indica News Bureau-
Standing up against the atrocities being brought down upon the citizens under the right-wing government of India, members of South Asian groups in US are planning to organize a ‘national day of action’ in Indian districts of USA. Los Angeles, Jersey City, Chicago, Boston and Atlanta, with large number of Indian Americans is will also be a part of the protest where the members of Indian diaspora will urge their fellow Indian Americans to stop funding and supporting India’s right-wing government. With global protests after the passing of Citizenship Amendment Act , that bars Muslim immigrants from acquiring the citizenship of India, and lays legal foundation to force India’s 200 million Muslims into a registry – the Indian diaspora has finally decided to raise its voice against the injustice.
This is a first of its kind protest in the US and will be hosted in cities like Artesia Boulevard in Los Angeles, Devon Street in Chicago, Moody Street in Waltham, Patel Plaza in Decatur, Newark Street in Jersey City, among the few. The protests will take place on January 18 and 19.
The protests happing in US as part of the national month of resistance events will culminate in protests at all of the Indian embassies in the US.
Criticizing CAA as discriminatory against Muslims of India, executive director of South Asian American Organization Equality Labs, Thenmozhi Soundararajan, said, “The CAA is an integral part of the Modi government’s process of creating a stateless Muslim population — who can be profiled, treated as second-class citizens, and imprisoned in massive detention centers already being built in India. Without the pipeline of support they receive from networks of upper caste Hindu networks in the diaspora, India’s right wing militias and the Modi government would lack the financial support they need to distribute their fascist ideologies. Their relationship lies at the nexus of wealth inequality and nationalist fervor that are both typical of the South Asian diaspora.”
“This is why we’re mobilizing a National Day of Action with South Asian American grassroots groups across the U.S. to uplift the demand that these networks immediately cease their support and divest from the spread of Hindu fascism. We are drawing a line in the sand: The diaspora will not be complicit with genocide”, he added.
Theresa Matthews of South Asia Solidarity Initiative (SASI) NY, who is one the organizers, organizers for Jersey City said, “These streets are the new battleground against fascism. Dominant caste Hindu Indians in the diaspora have long hoarded wealth on behalf of the opportunist fascists in India. We’re hosting the National Day of Action in Jersey City, in a state with one of the largest Indian diasporic populations in the world, to urge people to move as one in an act of conscience and object to Modi and his genocidal project to Indian minorities. As an Indian Christian I know the CAA will not just impact Muslims, it will affect all minority faiths. It also has consequences for queer and trans people.”
Recounting incidents of hate-speech he overhears form customers who come to dine at his restaurant, Bilal Hussain, one of the organizers in Artesia said, “We are bringing this battle to Artesia because I am sick of hearing people openly asking for the death of Muslims in restaurants in my community. I have family who are afraid for their lives and it is heartbreaking. I have not slept since the CAA passed. I am Muslim, I am Queer. And I am of Indian descent. The CAA has genocidal implications for all of my communities and we will not be silent.”
“As a Dalit Christian from India, who now lives in Seattle, I know that religious and caste minorities in India have experienced state-sponsored violence through a plethora of avenues, and that we have seen this coming. We have to wake up and be willing to look at these uncomfortable truths: India has never been a tolerant, secular, nation, and what we tout to be the biggest democracy has never been safe for minorities. The passing of the CAA proves how normalized religious un-freedom has become in India. I am joining the Seattle protests in opposition to the CAA because I will not let this pass by as another normal violence”, said Vinnu Wolhowe, who is helping organize the protest in Seattle, Washington.
“As the granddaughter of refugees from the Partition of India and Pakistan, the CAA is reopening wounds that have been passed down generation to generation. There is so much healing that still hasn’t taken place. There has never been any process of truth and reconciliation in the subcontinent. The Modi-led government is taking advantage of this trauma, seeking to further deepen the divide among South Asians by caste and creed, rather than bring us together — and all for the benefit of upper caste Hindus. I’m taking a stand against the CAA, the Hindu Right, and the Modi government because I refuse to perpetuate the communal tensions that have plagued the subcontinent and the diaspora for over a century”, Shelly Anand, recounting that her grandparents were also refugees and the CAA is pricking the old wounds of partition of India again.