India’s Banksy takes up political activism in time for elections (w/gallery)

Published: April 8, 2014

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An Indian pedestrian walks past a graffiti sign which reads "Designated Rape Zone" tagged on a wall in New Delhi on January 4, 2013. The piece is said by local newspapers to be by noted artist "Rush" in an attempt to highlight the dangers to young women across the Indian capital where a 23 year old student was gangraped and beaten by six assailants on December 16, and died of her injuries. AFP PHOTO/Findlay KEMBERFINDLAY KEMBER/AFP/Getty Images

VANCOUVER DESI

India seems to have its own version of Banksy – a Delhi street artist who goes by the name Daku.

Much like Banksy – the British graffiti artist with an international reputation – Daku operates unseen, anonymously and has taken up political activism just in time for India’s general elections sweeping the country.

Daku had his first-ever television interview with BBC News in which he spoke about his work.

In the interview, he explained ‘Daku’ is the Hindi word for bandit.

“In India, people don’t look at graffiti as vandalism – it’s some colour on the wall,” he told BBC. “Unlike Europe or America, where people look at graffiti with a very negative eye.”

He told the news agency he believes the streets of Delhi are the best way to get his messages out, which are mainly social and political topics – with tags like “stop bribing,” “stop shopping,” or “stop raping” seen on stop signs.

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