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CA Caste Bill: Cupertino Declines Support; Death Of Dalit Activist Shocks Community

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CA Caste Bill: Cupertino Declines Support; Death Of Dalit Activist Shocks Community

CUPERTINO, CA (IANS) – Dalit activist and engineer Milind Makwana, who took up cudgels against the caste discrimination bill in the California State Assembly, has died of a heart attack, leaving the community in shock. Makwana died soon after he spoke against the SB-403 caste discrimination bill at a city council meeting in Cupertino.

In a video of the Cupertino City Council meeting, Makwana is seen calling himself a “proud Hindu” and saying, “I am from a marginalized community, and I am a proud Hindu. So, whoever is claiming here to represent us but ignoring Hindus, are talking about us without us.”

“Today we mourn the loss of Shri Milind Makwana, a man who inspired many in the Hindu community to fight for #Dharma. Some of us in the Bay Area had the privilege of working with, and learning from him,” the Coalition of Hindus of North America wrote in a tweet. “Milind ji had boundless passion and energy for #Hinduism, and his indefatigable spirit kept so many of us striving to do more. He refused attempts to label him, and his last words were a plea for the voices of the marginalized to be heard,” the tweet added.

“Milind Makwana was kind, principled, humble and hardworking. He left us doing what he loved – serving dharma and our community. Just minutes before his last few breaths, he testified to #SayNotoSB403,” Suhag A. Shukla, co-founder of The Hindu America Foundation, tweeted.

“Sad and shocked to learn of the passing of Milind Makwana. While I only knew him through social media, he was a friendly, courageous soul who spoke up for Hinduism and Dharma in the San Francisco Bay Area,” Hindu American activist Sheenie Ambardar wrote.

Born and raised in Mumbai, Makwana started his journey in the US in 2006 as a technology professional in Rochester, New York. He was also an active Sewa volunteer, participating in various service activities and fundraising events.

The Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, USA, said in a statement that Makwana “became highly alert and concerned by California’s SB403 Bill, “Discrimination based on ancestry”, that unjustly branded the Hindu-American community based on the castes.”

The Cupertino City Council meanwhile rejected support for the bill. Mayor Hung Wei in a statement reaffirmed the City’s commitment to oppose discrimination but said the city also opposed any law that could, intentionally or unintentionally, result in racial or ethnic profiling or contribute to the stigmatization or stereotyping of any group by using terms with negative connotations such as the term ‘caste.’

Pointing out that almost 70 percent of Cupertino’s population is Asian American, the Council expressed its commitment to fostering a climate of inclusivity and dignity for all individuals regardless of their background and ethnicity.

Vice Mayor Sheila Mohan said, “As a majority-Asian American community with a large Indian American population, the City of Cupertino has a responsibility to speak out against any law that could appear to unfairly single out a single community for disparate treatment.”

Introduced by California Senator Aisha Wahab, SB-403 adds caste as a protected category to an existing law, the Unruh Civil Rights Act, which provides that all people in the state of California are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services Hindus across the US, including Makwana, have expressed strong opposition to SB-403, which they say would specifically add “caste” to California nondiscrimination policy.

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  • Milind, we pledge that your values and sacrifices won’t go in vain.

    July 24, 2023
  • Once again politicians and activists have proven wrong.

    Did discrimination stop because color and race discrimination was made illegal.

    Caste discrimination can be avoided at work and I don’t think it is an issue. But it is a big issue. So lets demystify “caste”; or lets call it what it is “profession”.

    Will a bachelor “lawyer” boy marry a “barber” girl? Maybe if she is beautiful and the lawyer boy does not care about her earnings.
    Will a bachelor “lawyer” girl marry a “barber” boy? Maybe if he is a stud but far less likely because she need a confident man with a 7 figure salary.

    Then there is Varna:

    In modern society, Caste is breaking barriers. The upper Varna classes are taking up castes (professions) once reserved for lower castes. Ultimately, the caste discrimination is no more or less or different than race and color discrimination.

    The real issue that the lower castes want to break is Varna. Sorry guys that is not happening. Barriers are being broken but mostly on the grounds of FORBIDDEN LOVE and income.

    Lets study Kamala Harris.

    She is a Brahmin by Varna. Indian Aryan by race. She married an African man. If he had a caste, he would be a Brahmin or a Vaishya. But for Varna, he is not a Brahmin but we know Varna is unknown. If she had children, by the Aryan system, her children would be whatever the African man’s Varna is: UNKNOWN.

    Now flip the gender. Kamala a Brahmin boy and her first husband, a African female. Now the children would take on the varna of the father; Brahmin, irrespective of the color or the curls on the hair.

    So good try guys. But to be an Aryan, you have to be born of an Aryan father. You can call the child an American, Indian or a hybrid, and whatever caste they want.

    July 24, 2023
  • Discrimination in every form is bad. The problem with this bill is that it is focusing on “caste elimination” and not “caste discrimination”. That is where the problem is.

    Just like race discrimination laws will never end race because you cannot change what my DNA tells me. Color discrimination laws will not end color because it will not change my color. Michael Jackson did try but the children will pop out the same.

    Much like that “caste discrimination” laws will not end laws.

    In fact, my children are asked to document race, nationality and color on many applications, which I could use to screen candidates. How would you prosecute me from selecting 3 candidates out of a 100.

    I am in the engineering field. Rest assured if you are from my college, you will get the job. If you are my third cousin, you will get the job. What is that called?


    Isn’t that why Hunter becomes a Director in a company in Ukraine?
    Or Liz Cheney got elected thanks to Daddy Dick.

    There are many issues that the lawyers can focus on. Rid the nation of poverty and end free and favoritism programs and watch that NO ONE CARES what race they are or what color they are.

    And to end it. Time to sue the NBA for discriminating against Indians. and Spelling bee for discriminating against blacks and Hispanics.

    July 24, 2023
  • Kamala Harris’s father was from the Black community of Jamaica and mother was from the Indian Hindu community

    July 24, 2023
  • The real massage is forgotten here. Wahab is a Muslim and she introduced this bill to degrade Hindus. What does she know about Hindusim? Has she ever visited India? She ought be ashamed of herself. She is unfit to be a senator.

    July 24, 2023
  • Aisha Wahab like politicians are shame to the community and constituents who voted for her. Hopefully she gets recalled. These clueless non-Indian politicians are trying to find a solution to a non-existent problem. I hope they all get voted out in next election.

    July 24, 2023
  • Aisha Wahab like politicians are shame to the community and constituents who voted for her. Hopefully she gets recalled. These clueless non-Indian politicians are trying to find a solution to a non-existent problem. I hope they all get voted out in next election.

    July 24, 2023
  • What does this mean that Mr. Makwana died soon after he spoke? What happened?

    Locals said that council did not take an oppose position on SB 403, watch the video. The Mayor and Vice Mayor did not send a letter to Sacramento opposing SB 403, they were cowards. This article misleads.

    Mr. Makwana was speaking wisdom for us all, we owe him our gratitude.

    July 24, 2023
  • Some anti-Hindu minorities are getting into interfaith type organizations at director level positions and building coalitions that try to propagate anti-Hindu and/or anti-India misinformation among other communities and other government officials.

    July 24, 2023
  • It may be recommended to have an autopsy performed on Miilind to determine cause of heart attack, to eliminate malicious action from his detractors who were shocked to have a hostile witness from the Dalit community debunk their propaganda.

    July 25, 2023

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