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

Avakīrṇin literally means ‘one who has violated the vow’.

A Vedic student living in the house of the guru to learn the Vedas and allied sciences was called a ‘brahmacārin.’ He had to follow a given routine, observe a prescribed code of conduct and keep certain vows. Any violation of these vows, whether intentional or unintentional, had to be atoned by appropriate prāyaścittas or expiatory rites. Violation of the vow of brahmacarya or celibacy was the worst of these.

The brahmacārin who willfully had sexual intercourse with a woman was called an ‘avakīrṇin.’ The Dharmasutras of Āpastamba,[1] Vasiṣṭha[2] and the Manusmrti[3] prescribe that the avakīrṇin should sacrifice an ass to the deity Nirṛti, which is symbolic of the stupid lapse. He should wear the skin of an ass for one year, should beg his food from seven houses announcing to them his lapse, take food only once in a day and bathe thrice a day. Then only he will become pure. Vasiṣṭha substitutes an oblation of boiled rice for the sacrifice of an ass.


  1. Dharmasutras
  2. Dharmasutras 23.1-3
  3. Dharmasutras 11.118- 121
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore