Another Religiously-Motivated Bombing

July 11, 2006

I’ll pop out of retirement for a moment to make sure that more people see this story.

Who’s the conflict between? Hindus and Muslims. Tell me, without religion, would these train bombings have occurred?


Hindu groups insist on history books with rose-colored glasses

March 3, 2006

There are a number of quotes that I want to highlight and comment on here:

SACRAMENTO / Groups seeking textbook revisions / Lessons on life in ancient India stir education hearing

“Learning about Hinduism in my sixth-grade class left me feeling ashamed and angry,” Sameera Mokkarala, a sophomore at Gunn High School in Palo Alto, one of several dozen speakers, said during the hearing. “All that was talked about was the caste system, polytheism and sati.” (Sati is the long-banned burning of widows on a husband’s funeral pyre.)

Let’s not learn about things that happened because they’re uncomfortable, yes? They want to

remove or soften references to the untouchable caste and the subordinate status of women in India more than 2,000 years ago, among other elements that the groups view as demeaning to their religion and humiliating to Hindu schoolchildren in California.

A sixth- and seventh-grade social studies teacher in one of the affected school districts is, “appalled by the selective amnesia and fake history that is being advocated … [indian american children need to know] the truth behind their history,” and the human rights problems therein.

One of the proponents of revisions to the textbooks protests that, “Hindu scriptures are called myths and legends while other religious texts such as the Bible are accorded more weight as historical documents.” This, I agree with! They all need to be referred to as the myths and legends that they are.

Veena Dubal, an Indian American doctoral and law student at UC Berkeley, said she was “painfully embarrassed to read about the injustices committed in my parents’ homeland” but asked the subcommittee not “to erase past and contemporary histories of oppression” or “to trade knowledge for pride.”

The correct course of action is to teach people about these things so that they don’t perpetuate them. What she says about trading knowledge for pride sums it up excellently.