RK Laxman birth anniversary: cartoonist who represented the common man

RK Laxman's common man

Popularly known as “common man’s cartoonist”, created the comic strip ‘You Said It’ featuring the ‘Common Man’, represented average Indian.

“So far as I am concerned, I am not at all aware that there indeed exists a serious side as well to my cartoons drawn in an inspired mood of mischievous abandon.”  – R.K. Laxman.

RK Laxman

India’s most celebrated cartoonist RK Laxman’s first full-time job was with The Free Press Journal in Mumbai, where he worked as a political cartoonist with Bal Thackeray. From there, he went on to join the Times of India which led to the creation of his most famous character ‘The Common Man’ and for his daily cartoon strip, You Said It, which started in 1951.

source: Twitter (@Actor_Siddharth)

Laxman’s graceful black and white editorial cartoons helped digest the news of the day. His character and satire entertained generations over several decades. Even on his 98th birth anniversary, Laxman, ‘the people’s illustrator,’ continues to live in the heart of his fans.

Laxman’s big cartoons appeared on the Times of India’s front page. “The puppet.” 1970. source: thediplomat.com

Laxman became a household name because of his keen observation and represented common people’s pain, aspiration and hope. For his exemplary work, Laxman was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1973, Padma Vibhushan in 2005 and Ramon Magsaysay award in 1984.

For over five decades from 1951, each day Laxman won over his readers’ hearts, regaled them with his wit and yet left them with something to introspect. He died in Pune on 26 January 2015 at the age of 93.