KAUAI, HAWAII, September 25, 2014 (HPI): As readers may know, the California State Board of Education’s Instructional Quality Commission set in motion a 60-day review period for the revised Framework for History-Social Studies. In this revised Framework, which sets the classroom curriculum for each grade, the section on India and Hinduism has been extensively changed, in our opinion, often for the worse.
Hinduism Today is working with organizations and scholars to create a set of recommended changes to the revised Framework, and as part of that we need to demonstrate the problems created by the existing one.
We have heard anecdotal reports from Hindu students that they’ve been humilated in class by the nature of the sections on India, focused as they are almost entirely on caste in most books. One student went home and told his mother, “I don’t want to be a Hindu any more.” Another was taunted with the question, “What’s your caste?”
We’ve appealed to parents to send us more such reports, but are not getting a big response, we believe because they don’t want their school-age children to be brought into a controversy.
However, what is being taught now has been the same since the early 1990s. So you attended sixth grade in California during that time, we’d like to hear what it was like for you during the week India and Hinduism was taught.
It is very important that we collect this data immediately. Your name can be used or not as you prefer.