May 13th Equality Labs Strikes Again! Ad Hoc HRC Committee on Caste Dissolved

A Long road to the Public Hearing

A Long road to the Public Hearing
A Long road to the Public Hearing

At first glance, the news of the dissolution of the Ad Hoc Committee on Caste, at the Santa Clara Human Rights Commission (SCHRC) seems like great news to those fighting the proposal, regarding the introduction of Caste as a protected category in Silicon Valley.

It is a huge win for us, given that Equality Labs did not waste a single minute this fiscal year of July 2020-May 2021. Come 1st July 2020 and Equality Labs was dutifully knocking at the doors of the clueless Santa Clara Human Rights Commissioners, enriching their vocabulary on Caste, Dalit and Ambedkar [1].

Eventually, the Equality Labs schooling had the desired impact as the Commission set up the Ad Hoc Caste committee and since November 2020 have had regular meetings with Equality Labs. A public hearing happened on April 29th and when we got a whiff of it, as Hindu Americans we made clear our points of view. For one, Equality Labs cannot represent us or our community. Secondly, we have hurt at the hurling of these colonial constructs like Caste at us again and thirdly, we made known how most of us are caste agnostic now [2].

But the Commission continuously sidelined the Hindu American views, interrupted our testimonies, and refused to recognize that we had Dalit and Bahujan voices on our side with a counterargument.

The report failed to recognize that there are no Hindu voices represented in the Equality Labs and the report failed to recognize the concerns of the broader Indian American voice that continued to raise objections

Evident Bias of the Caste Committee report

On May 13th 2021, the Ad Hoc Committee on Caste within the SCHRC finally submitted its report and the Committee was dissolved. The report continued to recognize Caste oppression as an issue in the United States and something that needs continued deliberation in the coming fiscal year [3].

The report failed to recognize any of the concerns of the broader Hindu American community. The report failed to recognize that all the complaints regarding Caste oppression are either anonymous anecdotes of supposed oppression or discrimination. It fails to recognize that there is no documented evidence of caste discrimination, only hearsay [4].

It also fails to recognize that there are no reports of caste-based violence and that there are no police reports. And yet, one member of the so-called “expert panel” kept comparing Caste oppression to the Jim Crow laws. Obviously, these are people living in such alternate realities that they have no handle on an objective assessment of situations or any regard for historical veracity while invoking a horrendous aspect of America’s past and conflating it with modern corporate life.

The report failed to recognize that there are no Hindu voices represented in the Equality Labs and the report failed to recognize the concerns of the broader Indian American voice that continued to raise objections [5].

Suffice it to say, despite requests for time to present our research through our expert panel, and requests for Hindu Americans to get time to balance the narrative, the ad hoc caste report continued to say that “because of specifically charged powers in the hands of the HRC, the Commission will consider adding Caste Discrimination as an item to focus item in our 2022 fiscal year work plan (pending Commission review and approval)”.

The Proverbial Goliath and the Proverbial Kumbhakaran

The Colonial outlook and sense of privilege and hostility were evident even as we continued to be civil. Our recommendation for setting up a panel to represent our views and our research was sidelined. Our recommendations that Equality Labs ancient manuscript of concocted data be updated, with more accurate and scientific study, did not get included in the Caste report.

One can only conjecture that in case the Hindu American community had not intervened and opposed the caste proposal vehemently for the cumulated dozen hours and hundreds of manhours that we spent listening and countering over the two meetings, then Equality Labs could have smooth-talked the SCHRC to forward this proposal further towards a resolution in the city before the end of 2021 session.  While Equality Labs and its cohorts work within a powerful well oiled and well-funded infrastructure with deep inroads into the political and societal machinery, we as Indian Americans or Hindu Americans are barely coming to terms with the magnitude of the battle in front of us. We are simply taking one step at a time and fighting the Goliath with our bare hands [6].

The larger Indian American community has no understanding of the political and long-term implication of these insinuations or of the addition of Caste-based legislations. The absolutely deracinated Hindus of Silicon Valley live very atomized lives and are not very cohesive or politically inclined.

Many of whom we approached with the issue, did not take it seriously, calling it a one-off issue like the Cisco Caste Case.

Let’s face it, it is not easy for first-generation immigrants grappling with issues of settling down or unsettling temporary visas to go beyond the boundaries of mundane thriving and bare necessities.

But those of us who are involved with the issue has figured out the gravity of the situation. The Cisco Caste Case brought us to the realization that frivolous baseless reports like the Equality Labs Caste report of 2018 (based on a 2016 dataset) are under serious consideration in media and human rights of the United States. It does not matter that the anecdotes in this report are far removed from the lived experience of most Indian Americans and that they are without any academic standing. This is not an average egalitarian American exercise in democracy. No sir, clearly this is a politically motivated agenda.

Caste and Hindu have become embedded, due to the prolonged misrepresentation of Bahujan and Dalit narratives and the misappropriation of Ambedkar by the neo Ambedkarites

Who is sitting in judgement on Hindus?

