Have a fabulous 2012


Gaga: Rest in Peace (b.2002 - d.2010)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Wall Chalking in Islamabad!

Jamate Islami's public call for Jalsa in Islamabad

Islamabad, my hometown and Pakistan's capital has lost its character at a fast pace in many ways in the last 15 years and is beyond my recognition, I always feel like a stranger in my own hometown - what can be worse? Among many other nuisances (use of loudspeakers, urinating in public etc.), what I have noticed is a new trend of wall chalking which is a crime under Pakistani law.See here.

Every single sector without an exception has fallen to the abusive and at times painful marketing strategy of "wall-chalking". You have to see it to believe it. It surely ring bells about the rule of law within CDA's sphere as well as their negligence on the rise for just about everything!
I came across a newspaper article about the helplessness of the authorities here in the article. It was shocking to know that CDA's limit of fine starts with Rs. 50 (50 cents) and ends at Rs.300 (3 $). Fines should be much higher (to be effective), for God's sake.

I have NOT seen a single moment during my stay in Islamabad that I felt proud about anything positive happening around, all you see is endless insanity, everywhere. The residents seems NOT TO CARE at all - a very sad behaviour because we are crowd in a geographical area called Pakistan. Everbody has built their own safe heavens - barbed wired, guarded and with concrete barriers. All that matters is the safety of few and NOT all. There are little states and kingdoms within a country and a city. If this is the capital's situation then it won't take any rocket science to understand what happens elsewhere in Pakistan.

While on a walk through our neighborhood streets the other day, I came across a children's playground where I saw a patch of shocking pink color on one side of the slide which was pretty disturbing for me. When I moved a little further, I saw the same pink patch on a government school's wall. Today, early in the morning, with a 3 days gap, the pink patch on the wall was adorned with an advertisement, probably done during the wee hours. The jug heads are marketing ,a treatment for patients with psychological disorders.
This raises 2 questions: these people are wall-chalking mercilessly everywhere from school walls to public parks and then the services they are providing are also "very questionable" and in addition are creating more sick than the healthy by their own behaviour.

Now, the question is how to counter Wall - Chalking in our neighborhoods or cities?
There must be a two way strategy to counter wall-chalking.
One: by using electronic media and mass public awareness campaigns.
Two: individually as a citizen by trying to tackle it yourself.

As is always the case in Pakistan, nobody will cooperate or stand by you for a right cause, do NOT frustrate or panic, just do it alone. You will NOT be disappointed, I assure you, something good may happen.

I called CDA, hopeless as they are, they gave me all sort of excuses on how combating wall-chalking is an unmanageable task and this menace is a lost cause - this is government's stand. :-) But I believe that in counter-wall -chalking campaign CDA and Islamabad Police must work hand in hand. This act must be heavily fined so that a person think twice if it is worth it? Heavy fines always work efficiently.

What I did was I called the number of the Mental Health Center written on wall chalked slide and talked to the owner of this hospital and requested him to clean the walls and he agreed after some 15 minutes of conveyancing and pleading. During the conversation he said: do you complained to the religious and political parties for their wall- chalking? At least, in my neighborhood, if I see "any wall-chalking", I report and complain, I replied, in short: yes. I told him NOT to compare himself with the political parties - two wrongs don't make a right. As a nation if we are NOT doing "any good" to this country , we should NOT do any wrong or damage either - the least we can do. Most important of all, avoid to idealize the political parties or their culture, I told this person. It will bring destruction and nothing else, instead, ask yourself a question if your conscience is clear doing what you did?