Controversial U.S. textbooks get nod

The California State Board of Education (SBE) on Thursday approved 10 textbooks and rejected two, taking on board several demands made by the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) and dismissing concerns raised by Dalit groups.

The curriculum framework and ensuing textbooks had become a subject of intense tussle among Indian American groups over questions related to the portrayal of Indian society and religions. Caste questions have been particularly contentious. Assertions in the approved textbooks include references to the Indus Valley civilisation as ‘Indus 

Saraswati’ civilisation; that Aryan migration to the subcontinent may not have happened at all and the varna system was “based on an individual’s natural abilities”.

The HAF, supported by a group of 38 academics led by Jeffrey D. Long, Professor of Religion and Asian Studies at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, had sought the rejection of textbook drafts submitted by publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt “for adversely reflecting upon Hinduism and failing to include adequate materials about the LGBT community”. The group had demanded further changes to the drafts by other publishers such as the National Geographic, which were not approved.......Read more


Source web page:The Hindu

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