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  • Akhil Kadidal

The Rebel & The Church

Updated: Mar 6


While waiting for the jailed student activist, Amulya Leona, to make her court appearance, I managed to get a photo of the nearby 116-year-old Hudson Memorial Church, which being set in the middle of a multi-axial circular thoroughfare is akin to an island set in the eye of a hurricane.

The church building is a compact architectural gem surrounded largely by other paradigms of British-Indian architecture. What is interesting, however, is the diversity of the foliage: tropical coconut trees jostling for space with stately firs normally found in temperate latitudes.


It is a testament to the area's remarkable climate and terrain, which is 3,000 over sea level. The place would be an Edenesque landscape were it not for the people, millions and millions of them.



Amulya Leona

A stone's throw away was the Metropolitan Magistrate Court Building where Amulya (19), was set to appear.


She been arrested on charges of "sedition" the night before. Her arrest had transpired at a public forum, in front of rolling TV cameras after she tried to make a point that she loved all countries in Asia.


Her biggest mistake of that night was starting her narrative with the words: "Long Live, Pakistan" - in reference to India's long-standing philosophical and military enemy. Instant, nationwide fireworks ensued as did death threats, which will mostly likely be followed by the demise of her budding "activism" career.


I took this image of Amulya on 13 January 2020, a day after she had been detained by police for holding a placard in front of the Vidhana Soudha, the state legislative house. (Holding placards in front of the state house is apparently against Indian law).


I think that I called her a trouble-making rebel, which prompted this laugh, as I pressed down on the shutter button.


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