STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

CAA stir: Visual narratives of dissent

Ram Rahman, on curating a photo display at Safdar Hashmi memorial 

Published: 03rd January 2020 07:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd January 2020 07:58 AM   |  A+A-

Photograph by a Jamia student Shakeeb, of students singing protest songs at JMI on December 12

Photograph by a Jamia student Shakeeb, of students singing protest songs at JMI on December 12

Express News Service

January 1, that marked the 31st death anniversary of activist-playwright Safdar Hashmi, was commemorated through plays, poems and a photography exhibition, all dwelling on the anti-CAA-NRC protests. It was organised at the Constitution Club of India by the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT). One of founding members of SAHMAT, Ram Rahman, a noted photographer himself, who curated the exhibition, describes below the voices of dissent captured in these photographs.

A massive protest broke out in the country after police brutality on students on Jamia Millia University. These images are a first-hand account or evidence of how the events unfolded. Few of these images were taken by students from AJK MCRC (Jamia University) who witnessed the violence that erupted on the campus on December 13. 

A highlight of SAHMAT’s 1st January Safdar Hashmi Memorial exhibition were images by Mahavir Singh Bisht, a Jamia alumnus who teaches photography at the Mass Communication Department of the university. He has covered different protest sites across Delhi, including Dilli Gate of Daryaganj where lathi charge was exercised by police on December 20. His photographs give us a sense of evolving visual iconography as adopted by protestors. The image that hits home is of Dilli Gate where the protestors are offering prayers while kneeling (one of the postures adopted by Muslims for observing prayer) and on their right policemen are standing with their batons. Peace and power in one frame.

The offering of namaaz at Dilli Gate (by Mahavir Singh Bisht); Police firing tear gas at Jamia campus (by Prabhat Tiwari); 

Images by Shakeeb, Meharban and Prabhat show how Jamia had become a battleground on that unfortunate day. Later, Dr Zakir Hussain Library, the central library of the university was attacked and many students were injured as seen in the images by Md Meharban, a photography student at Jamia. Locals are protesting every day outside the Jamia campus and Shaheen Bagh and the university students are documenting these each day with diligence.

Vinit Gupta’s portraits of protestors are straightforward, witty and humorous, peeks into their minds and gives a glimpse on why people are turning up for the protests in huge numbers. The lens was also on India’s marginalised communities. Javed Sultan’s (PhD scholar at Mass Communication Department) images displayed the plight of Rohingyas in Myanmar, farmer protests in Delhi along with the ongoing CAA-NRC protests. Portraits by Tamara Anand are of Adivasis and Dalits in Sonbhadhra who are reclaiming their land through peaceful struggles. Veterans photographers Vijay S Jodha paid tribute to victims of 1984 Anti-Sikh riots and Parthiv Shah brought our attention to Hashimpura Massacre, 1987.
The show, overall, seeked to demand the basic right of the people to hold peaceful demonstrations.”

Stay up to date on all the latest Delhi news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp