Arts organization refuses to rescind award for cartoon mocking rape-accused bishop


June 20, 2019

By Nirmala Carvalho

A government-backed arts group in Kerala, India, has refused to rescind an award for a political cartoon depicting Bishop Franco Mulakkal after a complaint from the state’s Catholic bishops.

Mulakkal, the bishop of the Punjabi city of Jalandhar is charged with raping a nun on multiple occasions at a convent in Kerala, an accusation he denies. Cartoonist Subhash KK drew a political cartoon depicting the bishop as a rooster being propped up by a local politician who has supported him in his legal battle, while a group of nuns run away.

The cartoon won an annual award from the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi, an autonomous cultural organization of the Government of Kerala which supports the visual arts.

The Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council called the cartoon “incendiary and objectionable” and said it insulted religious symbols.

“In the name of condemning Bishop Franco, the cartoonist has insulted Christianity by drawing an objectionable picture on the Good Shepherd symbol. The Left government in Kerala has honored such a dis

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