India’s best known cartoonist dies

NEW DELHI – India’s best known cartoonist, RK Laxman, died Monday at 94 years of age after a brief illness in Pune city in western state of Maharashtra, local media reported.  

Laxman was best known for his daily cartoon with a character of the “common man,” and also caricatured the high and mighty for nearly six decades.

He was admitted to a private hospital earlier this month for urinary infection where he suffered multiple-organ failure and was put on ventilator support on Jan.18, Indo-Asian News Service reported quoting an unnamed family member.

“In a way ironic, but fitting that one of the most incisive chroniclers of the Indian Republic dies on Republic Day. Go gently, RK Laxman,” tweeted senior Indian journalist Barkha Dutt.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed his condolences. “India will miss you RK Laxman. We are grateful to you for adding the much needed humor in our lives and always bringing smiles on our faces,” Modi tweeted.

His fearless portrayal of politicians with sly humor won hearts of millions of Indians whom he represented with the character of the “common man” in the English daily, Times of India.

Laxman was born in 1924 in Mysore city in south India. Laxman’s work began to be noticed after he moved to Mumbai city and his cartoons were published by many publications in the financial capital. Despite being awarded two state awards, he remained highly critical of politicians in his cartoons.

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