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US retains flawed Hinduism textbooks

A California court has refused to throw out of schools some textbooks with a flawed presentation of Hinduism.

india Updated: Sep 05, 2006 11:23 IST

A California court has accepted a Hindu body's contention that some textbooks with a flawed presentation of Hinduism were approved improperly, but refused to throw them out of schools for now.

A flawed approval process had resulted in textbooks that presented the debunked Aryan Migration Theory as fact, misrepresented caste as central to Hinduism and left the impression that Hinduism devalued the role of women, the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) said in a press release.

The California Superior Court last week upheld HAF's claim that the state School Board of Education (SBE) had followed a flawed and illegal approval process for sixth grade textbooks.

But the court denied its demand that SBE be required to throw out the currently approved textbooks and revisit the entire textbook adoption process, it said.

In his ruling, Judge Patrick Marlette wrote the California SBE has been conducting its textbook approval process under invalid 'underground regulations', but said the rejection of textbooks would be disruptive not only to affected sixth graders, but potentially every California public school student using any and every textbooks.

So while the process followed in adopting the contentious Hinduism sections, and all recently approved textbooks in California, was illegal—as HAF had argued—the judge apparently decided against a sweeping ruling that could open the door to other lawsuits discarding textbooks in the most populous state in the US, the release said.

As the immediate goal of revising textbooks was unmet, HAF attorneys are considering their options for an appeal to force revisions to the Hinduism section in the contested textbooks, it said.