The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) in collaboration with other Hindu Americans groups are working hard to eliminate the stereotypes of Hinduism, but the Foundations itself have become targets for Hinduphobia for their efforts.
The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has primarily focused on making sure that an unbiased and precise representation of Hinduism is made whether in school textbooks or university classrooms, according to the group’s description on HAF’s official site.
HAF has invested nearly a decade reaching out directly to teachers, students, textbook publishers as well as school boards in a bid to ensure that the Indian culture and Hinduism it supported, is nothing less than authentic.
But that’s not where HAF draw a line. It expects the curriculum to be socially efficient and even-handed in comparison to the presentation of other religious ethics. This urging does not stem from sensitivities, but is instead about adhering to California law, which restricts adoption of educational material that in any way show negativity as far as a student’s religion is concerned.
Biblical verses have been isolated and perverted with intentions to advocate genocides, crusades and slavery. Islamic texts on the other hand have been used to make allowance for conquests earlier and have been taken hostage currently to proclaim terrorism and slavery.
The core of these religions do not urge children to adapt to those hateful crimes as intrinsic to the faith of the wrong doers. However, the framework of these religions call for the unpleasant truth of caste-based discrimination in India to be cited not just as a social issue, but as an evil intrinsic to Hinduism.
It is this noticeable injustice that drives HAF as well as other Hindu Americans to campaign for accuracy as well as fairness. And this advocacy is what making the Foundation a victim of Hinduphobia today.
HAF has been successful in impacting educational programs in several states. California is the largest school board in the nation, and is home to a large Indian American community, so it’s not really surprising this is where most passion stoke up. The Board’s Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) analysed several emails, social media tags as well as links to international media coverage in preparation for its May 19 hearing on suggested alterations to the education curriculum stirring students in that state, noted Suhag A. Shukla, Esq., co-founder of the HAF via HuffingtonPost.
HAF submitted a slew of edits to the Commission to enhance the representation of Hinduism as the text book teachings on religion are not just an academic concern. A national survey on bullying conducted by HAF divulged that one in three Hindu American children in the U.S. experienced bullying due to their religious beliefs. The real concern, however is not that these children reported being abused because of their ethnicity, race, or Islamophobia but the matter of concern here is that they were abused because of misleading stereotypes about Hinduism.
HAF and other Hindu American groups that are involved in the process had to face politicization and hatefulness following the eleventh hour submission by a group called South Asia Faculty Group (SAFG).
Besides the edits suggested by the SAFG, a loose-knit association of professional activists initiated a media campaign deceitfully criticizing HAF as an extension of the RSS accused HAF of being a Hindutva or Hindu nationalist front.