By Reena Bhardwaj
Washington DC [USA], Jan 5 (NAI): Members of the Indian diaspora held events in several cities across the United States, including Seattle, Chicago and Atlanta, to express their support for the amended Citizenship Act.
Terming the act as a historic step taken by the Indian government, the diaspora united in multiple cities, primarily to create awareness about the misinformation being spread about the purpose of the CAA in the US.
Over fifty people of Indian-origin in Seattle participated in a rally in support of the CAA in downtown Seattle at Westlake Plaza. This group of Indian-Americans gathered on Saturday, carrying placards and raising slogans in support of the Narendra Modi government and CAA.
The placards read "CAA is not anti-Muslim", "CAA is about Human Rights" and "CAA is inclusive and not discriminatory". Some even raised slogans such as "We support Modi" and "We support CAA."
A second of its kind in Seattle, this rally in support of the CAA was organized by the Indians living in Washington (state) and spearheading the rally were Archana Sunil and Atul Hirapara.
"What people fail to see is that the CAA has a limited scope in that it is meant to simply rehabilitate those persecuted minorities already in India, but who were left behind on the other side during the 1947 partition for no fault of theirs," said Archana Sunil, a health and Medicare insurance advisor.
"This was a promise made by several leaders at that time including Gandhi, Patel, Nehru and others and the CAA is simply keeping that promise," she added.
Businessman Atul Hirapara said, "Can you lose 9 per cent of your 18 per cent minority population in say 20 years? Well, Pakistan did it in 10 years!"
"The opponents fail to see the population of religious minorities - Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jains and Buddhists in these countries have fallen to genocidal levels - these minorities are becoming extinct by the day," he added.
More than 100 members of the Indian diaspora in Atlanta gathered in front of the CNN headquarters to show their support and solidarity to the Indian government.
The supporters told ANI that they believe that the government has taken a bold step in helping the persecuted minorities in the neighbouring countries and that the idea to hold this rally is to oppose the distortion of facts spread by various political parties and media outlets in India as well as in the USA.
Protesting outside one of America's most-watched news network CNN, the supporters said that they wish to convey the truth and facts about the CAA to the media and the people of the nation.
"India is our motherland and we are extremely passionate about it and can't tolerate anybody who is spreading lies and hatred against India to destroy its secular image," said Rajeev Menon, one of the organisers of the rally.
In Chicago too, a similar event was organized on Saturday where members of the Indian-American community expressed their support for the new law.
One of the supporters said the law is a historic decision taken after the Narendra Modi government was voted back to power with an overwhelming majority.
Commenting on these multi-city rallies in the US, the newly appointed Foreign Secretary and the Indian Ambassador to the United States Harshvardhan Shringla told ANI that there has been a great deal of misinformation and disinformation spread about the CAA in the US.
"Some initial reactions and even some protests were a consequence of this campaign. Since then, the facts about the CAA - that it is not directed against any community or any citizen of India's but actually represents a humanitarian gesture towards persecuted minorities from neighbouring states awaiting nationality and the services extended by the state in India - is becoming well known," Shringla said.
"As a result, we are now witnessing an outpouring of sentiment by Indian Americans and others in cities all over the US in favour of the CAA. I see among those participating, respected professionals, doctors, academics, students, entrepreneurs, etc in several cities extending from Washington DC to San Francisco and from Austin to Seattle," Shringla added. (ANI)
Indian-Americans hold rallies across US in support of CAA
Reena Bhardwaj | Updated: Jan 05, 2020 11:29 IST
By Reena Bhardwaj