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

Hastāmalaka literally means ‘one who knows a thing thoroughly like knowing a myrobalan placed in the hand’.

When Śaṅkara (A. D. 788-820) the great teacher of the renaissance of Vedic religion and philosophy, came to a small town, Śrībali in Karnataka, he heard of a ‘dull’ boy who appeared to be deaf and dumb. He was the son of Prabhākara, a well known brāhmaṇa of that place. When Prabhākara met Śaṅkara and told about his ‘misfortune,’ Śaṅkara questioned the boy, ‘Who are you my boy? Why are you behaving like a dullard?’

The boy immediately replied for the first time, ‘I am not a jaḍa (inert) but the jaḍa springs into action by my presence’. He is said to have replied in fourteen verses which were full of Vedāntic (advaitic) wisdom. These verses are now famous as Hastāmalakastotra.

Śaṅkara recognized him to be highly evolved soul and asked Prabhākara to gift the boy to him. This boy was named ‘Hastāmalaka’, since he knew his real nature as the ātman. He became the third of the four chief disciples of Śaṅkara. He later on assumed charge as the first pontiff of Govardhana Maṭha at Puri (in Orissa).


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