Colonial Discourse and the Suffering of Indian American Children Book Cover.webp

In this book, we analyze the psycho-social consequences faced by Indian American children after exposure to the school textbook discourse on Hinduism and ancient India. We demonstrate that there is an intimate connection—an almost exact correspondence—between James Mill’s colonial-racist discourse (Mill was the head of the British East India Company) and the current school textbook discourse. This racist discourse, camouflaged under the cover of political correctness, produces the same psychological impacts on Indian American children that racism typically causes: shame, inferiority, embarrassment, identity confusion, assimilation, and a phenomenon akin to racelessness, where children dissociate from the traditions and culture of their ancestors.

This book is the result of four years of rigorous research and academic peer-review, reflecting our ongoing commitment at Hindupedia to challenge the representation of Hindu Dharma within academia.


From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Origin of Story of Śakuntalā[edit]

The origins of the well-known legend of Śakuntalā based on which the great poet Kālidāsa[1] wrote his immortal drama Abhijñāna-śākuntalam lay in the Mahābhārata[2] and also the Padmapurāṇa.[3]

Life of Śakuntalā[edit]

She was born to Menakā[4] from Viśvāmitra, to wreck whose austerities Indra, the king of the gods, had sent her. However, as both the parents abandoned her, the śakunta birds[5] took care of her, thereby getting her the name Śakuntalā. The sage Kaṇva who found the abandoned baby, carried her to his own hermitage and brought her up as his foster daughter.

When she had grown into a beautiful young woman, Duṣyanta, the king of the lunar race happened to visit Kaṇva’s hermitage. They fell in love with each other and married according to the gāndharva rites. The same was approved by the sage Kaṇva who came to know about it later. In course of time, Śakuntalā gave birth to a heroic child whose strength and valor astonished everyone. He was named Sarvadamana. He is famous as Bharata.

Later, when Śakuntalā went with Bharata and the disciples of the sage Kaṇva to Duṣyanta to live with him, he hesitated to accept her. At the intervention of an ākāśavāṇi,[6] he accepted her as his queen and coronated Bharata as the crown-prince. The name Bhāratavarṣa or Bhārata for India and the lineage of Bharatavaṅśa started from him.

Variation in the Story[edit]

There is a slight deviation in the story as given by Kālidāsa. Due to a curse of the sage Durvāsa, who was once ignored by Śakuntalā, Duṣyanta could not recognize her. However, when the signet ring he had given to her was accidentally lost but miraculously recovered and shown to him, he remembered everything and gracefully accepted her.


  1. He lived in 2nd century B. C.
  2. Ādiparva, Chapters 68-74
  3. Story of Śakuntalā is in the Svarga-khanda.
  4. Menakā was a nymph.
  5. These birds are known as ravens.
  6. Ākāśavāṇi means a celestial message from an unseen god.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore