While students and people from different sections across India protest the CAA, students and residents of Indian origin organised a vigorous protest march in Berlin, Germany on Saturday 21st December 2019. It was held not only to condemn the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which are against the values which Indian people cherish; it was also to protest against the police brutality which the students of Jamia University Delhi and the Aligarh Muslim University were subjected to.
About 500 people took part in the protest. While many were students, others were Indians resident and working in Germany. A few German students and students from other South Asian countries like Afghanistan also marched along in solidarity with their Indian friends. The Indian youth were very concerned about the fundamental breach of the values which they held dear and which bound them to their countrymen from other parts of their country and from all faiths. Making religion a basis for awarding citizenship is a grave violation of these values which Indian people uphold as their badge of unity even in foreign lands. Working professionals who graduated from JMI and AMU who currently reside in Germany also gathered in Berlin from different cities in Germany for this protest. A resident of Delhi who was in Stuttgart on a Business trip also made time to visit Berlinmac to take part in this protest. Such is the intense feeling among the people of Indian origin living in Germany against the CAA and the NRC.
The protest that started at 11 am took the form of a 2.5 Km march through the streets of Berlin starting eastward from the Brandenburger Gate, then headed south onto Friedrichstrasse and then west onto Leipziger Strasse, crossing the Potsdamer Platz and finally ended in front of the Indian Embassy in Berlin.
In addition to the condemnation of the Islamophobic CAA and NRC, the march was also about the right to protest, which is one of our fundamental rights. The student movement in India has been attacked by the state and the police have been brutally attacking students within their campuses – beginning with Jamia in Delhi and AMU and also in other campuses.
The protest march was widely appreciated by local people too. Students explained to local residents, In German and English, as to why they were protesting. The unity of the students and people of Indian origin, especially against attacks on a certain section and on the values dear to them, and the solidarity with their counterparts in India who were attacked and denied the right to protest peacefully, were acclaimed by passers-by.
The protest, with a remarkable spirit of solidarity and unity, ended in high spirits, outside the Indian embassy.
Picture credits: Venky & Ashu