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Judgment Day: Cisco Caste Case Has Fallen Apart. California’s Hinduphobic Bill Must Be Withdrawn

Judgment Day: Cisco Caste Case Has Fallen Apart. California’s Hinduphobic Bill Must Be Withdrawn

  • After three years of vilification, Sundar Iyer and Ramana Kompella have been vindicated. They have the financial means to go after Civil Rights Department for civil damages. We hope they do.

Thenmozhi Soundararajan just had the rug pulled out from under her feet. For three years, she has been claiming the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) case against Cisco, Sundar Iyer and Ramana Kompella was proof of massive caste discrimination in the tech sector. And, California State Sen. Aisha Wahab lost the biggest reason for her Hinduphobic bill SB403.

California’s CRD has just dismissed the lawsuit they filed against Sundar Iyer and Ramana Kompella at Cisco. Without argument. Without a word of testimony. Without prejudice. After three years of trial by publicity.

“Oops! Never mind”

Soundararajan, (a.k.a. Dalit Diva), Los Angeles-born and Berkeley-educated, but self-proclaimed caste-oppressed agitator, has a massive problem. The house of cards she built to push her caste calumny has just collapsed around her. She will spin it in any number of ways because her entire raison d’etre was tied to this case. It might even be fun watching her twisting into knots. But, she no longer has a case to hang her hat on.

This was not a surprise to those of us who were astounded that the lawsuit was filed in the first place. We saw the influence of Equality Labs and Dalit Diva, who seemed to have convinced a couple of ambitious but woke lawyers at CRD to go after Cisco. We could not comprehend how any court of law would accept the travesty of a report — “Caste in the United States” — as evidence of anything other than statistical malpractice and outright misinformation.

But, in the intervening three years between the filing of the lawsuit and its dismissal by the very agency that filed it, much harm has been done to many people around the world.

Reputations have been destroyed. Academic conferences have been conducted leveraging this one bogus case, arguing for the dismantling of the entire religion of Hinduism. Bad faith academics have put up pictures of the defendants as the very symbol of oppression while calling for the dismantling of Hinduism.

The world saw an orgy of gleeful self-righteousness by news outlets, big and small. They accused everyone from the Modi government to anyone with a last name sounding even vaguely “upper caste” of “Hindu Supremacy.” The Washington Post, The New York Times and others published innumerable articles on the Cisco case and why it is proof of the oppressive nature of Hinduism. They started this pile of nonsense by platforming the Thenmozhi Soundararajan on their op-ed pages.

Do you remember those articles? We do.

We have always known that Soundararajan’s entire schtick was to cry victim. All the while benefiting from the greatest privilege of modern times — being born to rich American parents in the richest state in the Union, in the richest country in the world.

Universities like Harvard, Brown and the California State system fell over themselves arguing for “caste” as a protected category because “as the case filed against Cisco shows…”

Do you remember them? We do.

Seattle and school boards like in Toronto broadcast their virtue signaling far and wide by thundering that caste discrimination is endemic as the Cisco case shows. By Jove, they were not going to stand for it. They passed laws. They empaneled Human Rights commissions.

Do you remember them? We do.

Professors from Harvard — Cornel West, Suraj Yengde, and Ajanta Subramanian — got on their bully pulpits and testified to group after group that this is a big problem, as evidenced by the lawsuit against Cisco.

Do you remember them? We do.

Grifters and caste baiters from around the world sneered that “the Cisco case showed…, Hindus were incorrigibly casteist.” Self-loathing Hindus at the ironically named Hindus for Human Rights, Sunita Vishwanath, Sravya Tadepalli and Nikhil Mandalaparthy were quick to jump on the bandwagon and virtue signal that they were the “better” Hindus.

Do you remember them? We do.

We also remember our own words on this — this is not a real issue; it is not widespread; it is more complex than you think; the case against Sundar Iyer and Ramana Kompella is bogus. But nobody wanted to listen to us. We were derided on social media as “entitled upper caste,” “privileged whiners,” “Hindu nationalists,” “Right Wing,” “white supremacist” and more. Our Dalit and Bahujan leaders were ignored, by the very media claiming to champion the voices of diversity.

But, today, we are vindicated. We are reminded of the eternal aphorism of our dharma — Satyam Eva Jayate — Truth alone wins.

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There can be no fairer act now than for Sen. Wahab to withdraw her bill SB403 that claims “Caste discrimination occurs across industries including technology …” This Bill is based entirely on the bad faith claims by Soundararajan and the Cisco lawsuit. Sen. Wahab can work with real community groups like the Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA) to help her draft a real, equitable bill to address her concerns.

We are not holding our breath. But her colleagues in the California Senate, on the Judiciary Committee, must now see the naked emperor beneath this bill. They must see what is obvious to us. This whole house of cards has been foisted upon them by Soundararajan who runs a hate group Equality Labs, targeting Hindus. Surely, they realize that every legal challenge to this legislation will feature the CRD fiasco prominently.

We have always known that Soundararajan’s entire schtick was to cry victim. All the while benefiting from the greatest privilege of modern times — being born to rich American parents in the richest state in the Union, in the richest country in the world. We have always been skeptical of her claims that caste is visible from the last name — her own last name is of the so-called highest caste. We knew she claimed more intersectionality than DuPont Circle in Washington, D.C. Unlike others, we have never ignored the obvious fact that she was looking to benefit from tapping into the DEI budgets as a “caste consultant.”

But, vindication may have come too late for Iyer and Kompella. For three years, they have been vilified, posterized, attacked and presumed guilty of the worst forms of oppression — with no chance to defend themselves.

Their lives have been put on hold; their families left to wonder — are these people really the casteist monsters the world says they are?

They have the financial means to go after CRD for civil damages. We hope they do. But if California puts SB403 into law, who will be the next Sundar Iyer? The next Ramana Kompella? Who will the CRD claim as ‘upper caste’ Brahmin, upon information and belief’?

In a just world, this should send Soundararajan and Equality Labs into eternal discredit. They should not get time of day from any corporate body ever again. Groups like them and Hindus for Human Rights should disband. Their bluff and outright lies have been tested in the legal system and found so wanting that the State of California does not dare proceed.

We know we don’t live in that just world today.

We will carry on speaking for Dharma because that is how we will get to that just world.

Suresh Krishnamoorthy is a naturalized citizen and a practicing Hindu who has lived in the U.S. since 1988. He is on the Executive Board of the Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA).

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  • What an amazing article. Thanks for calling attention to how the state of California basically wrecked the life of two of its citizens and then just said oops!
    I guess the two citizens were collateral damage in the state’s real target –the burgeoning American Hindu community that has now seen its reputation destroyed. And is the subject of laws to profile them

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