The spate of protests against the Citizenship Act and the NRC appears to be taking on a new form each day, from football stadiums to church choirs. A football stadium in Malappuram, north Kerala, became the site of resistance when crowds began chants of “Azaadi (freedom)” during half-time (video above) on Monday, December 24.
Malappuram is a hub of football in Kerala, known particularly for some 25 annual “sevens football” tournaments it hosts.
The stadium in Othukkungal, which saw the protest at half-time, is also where award-winning sports drama film Sudani from Nigeria was shot. Despite winning the Best Malayalam Film award, the director and crew of the film boycotted the 2019 National Film Awards in protest against the Citizenship Act and the NRC.
Further south in Kerala, at the Saint Thomas Mar Thoma Church in Pathanamthitta region, the youth choir expressed their protest while singing (video below). The female singers dressed in hijabs, and the men dressed in skullcaps to express solidarity with the Muslim community.
The song performed by the choir was set to the tune of Mappilappattu (which means “Muslim song”). “The song was tuned to Mappilappattu and the singers wore skullcaps and hijab to express solidarity in these times,” the vicar, Reverend Varughese Philip, told The Telegraph.
“Even the regular choir songs we presented on Monday addressed the issue over the CAA and the NRC since that was our theme,” added choirmaster Eapen Mathew. “That was our way of expressing solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters.”