Muffler’s Moment

Muffler’s Moment

How the humble accessory became a symbol of fight back, spawning a series of posters.

Against the backdrop of a clearing in a forest on a moonlit night, sits a man on a high chair, his face half shielded by the darkness around. A Gandhi topi on his head and a muffler around his neck, he holds a broom in one hand. Inscribed on the visual is the text: ‘Mufflerman Returns – The Corruption Hunter’.

The image, an obvious take on the poster of the Hollywood film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, first made an appearance on social media few months ago, announcing the return of Arvind Kejriwal in the poll fray. This sleek work of photo editing and a handful of other similar images were extensively used by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) during their election campaign.

These posters were created by Mohammed Shadab, an NRI businessman, based in Manchester, and an ardent supporter of the political party. “I support AAP’s philosophy of clean governance; it’s what the country needs. I just do my bit from here,” says Shadab.


He is part of a larger collective of AAP supporters in the UK. With a network of up to 4,000 supporters and close to 40 active volunteers across Europe, the informal group worked for the party on ground. So while Shadab worked on visuals, Ravi Asthana, an IT professional and an IIT alumni, edited videos and Nitesh Seth, a resident of Darlington, coordinated with volunteers across the UK.

“The group came together in 2011-2012 during the India Against Corruption (IAC) campaign,” says the London-based Raj Redij-Gill, one of the key coordinators in the UK. From organising Google hangouts between UK-based supporters and party members in India to printing leaflets, the group says it contributes as much as it can.