My folder of unpublished cartoons

“What do you do if your cartoons don’t get published in your newspaper, day after day?”

-On May 1, 2019, Suhail Naqshbandi decided to call it quits from Greater Kashmir after four years of turning in a cartoon daily (Read his interview here)

missing file 1

A news report revealed a shocking fact:  a 63-year-old file related to Art 35A went missing from North Block.

Suhail Naqshbandi had a sheaf of unpublished cartoons which he shared with Free Speech Collective. Here’s a selection:

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The cartoons spanned a range of issues and concerns, from media bias (and media war-mongering television anchors) to the Rafale deal and missing documents, the violence and killings in the most heavily militarised zone of conflict in the Kashmir Valley, internet blocks and republic day celebrations without any public!

There were also cartoons about the Unilever Surf Excel advertisement which the rightwing protested as being anti-Hindu, the treatments meted out to Kashmiris – mass incarcerations and large-scale killings and the historic Shawl Weavers Movement of 1865 when poor Kashmiri shawl weavers were killed for protesting against the cruel taxation system of Dogra rulers, the last cartoon Naqshbandi submitted before quitting the newspaper.

Here are details of some of the cartoons featured here (text by Suhail Naqshbandi):

With the recent highway ban for civilians, a magistrate stamped and wrote on the palm of a civilian to permit him to move. It was similar to Nazi Germany where the Jews were forced to wear yellow badges.

The day the Indian army entered Kashmir in 1947 and how it translated into the current political situation.

How the Republic day pans out in Kashmir. People are confined into their homes due to restrictions and hartal, their means of communication(phones, internet) are suspended and it looks like a curfew.

Just when the Rafale controversy was bringing down the BJP, they used the airstrikes against Pakistan to push it away for electoral gains.

In 2018, a young boy was killed in cold-blood in downtown Srinagar in a pre-dawn crackdown in a locality where militants were hiding. Later, when his people were carrying his dead body for burial, the procession was tear-gassed. That is when one of his neighbours tore his shirt off in frustration and asked the police to shoot him in the chest. I saw his picture, crying with flailing arms. This posture reminded me of the Christ on the cross.

A news report revealed a shocking fact that a 63-year-old file related to Art 35A is missing from North Block. An obvious surmise is malafide intentions, like the sabotage of Kashmiri lives.

February 11th and 9th mark one the darkest days of injustice to Kashmir. Maqbool Bhat was hanged on 11th Feb and Afzal Guru on 9th Feb.

Kashmir figures amongst the top places in the world where internet is blocked very frequently.

In Nov 2018, when mainstream political parties tried to stake claim to the government, Gov. Malik cited an outlandish excuse of his Fax machine not working.

Triple Talaq bill and the faux sympathy of the BJP for muslim women.

The condition of mainstream parties in Kashmir

When the important Rafale documents are lost.

The hypocrisy of media in promoting Islamophobia.

The historic Shawl Weavers Movement when poor Kashmiri shawl weavers were killed for protesting against the cruel taxation system of Dogra rule.

This was when India decided to take up the case of Kulbushan Jadhav at ICJ. Maqbool Bhat and Afzal Guru sighed up there, wondering if they had gotten a chance of a fair trial.

In 2017, Home Minister announced 5Cs for Kashmir. This is how it translates on ground.

The fate of Kashmir Interlocutors’ Reports.

The Mehbooba Mufti government’s faltering responses to the civilian killings.

During last year’s spring, there was a series of unabated killings of youth on the brink of blooming into adulthood. And the government was gung ho about the tulip gardens.

During the infamous Kathua rape case of a 8 year old girl, the BJP and its right wing allies supported the rapists, which included a couple of ministers in the government, who were sacked after a lots of protests. But there was a campaign to reinstall them.

The newly installed Governor Malik ascribed the problem in Kashmir to lack of cinema halls and coffee shops. This on a day, when a young boy in his early twenties was killed in cold blood in Srinagar and his funeral procession was tear gassed.

The political hangings of Maqbool Bhat and Afzal Guru always have an emotional undercurrent the masses in Kashmir.

The primetime jingoistic news channels fanning anti Kashmiri sentiments especially during Pulwama aftermath.