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

Prācīnāvīta literally means the sacred thread that is worn after taking it round’.

According to the dharmaśāstras[1] every ‘dvija’[2] must wear the yajñopavīta or the upavīta.[3] This is normally worn on the left shoulder, its right part hanging below the right arm. This mode of wearing, called the yajñopavīta-mode, is maintained for all the normal religious rites concerning the gods or the deities.

However, in the rites concerning the pitṛs or manes,[4] this mode of wearing is reversed. The thread is worn on right shoulder, the lower part hanging below the left arm. This is called ‘prācīnāvīta’ mode or ‘āvīta’ mode.


  1. Dharmaśāstras are the secondary scriptures dealing with the varṇaāśrama-dharmas and related topics.
  2. Dvija are ‘the twice-born’.
  3. Upavīta means the sacred thread.
  4. These rituals are śrāddha ceremonies.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore