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Wednesday, December 02, 2020

From messaging apps that don’t need Internet to creative posters, millennials find novel ways to protest

Information sharing - including suggesting messaging apps that work without the internet, and how to conduct oneself peacefully during the protests - are posts that are being shared widely on social media by millennials.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru | Updated: December 23, 2019 6:02:24 pm
One of the posters in Bengaluru during CAA protests. (Source: Ralph Alex Arakal)

From creating informative illustrations to ensuring legal help for those detained at different police stations in Bengaluru, millennials have found novel ways to keep the spark alive for widespread protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Beginning December 17, students in groups of three and four have been flocking towards protest spots in the city like Sir Puttana Chetty Town Hall, Mysore Bank Circle, Freedom Park, and Govt. Arts College Grounds in a visibly co-ordinated manner.

“We get information regarding the time and venue of the protests shared on Instagram as stories on an hourly basis. There has been no event of miscommunication at all, as updates are made more frequently in confusing situations and are shared with another person only after it is verified personally,” Swathy N, one of the student protesters said.

Another student added, “Like many others, we were also confused about knowing the real facts behind the new Citizenship law as mainstream media continues to portray distorted facts. Illustrators have joined hands with researchers from premier institutes like the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) and the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) to provide information broken down in simple language and symbols enabling us to be part of thought-provoking decisions first online and then offline when we meet for protests.”

Information sharing – including suggesting messaging apps that work without the internet, list of advocates and their contacts available to help those detained, and how to conduct oneself peacefully during the protests – are posts that are being shared widely on social media by millennials.

Surprisingly, even teenagers have realised a mature way of using social media these days. “As we are in an age of information, it is up to each one of us to decide how to use it,” Gagandeep, a 17-year-old from a prominent school in the city said.

The teenager added, “It is high time adults stopped infantilising students. We are here never to glamourise anything but to express our opinion on something that we think would affect our future as a country. If elders failed to hit the streets, it is okay. But please don’t stop us.”

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