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Gandhiji in cartoons


The cartoons from national and international newspapers and publications unfold the historic events in India’s freedom struggle.


It is a journey back to tumultuous political events in pre-Independence India as seen by cartoonists of the time featuring Gandhiji. The cartoons published in national and international newspapers and publications unfold the historic events that formed part of the history of India’s Freedom Struggle.

The 100-odd panels of cartoons on Gandhiji published during his lifetime were displayed at the Government Training School at Kannur on Tuesday by the District Information and Public Relations Department as part of the Gandhi Jayanthi week celebration. Also exhibited are a few recent caricatures of Gandhiji drawn by noted cartoonists in the State.

Many of the cartoons displayed at the exhibition could not have conveyed what they did at the time when they were published, if the organisers had not printed on the panels details of historical events the cartoons are referring to. Gandhiji’s renunciation of foreign clothes, Quit India resolution by the Congress, Simon Report, Civil Disobedience Movement, Salt Satyagraha, Round Table discussion and Gandhi-Irwin pact are among the political developments that the cartoons are based on.

The cartoons included those of great cartoonists of the time such as Shankar of The Hindustan Times, Vikram Verma of Dawn, David Low of Evening Standard, Harison of Review of Reviews, Renolds of Morning Post, Struber of Daily Express and J.C. Hill of Auckland Star, among others. There are also many cartoons of R.K. Laxman.

A cartoon critical of Gandhiji and his satyagraha published in the Morning Post portrays him as sitting on the Viceroy’s throne.

In another cartoon published in the Evening Standard, the subject was the Salt Satyagraha.

It portrays Gandhiji as asking Lord Irwin ‘May I offer you some salt?’, while the latter is shown as pondering with pepper in his hands: ‘How should I pass him the pepper?’

There are also some cartoons by U.S. cartoonists of the time that offer an American perspective on the political developments that led to the Independence.

District Information and Public Relations Officer P.P. Chandran said that the collection of panels would be offered to schools and other educational institutions for display.

The objective of holding the cartoon display was to allow people to see Gandhiji through the eyes of the cartoonists, he said.

Mohamed Nazeer

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