May 26, 2020
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R K Laxman

On his latest book, The Best of Laxman: The Common Man in the New Millennium

R K Laxman

What makes your common man so endearing?
My common man is omnipresent. His simple dhoti and checked coat could be anybody's. His bald head could belong anywhere... his dhoti could be the Malayali mundu too.

What, then, are his strengths?
He's been silent all these 50 years. He simply listens.

He is symbolic.
Yes, through him I want to present the lighter side of life.

So do we see your common man changing in the new millennium?
Change? Does the colour of the sky change ever? My symbol will never change.

Are you disappointed with India?
I will never migrate to America in spite of all the paradoxes and contradictions.

You say this as a cartoonist.
Look at America. It is full of stereotypes-same suit, same tie.

And our politicians have only helped you.
I am grateful to our politicians. They have not taken care of the country, but me.

What are the issues, you think, facing the country today?
There are so many-no schools, unemployment and children going without food etc.

Have your cartoons ever offended any politician?
No, most of them say they like my work. In any case, I don't get to meet them.

What are you working on now?
My book Servants of India. It's about peons, maids, cooks, drivers and others like them.

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