The Dalit civil rights organisation, Equality Labs, in partnership with Alphabet Workers Union, Neelam Social, and Ambedkar Association of North America, is set to host Radical Rhythms, a virtual global concert, on Wednesday, 10 August.
The concert will feature Dalit artists, leaders, and tech workers who will come together to create awareness about caste discrimination in big tech companies, such as Google. They will demand that such companies actively protect their caste-oppressed workers by making caste a protected category in all the countries where they have established businesses.
The line-up for the performances includes artists like:
Isaivani - Gaana artist from Tamil Nadu
Seyilrani and Lalitha - Oppari artists from Gangai Konda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu
Sumeet Samos - Writer and anti-caste rapper from Odisha (currently at Oxford)
Rapper Mahi - Anti-caste rapper from Maharashtra
Abisha - Film-maker and rapper from Chennai
Vipin Tatad - Rapper from Maharashtra
Ginni Mahi - Folk musician fromPunjab
The line-up also has speakers like:
Pa Ranjith - Film-maker and founder of Neelam Cultural Center
Thenmozhi Soundararajan - Dalit rights activist, hip-hop musician, and technologist
Chandra Shekar Azad: Dalit leader and founder of Azad Samaj Party and Bhim Army
Tech workers from Alphabet Workers Union and the broader tech sector
Maya Kamble- Dalit Tech Worker & President, Ambedkar Association of North America
Prem Pariyar- Nepali Dalit Rights Activist, California and lead organizer of the Cal State University Caste Equity Movement.
Will Wiltschko, California Trade Justice Association
Equity Protections at Workplaces
In the wake of recent caste discrimination that has been reported at Google, Dalits and their tech workers are uniting to demand caste equity and to issue a call to abolish caste by adding caste equity protections in their workplaces.
In her invitation, Thenmozhi Soundararajan, an anti-caste scholar and the executive director of Equality Labs, stated that "this system has created generations of trauma and violence, affects over 1.9 Billion South Asians and 5.7 South Asian american and is rampant in organizations that employ South Asians, across the world. With 2 out 3 Caste oppressed americans facing workplace discrimination caste equity is a workers right and it is a call being heard around the world."
Soundararajan's talk at Google got cancelled due to an internal pushback from certain employees, and in an interview with The Quint, she said that she has had to face a significant amount of online trolling and harassment that has even forced her family to move to a safe house out of fear for their safety.
Opening up to The Quint in an extensive interview, Soundararajan had said, "In the aftermath of Google's discriminatory actions, we have had bigots try to run doxxing campaigns, they've run disinformation campaigns. But more importantly, they've tried to find my parents and inflict harm on them. Luckily, we were able to identify it (the threats) and we moved my family to a safe home."