CAA Rally

The Indian American community in Sacramento, Calif., held a rally Jan. 5 in Sacramento outside the Capitol building to show support for India’s Citizenship Amendment Act. (photo provided)

A group of Indian Americans Jan. 5 rallied at the California State Capitol in Sacramento in support of India’s Citizenship Amendment Act.

Additionally, at the rally organized by the Sacramento for New India Group, the group thanked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Indian government for the humanitarian help to religiously persecuted minorities in three neighboring countries.

“Over 200 Indian diaspora have come with colorful and meaningful placards, slogans, banners and flags of USA and India. Their message was loud and clear,” said rally organizer Shivesh Sinha in a statement.

Several individuals from various regions throughout India spoke at the event. The participants have fully supported the CAA, according to which the members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come to India from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan until Dec. 31, 2014, following religious persecution will get Indian citizenship.

This rally was aimed at “dispelling the misinformation and myths” surrounding the law as well as to counter the propaganda of hate, lies and downright absurdities, the organizers said.

Aparna Malaviya, a Fulbright postdoctoral scholar at the Department of Asian American studies at U.C. Davis, who is currently working on her postdoctoral project on Afghan refugees, gave her insights to the audience based on her research work on Afghan refugees in India, and the problems that they faced in their home country.

She conveyed that CAA is a significant positive step in supporting such refugees, but a lot more is needed, the news release said.

Sacramento residents have come out in big numbers in support of the CAA aimed at providing relief to oppressed minorities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, said Sinha.

“Instead of having civil debate based on facts, unfortunately some organizations are bent on subverting any discourse or the truth, by spreading completely absurd lies about CAA and what is lost in their discourse is the plight of those who suffered untold sufferings since the partition of India,” he asserted.

The participants demanded strict punishment to protestors found involved in destroying public property and targeting police personnel in India, and not spare the mastermind behind these activities, the release said.

Dr. Bhavin Parikh, another of the organizers, noted that there have been many good initiatives by the government of India, including the Clean India movement and the Educate a Girl Child program, which are showing positive impact now.

Several other participants of the event spoke on a number of issues, including non-resident Indian benefits of the CAA and bringing about more unity.

Paresh Sinha, one of the participants, said: “India has been showing unity in diversity for thousands of years, and this is not changing. Most people of all religions are living harmoniously even now. Just some vested interests are trying to create confusion among certain people about CAA and are instigating people to indulge in violent responses such as damaging of public properties trying to bring bad reputation to the Indian government.”

Sacramento for New India comprises a community of Indian Americans living in the Greater Sacramento area who want to be actively involved in supporting the good initiatives by the Government of India.

They want to support the good policies of the Indian government that would result in the betterment of Indian citizens, noted the release. They want to help develop a positive image of India in the USA, especially in the Greater Sacramento area. This would help the USA and India to have stronger ties that are mutually beneficial and avoid negative and incorrect publicity by certain vested interests, it said.

In related news, a group of Indian Americans held a rally Jan. 5 in Boston, Mass., in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act, community members said.

According to a Press Trust of India report, members of the Indian American community from in and around Boston area gathered at the historic Harvard Square to participate in the rally, a press release issued by the organizers stated.

Displaying posters and banners reading "We Support Citizenship Amendment Act," "Indian Americans Support CAA" and "CAA Provides Citizenship to Persecuted Minorities," the participants thanked Modi and Parliament for the enactment of the Act, it said.

Robert Lancia, member of Rhode Island House of Representatives, also attended the rally, according to PTI.

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