California moved nearer to turning into the primary U.S. state to ban caste discrimination after a invoice to outlaw the apply handed the California Meeting this week.
U.S. discrimination legal guidelines ban ancestry discrimination however don’t explicitly ban casteism. California’s laws targets the caste system in South Asian immigrant communities by including caste to the record of classes protected underneath the state’s anti-discrimination legal guidelines.
The invoice was launched and authored by state Senator Aisha Wahab, an Afghan American Democrat representing components of the East Bay and Silicon Valley, in March. An earlier model of it handed the state Senate earlier than present process revisions.
The invoice was handed on Monday by the state Meeting with a close to unanimous vote. The revised model will now transfer again for a vote to the state Senate, the place it’s anticipated to go, earlier than heading to the desk of California Governor Gavin Newsom to be signed into regulation.
Activists opposing caste discrimination say it’s no totally different from different types of discrimination like racism and therefore must be outlawed.
The motion to battle the caste system in North America has picked up power in latest months.
Earlier this yr, Seattle turned the primary U.S. metropolis to outlaw caste discrimination after a metropolis council vote and Toronto’s college board turned the primary in Canada to acknowledge that caste discrimination existed within the metropolis’s colleges.
The difficulty is especially vital to People of Indian descent and Hindus.
The caste system is among the many world’s oldest types of inflexible social stratification. It dates again hundreds of years and permits many privileges to higher castes however represses decrease castes. The Dalit group is on the bottom rung of the Hindu caste system; members have been handled as “untouchables.”
India outlawed caste discrimination over 70 years in the past, but a number of research lately present that bias persists. One research discovered folks from decrease castes have been underrepresented in higher-paying jobs.
Dalits nonetheless face widespread abuse throughout India, the place their makes an attempt at upward social mobility have at occasions been violently put down.
Debate over the caste system in India and overseas is contentious and intertwined with faith. Some folks say discrimination is now uncommon, particularly exterior India. Indian authorities insurance policies reserving seats for lower-caste college students at prime Indian universities have helped many land tech jobs within the West lately.
Elizabeth Eire contributed to this text.