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.
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.
These were not the only places where iconic statement T-shirts made their way to the streets during rallies and protests 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.
This, however, incurred the wrath of many for being insensitive towards a tumultuous moment in Indian history.
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.