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

The word ‘conversion’ is derived from the Latin root conversio.

  • It means a change of direction and a complete re-orientation of one’s personality towards God.
  • It is a purely spiritual process of turning away from the mammon towards God. It has nothing to do with proselytism. Identification with it is a later development.

Practice of proselytization by the religion has existed for two thousand years and has been recorded in shastra including conversion into the believes of the ‘yavanas’ and ‘mlecchas’. These races were considered to be barbaric or less civilized. Hence they had willingly adopted the ways of life.

But the problem which has often caused unrest in the society is that of conversion into Semitic religions. The factors affecting this conversion are:

  1. Socio-economic factors
  2. Efforts put in to rectify the imbalances
  3. Mind of the religious leaders

Re-conversion or home coming[edit]

  • A study of the ancient Brāhmaṇas or dharmaśāstras shows that re-conversion was not an unknown phenomenon. The sacrificial ceremonies called ‘vrātya-stomas’ aimed to purify and bring back the ‘vrātyas[1] into the Aryan fold.
  • The Viṣnu-dharmottara-purāna (A.D. 500) and the Devalasmṛti (a.d. 1000?) give specific instructions for purifying and bringing back into the religious fold, those who had been forcibly converted by the ‘mlecchas’.[2]
  • During the recent past Maharṣi Dayānanda Sarasvatī (A.D. 1824- 1883) started the ‘śuddhi’ movement which became quite vigorous for some time.

Efforts for re-conversion, often called ‘parāvartana’ or the return to the original fold, still continue. Standardization of the procedure has also been attempted.


  1. Renegades as well as foreigners
  2. Races like the śakas, yavanas and pahlavas also forced this conversion.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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