Should pre-1947 India be called S Asia? US academics lock horns over name The battle for India, pre-independence India, is being fought in California. In a long-running wrangle that has stretched over decades, academics and historians are once again fighting a pitched verbal battle over how sub-continental history will be taught in American schools. At the heart of the latest clash, the nomenclature of pre-1947 India as "South Asia" at the instance of some left-leaning academics, because, they maintain, the geographic entities of India and Pakistan came into being only after the two countries gained independence from British India.In other words, India did not exist before 1947. The proposal has enraged academics on the right side of the debate who say attempts to delete references to India and replace it with the "geopolitically motivated Cold War-era phrase `South Asia".... is "misinformed and bizarre." "If this is indeed correct that `India' is not an accurate term for India before 1947, how is it possible that the word `India' has been in usage in some form or another from the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans? Did Columbus go sear ching for `South Asia'? Are the islands of the Caribbean Sea called the `West South Asianes' instead of the `West Indies'? Was it the British East `South Asia' Company that led colonial trade and exploitation? Was it the `South Asian Ocean' which constituted the center of the world's largest trade network before the rise of modern Europe? Do you write, perhaps, with `South Asian' ink?" Vamsee Juluri, a professor of Media Studies at the University of San Francisco, sneered in a recent letter to the California Board of Education, ridiculing the leftist proposals that the board has reportedly accepted. The battle between the left-wing historians and right-wing academics and organisations in the US over Indian history has been simmering for a long time now with arguments over everything from the Aryan invasion theory to the use of expressions like Brahminism. The Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) of the California Board of Education (CBE) meets once in ten years to review the "frameworks" for how the syllabus will be taught and the current scrap is tied to the ongoing review. The new HSS (History Social Science) framework draft was issued last Fall, and since then the two sides have been sparring over what will be taught. Juluri says the leftist historians have a stranglehold on the debate mainly on account of the Indian community and organisations working at cross-purposes and overestimating their own strength. "Indian-Americans are a successful community , wellsettled in American life and creating companies and jobs, building bridges with new and old country through culture and business, and yet we have only recently woken up with a start to realize that we don't own our history . In California, and even in India, 68 years after independence, we were still being taught a repackaged version of scholarship that was current in, say , the 1890s!" Juluri wrote in a statement on Teaching Approaches and Experiences he submitted to the California board. The term "South Asia" to describe the Indian subcontinent became current and began to be used widely after the US state department and some lawmakers instituted the "South Asia bureau" in 19911992, carving it out of the the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs. Some Indian nationalists have long argued that the etymology is aimed at diluting India's primacy in the region.