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Yale-Founded Group Protests Violence Against India's Muslims

The group Students Against Hindutva is holding protests across the United States to support Muslims facing harsh treatment in India. (Students Against Hindutva)
The group Students Against Hindutva is holding protests across the United States to support Muslims facing harsh treatment in India. (Students Against Hindutva)
March 6, 2020

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Yale Junior Shreeya Singh helped form a coalition of U.S. Indian students to stand in solidarity with protesters in India concerned about Hindu violence against Muslims.

Students Against Hindutva, founded by Singh, demonstrated on about 21 college campuses -- including Yale, Harvard and the University of Maryland -- yesterday.

Protest organizer and University of Maryland student Arsalan Siddiqui says Americans need to be aware that India's government is revoking Muslims' citizenship, which has led to abuses.

"When Donald Trump visited India, we had a massive amount of protest from the Hindu mobs killing Muslims," he states. "I think almost 30 Muslims died in those mobs."

India's Hindu majority has a long history of discrimination against the Muslim minority, according to Siddiqui, whose parents were born there.

He says India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, has followed President Donald Trump's lead with the new citizenship rule by claiming it's designed to get rid of illegal immigrants and terrorists in India.

Siddiqui says the protests are aimed at getting the U.S. to pressure Modi's government.

"I think the United States should definitely take a front and center role in this to make sure that India, and especially Modi and his BJP party, are responsible for this and making sure that they end this as soon as possible," he states.

Participants wore black at the protests, which were held one week before the upcoming Hindu Holi or Festival of Colors. The protests are meant to contrast India's harsh treatment of minorities with the religious celebration of new beginnings.

Laura Rosbrow-Telem, Public News Service - CT