Ekanath Padmanabhan Unny and Rahul DaCunha discussed RK Laxman’s legacy on his centenary at a session titled An UnCommon Man on Day 2 of the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet, held in association with The Telegraph, at GD Birla Sabhaghar on Wednesday.
Unni is a veteran political cartoonist and DaCunha heads the team that creates topical Amul ads with the polka-dotted girl. Balaji Vittal, author and the moderator (right), asked if the speakers had faced “pushbacks from politicians”.
Unni said: “The newspaper (he worked for) has got letters. People have said to my editor in person that they don’t look like that. That’s a compliment to a caricaturist. If a target disowns you, then you have got it right.”
Vittal asked about the “similarities and differences” between Laxman’s Common Man and Amul’s “common girl”.
“One big difference was that the common man was the brainchild of a cartoonist who was primarily political. He commented on what the common man was going through. The butter girl is representing a brand. Every tagline has to resonate with what’s reflected in India across politics, Bollywood, sports and international affairs. The common man never spoke, he was observing, eavesdropping. The Amul girl is a commentator, conscience, cheerleader,” said DaCunha.