43 thoughts on “BAPS!

  1. Similar to how race is overused in place of social class in leftist discussions. Everything is then “systemic.” And you get into same oppressor vs. Oppressed fixed paradigm and all of the fallicies, including double standards, that come with it .

    1. A thought and question more related to this whole Israeli issue.

      Would warlock approve of Euro gypsies being giving a part of say Rajasthan.

      Gypsies in Europe have been more discriminated in Europe
      More killed by the Nazis

      1. Gypsies should be welcomed back to India. But I am sure none really want to come back. Living conditions where they are, despite discrimination, are still better.

        1. Since the 60’s (or earlier) the SL govt wanted to send back the South Indians (mainly Tamil) brought in as indentured workers by the Brits to work the tea plantations. By that time they were second or third generation. It was a popular move, even the SL Tamils supporting it.

          Finally under Srimavo Bandaranaike a large portion got repatriated. The Indian Tamil portion of population dropped from approx 10% to the current 4%

          I guess we did not see it at that time, but I guess fhe politicians foresaw the demographic time bomb.

          =========================================
          The Sirima–Gandhi Pact or Srimavo-Gandhi Pact was an agreement that was signed between Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, and Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India, on 28 June 1974.[1] It was a follow-up agreement of Sirima-Shastri Pact that left 150,000 people of Indian origin in Sri Lanka to future account. Sirima-Shastri Pact agreed to grant Ceylonese citizenship to 300,000 Indian population in Sri Lanka and 525,000 people repatriation to India

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirima%E2%80%93Gandhi_Pact

        1. It was the validity of a peoples claim to a land they left 2000 years ago.
          Remember the word diaspora was used for Jews who were kicked out by Romans.

          During the 2000 years away from the “homeland” they have admixtured and bear little resemblance to the original peoples.

          Israel is another creation of the Brits divide and rule. Also a way of getting rid of a “problem” in Europe. Recall discrimination against Jews was commonplace in Europe long before Hitler. Spanish Inquisition, European pogroms etc.

          Anyway another what is done is done and another unsolvable mess. Expensive one at that for the US, buyout to Egypt, Israel to keep “peace”

      2. I suspect in the long run, Eastern European countries are going to, uh, strongly encourage the Roma (Gypsies) to leave. These countries tend to place a lot of importance on ethnic identity and nationalism, and really don’t like the Roma living there (and I think the feeling is mutual).

        At this point the Roma seem to mostly try and move to Western Europe, because of free movement within the EU. Maybe in the future America and Canada will take them in. But, as India becomes richer, maybe they will become a more attractive destination for Roma “Zionism”.

        I remember reading there was an actually an effort at one point to create a Roma Republic within the Soviet Union and get the Roma to move there, but it never panned out.

        In any case, I think in that part of the world the foreseeable future is going to be characterized by increased nationalism, so I think you are probably going to see large scale migration of the Roma *somewhere*. In the Czech Republic for example, the leader of the ultranationalist party (who is himself half Japanese) has proposed exactly what you suggest, creating a homeland in the Indian subcontinent for the Roma to move to.

        1. They should be welcomed back under CAA type extension.

          They my H Y dNA brudas 😉

        2. Hector

          After I wrote the initial comment, re Roma being repatriated to India, realized percentages matter.

          a) I would assume, bringing back all Roma (10 million) to India will be 1% of Indias population.

          b) Jews into Palestine, 50%. Palestinians (30%) + Israeli Arabs (20%)

          c) 525K Indians repatriated from SL in 1960’s was change of 5% for Sri Lanka. Nothing about them in India

          d) African Americans to Liberia. Another mess caused by just 15K African Americans who settled in Liberia

    2. @thewarlock
      Why are you being caste system apologist? As far as I know you are nowhere near upper caste, not even from a non-upper Steppe enriched community. You should be fighting against the birth based social stratification in India.

      1. How am I being an apologist? Casteism is wrong. But conflating classism with casteism is dumb. I always denounce casteism. I actually call it out among all S Asian communities, including non Hindu ones.

        Also, doesn’t even matter but Vaishya are considered upper caste in original British census (twice born and can wear sacred thread) and DNA wise I cluster with S Indian Brahmins. My steppe proportion is probably middling for Northern S Asia as a whole and a bit above the mean of India.

        Regardless, I am staunchaly opposed to casteism. All of this caste BS needs to end. Doesn’t matter if I was 0% or 30% steppe, it is an idiotic feudal system.

        But I am also opposed to straw man arguments about class issues being mislabeled as other ones to forward an agenda rather than actually try to get real equity.

        And as stated before a few times on here BAPs is known to be anti caste in general as an organization.

        Don’t straw man. Everything you said was blatantly factually incorrect, a logical fallacy, or both.

      2. Next time, do a bit of reading before commenting. It will prevent you from looking foolish. Look at my entire history. I do nothing but argue against steppe supremacists and their bootlickers about their belief in their own “superior origins.” I have argued time and time against S Asian racial hierarchies, something dehumanizing trolls and insecure idiots alike love to believe in.

  2. I recall various Hindu groups in the UK protesting the authorities including caste as a category of discrimination together with race, sex, disability etc. What prompted the authorities were a series of casteist recriminations in Indian cultural settings, as well as among community doctors. I expect the average American will get a lot more knowledgable about caste in the coming decade, and the authorities will likely start becoming much more attentive to these issues. Is Hindu America ready for this attention?

    1. I grew up around tons of Hindus in central jersey and nyc. Who the hell brings up caste? This just comes off very odd to me

      Can a dalit from NJ please comment?

    2. “What prompted the authorities were a series of casteist recriminations in Indian cultural settings, as well as among community doctors.”

      Any evidence for this assertion principia?

      Just because someone says something does not make it so.

  3. “U.S. Civil Rights Agency Urged to Recognize Caste Bias” By Paige Smith | May 10, 2021

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-05-10/u-s-civil-rights-agency-urged-to-recognize-caste-discrimination

    “A dozen groups, including the International Commission on Dalit Rights, pressed the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to acknowledge that the practice of discriminating against historically oppressed South Asian groups is “an urgent contemporary U.S. civil rights and social justice issue,” according to a memo

    https://aboutblaw.com/XnY

    sent to the agency on Monday and obtained by Bloomberg Law.”

  4. Speaking as an American Lawyer with no South Asian Experience or connections, I cannot see the difference between the way white people treated Black people in the US southern states in the Jim Crow era, and what I read of the treatment of “lower” caste by “higher” caste Indians.

    If the first is prohibited by the US Civil Rights laws then so is the second. I don’t think any court is going to cut any slack based on quibbles about the definition of race or national origin.

    1. If it is true discrimination, I stand by prosecuting it (eg. Jat qnd Khatri Sikhs refusing entry to dalit Hindu origin Sikh converts to American Gurudwaras).

      But it has to be shown to be caste based. This BAPs case could very well just be class based (exploiting cheap labor)

    2. I cannot see the difference between the way white people treated Black people in the US southern states in the Jim Crow era, and what I read of the treatment of “lower” caste by “higher” caste Indians.

      The tense matters here. Not sure what you have read (and from what period), but de jure caste-based discrimination and segregation has been illegal since India’s independence in 1947. Though, of course, the law has a rather light footprint in Indian society, and how the castes treat each other may vary widely depending on where you are in India. In general, one should be wary of what one reads about another country in the media; negative aspects and news tend to get magnified when they crosses international boundaries.

    3. @Walter Sobchak, Here we were, uninformed unwashed uneducated biased patriarchal browns speculating on whether this concerns discrimination that was based on caste, or if any correlation between these workers and their caste was incidental (i.e., an economic consequence of pre-existing caste realities more or less independently of the scope of the present project).

      Thank you for enlightening with your highly nuanced and insightful observation that “caste discrimination is like race discrimination”. After all we are too stupid to see that caste is bad in spite of everyone telling us so a million times, we really needed you to tell us so once more.

    4. Walter Sobchak, in the recent West Bengal election, the BJP was led by scheduled caste people.

      India is very complex. Class is more than 10 times as important than what you call “caste” in modern India. Ethno-linguistic categories are also a lot more important than caste. For example it is common for Buddhists, Jains and Hindus to marry each other within their own ethno-linguistic group. Athough this is not seen as inter-religious.

      It is very hard to figure out what many people’s castes are. Including within one’s own family and friends. Is it what people claim it is? Especially when people can move whereever they want.

      Technically the Hare Krishna’s in the USA “convert” by becoming Brahmin. Which means that back in India they are considered Brahmins–if eccentric ones.

    5. …I cannot see the difference between the way white people treated Black people in the US southern states in the Jim Crow era

      Procedurally you cannot claim to have formally figured out their caste unless he or she has mentioned it in a standard employment form . Big difference, mate! A well trained lawyer will poop on this in court. Good luck with your white guilt offloading fantasies. Try it somewhere else.

