Cartoonist Sudhir Tailang, a Padma Shri awardee who chronicled over three decades of politics through his unsparing satires and unique drawing style, died here Saturday. He was 55. Tailang succumbed to brain cancer after fighting it for almost two years. He is survived by wife Vibha and daughter Aditi Tailang. The cremation will take place at Lodhi Road Cremation Ground at 2 pm Sunday.
“He was a good friend. I would say he was a great friend of this country too,” said Sunaina Anand, director of Art Alive gallery, who organised his retrospective, Here and Now: Rajiv to Modi, in 2014.
The self-taught cartoonist reportedly started drawing at the age of five. By 10, his first cartoon was published. The Masters in English joined The Illustrated Weekly of India in 1982, followed by stints in numerous newspapers, including The Indian Express. An anecdote he often shared was a meeting in 1990s, with the then HRD minister Murli Manohar Joshi, who called Tailang to say he was upset that he had not sketched him for almost six months.
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Tailang’s daughter Aditi said she hopes to fulfil his dream of establishing a cartoon museum. “He wanted it to depict the history of cartoons,” she said.
“He used to say the tumour cannot take away the humour from me. Sadly, it took him away.”