‘Modi Sarkar finally creates more jobs! More jobless youngsters are being hired to disrupt/downgrade facebook pages that criticise Modi governance, with negative reviews/ratings. Good Job, sir!”
After being harassed for months allegedly by supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, renowned cartoonist Satish Acharya took to Facebook to address his trolls, deploying his best weapon – his sense of humour.
"Dear blind-bhakts, if you think your coward adventure can scare or discourage me, sorry to disappoint you," he added in his post.
Satish also addressed concerns that he may be forced to stop his cartoons thanks to the endless harassment he has faced. Trolls went as far as downgrading his Facebook page in a bid to silence him.
“Every such act gives me more strength, more determination and more energy to do MORE CARTOONS,” he wrote.
Speaking to TNM, the cartoonist, who has more than 10,000 works to his credit, said that he has disabled the rating tab on his Facebook page as one way to discourage trolls.
"I have been drawing cartoons for more than 15 years, even before the Modi-led government came to power. My cartoons are issue specific, irrespective of whichever party is in power. I used to draw cartoons against the United Progressive Alliance's rule. It doesn’t matter who is in power, I will be critical if they do something wrong. I have never taken any political stance or supported any one party," he said.
Ironically, the same Bharatiya Janata Party supporters shared, liked and promoted his page when he took digs at the scams during the UPA regime.
When he noticed his page was being downgraded, Satish checked the profiles of those giving him terrible ratings and noticed most of them were affiliated to the BJP IT cell.
"Although I saw my ratings falling for quite some time, this morning it drastically fell. Most of those giving me poor ratings were based out of coastal Karnataka," he said.
The Kundapur-based self-taught cartoonist first began contributing his cartoons to the vernacular media in 2003. He eventually moved to Mumbai and worked at an advertising agency for a brief amount of time, before joining an English daily as a cartoonist.
In 2015, his cartoon on the Charlie Hebdo massacre drew global attention and was regarded as one of the most powerful cartoons in retaliation to the killings. His cartoon was carried by The Guardian, and The Wall Street Journal, among others.
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