For the third time in nine days, Indian-Americans protested against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act outside the Embassy of India here, alleging that the new law was an “affront to India’s secular Constitution”.
The protest on Saturday in front of the iconic Mahatma Gandhi statue across the Embassy, was organized by a group of Indian-Americans from the area, reports The American Bazaar.
The roughly 150 people that protested in Washington included many students and young professionals.
“I’m an Indian citizen and I grew up in India – I’ve always been proud of the fact that India is a democracy and a secular country,” said Niki Naik, who is currently working in Washington.
“Hearing about what’s going on back home, I felt a sense of helplessness and not being able to do much and not being there.”
“Were trying to raise awareness among people our age, trying to use social media to its best use and make people aware of the actions that we’re taking,” said Malvika Shankar. “I think the best way to show people we care is to come and just be active and be present in the moment.”
Kaleem Kawaja, President of the Association of Indian Muslims of North America, said he was encouraged by the reactions from the local Indian-American community, The American Bazaar reported.
Kawaja, who was one of the organizers of a similar protest at the same location on December 22, which attracted more than 500 people, said: “People are not talking about religion, they are not talking about religious differences.
“They want to preserve India’s constitution.”
Also on Sunday, a group of Indian-Americans protested against the controversial Act in Times Square, New York.
The CAA, which was enacted on December 12, provides citizenship to non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014.
Violent protests have erupted all across India against the controversial Act.