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

Pitrgāthā literally means ‘song of the manes’.

In religion, the pitṛs[1] have always been respected. Normally, once a year, the descendants are expected to pay homage to them through religious rites known as Śrāddhas. It seems that, even as the descendants are eager to appease their pitṛs, the pitṛs too hanker for such appeasement.

The Matsyapurāṇa,[2] one of the eighteen Mahāpurāṇas, contains an interesting piece, depicting such hankering. This has come to be known as the Pitrgāthā or the Song of the Manes. It is to be chanted as a part of śrāddha ceremonies, thus making the brāhmaṇas invited for food listen to it. The gāthā expresses the desire of the pitṛs to get good food in the śrāddhas, receive oblations of water in holy rivers and get a śrāddha performed at the holy pilgrim centre Gayā in Bihar. They will bless their descendants who perform the following:

  • Donate a milch-cow and a deerskin to a good brāhmaṇa
  • Set free a bull to roam about as it likes
  • Donate gold or cow or a piece of land to a deserving and needy person
  • Perform public service activities such as digging a well for drinking water and raising a nice garden

However, they are pleased immensely if their descendants become scholars in the scriptures and great devotees of Lord Viṣṇu.


  1. Pitṛs means the forefathers or manes.
  2. Matsyapurāṇa 204.3-17
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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