SACRAMENTO (Diya TV) – Diya TV has learned Sundar Iyer and Ramana Kompella, tech executives who were sued by the State of California’s Civil Rights Department (CRD) for caste discrimination only to be fully exonerated after years of litigation, are joining the Hindu American Foundation’s (HAF) lawsuit against the CRD that alleges infringement on the religious freedom and equal protection rights of Hindu Americans.
The Hindu American Foundation and their members Samir Kalra; Mihir Meghani, Sangeetha Shankar, as well as Dilip Amin, Iyer, Kompella and three people that wish to remain unnamed are all plaintiffs in the matter. Late last week, the group filed a first amended complaint, asserting the CRD “wrongly asserts that a caste system and caste-based discrimination are integral parts of Hindu teachings and practices.” The plaintiffs contend the CRD’s approach is unconstitutional and detrimental to the religious freedoms of Hindu Americans.
The amended complaint focuses on the CRD’s declarations, many from non-Hindus. The plaintiffs allege these declarations make disparaging statements about Hinduism, including the belief that caste is an inherent part of Hindu scripture and that certain groups, such as Brahmins, benefit from centuries of privilege due to the caste system.
Read the full complaint here:
Diya TV received a grant from the California State Library through a program to promote California Versus Hate, which is a website administered by the California Civil Rights Division. We received a $100,000 grant in 2022, and created a new show to profile the growing spate of hate crimes against Asian Americans. One of the topics that we covered over the last year was about caste and about SB 403. We were up for renewal in year two, but were denied based on the judgment of eight people. We have provided substantial coverage to SB 403 over that year and various other caste discrimination battles and we will continue to do so with or without funding.