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Nagpur illustrator alleges EC used his artwork without consent

The EC had used his work to champion voting among members of the Shompen tribe in the Andaman and Nicobar last month.

artKOCHI: Rohan Chakravarty, an illustrator based in Nagpur, has taken to social media alleging that the Election Commission (EC) has without permission used one of his artworks in their banners to promote voting in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, especially among the tribals.

The illustration of the Nicobar Megapode, a bird endemic to the archipelago, adorns the EC banners front and centre. The text underneath this image reads ‘The Election Mascot.’

The image bears an uncanny resemblance to a work that Rohan has done — in a series dedicated to bringing more awareness about species (animals and birds) vulnerable to extinction. Nicobar Megapode or scrubfowl is one such species.

But Rohan maintains that he has not given anyone permission to use this artwork. “Basically, the Election Commission has ripped off my work. Neither have I received any payment for this nor has anyone approached me for permission,” he told.

An independent artist, Rohan’s works have in the past found their way to the pages of national newspapers and as an effective medium to champion social causes by various organisations. “Several works of mine are commissioned by the Forest department to spearhead their conservation and wildlife programmes. However, the Nicobar Megapode work is not among them,” clarifies Rohan, who’s been working as an artist for the past 14 years.

Apparently, the EC is not the first one to use his works without consent. “If anyone knows how to sue the Election Commission, please let me know,” Rohan had vented his despair on social media after learning about this latest rip-off.

The EC had used his work to champion voting among members of the Shompen tribe in the Andaman and Nicobar last month. The native islanders were casting their votes for the first time. Though TNIE tried to contact the Chief Electoral Officer in the archipelago, he was unavailable for comment.

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