Cartoons Are Not For Kids

When asked, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee also endorsed the stand, saying, “Cartoons are for mature minds; not for children.” [Link]

If there was any doubt that Pranab-da would make as great a President as Pratibha Tai, this line removed it.

I agree with the great Pranab-da. Cartoons are not for the younglings. Never has been. What kind of example do you think a duck that does not wear pants sets for children? Yes I am talking about “rakhta hoon main khulla” Mr Donald Duck. Popeye becomes powerful and aggressive after eating spinach. Hah. Don’t I know that’s spinach is just an euphemism for “London se sex ki goliyaan”? Is this what kids should be taught is acceptable behavior?

Cartoon Network? Call it the Playboy Channel.

As for the offensive cartoon, I think most Indians are missing the point. It’s not that our elected representatives are hypersensitive about history or care much about the tortoise. They are genuinely concerned about the act that is being shown. Yes the use of whips by one person on another. What next will our kids learn? Chains? Blindfolds? Remember, there is only one person who can legally put a gag in our mouths. Kapil Sibal.

Now that cartoons in text books have been banned, I think our politicians should expand their scope, going after disturbing images in children’s textbooks—-a toad with its legs splayed obscenely showing its excretory system, diagrams explaining mensuration and that experiment with Schrodinger’s pussy…cat.

Other pressing problems of the nation can wait.

Rather than appreciating the efforts of our elected representatives to reform our education system, the Twitterati are chattering idly about them, using language that is hardly parliamentary. The problem is simple. The depiction of politicians in popular media as corrupt greedy merchants of avarice has been so damning that people have lost all faith in these fine servants of the people…And this conclusion is only the second thing that politicians cutting across party lines almost unanimously agree on (the first of course being to increase their salaries and perks).

The MPs alleged that cartoons, like Bolywood movies were part of the conspiracy to malign the political class, and should not be part of textbooks. Cartoons should be confined to columns of newspapers, they said….SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, TKS Elangovan (DMK), Dara Singh Chauhan (BSP), M Thambidurai (AIADMK), Shatabdi Roy (Trinamool Congress), Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI), Anant Geete (Shiv Sena), Basudeb Acharia (CPI-M) and Lalu Prasad (RJD) expressed concern over the wrong depiction of politicians in a sustained manner.

Yes. Which is why I believe a committee should be formed that should ban movies which depict politicians in a bad way. With Ms. Shatabdi Roy as chairperson. They should start with…let’s see..Akhri Rasta in which the politician played by Sadashiv Amrupurkar was the Devil incarnate. Or maybe they should not. Because it starred Jaya Prada, now a politician. Or maybe they should start with Aatanka which depicted a dystopian Kolkata under the thumb of villainous political overlords. I mention Aatanka because it is a movie that Ms. Shatabdi Roy quite definitely has seen. Simply because that was her debut film.

Some may say that people hate politicians not because of how they are drawn or how they are portrayed on screen. They hate them because of how they are. But of course these people are wrong. You cant blame them though. Their minds got perverted as kids reading cartoons.

Cause cartoons are for adults only. That’s why they elect them.


39 thoughts on “Cartoons Are Not For Kids

  1. Gautam Gambhir May 16, 2012 — 2:55 am

    Doesn’t the specific cartoon suggest that Nehru is Ambedkar’s overlord and whipped into writing the constitution faster? Won’t that offend a Dalit whose forefathers have actually been meted out that treatment at some point? I agree with your article I just want to say why not confine the debate to the cartoon? Maybe it was OK for 1960s and not that tasteful today? Surely another cartoon could convey the events without the whip and all?

  2. what would be wrong with “diagrams explaining mensuration”? you do know its a branch of geometry right?

  3. I suppose it might take a while for people to realise that this is one of your most powerful articles of late.

  4. GB in top form. This is a classic.

  5. Excellent! Loved it. I still can’t stop laughing, you nailed it.

  6. Last line! Awesome!

  7. CA Harshal Parte May 16, 2012 — 6:10 am

    Great artilce GB! This should be published in all leading newspapers across the country.

  8. CA Harshal Parte May 16, 2012 — 6:10 am


  9. Instead of banning cartoons in text books, they should ban text books itself. that will make the students happy 🙂

  10. Think from a Dalit’s point of view. He’ll take that cartoon rather personally as this treatment has been meted out to his forefathers since ages. Yes, wasting Parliamentary time over the cartoon and ransacking people’s offices is criminal; but that cartoon is indeed logically distasteful for a section of the society. And No, you cant say “My logic strongest!”.

  11. Mensuration (Parimiti in Bengali) is branch of Mathematics. Don’t quite get the offensive part here.

  12. This ipad joke has been stretched too far.

  13. Anirban : he meant Menstruation.

  14. no wonder today’s generation is so depraved .. all them cartoons .. gulp

  15. @mayank: if you even think rationally for a second, you will realise how stupid you sound

  16. Gautam, Mayank,
    If you give free reign to your imagination, you can interpret just about anything you like – a vivid imagination is good only if you know when to stop.

    We now have a nice ‘fatcat’ layer of dalits who get a free ride in society, always carry a chip on their shoulder, and drive Toyota SUV’s. These are the only dalits who matter.

    The really badly off ones get no benefits, other than being brought out once in a while and paraded so that the ‘Toyota dalits’ can continue to get their freebies. This cartoon-debate is just part of the strategy, to keep the pot boiling, and the money flowing.

