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Fasting Against the Rules

Fasting Against the Rules

Indian Americans in 11 cities across the United States fast in protest of recent Indian Embassy/Consulate policies that fracture patriotic connections to India.

This past weekend, Indian-Americans observed a 36-hour fast in 11 locations: Houston and Dallas, Texas; Atlanta, GA; Tampa Bay, Miami, and West Palm Beach, FL; Columbia, SC; Chicago, IL; Washington DC; New Jersey and New York.

These US Citizens of Indian Origin practiced a 36-Hour fast on April 30, 2011 to protest: retroactive rules, high fees, and bureaucratic hurdles that bar Indian-American connection to homeland.

The protest was against the recent Indian Embassy/Consulate policies. The two rules that raised eye brows are: (1) the retroactive application of the Surrender Certificate and the fees charged for canceling an invalid (and often expired) passport; (2) the newly added requirement for obtaining an OCI-lifetime visa to India which demands depositing the current US passport for upto 6 months until the OCI visa is processed.

Over 125 Indian-Americans observed the fast (some without any food or water) to show solidarity and protest the Indian government’s non-responsiveness to the community’s anguish. Thousands of Indian-Americans came in support and signed an online petition to the Prime Minister of India as well as letters to the US State Department and to their respective US Congress representatives for assistance.

In Houston, Texas, over twenty people fasted under a tent outside the VPSS Haveli for 36-hours from 8 am Saturday April 30th to 8 pm Sunday May 1, 2011. A peaceful demonstration was held with mixed feelings of frustration and hope. Almost everyone had a story to tell. Jitendra Desai said, “I am fasting because the surrender certificate is not proper. The charges are very exorbitant. Their policies are creating hardship.”

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1 Comment

  1. I am so glad people took this action against the bureaucratic practices the Indian Government is imposing to basically extort monies from the NRIs. I am not sure how much the consulates can do about this. I think this issue needs to be elevated to the Indian ambassador. A face to face meeting with the ambassador may not be a bad idea.


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