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Friday, January 21, 2022

How woke activists in America are spreading misinformation and essentializing everything Hindu into “caste”

The Indian-American CTO of Twitter got promoted to the CEO slot and there has been a metric ton of garbage related to what his caste affiliation might be on Twitter by both Indian-American wokes and other American wokes.

Even the Indian-American woke could not identify Parag Agrawal’s caste correctly and called him a “Cis Brahmin”. Another woke handle misidentified him twice “Tamil Brahmin” and “Tamil Bania”.


This is not surprising to me as a first generation Indian-American immigrant at all. Caste identity plays very little role in the day to day life of even a first generation immigrant and in any case Bharat being a massive, diverse country, it is not always possible even for first generation immigrants to accurately identify the caste affiliation of another Indian-American.

That is why an Indian-American made such an embarrassing whiff (Agrawals are a fairly well known mercantile caste group in Bharat) and the odds of a non-Indian American accurately identifying caste affiliations are basically zero.

However, this episode is quite instructive and here are some of my observations which might even be useful for my non-Indian followers who don’t know what to make of the massive amount of garbage news coverage that is being disseminated (poisoned?) into mainstream American news.

First regarding the Dalit Activists in America, it is a free country but the reality is there is no real issue of caste discrimination in America worth talking about (especially when compared to racial discrimination, which isn’t high to begin with as well), there are two factors driving Dalit Activist angst in America. Especially, for the second generation it is more about the angst and anger of learning your ancestors were from a historically discriminated against caste in Bharat. They are just settling scores for social and political conflicts best left for litigation in the public square in the Old Country and not relevant to life in America as an Indian immigrant.

The second factor is a careerist element. In America, Indian immigrants despite their dark skin color (well for most of us, some of us can be quite light skinned), are viewed as a successful group and aren’t eligible for affirmative action. So the ignominy of being a “Person of Color” but not being eligible for any medals in the Oppression Olympics like other PoCs are grates. One easy solution is to LARP as an oppressed minority and seek a niche as such in contrast to “privileged” Indian-Americans.

So Dalit Indian Americans get to say “Hey I am really more like BiPOC than successful White-adjacent POC” line me right up next to the Native Americans and African Americans.

That careerism is all this is about not about justice or righting a wrong or anything like that. Like I said you are living your life in America today, not some rural village in Bharat in 1950. Nobody is stopping you from entering a local village temple, or drinking from a public water tap or preventing you from enrolling in school.

That stuff by and large doesn’t even happen in the Bharat of today and in the rare cases that it would happen there are several laws that make it easy for a Dalit to lodge a complaint of caste discrimination and almost certainly win. Dalits wield a lot of political power in Bharat as well as a fourth of the constituencies are set aside as districts from which only Dalit political candidates can contest an election. So let us get real about the state of play in Bharat today, let alone that in America, where it is comical to claim that caste discrimination is a real issue.

Now getting to the woke Americans who are not Bharatiyas, let me tell you that your fixation on identarian nonsense in a super diverse country is not “progressive” it is just primitive. You people remind me of an episode I had in Bharat as a student where I got in a conversation with some elderly man in a carriage car kept for last minute travelers seeking cheap tickets (“unreserved general class” aka the bottom barrel of comfort with overcrowding taking to the extreme) basically it makes a Greyhound bus seem like the experience on an airline with a First Class ticket. Naturally these kind of carriages are patronized by the poor, often from a rural background.

This man had a nice conversation with me and then was kind of dismayed he couldn’t figure out my caste so he blurted out “Kauno Jaat hain aap?” (“What caste are you”). It felt like a jarring question for me even in Bharat.

So to come to America and nearly 30 years later have to answer “what caste are you” from a woke here is just a really backward and primitive move. You are not a progressive hipster know-it-all, you are the equivalent of a country bumpkin from Bharat with no education, congrats!

Normally I would not care at all what some idiot woke hipster thinks but this thing has been snowballing since last year and it is a very dangerous trend in a country which is very diverse and every group can name some grudge against another group.

When I was in Bharat, our country had been at war with Pakistan and China. In America when I work with Pakistani or Chinese colleagues, I don’t get to bring those animosities to bear here. It is understood that those are conflicts from the Old Country and now we are in the process of becoming American. I mean where will all this nonsense stop?

We can pit Shias against Sunnis, Irish Catholics against Irish Protestants, Rwandan Hutu against Tutsi, Nigerian Yoruba against Igbo, Ghanian Ashanti against Fantes.

So no I reject the attempt of woke hipsters of any tribal affiliation trying to make me answer about my caste or privilege or lack thereof. I refuse to be put into your identarian prison and will live as a free man. You can’t peg me by asking me my caste.

You are all politically motivated nasty characters accumulating Bad Karma and you will lose in the end (as we Hindus say “Satyameva Jayate” or “The Truth Will Triumph) because America is an exceptional country and you won’t be able to drag it down to your primitive level.

(This article has been compiled from the tweet thread of @BurnOutcase)

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