Indian-Americans on Saturday organised a "sit-in Satyagraha" outside the Indian embassy in Washington. The 'sit-in Satyagraha' was organised 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 Mahatma Gandhi statue near the Indian embassy where they highlighted the need for pluralism in India.
The 'sit-in Satyagraha' was organised two days after the 72nd death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. It came amid ongoing protests in the country over the government's controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that saw many coming out on streets to register their dissent. The gathering in the United States was to send a message to the people that the achievement of mass participation can only be achieved through non-violence.
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. According to media reports, the event ended with the formation of a human chain moving around Gandhi's statue and the Indian national anthem.
Tripathi has openly criticised 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.
(with inputs from agencies)