  17. I think that the furore created in the parliament was a waste of time and resources and there are more pressing matters that should be dealt with the kind of earnestness the politicians showed in this mtter . The only reason for the ruckus created in the parliament was to score brownie points over each other.

    Having said that i think the point pranabda wanted to make was not about caroon per se but the associated political and social commentary ,sarcasm and satire that can be shown in the cartoons and that might be a little difficult for the kids to understand.I think he might not have been able to articulate that specific point and made the general remark about cartoons.Still thre was no reason to go gung ho about this in the parliament.There are more pressing matters to be looked upon;if anything a committee of academics could have been set up to look in the matter and deal with the associate changes required.

  18. Bulls eye!

  19. Sigh. The joke is ruined by explaining. No, “mensuration” is not spelled wrong. I intentionally use it to show how something innocent that simply sounds like something else can still trigger outrage, particularly to some people looking for opportunities to be outraged.

  20. Rahul Bhattacharya May 16, 2012 — 1:02 pm

    Can’t blame Mr. Mukherjee for the comment…u have to consider that maybe SB was the only cartoon(strip) he watched earlier!! Maybe some Hentai too

  21. Sigh! Sigh! and … (still continuing)
    Even, explaining a whole lot, will not change a thing. BS!!

  22. The biggest joke that I found in the article is that Yashwant Sinha demanded the resignation of Kapil Sibal on the grounds of being responsible for anti-politician content.

  23. In this nation of a billion problems, what do our august parliamentarians discuss? Cartoons and Kali Ma beer. ’nuff said!

  24. I am neither a dalit nor a nehru supporter. But when I first saw the cartoon, it seemed barbaric. Whip is symbolic of slavery and slavery in any form is offensive.

    @Sudeep : “If you give free reign to your imagination, you can interpret just about anything you like – a vivid imagination is good only if you know when to stop.” – In this case not much is left to the imagination is it?

  25. In other (less important) news, America whips India the bad boy for not curtailing Iranian petro products, by further weakening the rupee to an all time low.

  26. If we, netizens of india, dislike anything, why dont we take any action abt it ?

  27. @ayanosh.. the cartoon features in a class 11th textbook.. nd when does a 16 year old classify as a kid who will not understand the sattire.. particulatily the new age kids who have huge access to all the material on net nd television.. by saying that it is too cliche for them we either underestimating them or we are trying to shy away from the reality..
    @mayank.. yes may be if u look at it from the dalit point of view.. but look at it from a normal percpective it is a harmless sattire on the pace of working.. now any1 can read anything between the lines nd i am sure Shankar ( cartoonist keshav shankar Pillai) did not mean to offend any dalit sentiments. given the fact that the cartoon was drawn in 1948 post independence india where entire nation rode high on gandhi’s equality nd harijan motto..

  28. A very humourous article…loved it….One of your best in recent times..

  29. A very humourous article…loved it…

  30. @SHRUTI…..First of all i was defending the comment made by pranabda and not the fuss over the ambedkar cartoon.I myself think that the hullabaloo in the parliament was needless.

    Now wrt your point about “new age kids who have huge access to all the material on net nd television” i think it is clear that we are talking about a pan india education board and that the majority may not still be the “new age kids” with “net nd television”.There can be all sorts of people with all sorts of background not the general homogeneous kids that we see around our locality.So we can use that as a reason to argue about the pranabda comment and may be even to review cartoons in the books even though they are already reviewed by eminent academics , but as as far as that particular cartoon is considered that was harmless.

  31. GB, any comment on the other cartoon row, in bengal?

  32. I pit with our politicians… If students have the right to bunk colleges and classes.. they too should have the right to bunk parliament :p

  33. * menstruation, not mensuration (line 18)


    Two kinds of asses exist. One type that tries to correct errors when they don’t exist. The second that cannot read. Advice to Nirvana Demon.

  35. ‘…diagrams explaining mensuration…” – ROFL!

  36. Tsk. I have just graduated from 12th standard. I read those books in 9th and 10th standard, those political science books(which are being asked to be reviewed). Aaj agar thodi bahut bhi political/civic sense hai, toh sirf aur sirf un books ki wajah se. They were the best books NCERT could ever make. Maybe because of the great political background of our country, and the way it has influenced everyone into thinking about it.
    Maybe you have not read them, or maybe you have not been a part of that curriculum, so you may find this a bit odd, but i actually feel like crying at the prospect of the cartoons being removed or “reviewed” from/in the books. Those books were the only milestones in Indian education. And i am not exaggerating.
    Bahut dukh hota hai….

  37. 9th and 10th civics books are being reviewed.
    Politicians think that cartoons are derogatory.
    Probability of removal of most of them.
    Those books are brilliantly written. Each page, each word is invaluable. Probably the best NCERT books i have ever read.
    Kapil Sibal says – “Will drop all offensive content.”
    Yeah right. As if we they have a very respectable image in our eyes.
    They should get offended by the response they get from us. For what they do.
    All of this shout is simply dictatorship, inhibiting freedom of speech.
    They say that such cartoons have a negative impact on children, who are too young and juvenile, and they get brainwashed. They say it is a threat to democracy.
    I ask them whether they really know what democracy means. Because the books teach us the real meaning of it through cartoons. It doesn’t give us opinions, instead it asks us what we think.
    I ask them, do they mean themselves when they say the word “threat”?

  38. I would like to express my appreciation regarding this article. Mensuration word is really funny. Thank you for sharing it!

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