Many protesters appealed to California lawmakers to not single out Hindus
Sacramento, CA.: A bill seeking to explicitly ban caste discrimination in California has been unanimously passed by the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee, amidst strong opposition from Indian-American business and temple organizations.
If passed, the bill could make America’s most populous state also the country’s first to make caste bias illegal by adding it as a protected category in the state’s anti-discrimination laws.
“Today, I proudly stand in solidarity with my caste-oppressed community members, caste equity movement organizers, and allies to say that caste-oppressed Californians are now one step closer to attaining the protections they deserve and are entitled to,” said Thenmozhi Soundararajan, Equality Labs and author of ‘The Trauma of Caste’.
Equality Labs, the brain behind the anti-caste discrimination resolution in Seattle, has been spearheading a nationwide campaign. Seattle became the first US city to outlaw caste discrimination in February.
Meanwhile, at the peace rally organized by the Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA) on Wednesday, participants said that the legislation introduced by Senator Aisha Wahab goes against the fundamental principles of equality and justice for all, regardless of their race, religion and ancestry.
“This bill presumes guilt, profiles and stereotypes Hindus and Asians, which will increase hate and target our kids,” said Harsh Singh, a Fremont city resident and tech worker.