Last weekend, the Hindu Republican Coalition hosted a rally for Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump in Edison, New Jersey. The rally, called "Hindus United Against Terror Charity Concert," featured Indian Bollywood stars and was advertised as a charity concert for terror victims.
The SAFG, and submissions endorsing their edits, are motivated by ideology and ignorance in insisting on erasing India and linking Hindu scripture with caste-based discrimination. And as the social media posts above show, rather than increasing understanding, they normalize Hinduphobia.
Highly respected professors face intimidation, threats and smear campaigns for deviating from the views of the Hindu right. A cultural and religious war is raging in which Western academics are the enemy.
The debate over how India is to appear in California textbooks has to be seen against the backdrop, not only of Indian political action committees, of what is emerging as a pattern of influence exerted by Hindu nationalist groups here in the U.S. upon U.S. education.
Maybe it's my lack of knowledge or an absence of resources, but I don't think I've explicitly ever been told how I, as a 10 year old, 15 year old, and now 21 year old, could interpret the depths of my religion and piece it together for my daily life.