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

Parivedana literally means ‘obtaining a wife leaving the elder brother’.

The ancient dharmaśāstras like the Gautama Dharmasutras[1] and the Āpastamba Dharmasutras[2] declare that a younger brother should not marry before the elder brother. In case he did, he was called ‘parivettā’ and the act itself was known as ‘parivedana’.

However, if the elder brother was a lunatic, a patient suffering from an incurable serious disease, an impotent person or had become a monk, the younger one was permitted to marry. This restriction applied to a younger sister also who married before her elder sister. All the persons involved in such an act like the parents of the couple and the priest and also two brothers were considered as sinners who would go to hell. Prāyaścittas or expiations were prescribed for them all. It is rather difficult to understand the logic behind this prohibition. This custom seems to have existed among the ancient jews also.[3]


  1. Gautama Dharmasutras 15.18
  2. Āpastamba Dharmasutras
  3. The Old Testament, Genesis 29
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

Contributors to this article

Explore Other Articles