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Updated: November 27, 2012 16:28 IST

What a riot!

Harshini Vakkalanka
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KEEPING IT COLOURFUL: To lend a style of animation
KEEPING IT COLOURFUL: To lend a style of animation

Kushal Bhattacharya’s cartoons are an engaging blend of humour and current affairs

Cartoonist Kushal Bhattacharya’s own world seems to be quite a reflective one, as can be seen in his latest exhibition “Kushal’s World of Cartoons and Caricatures”.

The exhibition, which is currently on display at the Indian Cartoon Gallery, features a range of cartoons that draw attention to several issues in the country, largely related to politics. What’s appealing about his work is that the message he wants to convey is communicated quite clearly through the humour, which doesn’t undermine the seriousness of the issue.

He comments on a range of political goings-on — like the Prime Minister’s silence, the fight to be BJP’s next prime ministerial candidate, fuel price hike, Sonia Gandhi’s role in the government, even the arrest of the cartoonist— in an engaging manner.

For instance, he comments on Manmohan’s image as the silent Prime Minister by having him host the show Mounameva Jayate as Manmohan introduces himself in thought (a la Garfield) “Welcome to my silent show”.

In his commentary on the fuel price hike, he depicts the price hike arrow shooting up through heaven as an angel tells a God-like figure “But my lord, you said there is no place to rise beyond this level.

In one of the cartoons depicting corruption scandals, a stern-looking Sonia Gandhi is seen admonishing Salman Khurshid “Only 71 lakhs? Look at Robert” as sacks of loot labelled 2G, Coalgate, or DLF lie in the background.

“I have deliberately chosen to display political cartoons. 2012 was not a good year for cartoonists because of politics and I chose to be blunt about expressing this,” says Kushal, a part-time cartoonist whose works have been published in several publications including Outlook, Lokmat Times, The Sun, Sandesh and Orissabarta. He also has on display cartoons where he comments on lighter issues such as Shah Rukh Khan’s outburst at a security guard during the IPL, or the release of the 3-D version of Titanic (“This time Titanic has come with 3-D, still they couldn’t see the iceberg — they deserve to sink”).

“I enjoy working on anything which makes somebody smile. I enjoy drawing funny looking faces with funny expressions. For me cartooning is about telling a story that tells the truth within seconds,” he explains. “I also make sure to use bright colours in my cartoons because I want them to have a sense of animation.”

“Kushal’s World of Cartoons and Caricatures” will be on view until December 1 at the India Cartoon Gallery, 1, Midford House, Midford Garden, off M.G.Road, near Big Kids Kemp. For details, contact 41759540.

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