California Textbooks Controversy : CAPEEM did a Commendable Job

via Dahyabhai Patel published on June 10, 2009

This is a great victory for Hindus that the State of California acknowledges Hindu concerns by agreeing to pay $175,000.

At the beginning of this incidence of California textbooks with misleading presentation of Hindu Dharma, In 2007, the ITA Board of Trustees had sent a protest statement and a request to recall the textbooks to California State Edu Board on behalf of local Hindu community.?

Many anti-Hindu people with Hindu names, Indian Muslim Associations and the Indian Christian Organizations attended the State School Board meetings and openly opposed the Hindus who came to submit their grievances.

The main issue was that the textbooks rightfully included only the positive aspects of Christian, Muslim and Jewish religions and all the review comments from respective religious organizations were incorporated.  However, when Hindus reviewed and submitted hundreds of misrepresentations, the board ignored it.

Instead of a private meeting, similar to meetings with Christians & Muslims, the board decided to take up the complains in open board meetings that opened doors of Indian Muslims and Indian Christians to come and oppose.

Michael Witzel, a Sanskrit scholar and wrongfully established as scholar of Indology in US academia at Harvard University, personally fought and used immoral means to attack Hindu parents who were complaining.  The board gave more weight to the scholar and ignored the complaint as rubbish.

The parents went to court and finally settled for $175,000 with the board, mainly because they could not raise enough funds to fight to the end.

Another case was with the Virginia State school textbooks. During last HMEC conference, Virginia Hindus presented their fight with the State. The board listened to Hindus. There was no attack from Indian Muslims or Indian Christian organizations in Virginia case.

Virginia case was the first case that Witzel, a staunch anti-dharma scholar on Dharma, noticed and he wanted to make sure Hindus do not succeed in California, he personally got involved from his Massachusetts college and persuaded the California School Board to include only those derogative aspects of Hinduism that were half-truths or outright distorted views.? The School Board considered Witzel as the most credible on the subject because he is the scholar on Indic(Dharma) studies.

This is an event that calls for celebrations.

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