Kochi : The renowned king of political cartoons, Yesudasan, passes away aged 83 while under treatment for Covid at a private hospital in Kochi.
Yesudasan was born close to Bharanikavu in Mavelikara. He took up cartoonin on completion of his BSc degree. The first cartoon depicted U.S. State Secretary John Douglas dancing with atomic bomb in hand – a leader the world branded as ‘war- hungry’ at the time. That 1955 cartoon appeared in a tourism magazine “Ashoka” published by news journalist KP Panthalam from Kottayam.
Yesudasan continued to make political statements through cartoon series “Chandu” in Janayugom magazine. “Kittumamman” cartoons of Janayugom daily became Malayali’s first pocket edition. Yesudasan’s other creations comprised “Mrs. Nair” in Vanita magazine, “Ponamma Superintend” in Manorama, “Juba Chetan” etc.
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In 1963, Yesudasan joined Shankar’s Weekly as Shankar’s disciple. After a stint at political cartoons until Emergency, Yesudasan returned to Kerala, whereupon Rajya Sabha member C Achutha Menon asked him to take charge as editor of children’s Malayalam magazine “Balyugom”. In line with Shankar’s Weekly, Yesudasan came out with several publications including people’s all-time favourite political satire “Asadhu”, cinema humor magazine Cut-Cut, Tak-Tak, Sadhu and so forth.
Later in 1985, Yesudasan stopped publications and joined Manorama daily and worked as staff-cartoonist for 23 years, following which, he joined Metro Vartha and later Deshabhimani, where he illustrated cartoon strip daily.
Yesudasan was founder-president of Kerala Cartoon Academy and als served as president of Kerala Fine Arts Academy. The renowned cartoonist also contributed illustrations to English and Hindi publications.
In 1984 Yesudasan wrote screen dialogue for the movie “Panchavadi Palam”. He also was script writer for A.T. Abu-directed movie “Ente Ponnu Thamburan” in 1992. Yesudasan was honoured with Swadeshabhimani Kesari Award in 1919 and was also recipient of Kerala State Award in 2001, 2002, 2003. Yesudasan was also conferred with National Film Academy Cartoonist Sivaram Award in 1998 and also the Bengal Lifetime Award from Indian Institute of Cartoons in 2001.
Yesudasan was son of Late John Mathai and Maria. Wife : Mercy. Chldren Sanu, Sethu, Suku. Children-in-law : Jaya, Alexi.
The funeral will take place 11 am on 7th at St. Mary’s Church in Chitoor.
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