Saturday, March 2, 2024

California may become first US state to outlaw caste discrimination

South Asian descent from Dalit background say is necessary to protect them from discrimination in housing, education and the tech sector where they hold key roles.

In another historic step, the American state California may become the first state to outlaw caste discrimination after State Senator Aisha Wahab, the first Muslim and Afghan American elected to the state legislature, introduced a bill on Wednesday.

The bill adds caste as a protected category in the state’s anti-discrimination laws, AP reported. Dalits in the US have been increasingly calling for legislation saying they face caste bias in the United States.

In February, Seattle became the first US city and the first jurisdiction outside South Asia to add caste to its anti-discrimination laws. Although the move was welcomed by anti-caste groups across the world, several Hindu groups opposed it.

Last year, several colleges and universities have also enacted similar policies barring caste discrimination on campuses, including the University of California, Davis.

“People came to this country so they can be free and can pursue their American dream without any disruption to their lives,” Wahab said.

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