Published On:Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Cartoonists Struggling for Stereotype Characterization

South Asian Humor, Hilarity, Satire: Bhishma Kukreti

I am worst in drawing; don't have sense for ratios while caricaturing and my cartoons are lousy from drawing angle. However, my puns are sharp in Garhwali. I created more than 700 cartoons in Garhwali language copying others including R.K. Lakshman.

No doubt, I am worst in drawing but I know insight of cartooning. The soul of any cartoon is characterization of characters, situation and cartoon needs least words. Every cartoonist needs stereotype characters for creating the desired effects. However, these days, cartoonists are in great difficulty in drawing stereotype characters.

Gone  are the days, when you drew parents as a man with white dhoti, long white shirt , a black coat and a Marathi or Gandhi cap with a medium sized women wearing dhoti and blouse and even poor woman putting on lot of jewelries. Those were common symbolic characters for parents. Now, nobody wears such stereotype dresses and making difficulties for cartoonists caricaturing parents without indication. The best cartoon is where cartoonist does not tell or show by words about characters. However, Indians left their stereotype habits or culture and left cartoonist in tiresome situation for showing parents without words. 

Before 1960 or 1970, the teachers supported cartoonists, readers supported cartoonists , era supported cartoonists that cartoonist could easily show Indian teachers  as wearing black coat, kurta, dhoti , rubber sole shoes and either a handled stick hanging on shoulder, a stick on hand or an umbrella on shoulder. Now, for many decades, teachers left dressing stereotype dresses and new generation readers are unable grasping the old image of teacher in cartoons as now, teachers put on dresses as Tiger Shroff, Varun Dhawan or Nawazuddin Sidiquee  do.

Globalization brought seriousness in marketing, globalization brought seriousness in retailing but globalization brought casualness in dresses put on by teachers. Casual dressing pattern created casualties in cartooning profession. Toady's readers don't understand a naked man with Ghuttanna (half Dhoti) with plow on his shoulder as poor Indian farmer because for decades, Indians are watching farmers putting on jeans, tee shirts or casuals.

These days, barring retired but not showing as tired politicians as Advani, Joshi or Mulayam Singh no politician puts on Kurta, Dhoti, Gandhi and Cap. The new dressing culture adopted by political class making difficulties for cartoonists to draw common politicians because modern readers are unaware of such Neta dresses.

Same way, in every corner of life, there are changes and it is next to impossible for finding stereotype characters in real life that readers recognize old symbols for making aimed images as thought by cartoonists.

As a bad drawing cartoonist, I put stickers on characters for showing the exact character but as happened in past when I put 'Bhikhari' sticker showing a beard person as beggar but in reality the figure looked like a Sikh but everybody knows that a brave Sikh would die but will never accept begging. So I left caricaturing cartoons for many years.

Now, I restarted by cutting and pasting characters, situation, and place from Internet; put Garhwali punning words and create as my own cartoons. What an Idea Sir Ji!       

Copyright@: Bhishma Kukreti, July26th 2017




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