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.

Prārthanā Samāj

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

During the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries, country witnessed several religious revival and reform movements. Though generally rooted in the ancient value-system, they tried to give religion and society a modern look in consonance with the changing ethos brought about by the British conquest of the country and an invasion of Western culture.

One such movement of these times is the Prārthanā Samāj of Bombay (now Mumbai). Inspired by the visits of Keśavacandra Sen,[1] Dr. Ātmārām Pāṇḍuraṅg[2] started it in 1867. R. G. Bhaṇḍārkar[3] and M. G. Rānaḍe[4] were the main leaders of this movement.

Though inspired by the Brāhmo movement of Bengal, the Prārthanā Samāj did not go to the extent of alienating itself from the traditional religion and society. It remained more like a protestant movement within the boundaries of religion. Major reforms brought about by this Samāj are:

  • Positive belief in the unity of God
  • Great stress on the abandonment of caste
  • Introduction of remarriage of widows
  • Encouragement of female education
  • Abolition of the purdah system
  • Abolition of child marriage

It drew its inspiration largely from the scriptures and the songs of Marāṭhi mystical poets. The movement did not spread beyond the Mahārāṣṭra region and gradually faded out.


  1. He lived in A. D. 1838-1884.
  2. He lived in A. D. 1823-1898.
  3. He lived in A. D. 1837-1925.
  4. He lived in A. D. 1842-1901.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore