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36 DAYS OF TYPE 2020

Conceptualisation | Illustrations | Layouts


Conceptualisation and Illustrations

Mihir Lele


36 Days of Type is a project that invites designers, illustrators and graphic artists to express their particular interpretation of the letters and numbers of the Latin alphabet.

Happening every year in March, the participants are challenged to design the letters (26) and numbers (10) of the English alphabet, each day for 36 consecutive days, as a global and simultaneous act showing the outcome of the ability to represent the same symbols from thousands of different perspectives. 

For each edition, participants share their artworks via Instagram by uploading their creations to their profiles and using the project hashtags to enter the challenge.

One can choose to participate in the first leg of the challenge (26 letters excluding the 0-9 numbers) , which is to design the letters A to Z, which is what I chose to do.


For this year's 36 Days of Type, I chose "India 2020" as my theme and decided to use my illustrations as a voice of dissent against everything that is happening in

India wrt government inaction, unfair/ unconstitutional laws and the coronavirus pandemic.


A for "Autocracy"

India, a 'sovereign', 'democratic' 'republic'.


B for “Brutality”

The brutality with which the Delhi police beat Muslims in North East Delhi over the past week.

As reported by The Indian Express, a video that began circulating on Tuesday, February 26, shows the police, in gear, asking five people to sing the national anthem and Vande Mataram during the Delhi riots. One of the men, seen in the video lying injured on the ground, has succumbed to his injuries.


C for “Cover up”

A term that is almost synonymous with the Modi administration.
My theme for this year’s #36daysoftype is “India 2020”
Ahead of President Trump’s visit to India, the Ahemdabad Municipal Corporation built a four-foot-high wall to hide a stretch of slums on the American leader’s route.
"Coincidentally" communal riots broke out in East Delhi around the same time as #PresidentTrump landed in Ahmedabad.


D for “Death of Democracy”

State sponsored violence, students beaten, firing in police presence, no arrests, no accountability, no answers, zero tolerance for dissent and the CAA+NRC law that goes against the secular fabric of the constitution. Death of democracy indeed.


E for “Entry"

The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 was passed by the Parliament of India on 11 December 2019, providing a path to Indian citizenship for illegal migrants of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian religious minorities, who had fled persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before Dec '14. Muslims from those countries were not given such eligibility.


F for “Fake Forwards"

Fake News and WhatsApp forwards have been used as a major tool to spread propaganda by the Modi led government.

The BJP IT cell has been very notorious in producing and spreading such unverified fake messages in favour of the government, which have reportedly even led to dozens of mob lynchings, apart from of course, muddying the country’s politics.

Amidst the CAA- NRC debate earlier this year, a fake message was being circulated asking people to call a toll free number for a free Netflix subscription, when in fact, the number in question was the same one tweeted by the BJP's official handle to rally support for the Citizenship Amendment Act.

During his address to the Lok Sabha this year in February, PM Modi himself attributed a fake quote that was published by a popular satire website called “Faking News” to former J&K CM Omar Abdullah.


G for "God"

25th February 2020- Saffron GOONS put a saffron flag on mosque towers and vandalised the mosque during the communal riots last month in in Ashok Nagar, North Delhi.With such open hatred and animosity against each other on display, I'm reminded of a quote from one of Leo Di Caprio's film- God left this place a long time ago.


H for “Hate Speech"

Top level politicians, CMs and Home ministers, openly inciting violence with dangerous slogans such as “kill the traitors” ultimately leading to mob lynchings and gun violence during protests. Not a single man charged, no arrests made.

I for “India”

A country where, if a citizen disagrees with the views and ideas upheld by the ruling party of the land, they are deemed an anti-national and a Pakistani agent. Even if that citizen is a freedom fighter. A BJP MLA from Bijapur, Basangouda Patil Yatnal called H S Doreswamy, a 102 year old freedom fighter who participated in the Quit india Movement of 1942, Vinoba Bhave’s Bhoodan movement, and most recently, a campaign to revive lakes in Bengaluru, a “fake freedom fighter” and a “Pakistani agent” seeking proof of his involvement in the Independence movement. Several senior BJP leaders, including Union minister Pralhad Joshi, backed Yatnal.
This comes at a time after HS Doreswamy participated in an anti-CAA protest.


