Faculty Members Object Decision To Add Caste To American University’s Non-Discrimination Policy - Vibes Of India

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Faculty Members Object Decision To Add Caste To American University’s Non-Discrimination Policy

| Updated: January 25, 2022 08:34

More than 80 California State University (CSU) faculty members have opposed a recent announcement by the university to include caste in its non-discriminatory policy as a “misguided overreach”, saying it will actually cause discrimination by unconstitutionally singling out Hindu faculty of Indian and South Asian descent.

“We had previously met with the CFA president in May 2021 about this possibility and were assured that no such decision would be made without consulting those of us who would be directly impacted by the addition of caste in the protected category. To our great disappointment, CFA did not consult any of us.”

Adding caste as a specific and separate protected category would apply only to the faculty of Indian and South Asian descent, they said.

“The addition of caste is a misguided overreach given the existence of comprehensive policies that already protect against various forms of discrimination,” said Praveen Sinha, professor of accountancy at CSU, Long Beach.

“We cannot oppose the unique risk that CSU’s move puts on us as they add a category that is only associated with people of Indian descent such as myself and thousands of other faculty and students in the CSU system. It is going to create divisions where they simply do not exist,” he added.

The faculty members have written that there are more than 600 CSU faculty of Indian and South Asian origin who would be rendered vulnerable should the collective bargaining agreement be passed as currently written.

Earlier, lawyers at the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), Suhag Shukla, Samir Kalra and Nikhil Joshi, also sent a letter to the CSU Board of Trustees, the CSU Office of General Counsel, the CSU chancellor and the president of the California Faculty Association on behalf of the CSU faculty.

In 2016, the non-profit agency conducted a survey of 1,500 South Asians in the United States and found that one in three Dalit students surveyed reported being discriminated against during their education in the US and two out of three Dalits said they had been treated unfairly at their workplace.

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