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

Govardhana literally means ‘that which helps in the prosperity of the cows’.

Govardhana is a small hillock situated about 25 kms. (16 miles) from the town Mathurā in Uttar Pradesh. When Kṛṣṇa was living in Vṛndāvana, he found that one day all the elders of the village were busy preparing for the annual festival of Indramaha[1] and were involved in the worship of Indra, the king of the gods in heaven. With a view to demolish the pride of Indra, Kṛṣṇa advised his foster-father Nanda and the other elders of the village to abandon it and instead worship the Govardhana hillock, the cows and the bulls. They actually protect and sustain them. His suggestion was gladly accepted and duly implemented.

Enraged by this, Indra, the lord of clouds and rain, retaliated by creating an unprecedented deluge. However, the boy Kṛṣṇa lifted the Govardhana hillock with one hand and held it like an umbrella and protected the people of the village. They took shelter beneath it. Indra realized his folly and true nature of Kṛṣṇa as Viṣṇu himself. After apologizing and worshiping him, he left for his heavenly abode. Since then Kṛṣṇa came to be known as ‘Govardhana-giridhārī’ which means ‘one who lifted the Govardhana hill’. He was also known as ‘Govinda’, ‘one who protected the cows’ and ‘Upendra’, ‘one who was above or superior to Indra’.

The Govardhana hillock near Mathurā is about 6.5 kms. (4 miles) in length and not very high. Pilgrims who visit it sometimes do ‘parikrama,’ i.e., circum ambulation as per the directions given in some smṛtis and purāṇas.

A ceremonial worship of the hillock called as ‘Govardhanapujā’ is generally held on Kārttika-śukla-pratipad.[2] This day is also known as ‘Balipratipadā’. Worship of cows and bulls is an important aspect of this festival. In other places, the worship is done to a replica of the hillock.


  1. Viṣṇupurāna 5.10.16
  2. Kārttika-śukla-pratipad is the first day of the bright fortnight in the month of Kārttika, generally in November.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore