School students in California will be forced to learn that there was never an “India” unless we act!
A small group of South Asia studies faculty recently asked the California Board of Education to change the History-Social Science Frameworks so that the word “India” will be removed and replaced with “South Asia.”
They believe that India did not exist before 1947 and want a stereotypical and concocted generalization like “South Asia” to be used for almost all discussions of Indian history before 1947.
In a letter to California Board Of Education, clearing about the manipulation of the facts and appealing to reject the groundless suggestion, eminent professors from various universities wrote that:
What is even more absurd and self-contradictory in their recommendations is their suggestion (which is one of the changes you seem to have accepted) that “India” be removed in all references to the past, but then used again in phrases like “ancient Indian religion” – the new phrase being used to replace the term “Hinduism.” Is this the kind of logic and rigor that students of California, the high-tech capital of the world, are going to be taught? Are teachers going to be expected to tell their students, “Ok, class, in ancient South Asia (not ancient India), the people practiced the religion of ancient India (not Hinduism)”?
It is time to end the discriminatory treatment that Indian origin and Hindu students have faced in American classrooms. If you accept the logic of the South Asia faculty who want all references to India before 1947 changed to the vague “South Asia” because it was technically “not India” till it declared independence, then you should be prepared to apply the same logic rigorously to all nations mentioned in California’s history textbooks. Do go right ahead and replace all lessons about all nations before they declared independence to some sterile geographical category. So all references to “America” before 1776 could be changed to “Northern Western Hemispherical Landmass” perhaps!
We urge you to reject all the changes pushed by the South Asia faculty group that attempt to erase India and Hinduism from California’s schools. Let “India” remain “India” and “Hinduism” remain “Hinduism,” and respect reality at least that much, wrote in the letter signed by many dignitaries.
This initiative has been taken by the organization “Change” on their website and more than 6000 supporters have already signed the petition.
India needs to speak and mark an end to this hypocrisy. And if this hypocrisy occurs because of few professors who are trying to script the history then history will not remain history, it’s what turn to be a fiction story for all those students who have never known but come to schools to gain the right information.
Let’s pledge and give an end to this discrimination because we also don’t want to address America as Northern Western Hemispherical Landmass.
Sign the petition here because we, Indians care about our name, history, and future!
Information and Cover Image Source: Change.org.