Noted cartoonist Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Laxman who created 'The Common Man' is no more. Born on Oct 24, 1921 in Mysore he passed away on Jan 26, 2015 in Pune. A 16-feet statue of the 'Common Man' by Vivek Khatavkar in the premises of Symbiosis Institute is the symbol of Pune.
He had a penchant for painting from the very childhood, and the door, the walls and table etc. were his canvases at home. This genius blossomed into a great artist and contributed to many newspapers and journals. He published his cartoons first in Free Press Journal, where late Bal Thackrey was also a cartoonist. However, he joined Times of India in 1951 and published the daily strip 'You Said It' till the end. The entire nation waited to hear what 'You Said It' every day early in the morning. He was influenced initially by the British cartoonist David Low.
Laxman was extremely popular and was honoured by many awards like Padma Bhushan, Padma VIbhushan and Magsaysay awards in 1984. More than any award, he received love of millions across the country and beyond.
He scripted his autobiography, 'Tunnel of Time' and a few novels, too. The sketch of the common man with a checked jacket, a dhoti, Gandhian glasses and hair standing up caught the attention of everyone. His sarcasm and uncanny perception of the happenings in India, specially by the political class, brought cheers among the common people, and at the same time left the politicians at high places red faced.
His cartoons came on the way of errying politicians, and some were forced to make course corrections. R K Laxman shall be remembered for ever for his great service to the society. May his soul rest in peace.