As of May 19, following powerful testimonies from Dalit Americans, Sikh Americans, and rigorous scholarship from the Dalit Bahujan faculty group, the IQC moved to reinstate the word “Dalit” into the curriculum and affirmed the caste system’s roots in Hinduism! The Hindu American Foundation was forced to publicly retract its original edit #1354 to remove the term “Dalit” from the curriculum.
Caste is one of the oldest and largest systems of oppression in the world with its religious origins in Hinduism. It breaks Hindu society into four main hereditary, hierarchical sections with Dalits comprising the bottom strata. Dalits were formerly known as the “Untouchables” because upper-caste Hindus deemed them spiritually defiling.
Dalit was a term born out of resistance to caste apartheid and used to denote struggle and assertion. To deny Dalits their identity and self-chosen name would be like referring to African Americans using derogatory terms like “n*****” or “slave”.