J for “Justice?”
In December 2014, Justice Loya, a judge presiding over a case involving the now home minister, dies under mysterious circumstances. In January 2016, Rohith Vermula- a Ph.D student commits suicide because of the discrimination he faced because of his caste. In September 2017, Gauri Lankesh- a fearless journalist is shot dead outside her own home in Bangalore.
In February 2015, Govind Pansare, a Communist leader, community organizer and columnist, was killed in a small town near Mumbai.In August 2015, M. M. Kalburgi, a scholar and outspoken critic of idol worship among Hindus, was gunned down at his own doorstep. In August 2013, the activist Narendra Dabholkar, who campaigned against religious superstitions, was murdered.
Ofcourse these are just some names. Another 53 have died in the national capital just last month during the riots.
Many arrests, countless accusations. Who ordered these killings? Will justice ever be served?


K for “Kashmir”
In August 2019, the government REVOKED Article 370 of the Indian constitution- a provision that acknowledged the special status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and conferred it with the power to have a separate constitution, a state flag and autonomy over the internal administration of the state.
This was followed by a state wide security lockdown under which the government shutdown internet services completely, shutdown schools and arrested thousands of people including Former J&K CM’s Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, who have been in detention since, except Farooq Abdullah, who was released only yesterday.
The modi government said the communication curbs were meant to prevent violence by separatists.
It has been over 7 months since the lockdown. Internet services have only partially resumed, that too after the Supreme court asked authorities to review the ban. Kids haven’t been to school in 7 months and the internet ban has affected the economy and the livelihood of Kashmiris terribly, to say the least. People are being beaten up for any form of dissent or expression, reportedly even for the use of VPN. 8 million lives have been turned completely upside down but the government maintains everything is normal in Kashmir //Sab Changa si! 

L for “Lunatics”
With the total number of reported #coronavirus cases going well over 1,56,000 worldwide, approximately 5,800 deaths, countries are observing mass quarantine and scientists everywhere are scrambling to develop a vaccine against the virus that has been declared a pandemic by the WHO.
At a time like this, members of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha led by their National Party President, Swami Chakrapani, hosted a “Gaumutra and Gobar PARTY” (cow urine and cow dung party) to cure coronavirus. Their claim is that gaumutra and gobar have powers to cure the virus.
This comes at a time when the Health Ministry Of India has released a statement that any and all information about COVID19 has to be vetted by their authorities before it goes public, to ensure there is no spread of misinformation


M for “Modi’s Media”

(clockwise- Goswami, Devgan, Chaudhary and Kumar)
This section of the Indian media who call themselves “journalists" spread misinformation, lies, twist facts to suit their narrative and never hold the government accountable for their actions. Journalistic integrity is an alien concept to them.
Ravish Kumar, one of the few Indian journalists with a conscience, has coined the term “Godi Media” (lapdogs) to describe these guys since they only report news in a way that suits their pro government views, to appease those in power and win perks, like, IDK get a comedian banned from flying an airline, for asking a news anchor some questions wrt his reporting.


N for the "National Register of Citizens" or NRC
Its purpose is to document all the legal citizens of India so that the illegal migrants can be identified and deported or worse, put in detention centres (AHEM! CAMPS! AHEM!)
The catch is, if Muslim residents are caught without the required documents (?) they will be detained in camps that are currently being built, but if the same happens to their Hindu counterparts, the Hindus will be provided with the necessary citizenship papers by the government.
What's interesting is that the PM and the Home minister have been confusing the details on this since day 1.


O for “Oligarchy”
- A small group of people having control of a country or organization.
Let us not forget this image from the Delhi riots last month- a picture that sums up everything that is wrong with our country and its governance right now.
Last week while addressing the Lok Sabha, Home Minister Minister Amit Shah applauded Delhi Police for their efforts to control the riots. He also said that he was personally taking charge of the situation during the riots and hence could not meet Trump.
The delhi riots went on for three straight days and claimed almost 53 lives. Many Muslims have remained missing.


P for “Patriotism”
Patriotism towards your country ≠ blind faith in the ruling party.
Patriotism involves DISSENT. To be able to criticise YOUR government for the betterment of YOUR country.

This particular illustration was inspired by the "This is fine meme", since I thought it fit well with the context.


Q for “Quarantine”
Instead of talking about policies, treatment and testing options, plans to stabilise the economy post the corona outbreak, rationing, and a million other things, the Prime Minister of our country, in this address to the nation last night, suggested all of us go out to our windows and balconies at 5 pm on Sunday to clap and scream for the doctors, hospital staff and other people who cannot work from home during the lockdown. While I appreciate the thought behind appreciating those who risk their lives during a pandemic, I think the PRIME MINISTER should be talking about more than just appreciating people and remaining calm and composed when he addresses the issue!


