Monday, May 27, 2024

political cartoonist ajit ninan passes away at 68

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“He did not lean toward any political ideology but he would always ensure that his cartoons were politically correct,” shares cartoonist Jayanto Banerjee, who worked alongside Ninan at India Today and Target Magazine.

Ajit Ninan passed away in Mysuru on Friday at the age of 68.

As a political satirist, Ajit Ninan had one motto — to make people laugh — a trait that he developed as a child when he would draw caricatures to amuse his friends.

Ninan was born on May 15,1955, in Andhra Pradesh, to AM Mathew and Annie Mathew. He studied at Madras Christian College, Chennai, from 1972 to 1977. 

Ninan pursued a BA and MA in Political Science to better understand the political system of the country and avoid any faux pau in his work.

Being born into a Christian family, Ninan did not believe in any organised religion but spoke a force that binds the entire universe.

In 1986, he received the Sanskriti Award for Journalism and was selected by the United Nations International Procurement Seminars to be the official cartoonist for all its conference newspapers in Rio, Copenhagen, Austria, Cairo and China.

The Indian Institute of Cartoonists presented Ninan with the Barton Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.

In a 2016 interview with SBS, Ninan also spoke of how two of his cartoons landed him into controversy.

One where he depicted Rajiv Gandhi as the Pope, wearing the Congress’ electoral symbol of the palm instead of the crucifix.

Another, where he juxtaposed the map of India as Lord Ganesha with political overtones.

During his time working for Target Magazine, Ninan began Detective Moochwala, a series about a fictitious detective and his dog Pooch, who would solve crimes using high-tech equipment. 

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