Monday, Nov 28, 2022
Outlook.com
ESSAY

Strip The Skin

Nothing hits home better than sharp wit. The comic strip is an illustrative example.

Strip The Skin
Strip The Skin
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

People often ask me why I stopped my comic strip Suki. A better question is: “How did it get published at all?” In a culture where the birth of a daughter is regarded as a calamity and young brides are routinely murdered, what place is there for an awkward, fuzzy-haired girl whose best friend is a frog and whose favourite activity is sleeping late? If she had been a model-actress-airhostess, a hard-working mother or a sizzling chiquette in hot pants, she may have found a market today. But Suki was stubborn about resisting pressure, and meanwhile, the culture of forthrightness into which she was born died away around her.

The majority of comic strips appearing in Indian newspapers today represent a comfortable upper-middle-class Judaeo-Christian Western world. When Indian readers turn to the funny pages, they remain largely unconscious of the complex political and ethnological messages embedded within the frames. We are so used to seeing Dennis the Menace opening gifts at Christmas that we don’t say to ourselves, “Oh there’s that little Christian boy enjoying his winter solstice festival!” His cute pink face with the mop of yellow hair has become so familiar that unauthorised versions of him turn up all over India, endorsing jalebis in a small town or decorating hand-operated ferris wheels at a village mela.

Outlook Newsletters

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.