Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday paid tribute to late cartoonist P.K.S. Kutty and said the country should return to the 'Nehruvian times' and cultivate a temper which welcomed criticism.
"The job of a cartoonist is to convey important social messages by using humour as a tool," Mukherjee said during a function organized to pay homage to cartoonist Kutty at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Mukherjee said: "Laughter is a stress buster for the public as well as the politician. The cartoon reminds the public that the ruler is as fallible and human as they are."
He said cartoonists hold up the mirror to our public life and help us as a nation to see ourselves.
Mukherjee said: "We, as a country, must return to the Nehruvian times; cultivate a temper which welcomes criticism, where comment is free but facts are held sacred. "
Remembering Kutty, the President said as a person from Kerala, who lived in Delhi and drew cartoons for Bengali newspapers (even though he spoke no Bengali), Kutty was a quintessential Indian.
The President called upon the cartoonist fraternity of India to keep Shri Kutty's memory alive by excelling in their chosen craft.
Mukherjee said: "His life and works were not limited by linguistic or State boundaries. I call upon the cartoonist fraternity of India to keep his memory alive by excelling in their chosen craft."
On the occasion, a coffee table book having a collection of cartoons 'Cartoon Pranam' was presented to the President of India.
Pertinently, Kutty, died on Oct 22 last year at age 90.