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Rows of inappropriate Indian political Cartoons

From year 1979.

 From year 1982.

At least , we could have picked a more interesting topic. How does NCERT deal with this topic? Maybe in another decade of so we will have public discussions on the issue. Of course, triggered by a controversy.

Cartoon caricaturing Ambedkar's decision to resign from the Law Ministry over the failure to implement the Hindu Code Bill. Shankar's Weekly, October 7, 1951.

From the book 'The Caste Question: Dalits and the Politics of Modern India' by Anupama Rao.


Funniest thing. I just realized that the caption 'Note the use of Hindu themes to represent what was, in fact, Ambedkar's challenge to Hindu hegemony.' is essentially wrong and it miss appropriates symbols. The obvious reference that Shankar was making in the cartoon was to an important scene in the story of Buddha, his renunciation. According to the story Buddha quietly in the dead of the night, walked out on his wife,Yasodhara and child, Rahula to understand the purpose of life and death.

The interesting thing is Ambedkar accepted Buddhism good five years after this cartoon was published. So if anything is being mocked in that image, it is Ambedkar's flirtations with Buddhism. It can be interpreted as Hindu householder's recoil at Buddhist renunciation.



  1. Simply brilliant stuff. Just curious, where did you find that opening-closing pic of that man in topi with raised finger (saying "I call Jenab Nehru's gen..") Did you make it yourself? I can see a cursor there too.

  2. That's apnay Om Prakash Ji. Created it from a poster of a film called 'Aas'. And damn that cursor. But I am not going to fix that. Aasay hi rahnay do.

  3. Nice cartoons from vintage magazines.

  4. Hey,
    I was directed to one of your posts by apna Google while searching for 'films shot in Kashmir'. Loved reading that post along with everything here. These cartoons are classic. Great content, keep up the good work. I will visit soon (read stalk).
    P.S I am visiting the valley this June and hence am smitten with everything Kashmir. Good to know that you are a Kashmiri :)

  5. hi...can you you telle who did the filimindia carttons..i really want to know the name(s) if any..waiting for your reply

  6. I would have included name if the magazine had given credit. That sadly isn't the case. But I suspect these were mostly by someone who had a long work relation with Babu Rao Patel as even his Mother India Magazine had similar cartoon in the 70s.

  7. Nice cartoons Vinayak..//

  8. Once again an excellent post. Now, how to bring it to the mainstream media's attention. Or should we move on with the very same "chalta hai" attitude ?

  9. hi vinayak, this is seetharaman from business today magazine. i'm writing an article on indian advertising about which i wish to speak with you. if you're okay with that, could you mail me your contact details at thanks.

  10. A reminder. FilmIndia was a magazine banned in Kashmir at around that time. And I believe it's still a magazine that you can't bring into Pakistan. It is on a 'can't bring in' list of Pakistan custom.

  11. In some write-ups, Baburao Patel was described as a cartoonist. I wonder whether he was also the one for Film India.

  12. Dude, what happened to the old theme/style? Bring it back. This new format just makes it look like any old blogsite.

    1. Was making some changes without taking a backup...and ended up deleting the whole template.

    2. That is somewhat of a relief. I could not believe that you chose this template on purpose.


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