Late in the process, Michael E. J. Witzel, a Harvard Sanskrit professor "unexpectedly intervened". Witzel, along with his collaborator Steve Farmer, was informed about the edits proposed by VF and HEF by a graduate student of Indian origin at a California university. Witzel wrote a letter to the California Board of Education, protesting against the changes. He suggested that the matter be discussed publicly, and that professional advice be taken by the Board. The letter was supported by the signatures of 47 academics in the field of Asian Studies from all over the world.

Dan Golden of the Wall Street Journal described the developments as follows:

"The game wasn't over. Other Hindu groups — including members of the 'untouchables' caste — entered the fray on Mr. Witzel's behalf. The Dalit Freedom Network, an advocacy group for untouchables, wrote to the education board that the proposed Vedic and Hindu Education Foundation changes reflected "a view of Indian history that softens...the violent truth of caste-based discrimination in India.... Do not allow politically-minded revisionists to change Indian history."

The Dalit Freedom Network is not, in fact, a "Hindu group" but part of a Colorado based Christian organization run by Dr. Joseph D'Souza, leader of the "All India Christian Council." He later sent a letter to the Board of Education on behalf of the Dalit Freedom Network. It was co-signed by Udit Raj and Kancha Ilaiah, both prominent critics of Hinduism. Further letters of support came from other Christian Dalit groups, including the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, the Dalit Shakti Kendra, and the Dalit Solidarity Forum in the USA.

Other Dalit groups that testified, and are on public record in California, include those with Buddhist Ambedkarite backgrounds, such as the Ambedkar Center for Justice and Peace, Indian Buddhist Association of America, New Republic India, and Californian Dalit Sikh temples such as the Guru Ravi Dass Gurdwara.

The edits proposed by the VF and HEF were also opposed by a group of organizations that included the Friends of South Asia (FOSA), the Coalition against Communalism (CAC), the Federation of Tamil Sangams in North America, Non Resident Indians for a Secular and Harmonious India, the Vaishnava Center for Enlightenment, and the Indian American Public Education Advisory Council (IPAC).

Forty-seven professional South Asian scholars from universities all over the world and some major American Departments of South Asian Studies co-signed the original letter of opposition to the proposals of the two Foundations. Seventeen members of the California Legislature wrote a letter of support for the scholars. These documents have been made available on the web site of the South Asia Faculty Network.

Soon after Witzel's intervention, Viji Sundaram, a reporter for India-West, wrote that the scholarly consensus behind Prof. Witzel's petition was likely to have influenced the Board of Education's decision to review the changes suggested by the Hindu groups. Another reporter, Rachel McMurdie of the Milpitas Post, pointed out the parentage and close links between the VF and HEF and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh as well as the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, the American branch of the RSS.

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