“A cartoon has various dimensions — it is a political comment, is sociologically important and is humorous. Plus, in the hands of a good cartoonist, it becomes an art,” says Anil Dharker about the upcoming tribute to Goa’s much-loved cartoonist Mario Miranda.
Dharker shares the exciting news of India’s first cartoon festival that is to be hosted in the land of Miranda. Sunaparanta — Goa Centre for the Arts with Literature Live! will host this first ever festival on May 4 and 5 that will include six cartoonists — Ravi Shankar (formerly, India Today), CP Unny (Indian Express), Keshav (The Hindu), Hemant Morparia (Mumbai Mirror), VG Narendra and Gujjarappa BG.
While the focus would be a Miranda retrospective who was recently conferred with the Padma Vibhushan, the works of the six noted cartoonists will also be showcased. Dharker informs, “About 90 of RK Laxman’s doodles will form a part of the exhibition as well.
I don’t think anything like this has been seen before.” The festival has been spurred on by a concern over the ugly brunt the cartoonists’ have borne due to the ‘offence’ they seem to commit. “A cartoon about Babasaheb Ambedkar was done in 1948-9 by Shankar Pillai.
So this cartoon was in our textbooks for years but recently, there was uproar such that it had to be removed. Then, Mamta Banerjee got upset with two Kolkata artists and got them arrested. In Mumbai, a cartoonist got arrested too.
We should not take this lying down,” he avers. Thus, comes in Editorial Chairman of Outlook, Vinod Mehta’s principle speech on ‘Lack of Humour in Indian Public Life’.
The festival is the brainchild of Dattaraj V Salgaocar who runs Sunaparanta — Goa Centre for the Arts and will host a ‘Tiatr’, a musical theatre piece performed in Konkani. The festival will culminate at the recently-restored Reis Magos Fort.
On May 4 (6.30 pm) and May 5 (11 am); At 63/C-8, near Lar de Estudantes Altinho, Panaji. Call 8322421311