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Last News:Cartoonist Ramamurthy passes away
Self cartoon by Ramamurthy

Deccan Herald News Service [WEDNESDAY, Mar 24, 2004] Delhi: Noted cartoonist of national and international fame B V Ramamurthy died in New Delhi past Tuesday midnight at 12.30 am, family sources said. The famed cartoonist of the Deccan Herald-Prajavani group had won several awards for his lasting contribution to the field of journalism through his cartoons. He was in the field of journalism for around 50 years. His creation, Mr Citizen, depicted the comman man’s agony and problems besides portraying political developments everyday, earning him reputation across the country..

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Remembering Ramamurthy ... condolence messages!

The last lines ... (Courtsey:Deccan Herald)

March 24, 2004

Mr. Citizen

by Ramamurthy

Major non-Nato ally status conferred
on Pak by US should make the country ‘feel good’ with a ‘bang’! 

The Obituary:

He left his footprints
on the sands of time

KRISHNA VATTAM
(Courtsey:Deccan Herald)

Apart from the personal contacts I have had with my esteem colleague, Ramamurthy, I have known him more intimately through his cartoons, which in my opinion, place him in the roll of honour of distinguished cartoonists. The uniqueness of Ramamurthy lies in the fact that he successfully retained Karnataka’s identity through the characterisation and personality of Mr Citizen.

This great cartoonist truly reflected the vision and character of Deccan Herald. He made us see the world around us through his inimitable sketches and crisp comments. Ramamurthy has also given a distinct view to Deccan Herald and to the daily’s wholesome news.

If Malgudi has been the creation of R K Narayan, Mr Citizen is that of Ramamurthy. The commonality in the approach of these two - a great writer and a reputed cartoonist - has been the profundity in capturing the mood of the common man and the elite alike. Mr Citizen has been a witness to the changing times and epoch-making events that have unfolded during the last four decades and have crowded the pages of contemporary history. While political analysts sometimes strive laboriously to bring home the core of the subject and the character they are dealing with, Ramamurthy conveys his message in one sentence.

His interaction with colleagues were lively. Both of us used to be benefited by these interactions. He never pretended to know about which he had no knowledge. He has left his foot-prints on the sands of time, dexterously capsuling the contemporaneous events and expressing them through his chosen medium.

Photo:K.Murali Kumar

The Obituary:

He was an interesting, popular citizen

RASHEED KAPPAN
(Courtsey:The Hindu )

Apr14, 2004
For the newspaper readers of Karnataka, the cartoon character "Mr. Citizen" was a must-see every morning. They watched him listen to people around him talk aloud about the world, and make comments galore laced with wit, sarcasm and hypocrisy. That diminutive character, which entertained them, pricked their conscience, triggered discussions aplenty, is now silent. His creator, B.V. Ramamurthy will draw no more. Forty-nine years is a long innings for an in-house cartoonist. Ramamurthy served the Deccan Herald for many years, occupying a corner on the front page. Frequently, he invaded the front fold of the daily, spreading across five columns to add a big punch to the news. Readers identified with Mr. Citizen. Their attachment was so intense that when Ramamurthy tried to take off Mr. Citizen's traditional "Peta," the daily was flooded with angry letters. "The readers were so much concerned, so attached to that character," recalls Narendra, a veteran cartoonist himself. To recognise Ramamurthy's contribution to the society and the art of cartooning, the Karnataka Cartoonists Association has proposed a museum of his original cartoons. "We will approach the next Government to seek funds for the project. A similar museum was set up in Andhra Pradesh for cartoonist, Bapu, with the State Government's support there," Mr. Narendra said. The former editor of the daily, K.N. Harikumar, recalls how readers used to identify with Ramamurthy's and Mr. Citizen's "running commentary" on life, its hypocrisies and the associated problems. "He had a very personal vision of life. His cartoons were very specific. He moulded public perception." The Karnataka Media Academy president, N. Arjun Dev, has a theory about Ramamurthy and why his cartoons found an instant rapport with the readers. "He was not one to stay in the ivory towers". His efforts were earthy, identifiable by the ordinary man on the street and the middle class. Ramamurthy, says Mr. Dev, learnt cartooning on his own. "Something like what Ekalavya did." The self-taught art was his weapon to make observations on politics and economics, the rich and the poor, the boring and the eminently interesting. "Ramamurthy did not spare even journalists," recalls Mr. Dev. For all his contributions to journalism and society, a Rajyotsava award did not come Ramamurthy's way. Nor did the TSR award. "The TSR award is poorer by not being conferred on Ramamurthy," said Mr. A. Jayaram, Chief of Bureau, The Hindu , Bangalore, at a condolence meeting. A Science graduate from the St. Joseph's College here, Ramamurthy started his career as a cartoonist in Kidi, a Kannada newspaper known for its satire, wit and barbed writings. Ramamurthy attracted international attention for his drawings in the early 1980s for "Grin of the Year." Among his popular efforts was his lampooning of the former U.S. President, Jimmy Carter, whose features were a delight for the cartoonists.

He inspired me

Prashanth Klukarni
President: Cartoonist's Combine

It came to me as a rude shock, I started drawing cartoon lines because I used to see his daily pocket cartoons, political cartoons and Illustrations.
… He inspired me!!
I never thought I'd be able to meet him to express my feelings. But few years back, in Hyderabad, I saw him early in the morning in a hotel, having breakfast. I immediately rushed to him and expressed my gratitude.
I was very nervous to talk to such a great person. To my surprise, he was very humble, unassuming and down to earth person. We talked for a long time. I always thought one day I'd invite him to mumbai for some function. I am very upset. In this hour of sadness my heartfelt condolence are with his bereaved family. Sir, Ramamurthy, thanks for your extraordinary style.

B-404 Avon majesty, Dattapada Road, Opp. Spl. Steel Borivali (E), MUMBAI - 4000066 Ph. (022) 28548876

Cartoon by Prasnath Kulkarni

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