'We can't be intolerant of cartoons'

'We can't be intolerant of cartoons'

Governor H R Bhardwaj on Monday criticised the dispute over the reproduction of Shankar's cartoon in an NCERT history book.

“How can an enlightened society like ours become intolerant of cartoons? The cartoon by Shankar in his Shankar’s Weekly portrayed the truth that there was a hurry to bring out a Constitution that could make India a republic,” Bhardwaj said after inaugurating the annual cartoon show at the Indian Institute of Cartoon Gallery.

He said former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru used to appreciate Shankar's cartoons, which criticised him, and would write to the cartoonist quite often. “When I was young, I did not realise the importance of criticism. But now I understand that criticism is necessary for a strong democracy,” he said.

Bhardwaj underlined the need for a free press for a healthy and strong democracy. “Press, particularly the print, strengthens democracy,” he added.

The Governor was of the view that the electronic media in India has to show maturity like the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). “Our news channels must learn from the BBC. They strongly criticise leaders but at the same time they know how to safeguard their national interest.”

Earlier, noted cartoonists K N Balaraj from Bangalore, Sajith Kumar from Delhi and Siddharth Achaiyah from Bangalore were presented with Maya Kamath Memorial Awards.

Cartoon show

For the Indian Cartoon Gallery, Monday’s event was the beginning of its fifth anniversary celebrations. Making it special is a mega cartoon exhibition, featuring over 200 cartoons by the likes of  R K Laxman, Pran Kumar, S D Phadnis, Bapu, Gopulu, Kapil Gholap, and Zahoor Mohammad. Also on display are works of the legendary artists- Shankar Pillai, Mario De Miranda, B V Ramamurthy, Abu Abraham, Ranga, and Maya Kamath. 

The range is mind-boggling. From sarcastic visual takes on Indira Gandhi’s emergency days to caricatures of a million hues, political lampooning of high standards to good-natured social humour, the show has something for everyone.

The exhibition will be open for the public till September 1 at The Indian Cartoon Gallery, No 1 Midford Gardens, Behind Big Kids Kemp, Off MG Road, Bangalore- 1, except on Sundays.

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