The election of the largest democracy of the world is famous for many reasons – one of the reasons is the election graffiti. The artists often consider these wall paintings during lections to be a creative expression. It is obvious that this art form gains its maximum prominence during the time of election. However, propagating through graffiti has been banned by the Election Commission of India.
Wall writing or graffiti dates back to the Greek and Roman times. With time, it has evolved to be an integral part of human civilization. Writing on walls is very cost-effective and since it an open forum, it attracts huge clientele. In India, wall writing is mainly used for the election purpose, in other countries it has been used for different purposes; however, mainly for Government oriented reasons. For example, in United Kingdom, in the middle years of the 20th century, graffiti played a pivotal role in the epic campaign against the nuclear disarmament. All over the country of England, in London, in towns and villages, there was only one thing that was predominant, the graffiti.
In the European countries, also graffiti has time and again played a dominant role. In France, whether you go overground or down in a Metro, graffiti has always made its presence felt whether for or against Gertrude Stein, for or against existentialism, for or against the projected new labor laws and many more. Latin America has seen campaigning against Yanqui imperialism through graffiti. The most effective graffiti was seen on the walls of Dhaka, Bangladesh few years ago.
India is caught in the fever of graffiti during the election. The wall writings have ranged from being statistical, argumentative, rhymes, slogans and cartoons. This is the most splendid way of bringing life to democracy. It is very common to use public space to thrust and counter-thrust on public issues. In fact, graffiti can easily be considered the ideal method for election campaigning in a poor country. Election graffiti in India has been the livelihood for many artists, while some are involved in them as part time workers.
The graffiti artists working during the elections are usually Art students and are rarely political party workers. Often the same artist is engaged by different political parties.
However, the recent ban on graffiti, postcards, billboards in some states by the Election Commission have taken a toll on these artists. According to a graffiti artist, the modern technology printing have put a negative impact on this art form, many artists have left this profession. These days the flex boards are in use since it takes less time than graffiti and can be put up covering large areas. The flex boards can be put anywhere and needs less time, whereas in case of graffiti, artists would have to stay awaken late nights for working. The shortage of walls has also prompted to make use of flex boards.