News

Online Caste-Hate Speech – A Growing Concern

6th April 2021

On 22 March a side-event to the 46th Session of the UN Human Rights Council highlighted the impact of caste-hate speech on-line and what could be done to combat it. The keynote speaker was Dr. Fernand de Varennes, UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, who argued that ‘Dehumanization of minorities such as Dalits through use of hate-speech is a precursor to violence.’ The event was also used as a launching pad for IDSN’s excellent report on Caste-hate speech researched by Dr Murali Shanmugavelan, with support from the IDSN team. In the UK we are well aware of the impact of [..]

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ARISA Hosts a Session on Caste-Based Discrimination

4th March 2021

‘Caste-based discrimination, an Invisible Issue in the Garment Industry in South Asia’ was presented by IDSN, READ (India), ETI (UK) and Advocating Rights in South Asia (ARISA, Netherlands) on 25th February, with our Director Meena Varma amongst the line-up. There were participants from the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Norway, India and the UK, consisting of both NGOs and companies from the garment industry, ably hosted by Sandra Claassen from ARISA. Kicking off the proceedings, Meena introduced the issue of caste-based discrimination and why it needs to be addressed. She emphasised the key labour rights issues arising from caste discrimination, including bonded [..]

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Casteism in the US: Entrepreneurs and a new report on Indian American attitudes

19th February 2021

We continue to cover stories of the South Asian diaspora across the globe. And in America, there have been a couple of interesting articles that have come out over the last week. As is well known, many US companies employ Indian immigrants to work in technology and, as has only recently been revealed, casteism seems to follow them. The statistics suggest that less than 2 per cent of the Indian immigrants that make up senior executives in the US are from ‘lower’ castes. At junior levels, when an employee’s caste is discovered, they may be ousted from social circles, have [..]

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Caste discrimination continues its journey – now within the Australian diaspora

11th February 2021

It was great news to hear that Australia, back in 2018, passed a motion to urge the government to take action on fighting caste-based discrimination. It requested that, amongst more international aims, the government considered interventions in inclusive recruitment practice and management practice in all business partners. ABC National Radio recently broadcast a programme about caste-based discrimination amongst the South Asian diaspora in Australia. Disturbingly, there were many echoes of the forms that caste-based discrimination manifests here in the UK. As academic and filmmaker Vikrant Kishore says, ‘caste goes where South Asians go… Australia is no exception’. And while some [..]

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The Hindu American Foundation file against the County of Santa Clara in the Cisco case

2nd February 2021

There are some stark parallels with the actions of the Hindu American Foundation in the US and those of the Hindu lobby here in the UK, who argue that inclusion of caste as a discriminatory factor in the Equality Act 2010 is a ‘hate crime’ against Hindus! So to hear that the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has filed to intervene in the case is deeply disturbing and indicates a lack of willingness to even discuss that caste-based discrimination exists. In amongst the wording of the case brought against Cisco, the State argues that caste is ‘a strict Hindu social and [..]

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