Through the Art and Politics of a Cartoonist – The New Indian Express

Express press service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Walking into Vylopilli Samskrithi Bhavan’s art gallery, one can easily make a guess about Indian politics. Landmark events and political outbreaks have been pivotal for India over the past 30 years, as veteran cartoonist E Suresh perceives on display. Entitled “History Line”, the exhibition presents around 80 cartoons published by national and international daily newspapers and magazines.

Black-and-white and colorful cartoons take a witty look at the country’s leaders, from PV Narasimha Rao’s union ministry formed in 1991 to the current NDA-led government. For Suresh, history is like train bogies stacked in chronological order. “In the late 1990s, the Congress Party led by Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and others held power in the country. The ministers who led the party until 2014, their ups and downs have become a very regular subject in my cartoons. I have also included Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s 16 day reign as Prime Minister in 1996.

Suresh has visualized India’s varied political landscape for publications such as the Statesman, The Economic Times, Deshabhimani and Indian Express, among others. The cartoon ‘Swatch Bharath’, which ridicules the half-baked project launched by the Union government, won Suresh an honorable mention during the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi State Award in 2015. Another cartoon shows the apathy of the central government in the face of rising fuel prices. Even then, Suresh says most politicians like cartoons drawn about them and are hardly offended. “I have never received bad remarks from politicians for my interpretations,” he says. ‘Untouchable’, a cartoon he drew for The Stateman in 1999 with Lalu Prasad, speaks of the political tension at the time.

The self-taught cartoonist from Kozhikode was a math teacher. He has been living in Thiruvananthapuram for eight years now. “No matter how many years pass, I still practice my skills. A good knowledge of the history of the world and India will be an asset for anyone who wants to get into comics,” concludes Suresh. The exhibition ended on December 8

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