Washington, D.C. (October 9, 2023)— The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), a prominent advocacy organization committed to promoting justice, pluralism, and the civil rights of Indian Americans, has expressed its profound disappointment and concern over the decision of California Governor Gavin Newsom to veto SB403, a bill aimed at addressing caste-based discrimination in the state of California. The bill could have made California the first state to ban discrimination on the basis of caste.
IAMC had placed great hope in the passage of this critical legislation. The bill represented an essential step towards acknowledging and eradicating the practice of caste discrimination, which affects caste-oppressed communities within the South Asian diaspora. Regrettably, Governor Newsom chose to veto a bill that sought to rectify this longstanding injustice.
Caste discrimination has no place in a just and equal society, and its elimination should be a priority for any responsible administration.
“As Indian American Muslims, we are shocked, disheartened, and deeply disappointed to see that Governor Newsom refused to uphold the civil rights of all Californians and make history for caste-oppressed people throughout the state,” said IAMC Executive Director Rasheed Ahmed.
“If Governor Newsom takes a closer look at who pushed for this veto, he’ll see that it’s the supporters of a deeply discriminatory, bigoted, and hateful supremacist movement,” said IAMC President Mohammed Jawad. “That alone should be proof enough that this bill is far from ‘unnecessary,’ and would have offered much-needed protection to people affected by a form of discrimination that is not well understood or acknowledged by most Americans.”
“Despite this setback, we will not let this denial of the realities of caste oppression in the US stop us from continuing to stand by our caste-oppressed communities in the pursuit of justice,” Ahmed added. “We will continue to push for the end of caste discrimination in the US and worldwide.”
Indian American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation. For more information, please visit our website at: www.iamc.com