Tuesday March 26, 2019

India or South Asia – The HAF campaign

“Early Civilizations of India” or “Early Civilizations of South Asia”

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There’s an ongoing debate in California over how to portray ancient India in academic curricula for grades 6 and 7. Some want it to be South Asia while others are insisting on renaming it to India. However the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) wants the whole region to be called as India.

  • The debate is all about whether the region which comprises of modern-day India, Pakistan and Nepal should be referred to India or as South Asia.
  • This debate over Indian subcontinent is evolving into a strong fight. Depicting the fastest-growing Asian population in the United States this can be seen as a reflection of ongoing transformation in California’s population.
  • Various petition drives and social media campaigns such as #DontEraseIndia have been triggered by this raging issue. Students believe that anything other than India will be like erasing their Indian heritage.
South Asian culture, Wikimedia commnons
South Asian culture, Wikimedia commons
  • Tom Admas (Deputy Superintendent of the California Department of Education) said that they want children of California to understand all the religious groups.
  • Mentioning to the fact that in universities such as Harvard the term South Asia is used for the academic unit dealing with the Indian subcontinent, Political scientists (current scholars of India) have preferred to use the term South Asia rather than India.
  • Nathan Glazer (one of the sociologist professors at Harvard) said “They could not conceive of it as South Asia. They knew it as a distinctive civilization, stretching from the Indus to the Ganges, from the Himalayas to the Indian Ocean, with its own ancient languages, and classic texts and religions descended from them. He further elucidates that South Asia is being used to avoid offending to Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • Hindu American Foundation (HAF) wants the whole region to be called as India and insists on explaining the caste system as a part of the region, not as a Hindu practice. According to them, the caste system is not universally accepted in India.
  • However, a group of scholars has challenged HAF the historical accuracy of their view. According to the former group, HAF is trying to sanitize any link between Hinduism and Castes. Therefore, they want it to be renamed as South Asia.

Related article :Top 10 TV series showcasing Indian culture

  • Vidhima Shetty (a high school student) further says names are what define us people and using the term South Asia is like asking us to change our name. Removing India as a term from the textbooks leaves Indian-American children with no ethnic or cultural identification to turn to. When we acknowledge ourselves as South Asians, us Hindus are forced to re-identify ourselves as something we are not
  • Almost 2.5 million Indian Hindus live in the United States. This textbook debate arose when the United States Instructional Quality Commission introduced a new framework for the Kindergarten to the Class 12th social science curriculum.
  • Intellectuals are worried because the textbooks that are made on California’s framework are followed elsewhere as well. The commission has also heard from Filipino, Korean and Mexican advocates.
South Asia definition, Wikimedia commons
South Asia definition, Wikimedia commons
  • Suhag Shukla, an executive director of the HAF who also initiated the social media campaign said “Early Civilizations of India” could be “Early Civilizations of South Asia”. This is an issue not only about accuracy but also cultural competency. HAF was not trying to deny the fact that caste exists, but arguing only that tying it to Hinduism was unfair. Every religion has some form of caste and discrimination
  • Another statement came from Mr. Hansen that “This group has a lot of interest in calling everything Hindu and Indian so that it can equate modern-day India with historic roots. But it’s absurd. It would be like calling Ancient Rome Italy. Our duty is to make sure that the history is keeping with the scholarly research rather than give into what a particular group wants “.
  •  Recently a statement came from Mr. Adams that “In the midst of the back-and-forththe commission is trying to strike a balance.

Prepared by Pritam

Pritam is a 3rd year engineering student in B.P. Poddar institute of management and technology, Kolkata. A simple person who tries to innovate and improvise himself. Twitter handle @pritam_gogreen

  • Archita aggarwal

    May the best stays…

Next Story

India to Launch Electronic Intelligence Satellite Soon

In January, the space agency launched a defence imaging satellite Microsat R for the DRDO

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TESS, rover, NASA, mercuryKeplar, NASA
TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, is shown in this conceptual illustration obtained by Reuters on March 28, 2018. NASA sent TESS into orbit from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. VOA

India on April 1 will launch an electronic intelligence satellite Emisat for the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) along with 28 third party satellites and also demonstrate its new technologies like three different orbits with a new variant of PSLV rocket, ISRO said on Saturday.

According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), a new variant of its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket will first put the 436 kg Emisat into a 749 km orbit.

After that, the rocket will be brought down to put into orbit the 28 satellites at an altitude of 504 km.

This will be followed by bringing the rocket down further to 485 km when the fourth stage/engine will turn into a payload platform carrying three experimental payloads: (a) Automatic Identification System (AIS) from ISRO for Maritime satellite applications capturing messages transmitted from ships (b) Automatic Packet Repeating System (APRS) from AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation), India – to assist amateur radio operators in tracking and monitoring position data and (c) Advanced Retarding Potential Analyser for Ionospheric Studies (ARIS) from Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) – for the structural and compositional studies of ionosphere, the space agency said.

The whole flight sequence will take about 180 minutes from the rocket’s lift off slated at 9.30 a.m. on April 1.

The 28 international customer satellites (24 from US, 2 from Lithuania and one each from Spain and Switzerland)- will weigh about 220 kg.

OSIRIS-REx, NASA, Asteroid bennu
Satellite To Conduct Biological Experiments In Space, Plans Space Kidz India. VOA

“It is a special mission for us. We will be using a PSLV rocket with four strap-on motors. Further, for the first time we will be trying to orbit the rocket at three different altitudes,” ISRO Chairman K. Sivan had earlier told IANS.

The PSLV is a four-stage engine expendable rocket with alternating solid and liquid fuel.

In its normal configuration, the rocket will have six strap-on motors hugging the rocket’s first stage.

On January 24, the ISRO flew a PSLV with two strap-on motors while in March, it had four strap-on motors.

The Indian space agency also has two more PSLV variants, viz Core Alone (without any strap-on motors) and the larger PSLV-XL.

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The ISRO selects the kind of rocket to be used based on the weight of satellites it carries.

The ISRO will also be launching two more defence satellites sometime in July or August with its new rocket Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV).

In January, the space agency launched a defence imaging satellite Microsat R for the DRDO. (IANS)