Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Times distorts outcome of 'anti-Hindu bias' case

An article in this morning's Times of India is headlined Hindus teach California a lesson, and carries the sub-heading: Group wins $175,000 from state education board for defaming Hinduism. The Sacramento Bee covers the case rather differently; Its headline reads, Hindu group to get just $175,000 in textbook bias suit.
It appears the Bee is right and the Times wrong. The primary contention of the Hindu group, namely that California's textbooks and vetting methods display anti-Hindu bias, was rejected in court previously. The current settlement involves "no curriculum concessions", and the payment will not even cover the plaintiffs' costs. Wikipedia has an excellent entry about the entire case, with a further link to some 70 text changes made by the California Board of Education after consulting scholars in response to protests by Hindu conservatives. The process was transparent and the end result pretty politically correct. For example, instead of saying men have greater rights than women in traditional Hindu society, California textbooks state women have 'other rights than men'. Predictably, vociferous Hindu groups like the Hindu American Foundation stayed away from the consultations, knowing they'd be exposed when they were asked to produce actual evidence to back their claims. Once the process was over, they cried bias and threatened to sue. They lost their case, and are now holding up the settlement money (offered because going through the trial would be more expensive, and California is in a deep financial hole right now) as a sign of victory. They've fooled Indian media outlets, most obviously the Times of India.

1 comment:

SD said...

I thank you profusely for this article, told by my son to check it. I find it so relevant in context of the happenings going in Aus. Media really is failing time and again to play an unbiased role. It is becoming really difficult what to believe.