SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, May 2, 2016 (HAF): The Hindu American Foundation (HAF), the advocacy organization for the Hindu American community, has today announced the release of its 2016 "Bullying in American Schools" report. The report includes testimonies and data demonstrating how Hindu American students are being singled out, bullied, and ostracized by their peers, largely due to academic curricula that reinforce negative and inaccurate stereotypes.
"For many years the American perception of Hinduism has been wrong, in large part due to the content of textbooks, and our kids pay the price," said Samir Kalra, Esq., Senior Director and Human Rights Fellow of the Hindu American Foundation. "These textbooks have enormous power in shaping the only 'official' information many young Americans will ever see--and the impression they will form--regarding the sizable and growing block of their peers who practice Hinduism."
The release of the bullying report is part of HAF's larger campaign to help foster safe spaces for Hindu American students and promote cultural competency in classrooms across America. The pilot study is just one step towards helping lessen the alienation that many Hindu American schoolchildren face in schools. HAF is a participating organization in the White House Initiative on Asian American Pacific Islanders Act to Change efforts to combat bullying and bias.
Read the full report at "source" above.
INDIA, May 2, 2016 (My Digitalfc by Michel Danino): All too predictable -- we seem to have gone through this countless times in recent years. No sooner had the ministry of human resource development (MHRD) issued a circular to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) encouraging them to initiate teaching activities centred on Sanskrit and in particular on texts of science and technology, than some of our politicians and "public intellectuals" rose as one man to brand it another obscurantist attempt to saffronise education. "I don't think an IIT engineer will need Sanskrit in his profession. It is not right to force something like this," opined a leading light of the Congress party.
Doubtless, IIT engineers will have no use for Sanskrit "in their profession". But why stop there? They will have no use for history either and, therefore, it was wrong to "force" it upon them at school. Wrong also to have our future engineers study literature or any art form. Who needs any of that and how would it help you get a fat paycheck, which arguably is the sole objective of human existence?
What is needed is not governmental intervention, but the creation of an atmosphere of genuine culture where students are invited to critically explore wider horizons. Let the thali of Indian culture be offered to them, and let them be free to accept or reject this or that dish -- but after tasting it. And let our "Public Ignoramus" spare us his high-decibel, stereotyped and neo-colonial disparagement of one of the finest heritages humanity may yet claim.
Much more at "source" above.
Devotion must not be like the flood of the rainy season in which all get washed away. Devotion should be like the river that retains water even in the hottest season.
-- Saint Kabir (1440-1518)
INDIA, May 1, 2016 (Swarajya Magazine by Madhu Purnima Kishwar): Madhu Kishwar, the senior most professor at the Delhi based Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), has sent a legal notice to the Director CSDS making serious allegations of gross and systematic discrimination against her.
She alleges that the proverbial last straw has been the arbitrary and vindictive action of denying her institutional affiliation for availing the prestigious Mahatma Gandhi National Professorship awarded to her by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) - the MHRD created organization that provides core funding to CSDS.
Kishwar is not only a renowned social scientist but also a leading public intellectual and pioneer of human rights, women's rights activism in India through the organization and journal Manushi, she founded in 1978.
Kishwar's declaration of intent to fight a legal battle and write a series of articles exposing the lawless manner in which CSDS has been functioning in the name of "academic freedom," is available at "source" above.
JACKSON TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA, USA, May 2, 2016 (Morning Call): A Tannersville couple allegedly dumped a severed cow head at a Hindu man's property in Jackson Township hoping it would scare the victim into moving away, according to court records.
Ricky Strausser, 25, and Kimberly Ann McKee, 19, both of Tannersville, allegedly committed the hate crime in March after attending a gathering of residents who were angry with Dr. Sansar Sastri, who runs Lakshmi Cow Sanctuary from his 90-acre property on Possinger Drive, records show. Besides ethnic intimidation, Strausser and McKee were also charged with harassment, loitering and prowling at night, criminal trespassing, disorderly conduct, scattering rubbish and criminal conspiracy.
Sastri told police he began living on the property about a month. The property is also used as a sanctuary that houses 20 cows that had been rescued from abuse and slaughter. Signs outside also identify the property as a sanctuary. He said he had talked to his neighbors about his religion and the protection of the cows and learned that many did not agree with his beliefs. He said some of his neighbors own cows for slaughter [the source of the severed head].