The culture of wall chalking

Published January 24, 2009

AS we decode messages inherent in wall chalking, we get to know motives behind it. The major motive behind wall chalking is 'catharsis'. Through wall chalking, the common man who does not possess economic and political power expresses his opinion and his emotions.

In order to understand this, it is important to study society and culture where wall chalking is frequently seen. In societies where political instability is prevalent and institutions are not properly built, wall chalking is frequently witnessed. In Pakistan this is happening due to lack of political stability.

Then comes the form of dictatorial and authoritarian societies. In such societies power accumulated by one man is so immense that it tends to deprive people of their representation and even if representation is there, it is a fraud to hide authoritarian tricks. This is in fact linked with democracy because even for bad democracy, more democracy is the only situation.

Then it is significant to understand this phenomenon with reference to developing and developed countries. In developed countries attention is paid to what people have to say. In this regard the media plays a significant role. Due to these factors wall chalking is not that common in developed countries.

In developing countries the case is vice versa. Here weak institutions, political instability, economic crunch, absence of accountability and corruption are common phenomena. All these factors create a sense of anxiety, insecurity, and negative sentiments among the people. In such countries, wall chalking is frequently seen because it becomes a source of expression. Besides, it has been observed that youths or adults are more prone to wall chalking.

So, it is necessary to develop democratic attitudes not on political level only but in family relationships as well because these are basic units for determining general temperament of society.

With democratic attitudes comes an urge to create an atmosphere of tolerance, sacrifice and peaceful resolution of disputes through exchange of views and direct talk. People when trained on these lines from the very beginning will automatically create a better society devoid of frustration and suppression that leads to such activities as wall chalking.

Due to these factors the students of Imperial College of Business Studies have taken an initiative to overcome this issue and provide a better environment to the community and hope that the citizens of Pakistan join hands with them to overcome the issue of wall chalking.

ASIFA CHAUDHRY Lahore

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