Veteran cartoonist Yesudasan dies at 83

Cartoonist Yesudasan
Cartoonist Yesudasan. Photo: Manorama Archives

Kochi: Renowned cartoonist C J Yesudasan, better known mononymously as Yesudasan, passed away at Kochi on Wednesday.

The 83-year-old was cured of COVID-19 a week ago after undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Kochi. The end came at home a few days after he had left the hospital after being tested negative for the disease. 

Cartoonist Yesudasan
Cartoonist Yesudasan at Malayala Manorama's office. File photo: EV Sreekumar/Manorama Archives

Spectacular career

Yesudasan, known for his political cartoons, had been active in the field for six decades and rose to the ranks of the most prominent cartoonists in India. He was the founding chairman of the Kerala Cartoon Academy. He also served as the president of the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi.

Yesudasan made a mark with stinging cartoons while working for the Malayala Manorama daily for a long time.

Cartoonist Yesudasan
Cartoonist Yesudasan. at Manorama File photo: EV Sreekumar/Manorama Archives

Early life

C J Yesudasan was born on June 12, 1938 as the son of Chakalethu John Mathayi and Mariyamma (Achiyamma) at Bharanikavu in Mavelikkara. He did his schooling in Bharanikavu and Mavelikkara. Later, he took a degree in BSc Mathematics from the Catholicate College, Pathanamthitta. 

Association with Manorama

He worked as a staff cartoonist of Malayala Manorama from 1985 to 2010. His column "Mrs. Nair" in the 'Vanitha' magazine and pocket cartoon "Ponnamma Superintendent" in the 'Malayala Manorama weekly were very popular.

Debut in Kottayam

He started off his cartoon career in a magazine published from Kottayam. Later on, he worked in Janayugam, Sankar's Weeekly, Balayugam and Cut-Cut publications.

Yesudasan also launched publications like Tik-Tik, Tak-Tak and Asadhu.

Notable literary works

Yesudasan is the author of "Pradhama Drishti", "Aniyara", "Postmortem", "Varayile Nayanar", "Varayile Leader" and "Thazhekkirangi Varunna Zha".

He also wrote dialogues for "Panchavadipalam", the famed satirical movie directed by K G George. He also wrote script for the film "Ente Ponnu Thamburan".
Much-feted cartoonist

Yesudasan received the best cartoonist award from the Kerala Government many times. He was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Cartoonists in 2001.

He also bagged honours includingSwadeshabhimani Award, B M Gafoor Award, V Sambasivan Memorial Award, P K Manthri Memorial Award and N V Pylee Award.

He is survived by wife Mercy and children Sanu Y Das, Sethu Y Das and Sukudas.  

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