rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » 'Anna is the inspiration of my paintings'

'Anna is the inspiration of my paintings'

Last updated on: August 21, 2011 17:20 IST

Anna is the inspiration for this painter from Bihar

     Next

Next
Prasanna D Zore in New Delhi

There is no doubt that anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare has legions of followers. And they are all contributing their might to his movement for a stronger Jan Lokpal Bill.

While some are fasting along with him, some are protesting in various nooks and crannies of the country, some come with the tricolour in their hands singing patriotic songs, etc. But Mohammed Tabez Alam, a painter from Gaya district in Bihar, has found a unique way to support Hazare's cause.

Ever since Hazare began his fast in Tihar jail on August 16, Alam has been painting canvasses about the Jan Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare and how the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government 'is trying to subvert his peaceful movement and create hurdles in the passage of the bill,' that many of Hazare's followers believe, is potent enough to weed out corruption from their routine lives.

"Anna is the inspiration of my paintings," says Alam, 35. He is difficult to miss once you are inside the Ramlila Ground, Hazare's battlefield till September 2, by when he has the permission to continue his fast, or 'till the last breath' of his life, as Hazare keeps exhorting to his supporters.

Please click NEXT to read more...


Image: Painter Mohammed Tabrez Alam from Gaya with his paintings at the Ramlila Ground in New Delhi
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
     Next

'What right does people like Lalu have to stay in standing committee?'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

On Sunday, Alam is painting how Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on the left of Parliament, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, on the right, and member of Parliament Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is on the standing committee scrutinising the government's version of the Lokpal bill, are trying to tighten the noose around the idea of the Lokpal as proposed by Team Anna.

"Look at this man," Alam says pointing to Lalu who's sitting on a buffalo whose tail is trying to paint the Sarkari verison of the Lokpal in black colour. "This man has been involved in the biggest fodder scam the country has witnessed," says a miffed Alam. 

"What right does people like Lalu have to stay in the standing committee?" he asks in anger.

The painting shows Hazare's Lokpal bill as a human being that encompasses the principles so sincerely espoused by the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, and other people affected by corruption in India as part of the parliamentary process that is being 'strangulated by the PM and the Congress president.'

"The people below Sonia Gandhi are those whose voices have been silenced by the government's strong arm tactic," says Alam, an expression for Hazare's arrest on August 16 by the Delhi police.

Alam informs that he paints in Gaya to earn his livelihood. Though it is not a remunerative work and he did not take any training to paint, Alam learnt painting at the doorsteps of a temple where an old painter-fakir took him under his wings.


Image: On Sunday, Alam is painting how PM, Sonia Gandhi and Lalu Prasad Yadav are trying to tighten the noose around the idea of the Lokpal as proposed by Team Anna.
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
Prev     Next

'Once the movement succeeds, I'll hold an exhibition in Gaya'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

"The fakir-baba always taught me to be sincere with my brush, canvass and colours," Alam says in the praise of his teacher. It is this teaching, says Alam, that has brought him to Delhi when he heard that Hazare would begin a fast-unto-death on August 16 to fight against corruption.

And he has painted five canvasses till now, all of which, he says, he will preserve carefully for posterity. "Once the movement succeeds, and Insha Allah it will, I will hold an exhibition of my paintings in Gaya and ask Annaji to come and inaugurate it for me if he deems it fit," says Alam.

On August 20, Alam's canvass depicted the passage of Hazare's Lokpal in Parliament. The painting showed Anna holding Mahatma Gandhi's cane in front of Parliament's gate through which the elected representatives enter the August house.

"Both Gandhiji and Annaji's teachings and sacrifice for the fight against corruption are standing guard at the Parliament's gate," explains Alam of his painting. Since these two stalwarts are standing guard and since Annaji's Lokpal has come into effect, Alam's paintings show that only representatives with clean record will be able to enter Parliament.

"Those who are corrupt will be blocked out as shown by people with red crosses across them on the right hand side of the painting," he says.

The painting also shows India's poor holding the cane, an expression that shows their support for Gandhiji's and Anna's cause.

However, the bearded painter may no longer be able to continue his paintings. "I'm running short of money," he explains. 


Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
Prev     Next

'I'm not asking for money for myself'

Prev     More
Prev

More

Alam spends Rs 1,000 every day to make a painting. "The canvass itself costs Rs 500 and the rest is spent on colours and other associated items," he says. Till now he has spent Rs 5,000 on the five paintings and hopes that he gets some money or canvasses and paints from the people who have gathered there.  

"I'm not asking for money for myself. It is needed, though, to continue my effort and freeze history in the making on my canvasses," he says. "If people think, I will misappropriate their money, let them give me only canvasses and colours. I'm fine even with that," he says grittily expecting some magnanimity from whoever hears about him and his effort. 

Alam says that he has never tried to commercialise his hobby but has done it for a purpose. It is for this reason that he hopes that Hazare will surely inaugurate his exhibition once the movement reaches its rightful conclusion.

"I will gift Annaji one of these paintings happily if he accepts it. I know he will, for he is the leader of the poor and the needy like me," Alam says, even as he gives the finishing strokes to his painting in the sweltering heat at Ramlila Grounds. 

Those who wish to help Mohammed Tabrez Alam can find him inside Ramlila Ground. He is just difficult to miss.


Image: I'm running short of money now, says Tabrez Alam
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
Prev     More