Veteran cartoonist Pran Sharma died of cancer on Wednesday morning in a Gurgaon hospital. The 74-year-old creator of iconic Indian cartoon character Chacha Choudhary was born in Pakistan of undivided India, and did his masters in political science from Panjab University.
The World Encyclopedia of Comics anointed him the Walt Disney of India.
Pran, who saw RK Laxman and Sudhir Dar as his heroes, created comic characters including Chacha Chaudhary, Shrimatiji, Pinki, Billoo, Raman, Channi Chachi, among others. He was honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award by Indian Institute of Cartoonists in 2001. His cartoons were translated in a number of regional languages of India, including Bangla, and were popular among Bangladeshi kids well in the eighties and nineties.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to express his grief over the passing away of the cartoonist. He described Pran “as a versatile cartoonist who brought smiles on the faces of people through his rich work.”
Talking about the reason why his cartoon characters were a part of folklore, the cartoonist had said in an interview, “All of them were humble and ordinary. There were inspired from the middle-class Indian life. That made them relatable to my readers. Chacha (Chaudhary) for example could be your average Indian man on the road. Biloo was your teenage boy next door. The fact that there was nothing special about these characters made them memorable when their tale was told.”