Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu ever elected to U.S. Congress, has urged a California based education board to define Hinduism accurately in their text books and give the religion its due credit.
The 35-year-old Hindu-American politician and the representative of Democratic Party from Hawaii since 2013, has asked the board not to describe the religion in the wrong light as 'religions of ancient India.'
Californian education board is in its last phase of revising and updating the K-12 History-Social Science syllabus for public schools.
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In a letter head of their final hearing, on July 8, Gabbard has insisted that the board should ensure both the identity and the history of the religion are restored.
She has stressed that all inaccurate and wrong references related to Hinduism like the phrase, "religions of Ancient India, including but not limited to early Hinduism" must be removed.
In the letter Gabbard said, "Replacing Hinduism with the term 'religions of Ancient India, including but not limited to early Hinduism' is not only inaccurate, but it will cause confusion for students and teachers alike," reported DNA.
Tulsi Gabbard administering the oath of office on Bhagavad Gita. Image Source: The Hindu
In addition, she also asked the education board to include the key roles women have played in ancient history and Hindu society at large.
She wrote, "While it is important to discuss the existence of patriarchies in ancient civilisations, it is also critical to discuss the positive contributions and unique roles played by women in those societies," she noted.
"In the context of Ancient India, Hindu women were able to perform their own religious rites and also authored the Vedas, Hinduism's sacred texts," Gabbard added.
She has also asked the education board to depict the caste-system positively and added that though caste-based discrimination is a reality but the present description "goes against the essence of Hindu teachings and scriptures, which posit that divinity is inherent in all beings."
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Being the first and the only serving Hindu-American member of Congress, Gabbard claimed that she has dedicatedly worked towards encouraging equality, pluralism, and diversity.
Meanwhile, around two dozen Indian-American organizations have also sent a letter to the board, requesting it no teach Hinduism in an "outdated, inaccurate and stereotyped manner."
– prepared by Bulbul Sharma, a staff-writer at NewsGram. Twitter handle: iBulbul_