Various cities of the United States witnessed protests on India's 71st Republic Day as thousands of Indian-Americans took to the streets to demonstrate against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
While there was also a fair share of CAA supporters among the Indian-Americans, they were outnumbered by protesters. Slogans like "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" and "Hindu, Muslim Sikh, Isai: Aapas Mein Saab Bhai Bhai" were shouted in cities with Indian consulate - New York, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta and San Francisco - and at the Indian Embassy in Washington DC.
The protesters also shouted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demanded the revocation of CAA and proposed National Register for Citizens. They raised the demand ruing that India's secular fabric is under threat.
A human chain spreading for several miles was reported from Chicago where the largest gathering of the anti-CAA protesters was also seen.
In the American capital of Washington DC, more than 500 Indian Americans marched from a park near the White House to the Gandhi Statue in front of the Indian Embassy.
The anti-CAA protests in at least 30 US cities were organized by recently formed Coalition to Stop Genocide, comprising several organizations like Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), Equality Labs, Black Lives Matter (BLM), Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR).
"The brutal crackdown by government in India on anti-CAA and anti-NRC protests has created a situation in which women in large numbers have come out on streets to challenge the divisive-communal-fascist agenda of the government," Magsaysay Award winner Sandeep Pandey said, addressing a gathering in Washington DC.
"It gives hope that democracy and Constitution can ultimately be saved by the common people from a government which is bent upon destroying them," he said.
IAMC president Ahsan Khan said from the Bay Area in California, the rally of Indian Americans represents an extension of the massive unrest in India against the ruling BJP government for its relentless attacks against the secular Constitution. "Indian Americans and people of conscience in the US are seeking accountability from the Hindu nationalist regime that wants to turn Indian Muslims into foreigners and render them stateless," said Mr Khan after the rally in San Francisco.
"Protests happening not only in India but around the world represent a global consensus against the draconian policies of the Modi-Shah government," said Shaik Ubaid from New York. "All Indians are equal citizens and that is the foundational social contract between the Indian nation and its citizens," said Minhaj Khan from New Jersey.
(With agency inputs.)