Sunday, May 29, 2005


Hi all! I am back after a brief, inadvertent gap. This is a season of weddings and vacations and I was a bit tied up.
One of these days, I was driving in to an unknown part of the city. While at the wheel, and being plodded along by the traffic around me, I had no other way of knowing where I was, except the signposts and road-markers put up by the administration. Thank them and God for that, I thought.
I was merrily cruising along when suddenly I found that that the next signpost exhibited not the information I sought and which this signpost was intended for, but a picture of some idiot grinning at me with his hands folded, extolling me to “vote for glass” or for some other such house-hold item.
This happens all the time. You wish to board your train from some obscure station on the way but find the space for the reservation chart is splattered with pamphlets of some political rally; you are at a government office and the information board is all filled up with the union elections in the offing; in short all and any important information displayed for some public good is bound to be defaced and replaced with some humbug.
Why does this happen? What types of people do this? In my view, this happens because there is such a huge identity crisis and people need to assert themselves in the most radical manner, public sensibilities and their needs be damned. And also because, in general, we are not a very civic society. Any one of us is actually not attuned to respecting valid needs of others.
I remember having read somewhere recently that in Germany, there is a talk of proposing a legislation to curb all such graffiti, with a provision of strict punishment including imprisonment. I think there is a valid need for such a legislation here in our country too.

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