100 years of cartooning …

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( Kollam (Quilon), Kerala, to commemorate 100 years of cartooning with a two-days Cartoonists’ Conclave on February 23, 24, 2019. Mr.Subhani presented this speech.)

‘I am very happy to be here with you on this wonderful  occasion… I am very glad and happy to learn that the Kerala’s first cartoon was originated in Kollam, kerala. I would like to congratulate to eminent cartoonist  Sukumaran Potti and cartoonist  Sudheer  for their research on first Malayalam cartoon, published a hundred years ago. Sarcastically titled “Mahakshaamadevatha” , by   P.S. Govindan Pillai .

Talisatti Rama Rao was the first Telugu cartoonist whose cartoon appeared in the monthly magazine Bharati  in 1930. In our states, cartooning became popular only after Bapu, one of pioneers of Telugu cartoon,  became extremely popular with his humorous and satirical cartoons on social subjects. His cartoons were published in monthly and weekly magazines.

On the other hand, the vernacular newspapers published translations of political cartoons of noted Indian cartoonists Shankar Pillai, Abu Abraham and O.Vijayan, Mario de Miranda , which were mostly published in English newspapers.

Subhani at Cartoon Conclave, Kollam, Kerala

Slowly the local newspapers started having their own political cartoonists like Papa Eenadu , EVR Andhra jyothi, TV Vishalandra, Mohan Udayam , Shyam Mohan Andhra jyothi …  presently Sridhar, Surendra, Shankar, Narsim, Mrutunjay, Rakesh, Rajashekhar and me working in various newspapers .

Many Telugu cartoonists like Jaydev Babu, Shyam Mohan, Shankar and me, participated in many International Cartoon Festivals and won several prizes and awards.

At present, there are more than 100 amateur cartoonists in AP, Telangana. Most of them are contributing their cartoons to weekly and monthly magazines. But there is a dearth of political cartoonists in the newspaper industry, still many news papers in AP, Telangana don’t have a cartoonist. Unfortunately, even senior cartoonists are slowly quitting the profession, and many young cartoonists today prefer other lucrative avenues like the animation industry.

Even though Hyderabad is the capital of a Telugu state, Urdu is very  common in Hyderabad and surrounding districts. It is spoken largely by the Muslim population and is known as “Deccani Urdu” which is slightly different  from Urdu of Lucknow and other parts of north India.

It is the native language of the Hyderabadi Muslims. It contains loan words from Indian languages like Telugu, Kannada, Marathi and foreign languages like Arabic, Turkish and Persian. Despite its absurdity, this dialect is cherished by people of all walks living in Hyderabad.

The Hindi comedian Mahmood did his bit for popularising the Hyderabadi lingo in his various films.  It gained prominence after the release of comedy films like — The Angrez and Hyderabadi Nawabs. There are many Urdu humour magazines in Hyderabad like Shugoofa, that regularly carry my cartoons.Hau, Hallu Hallu, Nakko puch, parsoon  parson, Kahan hai re tu?  Do minute me atun… if you are a Hyderabadi, you can understand this even they are Hindi words. In the following cartoons I intend to showcase the great city and its language in a humorous way….’’

( Subhani, is cartoonist  in  Deccan Chronicle Group of publications, which has its headquarters in Hyderabad, Telangana, one of two Telugu states.)


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