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 expose the correspondence between textbooks and the colonial-racist discourse. This racist discourse 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
(Redirected from Abhiras)

By Swami Harshananda

Varna and jāti has always been a dominant feature of society. Division into groups based on vocation is a phenomenon common to all societies. Over time, this system became fossilized and mutually exclusive, the membership of the group being acquired only by birth.

Despite this, mixing has always taken place throughout history, giving rise to new jāti-s, born out of the admixture of the prevalent ones. The ābhiras constitute such a mixed jāti. They are regarded by Manu as the offspring of a brāhmaa by an aṅibaṣṭha (descended from a brāhmaṇa father and vaiśya mother) woman.

Whether the ābhīras were a nomadic tribe which either migrated into medieval India in stages or were natives is unclear. However, what is known is that they lived a nomadic and predatory life. By the 2nd century A. D. some of them had attained high ranks and had even seized political power, wielding it effectively till the 4th century A. D. Mention may be made of Ābhīra īśvarasena, son of Śivadatta, supposed to be the founder of the Kalacuri-Cedi era (3rd cent. A. D.) who rose to the royal rank in northern Maharashtra.

The common people among them lived on dairy industry and farming. They have contributed much to the development of music. The Apabhramśa dialect, a form of Prākṛt, is another contribution. Their greatest contribution is towards the growth of pastoral legends centering around Srī Kṛṣṇa. The modern āhīrs are considered to be the descendants of ābhīras and are scattered over the greater part of India.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

Contributors to this article

Explore Other Articles