The drawing styles of four renowned artists of Goa — V S Gaitonde, Mario Miranda, F D’Souza and Laxman Pai — are now being used by the state’s election authorities to create awareness. As part of the Election Commission’s mandate of promoting inclusive participation of voters, which seeks to ensure that even those with physical disabilities face minimum hurdles in voting, a mural has been drawn on the walls of the office of Goa’s chief electoral officer. An amalgamation of the drawing styles of the four artists, it depicts various Goans casting their votes, including individuals with physical disabilities.
The authorities believe that using such murals would raise interest in the voting process and send the message that almost everyone can easily cast one’s vote. “The idea was part of the EC mandate to promote and ensure inclusive voting. We thought that rather than using the sun-and-sand image of Goa for this purpose we could use the cultural icons of this vibrant state to put out a message,” Goa chief electoral officer Kunal said.
The paintings have been created by local artist Sonia Rodrigues Sabarwal, an alumnus of the Goa College of Art, who has replicated the noted artists’ drawing styles. “The idea apart from promoting inclusive elections was to convey a message that Goa should not only be known as a tourism state. It is a state of sensitive and culturally vibrant people. The idea was to project that this goodness can be used to increases people’s participation in democracy and help improve governance,” Sabarwal said. The authorities hope to replicate these displays in various other forms across the state.
All four artists had a Goan lineage or had stayed in Goa, and all were born in the mid-1920s. Their drawing styles, however, are drastically different. In the last assembly election, 82 per cent of Goa had turned out to vote.