indica News Bureau-
Indian-Americans on Saturday organized a ‘sit-in Satyagraha’ outside the Indian embassy in Washington. The ‘sit-in’ was organized by a policy advocacy group, Young India, where members from the community delivered speeches in memory of Mahatma Gandhi. Community members gathered in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi near the Indian embassy where they highlighted the need for pluralism in India. Speeches from community members were also made in the memory of the Mahatma. The speakers highlighted the need for pluralism in an ancient and heterogeneous society like India.
The founder and the current president of Young India, Rohit Tripathi while talking to the press said that they gathered in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue to remember his message of non-violence and the power of Satyagraha (soul force) in demanding dignity. Tripathi further added that the women protesting across India have shown exactly what Gandhi’s message of demanding dignity is all about.
Tripathi has openly criticized the government of India’s move to introduce the Citizenship Amendment Act that would allow religious minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, who have come before 2014, to acquire Indian citizenship. The controversial act excludes Muslim refugees from acquiring Indian citizenship, which many believe is discriminatory towards one particular community. The government of India, however, claims that the Act is aimed at providing citizenship to only those who are facing religious persecution in the above-mentioned countries and would not hamper with the citizenship status of people currently residing in India.
“We have gathered here to remind us of Mahatma’s message, method and also insistence to activate our conscience in times of trial. World’s two largest democracies have found themselves in positions where many see democratic evolution is under duress,” said Indian-American Rohit Tripathi, the founder and current president of ‘Young India’.
He talked about non violence and its importance and said, “The Mahatma believed that the goal of every confrontation is ultimately to move all parties forward together. Today as many in India walk the path of non-violence in their response to the happenings of the day, we here stand in solidarity of the methodology that we have adopted that of non-violence,”
The event concluded with the formation of a human chain, circumambulation of Gandhi’s statue, and the Indian national anthem.