# Academic Treatment of Hinduism – California Department of Education

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What is particularly harmful is the adhikara (or authority and ownship) representation of religions. In general, it is the authorities within the Abrahamic religions that have a say in what goes in the text books. However, that is not true for Hindus. Instead of the Hindu pandits or scholars being consulted for proper representation in the text books, the adhikara is shifted to Western scholars who themselves are not Hindus, but in fact also have a Hinduphobic bias on the topic. This must change to correct this wrong.

What about Western depictions of these non-Christian religions? In regards to Islam, when the cartoon controversy came about, the media claimed to be exercising intellectual freedom (which is something the academics claim, also), even though the sentiments of the people were being hurt. Liberal intellects respect Muslims and caution against such treatment. You do not see this in regards to Hindus who might be offended at similar portrayals of their religion.

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