In pics: How Americans marched for Narendra Modi in New York

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New York, Mar 24: About 200 Americans took out a march along 34th Street in New York on Saturday, condemning the Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) for disinviting Narendra Modi, the chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat, just because some activists raised objections.

Modi was supposed to deliver a keynote address at the forum but faculty and students from the University of Pennsylvania petitioned the organizers of WIEF against him, citing his government's alleged inaction during the 2002 riots in the state.

The WIEF then disinvited Modi. However, the decision was slammed by major political parties and the media in India. Some prominent Indians who were slated to speak at the forum pulled out to express their solidarity with Modi.

On Saturday, members of a group known as Americans for Free Speech marched across the street from the conference, which took place in Harrison Auditorium at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Pro-Modi march in New York

Americans march along 34th Street in New York, condemning the Wharton India Economic Forum for disinviting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

Americans march against Wharton India Economic Forum

Americans march in New York, slam Wharton India Economic Forum for disinviting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

Americans march against Wharton India Economic Forum

Americans march in New York, slam Wharton India Economic Forum for disinviting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

Americans march against Wharton India Economic Forum

Americans march in New York, slam Wharton India Economic Forum for disinviting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

Americans march against Wharton India Economic Forum

Americans march in New York, slam Wharton India Economic Forum for disinviting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

Americans march against Wharton India Economic Forum

Americans march in New York, slam Wharton India Economic Forum for disinviting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

Americans march for Narendra Modi in New York

Americans marched in New York on Mar 23, expressing solidarity with Narendra Modi. The march was held to condemn Wharton India Economic Forum for disinviting the Gujarat chief minister.

Americans march in support of Narendra Modi

Americans marching in New York on Mar 23 to protest against the Wharton India Economic Forum that disinvited Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

Americans march in support of Narendra Modi

Americans marching in New York on Mar 23 to protest against the Wharton India Economic Forum that disinvited Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

Americans march in support of Narendra Modi

Americans marching in New York on Mar 23 to protest against the Wharton India Economic Forum that disinvited Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

Americans march in support of Narendra Modi

Americans marching in New York on Mar 23 to protest against the Wharton India Economic Forum that disinvited Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

Americans take to streets in support of Narendra Modi

Americans took to the streets in New York on Mar 23, slamming the Wharton India Economic Forum's dcision to disinvite Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

Americans take to streets in support of Narendra Modi

Americans took to the streets in New York on Mar 23, slamming the Wharton India Economic Forum's dcision to disinvite Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

Americans take to the streets in support of Narendra Modi

Americans marching against the Wharton India Economic Forum, slamming it for disinviting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

Americans take to the streets in support of Narendra Modi

Americans marching against the Wharton India Economic Forum, slamming it for disinviting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

Americans take to the streets in support of Narendra Modi

Americans marching against the Wharton India Economic Forum, slamming it for disinviting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

March in New York against the Wharton India Economic Forum

Americans march in support of Narendra Modi, slam the Wharton India Economic Forum for disinviting the Gujarat chief minister

March in New York against the Wharton India Economic Forum

Americans march in support of Narendra Modi, slam the Wharton India Economic Forum for disinviting the Gujarat chief minister

March in New York against the Wharton India Economic Forum

Americans march in support of Narendra Modi, slam the Wharton India Economic Forum for disinviting the Gujarat chief minister

New Yorkers support Narendra Modi against WIEF

New Yorkers slam the Wharton India Economic Forum for snubbing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

New Yorkers support Narendra Modi against WIEF

New Yorkers slam the Wharton India Economic Forum for snubbing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

The protesters held placards which read "First they came for the Hindus...", "End McCarthyism against Hindus...", "Stop Academic Jihad", "Fire Ania Loomba" etc. Loudly chanting "We want Modi!", the protesters slowly proceeded along 34th Street and Chestnut Streetto register their strong protest against WIEF. Around 11.30 a.m, they arrived at the protest venue in buses from New Jersey and Queens.

Organizers averred that their march was as important as the ones led by Mahatma Gandhi in India to press for freedom from British rule as well as the agitations spearheaded by Martin Luther King  Jr in the US back in the 1950s.

The march is "carrying the funeral of free speech," said Narain Kataria who addressed the protesters afterwards. The protesters managed to post a sign that read "In memory of Free Speech 1776-2013. Killed at Wharton by the English Department" outside the Fisher-Bennett Hall.

People walking on stilts joined the march and a jazz band further livened up things. Officers of the New York City Police Department were seen directing the protesters through the traffic. Meanwhile, bystanders watched the protesters as they made their way to Franklin Field.

The march was followed by a series of speeches from guest speakers. 

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