domestic political legitimacy that incites individual states to declare sovereign independence. Tamil Nadu may be an unexpected candidate for this dubious honour since it's in the hands of the most wilful and depraved politicians, exhibiting vaulting self-regard. Others likely to follow the clamour too include Punjab, Assam, Bihar and West Bengal. Such an awesome scenario is most likely in the context of prophylactic intervention by the armed forces during a growing phase of national collapse at the Centre. The moment that happens, all political legitimacy will evaporate.The fiction of electoral politics binds India together, though in reality only serves to justify personal and parochial political ambition. Alas, the historic Hindu world has long been a vale of tears, untold stories of countless enslaved women and children walking across desolate mountain passes to faraway places. It is this tragedy that is being celebrated with scornful glee by the enemies of the Hindu people. The single accusatory word, communal, demolishes all Hindu entreaties in the contemporary world. It turns them into utterly friendless creatures, much like the medieval auto da fe that almost invariably led to burning at the stake. Yet it is Hindus themselves who have made material greed their predominant impulse, above all else. Even their worship of the divine is a mockery to facilitate material acquisitions while tragedy unfolds all around them. No Hindus, with the sole extraordinary exception of Sri Lanka's Tamils, have shown willingness to die for their beliefs. Of course, Tamil militants perish exclusively for their ethnic community and only incidentally as Hindus. Perhaps this is why Hindus are accused of lacking historical sensibility, a misfortune now surfacing as grim amnesia, though fortified by wilful self-denial. This is the fate of slaves since they do not possess legal personality and autonomy, consigned to an anonymous footnote in the history of their masters. Hindus like having masters, otherwise so many would not be serving them so earnestly. At every juncture Hindus are fighting each other on behalf of imperialist intruders. In comparison, the discord between the Latin and Orthodox churches that facilitated the Ottoman conquest of Byzantium seems a household infraction. The nominally Hindu intellectual class is in virtual unison in their wish to crucify their past, embracing Christian and Islamic imperialism instead. The loathing to utter a single word in defence of their own heritage is surely remarkable on sociological grounds alone. Is there any other people, who find nothing in their history to celebrate, recalling it only as suffocating and oppressive? The recent near-unanimous chorus of a virtual who's who of Indian academics around the world, led without self-respect by the nose by Harvard's Michael Witzel, against changes to the curriculum on Hinduism for California's schoolchildren is an apposite illustration. Many who signed the petition's scathing denunciation remained unfamiliar with the requested changes when they signed it, suggesting a classic instance of self-hatred. In stark contrast, there was not a single protest voiced from any quarter against the many more tendentious changes demanded by other religious groups, some of them truly outrageous. In comparison, the changes sought by Hindu parents and their supporters were on the whole innocuous, at worst, prone to give a slightly positive spin on minor issues. But they provoked the vehement ire of hundreds from the world's leading universities and all religious affiliations, including Muslims and evangelical Christians. It is an astonishing testament to the piranha-like feeding frenzy at the smell of blood. The serried ranks of evangelists and jihadis are truly lining up to deliver the coup de grâce. This is surely the decade that will be remembered in generations to come, if anyone remains to write its history, as the one that signalled the final demise of the Hindu civilisation. Like many rich polytheistic cultures before them, from Greece to Persia, the monotheists will have terminated them. The ostensible defenders of Hindu interests turned out to be traders looking to make a fast buck while they chanted sacred hymns in feigned religiosity to divert attention. The treacherous intellectual tradition within it hoisted a banner to dwarf the skies, while senselessly proclaiming their own moral excellence. It will not last, since the celebration of ultimate triumph will be reserved for their victorious masters alone. Their temporary havens and rewards will be withdrawn and they too will find themselves kneeling before the enemy they served only too well. A small band of the defeated will make their lonely passage to oblivion though they knew what was in the making, but could not bring their community along to do battle.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 30 2006, 12:45 PM

http://tinyurl.com/aacqy Kalavai Venkat Tiny URL is http://tinyurl.com/aacqy

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 30 2006, 07:44 PM

I dont know where they got this Ivy league student.. This has the word STUNT written all over it. http://irffanclub.blogspot.com/2006/01/professor-maurizio-tosi-of-university.html. Well atleast I am glad somebody finally explained to this fellow, that if you send something to IER you dont need to CC MW and make your chamchagiri obvious.. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Indo-Eurasian_research/message/2929

QUOTE
Dear Mr. Daniel Golden: I was impressed with your article. Let me tell me about myself. I grew-up in a small village in southern India and I traveled extensively in and around India as well as the world. I was a habitual reader of Wall Street Journal and I was away from Bangalore for my Republic day holiday, the reason for not able to rebut immediately. I am a Hindu and born and bought up in a wealthy society. I did my masters in business and management from an Ivy League university. As I am living in India, I have seen, heard and read the presence of caste system in the society till this second. People are still exploited on the basis of caste and creed. I think caste system should be mentioned in the California text books as it is still present the society. The dominant upper caste presence in the USA should not bias the opinion and they should know befits of British colonial rule in India. The ancient rulers were so cruel and people may not differentiate the oppressors (rulers of India) and colonial rulers. The text books are not biased with the Christian institutions to a greater extent. In the corrupted society like India, the constitution writing is barely practiced in many parts of India. Even in the metropolitan cities, caste system was extensively practiced. I have a friend sitting next to me; we work for a MNC company. For his marriage, he received a dowry of Rs. 40, 00,000 (Rs. 40 lakhs). It has been a custom in Andra Pradesh (and many other states), a southern state of India, where bride family should be able to dowry in order to get a groom. However, constitution says giving and taking dowry is against law. Who follows law, the marriage and the dowry system was indeed public, a leading Indian news magazine wrote an article about dowry in Andra Pradesh and it publicly listed the dowry prices for the each and every groom according to their work and education. Please tell me who told you, even now, woman have/had equal stands with men in Indian society. Education and capitalism was not effective in eradicating in other sense it is worsening it. People those who work/study in USA get a big ticket price than that of people living in India. Education does not eradicate the inequality, but is eventually and in actual sense it exasperates. Still there is a lack of dignity in India for every India citizen. The caste system is very prevalent in the corporate companies. Now-a-days, when there is a promotion in corporate ladder, notwithstanding caste and creed plays an important role. I am living in India and I am not afraid to face the facts. We suffer, loose our dignity for our ancestor mistakes. That is the best lesson being thought to the today society in India and I strongly believe that there is learning. Those kids should be asking more questions about woman oppressors and caste systems that may open the eyes of the immigrants over there; most of them have strong second generation ties with their relatives in India. Why quarter of the population was treated lower than animals in India, that the lesion should be thought to the next generation. Post hoc ergo propter hoc, upper caste parents won't teach to their children, please put them in your text books. There is a close association between Hinduism, caste and women oppression in India. That is fact and people should not shy away from History. Please history should be history and creativity should not be allowed in to history text books. We know that America and Americans are very creative. Please do not allow that creativity in History text books. History teaches morality. Learning from history should be as it is. If we rewrite the history, the suffering of the people for the past few thousand years will not be known to the global population. There are instance of disgrace and dishonor to every society. If you hide it from the future generations, there will not be any learning. I am afraid that the same would appear in other form in the Hindu society. That's what the price we pay for having the luxury of oppressors. That's what the price we pay for being cruel to the quarter of the population. That's what the price we pay for our ancestors mistakes. This is the right attitude to face the problem not rewriting the history. Changes to the history text books are not democracy. This should not be the byproduct of democracy. That should not happen in America, polestar of democratic institutions. Please feel free to share your views, if I contradict your opinion. Thank you, Saravanan Kannan sarask_76@... Bangalore India.

Posted by: AJay Jan 31 2006, 10:22 AM

http://japanese.meetup.com/lists/in/bangalore/?chapter=closed Saravanan Kannan Bangalore * July 4, 2005 "I am a fun loving person with right sense of humour.... Culturally sensitive... I would like to contribute to the group whatever I can... Please feel free to contact me and looking forward to meet people soon..." Oh Kay. All the right words for a "Jhollawalla" - right sense of humor, Culturally sensitive. Could be trying to pickup chicks and/or converting to buddhism due to hindu self-hate.blow.gif

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 31 2006, 10:25 AM

AJay, I dont think the guy is from India. And about Ivy League MBA.. smile.gif

Posted by: Mudy Jan 31 2006, 10:40 AM

So Professor Tosi is using his student or its Witzel+Farmer's another foolishness. Not a single entry of Saravanan Kannan in any IVY College - MBA. He must be lying to get more dowry. Slowly, one by one IER scholars credibility in Flush.gif

Posted by: Sudhir Jan 31 2006, 11:16 AM

Here's an easy test. Email the IER group as a guy who's ex-Ivy league, Mensa member, BPO owner, but a 'Dalit' ranting about Hinduism and cow-curry-caste issues, and you'll be published. See Farmer's http://www.safarmer.com/Indo-Eurasian/rules.html:

QUOTE
The public is also invited to post inquiries, but no messages will be let through that the moderators do not think will be of general interest to the professional scholars who make up the List's core members.
Next week, email back saying something nice about Hinduism and you'll in for a nasty surprise which is anything good about Hinduism will not be of general interest to the professional scholars who make up the List's core members blow.gif Mudy: Is this the same Proff. Tozi listed here at irfani blog http://irffanclub.blogspot.com/2006/01/professor-maurizio-tosi-of-university.html

Posted by: Mudy Jan 31 2006, 11:42 AM

QUOTE
Is this the same Proff. Tozi listed here at irfani blog http://irffanclub.blogspot.com/2006/01/pro...university.html
Yes.

Posted by: AlbertPinto Jan 31 2006, 01:23 PM

I was reading the List of edits recomended and approved by the Californian School board. I am on the side of the Vedic school and against the Harward Sansrit professor/Leftist Historians on this issue. I agree with almost all of the changes except the following one: "Change all the sanskrit names ending with an a to not end with an a eg: Ramayana to be written as Ramayan, Ayurveda as Ayurved." Changing the spellings and pronunciation of these Sanskrit terms to confirm to North Indian standards is not good. Sanskrit pronunciation should not be taken over by the North Indian version as this version is influenced by Islamic Culture. This is not a small issue to be ignored as it will influence future generations to mis- pronounce all sanskrit words.

