In pics: The unconventional ways in which people protested against CAA, NRC

From anti-CAA inspired wedding shoots to Christmas celebrations in hijabs, here are some unconventional ways citizens have staged protests.
In pics: The unconventional ways in which people protested against CAA, NRC
In pics: The unconventional ways in which people protested against CAA, NRC

The nation has been witnessing massive protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), with many braving the bitter cold to step out on to their streets and voice their dissent. However, the protests have not been limited to the streets or social media. 

From anti-CAA inspired wedding shoots to Christmas celebrations with hijabs, people adopted several ‘unconventional’ forms of protesting and this has also become a source of inspiration and support for the protesters on ground. Here are a few examples:

Anti-CAA protests at weddings 

Often, the wedding day is the most important day of a couple's life. Therefore, when couples in India held up placards against CAA and NRC at their marriage ceremonies, the pictures immediately went viral. From holding up anti-CAA posters to inscribing slogans against the Act on traditional clothes, and even adding ‘No CAA, no NRC’ slogans to their return gifts, pictures of several newly-weds protesting at their marriage venues went viral. Pictures of couples reaching protest venues right after their wedding ceremonies also went viral. 

A Kerala couple even turned their pre-wedding shoot into an anti-CAA protest. In their ‘save the date’ shoot, the couple can be seen holding up  ‘NO CAA’ and ‘NO NRC’ posters. 

Football ground turns into protest site

Malappuram district, located in northern Kerala, is popularly known as the hub of 7-a-side football tournaments. Recently, at an annual 7-a-side Royal Cup football tournament at a ground in Othukkungal, with more than 6000 in number to witness the match, anti-CAA protests erupted at the grounds. 

During half-time, in one voice, the crowd erupted with ‘azadi’ (meaning freedom) slogans, demanding the government to withdraw the CAA and NRC. Rhythmic claps along with the slogans made the venue brim with high energy and extreme enthusiasm. This video, too, went viral.

Anti-CAA protests reach churches

Visuals of a church choir group in Kerala singing Christmas carols wearing in Muslim attires to express their solidarity with the anti-CAA movement in the country had taken social media by storm. At the Thomas Mar Thoma Church, located in Kozhencherry in Pathanamthitta district, youngsters wore skull caps and hijabs and sang the carols in the tune of ‘Mappilapattu,’ which are traditional songs sung by the Muslim community and are famous in north Kerala. The video went viral shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark that the anti-CAA protesters can be identified by their clothes.

Similarly, in Assam, the Dilburgh Catholic Church, considered to be one of the oldest Church in the North East, had put up a banner, declaring its support for the protesters. “We unite hand-in-hand with the nation to protest against CAA in a peaceful manner. May God enlighten our leaders and fulfil our demands. We pray for the departed souls of our brothers who lost their lives during protests against CAA,” read the banner, according to a report in the Times of India.

Students refuse degrees, tear up CAA copy at convocation

As the protests intensified and many activists and demonstrators were arrested and detained by the police, Rajat Singh, a student of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi, refused to accept his Master’s degree to protest against the arrest of protesters in Varanasi, including the students of BHU. The history student declined to accept his degree at the institution’s annual convocation event. 

Another student from Jadavpur University in Kolkata tore up a copy of the Citizenship Act at her convocation, to protest against the CAA and the NRC. Debsmita Chowdhury, a student from the University’s Department of International Relations, who won a medal for her academic performance, ripped the copy of the legislation at her convocation and shouted ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ before leaving the stage.

‘We won’t show our papers’

Many citizens have expressed their dissent through art, such as poems, cartoons and graphic visuals. ‘Hum Kaagaz Nahi Dikhayenge’ which translates to ‘We won’t show the papers’ is a poem penned by Varun Grover, a national award-winning lyricist, went instantly viral and also made it to posters at anti-CAA rallies.  

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