Disturbing spray writing must be stopped

The youths of Dhaka City are showing their expertise through the sprays. This is totally unacceptable.

These spray-artworks have spread a lot in the recent years in Dhaka’s upscale areas like Dhanmondi, Gulshan and Uttara thanks to the teenagers with festive moods all the way.

But it has become a matter of concern since the write-ups are done chaotically mainly on the walls, no matter who owns the houses or offices, and even the road signs which give people direction.

In addition, those graffiti, in open places, do not carry any message for the ordinary people but “hieroglyphics” as none of the graffiti artists are involved in any social movements aiming at the people’s welfare. No graffiti was seen anywhere in the mentioned areas that spoke about the government’s autocratic decisions, price hike of essentials, and unfortunately, even against the controversial laws concerning students.

Only the youths aged between 12 and 20 can realise the symbolic terms – which generally indicates the names of different musical bands or particular groups of the teenagers living in the specific areas.

The trend now shows no sign to get diminished but spreading in new areas thanks to the decade-old culture of political graffiti. The political graffiti reached a height during the tenure and fall of military dictator HM Ershad in the ’90s and it continues now with the elections campaigns and demands of releasing political party supporters from jail.

But another adverse result of the continued trend is that now the small and medium businesses in Dhaka as well as around the country are enormously going for graffiti which is free of charges but the cost of paints and labours.

Undoubtedly, it is the weakness of the law responsible for the clumsy roadsides coupled by illegal shops and hawkers too.

An Act was approved by the present government’s council of ministers on July 13, 2009. But it is yet to come into effect since it needs to be passed through parliament.

Surprisingly, what the law says, according to the prime minister’s press secretary, defending its formulation is impressive – “The law has been made to discourage people who love to stick posters and write whatever they like on anything. Billboards, however, will be allowed to be put up for governmental campaigns and nation-building activities”.


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