A Christian woman named Thenmozhi Sounderrajan and her colleagues like Sharmim Hussain, a Muslim, run the show at Equality Labs and have shown in social media their utter disdain for Hindus and their deep desire to obliterate Hinduism. Equality Labs is known for its artwork that depicts violent bloodied images of India and everything Hindu. This is a group that has misappropriated the Bahujan and Dalit voices and is violently anti-Hindu in its content and intent.

And What’s Ramadan got to do with it?

Secondly, there is a strong Muslim and Khalistani connection to the hearings. In fact, one of the speakers during public comments actually said, that due to their holy month of Ramadan and the festival season of Id, most participants could not make it today and the hearing should be postponed.

This sense of entitlement is obviously expected given the clout of this group. But it also reveals the extent of involvement of the Islamic community in getting this Caste issue highlighted.

While Sikhs are strongly patriotic and Indophiles, there is no denying that a strong Khalistani lobby is driving politics in parts of North America, starting with Canada and now in the states of Washington and California. Indian Americans will continue to see this politics of vilification in these regions, as the Khalistani lobby gets stronger and bolder.

Judging Hindus with forked tongues.

Caste and Hinduism have become embedded, due to the prolonged misrepresentation of Bahujan and Dalit narratives and the misappropriation of Ambedkar by the neo Ambedkarites.

As some Indian Dalit leaders have said, “many of these Indian social scientists owe their careers to the so-called Dalits of India because using a one-sided narrative on Dalits, they have built lucrative careers like vultures feeding on others’ misfortunes. “

The forked tongues of Equality Labs come out every time they speak on Caste and Dalits. Together like parrots in an orchestrated symphony, the callers from Equality Labs speak in cohesion from similarly crafted chits saying caste is an issue in all communities of South Asia. Then, in that case, why is Equality Labs in their resolutions and reports targeting Hindus specifically with no mention of any other religion?

This is starkly visible in resolutions passed in the school bodies in college campuses in UC Davis and Cal State. It was also evident in the framing of the issue in the Human Rights body as well.

Who will cast the first stone?

It takes a certain kind of smugness on the part of the group to create this agenda in the Human Rights Commission. There are more serious and graver crimes committed in the world and those who are pointing fingers at the Hindu Americans need to look at real Human Rights issues.

This fact became evident as we visited non-agenda items on May 13th where people were able to propose items for future consideration.

One of the strong issues that were raised repeatedly was the need for recognition of the Bengali Hindu Genocide. One caller pointed out that many of these perpetrators of the genocidal atrocities and war crimes of the Pakistani Army now reside in the US and under the Magnitsky Act, they need to be brought to justice and prosecuted for their crimes. This is a topic that needs to be pursued in all seriousness in the 50th year of this Bengali Hindu genocide of 1971. This was widely recognized in the US by senior statemen like Ted Kennedy.

Another issue that was raised was about how vegetarian Hindus did not have enough food choices in school cafeterias and a need to stop the food apartheid.

One caller who rattled the Chair Reverend Franzen was one Mr Kumar. He pointed out the need to acknowledge paedophilia charges against members of the church that Mr Franzen belonged to. This was a relevant topic. But as usual Reverend Franzen shut down his voice a couple of times even though the clerk advised that unless the caller is abusive, all comments are allowed.

This is an important issue to investigate and obviously, we need to go deeper into the background of these Human Rights Commissioners as they weigh in on an issue of grave implications for our community.

The bias of Revered Franzen should also be explored in detail. He also shut down our voices on April 29th when Bahujan Dalit voices spoke against the Equality Labs proposal. He was deeply concerned that we were criticizing Equality Labs and its reports.

A heap of lies that keep rotating and sticking to one another are a perfect Goebbels method to convert a boogeyman into a real issue.

From one Brown Girl to Another

It is important to note that academicians and second-generation Indian Americans are being groomed into this negative narrative of Hinduism and Hinduphobia or Hinduodium in a systematic manner [7].

It was no surprise that many Hindu American kids spoke up as “Caste Privileged” Hindu Americans in support of the proposal to add Caste as a protected category. It speaks to the egalitarian principles that our families hold in general.

We have noticed a trend on Instagram where Hindu teens with a strong following are approached and asked to support the Dalit and Ambedkar movement. “from one Brown girl to another.

A Muslim girl approached one of the Hindu American girl on Instagram to join this movement and introduced her to another girl who gave her talking points about the Dalit Caste issue so she could talk about it on her school campus.

These are systematic clickbait strategies being employed to spread the message and the word and propagate their sinister web of lies among innocent people who get trapped with the egalitarian messaging.

This is how Students are passing multiple resolutions on Caste on various school campuses. Brandeis was the first one to add Caste as a category in 2018. Today the environment in the Brandeis Campus is turning decidedly Hinduphobic as has been expressed by many parents and students I spoke to recently [8].

