Jawaharlal Nehru enjoyed a hearty laugh-often at his own expense. Without his humour, he could not have been so buoyant and creative. He loved to spar with persons who had a gift for witty repartee. He relished the company of those who could simultaneously see the light as well as the serious aspects of life.
Cartoonists have become an integral part of the intellectual life of a modern society. Some draw without intent to draw blood; some remove masks and hold a mirror to the face of society. There cannot be a cartoon without a certain amount of irreverence. But it depends on the cartoonist whether the irreverence aims at malice or irony. Shankar was at the height of his powers as a social and political commentator during the last phase of the struggle for independence and during Jawaharlal Nehru's prime ministership - which were also the years when the promise of independence was redeemed. Shankar was not afraid to wound if there was reason to do so. From Jawaharlal Nehru he got affection and even indulgence.
The title of this collection is indicative of Jawaharlal Nehru's own attitude to life. Turning over its pages, we relive the controversies of yesterday-the vanities of some, and the intrinsic strength of the man who stood above them in large-heartedness, ability and vision.
July 2, 1983
Shankar, as a political cartoonist, had drawn some 1,500 cartoons of Jawaharlal Nehru, the bulk of them in Shankar's Weekly. In this compilation is put together a cross-section of them, nearly 400, from the Weekly.
The volume is entitled "Don't Spare Me, Shankar". These were Nehru's words to Shankar when he inaugurated Shankar' Weekly in May 1948. And Shankar did not.
Set out in chronological order, the cartoons show the Nehru Era as Shankar saw it unfold itself. In them he has succeeded in capturing the essence of Nehru-the Prime Minister, the statesman, the visionary, the man.
The cartoons, together with their titles and captions, are reproduced as originally published. Footnotes have been added, where necessary, to refresh one's memory. They are mostly in the nature of an enumeration of personalities figuring in the cartoons.
At the end of this volume is an index of these personalities with brief sketches to enable a better appreciation of what were essentially topical cartoons.
We record here our deep debt of gratitude to the veteran journalist, the late Shri M. Chalapathi Rau, for his invaluable advice in the compilation of this volume.
Item Code: IDG485 Author: Jawaharlal Nehru Cover: Hardcover Edition: 2002 Publisher: Children's Book Trust ISBN: 8070111579 Size: 8.5" X 10.5" Pages: 400 (B & W Illus: 400)