When almost the entire Lok Sabha spoke in one voice on Monday against the publication of anti-politician cartoons in school text books, Sharifuddin Shariq of the National Conference was the lone voice blaming the politicians themselves for giving cartoonists the chance to paint them wrongly.

“We have ourselves given cartoonists the chance to make cartoons on us. Instead of criticising the cartoons, we should do some introspection. It is a reflection of what we have done and a reaction to it,” Sarifuddin Shariq said during an impromptu debate on cartoons in the text books published by the National Council of Educational Research and Training.

“Is it not a reality that when one becomes an MP or an MLA, he becomes richer? His assets [submitted to the Election Commission before elections] show a considerable increase?” Mr. Shariq said. It was not the first time that politicians were being ridiculed.

He was opposed by many members who said it was not so much the cartoons, as the fact that they were being shown to “young impressionable minds,” poisoning them against the entire political class, that was causing concern.

Mr. Shariq tried to narrate a tale of Akbar and Birbal, but he could not be heard in the din.

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