California Textbook Controversy

An Aryan Invader from America

Professor Dr.Michael Witzel, a racist scholar wedded to the cause of Evangelization of India and the world (if that is feasible) and total distortion of Indian History, divorced from all known principles of classical historiography is now in Chennai city delivering lectures on the languages and cultures revealed by the Rigveda.

Witzel takes his Aryan Invasion to Pakistan

Michael Witzel and a small group of his followers, mainly Europeans and the usual Indian hangers-on like Romila Thapar, are almost the last holdouts for the foreign origin theory of the Vedas and Sanskrit as products of the Aryan invasion. Their academic reputation, what is left of it, rests on the survival of their Aryan theories. Though largely ignored by the Indian media, two major developments have sounded the death knell of the Aryan invasion theory. These are: (1) genetic evidence showing that the Indian population is almost entirely indigenous with negligible input from outsiders going back to the last Ice Age (more than 10,000 years); and (2) British admission that the Aryan invasion theory was concocted to serve imperial interests, because, "it gave a historical precedent to justify the role and status of the British Raj, who could argue that they were transforming India for the better in the same way that the Aryans had done thousands of years earlier."

Attack on Hindu Groups by Harvard Professor Witzel

Hindu parents in California found that the textbooks used in the elementary grades in California public schools contained descriptions of Hindu religion in derogatory terms such as “Heathenistic,” “tribal,” “idolatry,” etc., describing Indian society as “primitive” in terms of treatment of women and caste discrimination. Hindu groups of parents protested demanding the revision of the texts that demeaned their children in the eyes of their peers and also undermined their self image. California Curriculum Authorities at first ignored the pleas of the Hindus. Much later, as a result of a law suit that had been filed in 2006 by an organization called CAPEEM representing socially active Hindu parents, the State settled the case in 2009 with a payment of $175,000 to CAPEEM.

Academic Hinduphobia

Indian studies in the West (especially the US and the UK) are overwhelmingly hostile to their object of study. In the first place, ethnocentric and parochial perceptions will usually dominate when one culture critically evaluates another. And once the resulting interpretative canon becomes firmly established through common consent, prolonged practice and appropriate imprimaturs, it becomes painfully difficult to dislodge, even if it is motivated by an intellectually disingenuous political rationale. In the case of the contemporary Western critique of India, and increasingly Hinduism, its rationale and sheer perversity can be attributed to mundane political reasons and international power politics.



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