Anatomy of a Dishonest survey (3 of 3) Equality Labs Report

Richa Gotham
10 min readAug 15, 2020


Equality Labs Caste Report: A Racist Colonial Narrative replayed

Recently, Equality Labs published an extensive report on ‘Caste’ in the USA and this report is being used for creating an Anti-India, Anti Hindu, and Anti Silicon Valley narrative and strategy to derail a well-established support system of the Indian American workforce in the technological capital of the world. We present here a three-part rebuttal to this replay of a Colonial Narrative in the echelons of Silicon Valley.

Anatomy of a Dishonest and Dubious ‘Survey’ by Equality Labs: A Deceptive Self-indulgent Exercise with Unsound Technique and Unscientific Methodology

The Survey has admittedly been conducted without sample randomization, and without qualifying the ‘sample’, on an online self-administered platform allowing for participation from anywhere in the world. This makes it a highly suspect study especially from the standpoint of scientific research design or methodology.[11]

To simply say that there are more Brahmins than Shudras in a survey sample is only a representation of your sample, not of the population. So it is uncharacteristic of an academic review to pass sweeping statements on ‘Varna’ statistics as done by Equality Labs, based on a survey that cannot justify projecting its findings to the entire population, given its stark unrepresentativeness.

The survey has no apparent rational conclusions, relies heavily on conjectures, quoting anecdotal stories from anonymous unverified sources. This can be the grossest form of misrepresentation and fictitious argumentation for any study, and the Equality Labs study is a case in point using anonymous anecdotal stories and biased reporting. This report should be regarded as circumspect not just for being Hinduphobic with racial overtones, but also for promoting blatant egregious statements that are ignorant and unscientific.[13]

Fraudulent Survey

Can Equality Labs share the raw data and survey methodology and research design of this study so as to ascertain the structural elements of the study like design, sample selection, methodology, and selective cohort determination? Is there an element of fairness and precision in the study? or is this study prejudiced given the Hinduphobic and racially motivated tenor of the report? Based on evidence and reports, the judges and the company need to determine if this is a mere self-indulgent exercise with a predetermined agenda. Any study has to include neutral observers and we are hard-pressed to find that in the report from Equality Labs.[12]

Anonymous Anecdotes: Spurious case of Discrimination

The anecdotal stories of discrimination in schools are deeply concerning because as has been reported and shared around the country, there is a huge rise in Hinduphobia and bullying of Hindu students on College Campuses by groups like Holi against Hindutva and other such groups that have been working at bullying and spreading hate and Hinduphobia through dishonest stories. The Equality Labs report assumes kids are supposed to have playdates and interact only with their own South Asian cohort. That is a bigoted and narrow definition of playdates that are hopefully based on broadminded camaraderie irrespective of regional and parochial mindsets.

The ten avatars of Vishnu {Source: The Victoria and Albert MuseumPainting from Jaipur, India; in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. }

In the Equality Labs report, Buddhism is considered as a non-Sanatani or non-Hindu religion. This is blatantly misrepresenting Hinduism. Buddha is considered by most as the 9th of the 10 most important Avatars of Vishnu — and is written in our Scriptures [10]. Hindus worship Buddha and many have Buddha idols in their homes. Sanatani creed includes Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. The reason Dr. Ambedkar chose Buddhism and not any other faith is that it was part of Hindu spirituality and Sanatan traditions. Syncretic existence in society and in temples has been a hallmark of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism in India and all over Asia.

Equality Labs apparent discrimination against vegetarians

Because the next part of the report deals with how upper ‘Caste’ Hindus are largely vegetarians compared to Lower ‘Caste’ Hindus as non-vegetarians. This is a blatant lie because several Jati across all Varnas have both vegetarians and non-vegetarians — it’s more of a food choice in each region and depends on geography. This report now tries to go into a complete attack on veganism and vegetarianism and is highly discriminatory and seems to favor meat-eating. Socializing with those who eat meat versus those who don’t is a personal preference and cannot be a construct of some report writer. This is not about ‘Caste’ or Jati but about their personal philosophy and any such attack should be viewed as undemocratic, suspicious, malicious, and intolerant of vegetarianism. Is this report by Equality Labs one claims that “No one ate my non-veg curry the whole night at the party”, which is a very juvenile anecdotal evidence of vegetarianism as discrimination? This report has tried to pass it off as intellectual curry talk.

