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

Adhonivita literally means ‘that which covers below’.

The dharmaśāstras have made it obligatory for every man born in the brāhmaa, kṣattriya and vaiśya castes to undergo the sacrament of upanayana. After upanayana, he becomes eligible for the study of the Vedas and the performance of ordained rituals. A concrete part of this sacrament is the investiture with the sacred thread called ‘upavīta’ or ‘yajñopavīta’ which should be worn permanently on the body.

One of the three modes of wearing this upavīta is ‘adhonivita’ or ‘adhovīta’ or ‘sarnvīta’. In this mode, the sacred thread hangs from the neck like a garland, stretching below the navel. This mode of wearing is recommended at the time of performing secular activities. The relatives of a dead person if he belongs to any of the first three varnas while attending his funeral procession are also required to wear the sacred thread in this mode.


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