The protesters peacefully ended their protest by singing ‘Hum Honge Kaamyaab’ and the Indian National Anthem.

CAANRC colder than Poland Indians in Warsaw protest against citizenship law
news CAA Sunday, December 29, 2019 - 13:50

The chants of ‘Azaadi’ from the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) have reached the streets of Warsaw in Poland now. A group of 60 Indians gathered in front of the Indian Embassy in Poland on a cold morning on Saturday, not only to create awareness on what the NRC and CAA specify and why it is unconstitutional, but also to extend support to fellow Indians protesting against the law in India.

‘Humans reject CAA and NRC’, ‘Focus on our declining economy, not bigotry’, ‘CAA/NRC colder than Poland’ ‘#quitmodimovement’ were some of the placards the protesters held up. The protest against CAA and NRC also condemned the attack on students in India and extended solidarity to minority communities in the country.

The protest was initiated by Basith and Mohamed. Practising lawyer Midhun Kodungallur pointed out that the CAA violates every point mentioned in the Preamble to the Constitution of India. “One shall not be discriminated against on the basis of colour, caste or religion. But after the implementation of CAA, religion is going to be a criterion to get citizenship in a secular country. Indian citizens can practice any religion of their choice. But it looks like the (central) government is entertaining one type of religion because of their political interest,” he said.

Sindhuja Sankaran, an assistant professor of Social Psychology at the university in Krakow, Poland, has worked closely with the Rohingya refugees in Chennai. “These refugees speak beautiful Tamil and they are integrated into society as much as the state allows them. Hence, deporting refugees such as Rohingyas would be morally questionable.”

She further explained the context in which NRC and CAA would be applicable when implemented. “While proving their citizenship under NRC, people from the lower socioeconomic status do not have birth certificates and hence, they can’t produce these documents in a short period of time, that is, in three months. They automatically become stateless. Now, let’s assume some of them are Muslims. Per CAA, the government grants citizenship to persecuted minorities of every religion except Muslims, and Sri Lankan Tamils too. If the stateless people can't apply for citizenship under CAA, ultimately, these citizens will end up in detention centres, and refugees (like Rohingyas) will be deported again,” she said. 

Jakub Szamocki, a Polish citizen, too, joined the protesters and underscored the importance of collective action. He spoke about the ‘Solidarity movement’ during the communist period in Poland.

Apart from sloganeering, there were talks about the Indian economy, education, and human rights at the protest. The protesters peacefully ended their protest by singing ‘Hum Honge Kaamyaab’ and the Indian National Anthem.

The police of Warsaw provided security to the protesters. There have been growing protests against CAA across the globe, including in Ireland, Finland, the US, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Tokyo, Amsterdam and Australia.

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