Governor Newsom’s Veto Highlights Democratic Divide on Caste Discrimination

A recent veto by California Governor Gavin Newsom has brought to light an escalating clash within the Democratic Party regarding anti-discrimination measures based on caste, resulting in a warning from the Indian community.

Caste’s Role in Social Hierarchy

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Caste is a social group assigned at birth and cannot be changed, affecting a person’s opportunities in life. The bill faced modifications to remove Hinduism references, which received backlash.

Indian American Donors’ Warning to Newsom

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Prominent Indian American donors, including Ajay Jain Bhutoria and Ramesh Kapur, warned Newsom that signing the caste anti-discrimination bill would jeopardize the support of Indian American donors and voters.

A Positive Start

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“We used very strong words … telling him that definitely, he has a bright future in the national politics… and the community would love to support him,” they said in a statement before warning Newsom.

“He Got the Message”

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“But at the same time, if there’s a mistake made on his side, he loses the support of the community. And I think he got the message very loud and clear,” they warned.

Rifts Among Democrats on Caste Discrimination

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Newsom’s decision revealed the growing divide within the Democratic Party, particularly among Indian Americans, over the movement to prohibit discrimination based on caste, a social hierarchy traditionally associated with Hinduism.

California’s Pioneering Caste Anti-discrimination Bill

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The bill in question marked California as a trailblazer in anti-discrimination measures, with similar initiatives gaining nationwide traction, predominantly led by Democratic lawmakers and liberal activists.

Newsom’s Justification for the Veto

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Newsom’s office argued that the existing anti-discrimination laws already cover caste-related issues.

Discord Among Supporters and Critics

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While supporters, including the American Bar Association and Hindu civil rights groups, argue for the necessity of caste protections, critics, including wealthy Indian American donors, expressed concerns.

Formation of a Congressional Caucus

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The clash over caste discrimination has given rise to a 27-member congressional caucus, mostly Democrats, opposing such measures at the state and federal levels.

Donor Concerns and Potential Division

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Indian American donors, a reliable Democratic voting bloc, voiced concerns that anti-caste discrimination laws may inadvertently fuel discrimination against South Asians.

Perspectives on Caste Discrimination in the U.S.

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Debates over caste discrimination in the U.S. emerged in the 1980s and 1990s, influenced by affirmative action laws in India, prompting educated immigrants to confront caste-related challenges in the workplace.

Challenges for the Democratic Party

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The Democratic Party grapples with the challenge of balancing progressive ideals with the potential alienation of groups opposing caste discrimination laws, as Indian Americans continue to be a crucial voting bloc.

Rise of Indian American Presidential Contenders

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The GOP seizes an opportunity with Indian American presidential contenders Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy as the Democratic Party navigates complex terrain regarding caste discrimination laws.

Internal Party Dynamics on Caste Discrimination

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Politicians within the Democratic Party face the delicate task of navigating the complexities surrounding caste discrimination laws, striving for a balance between progressive ideals and potential cultural sensitivities.

Uncertain Future of Caste Discrimination Laws

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With California’s bill vetoed, the state’s future of caste discrimination laws remains uncertain.

The post Governor Newsom’s Veto Highlights Democratic Divide on Caste Discrimination first appeared on Wealthy Living.

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