It is strange to see such an attack on veganism and vegetarianism in a state like California that has pioneered sustainable culture. Would it be correct for someone to question if a Muslim refused non Halal meat or a Jew refuses non Kosher food? We don’t go about attacking communities for their food preferences and expect others to show similar tolerance and acceptance.

This report is an Attack on Hindus and Jatis of India

Jatis are communities that follow similar traditions, food habits, and cultural evolutions. This results in highly diverse communities that do prefer to marry within their cohort traditionally. However, this is not always the case in postmodern Indians and Hindus. India has been a democratic country in its essential core and derives it from the democracy in Hinduism. Obviously this report writers cohort is driven by the idea of large scale homogenized cultural determination as to its guideline. That different jatis prefer their food choices and their own dress codes are unacceptable to them. This displays the narrow-minded bigoted intolerant and perverse nature of their thought process that wants to deride India’s diversity and democracy and calling it selective heterosexual dating/marrying trends.

Anecdotal anonymous undocumented stories of Dalit Jokes, Dalit derision, and mockery cannot be counted as any sort of evidence. This report’s recommendations and conclusions cannot be taken seriously and should be outright questioned for validity. It is a waste of time for many folks who are reading this fictional piece of writing and then counter rebutting the blatant lies and accusations hurled at a peaceful law-abiding Indian American community that is focused on contributing to building American society instead of wasting time and money of the community through such trumped-up charges of discrimination.

In Conclusion to part 3, its clearly obvious that the survey is malicious, fallacious, and unscientific in nature. It is trying to pass off anonymous lies and undocumented anecdotes as statistics. Anyone with a little understanding of research design and methodology knows that such anonymous Chinese whispers cannot be passed off as evidence in any sensible or serious court of law.

As stated at the beginning of the report, it stands to reason that the case should be dismissed or be crafted as a generic case of discrimination. The Equality Labs report is setting a dangerous precedent of misrepresenting the Hindu identity in a “Caste”-based analysis by writers who have shown a shallow understanding of surveys, a biased view about Hinduism, and deep-seated ignorance about Varna and Jati.

There is no scripture in Hindu literature that details anything about which Jati is superior or which Varna is ‘higher’ or ‘lower’. The Hindu Jati system is the strength of the society, and functions as an extended family emerging as a bulwark against calamities and difficult times, It is an economic ecosystem to sustain the social fabric, for psychosocial rehabilitation during mishap and communities for talent and opportunity[9]

Practical Uses of the jati and varna system

Dr. Omendra Ratnu, who works with Pakistani Refugee rehabilitation says that 80% of the fleeing persecuted minorities from Pakistan are Dalits and the down-trodden[8]. His nonprofit organization Nimittekam coordinates their arrival and settlement in India. Dr. Ratnu states that what helps these Meghwal, Bhil, and other Pakistani refugees to settle in India is the cohesive connect with existing Bhil, Meghwal, and other communities and their seamless integration into that extended family with similar cultural and social practices.

In his book “‘Caste’ as social capital.’ Professor Vaidyanathan[7] has given numerous examples of how the Jati system in India brings communities together to support each other economically socially entrepreneur-ally, thus existing as social capital for each other. Jatis are supportive structures that teach a trade to each other, are a support system to each other, and uplift each other in times of need, uniting as a brotherhood.

All Societies have their divisions

Islamic sects are there, Christian church denominations exist — there is no society that does not have its horizontal divisions at the current time. Islamic sects are constantly at war with each other trying to eliminate the less ‘purer’ Muslims. For example, in Syria, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi, Afghanistan, etc., the Shias and Sunnis constantly try to suppress or eliminate the other. Some sects like ‘Ahmadiyas’ are Constitutionally discriminated as ‘non-Muslims’ who are ‘unfit’ and excluded from holding any position of power or respect in the Society. Such large scale inter Jati conflicts or exclusion have never existed in India — Jatis are not against each other and are interdependent structures within the framework of Indian society. There are inter Jati marriages and inter Varna marriages today as well and there is no major issue in a postmodern world where the concept of Jati is a nomenclature of lineage and a defining element of heritage but structurally, the Indian citizen has developed a global outlook and is not hostage to Jati and Varna definitions.