R for “RSS”
"Those creating violence can be identified by their clothes itself”- Narendra Modi
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is an Indian right-wing, Hindu nationalist, paramilitary volunteer organisation.


S for “Suicides”
The National Crime Records Bureau of India reported that a total 296,438 Indian farmers had committed suicide since 1995. Of these, 60,750 farmer suicides were in the state of Maharashtra since 1995, with the remainder spread out in Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh, all states with loose financial and entry regulations.
More than 12,000 farmers have committed suicide in Maharashtra between 2015 and 2018.
Out of the total 12,021 farmer suicides during the three-year period, 6,888 cases were found to be eligible for government aid after scrutiny by district-level committees.
Every government that has come to power since the 1990s has promised to solve this crisis. 
The PM too announced in a campaign rally last year that BJP, if voted to power in UP, would waive farm loans. 


T for “Taxpayer Money”

The Gujarat state government built a 182m (600ft) high statue as a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel that cost around ₹2,063 crore.The Modi government spent Rs 3,755+ crore on ads and publicity, Rs 1.37 crore of taxpayers' money for repair work at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur and more recently, a majority of the 12,000 crore proposed to bail YES bank out, is taxpayer money.




U for 'Uncle Logic'
While PM Modi clearly stated that he asked us to clap at our windows and balconies on the 22nd of March, to appreciate the efforts of people working in essential services- people who put their lives on the line by working during a pandemic, Indian uncles obviously didn't take that at face value.
Lots of claims were doing rounds that the claps would make such a 'vibration' in the atmosphere that #coronavirus would be destroyed. Another #unclelogic was that playing the shankh (sea shell) and bells at 5pm would destroy negative energies that are at their maximum potential on Amavasya (no moon night), while also improving blood circulation.
Earlier the same uncles had claimed that gaumutra (cow urine) would cure coronavirus but people started getting sick after they consumed large amounts of urine.


V for “Virus"
Credit where its due, the Modi Government put a complete lockdown all over the country for the next 21 days, to suppress the pandemic.
A welcome move, since Indians still haven’t realised the gravity of the situation, roaming around and meeting people as they please. Hopefully, with stricter measures such as these, India will emerge victorious against the virus.
He also announced economic packages to improve testing facilities, hospital infrastructure and training for medical and paramedical professionals.
Oh, also, the man held up a meme while delivering the address.


W for "Women of Shaheen Bagh"
The Shaheen Bagh protest is a peaceful protest, led by women, that began in response to the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act.
After a 101-Day sit-in, the protest was cleared due to the coronavirus lockdown. The protestors left their shoes as a symbol to let the protest continue and have said they will come back once the lockdown is lifted. More power to these brave-hearts and all other protestors around the country, who are making sure this movement doesn't die down.

X for “Xenophobia”

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus began, reports of racism toward East Asian communities have grown.

Minnie Li, a sociology lecturer at the Education University of Hong Kong who was born in Shanghai, wrote in a facebook comment-

"To associate a disease with a group of people and believe that banishing, quarantining, and segregating members of this group would be a sound protective measure will only distract us from the real threat” 


Y for “Yogi Adityanath”
From changing names of cities because they had a muslim connotation, to now booking 27 anti-CAA protesters under the Gangsters Act, the UP CM has come a long way.
He also suggested that coronavirus can be combatted by overcoming mental stress and more recently attended a Ram Navmi event in Ayodhya on the first day of a Nationwide lockdown. Following in their footsteps, the upper management must be so proud! 


Z for “Zealots” 

"Pre retirement decisions must not be influenced by post retirement benefits"

- Late Mr. Arun Jaitley.

On 9 November 2019, the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, ruled in the matter of the Ayodhya land dispute case, that the land belonged to the government based on tax records. It further ordered the land to be handed over to a trust to build the Hindu temple. 

This month, Ranjan Gogoi took oath in Rajya Sabha amid  “Shame on You” chants. 

The opposition criticised the appointment of Gogoi as a Rajya Sabha member, calling it an assault on the independence of the judiciary, but it fell on deaf ears.

With the ruling party setting this dangerous precedent of “You look after the government, the government will look after you”, Hindu Rashtra is a not a distant dream anymore.


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