#DontEraseIndia: HAF Launches Campaign to Keep India and Hinduism in CA Textbooks

What’s the Issue? | What’s HAF Doing? | Why Does It Matter? | What Can YOU Do?

What’s the Issue?

California has accepted recommendations from a group called The South Asia Faculty to remove the words “India” and “Hinduism” from its K-12 History-Social Science Frameworks.  

The frameworks outline how a subject must be taught. In 36 places, the California Department of Education (CDE) eliminated “India” and “Hinduism” and replaced them with “South Asia” and “religion(s) of Ancient India,” respectively.  

The following is a small sampling of some the most problematic edits:

Edit Number Original Framework Language South Asia Faculty Group’s Edited Language
2454 “A flourishing urban civilization developed inIndia from as early as 3300 BCE along the Indus River.” “A flourishing urban civilization developed inSouth Asia from as early as 3300 BCE along the Indus River.”
2730 “Enduring contributions of ancient Indiancivilization to other areas of Afroeurasia…” “Enduring contributions of South Asian cultureand civilization to other areas of Afroeurasia…”
2439 “How did the religion of Hinduism support individuals, rulers and societies.” “How did the religion of Ancient India support individuals, rulers and societies.”
2480 “Teachers focus students on the question: How did the religion of Hinduism support individuals, rulers, and societies?” “Teachers focus students on the question: How did the religion of Ancient India support individuals, rulers, and societies?”









Click here to see all of the recommendations for Ancient India and Hinduism submitted by the South Asian Faculty Group, and other scholars.

What’s HAF Doing?

Click here to read Op Eds, blogs, news coverage, and HAF’s actual submissions.

The #DontEraseIndia campaign is aimed at ensuring that the CA K-12 History-Social Science Framework depicts the history, culture, and traditions of Indian and Hindu Americans accurately and in a culturally competent manner, in order to better educate students and prepare them for an increasingly globalized society.

Launched on April 6, 2016 to coincide with the 86th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi March, the campaign is a broad-based initiative supported by community groups, scholars, interfaith organizations, and elected officials to raise awareness about the attempts to erase and minimize the history and contributions of Hindus and Indians from the Framework. The Framework is of critical importance, as it provides a blueprint for textbooks and instructional materials, and will guide classroom instruction for the next several years.

Ultimately, the campaign seeks to ensure that Indian and Hindu American students are able to feel secure in their religious and cultural identities and are not bullied due to misrepresentations of their beliefs or heritage.

Why Does It Matter?

“On the first day of school, teachers promise us that we will feel safe and protected in their classes…but after reading the chapter about Hinduism in my textbook, I felt exposed, vulnerable, and my heritage inferior to others.”
-9th grade student, San Jose




Hindu American students continue to be bullied and feel socially ostracized for their religious beliefs, according to the results of HAF’s nationwide survey of middle and high school students. Click here to view and download the report,Classroom Subjected: Bullying and Bias against Hindu Students in American Schools.

“[T]he experience I had [in sixth grade] clearly shows that my class was not helped to become aware or accepting of my heritage, nor was I allowed to remain secure in my beliefs. I don’t want my friends to look down upon me and my culture because of my textbook. It’s unfair…What I ask is for fairness and dignity. Is that too much to ask for?” 
-9th grade student, Pleasanton





What Can YOU Do?

You can help generate awareness about this important campaign by widely publicizing the following pieces on your social networks. Don’t forget to include #donteraseindia with your post!

Source: HAF