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Canadian University Faculty Association passes Hinduphobic motion against ‘caste system’ even after Toronto District School Board could not show one instance of discrimination

Despite the significant presence of South Asian residents in Canada, not a single documented case of caste oppression/discrimination was provided.

On the 28th of May, the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Association (OCUFA) passed a Hinduphobic resolution titled “Caste Discrimination” to ‘condemn’ the caste system, caste-based ‘discrimination’ and ‘colorism’. OCUFA also directed its member organisations to include caste discrimination in their anti-discrimination policies.

“Whereas the Caste system is rooted in classism and was reinforced through colonial practices and promotes discrimination against people born to lower castes, especially Dalit or ‘untouchables’. Whereas the Caste system, while rooted in India, has travelled with the Indian diaspora and its effects are felt throughout the diasporic community in Canada including direct impacts on our own members who come from lower Castes,” the resolution read.

“In keeping with OHRC’s policy position on caste-based discrimination dated October 26, 2023, BE IT RESOLVED THAT OCUFA condemns the Caste system, Caste-based discrimination and colorism and calls on our member organizations to include Caste-based discrimination in their respective anti-discrimination policies and collective agreements,” the resolution added. 

Meanwhile, the Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA) has said that the Canadian Hindus were not consulted before passing this motion. Notably, the OCUFA resolution is yet another attempt at weaponizing caste to gaslight Hindus and slander Hinduism.

“Shocking to see the flawed colonial trope of “caste” pushed again in Canada–this time by @OCUFA with no input from #CanadianHindus of course. CoHNA has repeatedly raised concerns about such motions that selectively single out and profile #Hinduism and create #Hinduphobia. CoHNA has raised concerns on the weaponization of #caste for years now. Reminder- there’s NO data showing systemic caste discrimination in Canada or US. Much of the “proof” used to create the initial narrative has fallen apart-e.g. #EqualityLabs Survey or Cisco Lawsuit,” CoHNA said.

The Hindu advocacy organisation further suspected the influence of Professor Chinaiah Jangam of Carleton University. Jangam’s social media activities indicate his support for urban naxals like Rona Wilson, the 2020 Anti-Hindu Delhi Riots “mastermind” Umar Khalid and pro-Congress leanings.

“We suspect the influence of privileged academics like Prof Jangam, @Carleton_U who spread false information that a regular person can easily identify castes by last names. Such biased narratives create a presumption of guilt for all #CanadianHindus,” CoHNA added.

TDSB adopted a resolution recognising the existence of caste discrimination in Toronto schools, fails to provide a single case of caste oppression

The OCUFA motion came even as the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) failed to show a single evidence indicating systematic caste-based discrimination in Canada last year. It is pertinent to recall that in March 2023, the TDSB passed a resolution recognising the ‘existence’ of caste discrimination in the city’s schools. TDSB had acknowledged its lack of expertise on caste-related issues. The resolution was passed with six trustees voting in favour and five voting against it. The resolution was proposed by the South Asian Dalit Adivasi Network of Canada (SADAN).

Interestingly, SADAN’s founder and TDSB’s trustee, Yalini Rajkulsingam had back then said that the hypothesis is tested and available data is analysed before. “In Seattle, 4% of the community identify as South Asian. At the TDSB, we are at 22%, she said. However, despite the significant presence of South Asian residents in Canada, not a single documented case of caste oppression/discrimination was provided. Probably that is why most of the trustees who voted in favour of this resolution gave the justification “Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it is not there.”

TDSB cancelled book event with Yazidi ISIS survivor saying it would ‘offend’ Muslims

While the Toronto District School Board was quick to pass a resolution over caste discrimination without any substantial evidence of the same, back in 2021, it had cancelled a book event by the Yazidi Nobel Prize-winning author Nadia Murad. TDSB’s hypocrisy could be comprehended from the bizarre justification it gave for cancelling the event. The Board said that the ISIS survivor’s book would “promote Islamophobia” and ‘offend’ the Muslim students. Nadia Murad was taken as a sex slave in 2014 by the Islamic State terrorists in Iraq.

Other than Canada, attempts have been made to target the Hindu community putting it under additional legal scrutiny in the USA. In February last year, the Seattle City Council in the USA passed a resolution to establish ‘caste’ as a protected category under the City’s non-discrimination policy.

In California last year, a Hinduphobic bill that ‘banned’ caste discrimination in the state was passed. However, it was rejected by Gov. Gavin Newsom who stated that it was “unnecessary,” noting that caste discrimination was already illegal under existing laws.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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