England, Germany, Switzerland: Anti-CAA protests break barriers, shake the world

From Cape Town to Munich to Warsaw, the anti-CAA movement has brought together a size-able community of young Indians abroad. But what is it that connected them? And why now?

England, Germany, Switzerland: Anti-CAA protests break barriers, shake the world
An anti-CAA protest in Germany. (Photo:Twitter/@AnticaaD)

From Cape Town to Munich to Warsaw, the anti-CAA movement has brought together a sizeable community of young Indians abroad. But what is it that connected them? And why now?

lackpool in England turns into a ghost town every winter. The beachfront is deserted once the snow starts to fall. Except for the odd bachelor party, January is a quiet month. There is no major university here that manages to grab the attention of foreign students. And so on January 4, as residents walked onto the high street for a bit of Sunday morning shopping, they couldn't help but wonder why three students stood in the cold holding a banner. "There aren't many Indians here. But you don't need a large number to make your stand clear. If you can find even one person to connect over a common calling, you have your protest," says Sumeet Bose, 33, a merchant navy officer who is in Blackpool for a short-term course. Bose and his two classmates stood for three hours in the biting wind to protest against the proposed CAA and NRC. Over 800 miles away in Switzerland, Harshal Kate, a 29-year-old researcher from Alibaug, attempted to approach the protest entirely on his own before finding support for his cause online. He stripped down to his shorts in front of the Swiss National bank in Bern as a comeback against Prime Minister Modi's comment that rioters can be identified by their clothes. In Sydney, 60 Indians distributed flyers that had details of the CAA written down outside a Starbucks outlet. From the streets of Germany's Munich to the campuses of Colombia University in New York and Tampere University in Finland to the neighbourhoods of Cape Town in South Africa, a small but vocal community of young liberals are standing up against what they feel goes against the very ethos of their homeland.