Universities and colleges across India are on the boil.
After the Delhi police stormed the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) university and beat up students protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) yesterday (Dec. 16), several other campuses have risen in solidarity.
Students of Delhi University (DU) boycotted exams and held a protest today. In Uttar Pradesh’s capital, Lucknow, students of Nadwa College gathered and chanted slogans like “Awaz do, hum ek hain” (Say, that we stand united) as the police tried to control the situation.
Protest at Nadwa College Lucknow, they are protesting against CAB and in solidarity with Jamia Millia and Aligarh Muslim University .
— Mian Muhammad Shahzad (@MiannShahzad) December 16, 2019
Many of them have thought up innovative ways to protest.
The streets of the state capital, Kolkata, are filled with chants of Bella Ciao. The revolutionary folk song which is popular as the anti-fascist anthem of Italy, has featured in many protests across the world.
— Pratiti stands with AMU and Jamia (@DebPratiti) December 14, 2019
In a video shared by The Quint, students of Jadavpur University are seen marching to the song’s Bengali version.
— Meghnad Bose (@MeghnadBose93) December 16, 2019
Students from Calcutta University, Indian Institute of Engineering Science And Technology, Shibpur, the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Presidency University, and several other institutions also joined the protests.
Presidency University, Kolkata
Fellow students of my university descended on the streets of Kolkata to protest against the #CAA2019 & #NRC , with solidarity towards the students of Jamia Millia Islamia & AMU@zoo_bear @rohini_sgh @free_thinker @jamewils @Tinni_Aphrodite pic.twitter.com/8cKi3IBQpO
— শুভম গাঙ্গুলী | Sнυвнαм Gαηgυℓу (@ShubhamGangulee) December 16, 2019
The northeastern state has been on the boil for some two weeks, with the anti-CAA protests even turning violent. Curfews have been imposed and internet services intermittently cut off since Dec. 11.
Unfazed, people there are finding new ways to protest.
A popular slogan from the Assam Movement days (1979-1985), Joi Aai Axom (glory to mother Assam), has made a comeback. The slogan is part of the poem, Axom akou unnatir path…Joi Aai Axom bol (Assam is again on the road to prosperity…all hail our motherland) written by Ambikagiri Raichoudhury.
Other slogans being raised include “Lai-lai, sei-sei” (get lost), “BJP bepari, husiar, husiar (BJP only understands business, mind it),” “Nipat jauk, nipat jauk (let it be destroyed),” and “Sonowal sarkar hai hai,” according to reports published in The Telegraph newspaper last week.
In the national capital, yesterday, Jamia students formed a human chain and protested bare-bodied to condemn the violence. Following the violent action by the police on Dec. 15, students have sought to appeal to their softer side. One protestor shared an interesting slogan on her Twitter account:
“Dilli police baat karo, aao humaare saath chalo.. hum yuva hain bas baat karenge, naaki ghusa laat karenge” (Delhi police, let’s talk; come, walk with us. We youth are only looking for a conversation, not punches and kicks.)
The students at India Gate urged the Police to join their struggle as they came to disperse the crowd with laathis.
With our slogans
" Dilli Police baat karo, aao humaare saath chalo..
hum yuva hain bas baat karenge, naaki ghusa laat karenge" @DelhiPolice backed off! :)
— रत्नप्रिया। (@jimmy9_girl) December 16, 2019
The slogan “chowkidar chor hai” (the watchman is the thief) was also heard, a reference to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s electoral campaign earlier this year.
— Hasiba (@HasibaAmin) December 16, 2019
In the southern Indian state of Kerala, known for its Leftist politics, chants of “Inquilab Zindabad” (Long live the revolution) reverberated on streets and roads.
SFI Comrades from different colleges of Kozhikode, Kerala hit the streets in the protest of the unconstitutional #CAA… They came out in thousands expressing solidarity to their fellow beings.. #KeralaRejectsCAA #CAAProtests @SFI_CEC pic.twitter.com/WtXHZhPbsb
— Comrade from Kerala (@ComradeMallu) December 16, 2019
Kerala natives involved in the protests in Delhi were even using Malayalam language graffiti using expletives, reportedly, before the city police headquarters.
Malayalam Graffiti in front of Delhi Police headquarters.
It says says "M*iran Modi"
മലയാളി പൊളിയല്ലെ pic.twitter.com/sDvWwUAAl1
— Advaid (@Advaidism) December 16, 2019
The popular “Azaadi” slogan, which first entered public consciousness with the 2016 Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) agitation, did the rounds in Bihar.
On Twitter, former JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar shared a video showing him leading the sloganeering at a youth rally in Purina district.
देश के विद्यार्थियों पर पुलिस के दमन और संविधान एवं ग़रीब विरोधी CAB-NRC के खिलाफ आज पूर्णिया(बिहार) की जनता ने अपनी आवाज बुलन्द की। जनता समझ रही है कि उनके असल सवालों को दबाने के लिए यह सरकार उन्हें नागरिकता सिद्ध करने के लिए सरकारी दफ़्तरों के बाहर लाइनों में लगा देना चाहती है। pic.twitter.com/vFZULxKnhZ
— Kanhaiya Kumar (@kanhaiyakumar) December 16, 2019
In capital, Patna, protests turned violent after vehicles were torched by a mob.
Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief, our free daily newsletter with the world’s most important and interesting news.
More stories from Quartz: