21 US Universities to protest against violence in India on March 5

Yale, Harvard, Princeton students to join ‘Holi Against Hindutva,’ protests in solidarity with protestors in India.

The past few days have seen India engulfed in its worst communal violence in recent times. Violent incidents in the national capital of Delhi during President Donald Trump’s India visit led to innocent, often poor people losing their lives and livelihoods.

It has shaken the world community about the urgency to come out and speak against the politics of discrimination and hatred.

In keeping up the spirit of a unified India as well as to show solidarity with peaceful protests in India, a student led group from Yale University has given a call for demonstrations across the US on March 5  from 4 pm to 5 pm.

Organized by Students Against Hindutva, a South Asian student activist group advocating progressive politics in India, “A Holi Against Hindutva,” demonstrations are intended to show solidarity with protestors in India.

According to the organizers, the protest is currently set to take place on 21 university campuses across US and will serve as collective messaging against the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A release issued by the organizers says: “If this depressing realization had not yet struck you, recent events in Delhi should make this clear.

“On the very day of Trump’s visit to the city, and in full view of the world, various organs of India’s government, and the Delhi Police, right-wing Hindu mobs rampaged across parts of North East Delhi with brutal impunity.

“It is clear that fascism in India has reached a peak of terrifying consequences. It is also clear from the millions spent on the Trump visit that the Modi government cares deeply about its international image and reputation.

“Please join us in drawing international outrage and attention to the human rights abuses in India that are going woefully under covered.”

Shreeya Singh, founder of the movement says, “This fight is the most patriotic fight I have ever fought for, and I believe it is the diaspora’s duty to stand behind the protestors risking their lives day after day for India’s secular

soul.”

On the demonstration plans the organizers say: “We will ask protestors to come to predetermined public spaces dressed in black (as opposed to Holi’s traditional white attire) and will supply only one colored powder for Holi: white.

“The goal of this symbolic use of black and white is to signify that we are not in celebration but in condemnation of the Indian government’s actions.

“Raising awareness about recent events in India among people in the US and students on campuses across the country is of utmost importance to our mission and to counter the hateful rhetoric and policies of the BJP government.”

Ram Vishwanathan, Chief of Strategy for Students Against Hindutva says, “We are up against the largest richest, most sophisticated fascist network on Earth.

“Its project is antithetical to all we believe in, and has had terrifying consequences for some of the most vulnerable populations in India: its poor, its women, and its minorities.

“Given that we occupy such privileged spaces, it is our responsibility to stand up for justice, democracy and secularism.”

List of universities that are coming out in support and holding the demonstrations:

Yale University, Cornell University, UCLA, Claremont Colleges, UC Davis, Harvard University, Princeton University, Brown University, Dartmouth University, Purdue University, American University, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, University of Pennsylvania, Northeastern University, Columbia University, Wellesley College, University of Illinois, Chicago, Rutgers, UC San Diego, Michigan State and Duke.

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