The VICE Guide to Right Now

People Are Now Protesting the Citizenship Law at Weddings, Concerts and Christmas Celebrations

As we slip into the holiday season, people across India are finding innovative ways to voice their dissent.
SJ
Mumbai, IN
December 24, 2019, 7:09am
Posters protesting caa at weddings, concerts and christmas celebrations
Photo: Screenshot of photo posted by Instagram User @adityajoshix (left) and Twitter user @mallucomrade (right)

Even as 2019 crawls to a close, the formidable movement opposing the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) doesn’t seem to end. And it appears that this festive season is accompanied by a commendable display of unity and strength in numbers, which continue to show on our streets and social media.

And it looks like the movement has travelled far and wide—even to the big, fat Indian wedding season. Reports have shown many brides and grooms trading fake smiles for real concerns and holding placards protesting the CAA in their wedding photos.

Advertisement

Amina Zakiah, a postgraduate student of Jamia Millia Islamia is one of them. Even as she was attending protests two days before her wedding day, Zakiah decided that her wedding should be a platform of protest. After all, her alma mater, where, incidentally, her parents are also professors, has been the centre stage of protests in the country. In all her wedding photos, Zakiah and her husband can be seen proudly holding up posters that say “No CAA” and “No to NRC”, while the rest of her family members were made to pose with placards that featured quotes by Urdu poets like Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Habib Jalib.

Similar demonstrations of dissent have been seen in Kerala, too. In one Twitter post, a user shared multiple instances of newly-weds continuing to fight the CAA on their special days.

According to the Press Trust of India, another wedding included a Hindu groom donning a skull cap while walking along with his bride as a statement on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comment last week when he said that those inciting violence could be “identified by their clothes”. It should be noted that soon after this comment, several Bharatiya Janata Party workers were caught pretending to be Muslims by wearing skull caps and pelting stones at the police and public property.

In yet another wedding, a couple turned their pre-wedding shoot into a political statement and urged their friends to not only save the date but also do their bit to save their country from a law they feel violates the constitution.

These bold displays of dissent aren’t only limited to wedding processions and receptions. In Kottayam, as people kick off their Christmas celebrations, a group of students at the Mahatma Gandhi University made Santa Clauses carry posters opposing the CAA along with photos of leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and BR Ambedkar. In another viral post, a man dressed as Santa Claus is seen handing out balloons that alternate between “Happy Xmas” and “Reject the CAA”.

And if all that wasn’t enough, protest posters have also been spotted at concerts, most recently at musician Prateek Kuhad concert in New Delhi.

It’s interesting to observe how the platform for protest has evolved so innovatively in a way that not only grabs more eyeballs and makes a statement, but is also a peaceful way to push for change in an environment that is far less likely to be turned into a narrative of violence and arson.

Follow Shamani Joshi on Instagram.