    6. @WalterSobchak
      A better analogy would be to read labor exploitation in the US as caste oppression of jews and yankees over scots-irish. The ability to guess somebody’s caste is about that accurate, which is not to say negligible. Caste discrimination is pervasive in many contexts, but in the US and parts of metro india, it becomes vanishingly subtle. And if a dalit is discriminated against in the US, then so are all kinds of non-hindu people, who by definition are outcastes.

    7. I cannot see the difference between the way white people treated Black people in the US southern states in the Jim Crow era, and what I read of the treatment of “lower” caste by “higher” caste Indians.

      It is tempting to ignore all the details and rush to find a parallel situation which can help you alleviate the guilt stemming from the monstrosities of your ancestors, but, like a bunch of conservative kids these days like to say, facts don’t care about feelings. Yes, the treatment of lower castes has been a stain on the moral compass of Indians, but the absolutely savage nature of slavery that was in form in the US has no parallel in India.

  5. They could have used the word ‘cheap labor’, but how can they not use the word caste in same sentence where the word ‘Hindu’ is used. Now they’re trying to feed this agenda among global Hindus just the way it was done in India to divide and rule by colonizers. We have to be cautious about this.

  6. Its good. The more NRI Hindus are attacked, the more revanchist (and nostalgic abt their homeland) their mindset be. Helping the Hindu right back home.

    Because they know when push comes to shove, its neither pussy ‘ trad’ Hindu jokers, nor woke-sters less-Hindu folks who will come to their aid. But the diplomatic might of their real ‘mother-land’

    1. They should just move back to the homeland then. If, as a community, you feel besieged to the extent that you want aid, better to leave when you have the free option to do so.

      Otherwise, it seems the NRIs you are talking about want to eat their cake while having it too. Enjoy First World conditions where they live while feeding their ego by promoting an incompetent government in India who can’t do the job but is good at projecting an “image” (it’s a glorified ad agency). While we who actually live in India continue to suffer the consequences.

      1. Well u make it seem as if NRI’s rather than Indian voters, voted for this govt.

        And its well and good for Modi-baitors to pass on the blame to NRIs and other imaginary forces for the Modi govt. Because the reality is starker and difficult. That majority of the people with whom they inhabit the same country voted for Modi. Not once but twice. I jsut wish Modi wins thrice, just to break then momentum of uppity folks who dish on NRIs as if they are the roadbloack for Modi removal, and that they are the only ones who support Modi.

        As for India, it will survive. It has survived far worse days.

      2. They should just move back to the homeland then. If, as a community, you feel besieged to the extent that you want aid, better to leave when you have the free option to do so.

        Correct. People of the wrong demography should not fight for fair treatment, they should just move back.

        1. If you are being personally discriminated against, if your religion is discriminated against in a special way (as is prohibited by the First Amendment in the US constitution), by all means fight back. If you feel that Americans talking shit about the caste system or about Modi being authoritarian/fascist is discriminatory towards you and you are offended by it, you are better off decamping to the homeland. (Same applies to Muslims.)

          I’ll be charitable and say you knew this is what I was saying, because I was responding to someone who was implying the latter (the alternative is that you are a low IQ person suffering from Dunning-Krueger). But you seem to be like Saurav: your lizard brain commands your thinking, instinctively turning to politics and whataboutery rather than reasoned debate.

          1. You interpreted Saurav wrong, but even if one buys your interpretation, what sort of bizarre advice is “If they are talking shit about you, come back to India instead of talking shit back”? Doesn’t seem like the kind of advice anyone would give to anyone they don’t have almost racial-level condescension for.

          2. By the way look at this comment from you: “If you feel that Americans talking shit about the caste system … is discriminatory towards you”

            Absolutely no one here has any problem with talking shit about the caste system, and absolutely no one considers talking shit about the caste system as discriminatory to themselves. All of us talk shit about caste system all the time and welcome others doing the same, we just don’t want it to be an innuendo to help invent a caste angle that doesn’t exist.

            Shouldn’t you have some sense of decency before making up these sorts of disgusting allegation-like assertions? Do you have any idea how libellous-like you are being? And you complain about a dip in the quality of comments.

          3. froginthewell:

            Just some context on who you are dealing with

            Numinous is the same guy who has claimed on this forum:

            a) Something to the effect of Mumbai 26/11 was not as big a deal as some of the smaller bomb blasts that happened in the 90s and 2000s before 2008. This is *maybe* understandable as he might have felt more terrorized by random frequent bombblasts than one big 3-day attack in a single metro of India. However, at the very least this assertion was super tone deaf
            b) CoVID in India was not that big of a deal (this is during and after the first wave). This is when he wanted to blame the BJP govt for overreacting with lockdowns. Since then he has complained about the wait for vaccines (before the second wave hit), and how bad the second wave and the govt’s response to it have been (agree with him on the latter).

