Every time one gets out on the city roads, he/she can see huge banners and hoardings showcasing one or the other political party and their workers. This trend is the same across the cities and towns of the country. But in Bengaluru, this will soon be a thing of the past as the Karnataka High Court has ordered for a complete ban on such political flex banners and hoardings. The team which acted as the catalyst for this landmark judgement is lead by Anil Shetty, as part of the campaign “Flex Politics Beda” (Don’t want flex politics).
“Flex Politics Beda”
Anil Shetty, leader of one of the youngest parties, Nav Bharat Democratic Party and campaigner of this drive spoke to The Logical Indian. Over the political flex banner issue, he claims, “Apart from causing the obvious visual pollution, these banners also cause what we call political pollution. Political pollution is nothing but these local goons projecting themselves as social workers and hence trying to get into mainstream political parties, without even doing any actual work.”
Shetty’s team of volunteers have worked extensively over the period of one and a half year for this cause. “We started with removing the banners, defacing it by spraying black ink, et al. Till date we have filed at least 200 complaints with the authorities regarding this. We even approached different parties, asking why they were doing this, to which they said that even after asking not to, their volunteers would place these banners,” he says.
The team also adopted some interesting ways to put across their points. Noticing that parties often put up huge hoardings to “wish” prominent leaders of their parties on birthdays, about six months ago, the team celebrated by cutting a huge cake, on behalf of all leaders, cutting across parties. “In a way, we wanted to say that now that we have celebrated our leaders’ birthdays, there is no need to put up separate banners at multiple locations across the city, around the year.”
All these efforts seem to have fetched positive results, with the High Court announcing a complete ban on political flex banners. Shetty also says that his team continues to follow up and bring to authorities’ notice if at all they come across any such banners.
Shetty claims that often the faces we see on such hoardings are that of local goons or people with dubious past trying to get into politics or trying to impress top leaders of their parties for political mileage.
“In fact, if you ask these people what actual work they have done for the betterment of the society, they will not have anything to say. They have cracked the perfect method of visibility politics. It is a fact that if the general public is repeatedly shown their faces, it kind of gets imprinted on their minds. People start believing that a known devil is better than an unknown god, so they go and vote for them,” Shetty alleges.
He also adds that because of this, people who are actually doing good, their efforts are sidelined as they don’t go around publicising their work. “We want genuine people who are getting down and doing some real work, not these people who want to be people’s representative without having any credit to their name.”
The Logical Indian appreciates Anil Shetty and his team of volunteers for working extensively in this direction and bringing about a change.