An open letter to the producers of Aladin, London Dreams and Gair

Dear friends,


Since I posted the vandalism photos originally taken by Raju Shukla, a photographer, I have read and seen a lot of tweets – mostly hypercharged – about the situation.


Dear producers/actors, we have nothing against you. We really don’t. Infact, we go to the movies to be entertained and are thankful to you guys, your cast and crew for it.


Personally, I don’t think boycotting a movie is going to do any good. Infact, it will make no difference to the situation at all!! The problem here is that these posters have been put up by a movie promotion company – the locations of where the posters are to be stuck are not personally authorised by the actors or the producers. IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT!


The problem lies squarely with the smart jock who thought he would get more eyeballs by putting posters at the newly painted walls. Insensitive – to say the least. However, firing him will make no difference at all…


HERE IS WHAT WE CAN DO: Take the posters down. If you are a producer or an actor and are reading this, we’d love for you to find the promotion company who did this and educate them about how much ill-will this has caused us. Educating the company is the only way we can stop vandalism.


FOR THE MEDIA: I am uploading all the ‘before and after’ photographs sent to me by Raju Shukla. You have his and my permission to use them – he just wants to be credited for his photos by quoting his name. I cannot tell you how to write your story, but as a humble request, I’d like you to focus on how the street art at the Wall Project was vandalised rather than naming the movies themselves. We don’t want the movie  promotion company to take undue advantage and treat this as a publicity stunt in the future.


Thank you everyone for the support. You are free to use this space to decide on when we all can meet to clear this mess.


There was some talk of a meet at 9am 31st Oct,09? YOU decide… let’s take this ahead!!! Oh and producers/actors etc., it'll be great to hear what steps you guys took too. Let's bring some positivity back into this!!


  1. I don’t agree, Asfaq but perhaps I’m more of an extremist that way. I am far too cynical to believe that there’ll be much more than a PR clean-up effort and perhaps a public apology. The posters may come down and shortly thereafter, there will be others up there. How do we make that stop? By making it too risky, too expensive a price to pay, for everyone who stands to gain from a publicity effort of the movie concerned. More power to citizen voices, though. I’m linking your post to mine.

  2. Oct 26, 2009wanderblah said…just my two cents on this:the posters may have been put up by the movie promotion company, or a vendor, or an urchin who was paid 10 bucks. But as far as i’m concerned every piece of work/ communication that promotes the film belongs to the people behind the film, contributes to the pockets of everyone behind that film. you cant wash your hands off it just like that. and I think it’s wise that people are apologising and not passing the buck.

  3. How do we make it stop? We make it stop by education, by making the promotion companies a part of our activities. That way they begin to understand that what we have at the #wallproject is not just a collection of our dreams and memories but the making of new ones.No, I dont agree with you this time, IdeaSmith. For the simple reason that there will always be a second vandal. ALWAYS. They dont listen to the voice of reason – but they will, to the one that feeds it. That will only come through education – not sensationalism.

  4. i’d be happy if they did bother ‘educating’ everyone involved. but i’d be happier if they took those posters off carefully, looked at what the orginal walls looked like and repainted them. no, seriously.

  5. I hope the movie production house takes note of the shit created by their ground staff. Great work asfaq bringing this to the notice !

