I am Calvin & Hobbs. I am Charlie Brown. But I take it a step further. I am Charlie Hebdo. I am Charlie. Je suis Charlie.
I’m a cartoon. But I’m a caricature. I’m a line drawing. I’m a doodle. I say things as I see them. As you feel them. In a speech bubble. As a black and white sketch. I see life in comic form. But it’s often about tragedy.
I parody. I mock. I make fun. But I make a statement. I lampoon. I joke. I jest. I caricaturise. I satirise. I politicise.I criticise.
Illustration / Amit Bandre
I’m a symbol of free expression. But I keep it light. My canvas is large.Political leaders. Presidents. Prime Ministers. Dictators. Despots. Zealots. Mass murdering, genocidal maniacs.
Ronald Reagan, the Republicans. The RSS. Russia. Obama. Osama. Iraq.Iran. ISIS.
Chechnya. West Bank. Al Qaeda. Taliban. TMC. The Pope. Uprisings. Coups. Wars. Weaponry. Scams. Scandals. You name it. I’ve had a view.
For years I’ve lived dangerously. But safe in the knowledge that it’s a free world. That I’m merely a tool of social comment. A platform for political reform.
I soften the blow. I lighten the event. I re-interpret the happening. I’m a function of free expression. But I’m seeing a shift.
The world’s getting more violent. The Universe is getting more intolerant. Censorship has invaded us. Global Warming is yesterday’s news by comparison.
You brutalise. You behead. You bomb. You bludgeon. You torture. You torment. You massacre tiny children. You plunder lands.
You try and stifle my stories. You try and obstruct my truth. I sense I’m being targeted. I sense you wish to make me an endangered species.
As you lose your sense of humour. So what’s exactly your problem? Why are you getting so touchy?
That I’m telling the truth ? Are you losing face? Losing votes? Losing world respect?
Do I frighten you? Do I threaten you? I’m a static statement. A half tone reflection of you.
My brother is the documentary film. My sister is the political article. And we’re all in danger of extermination, of extinction. Of being slaughtered. But worse, being silenced.
In the name of God. In the name of religion. In the name of God knows what. So here’s my thing — you can murder me. Massacre my brethren. Muzzle my truth.
But if you think it’s RIP for me, it’s true. I will RIP. Return I Promise.
Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller.
Reach him at rahuldacunha62 @gmail.com
The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper.
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