Renowned cartoonist Mangesh Tendulkar passed away on Monday in Pune. He was 83. Tendulkar was suffering from bladder cancer for the last three years and was admitted to Ruby Hall Clinic on Sunday after he complained of pain.
Tendulkar was one of the most decorated cartoonists in India. He was conferred with the president’s medal in 1980, Marathi Natya Parishad Award in 1993 and Pulotsav award in 2003 among several other honours. Even when he was in his mid-60s, he was making efforts to create awareness about traffic norms among commuters. His cartoons were displayed at traffic signals and targeted, among others, two-wheeler riders. The cartoons were even displayed at Kothrud in Pune, near his residence. Tendulkar often used satire in his cartoons to give social messages and even called himself a satirist (vyang chitrakar).
“How other people must be looking at me as a cartoonist? This question has entertained me for a long long time. Sometimes with up-side-down view, sometimes distorting normal things beyond recognition, sometimes fighting unnecessary battles, sometimes hyper-sensitive, sometimes very emotional, sometimes when things are beyond control, taking the refuge of the art and sometimes taking liberty of expressions higher than Statue of Liberty- Impossible to catch in words but captured in cartoons…” Tendulkar described himself on his website.
He held a philosophy that he used for his art. “Cartoon is a language which breaks through the barriers of any kind of language in the world and entertains the people in every way!” he drew this definition as the source of his drive that kept him going as a cartoonist for over half a century.
He is the brother of acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Padma Bhushan Vijay Tendulkar.