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California Caste Bill Passes Assembly Committee

California-Caste-Bill-Passes-Assembly-Committee. India West

California Caste Bill Passes Assembly Committee

India-West News Desk

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Assembly Judiciary Committee held a hearing of Senate Bill 403, aimed at banning caste discrimination and on July 5, with a 9-0 vote, passed it. The bill will now be moved to the Appropriations Committee to judge its fiscal impact. If passed here, it will go to the Assembly floor for a full vote.

Authored by Fremont Senator Aisha Wahab, the bill has been a contentious one right from the start, dividing the community. Again, about 200 people from both sides of the argument showed up at the hearing.

Those against it say it is wrong and will affect South Asians in the workplace, at businesses, and overall reinforce a negative image of India and Indians. Assembly Judiciary Chairperson Brian Maienschein, a San Diego Democrat, to remove caste from the bill and instead have it replaced with ‘inherited social status’ in keeping with how a person’s caste is determined.

Wahab’s acceptance of a few amendments to categorize caste as originating in ancestry was seen as a victory by some opponents of the bill who vowed to continue to fight it. Samir Kalra, of the Hindu American Foundation, said in a statement that they would continue to try to “educate lawmakers on the issue.”

Supporters of the bill hailed it enthusiastically at the site and outside, cheering loudly. Social media was also awash in their celebrations.

Calmatters reported the status of the two South Asians in the Assembly: Jasmeet Bains from Bakersfield is a cosponsor of the bill; Ash Kalra of San Jose and the only Hindu in the chamber, since he is on the committee, was forced to break his silence and, “In sometimes emotional testimony, he spoke about the divisions he had witnessed and said he understood concerns from constituents but concluded that the amendments address those.”

There are nearly a million South Asian Californians with Indian Americans being among the fastest-growing groups, currently being the third-largest Asian ethnic group in the state.

If the bill is passed, ‘caste’ will be added as a protected category to the state’s Unruh Civil Rights Act.

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  • Wahab is a trouble maker anti-India and anti-Hindu Palestinian American. What she knows about caste system? She is trying to divide the community. I am dead against it. Maybe she should go back.

    July 6, 2023
    • Wahab is Afghan origin American woman, many Indians had supported her and donated for her election campaign, not knowing that she will turn against them immediately. She is so adamant about not removing the mis-interpreted caste definition she got from Public Education and falsifying data from Equality Labs, even after pointing the facts many times.. This is so unethical and unconstitutional

      July 7, 2023
  • Wahab is not anti-India; she hasn’t mentioned the word India in any of her statements.
    She is not anti-Hindu, she has closely worked with many Hindus on the formulation of ideas running up to the bill.
    She is not a Palestinian; far from it.
    She is a principled thinker who believes on human rights.
    This goes to show how wrong, bigoted and uninformed you are. Instead of taking out your hatred on her; may I suggest you look into your humanity and into your soul to determine if the caste system practiced in India (where the lowest caste is not even considered human). Take the high moral stand in rejecting the caste system and embrace humanity.
    If you need more information about caste system, please read “The Doctor and The Saint”, a well researched account of the history of the caste system.

    July 6, 2023

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