Graffiti ban hits painters in WB
For the first time in its history, West Bengal goes to polls next fortnight sans wall painting and graffiti.india Updated: Apr 03, 2006 13:44 IST
For the first time in its history, West Bengal goes to polls next fortnight sans graffiti, hitting traditional painters hard and forcing political parties to churn out newer methods for wooing voters.
The Election Commission ban has goaded poll managers to dabble in new age campaign innovations - from apparel to e-options and roadshows to snazzy electric lighting - that showcase party symbols and candidates' virtues.
On the flip side, wall painters and graffiti writers, who usually make a quick buck during polls, are heartbroken.
"This is unprecedented...I have been in the trade for as long as I can remember. And for the first time, I can't rejoice when the polls are here," says 56-year-old Deepak Sarkhel, who spent umpteen nights in the past painting the Metro's walls with party symbols and caricatures.
This time around, Sarkhel's usual pre-poll booty of Rs 500 to Rs 600 has come to nought.
Meanwhile, workers at party offices are having a field day with embossed vests, caps, sunguards, umbrellas and scarves with the hammer-and-sickle logo of CPI(M) or let loose bands of stilt-walkers (ranpas) on the streets to unfurl the Trinamool Congress' grass-and-flower symbol.