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

Asteya literally means ‘non-stealing’.

The scriptures have time and again stressed the importance of strict ethical life as a pre-condition to spiritual enlightenment. A strict ethical life is essential even for social harmony and peace. Among the few cardinal ethical principles delineated in these works, ‘asteya’ or ‘non-stealing’ is also the one.

The Yogasutras[1] of Patañjali (200 B. C.) has included this under the first aṅga or limb of yoga, viz., yama. It is the third in the series of five such qualities.

Though ‘steya’ means ‘stealing’ and hence ‘asteya’ means ‘non-stealing,’ its connotation goes much beyond this restricted sense. All actions of appropriation of others’ things, not sanctioned by the scriptures, should be brought under this head.

Since greed has been recognized as a natural infirmity of the human mind[2] and īśāvāsya Upanisad it is no wonder that the scriptures have laid such an emphasis on ‘asteya.’

Rules regarding ahimsā (non-injury), asteya and so on, may be relaxed under certain extraordinary conditions sanctioned by the scriptures. Thus, stealing of food is permitted when a person is dying of hunger during famine and is unable to procure food in any other way. But for persons who have totally dedicated themselves for spiritual enlightenment, no exemptions are allowed.[3] For them, it is a ‘mahāvrata’ or ‘great vow.’


  1. Yogasutras 2.30
  2. Brhadāranyaka Upanisad 5.2.2
  3. Yogasutras 2.31
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore