Legendary cartoonist RK Laxman passed away in Pune on Monday at the age of 94, a family member said, hours after he was put back on the ventilator following a multi-organ failure last week.”Laxman passed away at 6.50 pm,” Dr Sameer Jog of Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, said.
Creator of the iconic “common man” comic strip
The eminent journalist was best known for creating the cartoon character The Common Man, who embodied the aspirations and troubles s of generations of Indians for over half a century. He continued to sketch until a few years ago for his daily newspaper strip You Said It that regaled millions through its sharp political humor.
For millions of readers across the nation this cartoon strip represented the voice of a common man-he represented the ordinary Indian, his hopes, dreams, everyday troubles, his follies and foibles.
Satirical though RK Laxman may have been, he infused in the Common Man a humour that never bordered on the vitriolic. Perhaps, that’s why no politician really had a bone to pick with Laxman. And Laxman said on many occasions that he was grateful to Indian politicians—“they have not taken care of the country, but me,” he said in one interview
Drew Doodles on the wall even before he could read
Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Laxman was born on 24 October 1921 in Mysore. The youngest of six brothers (one of his sibling was the novelist R.K. Narayan), Laxman’s fascination with drawing started at an early age. According to his autobiography The Tunnel of Time, published in 1998, he would draw doodles on the walls of his home even before he could read. “I drew objects that caught my eye outside the window of my room—the dry twigs, leaves and lizard-like creatures crawling about, the servant chopping firewood and, of course, a number of crows in various postures on the rooftops of the buildings opposite,” Laxman wrote in his autobiography.