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

Anāśramin literally means ‘One who has not adopted any āśrama’.

According to the dharmaśāstras, the life of an individual is divided into four āśramas or stages of life as follows :

  1. Brahmacarya - It signifies the states of a student.
  2. Gārhasthya - It signifies the state of a house - holder.
  3. Vānaprastha - It signifies the state of forest-recluse.
  4. Saiṅnyāsa - It signifies the state of monk.

It was obligatory for a householder belonging to the first three varṇas (castes) to maintain sacrificial fire and to offer oblations regularly. The wife also had a place in this ritual and could act as a substitute for her husband in the times of need. No greater calamity could befall a householder than the untimely death of his wife. Her body would be cremated with the same fire in which she used to offer oblations. The widower had only two alternatives left :

  1. To enter into the next stage of the vānaprastha
  2. To marry once again and set up the fire afresh

Anyone who did neither was branded as an ‘anāśramin,’ one who was outside the pale of the āśrama scheme. This was incompatible with the Vedic scheme of life.


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