CoHNA (Coalition of Hindus of North America) Profile picture
A grassroots level advocacy organization dedicated to improving the understanding of Hinduism in North America and matters impacting the Hindu community.

10 Jun, 14 tweets

THREAD: Yesterday, @CarnegieEndow, @MilanV released their survey on Indian Americans. As a Hindu American advocacy group, we ask for clarity on a few important points.👇🏾 1/n

First off, the survey contains important on the 4 Million strong Indian American community, including everyday social realities, religious practices, attitudes towards civic and political engagement, social networks, etc. However... 2/n

In an unfortunate display of how colonial categories like “caste” continue to haunt long after the colonizers have departed, the survey attempts to query respondents -but only those self identifying as Hindu-on their “caste”. This defies logic...3/n

If Indian laws are a guide (appears to be the case here), we find hundreds of "castes" among the country’s Christians, Muslims and Sikhs. These categories are well defined in India among said communities, not just among the Hindus. 4/n…

So, why this obsessive need to show Hinduism=Caste? This, even after admitting that OBC category is common among Muslims, while SC category is found among Buddhists, Sikhs, Christians and Muslims. 5/n

Also footnote 7 - "The term 'Dalit' refers to individuals who occupy the lowermost rungs of the traditional Hindu caste hierarchy." Unfortunately, this smells of bias against Hindus and Hinduism. Dalits also exist among Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, etc

What’s a “traditional Hindu caste hierarchy?" "Caste" is a Portuguese word not found in ANY Hindu text. As Prof. Dirks wrote, British "caste" censuses forced thousands of jatis & groups into a "caste hierarchy" & then blamed Hindus for all problems. 7/n…

What does “identifying with caste” mean? If Carnegie is interested in Hindu beliefs, the question should probe on Jati/ Varna/ Kula/ Gotra/ Shreni. Those are Hindu concepts, not “caste,” a racist, colonial import. A good reading list on our website - 8/n

We then see Figures 27 and 28. While the institute finds it interesting to point out that "caste" discrimination is "an equal opportunity offense," (28), it also urges readers to exercise care in any "subgroup analysis" due to the small sample size (27)...9/n

...This is important, because only 5% of respondents reported experiencing any such discrimination over the past 12 months. So, take "caste discrimination" with a grain of salt. 10/n

And in Figures 19 & 21, we see two key observations - First, a quarter had NO knowledge of "caste" in their networks, while barely 21% of an already tiny group of self-selected respondents even think "caste" is an issue in formation of their social networks. 11/n

Nor is this affinity of like minded folks to cluster together an anomaly. A study in Aug 2020, showed similar results among social networks of different Christian religious groups within the US. See chart below. 12/n…

Finally, Footnote 29 punches a big hole into the false propaganda of Equality Labs' "Caste Survey" & their allies- asserts that it does not fully represent the South Asian American population, likely has skewed data, thus intensity of "caste discrimination" can be contested. 13/n

@CalDFEH and @SCCgov @CalPoly @ucdavis and others should open their eyes and stop the #Hinduphobia and vilification of the Hindu American community. 14/n

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