Earlier, graffiti artists used to be in great demand during election time. With technology change, came posters and flex boards, and graffiti is slowly pushed out from public space.
Yet, remnants of poll-time ‘wall art’ are still visible in some places. In the border town of Cumbom Mettu, one comes across such a three-decade-old work. Faded, but very much there.
It was the Assembly elections of the Udumbanchola constituency and the symbols are of a ‘horse’ and ‘hammer, sickle and star.’
The horse, painted blue, is clearer.
It was the election of 1977, when Kerala Congress candidate Thomas Joseph and CPI (M) candidate M. Jinadevan were in the fray, says Sebastian, a settler who runs a tea shop.
The undivided Kerala Congress contested the elections in 1970, 77 and 80 on the ‘horse’ symbol.
Thomas Joseph won the election in 1977. In 1970, V.T. Sebastian had won, also on the horse symbol. Over phone, Thomas Joseph said that when V.T. Sebastian contested on the horse symbol, a horse was brought from Tamil Nadu to spice up the campaigning. However, when he contested, no such efforts were taken.
Both graffiti were done by Kizhakkemala Jose, who migrated to Peruvanthanam, says the teashop owner.
The Election Commission had later banned the use of animals during election campaign.