For many, Bal Thackeray is a towering leader and for some, he is a politician with a separatist agenda. But for caricaturist-turned-academic Kokila Kiran Kumar, the ‘Maratha Tiger’ is first a member of his cartoonist fraternity.
Kiran, a native of Tirupati, who bagged a special jury award in the International Caricature Contest, 2010 conducted by the Indian Institute of Cartoonists, expressed his condolence and paid tributes to Thackeray in the form of a cartoon.
The caricature depicts the pipe-smoking Balasaheb in a sombre mood, with the tiger skin forming his forehead, where the black lines resemble a ‘Trishul’, an indication of his Hindu agenda. His spectacles are presented as a butterfly, while his smoking pipe has a pen nib and a painting brush at the tip.
“Tiger skin indicates not just his surname ‘Maratha Tiger’, but also the swiftness with which his mind thinks and reacts. His multi-faceted personality as a critic, editor and cartoonist by profession is shown by the pipe,” he explains.