Appendix: An insight into a circumspect survey

The Appendix section tries to make this look like a “Professionally Done” report with appended “Graphical Evidence” and “Survey Methodology”. The Survey which was conducted without randomization, without qualifying the ‘sample’, on an admittedly online self-administered platform from anywhere in the world is a highly suspect study and is invalid from the standpoint of qualified scientific research lacking academic rigor.

In reality, this report also contains sampling bias. The report claims clearly to have conducted the survey through their listservs and “whoever responded”. In fact, selection bias is deep as the survey also claims to have been conducted among people of 26 different countries. A non-randomized sample of 1500 odd people from any place in the world who self-administered and self-responded to the survey, is taken as being ‘representative’ of a 5–6 million strong Hindu diasporic community in the United States. This sort of unrepresentative sampling bias and selection bias disqualifies the survey results and interpretations. The Unrepresentative sample cannot be projected onto the US diaspora.

This report also contains anonymous “statements” which cannot be regarded as any valid evidence, because of their dubious nature that can not be verified. The report is full of anecdotal anonymous statements that should be rejected from being used as evidence anywhere.

The ‘Caste’ Report by Equality Labs is patently Hinduphobic and an exemplary case of thoroughly biased and spiteful presentation of a highly motivated agenda. It is unscientific in approach and divisive on the agenda. Any further exploration of this nature should be stopped by the legal authorities, with a strict admonition of racial and religious intolerance. We condemn Equality Labs for writing such Hinduphobic and India phobic lies and attempting to pass anecdotal anonymous stories as evidence in their malicious propaganda machinery only matching that of Goebbels.

Resources for teachers’ appendix V

A dangerous precedent is being set, where in children in the US are being trained to think in terms of Caste and Race at a young age, through essay writing and discussions around “Upper” and “Lower” caste dynamics. In a post-modern global world order where kids should instead be imbibing egalitarian principles representative of American ethos, such regressive essay writing and scholarship is eventually going to nurture a narrow-minded generation of kids seeped in such divisive identity politics. This goes at the very root of democratic principles of American society. Equality Labs is aiming to provide resources for teachers and other authorities on Hinduism. Equality Labs has proven itself as unable to lead this discourse by misrepresenting India, Hinduism and American values in their report.

Definitely, practitioners of Hindu Vedic concepts and not Equality Labs should lead education efforts for India and Hindu concepts.

Additionally, any authorities that work on Hindu Concepts will need to refer back to Hindu Vedic authorities from the community because these reports and recommendations are invalid having originated in a prejudiced and un- Hindu mindset intent on prevarication.

Read Part I and II


  1. Limpieza de Sangre and the origins of the ‘Caste’ system | IndiaFacts.
  2. Mason Olcott. “The ‘Caste’ System of India.” American Sociological Review, vol. 9, no. 6, 1944, pp. 648–657. JSTOR, Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.
  3. Herbert Hope Risley: The study of Ethnology in India
  4. William Adams: An Enquiry into the place of the Christian College in Modern India(1931)
  5. Chandogya Upanishad, 4.4–4.8
  6. Dharampal. The Beautiful Tree
  7. Dr. Vaidyanathan ‘Caste’ as Social Capital
  8. Dr. Omendra Ratnu: Hindus of Pakistan A Genocide forgotten
  9. Complete works of Vivekananda
  10. Garuda Purana: 1.86.10–11 and 2.30.37
  11. Creswell’s Research Design, 5th Edition
  12. An Introduction to Statistical Methods and Data Analysis
  13. Qualitative Data Analysis: A Methods Sourcebook
  14. Rekha Bandyopadhyay: Land System in India: A Historical Review
  17. Bill Warner: The Doctrine of Slavery: An Islamic Institution (A Taste of Islam Series) Paperback — September 13, 2010
  18. Vedas: Purusha Sukta (IAST puruṣasūkta, Devanāgarī पुरुषसूक्तम्) hymn 10.90 of the Rigveda, dedicated to the Purusha, the “Cosmic Being”.[1] Shukla Yajurveda Samhita 30.1–16 and Atharva Veda Samhita 19.6.[2][3]
  19. Complete works of Macaulay