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Atlanta South Asian groups to protest India’s Citizenship Amendment Act on January 19

File photo of an anti-CAA rally held in Washington DC last month.

Atlanta, GA, January 14, 2020:On January 19, 2020, South Asian diaspora groups across the U.S. will gather to protest India’s passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). A coalition of metro Atlanta South Asians, including Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Bahais, and Dalits, will march at 2 PM at the gazebo near 365 Grocery, 1555 Church Street, Decatur, Georgia, according to a press release issued by Equality Labs.

Artesia Boulevard in Los Angeles, Devon Street in Chicago, Moody Street in Waltham, Newark Street in Jersey City are the other cities participating.

The actions are part of national month of resistance events that will culminate in protests at all of the Indian embassies in the US, the release said.

“The Act offers Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and Christians fleeing persecution from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan a path to Indian citizenship. Muslims are pointedly excluded,” the release said.

“Here in the United States we’ve been sold a bill of goods that we are all created equal and that we are a melting pot of immigrants,” says Shelly Anand, co-organizer of the January 19th protest in Decatur. “Those of us in the margins know this is not true and has never been true in the US. But we still fight for that belief and that ideal. Similarly, India has always been touted as world’s largest democracy and that it is a secular nation where Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians and other religions have lived together in harmony. However this image of India could not be farther from the truth for Dalits, Muslims, and poor populations. But the ideal of India is still a dream worth fighting for–even from far away in the diaspora.”

U.S. events on the 19th are being organized in conjunction with Equality Labs, a South Asian American organization that focuses on advocating for Dalits, Adivasis, and religious minorities of India (Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains).

Thenmozhi Soundararajan, Executive Director of Equality Labs, 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.” 

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