Senior staff resigns after Google cancels Dalit activist’s talk

In the wake of Gupta’s resignation, Equality Labs demanded Google News to add caste as a protected category immediately.
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Tanuja Gupta, project manager at Google News, founder of Googlers for Ending Forced Arbitration and the organiser of the Google Walkout, has resigned in the wake of Google News cancelling a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) talk on caste equity.

Thenmozhi Soundararajan, executive director, Equality Labs, a US based Dalit rights organisation, was slated to give a talk in commemoration of the Dalit History Month in April. However, Google cancelled the talk a couple of days prior to the scheduled date.

“The movement towards caste equity is one rooted in love, empathy and justice.I cannot find the words to express just how traumatic and discriminatory Google’s actions were towards its employees and myself, as the company unlawfully cancelled a talk about caste equity. Google must address the casteism within its workforce that allows for these attacks to occur and continue,” said Soundararajan.

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Gupta has launched an internal site at go/caste-equity asking googlers to sign a petition to reinstate the talk. More than 400 Google employees rallied behind her cause. In response, the Google management launched an HR investigation and punitive corrective action against Gupta leading to her resignation.

“Google is woefully and willfully ill-equipped to deal with matters of caste discrimination, and that has led to the events and harm you’ve read about today. Of all the organising I have done at this company, I think many are surprised that fighting for caste equity was the lightning rod issue that took me down,” wrote Gupta, in her resignation email. “So my hope is that Googlers start to understand the magnitude of this issue, and the threat that their greater understanding poses to the South Asians in power.”

In the wake of Gupta’s resignation, Equality Labs demanded Google News to add caste as a protected category immediately.

Access Tanuja Gupta’s good bye letter here.

Zinnia Banerjee
Zinnia loves writing and it is this love that has brought her to the field of tech journalism.

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