Sectarian graffiti adding tension in KarachiDecember 3, 2013
Karachi: Sectarian graffiti on Karachi walls is contributing to flame tension in the city, as the administration is not able to stop provocative wall chalking.
To control hate-based wall-chalking in considered cornerstone of strategies to check violence in urban areas all over the world but this sector is yet to get proper attention of policymakers. When the citizens leave their homes in morning to commute to their workplace the first thing they see is this provocative graffiti. Sadly, on busy intersections of main arteries of the city streets one can find the sectarian wall-chalking in its worst form.
Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) is basically responsible to remove wall chalking from the city but practically it does nothing to curb this menace. If one visits the vicinity of headquarters of the KMC, Civic Center, graffiti of linguistic and political nature could also be found there. All major roundabout, bridges and flyovers are painted with different wall chalking as the administration opts to remain a silent spectator.
M A Jinnah Road, Main University Road, Shahra-e-Quaideen, Saddar, Liaquatabad, Soldier Bazaar, Nazimabad, Landhi, Malir, New Karachi and many other areas depict heavy sectarian graffiti. The area around the Mazar-e-Quaid is also painted with this type of wall chalking to the dismay of citizens. Logically, this area should be strictly keep graffiti-free to show respect to the father of the nation, but the political and sectarian elements do not care about the importance of this area, as local and foreign dignitaries regularly visit this locality to pay home to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
The administration should give a serious attention to remove all types of graffiti from the city walls, especially the sectarian wall-chalking the main cause of sectarian tension in Karachi. The areas around mosques and seminaries of all schools of thought should be made graffiti-free and nobody should be allowed to write any type of graffiti in the area around the Mazar-e-Quaid. The religious scholars should have to play their due role in removing graffiti from the city walls, as Islam does not approve litter and lack of cleanliness. It is necessary to remove the sectarian graffiti without fear or favour to promote inter-sect harmony and brotherhood.
Sectarian graffiti grows like virus. When one sectarian group see the wall chalking of rival group on the city wall it feel obligated to write wall chalking of their own sect to as counter attack, as the hate-graffiti spreads like jungle fire. It also gives a wrong message to people that there is a serious lack of governance and every outfit has got a free hand to do whatever it wishes. This negative trend need to the strictly checked so that the citizens could see the rule of law.
The KMC, police and other related agencies should launch a drive to remove graffiti from the city walls. As graffiti writers are often obstinate in nature and the removed graffiti often reapers soon, the task of removing graffiti from the city walls should be made a daily-based task to frustrate these stubborn elements.