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Meet Karan Acharya, the artist who was hailed by PM Modi in Mangaluru rally


By Harsha Raj Gatty

Mangaluru, May 8: "It was beyond my wildest dream to receive praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi," exclaims 29-year old Karan Acharya, whose 'Saffron Hanuman caricature' was hailed by the PM during his electoral rally on Saturday at Mangaluru. In the rally, PM Modi decried the Congress for its 'intolerance' to the creatives of the budding artist.

A native of Kasaragod, Karan Acharya, a digital artist who now works as an animator for a Bengaluru-based company says that he never thought that his artwork 'Attitude' or 'Determinant' Hanuman - as he would like to call it would become a nationwide rage. "Growing-up as a kid, I always heard tales of mythological figures. So when I stepped into the field of fine arts, I always wondered what if the anatomy of characters such as Hanuman, Ram could be enhanced from plain body or Yogic figure to Muscular structure," he says.

It was then back in 2015, when a few of his friends in Kumble wanting to take Ganesh procession asked him to design one for them. "We usually designed different types of 'OM' for flag poles, but this time since the group had persisted for over two months, we decided to improve our work," he says. Karan along with his cousin Bharath and Praveen sat through the night and came up with caricature. "We wanted the Hanuman with attitude, no smile, and determination. We are all Hanuman Bhakths and being into fitness we are much more into it. Therefore we highlighted on the face, chest muscle, beard and long hair," he says.

But very soon, Karan realised that the design became an instant hit as he started receiving WhatsApp messages, he was randomly tagged in social media sites and started receiving compliments to his design. The caricature was also imprinted on cars, scooters, t-shirts, umbrella and other merchandise. "I really felt appreciated for my work. People started complimenting me and so on. I never looked at it from commercial or political point of view," he says.

Born in a family of artists, Karan says his 45-year old mother Manjula is his true inspiration. "She along with my uncle Yagnesh and grandfather Ramachandra Acharya were all artists. Since childhood my mother insisted me to pursuit my skills. She used to also narrate many mythological stories and this could have laid the foundation of my art being blended with mythology."

After completing his 12th grade in 2003 at Tagore College Vidyanagar in Kerala, Karan pursued fine arts for two more years. "Several faculties including mentors Laxmish Acharya, Girish Acharya, guided me to pursuit my interest," he says. Although, Karan works on various designs, depending on his client's order - God and Goddesses remain his favorite theme.

The artist says he is considering of filing a copyright for his Hanuman design. "I would never charge anything from regular designers or small time agencies for my work, because like me, I understand they have to look after their livelihood. However if anyone is looking at the design as commercial, then I would definitely appreciate them to request for permission," he says.

On being asked his political affiliation, Karan says, he does not vouch for a particular party. "I very much follow PM Modi, and I think he is doing a good job. Similarly if you visit my hometown in Kasargod, CPI is also doing good administration. I would call myself not-political, though I appreciate many political leaders," he says.

Regarding the criticism faced for his artwork for promoting masculinity, Karan says that he has come across people a few accouncing to boycott the cabs that paste the picture, at the same time people offering the driver Rs 50 extra if they have such labels. "As an artist I did my job. If some people think like that, I really can't do anything about people's perspective. For me it's solely about my caricature," he says.

At present, Karan says he is planning to help his friends launch a comic book based on a few mythical characters in Hindu mythology. "My friends have written a series, one on a futuristic tone of immortal characters like Hanuman or Parashuram. Another comic is on superhero characters like Marvel or DC comic like Batman, but an Indian version," he says

In his speech on Saturday, Modi lauded Karan Acharya for his artwork, while taking potshot at Congress for being 'anti-democratic' and being 'intolerant' for the creative work of the artist. "I was not invited by any of BJP functionaries to attend the rally, nor I expected any compliment. I was at Hyderabad for some work and it was my friends who attended the rally informed me of the PM's compliment. It’s a proud moment for me that the PM of our country took note of my work," he said.


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Comment on this article

  • Ali, Mangalore

    Tue, May 8 2018

    I don hate saffron color but I hate what most of the people do in the name of this color...

    DisAgree [4] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Beowulf, Mangalore

    Tue, May 8 2018

    Modi does not have any better things to do.

    DisAgree [49] Agree [40] Reply Report Abuse

  • Beowulf, Mangalore

    Tue, May 8 2018

    If BJP was anti-corruption..... Yeddy would have been kicked out of the party. But they didn't do it. And with that, I rest my case.

