Hindu Organizations Demand Seattle City Council Reject Racist Caste Ordinance

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — HinduPACT, the Hindu Mandir Executives’ Conference (HMEC), prominent Hindu organizations and over 200 concerned Hindus are calling on the Seattle City Council to Reject CB 120511. The proposed legislation is Hinduphobic and disproportionately targets Hindus by adding the word “caste” to the protected classes thereby perpetuating racist colonialist stereotypes and misconceptions about people from the Indian Subcontinent.

The proposed ordinance’s “Whereas” section falsely states that “…caste is found in communities of religious practice.”  No credible evidence is presented to support this and this statement is based on fabrications driven by hatred against Hindus. There has not been any proven so-called caste based discrimination reported in the US. The word “caste” (lineage in Portuguese and Spanish) was invented and used as a tool of racial discrimination against converted Jews and to maintain racial and genetic purity of Spanish and Portuguese Christians. There is no reference to the concept of “caste” in any of the religious or philosophical teachings that originated from the Indian subcontinent.

Another “Whereas” section quotes a non-scientific survey by Equality Labs. This survey has been discredited by a scientific survey conducted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Equality Labs has received funding from the Open Society Foundation, which is founded by George Soros; a billionaire that has funded many anti-Hindu initiatives and publicly committed $1 billion to dismantle the Government of India which he perceives as pro-Hindu.

Deepak Tickoo, HinduPACT Seattle said, “As a concerned Hindu from the Seattle area, I am concerned about the effect this ordinance will have on Hindus working and living in my community. The funding request for an FTE using my tax dollars will be wasted in a solution looking for a problem that has not been demonstrated to exist in Seattle.”

“The proposed ordinance is overwhelmingly Hinduphobic and seeks to perpetuate negative stereotypes about Hindus,” said Ajay Shah, Convenor of HinduPACT. “It unfairly targets the Hindu community and leaves people of Indian Subcontinent descent vulnerable to bullying in schools and subjecting them to a hostile work environment.”

“This ordinance is driven by hatred against Hindus,” said Tejal Shah, Convenor of the Hindu Mandir Executives’ Conference (HMEC) and Jt. General Secretary of the World Hindu Council of America (VHPA). “Hindus have lived in local communities harmoniously for decades, and the intent of this ordinance is to divide Americans in Seattle. Passage of this ordinance will promote further vandalism of Mandirs which we are already witnessing in several countries.”

Rakhi Israni, HinduPACT Executive Director, Legal said, “Federal, Washington and Seattle laws protect against religious, ethnic, or racial discrimination under the existing categories of national origin and ancestry, both of which have been interpreted as inclusive of the various characteristics that might be associated with what is presented as ‘caste’.”

Deepti Mahajan, Executive Director of CHINGARI said, “Seattle city council will be rubbing salt on age old wounds of the Hindu community because caste has been imposed and shaped by centuries of colonial rule and exploitation. This ordinance only fuels Hinduphobia.”

Media Contact:

Adelle Nazarian