1. What are the issues with the textbooks and how do they affect children?
The following presentations by the Educators' Society for the Heritage of India briefly describe the problems with the textbooks and how they affect children:
2. What is the lawsuit about?
The objectives of CAPEEM's lawsuit are the following:
- To work towards improving the quality and factual accuracy of Grade 6 social studies
- To end the selective discrimination against Hinduism in textbooks
- To protect the civil rights of Hindu children
- To ensure that Hindu children are not alienated from their traditions as a result of negative portrayals of their religion
- To remove colonial stereotypes and prejudices regarding Hinduism from Grade 6 textbooks
- To present the positive aspects of Hinduism so that Hindu children can be proud of their heritage
3. Is filing a lawsuit the right thing to do?
Bureaucrats are often unwilling to take a position against the establishment on controversial issues which often land up with the judiciary. Being dispassionate is the best way to look at the dispute.
4. Were other avenues tried before going to court?
Hindu organizations, parents and academicians have worked with the California State Board of Education (SBE) for more than a year to correct textbooks. Unfortunately, the SBE has chosen to ignore our collective voice. Textbooks under adoption are prejudiced against Hinduism. Going to the court was our only option.
5. Why were there two cases?
The Hindu community in United States has over 2 million people. A dozen lawsuits challenging the decision of CA SBE would have been more appropriate for a community this size.
While CAPEEM has filed with federal court and focuses on the derogatory contents in textbooks and the violation of the civil rights of Hindus, the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) had filed its case in a state court while focusing on the violation of procedures by the SBE.
6. How long is this case expected to last?
The average time for a Federal lawsuit is approximately 18 months.
7. How much will the lawsuit cost?
The case is expected to cost $150 000. This includes legal fees, court fees and miscellaneous expenses.