Indian-Americans protest in 30 US cities over CAA

WASHINGTON: Thousands of slogan-shouting Indian Americans staged a demonstration near the Consulate of India in New York to protest against new citizenship regulations that discriminate against Muslims. Organized by the ‘Coalition Against Genocide’ a grouping of some 40 organizations based in the United States and Canada as well as individuals the emotion-charged rally was timed to coincide with India’s Republic Day. Similar protests took place in Washington, D.C. and 28 other major American cities in which representatives of American-Sikh, Christian and Jewish organizations as also those of human rights bodies participated. In New York, members of “Black Lives Matter”, a powerful organization of AfroAmericans, also joined the protest. The largest gathering of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protestors was reported from Chicago where Indian-Americans gathered in large numbers and formed a several milelong human chain. A number of women were among the protestors carrying anti-CAA banners and raising slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demanding CAA’s repeal and revocation of the proposed National Register for Citizens (NRC). Speakers at the rally in New York, including Dr. Shaikh Ubaid, a founding member of ‘Coalition Against Genocide’, denounced the citizenship regulations pushed through by India’s Hindu-nationalist government as “unconstitutional” and called for the immediate withdrawal. Amid slogans of “Inqailb Zinda Bad”, they said the brutal crackdown by Indian government on anti-CAA and anti-NRC protests has created a situation in which women in large numbers have come out on streets in India to challenge the divisive-communal-fascist agenda of the government. The Speakers said the new Indian regulations undermine the commitment to secularism enshrined in the country’s constitution, which was adopted in 1950. Imran Pasha, New York chapter president of the Indian American Muslim Council, said that he believes the true aim of the amendment and related measures is to disenfranchise Muslims and force them to convert to Hinduism. He called the citizenship regulations “purely discriminatory.” Imran Pasha, New York chapter president of the Indian American Muslim Council, called the the citizenship regulations “purely discriminatory.