    DisAgree [27] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Beowulf, Mangalore

    Tue, May 8 2018

    Wow... look at the number of disagrees on my comment.... this is the real reason why we are in a swamp of corruption. All of you people are hypocrites cause you all are anti-corruption when the corrupt person is not your guy.... if he is your guy....then its all ok.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sudhakar, Kallianpur

    Tue, May 8 2018

    After reading some comments it is evident that some persons are allergic to saffron colour!!!

    DisAgree [16] Agree [60] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sudhakar, Kallianpur

    Tue, May 8 2018

    But love white colour!!!

    DisAgree [6] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shammi, Karnataka

    Tue, May 8 2018

    Sorry Bro ,

    I love kesarwala doodh....Iranian saffron imported ones really do justice to saffron.If you don't believe comeon soak the saffron in milk overnight .Same colour comes SAFFRON.

    ITS SAD SOME PEOPLE INTRIGUING HATRED IN THE NAME OF SAFFRON.ANY FIGHT ,ANY MURDER THEY WANT TO DO THEY WEAR THIS SAFFRON OUTFIT
    INSTEAD THEY SHOULD WEAR BLACK .

    THEY SHOULD WEAR SAFFRON ON RALLIES,PUJAS,THEIR UTSAV FINE.BUT CONDEMN FOR ATTACKING.ITS JUST PLAIN SAFFRON ABUSE...

    DisAgree [13] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sudhakar, Kallianpur

    Tue, May 8 2018

    Read my comments, where i mentioned "some persons". You are excluded....

    DisAgree [4] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Beowulf, Mangalore

    Tue, May 8 2018

    Sudhakar,

    Yes some of us are allergic to saffron color. This is because its been many years that people brandishing saffron colors have made life difficult for others.

    Now what I want to point out is that Modi should not be praising this art which is a religious symbol. Being a PM of a country with multiple religions... is it the right thing to do on his part??

    DisAgree [18] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • chandra, surathkal

    Tue, May 8 2018

    now came to know that he is PM for ALL? Where was this thinking when PM was termed with all sorts of words?!?!?!

    DisAgree [2] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Beowulf, Mangalore

    Wed, May 9 2018

    I have always spoken against anyone calling Modi any names. I believe that I have always maintained consistency in my opinion.

    I want to ask you is that where was Modi when people were killed because they were carrying beef? He might have spoken few words about it... but where was the real action to punish the culprits? He should have immediately rained down on the groups who actively support these acts.

    Now that being cleared off. I want to point out that it is BJP who have lacked consistency with what they blabber out and what they in reality do. Why is Yudirappa in BJP party if they are against corruption?

    You may think that I support a particular party. I dont. Both parties can go to hell. They dont deserve my vote.

    DisAgree Agree [1] Report Abuse

  • santhu BIRUVE, Mumbai/Udupi

    Tue, May 8 2018

    Congrats Karana Acharya..You are proud of Manglore/India.

    DisAgree [13] Agree [32] Reply Report Abuse

  • vishal, MANGALORE

    Tue, May 8 2018

    MR Karan Acharya you are the pride of INDIA .
    Amazing talent .



    MR MODI you need to do good Things and people will like
    example : 15 lakh to every ones account

    DisAgree [23] Agree [37] Reply Report Abuse

  • RSRB, Kundapura

    Tue, May 8 2018

    vishal, MANGALORE

    Modi already paid me 15 lakhs...

    DisAgree [13] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • Godwin, Mangalore

    Tue, May 8 2018

    If u draw anything in saffron colour he will praise...just imagine same art will be in green colour? and modi's reaction? Nonsense.

    DisAgree [42] Agree [30] Reply Report Abuse

  • Harsih, Bantwal

    Tue, May 8 2018

    Your mentality is very cheap....

    DisAgree [5] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Raj, Mangalore

    Tue, May 8 2018

    Best comment of the year... samajne ko bhi akal chahiye

    DisAgree [2] Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Vincent Rodrigues, Bengaluru/Katapadi

    Tue, May 8 2018

    Talents need to be appreciated and recognized which is the gift of God

    DisAgree [7] Agree [57] Reply Report Abuse

  • Beowulf, Mangalore

    Tue, May 8 2018

    Vincent Rodrigues,

    If you think this is talent... then you know nothing about talent or art.

    All this really doesn't surprise me one bit. We Indians have a tendency to praise mediocrity.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • mangalorean, mangalore

    Wed, May 9 2018

    "mediocrity" ???, i bet only the likes of picasso or da vinci are the ones who'll impress you... people like you are the reason why india is mediocre, anytime someone tries to do something good, you people are ready to critize them and destroy their self confidence, instead of nurturing it.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Tue, May 8 2018

    Modi likes anything in Saffron ...

    DisAgree [66] Agree [52] Reply Report Abuse

  • Avinash, Mangalore

    Tue, May 8 2018

    And you my friend ..you like anything other than saffron 😂😂😂

    DisAgree [19] Agree [83] Reply Report Abuse

  • NAVEEN, Mangalore

    Tue, May 8 2018

    Cheap mentality...

    DisAgree [8] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shankar, Kumble

    Tue, May 8 2018

    It is not angry Hanuman, it is attitude Hanuman to defeat evil forces like Ravana, I am proud to say that Karan is my neighbour from Kumble, Kasargod.

    DisAgree [8] Agree [55] Reply Report Abuse

  • roy pinto, mangalore

    Tue, May 8 2018

    YES Karan Acharya, is a good artist.

    but this feku modi gave communal turn

    DIVIDING NATION AND PEOPLE IN THE FORM OF RELIGION.

    DisAgree [51] Agree [32] Reply Report Abuse

  • chandra, surathkal

    Tue, May 8 2018

    I can say that you are giving a communal view now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is not right correct? So please judge and make such statements but appreciate a real talent

    DisAgree [4] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ediboy, mangalore

    Tue, May 8 2018

    He praises Karan becos he has benefited from his art.. this picture is gone viral specially in North India. It is only for political gains. BJP IT cell never had so much talent to create something like this. Showing hanumanji angry is first time and people unaware of what it means are sticking his stickers on cars and bikes which is spreading RSS ideology. Patronizing hanumanji in anger mode is not right since he is know to be a figure with smile on his face and a heart of a child even during war or worst scenarios. But credit goes to Karans art becos art has no limitations

    DisAgree [32] Agree [41] Reply Report Abuse

  • Declan, Mumbai

    Tue, May 8 2018

    Modi showing communal bias even for praising talent.

    DisAgree [46] Agree [41] Reply Report Abuse

  • richard, shirva

    Tue, May 8 2018

    @ Declan....what you see here to say Communal!!
    if anybody praise, talks about Hindu, its communal!!??
    In Hindu majority country, anything objected by minority is Communal!!!??
    grow up be some sense of humor...dont simply bark!!...beware of dogs!!

    DisAgree [15] Agree [46] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rakesh, Pune

    Tue, May 8 2018

    hats off Mr Acharya. You are great artist.

    DisAgree [14] Agree [58] Reply Report Abuse

  • sri_elder, Karkala

    Tue, May 8 2018

    Excellent...
    Bharat Mata Ki Jai!

    DisAgree [40] Agree [42] Reply Report Abuse

  • Hariprasad Shenoy, Manipal

    Tue, May 8 2018

    Karan for an artist art work is an imagination. You better sign off your other social media accounts before giving a Gandhi giri speech at least till this article is on.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mohammad Muzamil, Mangalore Dammam

    Tue, May 8 2018

    Please look at all his tweets..and you can realise how much he make hate spread against Muslims..

    DisAgree [44] Agree [61] Reply Report Abuse

  • Af,,, Mangalore

    Tue, May 8 2018

    Karan Acharya you are a wonder artist no doubt about that, but Modi is praised you just bcos you have drawn a picture of Hanumanji, by chance you would have drawn a picture of Tippu then Modi wouldnt have remembered you,

    DisAgree [43] Agree [71] Reply Report Abuse

  • C.T. Thomas, Mangalore

    Tue, May 8 2018

    We know who and what Tippu Sultan is and was. We also know why the forgotten 'hero' is suddenly remembered now and his Bday celebrated after 500 years of his death. After all he is also now hailed and praised in Pakistan as well.

    DisAgree [15] Agree [51] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sudhakar, Kallianpur

    Tue, May 8 2018

    If Karan Acharya would have drawn caricature of Tipu entire so called Tiippu support intellectuals and members of one community along with congress party would have come to street objecting drawing of Tippu caricature....

    DisAgree [9] Agree [35] Reply Report Abuse

  • Amith, USA

    Tue, May 8 2018

    My friend, forget about Tipu Sultan, if he had drawn a lively picture of Late Indira Gandhi or LK Advani, Feku would not have praised Karan Acharya even the picture were far better !!!!!!! Here, he praised the artist only to fool the community on the line of religion!!!!! Tomorrow, Feku won't hesitate to dump Karan or title him as anti-national if he support or join any other party!!!!

    DisAgree [28] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • j.anata, Mangaluru / Bengaluru

    Tue, May 8 2018

    Amazing, powerful art he has designed! Jai Bhajrang Bali!

    DisAgree [54] Agree [51] Reply Report Abuse

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