RSS congratulates Hindu activists in California
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has congratulated the Hindu activists who opposed the implementation of recommended changes to India's name. RSS chief, Manmohan Vaidya said that the leftists' attempt to damage India's glory was foiled by Hindu Education Foundation in California. The efforts of Indian-Americans and HEF-California were supported by about 20 US government officials like California State Senator Steven Glazer and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.
‘South Asia’ to replace ‘India’ in California textbooks
A committee of leftist scholars and South Asia Studies faculty had asked the California Education Department to replace 'India' with 'South Asia' in sixth-to-tenth grade textbooks from 2017. They had stated that before gaining independence from the British rule, India did not exist. Hence, all the discussions of Indian history before 1947 should be referred to as 'South Asia' in the Social Studies Framework.
Committee members who recommended changes
The Committee, which had suggested that the name changes were required included leftist-professors Sheldon Pollock, Robert Goldman, Lawrence Cohen and Kamala Visweswaran.
Social Studies Framework proposal enrages rightists and Indians
Rightists and academics had opposed the recommendations that suggested replacing 'India' with 'South Asia.' They stated that the recommended changes would deny the unique heritage of India. Vidhima Shetty, a 9th-grade student in San Ramon, told the California Education Board that India isn't a landmass but a living civilization and eliminating 'India' would erase her identity as an Indian-American, during her testimony.
What are the recommendations?
Some of the recommendations include removing the mention of Hinduism's acceptance of religious diversity, re-linking Hinduism with casteism, and excluding the mention of Hindu sages like Valmiki and Vyasa and their contributions.
Online petition filed to oppose changes
An online petition with an appeal to 'Let India remain India and Hinduism remain Hinduism' signed by Vamsee Juluri questioned why using 'India' was wrong if the term was in use for over 2000 years. It further asked whether all the countries would now be named according to their geographical locations and if the pre-1776 US would be referred to as 'Northern-Western Hemispherical landmass.'
Replacing ‘India’ alienates Indians from India
Vamsee Juluri, Professor-Media Studies, University of San Francisco, stated that the changes in textbooks would indicate that Indian-Americans, who were well-settled and successful, don't own their history. Juluri said that removing the pre-1947 references to India would create a gap between the Indian youth and their native country. Juluri stated that the replacement is nothing less than a form of intellectual and mental genocide.
California not to go ahead with changes
California Education Department's Instructional Quality Commission has decided to reject the suggestions given by some leftist-professors. Bill Honig, Chairperson of the Subject Matter Committee, had stated that they rejected eliminating 'India' but, agreed to include 'south Asia' in most mentions to ancient India. The decision came after a lot of protests from Indians and Hindus in the US demanding the rejection of the changes.