India Resists through art

The re-election of the rightwing, populist party, BJP in May 2019 and it’s pro-Hindutva agenda has been a nightmare for many secular Indians. The situation hit another low as students and universities came under fundamentalist attacks in December 2019 in the capital, Delhi.

Aishee Ghosh– the JNU student president painted on the wall of Jamia after the attack on JNU on 5.01.2020. PC- Facebook Post @OrijitSen

The current political situation in India has forced an average Indian youth to sit-up and take notice. Many are feeling helpless, angry, and disillusioned. Many of us find comfort in creating a community through peaceful protest on the streets, expressing ourselves in safe circles, and even through social media exchanges of similar ideologies.

Today we challenged and dejected, but also charged for creating a conversation and taking a stand- creatively.

Paintings now mark the walls of Jamia Milia Islamia- a university that was attacked on 15.12.2019. Shaheen Bagh an area marked with thousands of sit-in protestors in the capital is dotted with art and installations. The common theme? Anti Citizenship Amendment Act (2019) and the National Register of Citizens (CAA and NRC).

Here are some examples of art made by young professionals devoting their time to create anti CAA and NRC resistance.

Art by Anirban Ghosh. Instagram @Anirban_Ghosh

Common to these artworks is an unbroken thread of secularism that the current government under PM Narendra Modi is trying to undermine.

Art By @amoebak.de

The one below particularly moved me as it brings together the Hindu Goddess Saraswati and Urdu writing.

In this quest to create, no topic is off the table, including Censorship of the Government or Caste.

Picture of the Bhim Army and Dalit leader Chandrashekhar Azad, who is now an icon against Castetist, fundamentalist government.

What better way declare your dissent than making a mark with colors and visuals?

Many of these artists are active on Instagram. Follow them for more inspiration. Here’s a handle that has art collated from various artists against CAA and NRC. Find @creativesagainstcaa on Instagram for more. Bonus — For posters content or to make a contribution check the KadakCollective website here

Humour has also come as a reprieve in these dark times, as the movement has seen the rise of hilarious memes and Giphys. More on that soon! For questions and comments write to priya@sahiyo.com. I am friendly and try not to bite.

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