Some time ago, this paper has stated that Mumbai would once again be festooned in political posters because the festive season is upon us. Ganpati, (now over) followed by Navratri and Diwali followed by New Year, means it is celebration time for the city.
Mumbai’s walls are once again plastered with different hoardings featuring the familiar and tiresome mugshots of politicians across all parties. We had an absolute blitzkrieg this Ganesh festival; like always, and right now, too, we see the city has hordes of posters from all party persons.
Many of these posters, which are illegal, may be removed by the BMC in its clean-up drive. But, soon enough, they will be up again under some guise or the other, on some pretext. One cannot understand why political parties continue to defy the rules and put up posters of their party leaders and representatives, especially, making capital of the fact that during festivals, there are thousands of people on the road, and this means more attention, publicity and eyeballs.
These posters continue to be all over. They should have been removed straight away after visarjan, by political parties who should have shown the same alacrity they did, when putting them up. Instead, they will be staring at us for a few days, till they are eventually taken down, with netas enjoying free mileage in a city where corporates are paying huge sums to advertise their products. Everybody else pays for legitimate hoardings in the city; it is unthinkable that you simply stick posters of yourself in public spaces and facilities.
Meanwhile, it was disappointing to see the large amount of rubbish on the roads and on beaches post-visarjan. Mandals and devotees could have made an extra effort to keep the city clean as they went the visarjan route. People must take ownership and feel like they have a stake in the city. With awareness about eco-friendly idols and green Ganesh coming in, we need a concerted effort from people about cleanliness, too. Clean ‘n’ green, should be the mantra for all festivals.