Whenever I drive through Devaraja Urs Road, Jhansi Lakshmi Bai (JLB) Road, Metropole Circle, etc., a look at the boards and hoardings there and my blood boils. Many of them have been defaced with black tar mercilessly.
Some Kannada fanatics with twisted minds have formed a group, they come out in the black of the night wielding brushes tied to a pole and carrying a bucket of black tar. They stalk the main roads of Mysore looking for English name boards of the shops. Within minutes neat, beautiful and colourful boards are smeared with black tar ruining it once and for all.
These hooligans neither have regard for other person's property nor towards the aesthetics of this heritage city and by doing such heinous act they bring shame to the city. This vandalism is not unique to Mysore but it is widespread in Bangalore too.
I suppose persons carrying out this criminal act think that they themselves are courts and justice systems on the move. Any board written in English is a criminal for them; they give instant justice and the punishment is a smear of tar on that culprit board or hoarding. When sun shines on these boards next day, it is nothing short of a shock to the proprietor of the shop.
God save the shop keepers when these self proclaimed mobile justice groups take to streets in broad daylight. They act like cheap goondas and literally force shopkeepers to change the boards. If the shop keeper is adamant enough, then the group's justice is swift and harsh, they pelt stones, pebbles and shatter glass panes causing damages amounting to thousands of rupees. Who will pay for all the damage done?
Destroying other's property is a crime. But the people who are committing these crimes are law unto themselves. Looking at the inaction of police one is forced to believe that they have deliberately turned a blind eye to this criminal act. Hello! Mysore police... rise and shine, smell the filter coffee.
The board-vandals are not doing a great service to Kannada as they proclaim, but instead they are insulting Kannada and Kannadigas. I am a Kanandiga. I love Kannada. But I am ashamed of the acts of these lunatics who claim to be saviours of Kannada. I am afraid if they are not stopped well in time, then they will perpetrate crime in the name of Kannada, like what Taliban did in Afghanistan in the name of Islam.