  6. I am not sure if I should comment here but I can’t seem to resist it. So here goes:First up, I am not from Bombay. I am from U.P. But Bombay to me feels like few of those places in India which I can call home. Secondly, I did not(rather could not) contribute to the Wall Project either in flesh or in thought.Having said that, I have always been fascinated by the Wall Project, ever since the first one. The Wall Project to me has been a symbol of the municipal corporation and the citizens coming together for a good cause. There is no criticism, no complaints. There is simply art and expression. Picture this: You drive into any city in the country, Bombay, Delhi, Chennai, Jaipur, Kanpur – and the walls – they talk to you. The Wall Project is like the story of a city told through its citizens in a silent voice. Expressive yet peaceful. And it is for this reason that anything that hurts this project, hurts me and probably others too who believe in the wall project. There was a similar hue and cry(though on totally different lines) when Wall Project 1 was vandalized. But this was beyond it. This was not simply an act of vandalism – this was ignoring the effort that went into it, ignoring the thoughts – treating it like any other godforsaken wall in the city. Coming to the point, I think boycotting the movies is a very good idea. Here is why:1. The days when movie promotion was through posters is past. Every slum in the country has television and every kid knows the lastest movies and the latest songs. This is not to say that take away the jobs of the people who design these posters but to be more accountable and responsible as to where you paste them.2. The promotion company already knows the implication of giving the posters to a poster-boy who its not entirely his fault. The fault rests with the Promotion companies and the law of the land. 3. How then to approach the promotion companies? Write about them in thew newspapers and wait for them to respond? I’m afraid that won’t work wonders. Instead shoot tweets to ‘accessible’ actors and directors of the movies concerned and tell them that we are not watching their movies. This puts their masterpiece to threat – Friday is looming large and they cannot bear the negative vibes even before the movies have been panned by the critics. This in turn moves the entire machinery – actor-director-producer-media-and in its due course – the Promotion agency. And this won’t be a publicitiy stunt because this is something that can backfire with 99% certainty.And to back this up, we need legislation to save our walls(and our art). You are right when you say that this won’t stop vandalism but education will. But the difference is similar to that between allopathy and homoepathy. Why not do both?Secondly, I believe boycott works. Look at this, assuming that movie posters no longer go on walls because we vow that we wont watch those movies, what’s next?1. Political banners and leaflets: Don’t vote for anyone who has a poster in the wrong place.2. FMCG goods and anyone else who misuses the mediumAll that would be left out then will be the very small scale businesses and that is a number we(people+administration) can deal with.But this must start with the people. You have to stand up for your art, for your expression. Education ofcourse should follow. You yourself say that vandals won’t listen to the voice of reason, do you believe they’ll stand up for education? We are talking money here, easy jobs, stick it up – earn 500 bucks. As simple as that. They don’t give crap about education. But if you force them to listen, they’ll listen and understand. I am sorry if anything in the above comment was offensive or rude. And to @wanderblah and others – I really hope your wall is safe. Thanks!Shantanu.

  7. I’m not suprised at the act at all – after all, its a normal, every day affair for this city since years. a bunch of young enthusiastic folks like us thought we could change the city overnight and paint it pretty – a noble thought indeed – and commendable too!BUT – lets face reality, with the help of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs ('s_hierarchy_of_needs) – The Wall Project is the people at the top. The poster putter-uppers are the ones at the bottom. They can’t relate to art and shart. Not just yet. We’re a very diverse city, with a melee of income groups and mindsets. The BMC cant change this overnight and you and me cant change it overnight either.So firstly, lets zoom out of this scenario, look into the bigger picture and then figure out what can be done to avoid such acts.The solution – Upliftment of tribesWe’re a tribe, you and me – the Twitter and YouTube generation. The posterboys (no pun intended) are another tribe. The ones you watched in Slumdog Millionaire. Nobody’s right or wrong. Our perspectives are different. I urge you to watch David Logan’s talk at TED about tribes – – that is the answer. The real, long-term solution. BMC mandates, bans, policing, laws – none of that can make an impact as deep as real, grassroots change and upliftment of tribes, so lets stop pointing fingers and use them to lift our people instead.

  8. oh come on, people. its amusing to see your uber- liberal tiptoeing around politically inconvenient issues, and ure willingness to blame the big IS the fault of the boy who stuck the poster, his publicity supervisor just gave him a bunch of posters and said go stick it, this is ure beat. he is expected to dispose of it, and there are spot checks. he cud have chosen to pass up tulsi pipe road and move on to the next, but he chose not to.its his job to put up the poster where it will be seen. if posters of “gair” graced the whitewashed wall behind the bus stand opposite sion hospital, i don’t see facebook citizens taking umbrage and mouthing such childishly petulant vitriol about “civic sense”. if it were ure job, dear reader, to place ure film’s poster where it is maximally seen, wouldn’t u put it where u saw people’s eyes stray to, every day of the week?so? what do u do? fire the posterboy (brilliant pun, karkhanis!), and scold the publicity company? box their ears, and ask them to squat in th corner, holding their ears?look around at this creaking metropolis, home to this vast ocean of humanity that charges and discharges itself every day: casting off its mountains of filth, its hillocks of refuse that fester and stew in the noonday sun. cute pictures certainly create colourful walls,but can the louvre stand in a seine of sewage? – nirvana demon

  9. As suggested by @girishmallya, @riteishd @sujoy_g could help us connect with #IMPPA to ensure all producers instruct vendors to stay away from #wallproject. Anyone who flouts the law then will have to face consequences. IMPPA is the Indian Motion Pictures’ Producers Association and it encourages producers/actors etc to exchange information on producers and on their productions; to voice complaints, and to pursue other issues that matter industry-wide. In fact this will ensure no posters being pasted on any walls at all. We could end up doing a lot more good to the entire city of Mumbai rather than just protecting our artwork.

  10. Yes, I agree. So the next course of action is to contact the Indian Motion Pictures’ Producers Association? Can anyone get us in there?

  11. INDIAN MOTION PICTURE PRODUCERS’ ASSOCIATION”IMPPA HOUSE”Dr. Ambedkar Road, Bandra (West),Mumbai – 400 050. INDIAPhone: +91 22 2648 6344 / 45 / 1760Fax: +91 22 2648 0757Web : http://www.imppa.netI suggest we try and gather support form the film fraternity for this. Sujoy Ghosh mentioned in his tweets that posters should not be allowed at all. If we could get more actors/ producers/ film-makers to endorse this view, things could be worked out.

  12. Thanks @labellagorda. In addition to IMPPA, we also need to write to IMPDEA Its the Indian Motion Pictures Distributors Association (suggested by @prashantsolanki) as distributors usually take care of the publicity for the film and appoint vendors to do ‘illegal’ pasting of posters. Goes without saying that the producer has the overall responsibility and IMPPA is a very powerful organisation which can effortlessly/easily implement the changes suggested by us, to protect our walls.

  13. @sujoy_g @riteishd should come 2 mahim-parel & paint a wall with Aladin saying “NO POSTERS”

  14. Issue is not about Aladin poster, it’s about the practice … it ends up making Mumbai ugly.In my opinion @sujoy_g & @riteishd should help raising voice .. Since they hv pressed UNDO button, they will hardly have any -ve impact. If they have ulterior motive of +ve publicity or any publicity it should matter to us so much, as long as our motive of Raising Voice is accomplished.

  15. this is all apathetic! no actor/ producer/ director/ production house will react to this. it has to be linked to the civic duties every citizen has (well i hope they do)!!! bmc is the only one who can clamp down. but there again is the need to un-grease palms- not a possibility.poster sticking is not legal, as it amounts to defacing. but the laws are lax and so nothing can be really done in an instant. it is a low involvement, low level ‘un-crime’, so its overlooked. it helps oil the system with a slight lubrication of the palm. all we can do is appeal to the collective conscious of the relevant people to enforce this. everything else is futile otherwise!we can start a campaign now!

  16. OK, guys, ToI covered one pic today, that’s progress, next move should be: Get one of the prime personae behind these movies (I vote Mr. Capital B since his mug takes up most square footage) to disown this move and publish a statement saying he is opposed to this kind of illegal publicity and will personally talk to the publicity agency behind this… Read more. Dunno if removing the posters will help, but the publicity agency should sponsor the wall being done once again. Anyone who can contact one of these mover dudes pls to get dialling.

  17. @hiyer is in connection with the team behind ‘I Am’ series movies. Am sure will be able to find the right person to talk to, from them. @ nirvana demon i dont agree with you. Art has its own place, yes we dont care enough to keep this city clean but think of it this way, today the art wall is acting as the get a change in this city, tomorrow it might be an entire street and one day the entire city. @all lets not limit ourselves and our anger to this platform alone.

  18. well!!! what a well written post this is…i am wid you….it makes no sense boycotting the film as this film is for entertaining us only.its fault of the promoters and not the producers and the producer of the film is apolizin also we should be kind to him …i dont think it will be repeated again….

  19. I think it’s naive to believe that it’s “not the producers fault”. Like they’re unaware that a promotion agency was going to go around sticking posters on walls. Posters are such a waste of money, resources and paper.The ‘posters shouldn’t be allowed’ comment by whichever producer borders on insulting. Does he actually expect people to believe that he didn’t know that promotion agencies were going to go around slapping posters of his movie on walls? Puh-lease. Kudos to all the people spreading the news around and people who actually cleaned up the defaced walls.. Bloggers and other websites in general have outdone the press.

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