Education A State Capitals Roundup

California State Board Heeds Hindu Groups’ Text Concerns

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — March 14, 2006 1 min read
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The California state board of education has approved hundreds of revisions to middle school history textbooks, largely in response to complaints from Hindu groups about the way their religion was depicted.

Board members accepted many of the groups’ controversial recommendations, though with some modifications. (“Calif. Texts Tied Up in Debate Over Portrayal of Hinduism” Feb. 8, 2006.)

The Hindu Education Foundation, in the San Francisco Bay area, sought to recast sections of the texts dealing with the religious and cultural history of ancient India that its scholars viewed as inaccurate. The changes that the board approved last week, critics argued, distort history and present a political view of Hinduism not generally accepted in India today.

According to press reports, the Hindu groups were somewhat appeased by the board’s action.

The textbooks will be available in 6th grade classrooms as early as next fall.

A version of this article appeared in the March 15, 2006 edition of Education Week

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