Mangaluru: If you drive or go around the City, you will see something different on most of the walls- walls that are defaced with small and big posters of movies, religious meetings, conventions, entertainment shows etc- Who could be involved in such a act spoiling the beauty of the City- a person or persons not using their common sense or simply trying to be ignorant. One day citizens join in the project trying to bring awareness about Swachh Bharat or Swachh Mangaluru- and on the other hand few days later, the same group go around in the City defacing public walls with posters. How can you ever imagine India or Mangaluru to be a “Clean India” or “Clean Mangaluru” if we have people like these.
One such incident of defacing walls with warli paintings with movie posters has been brought to the notice of the media by the those artists who had taken the initiative of Warli paintings on these walls. Couple of days ago they found posters of tulu movie ” Pavithra” pasted over the warli paintings on the wall of Kudmul Ranga Rao Memorial Government Hostel near PVS Circle here. This act by the person who defaced the paintings on the wall has really made the artists upset and angry. The wall was painted in March 2013 under a joint initiative with MCC and Karnataka bank to prevent defacing of the wall by posters etc.
The warli paintings spread the message ranging from “No to Plastic” to “Anti-littering” to “Stop pasting of posters on walls” at different places in the city by painting the walls. Not only the “Pavithra” movie posters had been pasted on wall near PVS circle, the same person or persons have pasted the movie posters on the walls of warli paintings on the compound wall of Wenlock Hospital and also the compound wall of University College. Some of these posters have been pasted near the sigh which reads “Stick No Bills”. How ignorant this person/persons should be to ignore the sign and deface a artwork done with enthusiasm and hard work by professional artists.
“Mangaluru City Corporation and the concerned authorities should take action against those who have defaced the walls under the Karnataka Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act 1981, say artists Dinesh Holla, Harish Kodialbail and Harish Marne and others from a team who call themselves “Lahari”. Speaking to Mangalorean.com, Shashank Shetty-the founder of S Cube Art Gallery, which had led the initiative of painting these walls said, ” By defacing the art work done by these artists who had spent so much time by pasting posters on them has hurt everyone. The person or persons who did this ugly act should immediately remove the posters, if not the concerned authorities should take action against them. It would be nice if MCC provides a suitable space to stick these posters, so that no other private property is damaged by these posters. Many walls in the city look ugly with these posters- we need to have a clean Mangaluru”.
Although the Defacement Property Act 2007 lays down that whoever defaces any property in public by writing or marking with ink, chalk, paint or any other material, shall be punishable with up to six months’ imprisonment or a fine of up to Rs.1,000 or both- seems like nobody cares nor does the authorities take against the culprits. Specially during college election time, many posters find their way on city walls. Try telling this to the candidates- they just ignore it. Some say that money easily flows from big political parties, so police avoid getting “involved”. Others say that these student unions have huge political backing and have a different psyche, so the police does not get involved with them.
On paper, the law forbids this but in the absence of action against the culprits, City’s denizens can only despair at the helplessness of the law against politically-backed elements. No vacant space is sought to be spared by the civic vandals – public walls, etc etc- and the scars and the disfigurement remain for months, almost till the next election. Seems like despite strict laws against defacement of public places, citizens still openly flout them with posters on public walls, traffic sign boards, street signs, etc etc-
Sources reveal that the producer Anantharama Rao of ‘Pavithra’ had said that he was not aware of it since he resides in Chennai, and has promised to remove the posters. What is the point of spending so much money on painting walls when MCC doesn’t know how to maintain them or taken action against those who deface them? The unlawful act can be prevented only if people defacing walls are punished.