Eminent Cartoonist Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Laxman died on 26 January 2015 due to cardiac arrest at Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital of Pune in Maharashtra. He was 93.
Maharashtra Government decided to give a state funeral to Laxman, who will be cremated at Vaikunth Crematorium in Pune.
He is survived by his wife Kamala Laxman and son Srinivas Laxman who is a journalist.
One of the post-Independence India’s greatest caricaturists was the creator of The Common Man which was published in Times of India newspaper. He also was an illustrator, humorist and novelist.
His Common Man, created in 1957, was the symbol of trials and tribulations of India's ordinary people. His cartoons also reflected little joys and sorrows of the Common Man and the mess they found themselves in thanks to the political class and bureaucracy.
Laxman had no formal training in cartooning and was denied admission to J.J. School of Art, Bombay, but the work he put out over decades was a sheer genius. He was greatly influence by caricatures of New Zealand born Sir David Low.
About Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Laxman
• He started his career with Free Press Journal where he remained for a brief period
• He joined Times Group in 1947 and with the Group till the end of his life
• He created the popular mascot for the Asian Paints group called Gattu in 1954
• His sketches were included in television adaptation of Malgudi Days, which was written by his elder brother RK Narayan and directed by Shankar Nag
• He was born in the then Mysore State (now part of Karnataka) on 24 October 1921
• Popular comedy programme for the national television Wagle Ki Duniya’s characters were created by R K Laxman which narrated the issues of common middle-class Indian man
Books and Novels written by R K Laxman
• Autobiography: Tunnel of Time; Lakshmanrekha published in Marathi
• 50 Years of Independence through the eyes of R K Laxman
• The Best of Laxman series: The Common Man Seeks Justice published in 2003
• R. K. Laxman: The Uncommon Man: Collection of Works from 1948 to 2008 published in 2009
• Best of Laxman: Common Man Stands in Queue published in 2003
• A Vote for Laughter published in 2003
• The Messenger published in 1993
• Best of Laxman: Common Man Goes to the Village published in 2003
• The Best of Laxman published in 1993
• The Hotel Riviera published in 1989
Awards and honours conferred on him
• Padma Bhushan in 1971
• Padma Vibhushan in 2005
• The Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts in 1984
• Pune Pandit Award (Scholar of Pune Award) by the Art & Music Foundation for excellence in Creative Communication in 2012
• Honorary Doctorate awarded from the University of Mysore in 2005
• There is a chair named after R. K. Laxman at Symbiosis International University
Some famous Indian Cartoonists
• Harish Chandra Shukla: He is a foremost Hindi language cartoonist in India whose pen name is Kaak
• Sudhir Dhar: He is an Indian cartoonist of Kashmiri descent, who began his career with the Statesman in 1960 after which he moved to Hindustan Times. His works have been published in several newspapers like The Independent, New York Times, Washington Post, Delhi Times, The pioneer and others
• Sudhir Tailang: He was awarded the Padma Award in 2004 for his contribution to the art of cartooning. He made his first cartoon in 1970 and then started his career in 1982 with the Illustrated Weekly of India, Mumbai. He joined Navbharat Times in 1983 and also had stints with the Hindustan Times, the Indian Express and Times of India. At present, he is associated with the Asian Age. He recently launched a book of cartoons titled No, Prime Minister
• Abu Abraham: He drew cartoons under the pen name Abu. He was associated with several national and international newspapers like The Observer, The Guardian, The Bombay Chronicle, Shankar’s Weekly, Blitz, Tribune and The Indian Express
• O V Vijayan: He was an Indian author and cartoonist and was known for his novel Khasakkinte Itihasam. His books of cartoons called Ithiri neramboke, Ithiri Darshanam (A Little Pastime, A little Vision) was published in the year 1990
• Puthukkody Kottuthody Sankaran Kutty Nair: He was an Indian Political cartoonist who sketched with pen name Kutty. His first cartoon appeared in the Malayalam humor magazine Viswaroopam in 1940 and since then his cartoons appeared in several news papers and magazine like Hindustan Standard, Ananda Bazar Patrika, Desh, Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, Aaj Kaal and Parivarthan.
• Vijay Narain Seth: A cartoonist and illustrator was the first Indian cartoonist to be appointed in Reader’s Digest Magazine. His works are part of a permanent collection at the International Cartoon Museum and the Karikatur & Cartoon Museum in Basel Switzerland. He considered Mario Miranda as his mentor
• Paresh Nath: He is the first Indian cartoonist to receive multiple awards from the United Nations former secretary general Kofi Annan for best political cartoons. His cartoons were published in more than hundred countries and are syndicated by the New York Times and Cagle. At present, he is working for the daily newspaper Khaleej Times that is published in English in Dubai and United Arab Emirates since 2005.
• Mario Miranda: His works in The Illustrated Weekly of India got accolades to him. The respected cartoonist of India was posthumously awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2012. His works appeared in the Times of India, Economic Times and other Mumbai-based dailies
• K. Shankar Pillai: Credited as the father of political cartooning in India drew with pen name Shankar. He started Shankar’s Weekly, India’s Punch in 1948 and also set up Children’s Book Trust and Shankar’s International Dolls Museum. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1976
What: died at the age of 93
When: on 26 January 2015