China supplies paint used to write azadi slogans on Kashmir streets

China supplies paint used to write azadi slogans on Kashmir streets

Forces make efforts to efface inscribed slogans

 

File Photo Faisal Khan
File Photo Faisal Khan

SRINAGAR: Youth in Kashmir have found a new reason to love China—the country’s paint spray that is used to write freedom slogans on the walls and fences across the Valley.
The paint cans, which are presently difficult to find because of the curfew in the city and elsewhere, are somehow reaching the protesters, who use it to taunt the government forces by inscribing pro-freedom graffiti on the walls, shutters, electric polices, etc.
As the joint pro-freedom leadership called for an aggressive anti-India signage campaign, the youth said that traditional paints require a lot of time to dry and were difficult to spread on rugged walls and shutters.
A protester, who had shot a video of his work, said that the sprays can, instead, be used in broad daylight and quite quickly.
“This does not require a brush. Therefore, painting can be completed quickly,” his associate said.
To deter the protesters, the government even aired advertisements over radio threatening to book them under the Defacement of Property Act for defacing walls and properties. And police and paramilitary troopers also effaced several of such graffiti works across the city.
One of the paint spray dealers told Kashmir Reader that the sprays were usually used for making minor colour corrections in vehicles.
“These types of paints are portable, provided in sealed, pressurised containers. Fine spray is generated when the valve is pressed,” he said, explaining that most of these sprays were manufactured in China.
The Indian companies, he said, either sell them under their own brand names or directly market these products.
About 200ml spray costs more than the traditional paint, but it produces better results.
“Even as all kinds of spray paints are produced and sold, only black spray paint is in demand here,” he said.
The state, however, is taking the campaign seriously, as can be judged from the efforts made by the government forces to efface the graffiti on the walls.
Every time an azadi slogan comes up anywhere in the Valley, the hidden hands of the government forces add or erase an alphabet or two to make it mean something else.
The anti-India slogan ‘Go India Go’ written by the protesters, for instance, is turned into ‘Good India Good’ by the government forces.
The forces also use paints, not necessarily paint sprays, to distort the words. For example, ‘Burhan’—the name of the Hizbul Mujahideen commander killed on July 8—inscribed anywhere is distorted to ‘Boran’ by erasing the middle alphabet.

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