HAF's Letter of Request for Statements against Caste-based Discrimination from Hindu Spiritual Leaders and Organizations

The following letter from HAF, requesting statements against caste-based discrimination, was distributed to Hindu spiritual leaders and organizations between 2007 - 2010.
 
Namaste Pujya Hindu Spiritual and Religious Leader,
 
This is a request for your assistance and guidance in what the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) considers a very important and strategic project - HAF's Dalit/Harijan Human Rights Report.
 
In the ___ of 2010, HAF will release a report that will add HAF's viewpoint to the international debate on caste discrimination in which Hindu groups have been noticeably absent. While we know that you have made statements on this subject, HAF will educate its network of academics, journalists, NGO leaders, and government officials with a more accurate picture of Hinduism while also acknowledging both the problem of caste discrimination and the solution offered by Hindu leaders and organizations.
 
HAF's report seeks to achieve the following:
 
a. Influence change through Hindu leadership: Hindu leaders, both spiritual and organizational, should become aware of the level and depth of the atrocities against Harijans. Many in the Hindu community (particularly Hindu Americans) are unaware of the extent of on going human rights violations and the importance of the Hindu leadership speaking out on this issue.
 
b. Show Hindus are concerned about caste discrimination: Show that Hindu leaders, organizations and scriptures are against caste discrimination. This will allow Hindu organizations to enter the debate on caste discrimination and Dalit/Harijan rights which is currently dominated by Christian missionary groups.
 
c. Network with Harijan groups: This report will allow Hindu organizations such as HAF to work with Harijan groups in the future.
 
d. Publicize HAF's official stand on caste discrimination: 
  1. HAF is against caste-based discrimination
  2. HAF is against a birth-based social hierarchy
 
We request you to provide the following, which we may publish in our printed and web based report, and other material that we may use to convey your viewpoint:
 
  1. A clear statement from you that shows that you are against caste-based discrimination and against a birth-based social hierarchy. This is the most important part of our request.
  2. Material from Hindu scriptures that support this position.
  3. Efforts you are involved with to promote the integration and upward mobility of Harijans within society
  4. Additional explanation that you have about the origins of, present status of, and solutions to the caste problem today
 
We are also asking other prominent Hindu spiritual and religious leaders for the same.
 
We ask that you send this to mihir@hafsite.org by _________, 2010, along with a brief bio.
 
As you may know, since HAF formed in 2003, HAF has promoted the human rights of Hindus where they are minorities, the accurate portrayal of Hinduism in textbooks and the media, the education of U.S. Congressmen about Hinduism and Hindu issues, equity to Hindus in the legal system, and interfaith relations.
 
We look forward to your reply.
 
Pranam