Tooning Tarun Tejpal’s Toxic Tale + Jaldi 5 with Hemant Morparia

28 Nov,2013


There’s been a lot spoken and written about the young journalist being subjected to sexual assault (rape as per the law). Many mails have been leaked, some officially released. Many statements have been made. And there’s been the resignation later from managing editor Shoma Chaudhury earlier today (Nov 28).


We present here five cartoons by Hemant Morparia, one of India’s best known editorial cartoonists, who draws a daily pocket cartoon for Mumbai Mirror and group publications. These, according to us, tell give us a view that’s sharper and thought-provoking than a lot that we’ve heard and read so far.


There’s also a Jaldi 5 Q&A with him alongside  the toons.



Jaldi 5 with Hemant Morparia: The seedy is not necessarily as Sleazy as the Mainstream can be

Hemant Morparia is one of India’s best known editorial cartoonists. Other than a daily pocket for Mumbai Mirror, he toons for various Indian and international publications. When he not drawing, he’s into photography, travelling, archery and assorted reading. He’s also a radiologist and sonologist at Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital.


01. They’re funny, but given the nature of the event, you can’t really laugh on viewing the five toons you have drawn thus far on the Tarun Tejpal episode. The one on the ladies bar is perhaps the most telling comment on the state of safety.

That is my favourite of the lot. Sort of speaks my view that the seedy is not necessarily as sleazy as the mainstream can be. It’s hypocrisy that makes one think so.


02. What happened to the young journalist is reprehensible. But what made things worse was that the assailant was allegedly her boss, someone who has been revered in journalistic and activist circles. From the point of view of an observer of news events, do you think this possibly rates as one of the worst acts of the powerful in our country in recent times?

That jobs and promotions could be linked to ‘giving in’ is equivalent to trafficking by the perpetrator. One is making an employee a whore, by force – so it’s a grave crime. I have no problems with consensual encounters without professional inducement or threat.


03. Would you now see people doubting all the rich, powerful and famous. As in when you meet Editor X and Y, will you now be asking yourself whether he (or even she) could be in indulging in such acts?

This is as old as time. Nothing shocking here. All humans are potentially capable of depravity anyway imho.


04. Many well-known cartoonists and commentators have been muted in their response on this episode.  Possibly because they know him? Didn’t you feel the same? No more invites to Thinkfests? If you had been drawing for Tehelka, would you have done the same?

The test for any commentator is how he sticks to his point of view honestly, without fear or favour. Personal equations colouring views will be the beginning of the end for him.


4a. You attended the first Thinkfest. Regret having attended that? If invited, and if organized by the same set of people, will you attend it?

There’s no reason to regret. I won’t attend in future. Probably won’t exist in future, anyway.


05. On a lighter note, Do you really think there could be a day in India when we’ll have separate elevators for men and women?

Ha ha! Someone commented on Twitter that such already exist in Saudi Arabia. Well, it would be safer for both sexes you know. The decent male, due to the pervading issues connected to some bad apples of his gender, is a beleaguered creature today. In this charged atmosphere, false accusations could rise too.



Reproduced here with permission from Hemant Morparia. All cartoons published in Mumbai Mirror on dates mentioned along with the cartoons. 


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