Kolams (rangoli) with slogans against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens (NRC) were drawn outside the houses of leaders of principal Opposition, DMK, on Monday in solidarity with eight persons who were detained for drawing such rangolis on Sunday.
Kolams with slogans "Don’t need CAA, NRC" were drawn outside the residences of DMK chief M K Stalin and his father and late party patriarch M Karunanidhi. Thoothukudi Lok Sabha MP and Stalin’s half-sister Kanimozhi’s house also adorned a kolam late on Sunday night – while one was drawn in rice powder another was done using paint.
DMK had on Sunday night asked its cadre to draw kolams outside their houses to protest against the CAA and NRC and its leaders took the lead on Monday morning. The unique way of protesting the CAA and NRC by drawing kolams was announced to express solidarity with eight persons, including five women, who were detained for drawing rangolis on streets in upscale Besant Nagar on Sunday.
Stalin had on Sunday termed the detention as the latest example of the "growing anarchy unleashed" by the state government.
"This is a government that does not allow people to protest according to the rights granted by the Constitution. The police should withdraw cases against them. This earthworm government should respect the rights of citizens," he had said.
Several households in Chennai and elsewhere in the state also sported such kolams on Monday morning.
Though all eight persons were released after a couple of hours on Sunday, their detention made national headlines with political parties and netizens questioning the need to detain "innocent protesters" for agitating in the most peaceful way.
Kolam is drawn outside every home especially during the current Tamil month of Margazhi and festivals like Thai Pongal. Chennai and other cities of Tamil Nadu have been witnessing wide-scale protests against CAA since the second week of December and Sunday’s kolam was a unique form of expressing opposition to the new legislation.
Drawing kolams to seek the attention of those in the government or to highlight a social cause is not new in Tamil Nadu – people had drawn rangolis during the Jallikattu protests and anti-Sterlite movement in Chennai and Thoothukudi.