Bajrang Dal targets Sahmat’s Punchline exhibition in Pune


We strongly disapprove of the strong-arm tactics sought to be employed by the Bajrang Dal workers in Pune on June 19 against the cartoons exhibition Punch Line.

The exhibition of cartoons, published between November 1992 to January 1993 in all the major newspapers of the country, through the use of satire, humour and irony, makes a pithy comment on the state of affairs in the country. Characteristically, it spares no one.

The Bajrang Dal activists, sporting saffron dupattas, demanded removal of the cartoons lampooning Advani. They threatened use of force, but had to retract in the face of determined opposition.

The incident once again demonstrates the intolerance of a section that seeks to impose a narrow view on all creative endeavour in India. The very genre of cartooning will lose all meaning if it is to be dictated to by hoodlums.


It may be recalled that the exhibition was inaugurated in Delhi at Gandhi Smriti on January 30 this year, and has since travelled to Kerala, Karnataka and Tamilnadu. It has evoked a positive response in all these places.

Signed, among others, by:
Abu Abraham (cartoonist), Rajinder Puri (cartoonist, Statesman), Unny (cartoonist, Economic Times), Ravi Shankar (cartoonist, India Today), Sudhir Tailang (cartoonist, Hindustan Times), Irfan (cartoonist, Navbharat Times), Paresh (cartoonist, National Herald), Irfan Husain (cartoonist, Pioneer), Madhukar Upadhyaya (BBC correspondent and editor, Punchline), S.P. Singh ((Editor, Telegraph), Sadanand Menon (Economic Times), Praful Bidwai  (Senior Columnist), Manglesh Dabral (Senior Columnist)