Organization targets textbook stereotypes of Indian culture in California schools

Group says inaccurate depictions can lead to bullying

Earlier this month, the Hindu American Foundation announced a months-long campaign to correct all inaccurate depictions of India and Indian culture in California textbooks.

According to the organization, the framework of the state’s textbooks misrepresents the Indian community by reinforcing stereotypes. The biggest focus, the organization says, is to help end the bullying of Indian and Hindu students. In Sacramento County school districts, Asian-Americans, including Indians, account for nearly 32,000 K-12 students.

In May, the State Board of Education will hold a hearing to vote on changing several Indian references from textbooks, incuding substituting mentions of “India” with “South Asia.”

“The hearing is important on many levels, but mostly to prove that the state is making it a priority to correctly understand and accurately portray the cultural and religious heritage of its citizens,” Senior Director of the Hindu American Foundation Samir Kalra said in a statement.