Today our former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh is celebrating his birthday.
Coincidentally I was browsing through my old blog and found a cartoon which brought back the memory of an incident, where I faced trouble because of Dr. Manmohan Singh’s turban.
Yes, his turban!
In June 2008, the left parties withdrew their support to the Manmohan Singh’s UPA govt over the signing of Nuclear Deal issue. As the govt was facing a trust vote, political games were unfolding at different levels.
I was working for Mid-Day as graphics editor. There was a fun lead story, comparing this political tamasha to just concluded IPL Tamasha. The story was called Indian Parliament League. I did a cartoon for the lead story showing Dr. Manmohan Singh struggling to face a bouncer from the Left parties. And the ball hits MMS on his head. It was just a fun cartoon.
Next day around noon, I received a call from my journalist-friend from Mid-Day. He told me, there’s a morcha from the Sikh Association at our Mid-Day office, protesting against the cartoon.
I was shocked! I was told that they are accusing me of insulting the Sikh community, as they thought, in the cartoon the ball has hit Manmohan Singh’s head and removed his turban!
I didn’t know what to say. It was really a tricky situation where the readers saw something else in the cartoon than what I intended!
I told him that the turban isn’t falling in the cartoon. It’s only because Manmohan Singh has a high forehead, he wears his turban little back. And cartoonists have this habit of exaggerating things. In the cartoon it looked like the turban is falling!
Luckily my editor at Mid-Day had a meeting with the protesting crowd, consoled them and they went back peacefully.
Every time I draw Dr. Manmohan Singh’s turban (I did draw hundreds of cartoons of him during UPA rule, this amusing incident comes back bringing a smile!