Such underhanded strategies and peer pressure and academic environment are going to get to the children and leave them ashamed of their faith and their Hindu culture.

So also the media reports.

Bringing up BAPS

A biased unverified New York Times report on the BAPS temple construction in New Jersey gave a field day to the Equality Labs team.

Even though the allegations were quashed, and it was found to be a labour laws issue not a Caste or Dalit issue yet, the issue of the BAPS temple was brought up in the meeting by almost every other speaker [9].

A heap of lies that keep rotating and sticking to one another are a perfect Goebbels method to convert a boogeyman into a real issue. This Nazi trick is being employed by Equality Labs in full broad daylight, using shameless propaganda tools of fascist dictators.

No doubt Indian Americans are the new Jews of the United States. No doubt that they are being targeted with tropes similar to blood libel. No doubt that Indian Americans need to keep watching as they remain socially and politically isolated, that their very existence as the bulwark of the American economy and of Silicon Valley are at stake in the coming decade.

Unless we act in cohesion and unison and develop a strong presence in the power echelons, Indian Americans have to be prepared to flee and find alternate geographies for their professions in the coming decade.

Note:
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

References:

[1] The Resolute Race against biased Equality Labs & Caste ResolutionsMay 1, 2021, PGurus.com

[2] EXCLUSIVE: Santa Clara County Human Rights Commission debates casteMay 14, 2021, Youtube.com

[3] EXCLUSIVE: Santa Clara County Human Rights Commission debates caste Mr. Kumar May 14, 2021, Youtube.com

[4] EXCLUSIVE: Santa Clara County Human Rights Commission debates caste Mr. KumarMay 14, 2021, Youtube.com

[5] EXCLUSIVE: Santa Clara County Human Rights Commission debates caste Mr. KumarMay 14, 2021, Youtube.com

[6] Santa Clara HRC to vote on Caste-based reservation without consulting the 400K large Hindu community, Apr 29, 2021, PGurus.com

[7] Adding Caste to Our Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policy Dec 17, 2019, Brandeis.edu

[8] RESOLUTION CALLING FOR CAL POLY AND THE CALIFORNIA STATE
UNIVERSITY (CSU) TO INCLUDE CASTE IN ANTI-DISCRIMINATORY POLICY
– Asi.calpoly.edu

[9] Swaminarayan Temple USA – Labour Discrimination Charges Quashed, New Jersey Labour Department Finds U.S Firm Guilty May 13, 2021, Organiser

[10] Here is the audio transcript of the meeting: Video Outline – The County of Santa Clara, California (iqm2.com)

 

 

Richa Gautam is an entrepreneur and investor working in media, data analytics, and social projects. Richa works with several welfare organizations and is actively involved in human rights issues and amplifying the minority voice.

She writes on current issues in the Indian American framework. She will soon be launching her own radio show and is actively involved in conducting webinars on current and historical perspectives.
Richa Gautam

3 COMMENTS

  1. USA is fighting with its own Society in general and itself in particular under Biden Harris (Obama 3.0) Admin.

    Lets us hope America may not become Chimerica under Chinese prowess and super expansion spree on the Globe

  2. There is left liberal, jehadi nexus in US supported by few sikhs trying to hurt the image of India ie through Hindu bashing. Here again is a Tool Kit prepared by X to identify faults in Indian system and target Hindu diaspora.

    What is shocking is what is the Indian foreign ministry doing ? When US commissions poke their nose in commenting on Kashmir, CAA, religious freedom in India, why can’t Indian parliament discus, human rights, gun culture, religious discrimination in US ? Well, we are bothered about H1 B visas and how to supply more brown coolies to US.

    Modi follows one way Vasudeva Kutumbam which was prevalent 10,000 years ago. To day in practicality , rouge elements across countries try to destroy weaker societies through money, ideology and blackmail. Attacks on Hindus all over have increased after Modi came to power while Hindus neither got special benefits nor any goodwill.

    PIO status has been misused by rouge elements who are feeding anti Hindu propaganda visiting India and weaving false narrative to western society and press. The home ministry has now woken up and asked PIOs to furnish their activities in India and contemplating action to cancel their status.These elements are the villains or else how do the western society interested in India.

    I advise people like the author to compile database of anti Hindu PIOs and send the list to Home Ministry with their activities. Shri Rajiv Malhotra has done a commendable job in identifying anti Hindu elements, but unfortunately so called Hindu nationalist party , brand name conferred on BJP by PIO journalist in western media have placed him in archives.

    It is also time for Hindu PIOs all over the world to start a TV channel telecasting from US and present true perspective of India. Indian govnt have just woken up and plan to launch an international TV channel. Cheers to the author. By the way HUA, Hindu university of America is conducting webinar’s regularly and the latest was on FOOD AS MEDICINE which was amazing. No doubt US has brilliant Hindu Scholars covering every field.

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