You Said It – ‘UNcommon Man’

Mr.R K Laxman is one of the greatest of all cartoonist of modern India. He is credited with the creation of a cartoon which later went on to symbolize the common man of India. His other work included creation of mascot for Asian Paints and also illustrations for the all time favourite Malgudi Days. His cartoons were published daily under the column You Said It in Times of India for more than five decades.

The one and only thing which I don’t like about his work is the creation of Common Man and also the term Common Man which is so freely used to encompass the 100 Crore+ population of India. Why would we want to be described as ‘Common’ in first place. I refuse to be termed common for I strongly believe everyone is special and unique. Also the appearance of the common man seems to represent a person twice or thrice the collective age of the youth of the nation. More than 75% of population of India is below 30 years.

Why would such a youthful population want to be represented by a person in the guise of a common man. The picture drawn of the Common Man is a very sorry picture and his facial expressions only reflects amusement towards various scams and unhealthy practices unfolding in our country. What the picture fails to capture is the anguish, hope, vision, rebirth, vibrancy, achievement of India.

Yes, I agree that the common man is only a symbol used in newspaper to highlight in pictorial nature of the events unfolding in our surroundings. But the continuous use of the phrase – Common Man and of the picture is an insult to all the people who work hard daily to earn their livelihood. The rise of the phrase of ‘Common Man’ and also of the picture is not anyone’s fault. And no one can or rather should be blamed for it. But it is time we reinvent a new identity, a mascot ,which will sum up the qualities of a new India.


About Sumukh Naik

Namaste! Greetings from India! I am Author of 'Age Of Hiblisk', voracious reader & Human Resources professional. I like to keep things simple, very down to earth and believes in the message of spreading love and peace. My blogs are a reflection of the world around me. Please visit for more details 'Age Of Hiblisk' (Hardcopy / Kindle ) can be purchased at DISCOUNTED rates from: / (For Indian and Non Indian residents) I also define myself as a 'Soul Explorer'
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4 Responses to You Said It – ‘UNcommon Man’

  1. A Uncommon post!
    I go by the comments of Harish that we are all common in the we are responding to the challenges facing our nation,
    Regarding the picture of common man, its just a caricature intended for laughter while driving through the point!

    Keep writing

    • Sumukh Naik says:

      I only wanted to highlight the daily brain washing being carried out of the citizens of this mighty country by the frequent usage of the term – ‘Common Man’. The term might have had value 2-3 decades ago but not any more. Today’s India is challenging and conquering all fields that are touched by human mind, psyche and emotion. We should refer to ourselves and our countrymen as Might Indians – Proud owners of a legacy which spans more than 10000 years.

      Thanks a lot for stopping by and dropping in your valuable comment.

      Keep Writing!

  2. Harish says:


    A nice article on a nice occassion when just Mr. R . K. Laxman celebrated his birthday. I feel that the cartoonist is very critic in nature and he is directly hitting all the people of the country (which you say are unique and uncommon) that all the scams, bad deeds are happening in front of them but they are not doing anything and just watching from some corner….they are common bcoz…..they dont react….they dont take action…….they dont protest……they just take the things the way they are done by the politicians….just as how the 100 + crore population of india is just watching……
    The cartoonist is really true by saying all of us are common bcoz we are not doing any uncommon things pertaining to the subject of his cartoon



    • Sumukh Naik says:

      True, but I am opposed to the idea of being labelled like a simple ‘Common Man’. It is the so called common man who is driving the high growth story for the government. It is the so called common man whose siblings, kids are posted on the borders for protection, it is the so called common man who has helped India become a superpower on the frontiers of space, military, wepon capability, industrial groth and so on. Being branded as Commom Man may have been in vouge 20 years back but now we are steering the country to new frontiers. I strongly feel that it is time we re invent a new mascot or a symbol like the ‘Ashok Chakra’ and the ‘Ashok Stambh’. A symbol which will represent the vision of the Greater India’.

      Please refer my previous blog on Hon. MP Shashi Tharoor’s speech in parliament delivered on 15.03.2011. You will get greater insights of what exactly I am talking about.

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