By Lemor Abrams

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The state board of education is hearing from hundreds of Hindu students, many of whom say they’ve been bullied because of history lessons that perpetuate stereotypes about their homeland.  So they’re urging educators to change those history books.

Siri Tantry and her friends were raised to be proud Hindus. But in school, they say some kids make fun of them for being part of India’s caste system, which divides Hindus into ranked categories.

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“They were like, ‘oh you were part of the untouchables right? Are you the Lower class or the higher class?’ And at that moment I got really sad, depressed, frustrated,” said Siri Tantry.

The culprit? Their history books. The girls believe publishers misrepresent their religion and culture by only showing images of trash and poverty.

“I agree there’s negative stuff in each religion, each race in the world, but it’s not fair they exaggerate the negative stuff,” said 8th Grader Aparna Ganabadhi Basavapatna.

“Indians have invented so much. They’ve done so many great things,” said 8th Grader Anwita Satapathy.

They’re asking California educators to approve changes, highlighting India’s positive contributions to the world, from yoga to meditation to math. But scholars say that would only sanitize history.

Stanford Professor of Anthropology Thomas Hansen telling the New York Times, “Our duty is to make sure that the history is keeping with the scholarly research rather than give in to what a particular group wants.”

“We’re not saying that some of these things should not be mentioned, but they should be mentioned accurately with nuance,” said Director at Hindu American foundation Samir Kalra.

Hindu advocate Samir Kalra says he’s not only trying to shape the image of Hinduism, he wants to protect vulnerable Hindu children from bullying.

State educators won’t comment on what changes they’re considering. They’ll vote in November.

Comments (4)
  1. Ron Banerj says:

    “make sure that the history is keeping with the scholarly research”
    Oh really ??? Good. Then the section on Islam will talk of stoning women to death, sharia law, and female genital mutilation .. RIGHT ?? And will the Catholic section speak of pedophile homosexual priests? OR, is it something different, ie: when it comes to Muslims and Christians, it’s all about those precious snowflakes and their “feelings”.. and when it comes to Hindus, it is about “scholarly research”

  2. I doubt this bullying came from history books. Kids these days DO NOT read them.

    More likely, they got it from YouTube or just your random Google search on Hindus.

    And the books aren’t lying. India really is a messed up place, with incompetent politicians and awful infrastructure. Horrible roads, untreated sewage, and frequent power outages are normal everyday things. It’s a few wealthy and ALOT of poor, with far too many poor living in primitive, unsanitary, barbaric conditions.
    Outside of a few modern cities or office parks, India still is very much Third World, no matter what its apologists may say.

    1. As usual your white Christian intellect seems to be failing you miserably. The word “caste” itself is of Portuguese origin and the entire Indian population was forcibly grouped into 04 hierarchical castes by British ethnographer Risley. The British did not come to India because it was poor, they came to India to loot and transformed India into what you have written.

      The greatest damage to India has been caused by Abrahamic cults namely Islam and Christianity, in that order. In any case what makes you think that the current social stratification in Indian society does not have any organic linkages to the 1000 year old Islamic barbarism and 250 year old British racism that flourished in India, more so when ancient Vedic Bharat did not have any thing called caste and had unrestricted social mobility based on one’s qualities and not birth?

  3. “But scholars say that would only sanitize history.” Really? What about sanitized history of crusades and invasions and cruelty and slavery? and digestion of pagan cultures?

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