Eminent cartoonist R. K. Laxman’s “Common Man” will appeal to young India at the third Indian Student Parliament (ISP) to come forward and participate in politics instead of criticising the system from outside, said Kamala Laxman, wife of Mr. Laxman, here on Wednesday.

“The only idea while drawing the Common Man for ISP was to inspire young minds to get going and join politics, only to give it a new colour and substance. It is to affirm in the minds of youngsters that it is not a bad thing to join politics,” she said.

The couple were in Mumbai on Wednesday to attend a programme organised by MIT School of Government at the Indian Merchants’ Chamber.

Mr. Laxman, whose “Common Man” will appear on the public platform after a break, has not stopped drawing cartoons.

“I bully him to draw cartoons every evening, so that he does not lose his touch,” said Ms. Laxman, winking at him, to which he responded by striking his hand in the air. She said that Mr. Laxman was working on this cartoon for 15 days after which the concept was finalised. “He [Common Man] is hopeful about young India and wants them to assume leadership roles to provide clean, corruption-free and committed governance,” she said.

Non-political platform

The “Common Man” will be seen releasing the ‘Manifesto for Young India’ at the ISP to be held in Pune from January 10-12. Nearly 10,000 students from across the country are expected to participate in the event.

Sir Mark Tully, Meira Kumar, Nitin Gadkari, Ramoji Rao, Dr. Binayak Sen, Dr. Mohammad Yunus and Shabna Azmi will speak at the event. The ISP has been organised by the MIT School of Government in association with the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and the Maharashtra State Ministry of Higher & Technical Education. The event will have sessions on ‘Farmers’ distress and its reasons’, ‘Politics through the eyes of Indian cinema’, ‘Diversity in India’ and ‘Poverty in India.’

Rahul Karad, Founder and Dean of MIT School of Government, said ISP was a non-political platform. “We are providing common platform for the political parties and their youth and student wings and even the student councils and unions to come together and interact. Our aim is to sensitise the politically active and socially sensitive students to enter public life,” said Mr. Karad.