Indian Politics: More Cartoons Out Of The Cupboard
The cartoon was first published in 1949. It was esthetically done and genuinely humorous. Therefore, it was included in Indian textbooks meant for eleventh standard school students in 2006 to make education informative as well as enjoyable. After 63 years from first publication and 6 years from inclusion in textbooks the ‘issue’ of the cartoon rocked and disrupted the Indian Parliament on May 11, 2012. The reason or motivation seemed to be obvious—to embarrass the tottering ruling coalition further in light of impending General Elections of 2014.
The cartoon involved two all-time greats in Indian history. Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, popularly known as Babasaheb, donned the role of a real father of the Indian Constitution and fought tirelessly for the Dalits or the Untouchables or the oppressed all his life. Belonging to a backward caste of Maharashtra he struggled at every stage of his life to rise to eminence as a sociopolitical reformer, scholar-philosopher, writer-editor and a leader-politician. His immense contribution to the liberation of the Dalit communities from social discrimination made him almost a God or an Avatar (incarnation of God) for them particularly after his demise. His birth anniversary on April 14 and death anniversary on December 6 are huge events in Mumbai and other places of Maharashtra with millions offering prayers and respects. Dr. Ambedkar has also been posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1990—the highest civilian honor in India.
The second personality involved in the cartoon was Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru—the first Prime Minister of India and one of the path-breakers for the emergence of India as a modern developing nation. And not the least, the cartoonist Shankar Pillai has also been recognized as the father of political cartooning in India and he was the recipient of the second highest civilian honor of India.Continued on the next page