If you have visited any of our historical monuments, be it the Qutub Minar or some obscure dilapidated fort in Maharashtra, so many of their walls stand testimony to stories of love, some unrequited and some for friends. Rinku loves Manu, with a heart and an arrow pierced through or ‘Bablu was here’, so many such messages adorn our monuments. They have defaced our monuments and in a sense our history. Even the Taj Mahal was not spared.
Known as ‘graffiti art’, it is today banned in India. If one is caught defacing monuments, you could be jailed for two years and charged a fine of ?1 lakh. But if you thought, this is an ‘Indian quirk’ think again; this apparently happens worldwide. There has actually been some research on this human behavior (yes, someone actually did that also) and it has been found that this is an innate human behavior, the need to mark our name in history, lest be forgotten. The Pyramids of Egypt too are fighting this behavior. If you decide to immortalize your love on the Pyramid and you get caught in the act, you could spend a year in jail and cough up a fine of $20,000.
China’s Great Wall too has been facing this challenge and given the length and breadth of the Wall, it is virtually impossible to plug all these ‘wall art’ makers. So China, knowing it cannot beat them, has decided to join them – it has designated an area of the Great Wall for those wanting to leave an imprint. Now that’s what we call, “join the gang!”