Hindutva defeat sealed in CA

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Mon Feb 27 23:01:05 UTC 2006

With satisfaction we note that the long drawn out California battle has  
drawn to a successful close this afternoon, at 2 p.m. PST.

Today’s meeting of the subcommittee of the Board of Education (SBE) has  
clearly  come down on the side of reason and historical accuracy, with  
a vote of  5 :  zero,

The recommendations of the Dept. of Education were adopted  without  
*any* changes.

That means all  the ahistorical and sectarian edits of the two Hindutva  
  foundations were decisively  thrown out. The ‘persuasive’ proposals of  
the 50 scholar’s letter and the second (Heitzman-Wolpert-Witzel) panel  
as well as the results of the Jan. 6  rout of S. Bajpai  carried the  

Thus, the position of women is correctly stated in the edits as  
suppressed, the caste system and suppression of Dalits are back,  
polytheism (not ‘God’) is back, and the Aryan migration is back.

We now await the final decision of the full State Board on March 9.

Incidentally, the funniest thing today was that one Hindutvavadin got  
up and read some ‘Christian’ quotations out of Steve Farmer’s  
dissertation on Pico that should have made Farmer a Bible thumping  
creationist -- only that those sentences were Pico’s, half a millennium  
ago, not Farmer’s.  More later.  Well, this great idea had  been   
spread yesterday all over the Indian Civilization list at Yahoo.

Funny, that Hindutvavadins always believe their own inventions and  

Sure enough, the ‘real reason’ for the Hindutva defeat was already  
foretold this morning by Dr.Kalyanaraman (though it was not written in  
his diffuse style, but clearly by a ghost writer):  collusion between  
the CA Secretary of Education, who is on Harvard’s Board  --I did not  
know that--  and the hate "mongering groups at Harvard."   Almost as  
good as the Farmer 'quote' ! Conspiracies, conspiracies...

Seriously speaking, we have been predicting the defeat of the Hindutva  
edits  ever since the first reports of the irregular (and probably  
illegal) procedures at the  meeting of Dec. 2  of the SBE’s Curriculum  
Commission reached us that day. The SBE just could not uphold the  
historically incorrect and obscurant edits made on that day, as pushed  
through by one of its Commissioners, in clear collusion with the  
Hindutva groups involved; we have reported on this least earlier.

The signs on the wall were visible in the materials received during the  
informational meeting held at Sacramento on January 6, and when the  
revised edits were published by the staff of the Dept. of Education one  
  week or two ago: almost all of the egregious and ahistorical edits  
have been taken out, and today’s procedures at Sacramento have  
reconfirmed that.

In sum, this is a clear victory for reason and scholarship in the face  
of sectarian and politically motivated, right wing action groups. Their  
allegiance is  elsewhere than in California and they instead aim at  
gaining political capital in India.

No smiles today but deep anger on the faces of the Hindutvavadins, who  
openly admitted defeat, and smiles all around on the faces of the many  
groups opposing them.

All who have participated in the process of combating this  
religio-political ideology and beating it back have good reason to be  
elated. One onslaught on the non-sectarian American education system  
has been defeated.

However, we have to be ready for the next one. Hindutvavadins will  
(perhaps) learn from the  blatant mistakes made this time, and they  
will begin concerted, if futile  effort to change textbooks in Texas  
two years from now.

Congratulations and thanks to all involved, all around the globe. Just  
occasionally, at least some of us have to get out of the Ivory Towner  
and take a stand.

Michael Witzel
Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University
1 Bow Street , 3rd floor, Cambridge MA 02138
1-617-495 3295           Fax: 496 8571
direct line:       496 2990
< http://users.primushost.com/~india/ejvs/>

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