Holding power to account, one cartoon at a time

Political cartoonists, faced with a clampdown on free speech, turn to social media to stay true to their craft.

Perhaps Narendra Modi never liked people making fun of him. But when he was the chief minister of Gujarat, he didn’t always make it as obvious.

Yogesh Solanki—pen name “Yom”—calls that period “the happy days”. As a political cartoonist with Sandesh, a leading Gujarati newspaper, he would lampoon the chief minister quite often. He once drew a cartoon showing Modi as the Roman emperor Nero, playing the harmonium as everything around him burns. Another time, he caricatured the Vibrant Gujarat investment summit, saying Modi was “#1 on claims but zero in delivery”.

“I faced no trouble for either work,” he …


Omkar Khandekar

Omkar specializes in long-form narrative features and has reported from India, the UK, Germany and the Maldives. He writes across beats, from politics and crime to cinema and sports. His works have been published in Indian and international outlets including The Caravan, Mint Lounge, the BBC, Al Jazeera and The Huffington Post.

Senior Features Writer