Continued from here.
When I saw the cartoon - and at the time I googled, there were only 3 images available - I spontaneously recoiled at the violence in the cartoon. I had to check again and again to confirm if it was indeed the controversial one because the cartoon was so plainly disgusting that I could not see why there should be two sides about it. It did not merit discussion before condemning it. The violence of the whip, the violence against Dr Ambedkar and the obvious symbolisms conveyed themselves so starkly that I did not have to think twice about what was wrong with it. I needed no discussions, or read any posts to convince me that the cartoon was an act of upper caste violence. And I am surprised that instead of unequivocally condemning it, apologizing for the violence, and rushing to make amends, many are still discussing it, hoping to justify the cartoon, and forcing those who lack the funny bone to get one. I think the controversy is about the gaze. Is yours an upper caste gaze? You may not feel so violated after all.
- Sruthi Herbert, a friend, writes in Facebook on NCERT textbook cartoon controversy
I think the controversy is about the gaze. Is yours an upper-caste gaze?
On 13th May, a couple of days after the controversy on Dr Ambedkar's cartoon in NCERT Text Book had erupted in the Indian parliament, a PhD student from JNU, New Delhi, himself a brilliant cartoonist, Unnamati Syama Sundar posted a cartoon made by K. Shankar Pillai which was published originally in 1933, in 'Hindustan Times', an English daily. This cartoon was later reproduced in Telugu newspaper 'Krishna Patrika' with accompanying text that says:
M.K. Acharya is trying to increase the taint of untouchability in Hinduism and M.K. Gandhi is trying to clean it, whereas B.R. Ambedkar is trying to break the foundations of Hinduism called Varnashram, while the Western society is laughing at the whole situation.
Unnamati posted the scanned copy of this cartoon, taken from the Telugu newspaper, on his Facebook profile without leaving any interpretation of his own. Instantly, this cartoon became an internet rage, getting hundreds of "likes" and massive "sharing" on the social networking site and a little later it got picked up by various websites, blogs too.