A day after five people were detained in Chennai for drawing ‘kolams’ or rangoli in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), similar designs were spotted outside DMK chief M K Stalin and party Lok Sabha MP Kanimozhi homes with slogans against the contentious law and the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Stalin took to Twitter to share the photographs of the kolam drawn using chalk powder outside his residence. “At our homes,” he tweeted.
— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) December 30, 2019
On Sunday, Kanimozhi had asked its Women’s Wing members to draw kolams outside their homes with slogans like “NO CAA, NO NRC,” as per Stalin’s instructions, party sources told news agency PTI. The party has been spearheading the protests against the new citizenship law in Tamil Nadu.
Earlier, Stalin condemned the detention of the five protesters and said that the government has denied them fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution. “The cases registered against them should be withdrawn, the earthworm government should respect human rights,” he tweeted.
Speaking to indianexpres.com, Gayathri, one of the those detained, said the police detained them as they found their dissent “irritating and silly”.
“Why do I need permission for drawing a kolam? The police held us on the grounds of unlawful assembly, I am a lawyer and I know what unlawful assembly is. No more than two or three of us were standing together, we weren’t raising slogans, we weren’t holding any placard. It was a peaceful protest, we just wanted to send out a message of love. When we informed our lawyer friends regarding the police intervention, they came to the place to support us. And suddenly, two of my lawyer friends were detained by the police. This is almost like Emergency 2.0,” she said.
Gayathri added that the government wants the public to remain silent and not show any dissent even if it is acting against the Constitution. “Every single permission we sought was denied by the commissioner. On one hand, they ask why we didn’t seek permission, and on the other hand, they deny us permission. Then how will people show their dissent?” she added.
The five detainees — four women and a man — were let off later in the day. Two lawyers who attempted to get in touch with the protesters were also detained and released.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines