Rally against religious discrimination in India held in Indianapolis

india rally indy.JPG
india rally.JPG
Posted at 7:32 AM, Dec 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-30 07:32:39-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A group of more than 100 people protested on Monument Circle on Saturday, joining nationwide protests held in recent weeks.

The rally aimed to bring awareness to what protesters call religious discrimination and attacks on civil rights in India.

A new citizenship law is triggering the protests. It aims to provide an expedited path to citizenship for certain religious groups in India, but not Muslims.

Those against it say it violates India's secular constitution and have filed challenges with the supreme court.

Many of those who gathered in Indianapolis on Saturday are Indian Americans concerned about the current situation and deadly protests in India.

"What we are afraid of — India may not be a free democratic country that India is known for in the world," Mohammad Affan Bada, a protester, said.

"It's important that we stand together, even over in another country, when someone is set up as with a religion, as their criteria, to be discriminated against," Jerry Zehr, Pastor at Carmel Christian Church, said. "The ripple effect in our country — with demonstrations all over the US. We all stand together with our Muslim brothers and say we should be valued for who we are. Our religions should be seen equal for our country and our government."

India's prime minister has defended the citizenship law, and accused the opposition of pushing the country into a "fear psychosis."

Protesters plan to continue holding rallies until the new law is withdrawn.