K Surendran| Photo: Mathrubhumi
Kochi: The BJP on Saturday condemned the decision of the Kerala Lalit Kala Akademi to select for honourable mention a cartoon that the saffron party said was humiliating the country.
Criticising the Akademi, BJP State chief K Surendran said if those holding responsible positions are trying to insult and humiliate their own country, those who love the country would not have to think twice to oppose it.
Akademi had some days ago selected a cartoon by Anoop Radhakrishnan for honourable mention. The cartoon shows representatives of various countries attending a COVID-19 medical summit in which the Indian representative is depicted as a cow with an orange shawl draping it.
"Those in power should take steps to check such injustice or else people will have to intervene to end it," Surendran posted on the social media.
The chairman of the Akademi Nemom Pushparaj told PTI that it was an eminent jury consisting of well-known cartoonists that selected the cartoon for the award.
"It was an eminent jury which has selected the cartoon and we have no role in it. Earlier, the Akademi had given an award for a cartoon which had criticised our Chief Minister," Pushparaj said.
Dinraj of Valapad has won the State cartoon award 2019-20 instituted by the Akademi for his cartoon titled 'Raja and Maharaja'.
Radhakrishnan of Ponnurunni and Ratheesh Ravi of Perumanoor were selected for honourable mention. The awards carry Rs 25,000 and a citation each. In all, 59 entries were received for the award and 32 were shortlisted. In 2019, a row broke out in Kerala over the Akademi honouring a cartoon depicting bishop Franco Mulakkal as a rooster and alluding to the charge of rape against him with the Church condemning it as vulgar and saying it amounted to humiliating Christian symbols.