The Kerala Lalithakala Akademi has refused to withdraw the award conferred on a controversial cartoon.
The State government had earlier asked the Akademi to reconsider the award given to a cartoon by K.K. Subhash, which allegedly portrayed bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused in a sexual assault case, in a bad light.
But the general council and executive committee meetings held here on Monday decided not to reconsider the award. “The committee endorses the decision of the jury,” said Akademi chairman Nemam Pushparaj. “The jury has taken an independent decision on the award. Three senior cartoonists had selected the work for the award,” he added.
The cartoon, published in Hasya Kairali magazine, had drawn protest from the Church. It alleged that the cartoon insulted religious symbols. Minister for Cultural Affairs A.K. Balan had earlier said that the government did not want to insult any religion or religious symbols.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Congress under the Thrissur Archdiocese took a march to the Akademi here on Monday in protest against the cartoon award. Auxiliary Bishop of the Thrissur Archdiocese inaugurated the protest.