Majority of Hindus will become less employable in California with the stroke of a pen

The heart of the issue lies in the mainstreaming of a colonial concept that led to the stratification of the Indian society during the  British colonial period

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The Bill:

On May 11, 2023, a so-called groundbreaking piece of legislation was passed by the California State Senate. Known as Bill SB 403, the proposed legislation seeks to ban caste-based discrimination. This unprecedented move, once enacted, would make California the first state in the United States to include ‘caste’ as a protected category in its anti-discrimination laws. The bill is an amendment to the Unruh Civil Rights Act, which guarantees all individuals in the state of California full and equal access to services, facilities, and accommodations in all business establishments of the state.

Reactions from the Left

Needless to say, the DEI (Diversity, Equality, and Inclusivity) industry – dominated by the extreme left and the woke crowd – is overjoyed at the passage of this bill. The non-profit organization, Equality Labs, known for its biases against the Hindu community, has celebrated this development. This organization has led the campaign for the bill in the guise of promoting inclusivity in society.

Reactions from Hindus

However, the reaction from the Hindu American community has been far from welcoming. This dynamic community, composed predominantly of middle-class individuals, is deeply concerned that SB 403 could inadvertently lead to stereotyping and misrepresentation. Not to mention, the bill, if enacted, could be weaponized to further divide the community on lines similar to racial segregation. There have been protests in California as well as in other states against the latent anti-Hindu nature of the bill.

The heart of the issue lies in the mainstreaming of a colonial concept that led to the stratification of Indian society during the  British colonial period.

The Bill Explained

A brainchild of Senator Aisha Wahab, Bill SB 403 passed in the California Senate with an overwhelming majority vote of 34-1. While SB 403 has been supposedly designed to combat and eradicate caste-based discrimination, in practice, it will institutionalize discrimination against Hindus. According to this bill,  caste will be added as a protected category under anti-discrimination laws, providing explicit protection to those who have been systemically marginalized due to caste-based bias and prejudice. It promises severe legal consequences for those who perpetrate, endorse, or ignore caste-based discrimination.

Success Story of Hindus in Silicon Valley

The concerns of the Hindu community become particularly poignant in light of their substantial contributions to Silicon Valley. Coming primarily from middle-class families in India, Hindu Americans have notched up significant achievements in the Valley. Their relentless emphasis on meritocracy and hard work has led them to occupy top positions in prominent tech companies.

Brain Drain Due to Reverse Caste Discrimination

Interestingly, a significant factor that drove these successful individuals to the US was the stifling reservation-based system prevalent in India. With a significant proportion of seats in higher education and public-sector employment reserved for marginalized communities, the opportunities for individuals from unreserved categories have been considerably reduced. Consequently, these individuals looked to the US for opportunities to pursue the ‘American Dream’ unfettered by caste-based reservations. This has led to a ‘brain drain’ from India, with a significant number of highly skilled and educated individuals opting to migrate to the US.

Setback to Hindus

While the stated goal of SB 403 is to combat caste-based discrimination, it has the potential to create a whole new set of challenges for the Hindu community.  The primary concern is the potential for stereotyping and misrepresentation of Hindus, associating them with caste-based discrimination – a social ill that they left behind in India. The concept of ‘caste’ as understood in the Western context is fundamentally different from the Indian systems of Varna and Jaati, leading to potential misunderstandings and misinterpretations.

Read more: The Varna, The Jati, and The Caste: The Good, The Rational and The Horrible

Why They Can be Rendered Less Employable with One Stroke of a Pen:

The concerns extend beyond mere misrepresentation. The Hindu community in California fears that the enactment of SB 403 might institutionalize the ‘caste’ identity in America, creating an atmosphere of bias against Hindus. With caste becoming a protected category under this bill,  any allegations of caste-based discrimination could have serious repercussions, even leading to loss of livelihood. Given that these allegations would be based on a misunderstood and misinterpreted concept, this is a cause for significant concern among the Hindu community.

Cisco-CRD Case

California Department for Fair Employment and Housing (now California Civil Rights Department) filed a lawsuit against Cisco in 2020, alleging caste-based discrimination of a self-declared “Dalit”  employee by two superiors supposedly belonging to a more privileged class. Long story short, the case turned out to be bogus. While the case has now been dismissed, it has become the cornerstone for SB 403. Once the bill is enacted, we can only assume how many more such bogus claims will get legal backing. While Cisco was able to stand its ground against CRD, others might not have the resource to fend off such attacks.

Also Read: Cisco Case Exposes CRD’s Caste-Based Agenda to Divide the Community

Regardless of the merits of such cases, the accused parties will invariably end up suffering serious consequences as Corporate America shuns them to protect its own reputation.

In summary, SB 403, with the colonial caste system at the core of it, will only end up promoting discrimination against Hindus based on caste rather than eliminating it.

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