American university faculty members oppose inclusion of race in anti-discrimination policy

(Lalit K Jha)

Washington, Jan 24 (PTI) More than 80 faculty members of the prestigious California State University in the US have protested the university’s recent inclusion of ‘caste’ in its anti-discrimination policy, saying it will affect Indian and South Asian communities. Unconstitutional targeting of Hindu faculty members of origin will be discriminated against.

The recently announced anti-discrimination policy by California State University (CSU) states that students who have been harassed because of caste will now be able to report anti-Dalit discrimination. Many students claim that they are regularly discriminated against.

According to the Dalit civil rights organization ‘Equality Labs’, Dalits are those people who are considered at the bottom of India’s social varna system and are subjected to discrimination and violence. They were called ‘untouchables’ in India.

She said that it is illegal in India to discriminate against someone on the basis of caste, but the practice continues, even among South Asian immigrants to the US.

Opposing the inclusion of caste in the anti-discrimination policy, faculty members in a letter to the CSU’s board of trustees have said the new policy would unfairly target the minority community.

He said that after the inclusion of caste as a distinct and separate protected category, it will be applicable only to faculty members of Indian and South Asian origin.

Praveen Sinha, professor of accountancy at CSU, said the inclusion of caste is misleading given the existence of comprehensive policies, which are already protected against various forms of discrimination.

He said, “We can resist this new risk that the CSU has posed to us, because they have included a category that only deals with people of Indian ancestry such as me and the CSU system. Thousands of other faculty members and students.”

According to a news release, CSU has over 600 faculty members of Indian and South Asian origin.

Sunil Kumar, a professor of engineering at San Diego State University, said, “As a faculty member of Indian origin, I am well aware that discrimination is a daily reality for many students from different backgrounds and against existing laws and CSU policy. There is a robust mechanism to address all such complaints under the

He said, “But this change in policy has been made without any credible scientific evidence or data. Instead of preventing discrimination, it will actually discriminate against Hindu faculty members of Indian and South Asian ancestry by unconstitutionally targeting them.”

Leave a Comment