Will TDSB succumb to ‘caste’ propaganda?


6th March 2023 – Last month, the Governance and Policy Committee of Toronto District School Board approved a motion called ‘caste oppression’ targeting the South Asian communities. The motion is on the agenda for an upcoming board meeting on 8th March 2023.

According to the motion, there is a rise in documented caste-based discrimination in the diaspora, including Toronto.

However, the diaspora groups refute this accusation.

Canadian Organization for Hindu Heritage Education (CoHHE) is opposing this motion and their online petition has some very relevant points for consideration for the school board. While the school board itself reports that it has never received a complaint about ‘caste oppression’ and there is very little evidence or reports of caste oppression in Toronto. (Click here to view/sign the petition).

So why are the trustees pushing this motion? This is one thing that has left parents and other concerned members of the community perplexed. The trustees were unable to provide evidence from academia or media for this claim. When questioned by Trustees Weidong Pei and Liban Hassan, Trustee Yalini Rajakulasingam who had supported the motion along with Trustee Anu Sriskandarajah admitted that the board has never received a single complaint of caste-based discrimination and that she has no-idea about its extent.

Trustee Rajakulasingam had also acknowledged that the motion is an ‘activist-driven motion’ which is not based on any evidence of discrimination. Trustee Shelley Laskin has also questioned the need to add ‘caste’ as a separate category in the Human Rights Code provisions.

Another online petition by Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA) states that there is a lack of transparency surrounding the drafting of the motion. It is unclear who was involved or consulted during the process and the short and long-term goals of the motion remain unclear. The petition questions, “Will South Asian students and other stakeholders be forced to learn the complicated nuances of the socio-political dynamics in South Asia in order to avoid being targeted by this policy?” (click here to view/sign this petition).

A concerned member of the community called this a waste of board’s precious funds. “Is this what the board really should be focusing on? Look at the EQAO levels for instance. For Grade 3, 26% of the students can’t match the reading levels, over 30% can’t match the writing levels and almost 40% in Maths fail the provincial standards and the trustees are busy pushing an agenda-driven theory which has no impact on our children”.

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Ritesh BiltheriaMarch 6, 2023 at 8:45 amReply

Please do not approve this ordinance that will divide South Asian community

Swami ParamatmaMarch 6, 2023 at 9:37 amReply

Great work. BUT we Hindus need to do some serious introspection. Sanskrit/Hindu words like “caste” should have been eradicated long long ago. We have to admit we are lazy and capitulating. Look at the massive phony yoga stuff that we have allowed!!


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