“A designer who happens to be a policeman”
Police are just my job, caricature is my passion, says IPS officer Dyutiman Bhattacharya
If you ask Dyutiman Bhattacharya if he is a cartoonist turned policeman or a policeman who is also a cartoonist, he will tell you that he is the former – a cartoonist who happens to be a policeman.
“The police are just my job, caricature is my passion,” said Mr Bhattacharya, 47, an Indian police officer currently deputy police commissioner in Howrah. the Hindu, when asked how he reconciles the two avatars. He then adds: “A policeman is usually the recipient of cartoons. I turned the tables.
Mr. Bhattacharya – the cartoonist, that is – is a busy man these days. It is an integral part of the very first month-long Cartoon Mela in Kolkata, organized by a Read Bengali Books bookstore in South Kolkata. The festival began on December 5 and is hosted by the Cartoon Dol, a group of veteran cartoonists from the city.
Mr. Bhattacharya spends most of his evenings these days in the boutique, doing live cartoons and interacting with onlookers and aspiring cartoonists. The store even offers a 2022 desk calendar with caricatures made by him. “The idea is to demonstrate that cartoons should not be confined to newspapers. I love making caricatures of the people I meet. My pet cats and dogs are featured in most of my cartoons. I also like to do celebrity caricatures, ”he says.
Mr. Bhattacharya is a self-taught artist whose inspirations include RK Laxman, Mario Miranda and Bud Blake. He was introduced to the world of cartoons by RK Laxman, thanks to Malgoudi Days on Doordarshan. “I kept changing jobs, but I always kept my passions alive. I keep drawing between jobs, ”says Mr. Bhattacharya, also an amateur painter – he recently sold all of his 22 works at an exhibition in Howrah – and novelist and columnist on the police in a periodical. He and the Cartoon Dol are now planning to institutionalize the Cartoon Mela.