It is never easy to convey humour through satire, and in a place like India it can be tougher still. There are too many holy cows here and too many quick-tempered livewires out to defend them. And yet, somehow in the face of all the menaces, political cartooning thrives.
The winners of the Maya Kamath Memorial Awards Competition 2015 illustrate this well.
The Indian Institute of Cartoonists announced the results of the contest on Tuesday, and the winners reference hot-button topics like the Bihar elections, superstition, farmer suicides and beef wars.
The Bangalore-based institute says it received 108 entries for the awards in excellence in political cartooning, 35 for best budding cartoonist award and 73 for best foreign cartoon award. These entries were judged by a four-member jury comprising playwright and actor Girish Karnad, artist SG Vasudev and cartoonists BG Gujjarappa and Satish Acharya.
Acharya, the winner of the award last year, tweeted this image:
Instituted in the year 2011 by the family of late Maya Kamath, a political cartoonist, the competition is open to all cartoonists. Participants are allowed to send a maximum of three political cartoons published in newspapers, magazines, news portals/websites between January 1 and December 31, along with the date and name of the publication in which the cartoons appeared.
Cartoons published in regional languages are to be accompanied by an English translation of the text.
Best Political Cartoons
1st prize: Alok Nirantar, Sakal Times, Pune
2nd prize: VR Ragesh, Madhyamam, Kerala
3rd prize: Gokul Gopalakrishnan, Deccan Chronicle
Special Jury Appreciation prizes
1st prize: Manoj Kureel, Santabanta.com
2nd prize: Uttam Ghosh, Rediff.com
3rd prize: Unnikrishnan, Mathrubhumi, Kerala
Best Foreign Cartoons
1st prize: Yaser Delfan, Iran
2nd prize: Makhmudjan Eshankolov, Uzbekistan
Best Budding Cartoonist
Rs 10,000 - MK Kishan, Bangalore
Pictures credit: Indian Institute of Cartoonists and Maya Kamath Memorial Awards.