California Governor Gavin Newsom on Saturday vetoed the California Caste Bill, SB-403, on the grounds that discrimination based on caste was already prohibited under California law and the bill was therefore unnecessary.
What you do when your boss calls you ill-fated on learning your caste? Maya Kamble learned it the hard way. “He knew what my caste was, so he wanted to dominate me as much as possible. And one day, he asked me not to touch a new tool because I was ill-fated,” she told indica. “It was a direct reference to me being from an untouchable background, and I could just remember how my ancestors were supposed to not touch things just because they were considered bad luck and even their shadow was considered bad luck.”
The landmark California anti-caste-discrimination bill — SB 403 Discrimination on the Basis of Ancestry’ — cleared the state Senate Concurrence panel with a 31-5 vote. It now reaches Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk who is likely to sign it into law, thus making California the first state in the US with such a legislation.
The California State Assembly’s Appropriations Committee has approved the proposed anti-caste discrimination legislation SB403 on August 16. SB403 was authored and presented by State Senator Aisha Wahab. The approved version will now be sent to vote soon in the state Assembly.
To challenge caste discrimination on ideological, political and social fronts in the United States of America, 22 organizations joined hands to form America Against Caste Discrimination (AACD), an alliance of progressive organizations that would help in mobilizing support to pass the anti-caste discrimination bill SB403 in the California State Assembly.
The California state Senate passed SB 403, the Bill to ban caste-based discrimination in the state, on Thursday. The Bill, approved by a vote of 34-1, provides individuals with legal options to address allegations of caste bias and discrimination in housing, employment, education, and other contexts.