California sued for maligning Hindus

The lawsuit was filed by CAPEEM and three community members.

Visakhapatnam: Is the caste system the very essence of Hinduism? Had the social hierarchies existed only in the Hindu society? Is Brahminism synonymous with Hinduism? At least, California’s education officials believe so. This has resulted in a lawsuit by a US-based Hindu group against the US officials.

According to the lawsuit, the official history curriculum in California has taken a lenient view of other religions by refusing negative examples, which could lead to prejudice against their followers. However, Hinduism was not viewed from the same lens.

“It is unfortunate that state board officials have chosen to single out Hindu children for such negative treatment. We submitted many suggested revisions to the curriculum last year, but almost all were refused, leaving us with no choice but to file this case,” said Arvind Kumar, a director of the California Parents for the Equalization of Educational Materials (CAPEEM), a Hindu-American advocacy organisation. The lawsuit was filed by CAPEEM and three community members.

Reacting to this, Professor Vamsee Juluri, who is not involved in the lawsuit, said: “I do think it is (lawsuit) a needed step in order to demonstrate the inequities that still persist in the curriculum. The board backed off on the move to erase ‘India’ last year, but many errors and discriminatory points on Hinduism have still remained there.”

Mr Juluri, a Indian-origin professor, teaches media studies and Asian studies at the University of San Francisco and is the author of Saraswati’s Intelligence.

“The perspective of religions other than Hinduism is provided through each religion’s “teachings,” which include many virtues and characters central to those faiths. But Hinduism is not described as virtuous and the standards do not mention any traditional Hindu characters or narrative,” read the lawsuit filed against California.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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