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 demons Ilvala and Vātāpi were the sons of the demoness Siṃhikā and destroying them was one of the exploits of the sage Agastya.

Once Ilvala approached a brāhmana sage with the request to bless him a son equal to Indra. The sage rejected it. Since then Ilvala started hating and killing the brāhmaṇas with the help of his younger brother Vātāpi, adopting a strategy. He transformed Vātāpi to a goat through his magical powers, then prepared a meal out of it and served it to a brāhmaṇa specially invited for dinner. After the dinner he would call Vātāpi to come out and Vātāpi would emerge in his original form tearing the brāhmaṇa. Both the brothers thus killed many brāhmaṇa-s.

When Ilvala tried the same trick on the sage Agastya, he quietly uttered the words, ‘Vātāpi jīrṇo bhava’ which means ‘O Vātāpi, get digested’ and in this way Vātāpi was destroyed Ilvala was also burnt to ashes by Agastya’s fierce look.


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