With the elan of the remarkable Indian civic sense, the people of Hyderabad have chased the city’s newest public monument from its original location to another spot – away from our propensity to insult and destroy any nice thing that’s given to us.
In November last year, about 20 artists gathered in Hyderabad and painted buildings and public walls to promote street art, as part of the St+art Festival. The dream of the artists was simple and yet ambitious: reinvent public spaces. These artists designed and installed ‘Love Hyd’ on Necklace Road, their tribute to the city and a new selfie spot for its residents. Little did they know that in their ambition to reinvent public spaces, they would end up being hurt and insulted.
The monument was meant to showcase the love that the residents of the city felt towards Hyderabad, but the monument itself was shown no such love. Perhaps, we don’t love our city either.
Within a week of it being open to public, the structure was vandalised, with many visitors scribbling “love messages” on it and defacing it. Others climbed on the structure, leaving behind their dirty footprints. As people walked by, they spat on it, leaving behind paan stains as the dirty reminder for our disrespect towards public property.
Visitors clicking pictures would climb on the structure, testing its strength beyond limits, and any attempt by security guards to stop them was met with abuses. Youngsters would come late in the night in groups and create a ruckus – the guards stopped trying to control them.
Within two weeks, the structure had to be fenced, because a security guard was assaulted by a group of young people when he tried to stop them from throwing cake on the structure. Dirtying the monument was their idea of a ‘birthday bash’.
That was not all. The spot had also become a traffic nightmare due to indifferent commuters. While authorities had provided parking spots along the road, several two-wheeler riders would be seen stopping their vehicles, to take selfies with the structure, which caused traffic to pile up on the arterial road.
Owing to this, the city administration decided to take down the structure, and shift it to the People’s Plaza on Necklace Road, where it was inaugurated on Saturday. The Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) was forced to remove it from its old location and repaint it.
Minister @KTRTRS relaunched the “Love Hyderabad” Typo Sculpture at Peoples Plaza, Necklace Road. The sculpture was relocated from Tankbund due to traffic issues. pic.twitter.com/y2gWr1Bp4b
— Min IT, Telangana (@MinIT_Telangana) December 16, 2017
The monument is now mounted on to the wall, instead of being on the pavement. It is not a monument within our reach anymore. With our utter disregard for public property, our insults, spits and abuses, we have pushed it far away from us. And now it is hanging by the wall as a reminder of how despicable we are as a city.