Jakob Lindenthal, a 24-year-old exchange student studying a master’s degree in physics, said he took part in two rallies in the southern city of Chennai against the legislation, which discriminates against India’s minority Muslims.
In photos circulated by Indian media, student Jakob Lindenthal was shown holding a placard equating the Indian government’s practices with those of Nazi Germany. It read: “1933 to 1945 — we have been there.”
Lindenthal told The Indian Express, an English language newspaper that he received “oral directions” from the Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO) to leave India.
“I felt the gratefulness of many people in the protest for the solidarity from a foreigner. So, I wanted to give them at least my moral support again after having attended the protest march on the campus of IIT Madras,” Lindenthal told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
“After the Nazi era, many people claimed not to have known anything about genocides or atrocities or stated that they were only passive,” he said. Therefore, I see it as a duty to learn from these lessons and not only watch when things happen that one believes to be the stepping stones to a possibly very dangerous development,” he told the Indian newspaper before leaving for Germany.
Students across India have been protesting against the new law granting citizenship to Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Christians — but not Muslims — who migrated from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Activists have called the law discriminatory, fearing that it was aimed at disenfranchising Indian Muslims. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rejected such claims.
In a tweet, Anantkumar Hegde said, “Any Tom, Dick & Harry from any part of this globe can poke themselves and involve in their s**t protest in our internal issues!! Does any other country provide such liberty? Precisely #IndiaSupportsCAA!”