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California Education Board approves of richer content on Hinduism and ancient India in the curriculum

The new framework is all set to have the mention of philosophies and teachings originating from Hinduism, information about the Bhakti saints and Vedic sages

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Education board in California include richer content on ancient India and Hinduism for the first time. Image source: www.indialivetoday.com
  • The new framework has been accepted after several public hearings and objections, which kept pouring in for the past two years
  • The updated curriculum will also have a richer content on topics like art, culture, dance and scientific contributions of India to the world
  • Earlier, Congressman Tulsi Gabbard and California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom had also voiced their support for the cause

California education board has finally approved a new curriculum that will have rich content on Hinduism and ancient India. The board has also decided to remove text that depicts Islam in a bad light.

The new framework has been accepted after several public hearings and objections, which kept pouring in for the past two years.

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Brimming with optimism, Sandeep Dedage, director, Hindu Education Foundation USA said, “While much needs to be done to bring content on Hinduism and Indian civilisation on par with other religions and civilisations, we believe that great progress has been made in the last two years,” quoted The Indian Express.

Earlier, Congressman Tulsi Gabbard and California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom had also voiced their support for the cause.

Tuksi Gabbard. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Tulsi Gabbard. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The new framework is all set to have the mention of philosophies and teachings originating from Hinduism along with pieces of information about the Bhakti saints and Vedic sages.

According to a report in The Indian Express, the updated curriculum will also have a richer content on topics like art, culture, dance and scientific contributions made by India to the world.

The statement released by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson read as: “It will give our students access to the latest historical research and help them learn about the diversity of our state and the contributions of people and groups who may not have received the appropriate recognition in the past.”

The statement also revealed that the new texts would also include more information about voter education, contributions made by the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) American group, genocide, financial education and about the people with disability.

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While there was a group of top academicians who demanded that ‘ancient India’ to be renamed as ‘South Asia’ in the texts, was followed by a big round of heated debate, and the board eventually decided in favour of India.

Barbara McGraw, convener of the Social Sciences and Religion Faculty Group said, “We have a long way to go. But we are on our way to a bright future for a more equitable representation of Hinduism in California textbooks.”

Though there has been a victory on many fronts Hindu American Foundation senior director Samir Kalra wasn’t too satisfied with the decision because she felt that the board did not show similar “empathy” to Hindus as it showed to the “activists representing Islam and Muslims” by agreeing to depict them in a better light.

– prepared by Bulbul Sharma, a staff-writer at NewsGram. 

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