New Delhi: The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) last week unveiled Delhi-NCR’s largest mural on a flyover’s retaining walloutside the MotiBagh metro station. The mural paintingdepicting “RRR”in three colours—green, red, and blue—was unveiled on World Environment Day and had important messages: “Refuse” single-use plastics, “Reduce” plastic pollution and choose “Reusables”.
As people go through their ordinary routine, those who choose to drive over the flyover miss the lesson on the wall, and those who choose the humbler road below, prefer to talk on the phone or chat with their fellow travellers. But the painting won’t go anywhere, someday, everyone passing by the flyover will see the lesson. And the mural painting, with a variety of attention-seeking colours,would at least momentarily strike a “green” cord with Delhites.
Dr Masood Maqbool, Ph.D Clinical Psychologist at the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Kashmir, said, “Colours lift the mood. Moreover, when a person gets exposed to a particular information repeatedly, it influences the person to act.”
Yet, talking to The Sunday Guardian, Yaqeen-Ul-Haq Ahmed Sikander, a Turkey-based researcher, who has travelled to 37 countries the world over, including India, said, “In many countries, painting murals is taken as vandalism, but in India, murals can make walls beautiful”.
Murals are considered to send out messages of those at a disadvantage, or facing injustice, or other messages. Abdul Qaiyum, Assistant Professor of Sociology at AzimPremji University, said, “Murals are a good way through which significant messages can be delivered but it does not help shape or change structural problems inherent in the society.”
Chandan Kumar, a Ph.Dstudent of Art History at Jawaharlal Nehru University, said, “This is not new. In the 14th century, Donatello, a Florentine sculptor of the Renaissance period, worked with the state machinery to make art, it was a religious project. They wanted their masses to be disciplined and faithful to the religion and King.”Kumar added, “But now the value of art has shifted due to the advent of digital media.”
AkashVashishtha, a Delhi-based environmentalist and public policy analyst, responding to the MCD’s unveiling of the 12,000 sq feet mural, told The Sunday Guardian that murals hardly serve any purpose in today’s time. “There is very little change of perception of people even after so much information disseminated through digital media,” he said. “The mural in MotiBagh works just to increase the aesthetics of that flyover,” he added.