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

Pariṣad literally means ‘a gathering of people sitting around’.

Though the Vedas and allied literature give general rules and guidance about dharma, they do not offer solutions to all the problems that arise in the life of an individual or society. Hence, the ancient sages advised a person in doubt about a particular mode of conduct to consult or observe the wise brāhmaṇas.[1] In course of time ‘pariṣads’ of learned men, which was earlier known as ‘sabhās’ or ‘samitis’, were recommended for deciding such issues concerning dharma and even prescribing expiations for transgressions.

A pariṣad should consist of at least ten śiṣṭas[2] though it could be less, if such men are not available in the required number. However, a pariṣad of only one person though permitted theoretically under extraordinary circumstances, was not encouraged. The members of the pariṣads were to be experts in the Vedic lore and also the dharmaśāstras and vyavahāra.[3] They were to be persons of exceptional character and merit. They must be competent to decide the subtlest points of dharma and offer the necessary solutions and guidance when the problems were brought before them. They should also be capable of prescribing the necessary expiations for sins depending on their gravity.

Generally, the king of the land and also a monk of exceptional merit were part of the pariṣad. Though the king might not sit with the members of the pariṣad, his consent to the decisions taken was compulsory. However, even the king could not take any decision in such matters without consulting the pariṣad.


  1. Taittiriya Upaniṣad 1.11
  2. Śiṣṭas means good and great men of character.
  3. Vyavahāra means social conduct.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore