New Delhi: Observing that cartoonists hold up a mirror to public life, President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday suggested that the country return to `Nehruvian times` and cultivate a temper which welcomes criticism.
At a function organised to pay homage to cartoonist late PKS Kutty at Rashtrapati Bhavan here, he said, "Cartoonists hold up mirror to our public life and help us as a nation to see ourselves".
"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," the President said.
Renowned cartoonist Kutty died on October 22 last year in the United States. He was 90.
"I conclude by paying tribute to the contribution made by Kutty to the modern cultural and political history of our country. 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.
"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," Mukherjee said.
Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Minister for Rural Development, Planning & Culture in Kerala Government KC Joseph and Kerala Cartoon Academy Chairman Prasannan Anikkad spoke on various facets of Kutty`s life and recalled his popularity in West Bengal.
A coffee table book of 100 caricatures by Kutty was given to the President.