Graffitists ruining the city

Kathmandu, November 25:

Graffiti have been virtually ruining every facade of the capital, but there seems to be no way to stop graffitists from doing their work.

Adolescents virtually paint college walls with graffiti. “The graffiti are invariably offensive, but we have to act as if we’ve seen nothing,” says Samipya Timilasina, a post-graduate student in sociology at the Trichandra College. “Graffiti on the walls of classrooms look a mess; they contain no messages,” he says, adding, “They only insult onlookers. They merely exhibit stupidity of writers.”

Kumar Poudel, the campus chief of the Nepal Humanities Campus, says: “It is not possible to approach each student and ask them not to scribble. Besides, it is done stealthily,” he says.

Every year, colleges run orientation classes on rules to be followed by freshers.

Poudel sees a “tinge of juvenile delinquency” in scribbling, but says: “It is normal for adolescents.”

Psychiatrist Dr Kapil Dev Upadhyay says: “Scribbling is definitely a type of aggression, but it cannot be taken as delinquency.”

According to him, defiant behaviour of such adolescents can be pacified through counselling. “They express their feelings through graffiti. They always expect others to respond to their actions,” he says.

“Though gross and filthy, some graffiti can be witty and amuse readers,” says Umesh Shrestha, a student of the Kantipur City College.

Shrestha is against punishing graffitists. “The graffitists should understand the embarrassment graffiti could cause to others,” he says.