With Anti-CAA dissent going on all around the country, Tamil Nadu came up with its own way to protest against the act. Say hello to anti CAA kolams. People in the state are making Kolams (designs using rice powder) on streets to express their disapproval of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and talk of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Known as rangoli in Northern India, Kolam is a ceremonial design very popular in the South, made during traditional Indian festivities in Tamil Nadu. Numerous people were spotted making the designs on the street with messages. Since making the kolams was generally something that females did, this act challenges the age-old tradition of women making them.
The Chennai Police detained five protestors on Sunday morning as they made the anti-CAA kolams on Besant Nagar streets. Following this, men across the state expressed their solidarity through the art.
Five women Arthi, Gayathri, Kalyani, Pragathi and Madan were arrested from Besant Nagar. They were making designs using rice flour with phrases like “No CAA” and “Vendam (Don’t want) CAA”. Furthermore, the two lawyers who came to assist them were also detained. The detainees took to the microblogging service, Twitter to spread the word.
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Men Breaking Stereotypes
Gayatri Kahndadhai, one of the detainees, tweeted, ‘Check out the men of Tamil Nadu breaking gender stereotypes to protect our culture and constitution through #KolamAgainstCAA #KolamProtest.
Check out the men of Tamil Nadu breaking gender stereotypes to protect our culture and the constitution through #KolamAgainstCAA #KolamProtest pic.twitter.com/yqdqJ5n63G
— Gayatri Khandhadai (@gayatrikl) December 29, 2019
Actress Richa Chaddha ridiculed the police action by asking if Rangoli was anti-national. Akash Banerjee, a social media entrepreneur, and political satirist made a bold tweet saying Rangoli art scares the government.
– Largest Democracy in the world
– A nuclear capable superpower
– $5 trillion economy aspirant
– A rock stable Government…. Is shit scared of Rangoli art. #CAAProtests #CAA_NRC_NPR https://t.co/qOnxgKtfD3
— Akash Banerjee (@TheDeshBhakt) December 29, 2019
Outrage across the country
Since the day Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill, the entire country has been protesting against the exclusion of the Muslim community from the benefits of citizenship. From universities to memorial sites, people have come together in unanimity for the rights and interests of their fellow citizens. In times as these, art becomes a medium of voicing their stance. Besides, instances like these are proof that standardized practices are prone to change with time for the betterment of all.
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Saavriti is an intern with SheThePeople