Manipal: An exhibition on ‘The Common Man’ was organized by the School of Communication, Manipal University, to pay tribute to the late cartoonist RK Laxman.
The chief guest for the occasion was veteran cartoonist James Vaz who does regular cartoons for Taranga Weekly. He inaugurated the event by making a free hand sketch of RK Laxman. “I am indebted to RK Laxman for being an inspiration for my works,” he said. Recalling his interaction with Laxman at a cartoon workshop few years ago, Vaz said, “I was first very nervous to draw a cartoon in front of someone as brilliant as him, but somehow managed to.”
Also presiding over the event was Dr H Vinod Bhat, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Manipal University. “RK Laxman’s contribution was immense, not just for India but the world over. I liked how Laxman’s cartoons while being critical, did not offend anyone,” he said, and appreciated the students’ efforts in putting together the event. Both guests talked about Laxman’s fascination for the crow.
Professor Nandini Lakshmikantha, Director, SOC remarked, “Cartoons are an early form of infotainment and RK Laxman looked at life through the spectacles of a common man whom we largely tend to ignore”.
RK Laxman, India’s most renowned cartoonist and illustrator, was known for his brainchild character, ‘The Common Man’, which appeared in the Times of India for over 60 years. The exhibition at SOC was organized to celebrate his life and works through a display of his popular cartoons. Also on display were sketches by students and faculty of the renowned cartoonist, as well as a collection of photos of RK Laxman and his family over the years.
The famous TV serial, ‘Malgudi Days’, which had sketches by Laxman, was screened throughout the day in the school. An intra-university cartoon competition was held in the evening for students from the different constituent institutes of the university.