The Double Standards of Hindutva Ideology on Religious Freedom in India and the United States – By Raju Rajagopal
I was recently in a talk show along with three other panelists on TV Asia’s “Bottom Line with Jyotsna Sharma.” The topic was Religious Freedom in India – Challenges of Pluralism. The discussion touched on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), cow slaughter bans and lynchings, religious conversions, so-called uniform civil code, resolutions by U.S. cities on India, and the California textbook controversy….
The other group, represented by Arvind Kumar, was CAPEEM, formed in 2006 to challenge the contents of California’s Sixth-grade History-Social Science textbooks. CAPEEM, considered to be aligned with Hindutva, had sued the state twice and lost both times…. The crux of the textbooks debate in 2006 were extensive edits demanded by two groups, the Hindu Education Foundation (HEF) and the Vedic Foundation (VF), and the ensuing opposition to them by South Asian scholars and community groups.
HEF and VF were clearly riding on the backs of genuinely concerned Hindu parents to inject a Hindutva version of history into the curriculum: e.g., claiming that caste has nothing to do with Hinduism; demanding that the word ‘caste’ be changed to ‘class’; seeking to erase Dalit identity; pushing the ‘Aryans were indigenous to India’ theory; etc….