Posted by: k.ram Jan 31 2006, 03:17 PM

Does anyone know who runs the IRFAN blog? Very interesting and hilarious biggrin.gif. More insightful than Indo_European_Racists yahoogroup's single minded hate scholarship.. b_cowboy.gif

Posted by: Mudy Jan 31 2006, 03:52 PM

QUOTE
Does anyone know who runs the IRFAN blog? Very interesting and hilarious . More insightful than Indo_European_Racists yahoogroup's single minded hate scholarship
IER is a racist hate group. IRFAN blog rock.

Posted by: rajesh_g Jan 31 2006, 04:13 PM

From comments section on the Deshpande article

QUOTE
As a Madhva Brahmin from the same belt I am sure that this a white lie denigrating the Madhvas as stupid fanatics. I am going to take it up in the Dvaita forums and we will sue this fellow Madhav Deshpande.

Posted by: Mudy Jan 31 2006, 04:55 PM

I don't understand why Madhav was discussing, How his mother or grandmother clean toilets? Why he thinks every Hindu follows what and How Madhav grand mother or mother does it at home? Tomorrow he may write how his wife blows her nose and connection with American Brahmin Hindu tradition.

Posted by: Admin Feb 1 2006, 10:44 AM

http://tinyurl.com/cdaqu By Dr. S Kalyanaraman Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/cdaqu

Posted by: Mudy Feb 1 2006, 11:53 AM

QUOTE
Gunga Din Comes to Michigan By Dr. S Kalyanaraman Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/cdaqu Fortunately for us Hindus, his teaching skills are commensurate with his scholarship. His students at Michigan rate him at 1.4 on a scale of 1 to 5 in an online review. His students say that he uses antequated material for his class, teaches colonial versions of Hinduism, digresses very often, is boring and what not! Thank God, dhanyosmi is’vara, for the blessed common sense and instincts of the students at Michigan.
Ratings: 6 Average Easiness: 2.2 Average Helpfulness: 1.5 Average Clarity: 1.0 Hotness Total: 0 Overall Quality: 1.2 biggrin.gif His rating is really bad. biggrin.gif http://www2.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=704168

Posted by: Mudy Feb 1 2006, 12:03 PM

http://in.rediff.com/news/2006/feb/01rajeev.htm -Rajeev Srinivasan

Posted by: aruni Feb 2 2006, 06:56 AM

http://irffanclub.blogspot.com/2006/02/wait-for-tomorrow-prof-witzel-proves.html but then http://irffanclub.blogspot.com/2006/01/wall-street-journal-attacks-professor.html So http://irffanclub.blogspot.com/2006/02/professor-deshpande-straightens-out.html

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 2 2006, 10:09 AM

ROTFL.gif ROTFL.gif ROTFL.gif This is hilarious.. I love the chorus..

QUOTE
(IRFAN adds the IER WitzelJugend Chorus: "caste, untouchability, child-marriage, bride-burning, cow, caste, communal riot, toilet-cleaning, dalit, technical degrees, Aryan Invasion, Inquilab Zindabad..Prominent Academics!" )
Any german guroos, What is jugend ? What is UberHochschuleFuehrers ?

Posted by: Sudhir Feb 2 2006, 10:17 AM

http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/02.01.06/hindus-0605.html FOSA member Anu Mandavilli:

QUOTE
"I am not a member of any political party. No one in my group is affiliated with any communist party," she says. Later she adds, "Being affiliated with the communist parties is not something we should defend ourselves against. The politics of our group is irrelevant since we have not proposed any edits."
ROTFL.gif Hard to believe that they can digest their own propaganda.

Posted by: Ashok Kumar Feb 2 2006, 10:58 AM

Jugend = youth, young people Hoch-schule = University (literally High-School) Fuehrer = leader, dictator Uber = super, above, more

Posted by: Mudy Feb 2 2006, 11:31 AM

Blogs/Internet are doing great job by exposing fraud theories. Previously, no civilized methods were available for masses to challenge regular dose of nonsense which comes out of fraud “so-called” academician. Some “so-called” academician thinks these computer literate Engineers and doctors have no knowledge of their own history. These people were seriously under impression that they can fool new generation of Indians by using their University tag to validate fraudulent claims. These people have used all type of labels on mainstream Hindus with only one objective “push their own hidden agenda”.

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 2 2006, 06:49 PM

Thanks Ashok Kumar. Meanwhile.. http://www.indolink.com/displayArticleS.php?id=020106091558

QUOTE
HAF Legal Counsel Suhag Shukla wrote "While attacks from non-Hindu academics with no expertise in Hinduism, and whose careers have been consumed by advocating pre-modern theories now engulfed by debate, were expected, I have personally been shocked by the unshakable obsession of so many Indian-Americans to view every effort in this country through the prism of their own political ideologies from India. Almost playing right along a colonialist paradigm, Professor Witzel and his ilk, with one letter to the California School Board of Education (SBE) using the word, “Hindutva-inspired,” have effectively divided fellow Indian Americans into an antagonistic, contentious and dithering populace—divided and conquered we remain" Dr. Mihir Meghani, president of the HAF commented, "Hindus throughout the United States are watching the process with concern since the results have broad implications for all Hindus". "For many years, Hinduism was taught from a non-Hindu perspective. All that we are asking is that Hinduism be taught as per state law, which asks that the education 'Instill in each child a sense of pride in his or her heritage; develop a feeling of self-worth…; eradicate the roots of prejudice... and enable all students to become aware and accepting of religious diversity while being allowed to remain secure in any religious beliefs they may already have."

Posted by: ramana Feb 3 2006, 09:11 AM

I have a suggestion. Can the gurus of this and BR forum get together and review the chapters in 6th & 7th grade history books in California and write an e-book for circulation among the NRI community first and later the greater public? Atleast let there be an alternative resource for the kids and parents.

Posted by: Amber G. Feb 3 2006, 09:20 AM

QUOTE(rajesh_g @ Feb 2 2006, 10:39 PM)
ROTFL.gif ROTFL.gif ROTFL.gif This is hilarious.. I love the chorus..
Yes, and some of the coments too...
QUOTE
In msg 2935 Deshpande asks " Either I am amnesiac or caught lying, or worse. I will let the reader decide:" The official results are just in: 89% of those who were polled said "or worse" BTW how does one mop the floor with "vertical motions of hand" what's next milk Farmer's goat with horizontal motion ?

Posted by: Viren Feb 3 2006, 09:34 AM

QUOTE(Mudy @ Feb 1 2006, 03:03 PM)
http://in.rediff.com/news/2006/feb/01rajeev.htm -Rajeev Srinivasan
*
Next in Rajeev Srinivasan's series on Rediff: http://in.rediff.com/news/2006/feb/03rajeev.htm

Posted by: Shambhu Feb 3 2006, 10:34 AM

specool.gif Rajiv Srinivasan, how do you say it, "Has the Balls to tell it like it is", as they say in the US. smile.gif Hindus in India live in a fools' paradise: there is constant official propaganda that 'all religions are equal', and yet, paradoxically, that so-called 'minority religions' and their followers need to be given extra consideration, state largesse and patronage as they are fragile creatures under threat. In reality, they are powerful, rich and muscular State-sponsored religions

Posted by: Shambhu Feb 3 2006, 10:44 AM

Ever so slightly off topic, but I am trying to came up with a term to comprehensively describe the constant looking-over-the-shoulder, let-me-not -offend-the-other-religion's-overblown-sense-of-entitlement, my-religion-is-not-really-a-religion-and-even-if-it-is-it-cannot-have-made-India-phenomenally-cultured-and-spiritual-as-these-hindutva-Fanatics-claim, *-*-*-*-*, *-*-*-*-*-* sense that every tongue.gif non-Hindutva Fanatic tongue.gif has....

Posted by: aruni Feb 3 2006, 12:17 PM

New post at irfanblog http://irffanclub.blogspot.com/2006/02/hindutvavadis-de-catenate-farmer.html http://irffanclub.blogspot.com/2006/02/prove-indologists-are-idiots-take-away.html

Posted by: Mudy Feb 3 2006, 04:10 PM

From irfanblog:

QUOTE
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IndiaArchaeology/message/3018 Sigrid tears a new hole into the a$$hole: -------- quote ---- From: Sigrid "Jörissen" Date: Fri Feb 3, 2006 3:57 pm Subject: Re: [Ind-Arch] Subject: Re: Prof Fuller's archaeological research in South Asia sigrid_jorissen Offline Offline Send Email Send Email --- Steve Farmer wrote: > That's not an "only" -- it is the most important issue at question. > When Steve Weber phoned me two days ago, he noted in describing his > skepticism about the Lahuradewa finds that the sizes of wild and > cultivated rice overlap. The five carbonized grains they've found LOL. The number of grains they found in your Caucasian fantasyland or on Mount Ararat is a grand ZERO, yet, Steve Weber, Michael Witzel, and you believe that the sons of Japheth went to India! Yes, I read somewhere that this is the real Aryan Invasion Theory. > (that's it - five carbonized grains!) fall in the What did you expect? A discovery of an entire godown? > Discovery of five grains of carbonized rice, indistinguishable from > wild rice, is not the kind of evidence that justifies the weird/wild > claims about some . . . Yes, According to you, the discovery of zero grains of rice, zero archaeological pieces of evidence, zero chariots, zero . . . , is evidence of a grand civilization in Caucasian region! You have lost the plot! > Put it into perspective: When I was last up at > Steve's lab at the U. of Washington, Steve has a lab where he analyzes the zero pieces of evidence from Caucasus? What are his findings? > me as very scanty finds of potsherds that this is Were the potshards wild varieties too? I want to really say sorry to Indians for the behavior of the people of my race. Sigrid
Just can't believe it, We are not the only one seeing their fraud.

