Sudhir Dar (born 1934) is an Indian cartoonist, one of the 'second generation' of editorial cartoonists, active mainly from the 1960s to the 1980s, which included R. K. Laxman, Abu Abraham, O. V. Vijayan and Rajinder Puri. Starting with The Statesman in 1960, he went on to work as the political staff cartoonist with Hindustan Times, one of the largest-selling newspaper in north India, for over two decades. After which he worked independently for many newspapers and magazines.
Early life and education
Dar started his career with All India Radio, working as an announcer. A sketch he drew of the The Statesmans News Editor during a radio talk led to an offer to work at the paper. Thus in 1960 with no formal training, Dar started a 7-year stint with the Statesman, under editor Evan Charlton, doing a wordless front-page pocket cartoon titled Out of My Mind. Dar counts Punch and Saturday Evening Post as key influences, and K. Shankar Pillai, and Enver Ahmed as members of the first generation of Indian cartoonists whom he looked up to.
In 1967, Dar joined the Hindustan Times, the largest-selling newspaper in north India, where he was the political staff cartoonist for over two decades. Dar's This is It, a pocket cartoon appeared regularly on the front page. According to Maurice Horn in The World Encyclopedia of Cartoons, Dar's time at the Hindustan Times was marked by acts of resistance against attempts to curtail his freedom, till he resigned in anger in 1989.
Dar has also worked for the Independent, the The Pioneer and Delhi Times (a supplement of The Times of India). His cartoons have also appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post and Saturday Review, as well as Mad magazine, which billed him as a 'Tasty Indian Nut'. Since leaving the Delhi Times, he works as an illustrator on assignments for the World Bank, Microsoft and various government departments.
Though Sudhir Dar worked as a political cartoonist, he refrained largely from satirizing specific politicians and events, taking digs at more general subjects such as corruption and bureaucracy. According to cartoonist Rajinder Puri, 'Dar was never by inclination a political cartoonist. He is not a political animal. His attitude to politics is somewhat akin to what I imagine would have been the attitude of Bertie Wooster. Dar's forte was humour. Pure humour of the zany kind'.
- Out of My mind. The Statesman, 1966.
- This is it!. Vikas Pub. House, 1976.
- Out of my mind again!. Vikas Pub. House, 1977.
- The Best of This is it!. Rupa & Co., 1988.
- The Best of Sudhir Dar. Penguin Books, 2000. ISBN 0141002468.
- Sudhir Dar classics. Penguin Books, 2004. ISBN 0143031112.
- The Mad, Mad World of elections. Penguin Books, 2004. ISBN 0143032038.
- The Mad, Mad World of CRICKET. Penguin Books, 2007. ISBN 0143101846.
- Kashmiri Cooking by Krishna Prasad Dar. Penguin Books, 1995. ISBN 0140255656. Sudhir Dar illustrated this classic on Kashmiri cooking written by his father.
- Journey Through the Universe by Jayant Narlikar; cartoons by Sudhir Dar. National Book Trust, 1989
- Puri, Rajinder (12 March 2001). "Drawing Out His Best". Outlook (magazine).
- Horn, Maurice (1999). The World Encyclopedia of Cartoons. Chelsea House. p. 218. ISBN 0791051854.
- "Meet Mr. Sudhir Dar". BhashaIndia.
- "A humorous innings (Interview)". The Times of India. 19 August 2001.
- Shyam, Netra (6 June 2004). "Stock Talk". The Hindu Literary Review.
- Gilford, Doug. "Mad #147 December 1971". Doug Gilford's Mad Cover Site.
- Puri, Rajinder (12 March 2001). "Drawing out his best". Outlook.
- "Mr Hooda, give Gurgaon its due". The Times of India. 30 June 2011.