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

Chandas literally means ‘that which exhilarates’.

  • Chandas is one of the names by which the Vedas are called. It means ‘that which exhilarates’ or ‘that which gives a (protective) covering’.
  • More commonly it denotes the meters in poetry.

Vedic prosody called ‘Chandas,’ or ‘Chandaśāstra’ is considered as one of the six ‘Vedāṅgas’ or ‘limbs of the Veda’ (subsidiary disciplines pertaining to the field of Vedic studies) without a study of which, it will be impossible to understand the Vedas properly. Before reciting the Vedic mantras (chants or hymns) it is obligatory to pay one’s respect to the:

  1. Ṛṣi - sage through whom the mantra was revealed
  2. Devatā - the deity to whom it is addressed
  3. Chandas - the meter in which the mantra is composed

The earliest of the extant works on Vedic prosody is the Chandas-sutra by Piṅgala (2nd cent. B.C.) which is in the form of sutras or aphorisms spread over eight chapters. Eleven major and many more minor meters have been dealt with in this work. Gāyatrī, uṣṇik, anuṣṭup, triṣṭup, jagatī, bṛhatī and paṅkti are the common ones among them. Usually each meter consists of one to five pādas or ‘feet’. Each pāda should consist of a specific number of letters.

For instance, the famous gāyatri meter consists of three pādas and eight letters per pāda. The various meters found in classical Sanskrit literature were gradually evolved from the Vedic meters. It was believed that the use of certain meters was conducive to the attainment of power or could bring about harm to the enemies.


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