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Best of Last Laughs 2021: From Covid & political rallies to farm laws’ repeal, and back again

The best cartoons of the year, chosen by the editors at ThePrint.

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The selected cartoons appeared first in other publications, either in print or online, or on social media and are credited appropriately.

As 2021 comes to an end, ThePrint brings you a round-up of the best cartoons of the year.

Kirtish Bhatt | BBC News Hindi

27 January: Kirtish Bhatt drew on the slogan of ‘Jai Jawaan, Jai Kisaan’ to depict the violence that broke out during the farmers’ tractor rally in Delhi on Republic Day, with both sides trying to ‘stop’ each other.

Irshad Kaptan | Facebook

17 February: Irshad Kaptan had this take on the rising unemployment as well as fuel prices. The man driving the car says he has hired an unemployed man to push it everywhere, since it saves fuel.

Manjul | Firstpost

14 April: Manjul pointed out the irony of the Delhi High Court ruling that mandated wearing masks even if there’s just one person in a car, at a time when political leaders continued to flout Covid norms during election rallies in poll-bound states. With elections in five states coming up soon and Covid cases rising again, the cartoon is still relevant today.

Sandeep Adhwaryu | The Times of India

22 April: As the second wave of Covid-19 began sweeping through India, leaving people gasping for oxygen and hospital beds, Sandeep Adhwaryu’s heart-rending illustration held a lesson for the people and politicians of India, that life itself is greater than squabbling about religion.


E P Unny | The Indian Express

25 June: On the 46th anniversary of the imposition of the Emergency, E.P. Unny drew a parallel between that and the many people slapped with the stringent anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and the sedition law (Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code).

P. Mahamud | Twitter

3 July: P. Mahamud weighed in on the hike in prices of cooking gas across the country amid record high fuel prices, and also poked fun at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s past advice for the country’s youth to ‘sell pakodas’.

Satish Acharya | Twitter

31 July: Satish Acharya’s multi-layered cartoon addressed a host of issues, from fuel prices to Covid to the utilisation of government funds to even question-marks over PM Modi’s photo on the vaccine certificates.

R Prasad | Economic Times

1 October: While joining the Congress, former JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar said the party must be saved for smaller ships to survive. R. Prasad used that to mock the high command, suggesting that when the Congress’ boat springs a leak, it looks like a fountain to Rahul Gandhi.

Sajith Kumar | Deccan Herald

29 October: Sajith Kumar mocked the Narcotics Control Bureau, signifying that it was high on its newfound spotlight in the Aryan Khan case. Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan was arrested on 2 October in an alleged drug bust on a cruise ship, and was granted bail only towards the end of the month by the Bombay High Court.

Alok Nirantar | Sakal Media Group

19 November: Alok Nirantar had this sharp take on the BJP-led central government’s decision to roll back the three contentious farm laws, over which farmers had been protesting for over a year. He also illustrated Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath heaving a sigh of relief when PM Modi made his U-turn, with reference to the upcoming assembly elections in the state.

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