KAAK : MASTER OF CARTOONS
By Vivek Shukla (Prominent Journalist)
As recently as seven-eight years ago, one hardly found good cartoons in Hindi newspapers. Fortunately, now, things have improved in this area after the entry of 'Kak' into the cartoon world. Considered as the R.K. Laxman and the Sudhir Dar of the Hindi cartoon world, Kak has given a new dimension to this art. In fact, Hindi cartoons will always owe their popularity to him for his contribution. His greatness lies in his brilliant understanding of the hardships and problems of people at the grassroot levels. Perhaps, this is one of the main reasons for his instant success in this line. It was said for Hindi cartoonists that they had miserably failed in sketching some well-known personality in their cartoons. But Kak has erased this allegation against his tribe. May be due to the fact that, he started his career as a successful Mechanical engineer. Now with Nav Bharat Times, Kak produces at least two cartoons daily for his newspaper. His cartoons not only force his readers to laugh for a fraction of a second while sipping tea in the morning, but also give them food for thought. Unlike the cartoons of his English counterparts, Which most of the time deal with the agonies and problems of people of the middle class, the upper middle class and the elite, the cartoons of Kak directly throw laugh on the life and problems of the masses. Now, his cartoons have been appreciated both in the rural and urban areas. May be because his cartoons attack social evils (which generally affect rural people) with the same penetration as he attacks the evils like communalism (which is more visible in urban areas). Rupa and Co has put some of his best cartoons in the shape of a book, 'Nazariya'. The cartoons of 'Nazariya' have been selected by art critic and journalists Vinod Bhardwaj. The book contains over 100 cartoons of Kak, from the before controversy to sati, and from police atrocities to killings of innocent people in Punjab. Surely, through the neatly produced 'Nazariya', one can get the glimpses of Kak's genius.