I received the Lalit (ललित) Diwali 2012 issue on November 24 2012 and was greeted by Vasant Sarwate (वसंत सरवटे) cover, now drawn for record 49th year!
It is not surprising to see the contents of it. This year, on TV at least, has been dominated by the members of The India Against Corruption Jan Andolan (IAC), most of them now 'celebrities' in their own right.
Mr. Arvind Kejriwal is at the centre of the picture. He is threatening his 'enemies' with his expose documents. I like depiction of Ms. Anjani Damania. standing just behind Mr. Kejriwal, but no less vocal.
But I like more the motley group facing the IAC is depicted, especially the ferocious looking dog and tongue-in-your-face kid. They represent what the well entrenched establishment really thinks of the new 'occupy movement', regardless of the thoughtful posturing by others there. They remind me of Mr. Burns of The Simpsons with a finger on 'the hounds' button.
Press is shown on the right side but probably belongs more on the left side of the picture. Media guy is shown smiling because regardless of what happens later he is going to win because the rise in his TRP.
Indian judiciary is watching all this with its eyes closed. It also seems to belong to almost another world- painted in pink and red. I also sense a kind of smugness that comes with a feeling that in the end all this will come to my backyard to decide one way or the other.
And people like us are watching all this...they seem more bemused than sad or anxious. It's as if they have come to watch a street circus show (डोंबाऱ्याचा खेळ).
This picture is in contrast with the last year's picture of Sarwate on Anna Hazare's 'occupy movement'. There was more hope there in a seemingly hopeless situation. It reminded me of India's freedom movement. There was idealism on march there.
Artist: Vasant Sarwate, Lalit (ललित), November-December 2011
To view Sarwate's Lalit Diwali covers of the past few years, click on the respective year 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007