Activist Games

Uberoi Foundation's Tentacles

July 13, 2016

California’s State Board of Education (SBE) revises its textbook curriculum once every few years. When it goes through this process, it holds meetings to interact with the public and take comments and suggestions for improvements. The Instructional Quality Commission (IQC), an advisory body responsible for developing frameworks for the SBE, holds these meetings every few weeks during the process.

The Uberoi Foundation, which has largely been out of the media eye is part of the Hindu nationalist lobby group trying to erase facts and introduce edits that glorify Hinduism at the expense of Dalits, Muslims, and Sikhs. Dig a little deeper to find that they have their hands and their monies everywhere in the curriculum revision process.

  • The Hindu American Foundation(HAF) funded its full-time post for Director of Education and Curriculum Reform in 2013, and its 20 state curriculum reform campaign in 2014 using Uberoi Funds.
  • The Uberoi Foundation funded and then nominated scholars as curriculum experts in their 2014 letter to the California State Board.
  • Several of the scholars from “Scholars for People” and “Social Sciences and Religion Faculty Group” are beneficiaries of Uberoi funding. They play the scholarly voice in lobbying for Hindu nationalist edits.

Given Uberoi’s glaring biases and influence in the process, it was disheartening to see the IQC adopt the Uberoi Foundation’s document of edits as a basis for discussing curriculum edits in their March 24 and May 19 public hearings. The move immediately framed every discussion during the meetings in terms of Uberoi’s islamophobic, casteist, anti-sikh agendas.

This is a blatant conflict of interest. A failure in process.

It is even more alarming when considering the IQC had already compiled all public comments and edits into documents that they could have easily used instead of Uberoi’s documents.

We hope that the State Board of Education doesn’t give into the Hindu nationalist lobby’s pressure and use partisan documentation as reference in their decision making. We hope that come their own public hearing tomorrow, Thursday, July 14th, they will consider all parties’ edits before coming to a fair and balanced representation of history in California’s textbooks.