A still from the January 15, 2020 ODI match in Mumbai’s Wankhade stadium where students demonstrated a silent protest while supporting the Indian team Credit: Twitter image

Guwahati: The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), along with National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR), has remained a burning issue (quite literally) across the country. Protests and rallies became commonplace; some of them were even marked by violence.

Yet, many took to the streets in a peaceful manner to oppose the ‘anarchy’ with their chest held high and, well, ‘wearing’ their opinion as well. Be it in the form of T-shirts or the Assamese gamusa, the common people found new ways of showcasing their resentment. A plethora of designs was in circulation with slogans such as “#We Reject CAA NRC NPR” to the plain and direct “No CAA, NRC, NPR”.

Many millennial students of Farook College Kerala took to the streets wearing purple statement T-shirts which looked iconic. The mass of ‘purple’ students showcased unity and drew in the attention of many bystanders including shutterbugs who then, in turn, helped in spreading the visuals.

Students of Farook College donning the iconic purple coloured T-shirts with anti-CAA slogans inscribed on them
Students showcasing a united front with their statement T-shirts

Another ideal example would be the morning of January 15 in Mumbai’s Wankhade Stadium, when the first ODI between India and Australia drew in attention for something which was not cricket related. The stadium witnessed students wearing “No CAA, No NRC, No NPR” T-shirts in a perfect formation. A silent protest while cheering for team India’s victory was not without its repercussions as Mumbai Police escorted few students out for pulling this bold move. However, the deed was done, the action was recorded and it spoke in volumes as well.

Mumbai’s Wankhade stadium witnessed students wearing ‘No CAA, No NRC, No NPR’ T-shirts in a perfect formation

These were not the only places where iconic statement T-shirts made their way to the streets during rallies and protests as well.

‘#We Reject CAA, NRC, NPR’ were the most common designs that made their way to the streets
CAA/NRC T-shirts are also available on various online shopping portals as well

E-commerce websites, such as Amazon, Uncle Sadhu and Aaramkhor, are now taking CAA as a marketing ploy. Amazon even took a step further by providing options for the supporters or opposers of CAA as well.

Amazon.in provided options for people who support CAA, NRC and NPR or reject them
Aaramkhor provided quite a creative way to anti CAA T-shirts

This, however, incurred the wrath of many for being insensitive towards a tumultuous moment in Indian history.

Many did not support this marketing venture 

Assam was also not far behind for it incorporated the elements of cultural identity in the form of the traditional gamusa with protest slogans; further cementing the fact that a pen is and will always be mightier than a sword. Protestors bringing in gamusa to rallies with words inscribed in it acted as a holy beacon of resistance for many. It became a common symbol of identity, culture, and resistance that many could relate to.

Assam gamusa became a common symbol of identity, culture, and resistance that many could relate to

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