Sunday, October 19, 2008

Next to Godliness

The gambit of using religious imagery to stop people from dirtying some spots has been around for a long while. Chennai has always been a reasonably God-fearing city so it is no surprise to see a sign like this, asking people to not dirty the wall and to refrain from putting up slogans or posters on it. The imagery of the three major religions broadbases the appeal (and maybe to remind folks that all roads lead to God, or something like that?).

Chennai, as I said, has always been a God-fearing city. People here are considered more devout than the norm. One big reason for this could be the greater prevalence of visible 'caste-marks' such as the tuft of hair at the crown or the use of naamam on the forehead among the Hindus. Even senior executives in various offices, or senior public service officers used to be very comfortable sporting some such marks; in my experience, such display is only on some festival day in other large cities of India.

Whatever that may be, the appeal here seems to have worked. This part of Jagannathan Street, just off Nungambakkam High Road used to be far more messy. I don't know when this mural came up, but it has definitely made the place much cleaner!


3 comments:

Ravindran said...

People can always make it up by using the rest of the city .

Murali Krishnan said...

One problem for us is that we do not have sufficient and decent public toilets. Ones that are there are so dirty, they have breeding ground for diseases. There are laws that prohibit creating nuaisance in public places, but as it invariably happens we take pride in breaking those rules

Shantaram said...

>> Ravindran>> Not all of it, surely :o

>> Murali>> Thanks for stopping by, the comment and for adding up this blog! But I do think the city is cleaner than what it used to be... at least when it is not raining?