The legendary cartoonist and creator of ‘The Common Man’, R.K. Laxman, was rejected admission to J J School
of Arts in the late 1930s as his ‘drawings failed to conform to the high expectations’ of the institution.
On his 94th birth anniversary, a family member said that the Maharashtra government will erect R.K. Laxman’s memorial on the campus of the elite arts institution.
Laxman’s daughter-in-law Usha Srinivas Laxman said:
“Yes, with support of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Education Minister Vinod Tawde, the Maharashtra government has finalised the spot inside the Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art campus. It will be in a shaded location near the bungalow of another legend, the renowned writer and Nobel laureate, Rudyard Kipling.”
She added that the memorial should not be just limited to a statue which nobody will notice. It should be accessible to people from all over India and the world. Though the memorial was announced by the government after Laxman’s funeral, the location was not specified earlier.
The concept for the memorial had been submitted by Usha.
It would be in the form of a full-fledged art museum encompassing the works of Laxman, besides offering opportunities for study or research to students and art lovers.
The memorial will be a world-class global tourist attraction. “This could form the basis for all such similar memorials to Laxman in the country later. It is in the last stages of being finalised and we hope the government will make the announcement at an appropriate time,” said Usha. Laxman
was born on October 24, 1921 and died earlier this year on January 26, 2015.
His art also include sketches from the TV show ‘Malgudi Days’ which was written by his equally illustrious brother RK Narayan.
Laxman had started his career as a part-time cartoonist for local newspapers and magazines and later joined ‘The Times of India’ where the daily comic strip “You Said it” gave birth to ‘The Common Man’. Recollecting memory of Laxam, Usha added that at times, he would go and sit inside the campus of Sir J.J. School, watching people and young artists there, and get inspiration for his own artistic masterpieces.