Published: 21st December 2019
This Kerala couple used their pre-wedding shoot to protest against NRC, CAA. And it's awesome
Arun Gopi and Asha Shekar's photographs with placards saying 'No NRC' and 'No CAA' are going viral
A CPM politician and a former journalist from Thiruvananthapuram decide to get married on January 30, 2020. Even as the happy couple were gearing up to get married, they couldn't afford to ignore the news about the NRC and CAA protests in the country. Incidentally, their pre-wedding photoshoot was scheduled for December 16, a day after the police lathi-charged the students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University.
Now, the groom, Arun Gopi, and the bride, Asha Sekhar, who consider themselves socially responsible couldn't keep calm. While they had already decided to not do a clichéd photoshoot, they now decided to use the opportunity to protest the Citizenship Amendment Bill and the National Register of Citizens. So, in one photograph in a series of four, Arun and Asha held placards that say 'No CAA' and 'No NRC' respectively. The photographs have gone viral since.
"Right from the beginning, we were pretty adamant to not do a clichéd photo shoot," says Asha. "My fiancee is a left activist and I'm a former journalist. We both are against CAA and NRC. So we thought of going ahead with this concept. The photographers helped us a lot creatively too," she says.
This was Asha's first protest against CAA and NRC. However, the case was different for Arun, who is an active member of the CPM and a treasurer at the Child Welfare Committee. "We have to live in this country even tomorrow. Our protest isn't against a person or a party, but to save this country," he says.
While many were in awe with this novel photo shoot, the couple isn't surprised by the number of negativity that they received. "I've seen comments of people warning each other to be careful of us. I also heard that the photographer had received a threat. However, we'll resist it all. We won't back down," says Arun.
Arun's and Asha's will be an arranged marriage. But both of them are happy to find a partner who shares an ideology. The wedding is just a month away. So, how innovative will the ceremony be? Arun says, "Even though we haven't planned the event, our wish is to keep it plastic-free. We want to send out a social message through our wedding."