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 6 2006, 12:29 PM

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheHeathenInHisBlindness/message/2176

QUOTE
From: "sankrant" Date: Sat Feb 4, 2006 3:15 am Subject: Theory vs Yukti sankrant Offline Offline Send Email Send Email Invite to Yahoo! 360º Invite to Yahoo! 360º Theory vs Yukti There were a couple of talks at the Indic Religions conference that I found interesting and related – one was by Rodham Narasimha on Indian Science and the other by C K Raju on the 18th century "invention" of Euclid and the theological background in which logical deduction took precedence as a pramana. I won't detail the arguments here – I need to understand CK's paper in more detail, but these talks clarified some ideas for me that may be relevant to and the recent discussions on Heathen that I have sporadically read. The broad point that Rodham made was that there were two ways of doing science – what he quotes Feynman as calling the Greek and the Babylonian and what he would himself call the Greek and the Indian. On the basis of his study of the Indian astronomical texts from the 8th century or so, he finds a discussion about theory vs. yukti. He says that some of the commentators show an explicit disdain for theory – arguing that it becomes another layer for structuring one's experience that takes one away from directly apprehending reality. The importance for the astronomers is instead of the best algorithms – what, for instance, is the best algorithm to compute the positions of the planets and how to make sure that the computation matches as precisely as possible with recorded observations. If they develop some intermediate theoretical models these are not central to their concerns – often they don't even record these in the texts—though they record the algorithmic procedures with a great deal of care. When these algorithms are encountered by European scientists in the 19th century, post-Kepler and Newton, they are astounded by how accurately they compute planetary motion – the veritable touchstone in the proving of modern European physics at that time. This idea of yukti can be extended, I think, to a larger understanding of Indian culture. Today we may popularly call it "jugad" i.e. what works or is effective. I think Balu's essay on how to talk about the Indian traditions is also helpful here – the point being not in the promulgation of particular doctrines or a universal theoretical consistency but in effective road maps for the path. But yukti I think is particularly effective in understanding how we dealt with colonization and also the problem of how we adopted the colonial consciousness. I will take a contemporary topic and a couple of examples of posts from this board to illustrate. On the issue of California textbooks and the representation of Hinduism in the West two sample objections are raised: 1. Jakob points that in their use of "God" in reference to Hinduism, the Hindu organizations in California are "this group is sanitising the Hindu traditions into a proper religion according to Judeo-Christian standards." Raf writes in response: "Jakob points out that the NRIs in the California textbook debate are doing exactly the same as their colonized predecessors did: they try reform the Indian traditions towards something that resembles a Protestant church." 2. VNR writes: The active NRIs have misdiagnosed these problems: … comparing the portrayal of Indian traditions with that of, say, Christianity (appealing to some moral principle--all relgions ought to be represented equally), The first quote is raising the objection that the California Hindus are corrupting or misrepresenting the tradition by placing it in the Judeo-Christian Framework. The second quote is assuming that the Hindus are acting on the belief that some moral principle has been violated i.e. all religions ought to be represented equally. Both these are implicitly or explicitly attributing some standards of theoretical purity that is either violated or under which the actions are justified. There is an alternative explanation. I'll take the second case first since I can relate it to my article on Encarta. I did not write the Encarta article because I felt some abstract principle of religious equality had been violated. My goals were rather simple, even simplistic. I did not want my daughter, and other Indian kids like her, being embarrassed or ashamed when they read the article, nor did I want Americans reading the article to think of Hinduism as weird and different. These goals were not particularly theoretically profound. My objective in writing the article was clearly defined – to get Encarta to replace the Hinduism piece by what I would consider a sympathetic portrayal in the *American Context*. How to achieve the objective, how exactly to structure the argument so that it would appeal to a reasonable liberal Western editor – so that the article would be *effective* in its goal was the sole driver. The technique of comparing the unequal treatment of religions was simply that – an effective technique to achieve the goals, the appropriate yukti. I thought that appeal would be effective for my audience—the editors—and I was right. I had not attachment to some inviolable theoretical principle of the equality of representation of religions -- the theory was not the point. Going back then to the California textbooks case. Without going into the merits of the particular edits that were proposed by the Hindu groups, I'd suggest they also used yukti to the best of their abilities. They had a very limited charter and freedom of movement. They could not do anything that could be classified as a "content change" – only propose specific edits. This was not the place to start reciting Balu's theories, as some comments on this forum would imply – it would be completely ineffective. So they responded the best they could within the constraints, how to describe themselves favorably and comprehensibly within an overwhelmingly Judeo- Christian framework and audience. "Hinduism" is malleable enough to fit into using "God" – Gandhi ji after all happily sung Ishwar-Allah Tere Naam, sabko sanmati de bhagvaan. Ishwar-Allah-God tere naam would have been equally acceptable. My criticism of them is entirely different than Jakob's – I think some of their arguments were simply not well constructed to be effective for their audience. The point is that the preservation of some great edifice of theoretical construction and purity is not how Indians have gone about the world. Theory may be useful and used. It is equally discardable and expendable, just like the various "isms" and political ideologies that Europe generated and warred over. The theory is never the point. It is, at best, a good approximation or a useful tool towards some goal. This may also possibly explain why Indians took to colonial representations. These were the most effective way of navigating the *system* in the colonial world. When the first caste census took place – communities were up in arms to get classified as "higher castes." Today, the system is geared to reward victim-hood and there is an equally long line to prove one's backward and "oppressed" status. The Ramakrishna Mission, of all people, filed suit to be classified as "non-Hindu" so that they could enjoy the "minority" rights of running their institutions without interference. They would just as easily argued the opposite case if it served their interest. This does not make the Ramakrishna Mission immoral. They are simply navigating what is an inherently meaningless colonial classification scheme. On the other hand, this meaningless classification and alien superstructure has severe real-world consequences – on whether or not they can run their own schools. A related phenomena can be noticed in scams such as the purchase of BA degrees. In a systems of inherently useless and disconnected "Arts" education, the only consequence is the degree - -the certificated that will get the job. If so, why not just buy the degree? Why then, did the Indians take to European Science? For whatever reason (perhaps the lack of investment in Indian scientific methods for a thousand years) – in the 19th and 20th century it was delivering better results. They took to it because it appeared to work –- rockets got launched, cars were moving -- not because it was theoretically great. With regard to colonization, the suggestion is that aligning with the colonial representations was, for the period, the most effective way to navigate the system in which the power equations were so unfavorable. (It is interesting to note that, in the early phases, the East India Company Officers actually adopted Indian ways, including dress and mannerisms – it is when the power equations changed that the tables were turned). Yukti is well and alive. It grows like wild grass around the iron grids of the colonial state. It has allowed us to survive. But to thrive, the legal, bureaucratic, executive and intellectual structures of the colonial state will need to be dismantled. This is where Balu's work is useful.

Posted by: k.ram Feb 6 2006, 03:34 PM

http://www.hinduamericanfoundation.org/campaigns_education_california.php

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 6 2006, 03:56 PM

QUOTE(k.ram @ Feb 6 2006, 03:34 PM)
http://www.hinduamericanfoundation.org/campaigns_education_california.php
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They should have put this out after supporting credit card donations. Right now they only support check/mo. sad.gif

Posted by: Mudy Feb 7 2006, 09:12 AM

QUOTE
Speaker: Rajiv Malhotra Title of talk: Challenges Facing Hinduism in America When: Friday, Feb 10, 2006, at 7:30pm Where: Arsha Bodh Center, 84 Cortelyou Lane, Somerset NJ 08873. (For more information, call 732-940-4008 or see www.arshabodha.org) ABSTRACT: Some of the issues discussed will include the following: - The social encounters each new group of immigrants has faced since the beginning of America, especially the role of religion in America's identity formation, and lessons for Indians and Hindus. - Examples of biases in American textbooks, colleges, media, church literature...[NOTE: Some of the material is sexually explicit.] - How the treatment of Hinduism in schools compares with that of other religions, especially Islam, Judaism and Christianity. - The role played by American community activists who represent Islam, Judaism and Christianity, and how this compares with the roles of various Indians and Hindus who speak for/against Hinduism. - How to reconcile that on the one hand Hinduism has been the major source for America's New Age movement (yoga, meditation, vegetarianism, etc.), and yet on the other hand it faces seriously prejudiced stereotypes and portrayals in American school textbooks, college activities, media, and government policymaking

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 7 2006, 01:20 PM

http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=21197 by Kalavai Venkat Tiny URL is http://tinyurl.com/7nhg8

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 7 2006, 02:32 PM

This is scary. To date I was thinking the CA SBE was involved in a fair process, but the below shows the prejudice. What the heck is going on ?

QUOTE
The Houghton-Mifflin textbook, currently in use in many schools, lists one Shabbir Mansuri, Founding Director of Council on Islamic Education, as its consultant. Mansuri is a businessman with a degree in chemical engineering, and not an academic. That did not prevent the California State Board of Education (SBE) from inviting Mansuri to a closed-door meeting, apparently to advise the board on Hindu edits, on January 6, 2006.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 7 2006, 03:06 PM

California board is biased period. When Christian-German-polish Witzel as a judge, who can stop them to appoint Muslim to edit text on Hinduism. It’s like appointing Hitler as Israel President. Kudos to bigot California State Board of Education (SBE).

Posted by: Amber G. Feb 7 2006, 06:08 PM

California school textbook selection process, according to Richard Feynman (Physics Nobel Laureate), when he served as one of the commissioner, was VERY corrupt. And this was the case for the text books in science/math. He writes about one case, where one particular text book got very high marks from *all* the commissioners except Feynman. When Feynman was asked to explain why he has no rating for that book while everyone else thought the book was good (and thus should be approved), he explained that he was not able to review the book as he was not provided with that book. There was some confusion, and some very sarcastic remarks, (why everyone else was able to see the book, how come he was making excuses now). Anyway, to make the long story short, it turned out that that book was NEVER printed/published!!! (The publisher though that he will be able to get the book out in print and thus submitted the name before the deadline, but was not able to publish the book). It became a small scandal, and some commissioners were were a little humiliated, as they (It turned out that *all* depended on their experts opinions to review the book - and of course, the experts were supplied by publishers smile.gif What was amazing , that EXCEPT for Feynman (who reviewed *all* books himself) NONE other was even able to notice that the book they were approving (incidentally this book had higher average rating than the cummulative grand average) was not even in print. Feynman also writes about endless efforts to bribe him and "provide him with experts " while he was on the board. Seems like the corruption is still there. May be someone should send the board a copy of Feynmans "Judging the books by their cover ' episode and warn them the self proclaimed experts like witzel can, as it happend in the past, make them laughing stock again!

Posted by: Hauma Hamiddha Feb 7 2006, 10:37 PM

Interesting... Of course Feynman as a teacher par excellence would have seen through this as he saw through many facades in his interesting life.

Posted by: aruni Feb 8 2006, 06:16 AM

Please do sign the petition below: xxxxx ************************************** Hindu American Foundation Updates Community on Progress in California Textbook Issue http://hinduamericanfoundation.org/media_press_release_california_update.htm Introduction: http://hinduamericanfoundation.org/campaigns_education_california_intro.htm Summary of Events: http://hinduamericanfoundation.org/campaigns_education_california_summary.htm Summary of Textbook Changes: http://hinduamericanfoundation.org/campaigns_education_california_changes.htm Community Update: http://hinduamericanfoundation.org/media_press_release_california_update.htm Law Firm Press Release: http://hinduamericanfoundation.org/media_press_release_california_textbook.htm Petition to CSBE: http://hinduamericanfoundation.org/campaigns_education_california.php Defense and Education Drive: http://hinduamericanfoundation.org/media_news_legal_fund.htm

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 8 2006, 06:49 PM

AmberG. Google gave me this link which has excerpts from Feynman's book.. http://www.textbookleague.org/103feyn.htm The site also has another interesting article.. http://www.textbookleague.org/tci-az.htm

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 8 2006, 07:09 PM

This Shabbir Mansuri fellow seems like a busy guy.. http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/2247

QUOTE
Located in Abiquiu, N.M., Dar al Islam (www.daralislam.org), which means "abode of Islam" in Arabic, is an Islamic enclave registered with the state as a non-profit in 1979. Situated in the remote mountainous desert of northern New Mexico, near the Ghost Ranch where Georgia O'Keefe lived, the massive complex is accessible only by an unpaved, dirt road. It was created with direct financing from the late Saudi monarch, King Khaled ibn Aziz, and from five princesses in the Royal House of Saud, according to Saudi Aramco World. A 1988 article in Saudi Aramco World detailed the saga of the royal family's purchase of 8,500 acres of land and construction of a mosque and other buildings to form Dar al Islam. According to the enclave's Web site, the original intent was to establish a "Muslim village as a showcase for Islam in America." When that became too difficult, the vision changed to an educational conference and retreat center. Those buildings sit on 1,600 of the original acres; the rest was sold and invested to help finance its operation, Dar al Islam officials say. In addition to the mosque, the enclave has a madrassa, or religious school, summer camp and teacher-training institute. It runs speakers bureaus and programs and maintains a Web site. Dar al Islam spokesman Abdur Ra'uf Walter Declerck acknowledges some minor participation in the creation of Dar al Islam by a Saudi princess, but he disputes most of the funding history of Dar al Islam as recounted in the Saudi Aramco World article. "It was not purchased by the royal family," he said. Funding then and now "comes from Muslims all over," he said, but would not elaborate. Many of the individuals and groups involved in promoting education about Islam and the Arab world in American schools have ties to Dar al Islam. Some are educators such as Shabbas, whose work is promoted by outreach coordinators at the national resource centers, and some are outreach coordinators themselves. Shabbas, the lecturer and editor of "The Arab World Studies Notebook," was director of Dar al Islam's summer teacher-training program in 1994 and 1995, according to Declerck and Shabbas. Others with connections to Dar al Islam include: • Zeina Azzam Seikaly, outreach coordinator at Georgetown University's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, a Title VI National Resource Center on the Middle East. For several years she was assistant director of Dar al Islam's teacher-training institute, according to Dar al Islam's Declerck. Seikaly promotes many associates of Dar al Islam, printing their writings and inviting them to lecture. Shabbas has been involved in teacher training at Georgetown. Asked about Dar al Islam, Seikaly at first refused to discuss it, then admitted working there, but only for two weeks. • The Council on Islamic Education. The group until recently was listed as an associate of Dar al Islam, under the heading of secondary schools. Independent textbook review organizations describe the council as one of the most powerful groups in the country influencing the content of textbooks. Critics say that in its effort to promote a positive view of Islam, it distorts history. The group's director, Shabbir Mansuri, says his organization is a "non-advocacy research organization." Criticism that his group exerts undue influence on textbook publishers "comes from people who have no idea what we do," he said. "The Constitution allows us all a place at the table, without leaving our heritage at the door," he told JTA. "I can lobby, I can demand and I can contribute." In initial interviews, Dar al Islam officials said the council has multiple roles there, including helping to create and evaluate content for its teachers. After those interviews, the Dar al Islam site was changed to eliminate any mention of the council. Asked to explain, Declerck said it was taken down to "avoid confusion. We know each other but we are independent organizations, we are not connected." • Susan Douglass. An associate of Dar al Islam's Teachers Institute, she also is the curriculum specialist for the Council on Islamic Education. She is a former teacher at the Islamic Saudi Academy of Virginia, a Saudi government-supported school, and she consults on textbooks and curriculum by major publishers. She has written a series of books on Islam for K-6 students at Islamic and public schools. One of Dar al Islam's Web sites, islamamerica.org, posts articles defending Palestinians and their supporters, while excoriating democracies, including America and Israel. Some Saudi watchers say Saudi Arabia's goal is to export the most rigid brand of Islam: Wahhabi Islam, which in contrast to other forms of Islam, is intolerant of other religions, according to experts. It's an agenda "more dangerous than communism" ever was, according to Ali Al-Ahmed, director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, a Washington-based pro-democracy think tank, because it targets all non-believers, including Christians, Jews and most Muslims. Such apostates have only three choices, he said: "Convert, be subjugated or die." The Saudi Embassy in Washington did not respond to several requests for comment. Declerck of Dar al Islam said the kind of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia, is "not what we transmit. Dar al Islam communicates much more of a mainstream Islam," he said. But Al-Ahmed was adamant. In American public schools, he said, the Saudis are carrying out "a deliberate program to spread their version of Islam everywhere." "Their job is to give money to certain groups of Islamic organizations, to fund certain people, and those people they fund are people who they believe will further their goal of spreading Wahhabi Islam," he said.

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 8 2006, 07:18 PM

http://www.washington-report.org/archives/april2002/0204082.html

QUOTE
Mansuri, born in Ahmedabad, India in 1945, moved to Los Angeles in 1969 to study chemical engineering at USC. In 1990, following a remark made by his daughter, he founded the Council on Islamic Education (CIE).

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 8 2006, 07:40 PM

http://pakistanlink.com/community/2002/Feb/01/02.html

QUOTE
So far, CIE has trained 10,000 school teachers on Islam all over North America and has published classroom materials covering Muslim and world history such as “The Emergence of Renaissance,” a compendium on Muslim-European trade.

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 8 2006, 07:42 PM

http://www.arabamericanbusiness.com/issue3/sr_highschool.htm

QUOTE
"The American educational system gives you an option of learning a language," Shabbir Mansuri, the founding director of the Council on Islamic Education, says of high school requirements that students take two years of a foreign language in order to get graduate. "We should take advantage of the system to include Arabic as part of that repertoire."
QUOTE
On a national level, and despite their best intentions, CAIR has not made much headway in the effort because its primary focus remains improving the image and perception of Islam and Arabs in the media and politics. However, in Southern California, the local CAIR chapter is starting a new department to promote the education of Arabic in schools. It is looking to start a pilot program in an Anaheim school. If the program works, then the organization will expand it regionally, eventually hoping to involve CAIR's national organization to take the program national. Already, there have been some successes, although they have been not been at the high school level. In Southern California, the Council on Islamic Education (CIE) has already helped to get Arabic taught at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) and at Coastline Community College, though Mansuri says that the program at CSUF may be cut soon if the classes to not reach a minimum number of students. CIE also made a foray into a small number of high schools a few years ago, but the program did not have the proper resources to teach the class. "We have instruction material available, but it is meant for college," Mansuri says.

Posted by: Amber G. Feb 8 2006, 10:24 PM

Rajesh - Thanks for the link, yes this is also in Feynmans "Surely you are Jokink" book. Meanwhile, The famous Associated Proffesor from UCLA is chiming in http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20060207&fname=textbooks&sid=2&pn=1 What a looser!

Posted by: Viren Feb 9 2006, 07:47 AM

http://www.abcdlady.com/2006-02/art2.php

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 9 2006, 01:24 PM

From the CDE website http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/mt/ms/ On Jan 12 the foll attended.. Who are these ?

QUOTE
Ellen Jensen from Decision Development Corporation (an unsuccessful textbook publisher) will want to address the Board Anu Mandavilli Sanjeev Mahajan Thillai Kumaran M.N. Tamilan, Registered Civil and Structural Engineer, State of Calif. Raj Rajagopal, Individual Mark Mularn, El Camino Jr. High, PI status
Who are these folks ?

Posted by: Mudy Feb 9 2006, 01:36 PM

Sanjeev Mahajan - memeber of IER list, openly curse Hindus etc. Raju Rajagopal - Known communist in San Francisco Bay area, He works every known anti-hindu/anti-India groups. He hates anything Hindu. Daughter is married to methodist christian. Anu Mandavilli- Member of AID, FOSA and other anti-India/Hindu commie organization.

Posted by: Amber G. Feb 9 2006, 01:42 PM

QUOTE(Mudy @ Feb 10 2006, 02:06 AM)
Sanjeev Mahajan - memeber of IER list, openly curse Hindus etc.
Recent example:from my post in the other thread..
QUOTE
These people are morons. Forget about poking holes in their so-called arguments, I would be glad if I could make any sense of their illiterate and ungrammatical harangues. These people go on and on about Sanskrit, but I doubt if any of them can read/understand a word of it. I wish one could simply ignore their idiocies and carry on with life as if they don't exist, but unfortunately one cannot. Today's insanities become tomorrow's conventional wisdom, so one has to nip them in the bud.
with Witzel saying Yes Sanjeev, you are 400% correct...

Posted by: Shambhu Feb 9 2006, 07:25 PM

tongue.gif These Witzel-Doniger-Farmer type snotty commie drones will soon realize what it feels like to have their lies and hate exposed. Not a single one of these self-proclaimed scholars writes with any force or freshness, and the twits wants to roll their eyes and sigh at regular Indians' Angrezi. And then there the white-validation hungry "Indian" eunuchs who run after these pompous Nazi holdovers. Ek ek karke line lageegi inki nukkad pe aluminium ki katori leke...dekhnaa.

Posted by: Viren Feb 9 2006, 08:54 PM

Listen to Podcasts: (i) History/Whose-story? http://tinyurl.com/byrdp (ii) Snakes in the Grass!! http://tinyurl.com/cxmc5 (iii) Branding Wisdom http://tinyurl.com/7oncl

Posted by: Admin Feb 10 2006, 08:40 AM

http://www.india-forum.com/articles/89/1/Genesis-of-the-Hate-Filled-Michael-Witzel-Petition By Vishal Agarwal TinyURL: http://tinyurl.com/8p3e5

Posted by: k.ram Feb 10 2006, 12:39 PM

http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20060210&fname=hinduphobia&sid=1 BY: RAJIV MALHOTRA AND VIDHI JHUNJHUNWALA

Posted by: Viren Feb 10 2006, 01:33 PM

from the above Rajiv M article Check the two tables above. It really summarizes the whole story in a nutshell.

The table below compares how California textbooks treat Hinduism and other major religions.

How religions are treated in California textbooks
Topic I J C H
Women are shown equal to men? Yes Yes Yes No
Oppression of certain groups is discussed? No No No Yes
Beliefs are considered as historical fact? Yes Yes Yes No
Own leaders’ interpretations are emphasized? Yes Yes Yes No
Treated as a world religion without social/political issues of any foreign country? Yes Yes Yes No

I: Islam J: Judaism C: Christianity H: Hinduism


Posted by: Viren Feb 10 2006, 01:44 PM

from the above Rajiv M article:

How the California process has worked

Public Process I J C H
Organized community groups are lobbying for change? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Have academics protested against the community’s activism? No No No Yes
Did Education Board bring hostile academics as advisors? No No No Yes
Are advocates of the religion being branded as “chauvinists”, “fundamentalists”, “nationalists”…? No No No Yes
Is politics from the mother country driving the academic scholars? No No N/A Yes

I: Islam J: Judaism C: Christianity H: Hinduism


Posted by: agnivayu Feb 10 2006, 04:25 PM

Who the hell is this german hun bast*rd to talk about the quality of english of Indians. One thing is for sure, Indians understand english and western civilization a hell of a lot better than that gothic monkey will ever know about Indians.

QUOTE(Shambhu @ Feb 10 2006, 07:55 AM)
tongue.gif These Witzel-Doniger-Farmer type snotty commie drones will soon realize what it feels like to have their lies and hate exposed. Not a single one of these self-proclaimed scholars writes with any force or freshness, and the twits wants to roll their eyes and sigh at regular Indians' Angrezi. And then there the white-validation hungry "Indian" eunuchs who run after these pompous Nazi holdovers. Ek ek karke line lageegi inki nukkad pe aluminium ki katori leke...dekhnaa.
*

Posted by: Shambhu Feb 10 2006, 05:05 PM

Exactly. Witzel will have to spend a lifetime trying to learn Hindi. And the average Indian knows *at least* 1 more Indian language. I am fluent in 2 in addition to Hindi, and can get by in 2 more, and can generally know what is going on in 2 more (Just in case Witzel or any of his orderlies are reading tongue.gif ). And these a$$holes wants to complain about Indians' English. mad.gif

Posted by: Admin Feb 10 2006, 08:42 PM

http://www.india-forum.com/articles/90/1/Forgetting-the-Child---the-Heart-of-the-Matter by Niraj Mohanka TinyURL: http://tinyurl.com/dey3o

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 12 2006, 02:18 AM

QUOTE(Mudy @ Feb 7 2006, 09:12 AM)
QUOTE
Speaker: Rajiv Malhotra Title of talk: Challenges Facing Hinduism in America When: Friday, Feb 10, 2006, at 7:30pm Where: Arsha Bodh Center, 84 Cortelyou Lane, Somerset NJ 08873. (For more information, call 732-940-4008 or see www.arshabodha.org)
Did anybody attend this ? A brief report please .. guitar.gif

Posted by: Shambhu Feb 12 2006, 04:10 PM

furious.gif furious.gif In the comments sections to the articles Vishal, Niraj etc write on the CA textbooks, some @hole always spouts this "you Hindus rape a Dalit every x hours and kill a Dalit every y hours". Now I have never raped or killed a "Dalit" (or anyone for that matter), inspite of me being born in a "Bramhin" household. I do not know anyone who has, in spite of knowing thousands of "Bramhins" just like me. So why does this @h not go and shout at the real "Dalit" killers and rapists. I mean, all these baaad Hindoos must be somewhere, no? Or are they just in his red commie books? And is there any statistically significant difference between these "Dalit" rapes/killings and just everyday rapes/killings? Is a "Dalit" rape special? I personally know somebody who was murdered for money, and he was not a "Dalit". So now am I supposed to go around saying that non-"Dalits" are being killed? WTF!! Commie Go Home. furious.gif

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 12 2006, 04:30 PM

Shambhu We have discussed those stats threadbare and it turns out that there are 90 murders (45 rapes) per day total in India. http://ncrb.nic.in/crime2003/cii-2003/home.htm Of that 2 'dalit' murders per day is like 3%. The 'dalit' population is close to 16% if 'dalit' means SC. With ST its close to 25% ?? Not sure about this number. But to me it seems like 'dalits' are actually more protected then non-dalits. Most likely this was some US based missionary type spewing hate. We can ofcourse ask him what is the murder rate of blacks or what is the murders per million in the US. All of these details are available in the dalits thread.

Posted by: Shambhu Feb 12 2006, 05:36 PM

Wow! Thanks Rajesh..the site is useful. A quick answer to these missionary types is what I needed. I will go thru the Dalit thread. (I am tired of this missionary kind BS..most average Indians have no answer except to shake their heads in indignation at the missionaries). smile.gif

Posted by: Viren Feb 13 2006, 09:11 AM

http://www.nationalreview.com/dreher/dreher021202.shtml

QUOTE
"The book talks about how Islam gave women rights, but nowhere does it teach that the Koran says a man is allowed to have seven wives. Kids should know that, because it's relevant to the religion and the culture," Dacus says. "They want to make Islam palatable to Americans."
QUOTE
If the Islamic chapters seem like they could have been written by a Muslim activist group, that's no accident. The California-based Council on Islamic Education, founded in 1988 to fight what the group believes is anti-Muslim bias in the classroom, works closely with textbook publishers to review and develop teaching material. The CIE, which didn't return a message left on its answering machine, participated in the writing and editing of Across the Centuries.
Now wasn't the CIE guy Mansoori something called in for Hindu edits?
QUOTE
"That textbook would be a great recruitment tool for Islam for children, if that was the point of a 7th-grade education."

Posted by: k.ram Feb 13 2006, 09:41 AM

aiyyyooo...Could the Hindu Expert of Islamic Republic of India be sponsored by same people who sponsor FOSA and "Allah destruct India" placards?

QUOTE
Textbooks said to 'hide' problems with Islam Byline: Larry Witham, THE WASHINGTON TIMES February 7, 2003. World history textbooks in U.S. classrooms sanitize the problems of Islam when compared to how they often treat Western civilization, a review of seven widely used texts reported yesterday. The study, released by the American Textbook Council, said a rosy treatment of Islam may arise from the lobbying of the Council on Islamic Education on national publishers. "When any dark side [of Islam] surfaces, textbooks run and hide," said the report, "Islam and the Textbooks," by Gilbert Sewall, a former professor who directs the council. "Subjects such as jihad and the advocacy of violence among militant Islamists to attain worldly ends, the imposition of [Shariah] law, the record of Muslim enslavement, and the brutal subjection of women are glossed over," the 35-page study says. This contrasts, the report suggested, with the candor in textbooks over such events of Western history as the Crusades, the Inquisition, slavery, imperialism, Christian fundamentalism and women's suffrage. Without solid facts about Islam, the study said, "instructors fall back on themes of tolerance and apology [and] skirt the reality of international affairs and threats to world peace." Many topics in history textbooks are reduced to a few paragraphs and require elaboration by teachers or supplementary materials. But Islam is so exotic that a few textbook sentences can have an inordinate impact, Mr. Sewall said in an interview. "Few teachers are comfortable with the subject," he said. "They are generally ignorant of Islam, so they depend on the textbooks for guidance." The textbook council, formed in 1988 in New York as an independent group researching social studies and history texts, advocates factual knowledge and appreciation of Western values. It began a review of world history textbooks in 2001, but issued this "preliminary report" on Islam's treatment because of its importance for students in an age of terrorism and new global tensions. Shabbir Mansuri, founding director of the Council on Islamic Education, yesterday was sent a portion of the report. Other than describing the textbook council as "a conservative group," he had no comment. The Council on Islamic Education, formed in Orange County, Calif., in 1989, has sent publishers guidelines and definitions for words for the textbook treatments and protests if texts offend Muslim sensibilities, the new report said. "For more than a decade, history-textbook editors have done the Council's bidding, and as a result, history textbooks accommodate Islam on terms that Islamists demand," the report said. It noted that the Council on Islamic Education, which influences California public schools with materials and classroom speakers, is not listed as a nonprofit group and is funded by private donors. "My efforts to find out where the money comes from have met a stone wall," Mr. Gilbert said. Textbook publishers said yesterday that consulting with the public and with interest groups is routine. "There's no secret to that," said Richard Blake, spokesman for Holt, Rinehart and Winston, which publishes the high school text "Continuity and Change," which is reviewed in the new report. "Where publishers get in trouble is when the public thinks they are not fair or accurate." Collin Earnst, spokesman for Houghton Mifflin in Boston, agreed with other publishers that consulting is essential, but then a publisher makes independent decisions with its own scholarly editorial board. "We have mentioned those topics about Islam in our book," Mr. Earnst said of Houghton Mifflin's "Across the Centuries," which is used for the seventh grade in California and elsewhere. "It's not as if there's a rosy-colored view of Islam." He said a text for that age group must be simplified. Texts that cover Judaism and Christianity are used in the sixth grade. "None of these books are designed to delve into the dark side of any of these topics," he said. He rejected an assertion in the report that, although conservative Christian protests about textbook content are not heeded, Islamic protests are heeded to the point of censoring publishers. "Neither of the groups are censors," Mr. Earnst said. "They obviously want the textbook written the way that they like. It's common to have groups review things. Then we walk a careful line." Mr. Gilbert said the main concern of his report are the high school texts, some of which avoid Islam's poor record on violence, treatment of women, slavery and intolerance toward other religions. Since about 1987, teachers and historians have agreed that world history was worth more attention for students, a goal that the American Textbook Council has applauded. "This expansion of studying non-Western history is praiseworthy," Mr. Gilbert said. But since it began, many of the cultural interest groups, particularly Muslims and blacks, have pressured publishers to sanitize the history of their native lands. "I hope the publishers will take a second look at this," Mr. Gilbert said. COPYRIGHT 2003 News World Communications, Inc.; COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group

Posted by: Viren Feb 15 2006, 07:37 AM

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5206166

Posted by: aruni Feb 15 2006, 09:32 PM

QUOTE
California Board of Education Committee Schedules Meeting for Final Textbook Review www.cde.ca.gov SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, February 15, 2006: The "Committee of the State Board of Education On 2005 History-Social Science Primary Adoption" has scheduled a public meeting for February 27 at the Department's headquarters in Sacramento. This meeting is to "To consider edits and corrections, and any errors, objections, and comments, for the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade primary adoption of history-social science instructional materials, and to make recommendations to the Board." The meeting is the next step in the on-going saga of the California textbook adoption process. Hindus have been actively attempting to get changes made to the Hinduism sections of the proposed books where they are inaccurate or not in accord with the California Standards which require each religion to be described respectfully. The latest list of "edits," as the proposed changes are called, is given at "source." This is the list the committee will discuss. One column of th e document indicates if the Board staff endorse the edit or not. It includes edits from the Board's own staff, the Council on Islamic Education, the Institute for Curriculum Services (Jewish), the Hindu Education Foundation and the Vedic Foundation. Of the 53 staff edits, all are recommended for adoption; of the 94 Islamic edits, all are recommended; of the 186 Jewish edits, all are recommended with the exception of three minor rejections and two major ones. For Hindus, on the other hand, only 60 of the original 152 edits were approved as is, the remaining ones subject to various revisions or outright rejection. By HPI's count, about 26 of the unaccepted edits remain important issues. This list of edits appears to be the result of the closed door meeting of January 6 by members of the Board with Dr. Shiva Bajpai and Dr. Michael Witzel (see here). The remaining important unaccepted edits fall mostly into three categories. First is the origins of Hinduism as resulting from an Aryan invasion or migration in ancient times versus the Hindu view that Hinduism is indigenous to India. Second is the presentation of caste as an integral, even key central feature of Hinduism, as opposed to its treatment as a social system. On these two issues, most non-Hindu Western academics such as Dr. Witzel take the first point of view and Hindu academics (and some non-Hindu ones, too) take the second. The third is the identity of the Hindu concept of "Brahman" with "God" (capital G), with the Western academics arguing the Hindu concept is not "monotheistic," and therefore not supposed to be capital G. Probably the best Hindus could hope for is to get in the texts that an alternative point of view exists on each of these issues. There remain a few notable uncorrected errors. For example, edit 74 of the Vedic Foundation, objected to this inadequate definition, "Yoga is a type of ... slow breathing," but no correction was allowed.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 16 2006, 09:20 AM

QUOTE
Follow up on Manusmriti to my article in Outlook India by: Rajiv Malhotra on Feb 12 2006 8:08PM in Current Affairs Some persons have accused me of not addressing various issues in my recent article on OutlookIndia.com, titled, ACADEMIC HINDUPHOBIA, which is available at: www.outlookindia.com/full...obia&sid=1 I decided to focus on ONE aspect of the issue only, i.e. the fact that all religions are not being treated as equals by the California authorities, by the textbook publishers, by the American experts on South Asia, or by their Indian chelas who follow the white scholars in a bandwagon like the rats dancing behind Pied Piper. Of course there are other aspects to the issue, including Manusmriti and the texts of other religions and of the Enlightenment. I am happy to be invited by major publishers to write on these issues in a separate article. Its up to them. I hereby also extend my offer to discuss/debate in other public forums with serious opponents, PROVIDED each side has equal opportunity to post with nobody blocking or privileging one side. Those who consider themselves to be critical thinkers should discourage the name-calling and should facilitate serious debates focussing on the ISSUES. I was recently called by studients from UC Berkeley inviting me to debate Vijay Prashad on campus, which I instantly accepted. Unfortunately, they called me back to say that Vijay declined. Presumably, he prefers to hit-and-run behind my back in forums where I am not allowed to respond. So to all those in the search for truth - please arrange level playing fields to debate the serious issues facing society. One-sided forums should be rejected. For the record, EVERY forum where I have written allows the public to post comments, and NONE of these forums are under any sort of control of mine or any group I belong to - these include Rediff, Outlook India, Sulekha, etc. The same cannot be said of my critics. Invitation to debate Prof. Madhav Deshpande or any other academician user posted image The above table does not try to be complete but tries to highlight the principle ways in which Hindus use their variety of texts. I can confidently say that in my religious upbringing I never came across any Hindu who got up in the morning reading Manusmriti to guide his actions. It is simply not what academicians have made it out to be. Hindus are guided by the other sources mentioned above. The main group of individuals who study Manusmriti today are Indologists. The second last column is especially interesting. Each sect/guru within Hinduism (e.g. Swaminarayan, Ramakrishna Mission, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Sri Sri Ravi Shanker, etc, etc...) has its own complete systems integrations of components from various columns, offering a turnkey solution to its followers. The table shows that there is no one canonized text as in the Abrahamic religions where shruti and smriti get collapsed into one fixed/rigid box in which the followers get locked for centuries to come. Once the academicians understand the above, it becomes clear that Manusmriti cannot be called "Hindu Law" - a term given to it by the British in the 18th century. It was one of many dozens of smritis. Each smriti regards itself to be a man-made construction for that time and place (which should make postmodernists very happy), and is to be superceded by other man-made constructions for other contexts. Today, Hinduism needs new smritis for this era, using all prior systems as guidelines but not as final by any means. This flexibility in Hinduism as compared to the Abrahamic religions is the result of not being what I have called History-Centric. See my Sulekha article titled, Myth of Hindu Sameness, for details on this important principle. After that see my earlier Sulekha article, titled, Problematizing God's Interventions in History, for further depth. Bottom line: Let us by all means problematize Indian/Hindu society and let us work to remedy its flaws. There is a long tradition of such reformations from within without Iraq-style invasions or Colonialization or Imperialism by Western powers to bring "human rights" to us. Meanwhile, let us not force Manusmriti's 6 abusive verses (out of nearly 2000), that are unfortunately abusive, as the be-all and end-all of Hinduism. http://www.sulekha.com/blogs/blogdisplay.aspx?contributor=Rajiv%20Malhotra

Posted by: Admin Feb 16 2006, 06:51 PM

http://www.india-forum.com/articles/91/1/Critical-Observations-on-the-Michael-Witzel-Petition By Vishal Agarwal TinyURL: http://tinyurl.com/cftof

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 18 2006, 05:06 AM

I think this article needs a thorough rebuttal. Its another hatchet job. http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/living/education/13904600.htm

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 20 2006, 04:32 PM

http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=21334 by Kalavai Venkat. TinyURL is http://tinyurl.com/ndgzq

Posted by: k.ram Feb 21 2006, 09:25 AM

QUOTE
Oppose creationism By J.Sreedhar The Stanford Daily, Friday, February 17 2006, Page 4 An issue has been quietly brewing in California regarding the contents of school textbooks. In the past few months, there have been repeated clashes between scientists and creationists in Sacramento's corridors of power, which are likely to spill over into the mainstream. In particular, creationists have managed to influence decisions made by California's State Board of Education. It is well known that proponents of biblical creationism object to scientific ideas like evolution and regularly clamor for equal treatment of their beliefs in school textbooks. In the scientific method, one makes observations and comes up with a hypothesis that makes accurate predictions. The results obtained by the scientific method are repeatable and the hypotheses themselves are potentially falsifiable by new evidence. On the other hand, pseudo-scientific theories make assumptions that can neither be proved nor disproved but are taken as truth. They do not follow the rules of logic, discard scientific evidence and are based on faith. A field that qualifies as a pseudo-science and is based on creationism is philology which was developed in the 19th century. By cloaking its arguments in academic language and claiming to reconstruct human history by analyzing the roots of words in various languages, it passes off biblical descriptions as historical events. One of the pioneers of philology, Max Müller, was a self-admitted believer in the historical foundation of the description given in Genesis and asserted that "we still speak the language of the first ancestors of our race." He went so far as to write to Charles Darwin that evolution is false because the languages of animals do not resemble those of humans. Although today's scientists do not consider philology to be a legitimate science, believers in the literal interpretation of the Bible insist on using philology to promote their views. One such view, which has been repeatedly discredited by science, but is still being pushed for inclusion in California's textbooks without mentioning its biblical aspects, is a theory known as the Aryan Migration Theory. According to this theory, descendents of the biblical character Japheth invaded India after the deluge and populated it. Inclusion of this theory in school textbooks would indirectly give sanction to creationism and open the doors for future frontal assaults on science. A recent paper co-authored by Peter Underhill in our Genetics Department analyzed genetic evidence and concluded that there is no such thing as Aryan migration into India. This is consistent with evidence from other fields such as carbon dating, fossil studies, archaeology, geophysics, linguistics, metallurgy, and satellite imaging. However, in a letter to the California State Board of Education, Vinay Lal – a humanities professor at UCLA and believer in philology – dismisses such scientific conclusions as "palpable falsehoods" and "alleged evidence of some unknown geneticist." He avers that science has no role to play in overturning "the long established view on this matter." It is incumbent upon us at Stanford to stand up for science and oppose creationism. We should do our part to help California public schools improve their ranking which is almost the lowest in the country. J.Sreedhar is a research scholar at Stanford University. He can be reached at jsreedhar@gmail.com.