          4. On the Mumbai thing i will cut Numi some slack. South of Vindhyas as well as Eastern India has less animosity towards Pakistan anyways. Its not their cities which were bombed either in 2000s or 2010s , but mostly North and Mumbai. So all those events would seem foreign.

            A personal anecdote. During the Mumbai 2008 attacks, i was watching it in on a tea stall outside my college, and a gentle man passed by asking if there any famous Bengalis who have been caught up inside the Taj. When the tea stall owner answered in negative, he walked away heaving a sigh of relief.

  7. BAPS is caste egalitarian and got flak from orthodox sects for being caste egalitarian when it was founded. And stills get criticized for it behind closed doors in some circles.

    They have other issues for eg. kinda of sexist with regards to gender segregated prayers and women not allowed to become sadhus. The orthodox swaminarayan sects are more gender egalitarian.

    I think the exploitation in this case is economically motivated, and most of the construction workers happen to be low caste because of inequality in India.

    I don’t think the average Hindu Indian would know about this sort of nuance far less an American non-Hindu.

    (some of my extended family are into BAPS, my immediate family isn’t but i am very familiar with their practices.)

    1. “BAPS is caste egalitarian and got flak from orthodox sects for being caste egalitarian when it was founded.”

      That even a progressive organization like BAPS finds no support from our whole woke ‘Hindu-but-non-practicing’ and has to depend on the muscle of Hindu right like RSS/BJP shows they know which way the bread is buttered in terms of future of Hinduism. Not just in India but also world-wide.

      So much for rise of non political, spiritual, “deeply-felt” grass root Hindu orgs of less-Hindu folks.

      1. ‘Hindu-but-non-practicing’
        Should be recognized as a caste. Would be a Brahmin+Dalit alliance. They anyways will marry their own.

  8. remember Khobragade or some similar name ?
    an Ex IFS – and her case with cheap labor ? btw that lady in question was a dalit

    1. Actually Khobragade incident was eye opening for me, but in a completely different way. There was a picture of her celebrating in front of a giant Sarasvati statue and wishing people on twitter.

      That a dalit from Ambedkar’s turf is still so ‘Hindu’ showed how thick Hindu-dom is in Maharastra. So much for Ambedkar’s Buddhism conversion. Also it showed me that if you want to make dalits more ‘Hindu’ , help them become successful. Atleast that’s what happened to my OBC family. When they were poor, they were Congressi/Samajwadi, now they are middle class and more ‘Hindu’.

  9. I see that this topic, which is deserving of its own contextual discussions, has devolved into a BJP-Modi-NRI catfight. Not surprising since most passport-Indians in the US (not the Indian-American citizenry) are just running on the residency hamster-wheel and have a personal stake in inflaming debates. They think that every news-worthy issue provides an opportunity to fit retrospective justifications to their personal actions and ideology, especially in the limbo zone where the greencard hamster wheel operates.

    The real question has been buried. Is Caste not the Indian version of Class? Then the issue simply devolves to the core that elitist Indians exploited menial Indians to build a religious structure. The implication of Walter Sobchak that Jim Crow laws might have been Brahminical is comical but in essence he is pointing to the exploitation of one class of people by the other.

    This is not new – even British ethnographers working in the 18th and 19th centuries in India refused to accept that varna-jati was just an autochthonous version of accomodating people and their relation to production/land in the Indian rural milieu.

    The number of Westerners who supported the latter theory were numerous – E Senart, Oldenberg etc. In modern times, it is the socialist and communist schools who have stuck fast to the invagination of the varna-jati duo in a class setting. MN Srinivas (Mysorean and sociologist) is one of the best voices on this topic. Andre Beteille references this in a good paper.

    The references to caste will get torn apart by any half-decent lawyer but I suppose that this is just an gambit by the prosecution for some reputational harm and an early settlement. The real challenge for Indian-American citizens is to evolve a mainstream consciousness of the Jati-Varna paradigm. They cannot simply try to evade by pointing to an absence of jati-varna transactions. Nature abhors a vacuum. You will have earnest lawyers trying to add caste to every case – Kshatriya CEO fires Sudra worker without severance benefits!

  10. I know many people personally who volunteer via BAPs. It is a great organization overall.

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