PARAHUSHAR Shekar Cartoons: Chetana, 1-4-113, Bholakpur, Kavadiguda, Secunderabad-80. Rs. 50.
THIS WORK is the wake-up call of a watchman asking people to be alert. As the watchdog of society, a cartoonist performs this task through caricatures and portraitures of men who matter. This is evident from the book which contains over 100 cartoons by Shekar first published in Andhraprabha and Prajasakthi. An extra self-explanatory mini cartoon in each page is a bonus.
Although modern cartoon is considered a British legacy, India has a long tradition of folklore and folk arts. A nation which boasts of the Panchatantra and Tenalirama is today blamed for its lack of sense of humour.
A good cartoon first provokes laughter and then thought. Nehru used to enjoy cartoons on him published in the Shankar's Weekly. There are a number of eminent Indian cartoonists today. The ubiquitous common man with a bald head and a striped coat of R.K.Lakshman tickles millions of readers every morning.
The excellent cartoons here not only makes up chuckle but also think. The captions themselves tell a lot. The first cartoon is on global meal where the common man is served ATMs, E-mails and televisions except food. A politician at the bank counter gets token number 420. Twisted names like "Ayyo Bihari Vajpayee", "Chandrabomb Naidu" and "Abdul Missile Kalam" also tell the fate of politicians.
At a time when regional cartoonists do not get enough recognition, this book comes as an eye- opener. Addition of English version of captions could have ensured wider reach. Shekar deserves a place among Indian cartoonists.
P. V. L. N. RAO
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