Posted by: rajesh_g Feb 22 2006, 10:16 AM

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2052978,00.html

QUOTE
Faith schools will have to teach other religions By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent, for Times Online Faith schools are to be instructed to teach their pupils about the tenets of other religions besides their own. ... Of 22,000 state-maintained schools in this country, about 7,000 are faith schools. The majority 4,700, are Church of England. The remaining Christian schools are Roman Catholic, with a handful of others, including some Methodist and one Greek Orthodox. There are also more than 30 Jewish schools, a few Muslim schools, one Sikh school and a Hindu school about to open. ... He said: "People widely misconceive faith schools as being socially divisive and segregationist. This statement has a very strong moral authority. Because most faith schools are voluntary aided schools, the governors currently determine their religious education syllabus. The governors must now listen to their faith leaders and make the syllabus more inclusive so that faith schools promote mutual understanding and respect." .... However, secularists condemned the declaration. Keith Porteous Wood, director of the National Secular Society, said: "This new announcement is merely an effort to counter accusations that single-faith schools are divisive and a menace to social cohesion. The announcement is, in effect, an admission by the churches that they have used these schools as a means of proselytising their particular faith. ...

Posted by: ramana Feb 23 2006, 02:10 PM

SJ Mercury News LTE, 2/23/06

QUOTE
Additional `Letters to the Editor'NOTE: The following letters are unedited and reflect only the views of the author. Lisa Krieger's article was an eye opener. California Sixth graders spend a year expoloring the esoterics of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism etc. At 7th grade they spend another year exploring Islam. Because of many controversial references re. Hinduism, my granddaughter comes home every day feeling humiliated, abused and traumatized. Being the oldest religion, Hinduism relies on numerous sources and has no one central "Bible". Unlike in the case of other religions, Calif School Board gets input from "experts" like Micael Witzel, who have never practiced Hinduism themselves,and whose area of expertise is not Hinduism. Michael Witzel freely admits that the case is highly complicated and controversial. Hindu parents (and as far as I know any one else) never asked for this "required" course. It is unconscionable that the school system is forcing this cocktail down every unhapppy child's throat at the cost of math, science and music. What is coming next. An Immersion course in Abu Ghraib and Gitmo at 8th grade for an adequate measure of cultural sensitivity? If some parents or educators see merit in this kind of course (which by the way belongs at graduate school), the logical thing to do is to make it optional for sixth graders. Our Schools are facing Attention Deficit Disorders at an unprecedented levels, so is the usage of Ritalin and other depressants. Algebra is introduced at 9th grade as an "optional " subject. California kids rank near bottom in our nation and behind Korea and Croatia in the world. Even the Terminator considers the all powerful educational bureaucracy untouchable and unaccountable. Barefoot Sixth graders in my native India spend a good part of their time exploring the joys of Calculus and Differential Equationsn as a stepping stone to take on the flat world. Everyone from Pres Bush on, bemoans our deflcit in Math and Science. Frustrated CEOs at Intel, IBM, Microsoft, you name it, are making a beeline to Bangalore for R&D. Bin Laden is celebrating in his cave, at the way we are poisoning our own wells. I understand the need for some instruction in diversity. But two precious years in a childs life hairsplitting religious esoterica, which belongs in Graduate school in the first place. Give me a break. The first principle in education, as in life, should be "DO NO HARM" especially to growing minds. No religion is perfect, the older it is the more baggage it carries. For starters please cut out all controversial/negative references and make it a positive learning experience for all children. Even one mind traumatised is one too many. Striving together we all can make California the envy of the world again. Ted Raman, San Jose
We should try to send the message of IF to more people. Why dont we try to tell about IF to atleast 5 new people a month?

Posted by: Admin Feb 27 2006, 06:31 AM

http://www.india-forum.com/articles/93/1/Common-Sense-should-help-avoid-California-links-with-Ivy-League-Hate-groups By Dr. Srinivasan Kalyanaraman TinyURL: http://tinyurl.com/egz5b

Posted by: acharya Feb 28 2006, 10:55 AM

Hindutva defeat sealed in CA witzel_michael Offline Offline With satisfaction we note that the long drawn out California battle has drawn to a successful close this afternoon, at 2 p.m. Today’s meeting of the subcommittee of the Board of Education (SBE) has clearly come down on the side of reason and historical accuracy, with a vote of 5 : zero, The recommendations of the Dept. of Education were adopted without *any* changes. That means all the ahistorical and sectarian edits of the two Hindutva foundations were decisively thrown out. The ‘persuasive’ proposals of the 50 scholar’s letter and the second (Heitzman-Wolpert-Witzel) panel as well as the results of the Jan. 6 rout of S. Bajpai carried the day. Thus, the position of women is correctly stated in the edits as suppressed, the caste system and suppression of Dalits are back, polytheism (not ‘God’) is back, and the Aryan migration is back. We now await the final decision of the full State Board on March 9. Incidentally, the funniest thing today was that one Hindutvavadins got up an quoted some ‘Christian’ quotations out of Steve Farmer’s dissertation on Pico that should have made Farmer a Bible thumping creationist -- only that those sentences were Pico’s, half a millennium ago, not Farmer’s. More later. Well, this great idea had been spread yesterday all over the Indian Civilization list at Yahoo. Funny, that Hindutvavadins always believe their own inventions and defamation... Sure enough, the ‘real reason’ for the Hindutva defeat was already foretold this morning by Dr.Kalyanaraman (though it was not written in his diffuse style, but clearly by a ghost writer): collusion between the CA Secretary of Education, who is on Harvard’s Board --I did noy know that-- and the hate "mongering groups at Harvard." Almost as good as the Farmer 'quote' ! Conspiracies, conspiracies... Seriously speaking, we have been predicting the defeat of the Hindutva edits ever since the first reports of the irregular (and probably illegal) procedures at the meeting of Dec. 2 of the SBE’s Curriculum Commission reached us that day. The SBE just could not uphold the historically incorrect and obscurant edits made on that day, as pushed through by one of its Commissioners, in clear collusion with the Hindutva groups involved; we have reported on this least earlier. The signs on the wall were visible in the materials received during the informational meeting held at Sacramento on January 6, and when the revised edits were published by the staff of the Dept. of Education one week or two ago: almost all of the egregious and ahistorical edits have been taken out, and today’s procedures at Sacramento have reconfirmed that. In sum, this is a clear victory for reason and scholarship in the face of sectarian and politically motivated, right wing action groups. Their allegiance is elsewhere than in California and they instead aim at gaining political capital in India. No smiles today but deep anger on the faces of the Hindutvavadins, who openly admitted defeat, and smiles all around on the faces of the many groups opposing them. All who have participated in the process of combating this religio-political ideology and beating it back have good reason to be elated. One onslaught on the non-sectarian American education system has been defeated. However, we have to be ready for the next one. Hindutvavadins will (perhaps) learn from the blatant mistakes made this time, and they will begin concerted, if futile effort to change textbooks in Texas two years from now. Congratulations and thanks to all involved, all around the globe. Just occasionally, at least some of us have to get out of the Ivory Towner and take a stand. M.Witzel

Posted by: ramana Feb 28 2006, 11:17 AM

SJ mercury News story link: http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/13980075.htm

QUOTE
Panel resists textbook changes By Lisa M. KriegerMercury News SACRAMENTO - A special commission charged with approving California textbooks has resisted appeals to overhaul the way some sixth-grade textbooks describe Hinduism, leaving in references that scholars say are historically accurate but that many Hindus say are disrespectful, even humiliating. Dozens of Silicon Valley parents and students testified Monday that the textbooks create racial prejudice due to excessive emphasis on negative aspects of ancient culture, such as the caste system and discrimination against women. But professors from Stanford, the University of California and other college campuses argued for leaving them in, saying history should not be tampered with, even if it is unpleasant. ``There clearly is no right answer on this,'' conceded Glee Johnson, a member of the committee and president of the State Board of Education. ``We did our best to come up with the best solution possible . . . so we can move forward.'' Every six years, as California reviews its textbooks, it invites public opinion. This year, it got more than it bargained for, as hundreds of Californians demanded changes to the history and social studies textbooks used in the state's sixth-grade classrooms. The committee will present its decision at the March 8 meeting of the full Board of Education, which generally endorses its recommendations. The revised textbooks will be on students' desks in the fall. At Monday's crowded hearing, the wide spectrum of opinions reflected the growing diversity of the state, with each voice asserting its own interpretation of past events. The committee sought to find middle ground in the contested space of ancient history and religion. For instance, it changed some language that referred to a ``caste system'' to a ``class system.'' This angered those who say that social stratification is a part of the larger South East Asian culture, and is not intrinsic to the Hindu faith -- as well as those who say that ``class system,'' as the term is commonly used in America, inaccurately suggests social mobility in the rigid class-based society of India. The committee rejected many changes proposed by two Hindu activist groups, the Vedic Foundation of Austin -- which includes many local members -- and California's chapter of the Hindu Education Foundation. ``The hearing was a farce,'' said Suhag Shukla, legal counsel for the Hindu American Foundation, which also sought changes. ``There are grounds for a lawsuit . . . A flawed process leads to a flawed outcome.'' Bhaavika Patel, a 10th-grader at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, said: ``Hindu kids are embarrassed about their religion, afraid to show their pride because their classmates make fun of them.'' ``How many California students know that there is more to Hinduism than just the caste system?'' she asked. ``Learning from history is important. But it is the way that it is done -- how it is portrayed . . . We only hear of the negatives, and that makes us feel inferior.'' According to Charu Bhare, a science and math teacher in the Cupertino school district, ``How it is taught degrades the Hindu philosophy and faith, and all that is pride that we teach our children.'' The academic community and its defenders did not prevail on every point, but scholars who attended the hearing were relieved that many changes were not made. ``We have been greatly concerned over claims that equitable portrayal would prevail over historical accuracy,'' although academicians sought to be respectful of the faith, said Lawrence Cohen of the University of California-Berkeley. ``It is a slippery slope.'' ``History is not written to make us feel better,'' said Simmy Makhijani of San Francisco. The inferior status of women and the ``untouchables'' of India should not be ignored, she said, because it is uncomfortable. ``It is important to recognize inequities, and combat them -- to challenge injustices in the system.'' Mohan Gillji of Yuba City, who was born into the poorest, ``untouchable'' class of India, said, ``Please do not hide any chapter of my oppressed people . . . If we remove or delete the `untouchability' from the books, they turn into worthless materials.'' Committee member Joe Nuñez, assistant director of the California Teachers Association, said, ``We sought to find a compromise that would work for most people . . . that is historically accurate, religiously neutral and represents the plurality of interests that have come to the table.'' To include every perspective, he said, ``would have meant publishing many, many textbooks.''

