New Delhi. With the Commonwealth Games just a few days away, the Government of Delhi and the Games Organizing Committee have designated Paan-stained walls, bus-stops and other similar sites in the city as “Community Art”.
The step was taken after the government realized that its original “civilizing mission” for the residents of the city was somewhere lost in the middle due to controversies over mismanagement and corruption in the games.
“Paan and tobacco stains have an immense visual appeal and represent centuries of evolved art and culture,” Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said while inaugurating one of the newly renovated pillars in Connaught Place, baptized as Cuspir, which is Portuguese for “to spit”.
MouthworX Inc., a Gurgaon based media & marketing firm will handle the city-wide project, the pilot of which was launched in Connaught Place. “We are planning to name different pillars here, on the basis of the pattern and size of the art. There are talks of framing the graffiti too,” said one of the Account Managers at MouthworX, while re-assuring that the aesthetics of the abstractions will be well taken care of.
Nana Patekar, the chief guest for the evening said, “Yeh dekh Mussalman ki aur yeh dekh Hindu ki.. ab bata mujhe kiski thook kaun si hai?” To add more Bollywood glamour, Paan Bahar brand ambassador Fardeen Khan was also present. Mr. Khan said, “Pan Masala. So legal than Coke,” and quickly left.
Addressing the gathering, Secretary, Union Culture Ministry Jawahar Sircar said, “The best thing about the whole (program) is that they are so dynamic. Every day, it will be a new pattern.” An official from the Ministry of Tourism, on conditions of anonymity, also hinted at integrating the Public Galleries into the upcoming Delhi Celebrates festival with concerts and competitions too.
The Commonwealth games Organizing Committee chairman, Mr. Suresh Kalmadi said, “World-class! We are very positive about this new world-class development. This is a major step in the alternate – beautification of the city. The world-class Paan-stained corridors of Connaught Place look better than Beijing’s public art installations.”
“Simply world-class,” he added.
This initiative is a part of the newly implemented If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em policy, approved by the Delhi cabinet earlier this year.