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US based Hindus up in arms against attempt to change textbooks and distorting facts by Leftists
Certain suggestions mooted by California's Department of Education have met with a lot of resentment from the Hindus living in the United States of America. The Hindus are alleging that the proposed changes in textbooks not only distort history but also ignore facts on Hinduism.

Following protests from Hindus all across the country, the California Education Department decided to go ahead with some of the suggested changes like replacing the word "India" with "South Asia" in a few textbooks.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has accused Leftist scholars of attempting to replace "India" with "South Asia" in textbooks in California as an attempt to "undermine the country's glorious identity."

RSS spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya said, "Congrats to Hindu activists for successfully opposing and contesting the suggestion to replace `India' by `South Asia' in textbooks in USA. The Leftist scholars' bid to undermine India's glorious identity was foiled by young Hindu activists and Hindu Education Foundation (HEF) in California, USA."

At a public hearing, Chair of the Subject Matter Committee of the Commission, Bill Hoing said that they reject the suggestion of removal of "India" but had agreed to add "South Asia" in parenthesis after most mentions of ancient India.

The State Board of Education will consider the new recommendations and the final draft will be accepted later this year.

But American Hindus are not happy with the proposed changes like removing the mention of Hinduism's belief in religious diversity, re-linking Hinduism with caste and also removing information about the contributions of Hindu sages like Valmiki and Ved Vyasa.

The Hindu Education Foundation (HEF) said, "We question the move to insert a large number of adverse edits on India and Hinduism at the last minute at the instance of a few Leftist scholars."

It further said, "While some important inaccuracies have been rolled back, a large number of adverse edits these academics submitted have still found their way into the recommendations and need to be scrutinised."

HEF has also protested against the removal of mention of non-Brahmin sages like Valmiki and Vyas at the behest of these academics.

The statement said, "It is strange that while claiming to represent the underprivileged, the Leftist professors of South Asia faculty group have sought the removal of the mention that these sages came from lower casts which had specifically been added at the suggestion of Hindu groups to give fair representation to all communities."

Seeking rejection of these changes, a large number of students and parents testified at the public hearing, which was held at Sacramento on March 24.

Vidhima Shetty, a 9th grade student who studies in San Ramon, during her testimony to the Department of Education said, "India is not just a landmass but a living civilization. By removing the mention of India as a civilization, my identity as an Indian-American is sought to be erased."

The students also demanded that Hinduism and India be portrayed in proper light, while narrating different stereotypes that they encounter.

According to the students, the mere suggestion that Vedas belong to "ancient Indian religions" and not Hinduism amounted to stripping them of their Hindu identity.

A coalition of 20 government leaders and elected officials including Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and California State Senator Steven M Glazer have also come out in support of the Hindu community.

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