Posted by: Mudy Feb 28 2006, 11:19 AM

QUOTE
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-hi...ack=1&cset=true Panel Suggests Revising Textbooks A state school board committee recommends changing descriptions of Hinduism, adherents. By Teresa Watanabe, Times Staff Writer February 28 2006 Aiming for compromise in a furor over the portrayal of Hinduism and ancient India in sixth-grade history books, a subcommittee recommended Monday that the California Board of Education adopt several changes to the text but acknowledged that neither side in the heated debate was likely to be satisfied. Hindu groups had flooded the state board with thousands of requests to correct what they regard as inaccurate and unfair depictions of their faith as one that mistreats women and minorities, believes in polytheism and was brought to India by outsiders. But dozens of scholars and secular groups argued against the changes, saying they were unscholarly attempts to fabricate history and gloss over unpleasant aspects of Hindu practice. After more than two hours of sometimes heated public testimony, the panel's five-member history and social sciences committee voted to recommend that the full Board of Education accept a staff report on the proposed changes at its meeting March 8. The staff report included some but not all of the changes sought by Hindu groups. "Both sides thought we didn't go far enough," said Glee Johnson, state Board of Education president. "But a lot of this represented a reasonable compromise." Johnson said the hearing drew more than 200 people and "got ugly" at times, with both sides comparing the other to Hitler and the Ku Klux Klan. About one-quarter of the education department's 126-page staff report on requested changes to several California-approved textbooks involved Hinduism. Several staff recommendations on issues in one textbook conflicted with those of others, however. For instance, the report recommends that one textbook narrow language that women had fewer rights in ancient India to say only that they had fewer property rights. But in another section, the report recommends keeping the broader language. The California-based Hindu Education Foundation and other Hindu groups had asked that the text say women had "different" rights. Johnson said the committee's intent was to accept the more narrow language on property rights, and that the report would be reviewed to ensure all recommendations were consistent. On the sensitive issue of the caste system, which separated people by different occupations, Johnson said the committee's intent was to replace the word "caste" with "class." The action addressed testimony that the rigid system that eventually developed in India did not exist as such in ancient times.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 28 2006, 11:25 AM

From Harvard thread Gargi Today, 08:34 AM | Post #35| Group: Members Posts: 115 Joined: 27-March 04 Member No.: 251 Hot from the press -I am waiting for my friend Madhulika to write her own version, She was inside room where Steve Farmer, Witzel toy-boy claimed below given - Witzel's toy-boy Steve Farmer claimed "He does not believe in Aryan Invasion or migration or tourism theory" He said, he had never approved any of above theory. Now Steve Farmer also claims he does not believe in his own thesis. He is now Atheist. All reference to Bible in his thesis is now meaningless. It means his thesis is garbage according to him. All his "cut n paste" from other books and other people work which is filled pages of his thesis are also garbage It means Witzel is alone claming to be AIT. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Arun Fosa Today, 09:33 AM | Post #36| Group: Members Posts: 8 Joined: 18-February 06 Member No.: 1187

QUOTE
It means his thesis is garbage according to him.
Hallelujah! For once we can agree with "professor" farmer. -------------------------------------------------------- Mudy Today, 10:53 AM | Post #37| Woh !!!!!!!!!!! Steve Farmer's thesis is piece of garbge is no surprise, now he himself believe its right place is own dustbin.
QUOTE
He is now Atheist.
Waiting to see him in Hindutavadi camps. I can see that transformation very soon. I just heard they paraded Sikhs Dalit. Till now Witzel and his toy-boy farmer stated that Dalit is Hinduism problem. Why they paraded Commies, Muslims, Sikhs and Christian for changes requested by Hindus? ----------------------------------------- Viren Today, 05:45 PM | Post #38|
QUOTE
I just heard they paraded Sikhs Dalit.
I believe one of that poor Sikh Dalit did say that he's still cleaning latrines everyday for living!! In 2006! In CALIFORNIA!!! (someone forgot to prep this guy) I'm awaiting details from yesterday's meet in CA. Hopefully we'll get it soon. ----------------------------------------------------------------- rajesh_g Today, 09:59 PM | Post #39| one of the 'dalits' alleged that his people have been forced to eat dead animals for thousands of years..

Posted by: ramana Feb 28 2006, 11:29 AM

I think one proactive step that parents can take for next six years is to volunteer in the their respective sixth grade History class rooms to provide teacher resources and help with material to supplement the textbook materials on Hindusim. I would use relevant material from the Idiot's guide to Hinduism and other poplular books to create poster boards and power point slides on CD. The above book is quite good in its overall coverage. In our case the textbook subject matter was so long on Egypt, Rome and China and the teachers and students were so familiar with the material that they lingered on it too long and left India for self study. So no harm for my kid. The way I think is that as the number of Indian origin students goes up there will be more drive to teach the ancient India aspects of the text book. BTW the older kid went to a Catholic High school and did not suffer any mental anguish when the subject of Hinduism was taught by a Catholic father who was clueless.

Posted by: Mudy Feb 28 2006, 11:42 AM

Ramana, People who were against changes were Indian Communist or those who displayed "Allah destroy USA and India" Playcard during Kargil war. These jokers always show up in every anti-india demonstration in US They are same people who support Maosit in India, terrorist in J&K and any organisation who are against India. All are linked with (FOSA),(CAC),LTTE etc. Standard Communist organization who always support anti-india activites. Anu Mandavilli , Thillai Kumaran (Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America) link with terrorist organisation LTTE, Shalini Gera, Raju Rajagopal,Girish Agarwal,Angana Chatterji, Daniel Golden (His books got rejected and big financial loss for him), Raja Swamy and Sunaina Maira There were Muslim who were claiming Dalit and ofcourse Sikh who were claming Dalit. Biggest fraud on earth one can see.

Posted by: Madhulika Feb 28 2006, 12:42 PM

Hello Everyone, My first post in India-Forum. I was present in CDE hearing, Sacramento, CA. There I met Steve Farmer who calls himself expert in everything. I was trying to take his picture so that I can give excellent introduction. But he refused, Never mind I can provide substitute. I will justfy, I am honest person. user posted image He call himself an Athesit but his Phd degree everywhere refers to Bible. Now he himself disapprove his thesis. Time to throw his doctrate degree in dustbin. Flush.gif I asked him about Aryan Invasion or tourism theory. He bluntly told me he never believed in Aryan Invasion or migration theory. I was stunt after hearing his comments. Immediately, I remembered other 47 Indologist and ring leader Michael Witzel. Again I can't get there picture, but here is substitute. user posted image Sorry, unable to get everyone in focus. But you can still locate Romilla Thappar rest later.

Posted by: Madhulika Feb 28 2006, 01:07 PM

In IER group, Witzel and Farmer are gloating etc. But guys, In reality you have really missed one of the best moment when Farmer ran towards communist Shalni Gera[FOSA] after other Educated Hindus exposed his thesis and fraud theories, he was exposed. [Sorry, can't provide picture, I know this is a family forum.] sad.gif Like a crazy person, he tried to push other Hindus, ran non stop towards his cohorts. Lucky are those who were sitting in their cubicles in different Universities. Atleast Witzel and other 47 should have considered not sending nervous, weak, Fake Farmer to face righteous crowd. Like Hitler, IER’s Gestapo can't fight only he can make false announcements; create lies or run or hide. Witzel should have learnt atleast one lesson from his mentor “Hitler” Do you have pictures of FOSA [where they were displaying "Allah destroy India"

Posted by: Mudy Feb 28 2006, 01:57 PM

ROTFL.gif ROTFL.gif You rock biggrin.gif You are insulting Donkey. biggrin.gif

Posted by: Mudy Feb 28 2006, 02:04 PM

Madhulika, I am able to locate picture you are talking I know FOSA activities. http://www.geocities.com/aid_india_info/glimpse-502.jpg

Posted by: Viren Feb 28 2006, 02:17 PM

Madhulika,

QUOTE
I was present in CDE hearing, Sacramento, CA.
You are indeed very brave. Welcome to forum, but please be warned that we don't like insulting deaf and dumb animals which have never harmed a single soul.

Posted by: acharya Feb 28 2006, 02:46 PM

FOSA [Friend's of South Asia] Demonstration by FOSA user posted image

Posted by: Admin Feb 28 2006, 03:13 PM

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